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My Viewing Options Please?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Hawklord, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Hi, I'm currently subscribed to NTL's entertainment package at around £30 per month but do not really get my money's worth tbh. I'm unable to get freeview in my area and the signal for terestrial is really poor too (which is why I went with NTL in the first place.). I have a bt phone line which I use for my phone calls and pipex broadband so do not use the NTL phone line you have with the package either. All in all a total waste of £30 per month imo for the amount of TV I tend to watch. If I was to cancel my subscription would the NTL digibox still be usable for watching freeview channels via the cable connection or would NTL stop the signal entirely? Do ntl offer a freeview package without the telephone?
    Basically I just want to know what the easiest way for me to get freeview TV since the only way for me to receive a decent signal is through cable or satellite :( I am rather annoyed that I'm unable to get freeview conventionally living where I do in the southeast (Aldershot). Why is the digital coverage so poor in my area :confused:
     
  2. stroppygoblin

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    Have you actually confirmed you cannot get freeview or are you going by the postcode check? I only ask as according to the postcode check webiste, I can't receive freeview, however I get a great reception and picture on my PV500 - it's worth giving it a try, beg, borrow or steal someones freeview box and have a try.
     
  3. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    A good aerial installer should be able to get Freeview reception in the majority of areas, even those where the postcode checker says it's not possible.
     
  4. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Yes it was done via the post code check. Might invest in a freeview box and give it a try anyway.

    The easiest solution would be to cancel my NTL subscription and use the digibox supplied if someone can confirm whether NTL would continue to send a cable signal without the pay for view channels. I'm hoping this is the case but I doubt it :(
     
  5. Heinz

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    Isn't the NTL digibox only on loan whilst you subscribe and won't they take it back if you stop subscribing?
     
  6. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I've been with them for about 4 years now so I assume that if I were to cancel they'd not collect the box, but, I could be mistaken.
     
  7. Starburst

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    The NTL STB remains their property, there are no legal options to watch the digital channels on their network unless you subscribe which gives you the STB and smartcard.
    However there may still be analogue channels carried on the network and most analogue tuners in TV's and VCR's can acess them from the main feed NTL will leave behind even if you cancel.
     
  8. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    So if I were to cancel then they would reclaim their digibox?
    If they didn't reclaim it would the signal down the cable only be anologue then or would I be able to watch freeview channels through it?
    It might be worth me just getting a basic sky set up that's surely gonna be cheaper than the £30 I'm paying NTL as I wouldn't be paying for telephone line rental that I do not currently use.

    thanks for you info btw much appreciated :smashin:

    There's a few of us at work all in the same boat and we are all wondering what is the best course of action.
     
  9. Starburst

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    Yes, they only loan you the STB for the duration of the subscription however this is NTL and they have been known to forget to pick it up but mine was collected to the day.

    NTL are still obliged I believe to carry the main five channels on analogue their network but these are being phased out but I expect if they leave the feed connected you should get BBC1/2, ITV1, CH4 and Five with maybe one or two others that are not encrypted. The NTL guy who picked my STB up gave me an little adaptor to connect the RF cable from the VCR/TV to the wall socket, probably cost ten bob from a DIY store.
    The Freeview channels are digital only (that includes BBC3/4 etc) so they can not be viewed via NTL without a legal digibox and subscription to their service.

    Over a year the SKY Freesat offering (£150) will be cheaper and doesn't require a phone line, if you go for a basic channel lineup then the first year will cost slightly more and require a phone line although I do believe if you have no phone line at all then you can pay a one off £25 in addition to the basic price.
    Remember that quite a few of the Freeview channels are subscription only on satellite.

    I would have a word with a local DTT installer, you may be surprised out your options for a one off aerial upgrade and STB purchase, the postcode checker does tend to be conservative:)
     
  10. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Hi, sorry to resurrect this thread but my parents have just updated their tv etc and loaned me their spare freeview box to see if I can actually receive freeview in my area. I gave it a go last night and I can pick up every channel bar channel 5 which was remedied by the use of a maxview signal booster.
    I was quite supprised to be able to accept freeview but every signal was reading at >60% (mostly 80%+). :clap: What is the usual signal strength percentage before your likely to have issues receiving a picture/sound? The picture quality was quite good and comparable to ntl's imo.
    I have really no need for my NTL box and will now cancel my subscrition to their service and save myself £30 per month :D

    Since freeview is now possible what is the best digibox to go for with a budget of <£100? The one I borrowed was a Panasonic TU-CT30 which seemed to give good picture quality and was easy to use but is many years old now and is probably now superceded. Do freeview boxes exist with two tuners since my TV does not have it's own digital tuner and I'd like to be able to record programes (via a vcr for the time being) while watching another channel?

    I'll be updating my tv in the new year (probably a HD ready 37" LCD) so would probably be looking to get a HD recorder then so do not need to go overboard with connectivety/functionality.If it has a half decent picture and a program planner I'd be more than happy :D

    thanks for any words of wisdom as I'm a complete freeview noob :blush:
     
  11. ROYOLD

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    Check out some of the freeview tuners on this website

    http://www.radioandtelly.co.uk/freeviewreceivers.html

    I also use the maxview signal boosters to receive freeview signals. Have various single boxes but the one I find the most convenient now is to use the Digifusion PVR with twin tuners. Check the PVR's out on the PVR's and VCR's Forum.
     
  12. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I did a bit more research and ended up ordering a HUM-PVR9200T from Hughes :D
    I've never had a pvr before is the quality of recording better than VCR off a digital signal? I hope I made the right choice and haven't opted for a substandard product but time will only tell. There doesn't appear to any stock around either so I'll just have to wait. I liked the fact that you can record two programes at once while still watching something else and a 180 GB HD is plenty to play with.
    I'll cancel my NTL subscription as soon as it arrives and I have set it all up properly but hopefully it'll be fairly user freindly. I wonder how long I'll have to wait for NTL to reclaim their set top box. How long should I wait before I throw it away?
     
  13. Starburst

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    I've just ordered a 9200 as well:)

    It'll record the digital bitstream so the recording will be indentical to the broadcast and with two tuners you have the flexibility to watch and record the digital channels at the same time which is something that will be very important when analogue is gone and a VCR tuner is useless.

    NTL picked my box up when my sub ended (day before actually) so I would expect them to do the same, if they haven't picked it up and the sub has stopped worth giving them a call (freephone so doesn't cost you anything) before you dispose of it, it is their property after all:)
     

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