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All posts by Michael Rogers

Below are all of Michael Rogers's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

Tivu is intended for residents of Italy. Similar frameworks apply in France, Spain and elsewhere. A tivu or siimilar box is formally tied to residency. However reception within the satellite footporint outside of the target area is possible if the box can be registered as-if living in the target country. Many channels and programmes remain free-to-view anywhere within the satellite footprint. Despite the EU's commitment to free movement of goods and *services*, market forces rule!

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Sue, I am also on Huntshaw. If you were previously able to receive Sky News and BBC Spotlight etc, then you were receiving Huntshaw (or just possibly Caradon in Cornwall). This would suggest that your Freeview box or inbuilt Freeview receiver was too clever and retuned itself without asking - not uncommon. If your receiver allows manual tuning (not only automatic scanning), then try retuning channels 48, 50, 52, 56, 59 (and 55 if you had HD).

If you didn't get Sky News, you were probably on the Ilfracombe relay (channels 49, 54, 58). If you received Welsh news and not Spotlight, you were receiving tranmissions from Wales. Hope this helps! If you need further help, please post again.

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Read this: Derbyshire show gets BBC Two slot
Tuesday 20 January 2015 2:10PM

Great Tidings! The BBC has a growing dearth of good presenters, Victoria : Congratulations!
Hope rides again!

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Why are we denied an explanation of the reasons for these and many similar outages.
Democracy, Freedom of Information ???

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Keith Tomlin : You are greatly favoured by the powers-that-be in that you receive DAB, be it variable.
I am in the Huntshaw area and cannot receive any DAB signal from Huntshaw. It might work if I erected a DAB aerial on the TV aerial pole. However, I would then be tethered to a socket in the wall. That ain't radio as we know it. I might as well listen to the radio stations available on Freeview. If they later switch off FM, "progress" will take on a new meaning...

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New Freeview logo for a connected future.
Wednesday 18 February 2015 9:24PM

So the plan is for television reception to be prioritised for those with genuine high-speed internet, sufficient for contemporaneous multi-channel 4K viewing and recording. Even if ever implemented for the chosen few, it will no longer be "free"-view. Fibre-optic internet subscription is not cheap. Satellite reception will be the mode of choice for those with a line of sight to 28E. For the peasantry with neither satellite nor fibre-optic internet there will still be the local library. Ahhh, I forgot : in line with social progress, they are a-closing.

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New Freeview logo for a connected future.
Saturday 28 February 2015 3:31PM

"BT in my area is woefully poor.. ok we have fiber cabinet down the bottom of the village... but the Phone lines are so old alot of them are from the late 1950's when it was owned by post office. When will BT wake up and replace these old lines its not good enough for Broadband...."

Similar situation here. A friendly Openreach chap was working at the cabinet at the top of the valley and grimmaced when I said I lived at the far end of the village...

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It is all a bit depressing, but we will survive, we will overcome - some day... Our new Samsung smart whatsit informs indefatigably that a new software "upgrade" is available. But it does not say what the "upgrade" does. Given recent snooping revelations, I am wary.

Back to whizz-bang internet speeds : Interesting article from ZDNet - worth reading !


Building an emergency internet in the white spaces
White spaces wireless technology has been in the news recently, as what used to
be TV frequencies are being opened up to expand wireless internet access to
rural areas in the US and the UK.
White spaces technologies aren't new - they were something I looked into when
working with the local loop group of a telecoms research lab back in the early
1990s. The system that Mapa is using in the Philippines is based on research
from a Cambridge-based consortium that Microsoft Research, the BBC, and Sky
began seven or so years ago.
Disaster relief in the Philippines

Broadband penetration in the Philippines is low, especially outside the main
population centres. So in 2012, as part of a government project, Microsoft began
deploying a white spaces network on Bohol, an island in the central Philippines.

It's an important scientific site, with high bio-diversity, thanks to its double
barrier reef. Protecting the reef means changing how people in coastal villages
live, removing fishing boats from the water while still providing sustainable
economic growth by deploying white spaces radios in fishing communities.

Early in the trial Bohol was hit by a series of natural disasters: first a
magnitude 7.2 earthquake and then, just a few weeks later, Supertyphoon Haiyan.
Just as the island struggled to rebuild its infrastructure, it was knocked back
down again, with cities destroyed by storm surges and with transport and
communications cut off.

That's where the white spaces technology came into its own, as it let Microsoft
work with the government to quickly deploy an alternative communications
infrastructure for devastated rural areas.

While there were satphones and VSAT deployments in some areas, people would need
to go to where the satphones or base stations were - something that was very
difficult given the condition of the island's roads.

At one evacuation centre, a single satphone had a queue of over 300 people
waiting for three minute call slots. Many of those waiting had to come back the
next day for their turn, and the journey was often several hours long and
hazardous, requiring them to traverse debris-strewn roads with little or no

Fortunately, white spaces equipment already existed on the island, and the
Microsoft team worked with government partners to redeploy some of the radios in
the rest of the island.

White spaces base stations were deployed alongside VSAT systems, with endpoints
anything up to a couple of kilometres away, with wi-fi access points. That meant
users didn't need to walk to VSAT terminals, and they could use their own
devices, as the system was compatible with anything that could use wi-fi,
including smartphones and tablets.

Deployment was quick, the network was up and running in two hours as it had an
existing VSAT terminal to work with. With the power grid still out of action,
the whole system was able to run off solar panels and batteries, including the
endpoint white space radio equipment. The same panels could be used to charge
smartphones and tablets as well.

