Author Topic: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated  (Read 10187 times)

Offline sstarr2008

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #9 on: Saturday 15 October 11 12:56 BST (UK) »
My son has a tv with built in freeview which can record to a usb memory stick. The recordings are stored as .TS files which are the same as a DVD so can be played back on a pc.
You can buy freeview boxes which will record to a usb stick which work in the same way, they are cheaper than the freeview recorders which use hard drives.

If you had identical boxes on all your tv sets then you could playback the recordings on any box by moving the usb stick.
You could also save the recordings to disk using your pc.

Stu
Starkey, Beaumont, Dunstan, Hogan, Nichol, Nichols, Laycock, Norbron, North, Smith, Connolly, Archer, Copley, Brook, Walker, Stocks, Berry, Swinden, Ambler.

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline tofgem

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 715
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #10 on: Saturday 15 October 11 13:56 BST (UK) »
I had to jump in and have a rant. Please forgive me.
My television is 24 years old and works perfectly. However, on digital switchover in Feb/March I will have to buy a new set (I have no scart socket for a Freeview box and whatever the alternative cable is, it is unlikley that it will work and the only way to find out is to buy one, plus box and try). I will also have to buy a new aerial as mine will not receive the digital signals. In addition I will have to purchase a new piece of furniture on which to put this new television. The present one sits on its own stand. I really object to being forced to spend a lot of money I cannot afford for something which I will not use very much. In addition my parents who are in their 90s will have to buy a new set for the bedroom - theirs is older than mine and still works perfectly. They already have a digital set in the living room, but on switchover their VHS recorder will not work - it does not work on digital now. I think that it is totally unfair to force us to spend money. I also object to having to pay for a television licence for something I hardly ever use.
Rant over, but is my family really that unusual?
(I'll also have to take the old set to the tip - more expense!!!!!!!!)
Tofgem

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline mshrmh

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,014
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #11 on: Saturday 15 October 11 15:21 BST (UK) »
Tofgem - our old freeview "set-top box" connected to the TV via the aerial socket (aerial from wall into box; similar lead to TV) - are these types of boxes no longer available? It may be that someone who now has a digital TV has one tucked away if they are not.


Offline Nick29

  • Deceased † Rest In Peace
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • ********
  • Posts: 6,273
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #12 on: Saturday 15 October 11 16:56 BST (UK) »
My vote is for the Humax too - the easiest one to use.

Tofgem - I think 24 years is pretty good for a TV - it can't go on for much longer, and I hate to think how much more power it is using, compared to a modern TV.  There aren't too many boxes with an RF modulator for use with old Tvs, because in a year or two there won't be any TV's made with an analogue tuner.  Try Googling for the kenable Triax TR-105 Digital Freeview TV Receiver with RF Modulator - this will work on your old TV, and at £26 it's not too bad, or the LABGEAR FV400 at £37.99.  A new aerial for Freeview shouldn't cost more than £100, but installations vary with cable length and routing.
RIP 1949-10th January 2013

Best Wishes,  Nick.

Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline jmp

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 920
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #13 on: Sunday 16 October 11 00:33 BST (UK) »
Thanks everyone for all those comments and yes I am browsing the Humax range which look very good ;) I will take my time and not just dive into a shop or on ebay to buy one without figuring out what I want/need  ;)

I will also add a bit about cost of a new aerial if I may for Tofgem. I had to have a new one as mine was completely ........ :o :o :o so even if we had remained on analogue I would have needed one. My area is one which has a dodgy signal at the best of times, we have never been able to recieve Channel 5 in this neck of the woods. I think if you can recieve channel 5 and you havent got a snowy picture then your aerial is probably ok for digital. I got a reliable and recommended local firm who know the local difficulties to fit it and they did this yesterday so up todate pricing. But I still had to pay over £250 for an aerial. To break it down, £45 for the aerial itself, £35 for a new 10ft mast ( you may or may not need a new mast), £45 for a Masthead amplifier, £25 for a power supply unit ( as I also had a new point put in upstairs so you may not need this) £55 for call out and 1 hours labour ( although he took about an hour and half he only charged me for one)  and 50p per metre for cabling ( again yours might be less) total 215.00 plus VAT £45 = £258. Now it might be better to go for a Satellite dish, but again I guess it depends on your signal and if you are like me and cant stand the look of them then you would probably go for an aerial. Also I believe that Freesat equipment is more expensive than Freeview via an aerial, so it seemed a bit swings and roundabouts. 

