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FrequencyCast UK - Show #20

The show notes to go with Show 20 of our online technology radio shows.
In this show, our featured topic is DVD Recorders.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 20

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NEWS This show's news section covered the following stories:
  • Going Digital: The Analogue switch-off is upon us. In the early hours of the 17th October 2007, the first part of the UK to switch to the digital TV service, lost its analogue BBC2. That part of the country, was Cumbria's Whitehaven, in the North West of England. The transmitter, serving around 25,000 homes, made the switch at 2am, under the glare of the UK's media. Whitehaven's other analogue channels will go by mid-November, and the UK's analogue telly finally vanishes in 2012. For more on the digital switch and what it means to you, download the MP3 of Show 7 , or see our Go Digital page.

  • BT Vision: The TV-over-Broadband service now has a self-installation option, meaning that you can now get Vision for just £30. BT Vision is supplied with a V-box hard disk recorder and you can watch TV-over-Broadband on your telly. The self-install kit includes two Powerline adapters, to save you having to run network cables. A £60 engineer-install version is still available. See our BT Vision page for more details, and screenshots.

  • BT Home Hub v1.5BT Home Hub: BT's soft-launched v1.5 of their Broadband router, the BT Home Hub. We review the new hub later in the show. Controversially, the BT Home Hubs now support BT Fon... more on this later in the show... See the FileSaveAs BT Home Hub page for more on the Hub and how to use it.

  • Dave's a hit: In October 2007, Dave launched, replacing UK G2. Audience numbers show that it's been a digital hit, becoming the number 5 digital channel in its first week - The top five viewed channels for the week were: ITV2, E4, ITV3, Sky Sports 1 and Dave. Note that UKTV History and Dave shuffled around the Freeview lineup, you'll need to rescan your Freeview receiver to get these two channels.

  • Slingbox news: Slingbox is the clever gizmo that lets you sling your TV over the Internet, to be watched online. We covered Slingbox back in our third show. Last month, a new Slingbox hit the UK market - the Slingbox Pro. The pro adds composite, component and HD video in for better connectivity options. It has a new-look case can cope with higher video transfer rates - up to 8 Mbps. It's nearly £200, and the classic is still available for under £100. Click for Slingbox availability

    The Slingbox Pro

    We've also been tipped off that we may be able to get the long-awaited SlingCatcher in the first three months of 2008. This companion product allows to watch the Slingbox output on a remote TV, instead of a desktop or laptop computer.

  • Skypephone from 3Free Skype on a mobile: Network Operator 3's just launched their 3Skypephone. This is a standard 3G mobile with a dedicated Skype button. It can make, and receive, free calls to other Skype users over the 3 data network. It has free Skype Instant messaging too. 3's Skypephone acts as a normal mobile too, and has an MP3 player and a 2meg camera. Available free on contract, or under £50 on pay-as-you-go. Calls on the 3Skypephone are truly free, there are no calling charges and no data charges. It's FREE calls to anyone, anywhere at anytime. More details on 3's 3Skypephone page, or on our Mobile page
    If you have Skype, don't forget to give us a call, our Skype ID is "frequencycast".

Focus: DVD Recorders

The main focus of Show 20 is "DVD Recorders" - What to look for when buying a DVD recorder, and information on DVD formats.

For more on DVD Recorders, see our dedicated page: DVD Recorders

Sony RX-D360

In the show, we recommended a couple of models, details of which we've added to our Recommended section.

If you're looking for the discounted player we mentioned, it's the Sony RDRGXD360 DVD Recorder (pictured above). At the time of recording, this was available from Currys

BT Home Hub

BT Home Hub v1.5In October, BT soft-launched a revised version of the BT Home Hub, called v1.5.

See our Home Hub page for details of what's new with the Home Hub v1.5.