An advantage of using white spaces technologies is that one base station can
work with many endpoints; it's inherently a multipoint technology with a 90-degree
beam pattern. You can locate endpoint radios anywhere in the beam and it'll work.
That's a lot easier than working with traditional point-to-point radios, where
aligning radio beams over a 2km path can take half a day.

Six weeks after the typhoon, Philippines telecoms companies were able to start
re-establishing their networks, putting power into towers and replacing VSAT
with fibre. All the while, though, they still used white spaces radios as last
mile connectivity.

With services back in place, the project team was able to refocus its attention
on Bohol's fishing villages, completing network rollout in April 2014, and
starting to use the network to link the Philippines fisheries authorities with
fishermen. This allowed the fishermen to use mobile devices, rather than having
to travel to district offices, which took a lot of time and led to missed

At the same time government officials could be more mobile. This allowed them to
improve education and even medical facilities, as specialist devices allowed
villages to work with central hospitals to offer remote diagnostic services.

A second phase of the network rollout is planned, to deliver broadband
connectivity to smaller islands 10 to 12km off shore.

The advantages of white spaces

Comparing white spaces technologies with other radio technologies shows several
key advantages. Firstly it's multipoint, with no need for line-of-site
connections or to locate end points accurately. That means it's able to operate
in high winds and when there are earthquake aftershocks that might cause
misalignment of point-to-point systems and might break cables or fibre.

Secondly, you don't need to worry about exact alignment, and can even operate
through obstructions and over water. The equipment used in the Philippines was
weatherproof, and could be installed anywhere, with a normal antenna. Base
stations can be used as repeaters, though the current maximum range is an
impressive 12km (with future systems promising up to 40km).

Thirdly, deployment is easy, with dynamic spectrum access management allowing
systems to avoid interference. While you might need to climb to place and point
the antenna, it's a job that any TV installer can perform. That makes it a lot
cheaper to deploy than cellular systems, as you don't need the same level of
skill in the personnel who deploy the tech.

Another advantage is that white spaces technology uses unlicensed space in the
spectrum, making it easy to work with regulators, and to provide cheaper access
as a result. With white spaces aimed at providing rural broadband, that's a
significant bonus: you can provide internet access for a very low cost, almost
for free. Pending legislation in the Philippines will provide a budget for free
network access in lower income areas of the country, allowing it to be delivered
to traditionally underserved communities.

People aren't the only possible consumer of this type of service. White spaces
is also being considered as a way of giving lower cost connections to the
Philippines' national sensor network. Designed to track flooding and seismic
activity, it's a distributed network currently using cellular and satellite
communications. White spaces would allow more sensors to be added to the grid at
a lower cost - and, with experimental sensor packages that can run off coin
batteries, it's an option worth considering.

Source :

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You mean EU-Burgers all have the same viewing rights? Preposterious !
We should only be allowed to watch Euronews...

And : what about the primacy of bosses' bonuses and profit margins ??

Unblocking digital services across Europe

27 March 2015

Many digital services are technically restricted to particular territories,
generally for rights reasons. The European Commission is seeking to end geo-blocking
within the European Union. It is part of a review to remove obstacles to the
creation of a digital single market. It could have major implications for online
video services in Europe.

The European Commission describes the internet as a goldmine of digital
opportunities but says that digital services are often confined to national
borders. It is planning to publish a Digital Single Market Strategy in May.

One of the aims is tackle geo-blocking. Many services block access to users
outside a particular territory based on their internet address. Although there
are ways around this, services are often obliged to use reasonable measures to
restrict access based on geographic location because of the way that
intellectual property rights are generally licenced by territory.

The European Commission considers that too many Europeans cannot use online
services that are available in other EU countries, often without any
justification, or they are re-routed to a local store with different prices. It
says such discrimination cannot exist in a single market.

The Commission would rather see a single market across member states, which
would have profound implications for the way that media owners extract value
from programme rights. Some might argue that it would create a larger and more
efficient market and unlock greater value, but many rights holders are unlikely
to be persuaded of this without legal intervention.

Andrus Ansip, the vice-president for the digital single market, said: Let us do
away with all those fences and walls that block us online. People must be able
to freely go across borders online just as they do offline. Innovative
businesses must be helped to grow across the EU, not remain locked into their
home market. This will be an uphill struggle all the way, but we need an
ambitious start. Europe should benefit fully from the digital age: better
services, more participation and new jobs.

Gnther Oettinger is commissioner for the digital economy and society. Europe
cannot be at the forefront of the digital revolution with a patchwork of 28
different rules for telecommunications services, copyright, IT security and data
protection, he said. We need a European market, which allows new business
models to flourish, start-ups to grow and the industry to take advantage of the
internet of things.

Other areas of concern are modernisation of copyright law to ensure the right
balance between the interests of creators and those of users or consumers and
simplification of VAT sales tax arrangements for cross-border business.

The Commission also plans to look at the environment for digital networks and
services, including spectrum management, data protection, cloud computing and
big data.

It is an ambitious programme to create a digital single market in Europe,
although there will be many vested interests that may not be in favour.

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Sami, the Hotbird footprint reaches into Egypt. With a very large dish, you just might receive it in Ethiopia. The best way to find out would be to ask the Italian Embassy or Italian nationals. If you have a good broadband internet connection, you might be able to stream some Italian TV.

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