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FrequencyCast UK - Show #28

The show notes to go with Show 28 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 28

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Here's what we discussed in Show 28:

NEWS This show's news section covered the following stories:
  • BT Vision boxBBC not free on BT Vision: The Beebs not free with BT. For a while, BT Vision users were able to watch the BBC's 7 day catchup service on their Vision boxes for free. Sadly now this is part of TV Replay, which costs £3 a month. You do get Channel 4 shows for that too though, and it beats watching on an iPhone.

  • 3G iPhones: After months of speculation, the 3G version's about to appear. Due out on the 11th July, this also has a built-in GPS receiver and, at last, a standard headphone jack. Available from a much more accessible £99, plus £30 a month contract, these will fly off the shelves. Available from o2 online.

  • Virgin Radio Sale: Virgin Radio's been sold to TIML Golden Square, a media firm owned by the Times of India Group. Sale price was £53 million, and as part of the deal, the station has 90 days to lose "Virgin" from the name. The new owners apparently have great plans for the station, comparing the upcoming relaunch to the launch of "Dave" on digital TV. The newly named national station will be on DAB and AM, as well as FM in London.

  • Planet Rock saved: Planet Rock, originally set to close a few months ago, has been saved, and is set to continue broadcasting on DAB digital radio. Let's Rock.

  • Updated iPlayer: The beeb announced that an updated version of the BBC iPlayer is appeared in June. Still in beta, this new version shows TV and radio shows in the same interface, and they're working on personalisation and "we recommend" functionality.

  • ITV HD: High-definition from ITV launched on the June 7th 2008. It's not a channel - it's available as a service via the Red button. ITV HD is exclusive to Freesat.

  • Panasonic PZ81 with FreesatFreesat TV: The first TV set with a built-in Freesat receiver's just hit the UK. The Panasonic PZ81 plasma TV support's HD and is available in 42", 46" and 50" versions. Nice bit of kit, but a little pricey, with the 42" costing around £1,200.
    For the lowest price, try Pricerunner. or Kelkoo.

  • Sky's HD: From the 1st of July, Sky's HD service sees some changes. The service will now be called Sky+ HD, and the price for the top of the range box falls to £150 - presumably to compete with Freesat's HD pricing. Installation's £30 to new customers, compared to Freesat's £80 install. You can also get £15 credit if you sign up to Sky+ HD in July. More on Sky+HD's new pricing on Sky's HD site

    Sky+HD Box

  • Channel news: The Jewellery channel gone from Freeview Channel 44, and Top Up TV viewers will find that shows from Aminal Planet have vanished, but there's some new Discovery Channel content.

  • Calling all Petes: A shout out to all Petes listening to the show. If, like me, you're a Pete, join the collective and help edge towards a world record for the largest collection of Petes - Find out more at

  • R2D2 ProjectorThe ultimate DVD player. Fancy seeing your favourite film projected up to 80 inches on your wall or ceiling? Get the Nikko R2D2 projector. Remote controlled moving droid has an FM transmitter, reverse, forward, left and right, iPod dock and sound effects.
    A snip at £1800. This is the droid you're looking for!
    Available at

Focus: BT ToGo

BT To Go handsetHonestly. Can you believe that Carl really hadn't heard of the Blackberry. Sad, but true.

BT ToGo, is BT's answer to the addictive handheld email solution. This is a pretty decent Windows Mobile device that should set you back around £200. BT, keen to push it's broadband service, has announced a new package called "BT Total Broadband Anywhere", which, for a fiver a month more than their existing service, gets you this handset.

The ToGo handset (actually an HTC S620 handset) uses your Home Hub wi-fi when you're at home, wireless hotspots when you're out, or if there's no wi-fi available, it uses the mobile phone network.

BT ToGo Home Screen
Opening screen on the BT ToGo

This is a nice piece of kit - easy to use, with a workable QWERTY keyboard. If you want email on the move, an extra £5 a month is a seriously sensible investment.

