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FrequencyCast UK - Show #38

The show notes to go with Show 38 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 38

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Here's what we discussed in Show 38:


This show's news section covered the following stories:.

  • Freeview logoThousands without Freeview: Thousands have been left with Freeview after some changes were made to the Rowridge transmitter on the 25th of March. The transmitter serves Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, East Dorset and West Sussex, and around 8,000 people have had their TV reception affected by the change to frequencies that's in preparation for the digital switchover. Viewers in the area need to rescan for channels. If that fails, try again or call the Digital UK Helpline on 0845 845 0231

  • Bad news for ITV: In early March, we saw ITV's pre-tax profits drop by 41% and plans to cut another 600 jobs, scale down regional operations, as well as sell off Friends Reunited. Reportedly, ITV's only salvation may be to move to a subscription model. This would see them vanish as a free-to-view channel, shifting to Sky and Virgin as a pay-to-view channel. The report claims that viewers would be prepared to pay £2.50 a month for ITV (compared to the £12 a month licence fee for the BBC). Nothing's decided yet. Also, a report out in March claims that Five won't survive without a merger.

  • Commercial radio dead in 15 years? A dire claim has been made... commercial radio could die out within 15 years. Commercial radio's advertising revenue has been diminishing, partly due to the credit crunch hitting the ad market generally, and party with the increases in online advertising. Help may be at hand in the form of the BBC's "Radio Plus" service, due in the next 12 months. Similar to iPlayer, but open to both BBC and commercial stations, this will initially be a catch-up service, later adding live pause and series link for radio.

  • Digital Switch news: Devon, Dorset and Somerset are next to switch. The Beacon Hill transmitter and its 23 relay transmitters serve Torbay and South Devon. They're set to go fully digital from 08 April. Stockland Hill, serving Exeter, parts of Devon, Somerset and Dorset, is due to follow in May 2009. See for advice.

  • Heart Re-brand continues: although bunch of stations have lost their local identity to replaced with Global Radio's "Heart" brand. Stations rebranded include GWR, Orchard, 210 FM and Fox. Fox listeners in Oxford may have seen a rival station parading a coffin through the town centre to mark the death of the station.

  • Streetmaps in the UK:Google Streetmaps for the UK has just been launched. From a browser, and now the iPhone you can take a virtual drive through streets, see the sights, and the blurred face of 25 UK towns and cities have now been digitised, including London, Edinburgh, Glasgow , Oxford and Sheffield. Coverage is set to expand in the coming months. Go to

  • iPhone news: V3.0 of the phone's software has been announced. Expect cut-and-paste, MMS, search and improvements to podcast playback in Summer 2009.

  • Freeview news: Smile TV 2 departs, and Partyland, offering "Adult chat" appears.

  • And finally: Keith Chegwin was in Plymouth in March for a digital TV switchover stunt. Cheggers put on a coat of cash with £1000's worth of fivers attached. The plan was for him to dash down Plymouth High Street with passers by grabbing £5. Before he could start, around 200 shoppers mugged him and stripped him of the cash in just 3 seconds, leaving a panic stricken Cheggers and a failed stunt. It's OK Pete, you can stop smirking now...

FOCUS: Mobile Broadband

USB dongle from o2In this show, we explore the various options for getting access to broadband Internet on the move. We looked at:

  • Mobile phones with Internet access
  • Mobile phones with built-in modems
  • Broadband dongles, such as the o2 Broadband Dongle

For more on the options for Mobile Internet, see our Mobile Broadband page.

Also, see our tips for surfing while abroad

Transcript now available: Transcript of Show 38's Mobile Broadband Feature


FOCUS:Google G1

The Google G1 is the first smartphone to be released powered by Google's Android Operating system. it's been in the market now for about five months, and a hands-on review on our podcast was long overdue.

