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TV: Where's it going?

Cardiffman282
Knows their stuff

I ditched VM TV many moons ago and use Freeview via a rooftop aerial and a vintage Humax box plus apps (BBC, Now, Disney) on my 6 year old smart TV.

I admit to being behind the curve on where TV is going. My decade old aerial seems a bit knackered as the Humax signal strength now maxes at about 3/10. The Humax box has seen better days and takes a good minute to boot up. The Samsung TV is okay but is now 6 years old. My street is also imminently being upgraded to Xgs-pon (with OR probably 2 years off). 

So what should I be looking at for the next 5-10 years? Just replace old with new? Consider streaming sticks like Amazon /VM? Are cloud TV boxes a thing? Just stick with premium TV apps? 

Cheers. 

 

I'm not a Very Insightful Person (just a little bit, sometimes). I don't work for Virgin Media (but then nor do any of the offshore customer service agents).
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Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

Pay TV works for me as I watch the premium stuff, but if you're happy enough with Freeview (no UHD or HDR) and some apps then here's what I think. Get a decent recorder, it seems as if the Humax Aura ticks all the boxes. Should there be a problem with the aerial, which should show up with a new box, then get it fixed. If you've got the budget then upgrade to a UHD TV which has the apps you want but, even if it doesn't have all of them, then I can recommend the Fire TV Stick 4K Max which has all the apps you'd want and it supports all versions of HDR as well.

However if you want Pay TV again then VM should work well for you. A word of warning: XGS-PON means currently no TV and when it comes it will probably be like the limited Sky Stream, so get your 360 box now.

--
Hub 5, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, 360
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM hub 5 broadband connection

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Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

Pay TV works for me as I watch the premium stuff, but if you're happy enough with Freeview (no UHD or HDR) and some apps then here's what I think. Get a decent recorder, it seems as if the Humax Aura ticks all the boxes. Should there be a problem with the aerial, which should show up with a new box, then get it fixed. If you've got the budget then upgrade to a UHD TV which has the apps you want but, even if it doesn't have all of them, then I can recommend the Fire TV Stick 4K Max which has all the apps you'd want and it supports all versions of HDR as well.

However if you want Pay TV again then VM should work well for you. A word of warning: XGS-PON means currently no TV and when it comes it will probably be like the limited Sky Stream, so get your 360 box now.

--
Hub 5, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, 360
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM hub 5 broadband connection

Thank you very much Roger. Appreciate it. 

I'm not a Very Insightful Person (just a little bit, sometimes). I don't work for Virgin Media (but then nor do any of the offshore customer service agents).

Adduxi
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

@Cardiffman282   I dropped VM TV a long time ago and have used a Humax 4000T Freeview box ever since.  Can record up to 4 channels whilst watching a 5th.  I also have an Apple TV box for streaming when needed.  I usually only dip in and out of things like Now, Netflix etc. when they are showing something I want to watch.  So it's good you can do this and not be tied into long contracts.  I used to use a Fire stick but had trouble with some of the apps, so dumped it.

I intend to keep my "old school" TV aerial viewing for as long as it is in existence ....  🙂

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Thanks Adduxi. Yeah we do something similar and dip in and out of the various streaming services depending on offers and what's on. We have Now Entertainment for £1/ 9 months which is difficult to beat. We also like reading so TV isn't everything. 👍📖📺

I'm not a Very Insightful Person (just a little bit, sometimes). I don't work for Virgin Media (but then nor do any of the offshore customer service agents).

For non-subscription services, "FREELY" coming out this year can be likened to Freesat + Freeview but delivered by IP for core channels at launch and others coming on board over time. The TVs boot into Freely middleware by default (so not an app), and have a familiar EPG for linear channels as well as catchup services integrated.

The TVs coming out from Hisense this year followed by other manufacturers later (2025), will be hybrid, in that they will support IP Only, IP + Freesat, IP + Freeview depending on TV model purchased. It can transparently use existing Sat or Aerial if the service isn't yet delivered by IP or broadband is not working and the service exists on the other platform.

Other TV makes will come on board later in the year, and set top boxes will no doubt be available but probably not until 2025. Catch up services are integrated into Freely without need for apps. The TV itself will support apps so likes of subscription services like Disney, Netflix and Now will still be available (although NOW TV itself may be discontinued by Sky as they want to push Sky Stream now and will depend upon the numbers).

Eventually after 2030 (and TBA, but Ofcom issuing license renewals operating until 2034) Freesat will go, Sky will want rid of Satellite due to cost, and then Freeview. A lot depends on FTTP rollout before Freeview can go. Before then though, I can imagine a migration where HD channels that exist will have their SD part turned off to save on costs. Potentially, when a number go this may open up a few more HD channels until switch off but all depends on how things go.

The World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-23) confirmed this year, that frequencies will continue to be available for DTT (Freeview) beyond 2030. The ongoing use of 600MHz frequencies will be reviewed in 2031, which could affect DTT use by 2040.

For those on Virgin, the Stream box is good unless you absolutely need the ability to do your own recordings and not rely on catchup services. TV over IP will also be VM's ultimate goal at some point (and is required anyway on new XGS-PON network as DVB-C is not carried for v6/TV360). Depending on VM's strategy, recording may be added at some stage to the current VM Stream box or a future model or even not at all like today.

Adduxi
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

Unless I can record tv to watch later, I wouldn’t be interested. I’ll hang on to my aerial to the end 😊

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Blimey unisoft! That is a magisterial round up of where things are going TV-wise. Really good point on Freely. I did see a brief update on it but things are still so sketchy on it that it didn't really register at the time. As you also say VM's Stream is an interesting proposition and one I'd imagine LG is devoting most of its TV development resources to as it aggressively expands Xgs-pon. I'm with Adduxi on still wanting to record stuff so might hold out for some sort of dream team Freely / Humax box combo offer. Interesting thread. Thanks everyone for your time. 

I'm not a Very Insightful Person (just a little bit, sometimes). I don't work for Virgin Media (but then nor do any of the offshore customer service agents).

newapollo
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

Hi @Cardiffman282 

If you are thinking alomg the lines of a Freely / Humax box combo then you should read about the 

/manhattan-t4r-recorder-coming-april/ 

Dave
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Nice spot Dave! Sounds like it is indeed being prepped for Freely. Interesting times. 

I'm not a Very Insightful Person (just a little bit, sometimes). I don't work for Virgin Media (but then nor do any of the offshore customer service agents).