Advice please. Sony IDTV and Freeview

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by Andy.T, May 3, 2003.

  1. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Hi guys, I'm hoping someone can give me some advice, I know next to nothing about Digital TV. :blush:

    I currently have Sky Digital but am getting sick of giving them so much money a month. :mad:

    I have a Sony IDTV (KP41-DS1) and wondered what I needed to do to get Freeview on it?

    a) I see it has a PCMCIA socket, do I need to get a card from Sony or Freeview for it to work or does it just do it out of the box?

    b) I've seen people post about software versions for my telly, how do I find out what mine is currently/whether it needs upgrading and how do I get it upgraded?

    c) I'm getting conflicting messages from the Freeview and Digital TV group websites on whether I am actually in a position to recieve Freeview. But it looks like I would get only a limited service at the moment. Is the coverage being expanded and are there published timescales for this to happen?

    Thanks for any help guys,
     
  2. Fernsehman

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    I think the simple answer must be "read your user manual".

    a) I think the PCMCIA socket is used for software upgrades. I've read about Sony "lending" customers PCMCIA cards to upgrade their IDTVs.

    b) Ask Sony.

    c) The postcode checker site will tell you whether you can receive Freeview with a "typical" 12dB aerial and, if so, which programmes you'll receive. If it tells you that you'll receive *some* programmes then you'll probably find that you'll receive ALL programmes by upgrading your system. For instance by using proper double-shielded coaxial cable and a higher gain aerial.
     
  3. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Strangely the manual doesn't say how to get Freeview on the telly. This may be related to the fact it was printed around 3 years ago. :rolleyes:

    Heh, sorry I guess I should have stated that I had already RTFM, but like so many manuals it is next to useless. I was really looking from some advice from owners of Sony IDTVs. Some of the posts I found when I did a search before posting answered some of my questions but I was after a bit more info.

    Thats interesting, anyone have any experience of this?

    I can do but as people on here have mentioned about what software versions they have and needing to upgrade I hoped someone here might be able to give it to me straight. This would save me the hassle of being stuck in call queues, passed from pillar to post in the hope I will find someone at Sony who can tell me what I need to know and not just tell me that "software versions are only for Sony engineers to worry about". Or something. ;)

    I had a new aerial and cables a couple of years ago, I'm not sure about the specs of the aerial though. The Freeview site just says I can't get it but the Digital TV Group site goes into more detail. It states that not all channels are available to me and that my aerial may need to be repositioned or renewed. If I click "More details" it goes on to list the channels it thinks I could receive (there aren't many :() and lists the two transmitters that would serve me these channels (some from Whitehawk Hill some from Rowridge).

    In practice how would this work, would I need to have a directional antenna able to point to these two different transmitters? In either case I shan't be getting all the channels straight away, hence my question about plans to expand the reception area?

    Any more info would be a great help,
     
  4. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    When your Sky box is off the TV you get on 1 - 7 10 - 22 ect is Freeview!
     
  5. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Martin is the sony IDTV expert but the sony should have a menu that allows you add/store channels etc try that, it maybe that they have never been "tuned in" disconnect your sky box RF and scart and run through all your channels and have a look in the TV menu system, also any buttons on the remote othat says something like TV/DTV/DTT Give them a press!!!!
     
  6. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Thanks guys.

    Errrm.... wow that was easy heh. I just set the TV to autotune not really expecting much to happen and it seems to have picked up most if not all of the channels. :clap:

    I had presumed the whole thing would be a lot more complicated. That I would need to get some kind of card or something or have to upgrade the software at the very least.

    Ok, I seem to be able to receive a lot more channels than The Digital TV Group had predicted, I'm still going through checking at the moment. Some channels say "Information service only, no video available" this seems to indicate that either the channel isn't transmitting yet (due to time of day) or that it is a radio channel. Could it also mean that I can't recieve the channel as it isn't yet available in my area?

    Martin, do you know anything about the software versions? Should I check mine, what version should I worry about getting up to and how do I go about upgrading?
     
  7. njiri

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    there is a thread somewhere here telling you when Sony broadcast software updates. Apparently all you had to do was have the tv tuned in on any digital channel and leave it on for at least 1 hour between certain times, and the update would be loaded, giving you the current version. Don't ask me how it does it, as I say there is a thread.

    Do a search for these words 'SONY IDTV Software Update'
    I just did and found the thread, though lots of people on it say "contact Sony"
     
  8. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Thanks for that I found the thread ok.

    I think I need to phone Sony and check that the updates are still occuring over the air but first can someone tell me how to find my current version? I read it can be found somewhere within the EPG but for the life of me I can't find it.

