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7th July 2010
When can we expect other TV companies to follow the bbc with their iPlayer Freesat broadcasting?
Thanks for your question. The commercial nature of the other broadcasters in the UK limits my knowledge of their plans. If Freesat continues to grow successfully other interactive services could be bought to the platform in time, but these broadcasters don't all have the same public service mandate as the BBC so may choose to prioritise other areas such as web delivery first of all.
In the longer term the Canvas project:
looks like it will become the common delivery platform/technology for on demand programming across different broadcast technologies, bit it still at an early stage.
30th June 2010
I have a Sony KDL40W4500 full HD 1080 TV purchased about 18 months ago. Do I need an HD set top box to receive Freeview HD which I understand is now available in my area.
Sadly you are correct in that if you want to watch the channels currently available in high-definition on Freeview you will need a new high-definition capable decoder/set-top box. I'm not 100% sure of the timings but the standards for high-definition Freeview would only recently have been decided upon if at all 18 months ago so along with the service roll-out only just beginning then, you are only now starting to see HDTVs with built in Freeview HD tuners. You may well find this isn't the end of the world if perhaps you're in the market for a high-definition recorder at the same time, but if not you can purchase a separate decoder box for less that £100 at that cost will only fall over time.
25th June 2010
My postcode is DE22 1GB, I have a HD Readt TV. Please advise any action to receive the proposed programmes.
In order to watch in high-definition you'll need access to some kind of high-definition service via satellite, cable or your aerial. You have two options at present, one being to pay either Sky or Virgin Media for their respective satellite and cable subscription services, or alternatively you can get HDTV without subscription via Freesat or Freeview HD.
Baring any physical obstructions you should be able to get Freeview HD now although this is likely to involve a moderate set-up cost for the dish and decoder. If you are prepared to wait until next year you should then be able to receive Freeview HD via your aerial when digital switchover happens in your area.
Keep an eye on this page:
to see when your local transmitter is switching, I believe it will be the Waltham one for which a specific date isn't yet published.
If your HDTV contains is quite new it may well already contain an in built Freeview HD tuner so all you have to do is wait for digital switchover to happen. If your TV only has a standard-definition Freeview tuner built-in at some point before swithover you will need to buy a separate Freeview HD set-top box/decoder.
20th June 2010
I have recently got a V+ Box, can you connect my TV or PC via the USB connection?
Thanks for your question. Sadly there isn't much you can do with the USB port on your Virgin V+ box, it's powered so you can charge or power other devices from it, but beyond that it's not at all useful. Your computer won't recognise it as a device when connected to it and anything you plug in to it, like a USB hard disk won't be recognised by the box either. I'd love to say a future software update might enable some useful functionality, but Virgin will want to keep their content suppliers onside so are unlikely to allow you to record on to external storage devices.
16th June 2010
I have a new Toshiba 42" LCD TV with Freeview HD, The picture clarity is fantastic, but when watching the HD channels the volume is very low and I have to put the volume up to 100% to hear the TV.
This one's probably going to need some trial and error to fix but I would start in the TV's menus to ensure you are using any volume equalisation facility that your TV provides, on some Toshiba models this seems to be called 'Dolby Volume'. This type of setting should help maintain a more consistent volume level between channels and programmes. You may also like to experiment with different sound modes where available on your TV, for example by disabling any surround sound processing as you may well have found that your TV handles surround formats using on Freeview and Freeview HD inconsistently.
16th June 2010
I have a new Alba ALDTR160 Digital TV Recorder. It is Freeview+ and I am using it quite successfully with an analogue Samsung TV. I am considering buying a new Full HD TV which will be Freeview HD.
Can I view TV in HD and record in SD. I ask this because I do not record very much and Freeview+ HD recorders such as the new Philips at around £290 each is expensive for an OAP such as myself (81 next birthday). If so, how do I connect it?
There's nothing to stop you continuing to use your existing standard-definition Freeview recorder with a new television so long as you are able to connect to two together.
A more modern HDTV with built-in Freeview HD will have an integrated tuner to which you will connect your aerial, and this will give you some high-definition channels if you're in a part of the country where Freeview HD is already available. If you kept your current Freeview recorder you would also connect this via a second connection to your aerial so it's inbuilt tuner(s) can record.
With regards to connecting your recorder to an HDTV, your Alba model looks to only have an analogue SCART output so you will need to make sure you purchase a TV with at least one analogue/component video input. The analogue input doesn't have to be in the form of a SCART socket you can readily convert from cart to component with an adapter.
16th June 2010
I Have a new 100hz 42" LED TV which I am very happy with, but once connected to my V+ Box it only displays in 50Hz, is there any way to change this?
Thanks for your question. This in fact shouldn't be anything to worry about, the 50Hz is the frequency of your input source only, your television should then apply its 100Hz processing to that, doubling the frame rate in the output picture you see.
14th June 2010
Can you tell me what is the difference between HD ready and Full HD?
Thanks for your question. An HD Ready TV is one that meets a very specific set of requirements in terms of picture resolution and input compatibility. It essentially specifies that any TV with the logo meets the requirements listed here:
Full HD is more of a marketing term used by manufactures to indicate that their products are capable of displaying 1080p content (1080 vertical lines scanned progressively). It doesn't necessary tell you anything else about the displays inputs or ability to handle other input formats correctly.
Your choice of which type of display to buy will probably depend on the screen size you are purchasing and the video sources you have. A 1080p display may be a little more future-proof than a 720 line HD Ready TV, but if you're purchasing a relatively small size screen or are likely only to watch broadcast HDTV you may well find a HD Ready TV will suffice.
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