back to article Software update spikes certain Freesat set-top boxes

A software update for Goodmans, Bush and Grundig Freesat set-top boxes that has caused owners widespread viewing problems could be fixed within hours. Harvard International, which owns all three set-top box brands, released the over-the-air software update for its boxes on 13 October. The new software is believed to have been …

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FAIL

Thanks!

Thanks for raising awareness of this issue El Reg! From the numerous entries on various discussion board I'm guessing that more than a few hundred people have been impacted by this c*ck-up.

Assuming that around 400 boxes have ceased to function and that the boxes cost around £100 each, that's still £40,000 that Harvard has cost the British public, let alone the inconvenience factor. For their sake and for the future of of FreeSat lets hope they find a fix - soon!

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Paris Hilton

OT? But views appreciated

Ah Freesat.

At the moment I have BT primarily for BTVision but the bundled in landline/broadband makes for an expensive solution.

Freesat is top of my list so ...

Anyone out there with views on Freesat?

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No fix in sight for this problem

I've just been told by Goodmans that they will have to collect the box for a software upgrade. I've been without a TV service for a week already. Very cross. It's going to have been out of action for at least 10 days by the time it's fixed, maybe longer.

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@AC 12:19

I've got a Humax Freesat HD box, nothing but praise for it. Was pushed into it by the appauling freeview reception where I live, but I'm really glad I switched over.

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FAIL

hundreds? I'd say thousands

It's five days that they keep saying they will issue an on-the-air update "in the next days". It's obvious that they know that the air-on-air update is not an option because the box won't stay on long enough to fully download the new firmware. If on on-the-air update worked they only had to send the old software with a new version number and the box would install it and fix the problem. Therefore they will need to service each single box manually and that's why they keep saying "in the next days" hoping people will buy something else to watch TV. At this stage losing customers is less expensive than fixing all those boxes.

I want them (Harvard, Goodmans, Grundig, Bush, whatever brand they use) to go out of business as soon as possible. Such a reckless behaviour marks them as "incurable".

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MJI
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Views on Freesat

Only one box worth purchasing and it is the best Freesat box out there - Humax HDR

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Humax FreeSat user here...

...and well happy.

Changed from Sky (all options) to FreeTard and the picture quality from the _SAME_ sky disk is far far superiour. I believe the difference is n the chip sets used, or something.

Humax upscales SD to HD, the first time I switched it on I could not believe I was looking at the same TV.

My parents use the much cheaper grundic basic units, with better TV's than I have, yet their picture looks no better than SKY did.

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Paris Hilton

Love Freesat

Freesat is great, better than Freeview in my area, thanks to poor aerial reception.

I gain BBC and ITV HD and some useless channels not on Freeview, but also lose some useless channels like Dave which are UK only licensed, therefore restricted to Sky on Satellite.

However, with a Humax device, you can switch into non-Freesat mode, and see ALL the channels broadcast on this satellite, with the exception of Sky only stuff. This includes some very, errm, interesting late night stuff that Paris might enjoy.

The Humax interface is nice too.

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all well and good but....weres the ASDA DVB-T2 kit?

its all well and good talking about these Software updates etc, but what i want to know is now future SW update will allow the masses of North west, granada, winderhill users to start receaving the new official DVB-T2 transmissions on the december the 2nd 2009...

WERE ARE THE DVB-T2 STBS and USB DVB-T2 PC sticks in the shops ready to buy for this dec 2nd 2009 NW launch....

someone down the BBC and ofcom and the OEMs needs to pull their finger out their arse and get this missing DVB-T2 hardware clarified and cleared up and in the local north west ASDA shops PDQ....

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Happy

Ours is as good as it always was

Grundig HD box from Argos.

Crappy output on scart, audio goes after every 100 channel changes (requiring a full unplug from the mains) and some channels just don't work (ITV4+1, for example). 5 software updates later and none of this has changed.

Apart from that it's great.

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Anonymous Coward

Software...

Sky usually fix this by charging the owners £60 to replace the unit. What a scam... AT least the freeview owners get theirs fixed for free...

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Anonymous Coward

Fortec

I use a Fortec Star Innovation freesat box bought from Maplin. It does HD and has USB ports for external drives for recording. The USB port is also used for updating the software. As far as I know they don't do it over the air.

Satellite gives better picture quality than freeview even on the non-HD channels, but HD is wonderful on my 50 inch plasma screen. Definitely worth choosing freesat over freeview, and definitely get the HD version of whatever box.

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@AC 12:19

Like all the rest, nothing but praise for freesat, make sure you get a Humax HD box or thier PVR and you can't go wrong.

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Smug

I have Goodmans Freesat box and love it, but, from problematic experience using a Windows PC with associated Update Tuesdays, I have the auto update switched off. I can then satisfy my geek-like urges to scour blogs and will only allow the update if it proves to be a non-FUp. I now feel fortunate that I have this policy! I originally adopted it because of the auto-updates annoying habit of updating when you switch on to watch, say Eastenders at 8, only to miss half of it while the whatever-speed download takes place

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Welcome to the world of IT

I kind of like this because a whole load of ordinary Josephines have been introduced to a world where automated software updates break stuff and the supplier couldn't give a shit. Maybe those people will believe IT the next time they tell then it was an automated update MS or CA that broke their PC or application.

On the subject of Freesat or Freeview. What, really, is the point? I seldom see anything in the schedules I'd want to watch. And as for HD, if it's shit on an ordinary TV it's still going to be tedious annoying shit on HD. HD TV is the perfect example of a varnished and polished turd.

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Re grundig freesat failures

My box was picked up this morning by Harvard the say it will be back friday or saturday after they reprogramme it, will keep you informed

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Happy

Grundig failures

Recieved new box this morning from Harvard, Not a Grundig but Goodmans same bits inside different guise, seems ok not cut out or anything yet. So if your box naf phone 0871 2304695 tell them since update box freezes, loses sound, switches itself on and off and they should sort it out

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Frustrated

I am having the same problem, bought my box in June last year. I called the help line, firstly you get told by an automated system that you will be charged 10p per minute, you than get left on hold for over five minutes (nice little money making first). When I eventually got thru to an operator, I asked how on earth they could roll out a system upgrade without having it tested, and than suggested that they should roll back. Standard answer, we are aware of the problem and are trying to sort it out. Give me your telephone number and we will call you back when the problem has been resolved. I am sorry this is not acceptable I paid a lot of money for my box and pay my TV licence one would expect better service from a 1st World country.

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