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FrequencyCast UK - Show #29

The show notes to go with Show 29 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 29

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Here's what we discussed in Show 29:

NEWS This show's news section covered the following stories:
  • Daewoo DS608PFreeview boxes broken: In case you missed our mid-July update, the big news is that, transmitters up and down the UK have recently been upgraded, meaning that Freeview boxes made by Bush, Daewoo, Labgear, Portland and Triax have stopped working. At the end of July, the next round of updates happened, trashing boxes in London, Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. This only affects about 1% of Freeview viewers, but there's a lot of unhappy folk out there, and FrequencyCast's been on Radio 5 Live and Radio 2 discussing these updates. More on the story on our Freeview Landfill page. See our News Blog section for updates.

  • Freesat: In July, we saw a few new channels coming to the Freesat lineup, including Zone Reality, Zone Horror, TWC Fight and a batch of shopping channels worth avoiding, and at last, the BBC regional channels that were missing at launch are now available. Those waiting for a Freesat PVR disc recorder may have to wait a little longer, as these seem to have slipped to "Winter 2008"

  • HD Sports News: Eurosport is now available in High Definition, bringing Sky's total of HD channels to 19.

  • Top Up TV news: Firstly, content from Warner TV is now available. Secondly, a software patch has just been released. v2.93 solves a problem caused as a result of the recent transmitter updates. At the time of recording, the patch has to be applied manually - upgrade procedure. Lastly for Top Up, some new Anytime boxes have been released, including a 500gig unit. More on our TUTV page.

  • Broadband news: In July 2008, BT announced details of their plans for super-fast broadband. They're proposing to spend £1.5 billion on connecting 40% of British homes to a new fibre-optic network by 2012. Speeds are expected to be between 40 and 100 megabits a second. Virgin were hot on BT's heels with the announcement that they're planning to roll out 200Meg by 2012.

  • BT Home Hub: BT's Hub 2.0 has been well received - we have an audio and text review online. BT's just announced that the new hub is now just £25 on BT Option 1, or free on all other broadband packages. See our review of the Home Hub 2.0

  • Freeview news: Digital TV station "The Hits" is set to become "4Music" on 15th August with exclusive content from the V Festival in Chelmsford.

  • VHS Video Cassette USBUSB Video cassette player: Remember video cassettes? Back in Show 21, we looked at hardware for archiving your audio cassettes and vinyl to a digital format - now there's a USB video cassette player available - hook it up to your PC, and convert your VHS to a digital format. For playback on PCs, iPods, PSPs, DVD and other media players.

  • Star Fleet DVD80's Nostalgia: If you didn't grow up in the 80's, this will mean nothing, but finally, a rare kids cult is coming to DVD.... The Anglo-Japanese series Star Fleet, following the crew of the X-Bomber is out on 1st September from A superlative sci-fi classic with some superbly named characters such as "Barry Hercules" and the evil Makara. If you remember Star Fleet, leave us a comment.

  • And Finally: Another 80's classic... A new Sat Nav's coming onto the market. Mio's releasing the "Knight Rider" satellite navigation system. With voiceover from William Daniells, the original voice of Kitt, this has flashing red LEDs as the unit talks to you, and has a store of names, for a personal KITT greeting. There's a video on YouTube. Available soon in the US for $270. Register story.


Focus: Digital TV

In this show, we look a high-level look at the Digital TV options that we've covered in the past.

As promised in the show, we've added a basic guide to Digital TV, and a comparison table - you can find this on our new Digital Basics Page

Digital TV Logos


Focus: i-gotU GPS Tracker

iGotU GPS TrackerHere's a good one. The i-got is a tiny little GPS tracker. Carry this around when you're on your travels, and it will record details of where you've been, using GPS satellites. When you're back at base, download your travels to see them on Google Maps. Also handy for geo-tagging your photos for use on blogs, Flikr or Picaso.

Listen to the show for more, or check out our i-gotU review for more information and some screenshots.

Available from Maplin


Focus: Nintendo Wii Fit

It's clear that, errr... one of our team needs to shed a few pounds... so could Nintendo's Wii Fit have the answer? With Wii Fit, you get some software and a special Balance Board

Wii Fit Screenshot

Wii Fit is available from GAME, Tesco , Argos online or


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

  • AAAA Batteries: Mick Mathers asks: "I've heard some burblings about AAAA (Quad-A) batteries. Is this something to take seriously at the moment? I can't find any devices that use them as yet" Quad-A batteries are not overly common - and can be found in a handful of computer styli and headphone amplifiers. Apparently, six of them are chained together inside a standard 9 Volt PP3. If you happen to need them, Maplin sell them -

  • Freesat on a PC: Kieran Durcan is looking for a Freesat receiver for his PC. He's found a PCI card, but as he has a laptop, he's after a USB one... PCI cards (that fit inside a PC case) are a bit more common, but to get free satellite TV via USB, get yourself a Hauppauge Nova-S USB.

  • Sky HD without Freesat: Tony Jones asks: "Can a subscriber of Sky HD receive BBC and itv hd without having to get a Freesat HD box? The Sky+HD box can already get BBC HD, as well as 18 other HD channels... except ITV HD. ITV offer a few hours a day of HD content, and it's exclusive to Freesat, so if ITV HD content is a must, then you need a Freesat HD box

  • Eye troubles and HDMI: Alan Coleman asks "Due to my eye condition (severe astigmatism) I can't view HD pictures properly - everything looks tall and thin. With SD I can fiddle with the picture outputs to get a decent result - I set Sky to 4 by 3 letterbox and the TV to 14 by 9, but with HD, the HDMI connections won't allow me to do that. Is there anything I can do?" Sorry, but the team is stumped by this one - can you help? Any ideas, please get in touch.

  • Freeview HD: We also heard from Ianmoticon. As well as sending a group hug to the lads on the NetGem forum, he asks when HD will appear on Freeview. As we've covered before, we can expect 4 channels by 2012. The Beeb are apparently running some trials at the moment, and the first channel's expected towards the end of 2009.

  • BT Vision breakup: Ed Tulloch asks "I've got BT Vision. The On Demand service plays for 2 seconds, then pauses for about 5 seconds and plays the next bit. Is there anything I can do?" This is most likely something to do with the speed of your line. Run a Broadband line test from your PC. 2Meg is the minimum for BT Vision. Could there be something stealing your bandwidth?

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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