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FrequencyCast UK - Show #27

The show notes to go with Show 27 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 27

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Here's what we discussed in Show 27:

NEWS This show's news section covered the following stories:
  • Freesat logoFreesat launched: The big news for May 2008 was the start of Freesat, the digital satellite TV service. More on this later in the show.

  • Sky Picnic Postponed: Plans for Sky's subscription-via-a-TV aerial service appear to be on hold after UK regulator OfCom announced they won't be reporting back on Sky's proposal until the end of 2008

  • BBC Olympics news. The Beeb has announced that BBC Parliament will be going off-air on Freeview for three weeks, to allow screening of the Beijing Olympics. On Sky and Freesat, there'll be up to 8 interactive Olympics channels, with just two on Freeview.

  • BT ToGoBT ToGo: BT's Broadband package has had another addition. As well as the Home Hub, BT Vision, BT Fusion, BT Digital Vault and all the other extras thrown in, they've now added a free Blackberry-like Smartphone into the mix. The new top-of-the-range Broadband and TV package, BT Total Broadband Anywhere includes this new Windows Mobile handset, which uses either Wi-fi or the BT Mobile network to let you send and receive emails, or surf the net.

  • Sky Anytime PC Relaunch: The Video On Demand service from Sky has re-launched - it's new name... Sky Player. The service lets you download over 500 movies, sporting events, and content from Sky One, History Channel and National Geographic. Content is free if you're a Sky subscriber, and non-subscribers can pay to get some content. The new Sky Player's easy to use, and a handy way of catching up with episodes of Sky that you may have missed. It can also work out a cheaper than using iTunes to see a series like Lost.

  • Radio's a hit: Audience research firm RAJAR's announced that Radio listening's up - with over 45 million listeners a week. Almost a third of the UK now listens to digital radio, either with DAB, on a TV, or online.

  • ITV Rabbit: On Freeview Channel 102, you'll find Teletext's new dating and chat service Those with more money than sense can send text and pictures for 50p a go, for others to see and respond to.

  • Down at Fraggle Rock: Classic 80's kids telly coming to the big screen. It's official... Fraggle Rock - The Movie is on the way. Directed by Jim Henson, we'll see the Fraggles interacting with humans. Expected in 2009

  • e-cigaretteAnd Finally: The clean-living folk here at FrequencyCast are all non-smokers, but we know there's a few puffers out there. So, here's a clever gadget for you. It looks like a cigarette, tastes like a cigarette, smokes like a cigarette, but it isn't! Containing no tobacco, this e-cigarette has a tiny built-in battery that creates a vapour that looks like smoke. It comes with a set of optional nicotine cartridges for those that their hit. Handy for beating the smoking ban, as an aid to giving up - available now.

Focus: Free satellite TV


Freesat logoThe new satellite TV service, Freesat, launched in May 2008, and we chose to focus in on this new service in this show.

Rather than just covering Freesat though, we went a little wider to look at the other subscription-free ways of getting satellite TV.

Humax Foxsat HD
The Humax FoxSat Freesat receiver

We've now created a special page covering all of the free satellite TV options -

Check out our Free UK TV page for more.

Freesat installation loophole: With Freesat, if you don't have a dish, it'll cost you £130 to get Freesat working (£50 for a basic box, and £80 for installation of a dish). However... Sky Digital offers "Pay Once, Watch Forever", for just £75 - this includes installation and a Sky Digibox. So, here's what you do:

  • Get "Pay Once, Watch Forever" - dish and box for £75.
  • Watch the 200+ free channels plus the Sky subscription channels for 3 months, then tell Sky that you don't want to subscribe after the trial.
  • You can still use the Sky box for the free-to-air channels. If you fancy moving to Freesat (for their HD service), then you've already got a dish installed suitable for Freesat, and a spare satellite receiver.

Check out our Free UK TV page for more.

Focus: USB Modems

In this show, we also took a look at a couple of high-speed mobile broadband modems.

These are designed to connect to a USB socket on your laptop to get you high-speed Internet on the move.

We looked at 3's offering, as they seem to be the best of the bunch just at the moment. Here's the unit we were playing with:

ZTE USB Modem from 3
ZTE Modem from 3

3 has a range of different USB modems available- the one we mentioned, is the 3 ZTE USB Modem, pictured here in Pete's hand. This is available on 3 Broadband to Go.

Three versions are available - with monthly download limits of between 1GB and 15GB. Prices starting from £10 a month. Alternatively, you can go pay-as-you-go option - the modem is a one-off £49.

More on 3's offering at

Check out our Mobile Broadband page for more.


Interactive Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:
  • Digital DVD recorders: K.D Evans asks: "I have a digital TV. Do I need a digital DVD recorder or will a normal DVD recorder be ok?"

    With most digital TVs, you can connect via SCART to a DVD recorder, but this will only allow you to record whatever channel your TV is set to. For more flexibility, get a DVD recorder with its own digital tuner, so you can record one digital channel whilst recording another. More on our DVD Recorders page.

  • Mobile Internet image quality: Thanks to Alan Edwards for contacting us in response to show 26, where we had a question on image quality over Vodafone data. He says mobile networks do have systems that apply extra compression to JPEGs - he's got experience of T-Mobile doing this. If you're on a laptop, Alan's suggested an anonymous proxy or VPN connection such as may get round this.

  • Classic Games Consoles: Stan G mailed us from his PS3. He owns 15 game machines. One is a Radofin 1292 and one's an Atari 2600 both boxed. Will these be worth a lot of money one day? We suggest a quick check on Ebay. Anyone out there want to make Stan an offer?

  • Twin tuners: Christine called our podline to ask about recording one channel while watching another. To record one digital channel whilst recording a different digital channel, you'll need two digital tuners. If your parents are buying a hard-disk recorder, make sure it's a "twin tuner" model, as these support two digital channels. See our DVR page for more.

  • Wi-fi radios: John Long asks: "I been thinking about getting a WI-FI internet radio and have looked at a few but want to know how good are they and do they work all round the house and in the garden."

    Revo Blik RadiostationWe've tried three different wi-fi radios, and there's not that much to choose between them - range comes down to your wi-fi coverage. If your laptop or phone can get wi-fi in the garden, a wi-fi radio should too. Top choice for us is the Revo Blik RadioStation - which also does DAB, DAB+ and FM. 10% off Revo Radios if you use the code affrevo at AdvancedMP3players for a limited time

    We also recommend the Revo Blik Wi-fi Internet Radio, which is pretty good, supports a range of formats and also has FM.

  • Eurosport on Freesat: We had a call asking if Eurosport is available on Freesat. No - British Eurosport is a subscription service, so not on Freesat. It is available on Sky Digital, Virgin Media and Tiscali TV.

  • Outlook inbox manager - The software we mentioned in this podcast is Xobni (Inbox backwards), from

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.


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