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FrequencyCast UK - Show #31

The show notes to go with Show 31 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 31

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Here's what we discussed in Show 31:


This show's news section covered the following stories:

  • UKTV Channels to re-brand: Following UKTV's rebrand to Dave recently, from the 7th October, more of their channels will change names. UKTV Drama will become crime channel Alibi, UKTV Gold+1 will become Watch (with Richard and Judy), and UKTV Gold will change to "Gold". Station Dave has just got John Cleese on board to hold a new gadget show.

    GOLD watch alibi

  • Freeview Smiles: Smile TV 2 has been added to Freeview's lineup. On channel 46, Smile 2 allows viewers to interact with onscreen life coaches, as well as "party girls".

  • Sky's Picnic on hold: Sky's plans to offer pay-channels such as Sky One over Freeview, appear to be on indefinite hold, with Sky blaming regular Ofcom for delays in approval.

  • Radio loses identity: Global Radio, the group that owns the majority of the UK's commercial radio stations, has announced that they'll be rebranding nearly 30 of their stations to either "Heart" or "Galaxy", meaning names around for years will be vanishing over the next 18 months, including GWR, Invicta, Essex FM, Chiltern and SGR. Read our rant.

  • Freesat channels: New channels added to Freesat in September include: Gaelic channel BBC Alba, France 24, the Audi Channel and Zee Music.

  • Sky HD BoxHalf Price HD: Sky's dropping the price for the HD box from £150 to £75 until the end of October 2008. Applies to new and existing customers. Get Sky HD HALF-PRICE at the following link:

  • Sky and Nuts Loyalty: Ever wondered what the second card slot is for? Nuts TV is set to use the second slot in Sky set top boxes for a loyalty card scheme. By watching Nuts TV, you've be able to redeem points for brands including Dixons and Just Eat.. More details when we have them.

  • Google Android Phone in October: The first phone to be powered by Google's operating system Android, is set to appear in the UK at the end of October. The Google G1 will be exclusive to T-Mobile in the UK

  • And finally: We predicted this as a joke back in Show 24, but it looks like kid show Rentaghost could be actually be set for a 21st century remake, as well as Worzel Gummidge according to programme-makers RDF. More on the BBC website. Another FrequencyCast prediction comes true!

Focus: eBooks

The Sony ReaderWe took a good look at electronic books, book formats and the new Sony Reader eBook read in this show.

If you're looking for more information on eBooks, and eBook readers, take a look at the following links we've set up:

eBooks and eBook formats: eBook Page

Audio review of the Sony Reader: Sony Reader Audio Guide

Book Store: The Sony Reader at Waterstones


Focus: Cowon iAudio D2

Cowon iAudio D2 16GigWe looked at this tiny weeny player from Cowon back in Show 19, but with the 16Gig version now available, we thought it was about time we took another look.

The Cowon iAudio D2 comes with a built in DAB radio - one of the best handheld radios around. It has a QVGA touchscreen, and plays a whole bunch of audio formats include MP3, WAV, WMV, FLAC and OGG.

It's also a video player, photo viewer, text reader, voice recorder, calculator and USB storage device - a Swiss-army knife of pocket entertainment.

This is currently our favourite gadget - Presenter Carl loves its size and sound, and the more geeky Pete likes the settings, graphic EQ and the sheer flexibility of having everything in one device. It takes SD cards for extra expansion, and can connect to a telly with a TV-Out.

Battery life is 52 hours (for music) or 10 hours for video, and the battery's recharged via a USB mini, for extra convenience.

Focus: Pure Digital Radios

In this show, we looked at three new DAB digital radios from Pure, which build on the success of the original Pure One:

  • Pure One Mini: Smaller than the original Pure, this is a great little DAB radio. Available for under £40, this can be connected to an iPod or MP3 player, and if you get the optional rechargeable ChargePAK batter unit, you can get 20 hours of digital radio on a single charge.
  • Pure One Elite: Big brother of the original Pure, this adds a second speaker for stereo, will run for 35 hours on the ChargePAK. Upgradeable to DAB+
  • Pure One Classic: Updated to support pause and rewind, and now DAB+ upgradeable

