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Thousands Scots face Freeview blackout after signal change

RAB - P

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THOUSANDS of Scottish telly viewers have had their programmes blacked out without warning.

Bosses at Freeview decided to bring in a new transmitter signal which doesn't work on several types of set-top boxes.

But many Scots didn't have a clue about the change - until their screens went blank.

It's believed that around 16,000 Scots who get their telly through Freeview are now saddled with useless boxes. One of them, Campbell Bosanquet, 61, of Aberdeen, said: "I was flicking through the channels when my box just stopped working.

"I find it absolutely incredible that they can just change the signal without announcing it."

Freeview admitted that at least four types of box - the Daewoo DS608P, the Labgear DTT100, the Triax DVB 2000T and the Portland DP100 - can't receive the new transmitter signal.

Two types of combined Freeview boxes and VCRs, the Daewoo SV900 and Bush IDVCR01, are also affected.

And engineers say the change could affect some TVs which have Freeview built in.

Millions of viewers signed up for Freeview on the promise that they would be guaranteed TV for life.

But because of the transmitter change, an estimated 200,000 people across the UK will have to shell out for new set-top boxes.

And an insider at one leading box maker admitted that some of the useless old boxes could still be sitting on shop shelves.

The source said: "Whole batches of obsolete boxes might have been bought from manufacturers years ago and there's no way of telling if they will keep popping up."

Digital TV expert Pete Carlson, of consumer website Radio and Telly, slammed Freeview for their handling of the change.

He said: "It's been hard enough getting people to switch over to digital TV. Now people are being asked to bin equipment that's only a couple of years old.

"Viewers have a right to be both angry and confused. How were they meant to know?

"It's possible to flash a message up on screen to warn viewers about changes. You have to wonder why this wasn't done."

Freeview said they changed the transmitter signal to allow them to carry more channels and interactive features. They believe that only one per cent of set-top boxes have been blacked out by the move.

The new signal is being introduced in stages across the UK. Scotland was switched over on Tuesday.

A Freeview spokeswoman said: "It has been necessary to carry out some network enhancements.

"Unfortunately, as a result, some older boxes will stop working."

A spokeswoman for broadcasting regulator Ofcom said: "We are aware that some viewers are experiencing less than a reliable service and are monitoring the situation."

Freeview

The obsolete boxes that Freeview said they know of are the:

Daewoo DS608P

Labgear DTT100

Triax DVB 2000T

Portland DP100
 
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mapman

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i read this today would they be liable for the old boxes not working ,what do you think.
dont know anyone whos box went down but its only ferrview after all ,but if you got one and it does not work because of them should they replace it???
 

RAB - P

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asda are doing there own brand freeview box for a tenner.

don't see freview paying for replacements but they should after all it was them that moved the goalposts.
 
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mapman

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it is out of order if they fook it up they sould replace ,all i can say thank fook my one stayed up and running .
good post any way. forgot untill i seen your post.:Cheers:
 

DOOBIE

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Some old boxes not working anymore thats awful ,they say its only 1 percent then they should replace it for the people that have got them.
my old nokia on digi box still works so just how bad are these new digi boxes are they the ones that are the proper cheap and nasty ones or are they "premium" boxes that dont work anymore ? you would be angy as fook if you had a telly with it built in and it now didnt work