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back to article Sky gripe grounded Freeview EPG facelift

An attempt to modernise the Freeview channel listing last week proved something of a fail after a stack of planned moves did not take place, thanks to complaints from Sky and a purveyor of adult entertainment. Originally mooted in March and confirmed with minor changes in July, the channel revamp would have seen programme genres …

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FAIL

And yet again

I have to refresh my bloody channel list once all this is sorted out - losing all my scheduled programs. Wonderful - it's obviously the future as it's now EVEN MORE inconvenient than before, but with more flashy menus.

I remember getting excited about Channel 4 launching - how many times did I have to retune back then after than auspicious event? None? I see...

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The assignment of integers to things

I offer my services to the Government (or whoever will pay) at a modest fee of 200k per annum as CEO of OFINT, the office of assignment of integers to things. Obviously I will be needing legal and administrative backup but

I present, by way of job application, some of what I think is my best work in assigning integers to things

dt_file_based = 2

ds_not_updatable_internal_version = 16

lang_traditional_chinese = 12

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The assignment of integers to things

I wish you well in your new post and look forward to the day a minister loses his post when they try and override one of your numerical assignments....

P.s. you may want to bump up the salary requirements to make yourself more important. £200k is barely a prime minister....

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Flame

Agree with Sky on this one

Their dismantling of the DMOL argument for mucking about with the Freeview EPG again is convincing. No STB/TV I've ever seen allows the easy navigation or filtering of channels by genre, and when options aimed at this kind of thing are attempted they are inevitably clumsy, illogical and, most importantly, generally wiped out when the EPG is updated next time.

My representation to DMOL/OEMs would read like this:

1) Add 'Shopping' genre

2) Allow me to filter by genre so I can remove 'Shopping', 'Adult' and 'Topup TV'

3) Allow me to assign my own, persistent channel numbers

4) Leave the bloody thing alone

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agree with Sky on this one

5) Sort it out so that the software on a Freeview receiver updates the channel list by itself. Ever seen Sky telling people to retune every time they add a channel? Or Freesat?

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Silver badge

Re: Agree with Sky on this one

Yes I'm sure Sky fucked it up purely for technical reasons. I cant see any financial benefit for them for pissing freeview viewers about at all can you?

"No set-top box allows filtering or navigation by - insert standard of choice that might work but the big money wont allow to happen here."

I often wondered why TV filtering etc was so 1970's - it seems its something to do with letting the fox have a major way in henhouse design.

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Re: Agree with Sky on this one

Unfortunately, the Freeview LCNs ("logical" channel numbers) are a UK-only feature, so manufacturers have very little incentive to do more than the bare minimum to support them. Unforunately, too, a large number of people with digital TVs seem incapable of using the EPG and rely on being able to key in the numbers from Radio Times. So (a) we're stuck with it and (b) it's never going to work very well.

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Thumb Up

LCNs FTW

I think LCNs are used in France but I'm not sure. But trust me, spending 15-30 minutes re-ordering your channels every time you retune as you do in other countries is time better spent doing something else.

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Re: Agree with Sky on this one

'filtering or navigation by' ???? simple English please?? something more complex than the following???

Sky allows you to choose by music, religion, sport, documentary, etc...

most Freeview enables you to change or remove program numbers, and remove whole sections by broadcast type- ie, analog (your old video, and even sky, has one!!) , pay per view, data and radio..

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Bronze badge

Many receivers retune automatically overnight.

I've got one that does, and another one that doesn't.

Sometimes it's better that this doesn't happen without your consent.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agree with Sky on this one

One of the reasons I don't have Sky is you can't choose what channel goes where, i.e you can't renumber them yourself. I know this makes Sky a fortune by selling off the numbers but it does stop me and a few other people becomming subscribers, or even owning one of their crippled boxes.

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FAIL

Eh?

Sky Sports News hasn't been on freeview for ages. Dropped off when SSN went HD on Sky.

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Thumb Up

Re: Eh?