More details about BT ToGo can be found at


Focus: BT Fon

BT FON LogoIf you've got a BT Home Hub... perhaps you're feeling generous? Want to give away some of your bandwidth in return for borrowing other folk's bandwidth while you're out? Well, BT FON could be for you

If you've got a Home Hub, login as Admin and go to Services > BT Fon - to opt in or opt out of sharing some of your bandwidth

Want to find out who's got a Home Hub offering FON near you? Go here BT FON Community search

Want to get a Home Hub, or BT Fon, go to


Asus Eee PC

Asus Eee PCIn Show 26, we look a look at the Asus Eee PC range - tiny, yet powerful PCs. We took an even closer look in a special audio show we put together.

In this show, show 28, we answered a whole stack of listeners questions, including how to use the Asus with a modem and Bluetooth, fan noise, and creating PDFs.

We've added the questions, and our answers, to our new Asus FAQ


Interactive Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:
  • Broadband speed: Mike Lewis asks "I've got BT broadband and I wonder why me friend in the same street has faster download speeds"

    A couple of reasons. It could be an issue to do with your internal wiring, especially if you have a lot of phone extensions. You could try the Jarviser trick which means removing the 'bell wire' from your master socket - Full details on this at Otherwise, it could be an issue with your line, or that something's eating your bandwidth - maybe a rogue app on your PC or someone accessing your Home Hub wirelessly. Speeds also vary during the day

  • BT Home HubBT Home Hub Username: Chris Aylott needs some BT Home Hub help. "It keeps asking for passwords and usernames, but everything I try fails. I need to know what my username and password is."

    With a BT Home Hub, the username is "admin" (lowercase). Older versions of the Hub had the password of "admin", but newer versions use the Hub's serial number - enter the bit after "S/N" on the sticker on the back or at the bottom of the Hub.

  • Satellite TV in the rain: Del Ward asks that whenever it rains heavily I lose my Sky satellite signal. Do satellite TV receivers everywhere have this problem? Would I get the same problem with Freesat?

    First off, yes, heavy rain can cause signal loss with a satellite dish - same for Sky and Freesat. Best to take a look at the signal strength meter to get a feel for what's going on. If it's a real problem, common fixes include checking that the dish isn't out of alignment, or to consider getting a bigger dish.

  • Nokia N95 as a wi-fi access point: Adam Child, from our FrequencyCast panel is a fan of the iPod Touch and doesn't want an iPhone. However he'd like to connect to the net via his Nokia N95 - can it be used as a Wifi access point?

    The good news is "yes", using something called JoikuSpot Light, which runs on newer Series 60 phones. There's also a similar app for users of Windows Mobiles, called WMWifirouter.

  • Sony Reader: Mark Leighton asked us if we'd be reporting on the Sony eBook reader some time soon. Well, we may just do. In the meantime, we've created a page on the Sony eBook Reader.

  • Bluetooth Internet: John Gallagher wants to know if possible to connect his Braille PDA via Bluetooth to the modem that plugs in to a laptop

    Possibly. If your laptop has an Internet connection using a USB modem, then it should be possible to share this connection using Bluetooth. Assuming your PDA supports "Dial up networking over Bluetooth", then you should be able to make the connection.

  • iPod dock with FM and AM radio: Del also asked us to recommend a simple device/amplifier which will enable him to play music from an ipod or laptop through reasonable loudspeakers - and which is also a good FM/AM radio receiver.

    We'd suggest Del looks at the consider the iLuv i552 (pictured below), which has FM and AM, a dinky remote control and supports line-in.

    iLuv 552 Docking station

  • Connecting Freesat: William Dillard asks: "If I get a Humax Foxsat HD, how is this connected to my Sky box, and can I still watch my Sky channels?"

    Yes, you can have Freesat and Sky working on the same TV set. You wouldn't connect your Freesat box to your Sky box though - you'd connect it to your TV. Assuming you're buying it for HD, then you'd connect the Freesat box to your HD-ready TV using an HDMI cable. Note that if you're using two receivers and one dish, for best results you need a multi-LNB on the dish, and will need to have a separate cable feed from the dish to each tuner, as two set-top boxes can't use the same feed at the same time. If you don't want to run the extra cable, consider a switch box.

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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