The Google G1 offers the following:

  • A 3 megapixel camera
  • Onboard GPS
  • High-speed Internet
  • Touch screen
  • Slide-out keyboard.
  • Tight integration to Google's services

Have a listen to the show, to see what the lads think of the first Google phone

Google G1

You can get the Google G1 direct from

Transcript now available: Transcript of Show 38's Google Android G1 Feature

Interactive Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:
  • Home wi-fi on a mobile: We started with a podcast call from Michael asking whether a wi-fi enabled mobile phone can use a home network's wi-fi to allow surfing from within the home for free. The good news is, yes. If you have a phone such as a Windows Mobile, Nokia Symbian phone, Google G1 or the iPhone that has built-in wi-fi, then yes, you can configure your phone to connect using your home's wi-fi. You'll typically need to enter your wireless router's SSID and security key. If you're struggling - ask for help in the Tech section of our forum.

  • iTunes and NAS drive: In our recent audio update, Chris Cockram asked us how to get iTunes to work with a NAS drive... and now we have the answer. Fraser Millar got in touch: "The iTunes/NAS question on the last update show... you can change the location iTunes uses to store its music library in Preferences > Advanced. Point iTunes at a directory on the NAS, copy the whole shebang from ~/Library/Music into the NAS folder and Bob's your uncle"

  • Pure FlowPure Avanti Flow: Del Ward bought a Pure Avanti Flow recently, and he's generally impressed. Just one problem - He can't stream music via WiFi to it. He says: "As the Avanti can play music from an iPod, I assumed that it was Mac-compatible. Annoyingly, this is not the case. A streaming program is available for PC but Mac users must download a third-party streaming program. The one recommended is Twonky Media Server. To be fair to Pure, they provide a key for this at no cost - and they also say they are working on a Mac version of their own Flow media streamer. At present I connect my laptop to the Avanti's auxiliary input socket and play music from my iTunes library - but it would be more convenient to stream music wirelessly. I wonder whether any of your listeners have had experience of using a Pure Avanti Flow and had encountered similar problems.".
    Sorry, but need to call out to our listeners for help. Drop us an email, or send us a message via our forum if you can help.

  • Sky Player Update: Matthew Cooper sent us an update on the Sky Player - Sky's TV-on-a-PC service. The service uses Broadband and offers 18 channels online, without a dish - including Sky 1 and Sky Sports. Matthew says Sky has just added 6 new channels to the line-up. You can now get 2 movie channels, Sky Screens 1 and 2, as well as Sky Real Lives, National Geographic Wild, Eden and GOLD. The only downside is that you can't watch the movie channels via the web site, you have to use Sky's software - although you can watch GOLD from the website. Matthew, we think this an anti-piracy measure. Matthew tells us that new channels will be added to Sky Player in the next few weeks.
    Matthew also wants to know if there are any online services offering NHL and NBA games here in the UK. Any suggestions anyone?

  • HDMI too dark: Les Cornwall asks: "I have a Toshiba 32 WLT 66 HD Ready TV and a Sony RDR HXD870 DVD/Hard disc recorder connected via an HDMI lead. I find that the picture from the Sony's Freeview tuner (or indeed if I play a recording from either the hard disc or DVD) is somewhat darker than the picture from the TV's own Freeview tuner. I'd like to be able to adjust the brightness of the picture from the Sony but other than adjusting the brightness on the TV manually each time I use the recorder, it's got me stumped. I've looked in both the TV and recorder's menus but without success. Am I missing something obvious?"
    We think not - If you have any other kit with an HDMI socket, try using that to ID whether the Sony or the Toshiba is the culprit. I doubt you can affect the brightness of the Sony recorder's output, and as HDMI connectors are digital, it's unlikely to be the lead. You could try connecting using a SCART lead instead of HDMI to see if that's any better... or watch Freeview via the recorder, and adjust the TV brightness permanently. If any of our other listeners has any "bright" ideas, please get in touch.

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, or ask in our listeners forum.

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