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FrequencyCast UK - Show #26

The show notes to go with Show 26 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 26

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Here's what we discussed in Show 26:

NEWS This show's news section covered the following stories:
  • Sony KDL-32S2010 HDTVHigh Definition coming to Freeview: UK Regulator Ofcom has announced that we can expect up to four high-definition digital TV channels to be delivered via a TV on Freeview as soon as 2009. One of these four channels will be offered to the BBC, with the other three reportedly up for tender. The space for these channels will be freed up by getting the existing Freeview services to shift to a new transmission standard called DVB-T2, make of MPEG-4 compression technology, combined with some channel reshuffling.
    These changes are expected to happen side-by-side with each TV region's digital switchover programme, so it won't be until 2012 that all four Freeview HD channels are available across the whole UK It's expected that viewers will need to get a new Freeview box to get HD, but existing boxes will continue to work for non-HD Freeview channels.

  • Picturebox on BT Vision: Picturebox, the Movies on Demand service from Universal Studios is coming to BT Vision from 5th May. The service, also available on Top Up TV Anytime and Tiscali TV will offer 28 movies a month for a £5 a month subscription. See our BT Vision page

  • Freesat: Latest rumour is that Freesat, the free-to-view satellite TV service will be launching in early May, possibly without Channel 4 in the initial lineup. If Freesat does launch in May, we'll cover it in the next show. Update - Freesat launched 06 May 08 - Freesat information

  • Apple iPhoneiPhone price cuts: The 8Gig version of Apple's iPhone dropped by £100 in April to £169 on the 16th April, although there seems to be something of a UK shortage at the moment, fuelling rumours of a 3G iPhone later this year. Stocks permitting, the UK iPhone is available from o2 online.

  • Channel news: A new addition to Sky HD - Rush HD, offering hi-def extreme sport has launched on Sky channel 452. Five Life re-branded as "Fiver", promising to be Younger, Ruder and Louder, on 28th April. In May 2008, a text-based dating service known as Rabbit will be coming to Freeview. Run by ITV, this will replace Teletext Cars.

  • BBC News 24: The Beeb's new channel has rebranded to "BBC News". They've revamped their graphics, and mucked around the BBC News Countdown (the catchy music composed by David Lowe that runs up to the to the top of the hour). Irritatingly, the countdown clock "00:00" no longer coincides with the last 'pip of the music. Our Pete is not a happy chap... sort it out chaps!

  • Blake's Back: News of a new sci-fi remake - first Battlestar Galactica gets a 21st century makeover, and now the UK cult classic Blake's 7 is set to make a new-look return. An initial two scripts have been commissioned by Sky One, leading to a possible new series. No news on when we'll get to see the re-imaged Blake, Avon, Cally, Jenna, Gan, Orac and Zen strutting their stuff on the Liberator though.

  • And finally: - Top Net site of the month. If you know a little about networking, you'll know that your computer has an "IP address, consisting of numbers and dots. There are several ways to identify your IP address, and we've found a new one - - Yes, this presents you with a sexy version of your computer's IP address. Give it a try!

Voucher codes

We've found some online deals on products we've reviewed recently. These are for a limited time only, and were current at the time of recording:

  • Up to 15% off TomTom Sat Navs at Currys - Expired.

  • 15% off all DAB digital radios - Expired

  • Savings on the Asus Eee PC - Asus eee Availability.

  • Get 10% off Revo DAB and Internet radio, including the Uno, Pico, Pico+, Mondo and the high-spec Revo Radiostation Blik, which combines DAB, DAB+ and Internet radio. For the discount, go to and use the special code affrevo at the checkout. Only available while stocks last.


Focus: BBC iPlayer

In this show, we discuss the BBC's Catch-up TV service, the BBC iPlayer. Launched at the end of 2007, the service has recently undergone a few changes. Here's a screenshot of the BBC iPlayer on a PC:

BBC iPlayer on a PC

The BBC iPlayer allows you to either stream recent BBC TV shows, or download them to your hard disk. Shows are available for seven days after broadcast. The BBC Radio "Listen Again" service is also available.

In April, the iPlayer became available on the Nintendo Wii - to get to this, you need to install the Opera web browser on your Wii. The Opera browser can be purchased from the Wii Shopping Channel.

BBC iPlayer on a PC

In March 2008, the iPlayer was released for the Apple iPhone and Apple iTouch - a wi-fi network is required though

BBC iPlayer on a PC

Virgin Media customers can get access to the last 7 days of BBC programmes, and a selection of BBC programmes can also be accessed from a BT Vision set-top box, for free.

The BBC iPlayer is available from

Shows over 7 days old? Ahh - The BBC, as well as Channel 4 and ITV, have now started offering older TV shows for download from iTunes - they're not free, but once purchased, they're yours to keep. Shows can be downloaded from (where you can also subscribe to our show).

