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FrequencyCast UK - Show #14

The show notes to go with Show 14 of our online technology radio shows.
In this show, we look at improving Freeview reception.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 14

Play Show button Download show now button Subscribe to FrequencyCast in iTunes


Here's what you'll find in FrequencyCast #14:


This show's news section covered the following stories:

  • Virgin Free TV BoxFree TV from Virgin: At the start of April 2007, Virgin Media announced it would be offering free digital TV for the first time to customers outside of the old NTL/Telewest cable coverage areas. A special set-top box that gets over 30 free channels will be offered to non-cable customers that sign to Virgin's 8 Meg broadband service and their home phone service... for free. Sound good? It sure does... until you realise that what you're actually getting as a freebie with your £19.99 a month broadband and phone package, is a standard Freeview box, branded with Virgin's logo.

  • Virgin Radio expands: Already on AM, FM, DAB digital radio, digital TV, online and on mobiles with Visual radio... has now found another platform. It's claiming to be the first UK radio station that can be accessed and streamed on the Nintendo Wii and the Playstation 3, via the games console's web browsers.

  • Freeview Playback: In May, we can expect to see some new Freeview boxes hit the market. Branded "Freeview Playback". These are essentially Freeview-branded hard disk recorders made by Humax, Sony and TVonics from around £150.

  • TCM leaves Top Up: Another channel left the Top Up TV channel lineup ... Movie channel TCM left in mid-April 07, presumably to free up space for another Freeview channel. Movies from TCM will still be available on Top Up TV Anytime service.

  • Cheap mobile Internet: Internet access from your mobile is about to become a whole lot cheaper, with operators trying to encourage more online use. 3G provider 3 is dropping to £5 a month for unlimited use, beating the previous 'best deal' of £7.50 a month from T-Mobile. Streaming TV to your mobile from Orb or a Slingbox has just got even cheaper. More at and

  • o2 SIM cardFree SIMs from o2: o2 is offering four free SIM cards at the moment. Each comes with free unlimited o2-to-o2 calls and texts if you top up with £15 a month. More details at Limited period, while stocks last.
    You can also get two free T-Mobile SIM cards, with a free weekend texts offer. More details at

Cash from your Smartphone

Mobile Phone Survey. Get paid to use your mobile phone!

MMetrics SurveyMobile phone companies are very interested in finding out how people use their mobile phones, and will pay for information. You can earn £15 just for signing up, then a further £5 a month, just by using your smartphone. The supplied software collects information about mobile phone usage, and send the data off regularly. It may feel like you're installing Spyware, and we acknowledge it's not for everyone.

The survey does not involve collecting text or other personal content in any of your files, including the actual content of text or email, so there's some privacy. We're giving it a go, and if you want to try, sign up to Mobile Panel.

Freeview news

Some Freeview snippets:

  • Channel 4 and publishers EMAP may soon be launching a new music channel on Freeview
  • Thomas Cook TV has recently appeared on the lineup, on Channel 41
  • Country music station 3C ("Continuous Cool Country") has gone from the Freeview lineup, and has been replaced by Scottish station Clyde 1 on Freeview channel 724

Focus: Freeview Reception

TV AerialThe main 'Focus' of the show, by listener request, was "Freeview Reception Help". We hear from many listeners asking for help with Freeview reception, missing channels and interference.

We tried as hard as we could to explain some of the things to try, but it's a complex subject that's quite hard to explain on a radio show such as ours...

So... we've created a whole page to help - Check out our Freeview Advice page - if you've listened to Show 14 and are looking for our page of advice on Freeview, that's the page to go to.

If you're looking for information on the box that you can use connect to a TV without a SCART socket - it's an RF Modulator

Focus: Nokia N95

Nokia N95In this show, we had some hands-on time with the sensational Nokia N95. This is a top-of-the range device with a great screen, and a nifty bi-directional sliding keyboard. As we demo'ed in the show, it also has two speakers for some impressive stereo playback. Here are the Nokia N95's killer features:

  • GPS - A built-in satellite receiver for GPS navigation - maps are downloaded as required over the air, meaning the map data can be kept up-to-date. Voice navigation files can be downloaded on demand too - listen in to this show to hear navigation in action.
  • Connectivity: USB, Infrared, Bluetooth, GSM, WCDMA, HSDPA and Wi-fi
  • 5 megapixel camera, with Carl Zeiss optics and VGA video capture
  • Has a stereo FM radio and supports Visual Radio

We've got a couple of screenshots of the N95 on our Mobile Phone page.

