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Changes to UK Free TV

I have been running this site in my own time since July 2002. After nine years I am considering making some changes.

I have been running this site in my own time since July 2002.
published on UK Free TV

The purpose of the site is to provide independent (from the broadcasters, infrastructure companies and Digital UK) information about the choice people can make to watch free to air television services in the UK.

Having many years of technical, managerial and communications experience - and particularly after seeing at first hand the failure of ONdigital to communicate the technical difficulties - I thought the would be plenty of people who would need straightforward technical digital TV assistance.

When the site launched the only form of "feedback" was a personal email service, but on 7 October 2005, I introduced a direct commenting service. This has on the whole been very successful and popular - over 88,000 comments have been posted since then.

Many people have assisted people from all over the UK and around the world, and these contributions have made the site a lively and helpful place.

However, 28,500 of these posting are mine, and it is taking an increasingly large amount of my time.

In addition, the number of occasions where personal attacks are being launched on me and my professional knowledge, or I have to deal with uninformed and incorrect answers being given to people has increased.

The main upshot of this is that I spend very little time doing the "top line" site tasks, such as writing articles, upgrading the database information, adding in new sections such as the radio transmitter and YouView pages and so forth.

Whilst I appreciate that visitors can reasonably think that "in a democracy we are free to discuss pros, cons and preferences", this site is not a democracy, UK Free TV is my project.

Therefore I am proposing that:

1. Certain sections pages will be closed to further comments. I really do not have the time to spend going round and round in the same loop discussing same things, such as with the tedious digital radio haters. Such discussions add nothing to helping out people with their reception issues and will be moved to a holding page or deleted if they are insulting.

2. Some sections will be pre-moderated. Comments will not appear until I approve them.

3. Off-topic comments will be deleted or moved. For example, questions posted about Freeview reception in Jersey posted on the Winter Hill page. I will normally move them to the general purpose Feedback page.

4. I will then will have the time to improve the resolution and accuracy of the transmitter coverage pages, upgrade the radio transmitters section and provide information about the upcoming local TV, IPTV and YouView.

I will instigate these changes shortly.

Bold indicates changes made from feedback.

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Sunday, 27 February 2011
8:56 AM

Thanks for the great service you provide. There are some strange people out in the world!
Hang in mate.

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Andrew's 1 post GB flag
Andrew's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Malcolm Franke
11:10 AM

Please do not give up - the information you provide is really helpful. It is your baby, so don't let the "strange people" spoil it for everyone else.

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Malcolm Franke's 2 posts GB flag
Malcolm's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage

11:38 AM

Malcolm Franke: Agreed! Why should we have to suffer just because of "strange people" being akward with things on this site? I hope what Braintist is saying won't be true; there are some articles I still like to chip in my thoughts dispite being old topics.

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Josh's 97 posts GB flag

11:38 AM

Brian, you render us all a great service. If you wish your site to be an information and problem-solving one, but not a discussion forum, we will all happily respect that. Im sure you have many ideas for the future. Might I suggest a index prominently accessed from the front-page, so people can quickly find FAQ-style information for individual problems and queries. The current search facility does this well, but searches are always dependent on the choice of keyword, so a front-page accessed index in addition might be worth a thought.

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michael's 872 posts GB flag
11:58 AM

I value this site very much,it has got me over many a hurdle!!I do appreciate your hard work very much indeed.Thank you.

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Julie's 1 post GB flag
Simon Richards
3:10 PM

I have been using your site for a few years. I really value your help.

I actually think the official information you get on Freeview is very poor- in general is is "you may need an aerial upgrade"!. Other help provided is by organizations who have a vested interest in getting you to spend money.

Your website has provided me help which isn't available elsewhere. Thank You.

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Simon Richards's 20 posts GB flag
Simon's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage

3:46 PM

Brian: Good luck with whatever you decide. However, I'm sure your knowledge and experience will continue to be invaluable to all of us, especially in May and June of his year.

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Iain's 25 posts GB flag

3:59 PM

michael: Can you explain a bit more about what you mean? There is Top questions - Most popular questions | - independent free digital TV advice at the moment.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

4:11 PM

Now I feel a bit embarrassed.

Following your kind comments, I have decided to create a "sink" page for comments about DAB that I feel are just there to be disruptive.

The "sink page" has a closed comments, and I will reserve the right to close comments on other pages, but I will hold back from doing this on whole sections.

I'm really sorry if you wish to argue at great length about how amazing FM is, but I just find it boring in the extreme that people who really don't understand how digital transmission systems work want to bang on about FM or about how you need to get a new car if you want to use DAB radio in it.

Digital Luddite Steve Green has his site dedicated to how terrible he thinks DAB is if anyone feels the need. One site full of it is quite enough for cyberspace.

I want UK Free TV to be a positive place about finding solutions, choice and saving people money.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
4:48 PM

Thanks Brian, your proposals for YOUR site are fine with me. Its been a great source of news and information for several years for me and I'm all for you snipping where necessary to reduce the load so you can carry on providing this unique source of accurate information. The PIAs will not be missed!

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Martin's 8 posts GB flag
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