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The next 50 things on UK FREE TV. What would you like to see?

Now that I have finished updating the code that runs UK FREE TV, I now have time to write some articles. I would be very interested to hear what you would like me to write about next.

Are Freeview and Freesat chasing Sky?  Photograph: Brian Butterworth
Are Freeview and Freesat chasing Sky? Photograph: Brian Butterworth
published on UK Free TV

I've been compiling a list of the next 50 things I am going to write about here on UK FREE TV.

Here is a sample of the things on the list

  • Why are there no free sports channels on Freeview?
  • Why are we still using remote controls?
  • Do channels on lower numbers get more viewers?
  • Why do we still watch so much TV when it is broadcast?
  • Review of a inexpensive DVB-T2 dongle
  • Review of Chromecast and Videostream
  • Why isn't HD more popular?
  • Why do TV recorders not yet have solid state drives?
  • Moved into a new flat?  How to set up the TV
  • The Freetime UI
  • Review of HDR-1010S 
  • When will we reach "peak Freeview"?
  • Sky vs Freeview "numbers"
  • Hyperoptic gigabit internet
  • "I can't hear the birds sing"


I would be really interested to know what else you would like me to investigate.

Please let me know anything you think might be within the remit of "free TV and radio in the UK".  

All questions
BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
Removing all barriers to communication between diverse cultures2
How do I get a test card with Freeview3
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
Please share your thoughts about UK FREE TV2
UK Free TV now uses friendly web addresses3
Best ever emails and improved menus on UK FREE TV4
Use the Knowledge base to find answers to your technical problems5
Being responsive: a better layout 6

Monday, 20 October 2014

10:59 PM

You are very brave to ask, Brian! I have cancelled my long-standing WotSat subscription as it has all but scrapped FreeSat and FreeView receiver reviews, perhaps you could collate reviews of current and new receiving equipment. I would, for example, be very interested in a good-but-affordablle multi-sat receiver which allows recording by timer on all satellites. ( I bought and returned a Humax after discovering it would only detect signals from 28E. Apparently an unmentioned menu combination does allow reception from other satellites, but not timer-recording.) Any recommendations from group members would be most welcome, of course.

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michael's 862 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Charles Stuart

12:06 AM

When you have time for a bit of fun, I think that it would be interesting to speculate about how easy or not it would be to decipher extraterrestrial television broadcasts. Imagine that we received alien transmissions. How easy would it be to determine that they were television? Are there some fundamentals about television transmissions that means any civilization developing TV broadcast technology must use these and another TV using civilization would recognize the footprint? Or could the technology be so different that we might never know that it's a TV broadcast? If we were to receive such transmissions, do you think that everyone could find themselves glued to the box watching an alien soap opera? (Imagine that we successfully receive many months of transmissions.)

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Charles Stuart's 159 posts GB flag
Charles's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Frank Palmer
9:49 AM

Why are there data channels which we cannot access?

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Frank Palmer's 1 post GB flag
Frank's: mapF's Freeview map terrainF's terrain plot wavesF's frequency data F's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike C

9:51 AM

michael : Technomate and others do an excellent range of multisat receivers ( needing a motorised sat dish for optimum usage effect) - some having twin & triple tuners for terrestrial viewing - allowing for multi recording possibilities - especially into a separate hard drive. There are many forums out there re sat stuff and many experts to give unbiased free advice / help

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Mike C's 64 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
1:34 PM

Hi Brian, As a future topic to write about, I'd like to hear more on the use of terrestrial TV antennas to broadcast the internet by using the 'white space' in between the TV channels. I first became aware of this being used in the Isle of Wight and hoped that this efficient use of existing infrastructure, would head are way to the rest of the UK.

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Mick's 4 posts GB flag
5:32 PM

I think there are some new DAB transmitters. Are you up to date?

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murgatroyd's 5 posts GB flag
murgatroyd's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:58 PM

MIkeC : I was hoping for more specific tried-and-tested recommendations. My first Freview and FreeSat receivers were Technomate. Their basic functions still work. I will certainly look at their current models, but need to be sure any new receiver will "do the business".

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michael's 862 posts GB flag

11:05 PM

murgatroyd: The DAB information gets updated automatically from the Ofcom system. My site makes a call on theirs once a day and if there any changes you can see them straight away.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts US flag
Thursday, 23 October 2014

5:18 PM

1) why do we still use remote controls? I'm tempted to ask what's the alternative? I believe there is equipment that responds to voice commands, but is this worth the added expense.
2)Why do we watch so much when it is broadcast? Surely this must be old hat now we have PVRs enabling us to record everything and then skip through adverts, party political broadcasts, news of Shrien Dewani etc etc.
3) Solid State drives? I believe these have a limited life, and bearing in mind anything being broadcast is recorded to enable pause etc reducing it's life, would there be any benefit? SSDs are much faster but is speed an issue here? I guess my Sony PVR might not take so long to start up if it had a n SSD, but at least it usually starts, eventually.

Not listed. Might it be possible to describe the advantage(s) of having a TV with a curved screen?

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Jack's 33 posts GB flag
Jack's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:10 PM

Brianist: Here are some subjects which might be interesting:

We are seeing new TV formats (4K). What was the reaction when there were changes from 405 to 625 lines, and then to colour, HD, etc. Were the media dubious, and what tipped the balance?

Has the public/media's view of what on TV changed over the years? Was TV really better in the past? Or does nostalgia and the relatively small number of channels in the past colour or view?

How to buy a TV? (I might have something to say about this...!), and also improving the sound.

What tech has survived, and for longest? This could be the little things, like the Belling-Lee connector, or even the coax cable itself.

What change was there when recording was possible? Both for broadcasters, and then for the public. Did we change what we watched, and how? And when did recording become mass market and why?

Smart TV's - what apps do we use (if we use them), and is there a trend?

What can we learn from looking at other broadcasters in Europe. What models seem to work, and what sort of quality programming is there?

How long does it take a technology to take off? Whats the time scale from bench to shops, and then from early adopter to mass market? We've seen people saying how long DAB has taken to take off, but are there other examples? And does it depend on other factors, such as content, etc.

PBS and NPR - how do they compare with the BBC, and do they offer a model or warning for the UK?

Cable and sat wars before Sky - what systems were there, and why didn't they take off?

Whats the tech which failed? Not just things like Ondigital, but also kit like Laserdiscs - any really bad examples? And any good ones just at the wrong time?

Subscription for the BBC. I know we've gone through this before, but since certain members of the cabinet think this a good idea (!) , perhaps setting out the case for or against this might be useful...

When did TV's start getting larger, and why?

And this is a followup to the future map of the London travel map - could we have a comparison with the 19th/20th century plans for London, and how it turned out.

BTW - as far as curved screens are concerned, you can read on Samsung's website why they are so great, although the point that you can see from a better angle actually seems to be true. However, there is another reality. Sony, a very conservative company (arguable far too conservative for its own good for the past decade) is just to bring out a curved version for its lovely (and it is lovely, just check it out) 4K 9005 (the S9005). Why? Becuase apparently 30% of the large screen Tv market is now made up of curved screens. Since the bulk of curved screen TV's are made by Samsung, thats a 30% plus market share for them straight off. Sony will do a curved screen because there is money to be made, as will LG.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
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