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All posts by MJ Ray

Below are all of MJ Ray's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.


trevorjharris: I didn't know that. At worst, not all of the EPG is encrypted and it's a fairly easy one to work around, but it is still rather annoying that the BBC make it unnecessarily difficult for people to build their own receivers.

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Mike Davison: It seems a bizarre anachronism that the government is still allowed to constrain what is basically a way of listening to magnetic waves and I don't think that it's a good basis for support of the TV Licence. I feel it's far better to argue that the public service broadcasting we have is better than what we'd have otherwise.

trevorjharris: Road Tax was abolished in the 1930s, although some motorists keep calling car tax (actually Vehicle Excise Duty) by that name to try to trick people into thinking that they have some greater claim on the roads than people who choose not to use cars.

And I don't think Sky got where it was because the market couldn't support multiple providers. Look at what happened in other nearby countries - in most cases, multiple satellite subscription providers until Sky either spread to them (Italy, Germany, Austria) or there was consolidation to strengthen against Sky (France, Spain, maybe Poland currently). Northern/North-eastern Europe still seemed to have competition (often Viasat and one other) last I checked, but little in the way of free-to-air services. But I agree with you that BT is using subscription TV to prop up the old monopoly's increasingly weak internet/phone offer.

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Briantist: I knew there was something odd with the Freesat EPG, but not with the Freeview one... or did trevorjharris have his Free-s mixed up?

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MikeB: recording is nothing theft from a shop, because even when someone has recorded something off the TV or iplayer, the original is still there. The "recording is theft" argument was pretty comprehensively lost when it was used about taping off of the radio decades ago, wasn't it?

The really crazy thing with the BBC's attitude at the moment is that if you hook up a USB DVB device, you can just record the broadcast off-air to disk, yet to get it off of iplayer, they try to make you use the BBC's dodgy software instead of something like get_iplayer that has been peer-reviewed (and which I've been using for a few years because BBC's player isn't available for any computers in this house and even if it was, I'm not sure I'd trust it).

I can understand if the BBC wants to try to limit geographic access somehow, to satisfy production companies who might have only sold a show to the BBC for UK consumption, but after free-to-air broadcast, the control-freakery of "you may only have 1 copy for N days" seems misplaced.

The BBC's needless obstruction of non-BBC innovation is maybe the second biggest negative of today's BBC after Capita TV Licensing.

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Detailed comparison Freeview/Sky
Sunday 29 June 2014 1:17PM

@mrnonsense - almost none. I think BT Sports whole funding model is based on encouraging people to sign up for BT Broadband. In fact, I can't see how to subscribe without also getting either BT's awful broadband service or one of Sky's awful television receivers. I'm surprised this forced bundling hasn't attracted regulators' attention yet. I guess they're just so desperate to have some other subscription service besides Sky.

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We're currently getting Norfolk on 719 and Cambridge on 722, both from Sandy Heath on 522MHz.

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All DAB transmitters
Tuesday 15 September 2015 6:05PM

It looks like Radio X may be on the D1 national multiplex and Gold returns to the local slots occupied by Xfm.

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Details of Gold DAB radio station
Tuesday 15 September 2015 6:07PM

Gold seems to be returning to many DAB local multiplexes in the slots previously occupied by Xfm (which seems to be replaced by Radio X on a national multiplex).

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Details of Gold DAB radio station
Wednesday 16 September 2015 3:21PM

On-air announcements are telling people to retune their DAB sets to get Gold in "Reading, Basingstoke, Norwich, Kent and the South Coast" - which doesn't really explain how my Peterborough-based set is getting it again.

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Seems to be DAB+ from Peterborough. Blooming useless Pure radios can't be upgraded unless you use Windows or OS X, though.

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