The Nokia N95 became available in March 2007. It's available on contract from T-Mobile and MobileShop. It's also available SIM-free from

o2 XDA OrbitIn the show, we compared this phone to its nearest competitor, the Windows Mobile powered o2 XDA Orbit - This model has GPS built-in, it's cheaper, and it has a touch screen. It can also be used with TomTom Navigator 6. The downside... it doesn't get its maps over-the-air, and it doesn't have stereo speakers, as many megapixels, or a Flash

The o2 XDA Orbit is available on contract from the O2 store. The T-Mobile version, the MDA Compact III is available from T-Mobile.


Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:

  • Sky HD and Video Sender: Garry Metcalfe said: "I have just got Sky HD, and I already have an AV sender. It works, but will it send HD pictures to the receiver which is connected to the HD bedroom TV?"
    Sorry, but your video sender can't be used to transmit hi-def around your house. High Definition doesn't work over SCART - also, the bandwidth for sending HD wirelessly isn't there. Your Sky HD box still has SCART sockets, so you'll still be able to send standard definition pictures to another TV.

  • Record Freeview if TV is off: Steven Tucker mailed, asking "I've just bought a Panasonic TV with an integrated digital tuner. From what I can understand from the manual, I can't record a Freeview channel and turn off the TV or even put it in standby mode! So... what do I do when I want to go out and record something or record something in the early hours of the morning?"
    If your IDTV can't send Freeview to a recorder when it's powered off, then you have a couple of options. You could look for a DVD recorder or a DVR hard-disk recorder with a built-in Freeview receiver. If this isn't an option, consider getting a cheap Freeview box or even the Bush idapter just for your recorder. Plug this in, and you'll be able to record directly from it - this solution also gives you the option to record one digital channel while you use your telly to watch another Freeview channel.

  • A mail from Adam Child. He says: "I am beginning to see a lot of talk about "Twittering" on the net but don't claim to know too much about it. I would appreciate a heads-up, as it sounds quite cool."
    Twitter is a sort of extension of the blogging craze. Create yourself a free account at, then you tell your friends and the world what you're up to by sending a text or instant message to Twitter. If you have friends using Twitter, you can get updates on what they're up to. A handy way of using a single text message to update friends and family. We've created a Twitter account, so if you Twitter, add "frequencycast" as a friend. If we get enough interest, we could send updates about FrequencyCast via text message. More at

  • Freeview on the Channel Islands: We had a call to our podline Mr Newman, who lives out in Alderney on the Channel Islands, asking about when the Island will be able to get Freeview, and what happens come the Digital Switchover. Well, it seems that the Channel Islands will be one of the last places where analogue will be switched off. The Alderney transmitter is scheduled to "go digital" in March 2013.

  • Home Hub and TalkTalk: We heard from John Williamson, asking about using the BT Home Hub with TalkTalk. Sorry, but the BT Home Hub is only for use with BT Total Broadband, and the settings are hard-coded for BT's service. See our Home Hub FAQ for more.

  • Grandstream VoIP: Mave Kennon called us asking for help getting her Grandstream 2000 VoIP phone to work with a BT Home Hub. We have instructions on port forwarding on our Home Hub FAQ, and you should also look at the Grandstream help page which lists which ports need to be opened - note these are UDP not TCP.

  • BT Vision vs Tiscali TV: We had a call from Nigel in Putney, London, asking for a comparison between BT Vision and Tiscali TV. Tiscali TV gets its programming down a phone line and BT Vision offers the standard Freeview channels. Both services require you to have their Broadband service, they offer roughly the same number of channels and prices are comparable. For an extra £10 a month, you can subscribe to channels not available on BT Vision such as Eurosport, MTV, sci-fi, UKTV Gold and Paramount Comedy, which may sway your decision. Tiscali TV doesn't offer a hard-disk recorder (but it will later this year). BT Vision offers a free hard-disk recorder.

  • Slingbox Remote Control: We had a main from Robert Gregson. He has a Slingbox, but some of the keys he need for his Panasonic PVR are missing. He's looking for help getting Slingbox to learn new keypresses. We found the following articles that may be of help: How to add new remote control codes to Slingbox and Create your own Slingbox remote control.


If you enjoyed listening to the show, check out our previous shows , or have a look at our Topics page to see what we've covered recently.

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