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FrequencyCast UK - Show #55

The show notes to go with Show 55 of our online technology radio show.

Listen to, or download, FrequencyCast Show 55 (30 mins)

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Show 55: NEWS

This show's news section covered the following stories:

  • Diaspora LogoFacebook Rivals: The name to watch out for is Diaspora. This new service launches on the 15th of September 2010, and is an open-source rival to Facebook. Diaspora will soon be offering social networking without the privacy issues that continue to trouble Facebook users. Also note that Google's having another stab at social networking after the failure of their Wave and Buzz.

  • ABC on Demand comes to the UK: Disney-owned ABC will soon be launching an on demand TV service in the UK. This will be the first such service that ABC has launched outside of the US. The "ABC On Demand" service will launch on the 15th of September 2010, offering content such as Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Criminal Minds, Lost, Ugly Betty and Cougar Town. Content will be available as part of the BT Vision £6.99 a month "TV Pack", or programmes can be purchased on a pay-to-view basis.

  • ITV Player LogoITV on PS3: The ITV Player is to become available on PlayStation 3 consoles by the end of 2010, joining the BBC iPlayer. ITV's on demand service will also be available to Freesat users from this Autumn. ITV has also confirmed that it will be offering ITV2, ITV3 and ITV 4 HD as subscription-only channels on Sky this year, starting with ITV2 HD in October.

  • Smooth Digital Radio: Smooth Radio is now available nationally on the DAB platform ahead of a full launch on the 4th October 2010. Smooth is also now available on Freesat.

  • Absolute Radio Extra went live in August 2010 offering their sports radio service, and for the next few weeks, Absolute 90s is also available nationally. Two London DAB stations have vanished - Passion for the planet and dabbl.

  • Freeview HDCheap HD! Considering getting free HD channels from Freeview? Whilst some boxes cost £150, Tesco is offering a Freeview HD box at a heavily discounted price - just £70 for one of their Technika Freeview HD boxes, and at the time of writing, double Clubcard points are on offer too.
    Full details: Technika STBHDIS2010 Freeview HD
    Technika Freeview HD Box

  • Channel News: Comedy Central HD on Virgin Media from 1st September A reminder that Vintage TV starts broadcasting from the 1st of September offering TV for the over 50s. It's on Sky and Freesat. Also Virgin 1 becomes Channel 1 on the 3rd of September

  • The Wand TV RemoteThe Wand: Did you see the Wand TV remote control featured on Dragon's Den in August? We covered it way back in December's Show 46. You heard it here first folks. Check out our Wand Remote Control Review.

  • And finally: TomTom owners - stand by to be shouted at. Following a successful Facebook campaign with over 26,000 members, turn-by turn instructions from Brian Blessed will be available for your Sat Nav this October. If you can't wait, there are other familiar voices now available... Darth Vader, C3P0 and Han Solo. Download new voices from

FOCUS: Amazon Kindle

We finally have our hands on one of the new 3rd Generation Kindle eBook readers, and boy are we impressed. This could be a game-changer, especially given it's only £109.

Amazon 2nd Gen Kindle
The 3rd Generation Kindle, out now in the UK

For full details and photos, see our new Amazon Kindle page, or if you're interested in buying one of these magic devices, they are available now from Amazon - Using this link helps us out: Kindle UK at Amazon.

Transcript available: Transcript of Show 55's UK Kindle Hands-on


Focus: Project Canvas

In 2011, Project Canvas launches, possibly with the name YouView. It will offer on-demand TV combined with Freeview, and will be supported by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. BT, TalkTalk and Arquiva are also involved.

The likes of Sky, Virgin and Fetch TV are less than happy about Project Canvas though.

More on Canvas at

Transcript available: Transcript of Show 55's Project Canvas Overview



Focus: Sky Anytime +

Virgin Media, BT Vision, TalkTalk and Freesat all offer a TV-over-Internet service from their set-top boxes, but Sky doesn't... yet

Here, we'll discuss Sky's upcoming Sky Anytime + service that's set to launch later in 2010.

