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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.

All questions
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What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau4
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?5
In this section
Seeing something different? We are doing A/B testing on a new Material Design1
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The next 50 things on UK FREE TV. What would you like to see? 3
UK Free TV now uses friendly web addresses4
Best ever emails and improved menus on UK FREE TV5
Use the Knowledge base to find answers to your technical problems6

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

9:18 AM

It appears that originally for DTT a balun was a distinguishing factor as in a well-designed aerial a balun produces improved protection from impulse-interference.

On enquiring, I was told that, with DSO, customers queried an aerial which did not state "digital", so manufacturers felt they had to state this in a way which would convince the potential customer. The wording could be better, but customer expectations not infrequently override technical exactitude!

This posting probably belongs on another page, but refers to the previous one here.

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michael's 872 posts GB flag

11:31 AM

michael: It still remains that some unscrupulous operators are trying to delude and hoodwink both domestic and commercial customers into taking down perfectly good aerials because they are "not digital".

I was there at the launch of ONdigital, and even then the advise was that a new aerial was not required for digital, the only change was to wideband for those transmitters where the "menu" (as they called it) required it.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

11:54 AM

I totally agree, Brian. That is what I meant by "the wording could be better". There will, sadly, always be cowboys out there... You are very effective in informing people as to what they really need. My suggestion of mindexing was with this in mind. If the very useful links etc were in some way indexed on the home-page, people with less knowledge might find what would help them even more readily. The leaflets distributed in the run-up to DSO were, in my opion, not well designed to inform and forewarn people of this and associated issues which the con-men all too easily take advantage of. Your work has doubtless saved ,many who
found it a lot of hassle and money. Best wishes!

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michael's 872 posts GB flag

1:05 PM

"UK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned." Does this mean if one got banned, they would get a "403 Forbidden" error when trying to access at all, or will they just get something along the lines of "Sorry you are not allowed to comment" when they try to add a comment to anything?

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Josh's 97 posts GB flag

1:54 PM

Josh: I'm not saying, for security reasons.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

2:22 PM

Jordy, Briantist: don't forget we still have to free up channels 61 and 62, which will mean another round of retuning for a large number of sites. Ofcom are now calling this the DTT Clearance Programme in their latest variations of the multiplex licences.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage

2:41 PM

Mike Dimmick: Oh yes, our old friend Digital
Dividend - changes to the 800MHz band | - independent free digital TV advice
. I'm not sure that is going to be the most popular of events.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
ian, notts

8:08 PM

looking at the signals after switchover it seems that some areas may be able to use group aerials again? just a thought? who is doing the work for the gov's oap/disabled £40 switchover scheme? because i have encounted some terrible cowboy work and people left with nothing!! are they working for bbc or contracted? and how are they getting the work?

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ian, notts's 253 posts GB flag

8:10 PM

ian, notts: In most places, the grouped aerials will provide the PSB services, in others all services, in others a wideband is required.

There is no requirement to stop using a wideband aerial.

The Digital Help Scheme is FUNDED by the BBC, not run by them.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

8:18 PM

michael: I think you have some excellent points there.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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