Pure One Mini DABPure One DABPure One Elite DAB

Mini, Classic and Elite - available online at


The Quiz

As a bit of fun, we asked our Carl five tech questions... if you were playing along at home, the answers are:

  • Dave's the home of Witty Banter... it's a rebranded channel, but what was it called before the re-brand? UKTV G2

  • What HD formats does Sky HD support? 720p and 1080i

  • Selkirk, on the Scottish borders will "Go digital" this November... Where in the UK was first to "go digital"? Whitehaven, Cumbria

  • HSPDA is a type of... what? 3G mobile data service

  • How much content does a DVD+RW hold (standard)? 4.7Gig or 120 mins


Interactive Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:
  • Eee PC Alternative: A tip from Henri Lawrance: He was thinking of buying the Eee PC 900, and mailed in to say he's found a Windows Vista Compaq CQ50-100EM laptop for £299 new at PC World. It has 2GHz processor, VGA screen and wifi. Bargain!". Thanks for the tip Henri.

  • Home Hub 3Hub Upgrades: we had a call from Colin about the options for upgrading from a Home Hub 1.5 to a v2. It's actually very straightforward. A note to Home Hub users - you don't actually need to install the CD of software that comes with the Hub, as you can access the hub's settings from a connected web browser by typing in the address bthomehub.home. The CD can be handy for first-timers, but it does install software you'll probably not need to use.

  • Setanta on BT Vision: We had a mail from Mart Livesley. He's just got Setanta on BT Vision, and sent in some thoughts: "Install was easy, although it took a call to BT to activate the service. The Sports package is very good content-wise. I`d imagine there'll be a lot of peeps looking at this to save money by ditching sky. The picture quality on Setanta is POOR though, apparently due to a lack of bandwidth. Do you guys know if they have any hope of upping their bandwidth in the foreseeable?" Well, it's not the first time we've heard that, and it's more noticeable on big TV sets when watching fast action. All about the bandwidth, and there's none spare on Freeview at the moment. We're not aware of plans to up Setanta's bandwidth. Might be worth trying the Vision "on demand" sports content.

  • Large Hadron Collider: Next, in our emergency update a few weeks back, we mentioned the end of the world. Thanks to those that pointed out that although the Large Hadron Collider was switched on last month, they've not started 'colliding' in earnest yet. Listener Ian Coxall's worried about the end of the world... "Does anybody actually know for real that something big WON'T happen when these particles are thrust into one another? After all, the experts are doing this to see what happens, which shows they don't know yet. Still, I suppose a Black Hole would solve all the problems this planet has..... Shame to destroy four and a half billion years of evolution though."
    It looks like the world's had a reprieve though, as the massive LHC packed up in September due to a helium leak - it won't be working again until Spring 2009 apparently. Hope they kept the receipt!

  • Ubuntu and Asda: Thanks to Graham for calling in to ask whether we could install Linux on a box of Asda Cream Crackers. Hope our answer was of help!

  • SlingboxSlingbox over dial-up: Marlene Wilton asked us the following: "I have a property in Spain and would like to use a Slingbox to access programs there, but I only have a dial up connection in Spain. Is it still possible?" Probably not. Slingbox needs about 200kbps for a decent viewing experience on a PC. With dial-up, you'll be lucky to get 50kbps. Technically, you should be able to watch telly over dial-up if you use the lowest quality settings, but it won't be much fun. Slingbox help and advice

  • Sky and Freesat dish: Giles called in to find out if he could use a Sky dish with Freesat. Yes, Sky and Freesat use the same type of dish. If you buy a Freesat HD box, it'll work with a standard Sky dish.

  • Freesat PVR: Robert Povey wants to know when a Freesat PVR will be available and who will produce it. As far as we know, it'll be Humax, and we'll see a Freesat Twin Tuner PVR in late November 2008.

  • Home Hub offline: Johan called for some Home Hub Help. His Hub's wi-fi switches off at 8pm each night. Pete suggested that he should check two things: If it's a Home Hub 2.0, check the Power Save settings, to make sure the Hub's not set to switch off at 8pm, otherwise, it could be that something on the same wi-fi channel is conflicting. Try picking one of the Hub's other channels - See the Home Hub Wireless FAQ

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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