Focus: Mario Kart Wii

Released in April 2008 - the best game for the Nintendo Wii...

Mario Kart Wii

It's available now from and GAME

Focus: Virgin Media

Virgin MediaOur correspondent Chris, took an up-close and personal look at Virgin Media.

For more on what Virgin Media has to offer, check out our Virgin Media page, or go to to see if Virgin's available in your area.

Focus: Asus Eee PC

Asus Eee PCPictured to the right is the Asus Eee PC. This is a small sub-notebook that's powered by Intel, supports wi-fi, has 3 USB ports, and best of all, costs a mere £190.

In this show, Carl and Pete get hands-on with the Asus Eee PC 701 - we've also recorded a stand-alone show going in-depth with the Asus Eee PC.

To get to the show, and for photos and screenshots, see our ASUS Eee PC page.

Interactive Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:
  • Portable Video: Kevin asks: "I am looking for a portable media player that can play native MP4 and WMV without faffing about on a computer - there are shows I like to watch from Australia's ABC but some are in WMV and others in MP4".
    We'd suggest checking out some of the media players from Archos, such as the Archos 404 or the newer 405. These support both MPEG-4 and WMV formats. Try AdvancedMP3players. If you're looking for a phone that can cope with these two formats - most Windows Mobile devices support both formats.

  • Surge Protectors: Darren Ney got in touch, asking how good are surge protectors are. He's seen one that also takes Phone line and broadband and wants to know if it's worth getting. Mains surge protects can help to protect your equipment from "spikes" or surges in the mains house wiring. Here's how they work... They use a component called a varistor to connect from the Live wire to earth. When there's an excessive voltage detected, the varistor channels the electricity safely to earth. If you see a surge, it's most likely to be through mains, but here's also a risk of high-voltage coming through phone lines into your house. If you have a phone line plugged into an expensive TV setup or a PC, then a surge protector can protect your equipment. There are some decent Belkin protectors available from Maplin and Currys.
    Monster Power Surge

  • Streaming service: Hi to Mike Lewis who tipped us off about a nifty Internet TV service at - lots of real-time TV channels from around the world. Nice site, particularly for viewing US TV.

  • Cassette Dubbing: John Freeman asked about the Plus Deck, for archiving cassettes to the PC. He wants to know whether it records to mp3 files at the normal speed of the tape playing or does it copy it fast like when copying a CD? Sorry, but the Plus Deck and the ION USB cassette drive both only transfer in real-time, so it'll take an hour to dub a C60. We covered archiving audio and video in show 21, and there's more on our Archiving page.

  • Top Up Cards: A podline call from Michelle in Essex, asking if she can get a Top Up TV card for her LCD TV. Sadly, you can no longer get TopUp TV cards - Top Up's moved on to their Top Up TV Anytime service and you need a special set-top box for that. You can get a Setanta viewing card though, if you like your sport.

  • Cheap Microsoft Office software: Graham Wardlaw contacted us, suggesting we pass on details of the site "Software4students". They're offering genuine Microsoft software at massively discounted prices. He purchased Office 2007 professional for his son for less than £50 - saving over £200. we wondered if it was legal... and yes, it is. Software4students is supported by Microsoft, and linked to from the Microsoft UK site. To qualify, you or your child needs to be a student at primary, high school, college or university. No student ID is required. For more, and to get your discounted software, go to

  • Slingbox and Broadband limits: A message from Dave Bolton: "I have noticed an increase in my usage of broadband. BT tell me I am way over my usage limit. I have Slingbox. Although this is using upload, would that be registering as a data transfer or download?" From BT's Usage terms and conditions: "Uploading to the Internet (e.g. sending photos and emails) also counts towards your allowance, but other broadband services such as BT Broadband Talk, BT Vision and BT Fusion do not."... so yes Dave, your Slinging does eat into your allowance. Consider upgrading to BT Total Broadband Option 3.

  • Skypephone from 3Skypephone and Bluetooth: We had a call from Andrew asking about the Skypephone. He wanted to know how to connect and sync using this phone and Bluetooth. It seems that although the Skypephone supports Bluetooth, it doesn't look like the PC software that's supplied with the phone does. Anyone know differently?

  • The future of VoD: We had a very interesting call from Simon Hudson on the subject of TV over Internet and Video On Demand. He works for a firm specialising in this area, and called with his views on the Industry and TV over the Internet. Sadly, his call was too long to broadcast, as it was on a dodgy mobile phone connection, but we played a short extract - very interesting listening. If you've got an audio comment for the show, send it in, or give us a call.

Any questions for Carl & Pete? Got a comment on the world of TV and Technology?
Call 020 8133 4567 and leave a message and be heard on the show.

Comments? Please post them in our forum.

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