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[personal profile] williamjm
I've just finished retuning my Freeview (for non-Brits, that's the digital terrestrial TV service) box to restore half the channels that disappeared today. This wasn't a surprise since they've been showing warning messages that it would happen for a few days (apparently they're moving some of the channel frequencies around to be able to fit HD channels in), but I think doing the retuning was much less straightforward than it should have been. I initially tried just going through the setup menus to try to find a way to do it, in my opinion any relatively simple piece of consumer electronics should be possible to set up most of the time just from the on-screen menu, but despite selecting the update channels button it didn't decide to do anything useful. I then consulted the Freeview website where they've helpfully put up instructions for lots of different makes of Freeview box but, inevitably, not the model I have and although there were other Philips models their instructions referred to menu options I didn't have. The instructions for the other Philips models did suggest resetting the channel list completely, so I found my copy of the instruction manual and looked up how to do that. The steps were so intuitive I'm not sure how I didn't figure it out myself, apparently I had to switch off the power to the box then turn it back on while pressing the + key on the box, waiting until a red light appeared then releasing the + key, then press the + key again, wait until a second red light appears and then type 9900 on the remote control then wait for a minute and a screen will come up offering to scan for channels. This did work, and I now have all the channels again (and the quality of the reception seems to be improved a bit for some of them), but I do think the steps I had to go through were a bit ridiculous. Given that they thought resetting the channel list was a common enough thing to do that they devoted an entire page of the manual to it, surely they could have added it to the setup menu instead of forcing the user to type in obscure codes.

Getting the channels back probably isn't hugely important to be honest, given the dearth of decent programs on the additional Freeview channels, the biggest loss would have been Channel 5 and I rarely watch that (although given that I started watching the reasonably promising-looking Flash Forward on Monday on 5, it would have been a bit annoying to lose that now.

Date: 2009-10-01 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kalorlo.livejournal.com
Wow. For our box, I'm pretty sure there's just a menu option to rescan. Owain did it when I wasn't looking :p

Our channel list was a huge mess afterwards, though - full of empty channels just saying 'This channel has moved to...' Hopefully it'll be tidied up by now.

Date: 2009-10-01 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] williamjm.livejournal.com
There was a "Scan for new channels" menu option which was the first thing I tried (several times), but it didn't seem to find anything.

One advantage of resetting the channel list was that everything did appear in the correct order afterwards, I suspect that if I'd just added the new channels (and it had worked) then there might be still a zombie Channel 5 as the fifth channel and the real Channel 5 at the end of the channel list. It also meant that new channels that have appeared over the past few years like Virgin 1 are now in a more reasonable place rather than at channel 804 as it used to be.

Date: 2009-10-01 09:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peadarog.livejournal.com
Go on, give it a good kick! You'll feel better afterwards...

Date: 2009-10-01 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] williamjm.livejournal.com
It's too late now, the correct time to give it a kick is before it has been fixed. If I did it now the satisfaction of it might be outweighed by the fear that it might break things again ;)

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