Don't forget though Tofgem that for your parents especially they will be entitled to the "help to switch" scheme that is being run, so it may be well worth while contacting them on their behalf to help with the upgrade of any aerial and putting in a set top box. As I understand it the cost of any new aerial and the set top box are included for I think £40 or thereabouts ;)

But like Tofgem I am a bit reluctant to chuck my old TV's a) because of the expense of replacing everything at once and  b) now I have a new aerial the picture is every bit as good as my families all singing and dancing digital TVs, or at least I think so and that is all that really matters isn't it ;) ;) ;)

So good luck Tofgem I hope that you can find the product that Nick recommended and it works with your machine. I agree with everything you say  ;D ;D

Cheers
Jackie :D

Devon: Hortop, Phillips, Palmer, (Lamerton area)
Derbyshire: Hancock, Widdowson (Sheffield area)
Suffolk:Ratcliff ,Howlett, (Lowestoft area)
Kent:Ratcliff (Ramsgate area)
Norfolk: Stout, Fiske

Offline Nick29

  • Deceased † Rest In Peace
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • ********
  • Posts: 6,273
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #14 on: Sunday 16 October 11 10:25 BST (UK) »
I would strongly advise against putting a mast-head aerial amplifier on a TV pre-switch-over.   I can tell you this from bitter experience.  Aerial amplifiers will do little for digital TV reception, and may actually make it worse (as one did with me). A good aerial installer will know this, and should talk you out of fitting a mast-head amplifier.  You may however, benefit from a distribution amplifier elsewhere in the house, if you are feeding two or more TV's, in a position where it can be reached without a big ladder.

The problem with digital TV from its introduction was that the Freeview channels had to be wedged in to an already very crowded TV spectrum.  Even the Channel 5 signal had to be on 2 channel numbers only, with powers drastically reduced, to avoid interference in adjacent TV areas.  When digital TV came along, they had to find a way of introducing the digitally encoded signals (which typically occupy anything between 5 and 8 analogue channels) without causing interference with analogue TV in other areas.  Again, the power of the digital signals had to be kept quite low.

Now, on the day of the digital switchover (actually it may be two days), when all the analogue channels are switched off in your area, some of the Freeview stations will move to occupy the frequencies which were used by the analogue channels and, they will have their transmitter powers increased by up to a factor of 10 because they already know that these channels won't cause interference in other areas.

Now, this is what caused me the problems.  On the day of our full switchover (ours happened over 2 days), I re-tuned the Freeview for the second time (I have a Panasonic Viera with Freeview and Freesat built in), and I was keen to see what Freeview HD looked like, but when I flicked through the channels, suddenly the TV became totally unresponsive to the remote, and remained like that for at least 30 seconds, then there was a click from inside, and the TV reset itself, and then it went into a loop like that.  I found that 'normal' operation of the TV could be restored on Freesat if I pulled the aerial plug out.

I phoned the Panasonic helpline, and they told me that the problem was caused because my Freeview signals were too strong, and were overloading the TV.  This was not harmful, but it did cause the unusual behaviour.  They advised me to get an attenuator, which fits into the aerial socket on the TV, and the aerial plugs into that.  My Freeview reception had been OK before, but now I had 3 Freeview 'channels' which were 9 times more powerful than they were pre-switchover.  Fitting the attenuator fixed the problem (well, at least for now, because the story isn't completely finished !).

So, when the switchover is complete, you will have 3 or 4 strong Freeview channels, and another 3 or 4 that are still on reduced power, and if you are in a bad area, you may not be able to get all the Freeview channels (yet), but these will only be the more minor channels.  Now, when all the analogue channels in the country have been switched off, all the Freeview channels which were on low power until now will be increased in power (that will be sometime in 2013).  When that happens, channel numbers will change again, and a Freeview re-tune will be required again.

I hope you've followed all that - it is a bit technical, I know  ;)
RIP 1949-10th January 2013

Best Wishes,  Nick.

Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline jksdelver

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #15 on: Sunday 16 October 11 10:39 BST (UK) »
In my case Nick I had a 'booster ' on one of my TV's to get a good signal (on some of the channels) even though it was a digital TV. Anyway since the switch over I no longer need this
"All UK Census Transcriptions are Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk"

Offline Nick29

  • Deceased † Rest In Peace
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • ********
  • Posts: 6,273
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #16 on: Sunday 16 October 11 13:25 BST (UK) »
There's a really good website with lots of information about Freeview switchover and retuning dates, with its own resident expert who replies to problem posts ....... http://www.ukfree.tv/transmittersmenu.php
RIP 1949-10th January 2013

Best Wishes,  Nick.

Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline jmp

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 920
    • View Profile
Re: Freeview boxes and recorders for the uninitiated
« Reply #17 on: Sunday 16 October 11 13:48 BST (UK) »
Thanks Nick about the comment on the masthead amplifier. I know that everyone in this area has to have one to recieve channel 5, but I will bear in mind it might cause a problem in the future and if so I will know what is causing the problem ;) ;)
Devon: Hortop, Phillips, Palmer, (Lamerton area)
Derbyshire: Hancock, Widdowson (Sheffield area)
Suffolk:Ratcliff ,Howlett, (Lowestoft area)
Kent:Ratcliff (Ramsgate area)
Norfolk: Stout, Fiske