Tuesday, 29 November 2011



Pay TV as we know it is about to change, for the better hopefully but unlikely!
Freeview has already the slots loaded at channel slots; 110, 111,112 and supposedly 120.
At present a couple of hours at night can be viewed at 112 called "Sports-tonight", as long as you have your freeview receiver internet enabled.
Soon channels 110 will broadcast "International TV Network", which will be looking for a financial subscription - at present the website is vague about everything with lots of sidestepping websites which seem to be attempting to feed the web-surfer info bit by bit.
Similar to channel 110 will be channel 111 which will house the channel named "Connect" which again will be a financial subscription channel - again information is vague but it's likely there will be the same old same old as existing pay TV with a different wrapper on.
The biggest problem with these new money orientated packages is the expected loss of quality in the existing free TV as months go on until the Pay-TV channels start to look familiar in the freeview/freesat receivers.
Freesat will go the same way as Freeview with these new Pay-TV channels and as they are being entered in stealth mode after the Freeview/freesat ""free for ever"" TV media build up we can expect them to stay with us for a long time to come.
We have now seen some devious methods of offering us TV or should that be underhanded methods - for example we have all been complaining for years and years about the awful time a twenty minute programme can be extended to an hour so that all the brain numbing adverts can be introduced - the usual excuse is the different programmes are paid for by the adverts - this we all know to be hogwash! So what happened? why they extended the advert times again so that we are now getting even more adverts during programming. Did they listen when we complained - yes they did and decided to punish us for moaning!
We are now faced with the idea that Pay-TV is a good thing and we should subscribe! One of these channels above is after your information even before it has revealed it's broadcasting hours, programming, cost, but more importantly why it needs your personal information?
Our advice to those interested; by all means keep interested, but wait until more info becomes available.
All the named channels; ie; 110,111,112,120 will need internet enabled Freeview or freesat receivers.

Saturday, 27 August 2011


Google TV is on it's way!
Google TV will hit our retailers very soon and the enormous innovations built into the new Google TV are a step into the future.
You probably love your mobile apps, but how about your 50 inch screen viewing your favourite app, not a problem for the new Google box as it comes with apps already built in with new apps being recorded daily.
You can view the entire web on your 50 inch plasma so these "you tube", funnies are a bonus viewing alternative.
You can even use your mobile or cell as a remote control to control the Google box, and like your usual computer desktop/screen the Google box has it's own homepage on switch on which can be designed by you in the same way you like your computer switch on home page.
Using the Google box you can watch both the TV and the internet at the same time.
Recording your favourite channel is child's play so another attraction for many TV enthusiasts.
The actual prices in the U.S. started at around $299 and recently slashed this to $99 so hopefully the U.K. prices will be well researched before release.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

PHILIPS HDTV 8520 High-Definition Digital Terrestrial Recorder

PHILIPS HDTV 8520 High-Definition Digital Terrestrial Recorder


PHILIPS HDTV 8520 High-Definition Digital Terrestrial Recorder can only be described as a the toy every Freeview enthusiast should buy.
After having bench tested lots of different satellite and Terrestrial receivers we now have an outright winner.
Originally this little box (it is a little box in comparison to some of the freesat receivers on sale) could be bought for around the £300 mark - we bought ours for £147-50, and what a bargain it has turned out to be.
At this point I would strongly suggest updating the software(latest version dated 20-06-2011 version 7.21 released) which you can download from the Philips address within the guide book which comes with the Philips HDTV receiver. The update irons out all the little bugs.
To update you simply download the update either directly onto your pen-drive or directly onto your computer desktop and then load your chosen pen-drive and load the software as directed within the Philips HDTV booklet - very easy.
I love the little touches, such as when you select your viewing the box will suggest the following;
"this programme is also available in High-Definition" and the projected buttons to press appear on your screen for choosing yes or no - clever and so user friendly.
If you want to record something and there is a series it will also ask if you wish to record that particular episode or the whole series.
The menu system is child's play and designed by the experts of the stunning pictures; "Pace", all TV programmes are upscaled if they are not on HD and the picture is stunning.
I own a Philips plasma with built in Freeview and this little box with it's brilliant picture puts it to shame.
The Philips HDTV 8520 has a large 500gbs disk for recording and to sweeten the techie side we have a time shift buffer, and to explain here's how it works;
When you switch to a channel your HD recorder automatically starts recording the programme that is being played and stores it temporarily in the time shift buffer. When you switch to a different channel, your HD recorder discards the previously recorded programme, and starts recording the currant programme.
This feature enables you to pause a live programme at any moment and later continue watching it from that point, or instantly rewind and watch what you have seen or missed in the last few seconds.
The HD recorder stores up to 3 hours of live TV content in the time shift buffer. At the end of 3 hours, the oldest part of the recording is overwritten.
Your HD recorder empties the contents of the time shift buffer when you change the channel, or turn off your HD recorder or put it in standby - similar idea to the RAM memory in a computer.
The Philips HDTV 8520 has a 500Gb hard Disk Drive and the recording times are;
MPEG2 220 hours
MPEG4 110 hours(High-Definition)
The little box's size is;
240mm X 210mm X 65mm