    I can't seem to find instructions for this in any of the old threads sorry. :(
     
  9. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    USe the EPG the O/S version is in the corner.

    Can you get BBCi as you may need a service call to enable updates.

    Also note that picture quality should look better via the internal tuner than Sky
     
  10. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    I'm not seeing a version number in any of the corners, just the current channel in the top right and the date and time in top left. :(

    BBCi is one of the channels that says "Information Service Only. (No Video Available)". I'll give the Sony Digital TV helpline a call on Tuesday I guess.

    Cheers,
     
  11. njiri

    njiri
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    Andy, report back on what they say pleeeeeze. I'm just lazy and can't be bothered!!!!!
     
  12. Timh

    Timh
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    I also have the Kp-41ds1u. A friend at work received an upgrade card to plug in the back of his sony IDTV (can't remember model no.) to upgrade to software version 2.12, as it was listed to work my Tv I upgraded my software to 2.12, since then his has upgraded to 2.13 over the Air but mine hasn't, apparently 2.13 enables the video for Parliment, so I guess I am not missing much :D
    Off to look for the posts you are talking about.
     
  13. swarrans

    swarrans
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    Andy,
    It sounds like you're getting sorted on your Sony IDTV, but if the original problem was paying Sky so much money for digital sat (and I don't blame you!) why don't you stop your subscription and just get the free channels? (assuming you've subscribed for 12 months) As you probably know, after the 12 month contract you own the equipment, so this way you'll be able to have digital transmissions from terrestrial and sat!

    Simon
     
  14. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    I have both and freeveiw has more watchable channels, TCM is nice and so are afew but for general entertainment (and no Adult material) Freeview for £99 is better than sky for free. I only found this out after getting FV for free and paying for a sky box!
    PS some of the freeveiw channels are subs on sky!
     
  15. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Thats a good point guys I'd forgotten about the free to air stuff on Sky Digital. Is there a list somewhere on which channels I would continue to get without paying for a Sky package?

    Also would I be able to independently subscribe to things like Film Four (as I do currently) once my Sky Subscription had ceased? Or do those extra subscriptions require a Sky Subscription so they can identify you or whatever?

    And yup I will post back on what Sony say tomorrow. :)
     
  16. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    the SES astra site lists the channels that are transmitted FTA/FTV check the list for 28.2 deg East! With both packages i think you get a decent range of channels for free!!!!:)
    I would ring the channel ie Film Four and ask them.
     
  17. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Cheers for that. :smashin:
     
  18. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Just to update those who had expressed an interest. :)

    I phoned Sony today and found them to be really helpful considering how long ago I bought the telly etc. I just phoned the main customer services number (08705 111 999) as I couldn't find the Sony Digital TV number.

    The lady agreed that the lack of version number in the EPG probably meant the software was waaaay outta date and is sending me the latest PCMCIA (People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms :D) card to do the update.

    I also phoned Film Four, the lady there seemed to think that I couldn't independently subscribe. But I think. I'll look into that again after Sky goes bye-bye's, which I'm pretty sure is what I'm going to do.

    Cheers to those that provided advice. :smashin:
     
  19. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Nice one mate phone for a bbc card now then you have the 9 digit number, that might work. can you subscribe to Film four online or do you have to call?
     
  20. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    A BBC card? :confused:

    Would this be a card to replace my Sky card in my Digibox? If so, are the BBC still going to produce those in view of this?

    You can subscribe to FilmFour online only if you are a Sky customer see here. It also says if you already have multi-channel tv (Not via Sky) you need to phone 0800 441234, but I think they only mean Cable.

    To be honest FilmFour isn't mission critical for me, it's been a while since I've watched anything on it (I tend to use DVDs-on-Tap for films more than TV). I was more interested in whether it was possible to subscribe to any of the add-on channels (the Disney ones are another example) with no Sky Digital subscription.
     
  21. Andy.T

    Andy.T
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    Guess what turned up today? :)

    - My PCMCIA software upgrade card for my Sony IDTV (2.13 - this is now finally displayed on the EPG)

    - A new Sky card heh (Almost makes me feel bad about cancelling)

    Do I still need to get myself one of the BBC cards?
     
  22. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    No the sky one should work fine for the time being you just need a card, make sure the new one works before ditching the old one! I would keep the old one any way as it is looked to the box but useful if something happpens to new one.
     
  23. Timh

    Timh
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    Andy

    I also need to update to 2.13 from 2.12 to get the full digital services, I also cannot find the digital helpline, so I will give the main helpline a bell tomorrow.
    Thats pretty fast service you got :)

    I'm also about to cancel Sky and get the Sky free card :devil:
     

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