on 21-04-2011 12:41
I have a twenty year old 4:3 CRT TV. Recently, Virgin Media started broadcasting the channels at 16:9, and they squash down to 4:3 on my TV. How can I unsquash them?
My TV has no 'change aspect' option.
I don't have a set top box of any kind, just a cable from wall to TV.
I've heard rumours that you can get a set top box for MK analogue cable.If the rumour is true how do I get one? Can you change aspect using it?
Answered! Go to Answer
on 21-04-2011 14:05
Sadly we are not able to supply you with a set top box. Even if we could supply you with an analogue box you still wouldn't be able to change the display settings in regards tro widescreen issues. Many apologies we coudn't resolve this right now. Hopefully we can upgrade your area in the near future. If/wehn this happens all will be informed.
on 22-04-2011 09:58
What exactly do you mean by upgrading? Do you mean upgrading to digital? Or upgrading the analogue service?
In any case, a major upgrade isn't needed. You simply need to broadcast the signal in a sensible format that looks right on a 4:3 TV.You were, in fact, doing this on some channels a few days ago!
That is, you should be broadcasting in letterbox format. I can put up with black bars, but not with people being compressed to look like stick insects.
I imagine a lot of old fogies like me still have 4:3 TVs - you should be providing them with a proper service *now*, not fobbing people off with a vague suggestion that there might be an upgrade at some unspecified future date.
Why are you not broadcasting in letterbox format? The technical wizards at digital spy say you should be:
on 24-04-2011 11:00
Can I also query why you are now sending squished analogue. Perhaps a decision was taken that most users have 16.9 sets but as I still have a 4.3 I find it annoying to have to watch a squished image and prefer to lose the sides or have it letterboxed. This seems to have happened since the digital changeover date. Please at least find us a proper technical explanation. I pay for this service and was told it would continue as is for now. For anyone who has any interest in image quality this is effectively withdrawing the service.
on 25-04-2011 11:57
Do most users have 16:9 TVs?
4:3 CRTs last forever, and MK analogue cable die-hards are likely to have an 'if it's not broke don't fix it' mentality
It wouldn't surprise me if a majority of MK analogue cable users still had 4:3.
I certainly agree that, for people with 4:3 TVs, VM have effectively 'effectively withdrawn the service' - without warning. Can they legally do that? I'm getting close to contacting ofcom, or my lawyer...
25-04-2011 13:57 - edited 25-04-2011 14:16
Collette - you must be misinformed on the situation in MK. Let me elaborate - analogue set top boxes are required in Milton Keynes to decode the 32 channels available on the MK Cable network. This is in addition to the 5 terrestrials provided by direct hook up to the television. If customers require access to more than the first 5 channels, a fee of 4 pound is the basic option, rising upwards depending on package of channels chosen.
It used to be the case that only the old Luton call centre knew about the product codes for the MK area, but when it closed down, the staff with the knowledge were laid off. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find VM staff with this knowledge now, but that shouldn't be acceptable.
You can clearly see a customer using a Virgin set top box on the MK cable in this video at the bottom of this link: http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2011/04/04/bt-and
I can confirm I pay a subscription, and have a analogue cable box installed - the same as that in the video above! I get E4, 4Music, CNN, Sky News, BBC News, Universal Channel, MTV, VH1, Film4, Nickelodeon, Sky1, QVC, Dave, Eurosport, and others..
Do any VM staff know the right product codes for ordering correctly in MK please?
PS: For the first time, my widescreen tv is showing the cable channels from the set top box in 16:9. Brilliant - except not all channels have been set to output in 16:9 - hence some have thick black borders/letterbox. That does need changing - at least they should be consistent? Perhaps as BT run the thing, they have been meddling in some way / trying to get us to to choose BT Vision??? (no chance here - phonelines don't tend to go higher than 1 meg speed if your lucky so BT vision is impossible to order)
However, I do feel for those still with 4:3 sets as they have no option but an out of proportion picture!
on 25-04-2011 14:00
What are you needing to order ?
25-04-2011 17:30 - edited 25-04-2011 17:41
i'm not needing to order anything as I already enjoy virgin cable with set top box in MK.
Anyway, in the 'self-help' spirit of things on this forum .. here is my contribution to the good old folk of MK:
VIRGIN MEDIA MILTON KEYNES PRICING & PACKS
1) Basic channels bbc1, bbc2, ITVx2, Ch4, ch5, BBC news24, E4, Universal and QVC are available by simply plugging your tv into the 'aerial' socket that terminates the cable.
All the additional channels as mentioned above + others are only available using a set top box on the VM starter+ package. AS1STR3 is the VM product code for Milton Keynes.
Ask for an upgrade to this service which costs £4pm, no - not on top of the £4pm you already pay just £4pm for the whole lot. DO NOT ask for 'installation' they'll likely charge you an installation fee. This service is not advertised and not mentioned anywhere on VM's web site.
Channel names may have changed since this list was made!
ADDITONAL CHANNEL LIST & PREMIUMS - AS OF 2009 !
Milton Keynes Aerial only (£4)
Starter Plus Pack – requires a STB (also £4) - AS1STR3 is the VM product code
All the channels in Standard Cable Pack, plus:
BBC News Channel
Discovery Home & Leisure
TV Travel Shop
1 add-on pack: £5.00
2 add-on packs: £8.00
3 add-on packs: £11.00
4 add-on packs: £13.00
Music and Youth Pack
Men and Motors* CEASED
Sky One * BACK ON PLATFORM BUT NOT IN BASIC/STARTER PACK!
News and Documentary Pack
The History Channel
Add Sky Sports 1, 2 and 3 for £19
Adult Collection (TVX + The Adult Chnl)
Film Four - NOW FREE ADD ON AS PART OF BASIC BASIC LINE UP = ONLY ON REQUEST
Free on request
The Adult Channel
on 25-04-2011 18:20
I will try and find out from our engineers why the broadcast has changed and what the reason for the change is?
I will update this thread as soon as I have a response?
on 26-04-2011 11:46
Colette says I can't have an analogue box :-(
Why not - I'm paying the same as mkgirly, why does she get a better service?
Mkgirly - can you alter the aspect ratio of the images shown on your TV through the STB?
Was the STB free?