If your in the market for an HD Freeview box then grab one while you still can. They may be hard to find but do not be put off by that, the box working is head and shoulders above the rest. The box has MPEG4 built in which makes it future proof for a while yet.
They offer exactly what you want; ie;
Excellent picture quality;
User friendly;
The box can fit into spaces that other receivers never will.

PHILIPS HDTV 8520 High-Definition Digital Terrestrial Recorder

PHILIPS HDTV 8520 High-Definition Digital Terrestrial Recorder


PHILIPS HDTV 8520 High-Definition Digital Terrestrial Recorder


Tuesday, 24 May 2011



The SNP has today welcomed the news that a date has been set for BBC Alba to be made available to Freeview viewers in Scotland. Previously BBC Alba was only available via Sky or FreeSat, meaning that the majority of Gaelic speaking Scots were unable to tune in.
Now, from the 8th June, viewers will be able to access the channel on Freeview. The channel is also set to be rolled out on Virgin Media.

The move was welcomed by the Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan and MP Angus MacNeil.

Commenting Mr Allan said:

“I am delighted that after much campaigning the BBC Trust has decided to allow BBC Alba on Freeview, where it will be going live in only a few weeks. I know that the channel also became available on Cable last week. 

“This is a major step forward for both the channel and the Gaelic language. Every person in Scotland should soon have access to this excellent and important channel.
“It is a recognition of the achievements and the quality of BBC Alba in appealing to both Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers that the decision has been taken to expand the channel in such a way.

“This is just one step on a long road to building a viable future for the Gaelic language, but it is a hugely important one. I look forward to the benefits that such an increase in TV exposure will bring for BBC Alba and Gaelic and wish the channel every success for the future.”

Mr MacNeil added:

“After many years of campaigning at Westminster and calling on the BBC Trust’s representative in Scotland, Jeremy Peat, to get this done, I am delighted that a date has finally been set.

“I have been pushing this for many years, finally BBC Alba can be now be viewed on Freeview.

“At last, everyone will now have access to view the fantastic BBC Alba, this is a tremendous step forward for the Gaelic language and an indication of the success of the channel since its launch in September 2008.” 

Wednesday, 9 June 2010



Breaking News 9-6-10

We have just been informed that the PR Contract for Freesat TV has just been taken over by Consolidated PR.

BORKOWSKI PR did a good job with very little to go on and we wish them well in the future with all their new and current PR Contracts.

The only comment we have would be it's a strange time to change PR firms with the World Cup starting in only a few days time but as this is a breaking news story we have no other details to report as yet!

We would also like to welcome Consolidated PR to the Freesat and hope they have much success in providing high quality press releases for our Freesat blog and other freesat websites.


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

BBC iPlayer review and testing the D-LINK DHP-303.

BBC iPlayer review and testing the D-LINK DHP-303.

