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FrequencyCast UK - Show #32

The show notes to go with Show 32 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 32

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Here's what we discussed in Show 32:

NEWS This show's news section covered the following stories:
  • Freesat PVR in November: Good news for those waiting for a Freesat PVR - the first Freesat hard-disk recorder is expected to appear in mid-November. Made by Humax, the Foxsat-HDR will bear the "Freesat+" badge, have a dual tuner, and will support HD, series link, live pause, live TV rewind and the ability to cope with split recordings. The Foxsat-HDR will have two SCART sockets, one HDMI high definition socket, and a 320GB hard drive, for up to 200 hours of subscription-free TV. Out from mid-November for £299 from Laskys.

    Humax Foxsat HDR Freesat box

    Humax Foxsat HDR EPG Screen

  • High-definition Freeview: An update on High Def for Freeview - The UK TV regular Ofcom has confirmed that BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will soon be broadcasting in High Definition over Freeview. It's expected that the Freeview HD services will start from late Autumn 2009 in the Granada TV region, with the rest of the UK coming on-stream by 2012 in accordance with the Digital Switchover rol lout. To get HD on Freeview via a TV aerial, you'll need an HD-ready TV set. You'll also need to buy a Freeview HD set-top box, which are not yet available. The Beeb has applied to Ofcom to be allowed to bring HD to towns such as London for 2010, not 2012, to cover the FA cup.

  • 4 RadioChannel 4 exits radio: Assuming you subscribe to us via iTunes, you'll have caught our recent radio update. In case you missed it, Channel 4 announced in October that it's pulling out of digital radio. The station was planning to launch e4 Radio, Channel 4 Radio and music station Pure 4. Channel 4's Andy Duncan blames the economic downturn for the decision. Dark days for DAB, with it looking increasingly likely that there's little future for national commercial digital radio.

  • Five On Demand: TV channel Five has launched their 8-day catch-up service on BT Vision. Shows like Home and Away, The Gadget Show, It Pays To Watch and Fifth Gear can be viewed for up to 8 days. Demand Five shows cost from 79p each, or for only £3, you can sign up to BT Vision's TV Replay package, which also offers BBC and Channel 4's catch-up TV services.

  • BBC Drops Dogs: The BBC have confirmed that their planning to reduce the use of dogs on their channels. For those now in the know, DOG stands for Digital On-screen Graphics - the logos you see on the top left on digital TV channels. The Beeb is set to remove DOGs from their HD movies and drama, and making them more transparent on other content. Let's hope viewers hound the other channels to follow suit.

  • Discovery on Freeview: The company behind the Discovery Channel has secured a slot on Freeview. Using content from the existing Discovery-branded channels, the new channel on Freeview apparently won't carry the Discovery name, and will be free-to-view from early 2009.

  • More HD channels: Two new HD channels coming to Sky HD... the Crime and Investigation Network and The Biography Channel are set to join Sky's expanding High Definition list later in November.

  • More TV re-brands: UKTV's recently rebranded channels to names such as Dave, Alibi and Watch. Now, two more of the UKTV channel lineup are about to change. UKTV People will become "Blighty", and UKTV Documentary will become "Eden", expect the changes in early 2009.

  • My Own MorphAnd finally: Famous for saying "ehh ohh" before the tellytubbies, who didn't love Take Hart's plasticine pal? Now, you can own your own Morph. The only downside, is you have to make him yourself. The "My Own Morph" kit includes plasticine, accessories and a DVD with full instructions on how to make and mould your Morph. Best of all, the DVD includes a bunch of classic adventures. A great present, and it's under a tenner from .

Save our Shortwave

HomePlugPictured to the right is a Powerline / HomePlug adapter. These use your home's mains wiring to transmit data around the house - a handy alternative to wi-fi.

Problem is... these are causing interference to the shortwave band. As we demonstrated in Show 32.

If you have strong feelings about the interference caused by these powerline adapters, sign the petition at

Got a comment? Post it in our News Blog

Focus: Tiscali TV

Tiscali TV is the only remaining digital TV service that we've not covered in detail yet. We'd like to thanks Alan Hart for providing us with a review of Tiscali's service.

Tiscali TV uses your existing phone line to deliver digital TV to your home.

Tiscali TV offers around 80 channels of digital TV (including Sky One, FX, ITV2, Sky Sports News and Comedy Central).

On-demand content includes 1000 on-demand movies, over 5000 music videos, hundreds of TV series, and a TV rewind service.