Here's the screenshot we mentioned in the show:

Sky Anytime + screenshot

Transcript available: Transcript of Show 55's Sky Anytime + Overview


Comment: Social Collaboration

We looked at a bunch of social collaboration apps:


Creating a social Sat Nav with Waze

Transcript available: Transcript of Show 55's Social Collaboration Discussion



Thirty Second Gadget

Pareking Sensor from Auto Tecnik - A cheap DIY kit that provides audio warnings when you're reversing. We found ours for under £20 on, but the kit we found at Maplin appears to be even better value: 4 sensor parking kit at Maplin. More on Parking Sensor kits

Auto Technik Parking Sensor
The Auto Tecnik Parking Sensor Unit


Hands-on: Stoway

In this show, we took a look at a novel solution to that age-old tangled cable dilemma, in the form of the Stoway Cable Tidy. Carl's prepared a more in-depth review: Stoway Charger Tidy review

Tidy those cables with a Stoway


Cast 55: Interactive

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

  • BT Vision LogoHD on BT Vision: For our first podline call, we were asked by James why the BT Vision box has an HDMI socket if it doesn't support Freeview HD. The BT Vision box can't get Freeview HD, so having an HD connector may seem odd. There are two reasons why it's there. First off, the BT Vision box is capable of upscaling Freeview, so you'll get a slightly better quality image if you use HDMI over SCART. Secondly, there actually is some HD content available on the "On Demand service. Go to "On Demand", "Film", "Find a film" and select HD. You'll find films like Avatar, Clash of the Titans and New Moon. Some TV series are also available.

  • View Quest RadioView Quest Radio: Next, a rather muffled call about the View Quest - the diddy little Internet Radio that Pete focused on in show 54. Ryan asked about availability outside ther UK. Well, the radio appears to be distributed in the UK by View Quest, but they don't seem to sell to the US. It might be worth contacting the manufacturers in China direct. Go to

  • HUmax PVROver-priced Sky: Thanks to Ben Afia for the email. He's been using Sky+ for ages, but at £31 a month, he thinks he's paying too much and is considering Freesat but thinks he'll miss Sky+. From the channels Ben told us he watches, Freesat should do the job, although Freesat may not have enough kid's shows for his 6 year old. Sky+ is a slick interface. Our Pete has reviewed lots of other PVRs and Sky+ does do the job very well. We've had good experiences with the Humax Freesat and Humax Freeview boxes. The menus are slightly clunky, but they're generally reliable and shouldn't be a problem. I'll put a screenshot in our show notes for you. If it's all about the UI, pop into a Comet or Currys and have a quick play first. If you do miss Sky, you can always sign up again, and put the Freesat box in a second room for your kids to watch.

  • Broken Freeview PVRs: Pete had an update for us on the faulty Freeview box programme guides that we covered in Show 54. Some Freeview PVRs had packed up after the Inview Programme Guide stopped broadcasting. We heard from Andy Smelt. He had a dead Inverto box, contacted the place of purchase, in this case Boots, and was able to negotiate a refund. He's now got £200 to put towards a new HD PVR, and is waiting to see what we think of the new 3view and Humax HDR devices. So are we, Andy, so are we!

  • Pesky Powerline: Our thanks to Paul Widger for letting us know about a product recall in Greece for some models of Powerline adapter from Belkin. Thanks also to Paul and Nige for providing the minutes of a meeting at OfCom in August about interference from these mains networking products. Present at the meeting were the Civil Aviation Authority, who expressed concerns over interference, and BBC World Service, reporting complaints from listeners. The minutes make interesting reading - Ofcom Powerline Meeting Minutes


Any questions for Carl and Pete? Call 020 8133 4567 and leave a message, or ask in our listeners forum.

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