Good, glad someone else thought the same too!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

"Dropped off when SSN went HD on Sky."

I suspect the real reason was more due to the fact that lots of pubs were cancelling their Sky subscriptions and just showing SSN on FreeView, especially on a Saturday afternoon (a number of pubs did this in the area I live).

The way Sky went about this was as covert as they could get away with - notifying only the bare minimum of people and ensuring no groundswell of opposition as apparently their request to replace SSN with Sky 3 or whatever it is now /could/ have been turned down if enough people had voice opposition.

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well *I* dont worry about changes..

thats why I bought a *decent* (ie, not stupidly cheap!!!) PVR and TV... and months ago had already customized what number most channels sit, for ease of use/ remembering... those numbers stayed put, I just had to scan and check to *exclude* yet another 'advertising' channel... :/

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buy better equipment

If you don't want to lose your PVR schedules or have to retune when this kind of thing happens, buy some better equipment. A decent freeview PVR should be able to background scan the currently tuned multiplexes finding new channels and moving around the old ones without any kind of manual retune. Retuning should only be required when the multiplexes switch frequencies.

A decent PVR should also be able to maintain series links and scheduled recordings using something better than the EPG number.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: buy better equipment

OK for those of us that don't follow this stuff in depth but buy the industry defaults (eg Humax), where *should* we be looking next time, other than the DIY option of a combination of RasPi (£30), Hauppauge dualtuner USB gadget (£50?), and some free software tbd, combined with a random HDD from anywhere

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Re: buy better equipment

you are just over complicating things.... (geek much?? :) )

do research for a decent panasonic TV, you wont need to worry about changing channels, etc... mine have all been renumbered to 2 digits, and put in easy to navigate/remember positions... :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: buy better equipment

The overcomplication was partly for decoration, thank you for noticing :)

On the other hand I do have no wish to buy an overpriced display screen combined with massively overpriced electronics which the manufacturers want me to completely replace every two or three years. A decent screen (only) with a separate decent external receiver/recorder/player (only) would be fine by me thank you.

I do see lots of recommendations for Panasonic but having bought a Panasonic DMREZ25 DVD recorder back in the day, I am never ever again buying Panasonic ever anywhere no way no how. Piece of total and utter sh*t.

It "works" sometimes, if you can manage your way through the utterly impenetrable user interface. And if you watch something sufficiently low bitrate (ITV4 daytime repeats of Gerry Anderson stuff?) it actually repeatably crashes. I haven't retuned it yet for this week's changes. I have no idea if it will survive. Beware of low flying EZ25s if you're in the vicinity when it fails.

Not a way to make friends, Panasonic.

So, who does that leave, other than DIY?

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FAIL

Since I am still waiting for the switchover to be completed, I have had to retune my boxes twice in the past couple of weeks - and will have to do so again tomorrow. They could have timed the EPG update a bit better as far as I am concerned. (Bilsdale Tx)

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@Rabbit80

so, you're oop north, then?? we had all that retuning stuff, all through last April in London... welcome to the rest of digital UK TV!! :)

Note the 'Republic of Ireland' is separate, they are only part of the 'British Isles'.. :D

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Anonymous Coward

Not too bothered, don't like 3 digit numbers though.

My telly retunes itself so I don't have to waste any time on that, and it doesn't really bother me if some channels I never use move around. I was wondering why the HD channels hadn't moved as they said they would!

What *will* annoy me is having to forget 50 for BBC1 HD and 52 for C4 and learn a new THREE digit number... grumble grumble... :(

It's not so bad on the Sky box because the remote is so powerful you don't even have to aim it, but the TV one needs marksmanship and I'm thinking of adding a rifle sight to it!

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Stop

Why doesn't every manufacturer just offer the option to change the channel numbers, delete channels etc. on their TV's? My Sony CRT Freeview jobby allows me to do all that, and the only annoying thing that happens when they do a rejig of the channel numbers is a message appears telling me to do a retune which I just ignore. I'm not buying another TV that doesn't offer that as a default feature.

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