Tiscali+ box

Service starts from £19.99 including up to 8 Meg Broadband, with free set-top box.

Tiscali TV screen


More details on our Tiscali TV page.

Focus: PowerChimp Carl struggled to appreciate just how useful this is. PowerChimp is the little brother of the PowerMonkey, and is a portable power supply for your mobile gadgets. Here's a summary of what the little chimp can do:
  • Charge your mobile, MP3 and other digital devices on the go
  • It's fully charged from a USB socket in 5 hours
  • Charge the two supplied rechargeable AA batteries and take them out to power other devices
  • Super bright integrated LED torch
  • When mobile or similar device is fully charged, powerchimp will auto shut off after 2 minutes
  • Pulse charging technology ensuring long battery life
  • Soft touch one button technology, with auto lock when charging or recharging

Powerchimp and connectors


Contents: Powerchimp, carry case, 2 x AA 1800mAh rechargeable batteries, USB retractable charging cable , DC3.5 x 1.1 charging cable

Tips: iPod/iPhone, Samsung E900, Motorola V66, Mini USB, Sony Ericsson, Female USB, LG Chocolate, DC4 PSP, Nokia, Mini Nokia.


Focus: Blue Peter

 Blue Peter 50th anniversary book In a break from looking at technology in our focus section, we take a look at a book. It's fair to say that Blue Peter has touched all of our lives.

October 2008 sees Blue Peter hit its 50 year anniversary, and the book we review in the show is: "Blue Peter 50th Anniversary Book: The Story of Television's Longest-running Children's Programme" - 192 pages of classic BBC memories of kiddies favourite Blue Peter.

Recommended retail price £14.99, but we've found it with over a fiver off at Waterstones Online


Interactive Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:
  • Sony ReadereBook Readers: Paul Stoneman says: "I'm an avid reader of books and was really taken in by the Sony Reader 505, but after a few days researching I downloaded the MobiPocket Reader software, installed it on my PC, Asus EPC and my old Pocket PC. I saved myself £200 and get re-use out of my pocket pc. I will wait until the tech is more established and a little cheaper. More on eBooks.

  • Supernova and BT Home Hub: Charles Pett got in touch from London asking as to inform listeners that the Supernova screen reading and magnification software can't be used direct on the BT Home Hub's USB port with the Dolphin pen drive. That also applies to Dolphin's Luna and Hal products.

  • Freesat on BT Vision: Rod Turnough asks "I am in an area with limited Freeview via aerial reception. Are there any plans to upgrade BT Vision to receive Freesat channels?". BT Vision gets live TV via Freeview, and on-demand content over broadband. I doubt BT Vision will be launching a Freesat-style satellite service any time soon. Note that Freeview's not on full power yet, and as we get closer to the digital switchover, Freeview signals should improve. Have a listen to Show 14 for help on improving your Freeview reception

  • Wi-fi on Nokia N96: We had a podline call from a listener asking how to enable wi-fi on their Nokia N96. An easy one - Go to Tools > W.LAN wizard, and it'll walk you through the process

  • Poor Broadband speeds: Mike Lewis has mailed in. He's just got BT Broadband and is seeing his speed fluctuate to less than the dialup speed of 560k. He wanted some tips on how to get his broadband back to the original speed? Well, first off, dial-up is 56kilobits a second, not 560kbps. Secondly, if you've just got Broadband, you have to allow a few days for the "profiling" to kick in and the speeds to settle down. If after a couple of weeks, you're still slow - it could be your distance from the exchange. If your house has wired phone extensions, there's also a trick you can do to bring the speed up a little - we call this the Jarviser trick of disconnecting your bell wire. Full details on this: Improve Broadband Speed.

  • Freeview HD hardware: Robert Clark asks: "This year I bought a 26inch HD ready TV with built in Freeview. I been hearing Freeview is to get some HD channels in some areas by 2009. Will the TV that I bought earlier in the year still work?" As we mentioned in the news, there will be a re-shuffle of channels on Freeview, with BBC, ITV and Channel 4 High Definition services being offered by Freeview from 2009. To get these HD channels, you'll need a Freeview HD receiver (when they come out). You'll be able to connect these to the HD input on existing HD-ready TV sets

  • Freeview in Spain: A message from Paul: "My dad is moving to Spain and wants to know if you can take a UK Freeview box to Spain?" Pete: In theory, yes. Newer Freeview boxes should be able to tune in to the local services broadcast on the Spanish equivalent of Freeview - but don't expect to get any English TV channels.

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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