Can old On Digital Pre-Paid set top boxes be made to work again?


Standard Member
Jul 2, 2002
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Somewhere on t'internet

I am sure this subject has been asked before, but I am struggling to find an existing thread on this forum.....:blush:

Basically, I still have my old Philips On Digital settop box which I used in 2000 (prior to the name change to ITV Digital) and was wondering if it can be made to act as a standard Digital TV recever with the free to air Digital channels currently broadcast?

All I get when I switch mine on at the moment, is a black screen with a small red square on every channel I select?

Any advice would be appreciated...even if you just wanna laugh at me!:D
The boxes are working at present.The symptoms you describe are indicative of a weak or no signal.Try adding/storing channels if that doesn't work i'll try nd find the method of resetting the box (unless someone knows it off the top of thier head).
I will give the adding channels thingy a go....... thanks

It is strange, I am looking to try and dig out where I have put the manual that came with the box, I havn't used it for 18+ months so I can't quite remember all the in's and outs of the device! Doh!

I did go into the setup menu's and i think i saw that the signal strength on channel 21 was green (supposidly good I think)

When I used the On Digital box during the one year subscription I had, I lived in London and the signal strength was fine, but I have since moved to Bedfordshire this year and I am not so sure.
dont know if its any help to you but im in luton and getting digital fine(after turning the arieal) from the sandy heath transmitter
Hmmm this is making me think more and more that it is infact a reception problem.....:(

I am not sure where the arial is actually pointed to at the moment, did you have to point towards the Sandy Heath transmitor or away from?

I would like to try and reset the box if possible, does anyone know the way?


To reset a phillips.
wait until gm&m on ch 31 has finished and displays the purple on digital logo.
go to the channel before gm&m. the flick up using P+,
and just as the purple screen comes on ,
press the standby button on your remote.
strange but it works.


1. Power cycle the box.

2. Switch on the box and at the same time hold in the left and right buttons on the stb.

3. When the box starts auto- updating release the left and right buttons and hold in the S button until the channel menu appears on the tv.
Great.....I will give it a whirl and let you know.


I bought a 2nd hand ondigital pace box and that had a red square and nothing else, the reception was very poor through my aerial.

I found that when I removed the card that was in the box then rebooted and did a find channels it all bumped in to life, the card was holding it back, and the picture quality on a poor aerial was really good.

Let us know if this works!
Hey, all I know is that with the old card = no digi channels

without card= channels
I had something similar. Wouldnt work with card. Worked without and I am alsio in weak area
Hopefully I will get a chance to try these suggestions out tonight or tomorrow night......I will let you guys know as soon as possible.

Thanks for your help so far!
Thanks for your input chaps.

Just so you know, I tested the suggestios here and unfortunately they didn't help. The problem is definately with the arial and reception in the area I live.

I have been told that I need to install a high gain arial in order to address this problem. (£100 in other words:( )
My OffDigital box, Philips, has carried on working throughout. Channel count is down but the free to Air remain active. Will try the remove the card bit tonight to see what happens.
I removed the card from my Pace 735 as soon as the ITVD service went down. It has continued to receive the FTA stuff flawlessly since (except for the now & next feature which only partially works).

My more recently-bought Pioneer has never had its smartcard inserted. It, too, receives all the FTA stuff flawlessly.
Let's clear this one up.

The red dot is a feature of all the On Digital and ITV boxes, and it means "I am not getting enough signal to make a picture up..."

I am slightly mystified that taking the card out makes any difference - certainly my box works with card in or out.

But the red dot is a reception issue.

At the risk of repeating myself, just because you get a good analogue picture doesn't mean you'll get DTT.

You need to know if your transmitter is offering digital reception and do the post code check.

But one of the good things about DTT boxes is you can take them to a friend's house to check reception there if your own situation is poor.

So red dot means poor or marginal signal from your aerial.
Again, thanks for speeling this out for me (relative beginner at all this)

As was confirmed by my local AV dealer, the postcode is fine, but the actual reception at the residence with the arial etc put in place about 8 years ago...just dont cut the mustard. :(

Still, at least I know whats going on and just have to make up my mind over the arial upgrade or not....
I know it's all dosh at the end of the day and depends on your own budget, but it seems daft to have a state of the art digital receiver, a nice telly, probably a video and whatever other gear you might have, and not spend around 50 quid to get the signal down off the roof...

Tellies are like computers - garbage in - means garbage out.

And digital signals unlike analogue, tend to be all or nothing when it comes to reception.

It's all down to you really...

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