As regular readers will know I tested the BBC iPlayer already using the Wii versus the PS3 and the PS3 won hands down for picture quality and speed.
Now it's the turn of the straight forward to use Ethernet D-Link;
For those who have never heard of the D-Link, here is how it works and how to use it - there are others on the market but we know this one is top quality,
and it offers up to 200mbps for HD streaming and gaming.
In the box, you get two three pronged look alike-plugs called DHP-303's, a CD rom manual and installation Wizard(not needed) and two Ethernet cables.
Assuming your home has one electrical circuit throughout your home the next bit is mind numbingly simple - lets say your internet router is upstairs, you
simply plug in one of your DHP-302 plugs and using one of the two supplied Ethernet cables, plug one end into a spare Ethernet port and the other into the
DHP-303 plug. You then go to your chosen freesat receiver and plug your other DHP-303 into a socket and connect the other Ethernet cable into the DHP
and the other into your chosen freesat receiver.
The DHP-303 is designed to work straight out of the box, without CD-ROM discs or Wizards etc, the CD-ROM is for setting your security and testing the
Both DHP-303's start to talk to one another and you get green lights(they still perform without complete green lights) and then switch on your HD freesat
receiver, go to BBC1 and press the red button on your remote, it opens up a menu and you can then scroll to the iPlayer selector - select your viewing
pleasure and enjoy the programme. No need for codes etc...once set up your DHP-303's can be left on as they power down themselves when not in use.
The benefits are obvious for this one - simple straightforward wireless connection which runs at speed, the DHP-303 is quality and they feel like they will
last for years, there is no picture hang-up or line break even with my less than ideal internet speeds, maybe if I used a different kind of Ethernet adapter
my viewing ability would change, but I'm happy with this one.
O.K. how does it perform against the PS3?
I tested both thoroughly and although the D-Link 303 is a good bit of kit and may suit those who need a viewable internet connection via the HDP-303
speed benefits, the picture is still not as crisp as the PS3 while watching the BBC iPlayer.
D-LINK 303 worth getting if you need speed for gaming and to stop line break while viewing the iPlayer.
PS3 still the best picture quality - it could possibly be the upscaling, but it's still our favourite.

Saturday, 17 April 2010




The SNP is preparing to meet members of the BBC Trust, the Corporation's
governing body, after the Trust indicated it is considering granting an
unprecedented oral hearing to consider the Party's appeal against the
BBC's handling of the election leaders' debate issue, including its
rejection of the offer of a fourth debate focused on issues more relevant
to the devolved nations.

The BBC's election leaders' debate is scheduled to take place on April
29th, in Birmingham, hosted by David Dimbleby.

However, in a letter to SNP leader Alex Salmond and Plaid Cymru leader
Ieuan Wyn Jones, the BBC Trust, the Corporation's governing body, which is
independent from the Corporation's management, has now asked both parties
to prepare for a possible oral hearing which could be held at any time
from April 22-27th.

The BBC Trust is currently corresponding with the Corporation's Executive,
which is chaired by Director-General Mark Thompson, over the basis of the
SNP and Plaid Cymru's appeal.

An ad hoc committee of the Trust involving five Trustees - the Trustee for
Scotland, the Trustee for Wales and three members of its editorial
standards committee - will consider the appeal and whether there should be
an oral hearing.

The Trust has prepared a briefing note for committee members in advance of
the BBC Executive submitting its formal response to the SNP appeal. It is
understood senior BBC management returned from Manchester on Friday to
work on the Executive's response over the weekend.

SNP Chief Executive Peter Murrell said:

"We are ready to meet the BBC Trust at any time to discuss our appeal. The
exclusion of the SNP, the party of Government in Scotland, from the
election leaders' debates is fundamentally undemocratic. We also believe
it is a clear breach of the BBC's obligation of impartiality.

"We also believe that the BBC Executive has failed in its duties by
excluding the SNP and Plaid Cymru from the negotiations which were held
with the other parties over what was clearly a prolonged period.

"Those discussions effectively allowed the UK parties to dictate the
format of the leaders' debates to the broadcasters. As a result of the
debate format agreed by the BBC Executive, there is a clear danger of
misinforming and misleading voters in Scotland.

"We know we have an extremely strong case, and now look forward to making
that case directly to the BBC Trust."