On the subject of the BT Home Hub, the latest update seems to remove the option to turn wi-fi off, and adds something called the "wi-fi community" service. This is also known as BT Fon, and is a service that lets other people use your Hub to access BT's network, in return for you being able to access other people's broadband connections. Fon claims to be secure, and will only allow a percentage of your broadband bandwidth. If adopted widely, this could mean that people's hubs become public access points, offering free wireless Internet access to BT Fon users. Looking at comments in our Home Hub forum, many aren't happy with the idea of having their hubs turned into hotspots for other surfers. As one of our listeners, Dave Edwards points out - he doesn't want a rogue access point allowing others to use bandwidth he's paid for. Check your Hub settings and disable this if you'd rather not share. Fon... Good or bad? Let us know via our blog entry on BT Fon. See also BT's Fon site.

Looking for our Home Hub Guide? We've completed an audio guide on how to use a BT Home Hub - Download the instruction guide from our Guide page.


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

  • Connecting to DVD: We had a question Damien Phillips. He has a Digihome Freeview DVR and a Mikomi DVD Recorder and wants to record from the DVR to the DVD Recorder. We get this question quite a lot - how to connect a set-top box to a DVD recorder, so you can record and watch DVDs. It depends on what sort of connectors you have, but as a general guide - connect your DVD recorder to your telly with a SCART lead, then your digibox to your DVD recorder with a second SCART lead. Then, use your TV's remote to tune in to the DVD recorder (using the Line In or AV button). You should be watching the output of your DVD recorder. Finally, on the DVD control, select the AV ' Line In button to switch to the output of the digibox. Take a look at our step-by-step guide on our DVD Recorder FAQ.

  • TomTom Home Address: A quickly from Colleen Gastonguay. She has a TomTom One and can't figure out how to set her home address. Go to the menu, select "Change preferences", then select "Change Home location"

  • BT Vision interference: Listener Albert Allsop tells us that he's seen pattern interference on BBC2 with his BT Vision box, but has found the cure - Unplug the aerial connection on the V Box and plug it in the TV direct, this has cured the problem. We suspect that could be that the Vision's modulator is on and clashing with your terrestrial signal. You can change this from: Settings > General Settings > RF Output Channel.

  • Energy-saving bulbs: A message from Darren Ney following our Energy Saving section in the last show, show 19.: "I have started using energy saving light bulbs in the last short while in some of my lights. I have noticed there are a few different makes and types of energy saving light bulbs. I want to know do the really save you money in the long run.". Well, although low-energy bulbs are more expensive to buy, they can shave up to £10 year off your energy bill (based on a 100W equivalent), against a cost of £3 to buy, and they last around 6 years. Note conventional bulbs are set to be phased out in the UK by 2011.

  • TomTom 24V: Colin from Lancashire wants to use his TomTom in his lorry, with a 24V power supplier. Good news is that the TomTom One car charging lead supplied in the UK can cope with both 12 and 24 Volts

  • Surfing on a mobile: David called our podline on 0208-133 4567 to ask about the Samsung i620 and whether he can surf on wi-fi. He's confused by the acronyms. HSDPA, EDGE, GPRS and UMTS are all of the same family - data-over the mobile phone network. GPRS and EDGE are what are known a 2G services, and HSDPA and UMTS are what you'd know as 3G - offering faster mobile Internet services. In the UK, top speed you can expect to get out of 3G is around 1.8 megabits a second - still slower than a decent landline broadband connection over wi-fi, and almost certainly more expensive. Wi-fi's a better option for mobile surfing. The HTC S730 supports Wifi as well as 3G, Edge and HSDPA.

  • Sky in other rooms: Daya asks: "I have a Sky digital box in my living room but I want to watch in my bedroom. I have brought a co-ax cable and have fixed the connectors on both ends, but the connection doesn't seem to be working." To get the output of your Sky box onto a different telly, you need to run a co-ax aerial cable from the back of the Sky box RF out. Then you need to tune your TV set to the channel that your Sky box is broadcasting on. See our Sky FAQ page for the full process.

  • We also said a "hi" to the guys at - who needs an iPod anyway?


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