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TV: Where's it going?

Cardiffman282
Super solver

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).
21 REPLIES 21

More on Freely here with pictures of EPG, Miniguide:

https://rxtvinfo.com/2024/freely-interface-in-pictures/

Freely features revealed include: 

  • MiniGuide – A new feature for the free TV experience, this pop-up interface appears each time users switch channels, creating a seamless browsing experience and enabling viewers to easily discover related live or on demand content. Audiences can also take advantage of features such as restart, pause and access to more episodes from live TV. 
  • Browse – Viewers will be able to press the Freely button on their remote to explore recommended live and on demand programming from Britain’s leading broadcasters and free-to air channels, all in one place. 
  • TV Guide – Bringing simplicity and familiarity, this 7-day guide provides relevant information and is easily recognisable thanks to its consistency across all Freely TVs and one-touch access via the ‘Guide’ button on the remote. Audiences can also discover more episodes and on demand content linked to the live TV shows they are enjoying, all via the TV Guide.

Thanks again unisoft. That clever interlinking of live and OD will be a game changer for me. 

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

That Manhattan looks good, however can only record 2 channels and watch one. 

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Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

Isn't Freely going to be the same as VM's Pay TV over XGS-PON, i.e. there will be very limited recording facility with a lot of channels directing you to their apps (like BBC iPlayer) and several channels with neither apps nor being recordable. As a techie I understand why everyone is going towards IPTV but not being able to record all channels as we've been able to do for decades will be a drawback for many.

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

MrHalfAsleep
Community elder

A bit doom mode; the answer to the question being nowhere.

So it's a lot of faffing about and a new TV (cash grab) for no real reason (why bother with the digital switchover in the 1st place?).  Old TV's/monitors (both flatpanels and CRT's) and computers in landfill (not very green; not to mention all the old Freeview sets that are still in the shops/ebay etc) and the whole leccy grid destroyed by solar flares.  No good if you can't watch anything and your CBDC fails.  The next two decades are gonna be fun!


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Yeah it's a fair point rarely made on here. We do try and physically exhaust the kit we have including a "mend and make do" approach to most of our things. Few things frustrate me more than the increasingly pervasive obsolescence by design. 

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).

Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

I know what you mean and I'd had my kit for ages but when my plasma TV suddenly gave up the ghost in 2021 I went on a spending spree to get myself up-to-date: TV, AV receiver and blu-ray player which all supported UHD and all flavours of HDR plus 5.1.2 (meaning surround sound with Dolby Atmos speakers). I was lucky enough to afford this and won't be doing any more upgrades for a long time.

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

Cardiffman282
Super solver

Coming back to an old thread given that my current TV aerial is definitely on its last legs now.

Trying to vaguely keep an open mind towards the VM 360 box (yes I have read the threads bemoaning it) I can get it with the basic Mixit for £35 activation plus £5/m. I assume that this is standard existing customer pricing. My query is, in weighing it up among my other options already mentioned in the thread, do these fees cover off the likely need for a new cable to be run to my living room where the main TV is please? Would the engineer do some sort of spur arrangement with a new coax cable coming from the Omnibox to the living room wall? I am well out of date on how VM TV works.

Thanks. 

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 again @Cardiffman282 

If you do decide to go for the TV360 with Mixit TV then if you don't currently have a TV service with VM it will be classed as an upgrade and should be a free installation, and you would agree with the engineer/tech where you want the cabling to run.  I 'upgraded' from V6 to TV360 and prefer the 360, unlike a number of people on the forums that miss some of the Tivo registered functions that aren't on the 360. I didn't use all the bells and whistles available on the V6 so didn't miss them. 

Since your current TV aerial is on it's last legs then depending on what the freeview signal is like where you live it might be an idea to try out an indoor TV aerial. They don't have to be expensive, and if you buy one from Amazon you should be able to return it and get a refund if it isn't suitable.

An indoor aerial should also work with the soon to be released (end of April/begiining of May) /manhattan-t4r-tv-recorder  if you are still wanting to record programs.

What is the signal strength like on your Samsung TV? It might be better than your Humax?

In your original post on this thread you mentioned that your street is imminently being upgraded to Xgs-pon so it might be worthwhile also looking at VM's Stream offering. OK, it's TV over IP and has no direct recording facilities, but it has most of the apps and catch up services needed, and also has cloud recording. It's currently only one box per household and doesn't need the coaxial so it can be moved from room to room. 

You can compare the TV channels available on the Stream box <here> (the ones in column 2 are for the Essential TV addon which is currently £15 per month (less 10% bill credit) with the Mixit tier, column 1 <here> 

The Stream box runs the same Horizon software and interface as the TV360 except for the recording function, but also offers at least 10% credit back on selected entertainment subscriptions that you add to Stream - see /virginmedia.com/tv/stream 

It might be an idea to "test" the Stream box for a month or so as you aren't tied into an 18 month contract with it, and see what you think of the Horizon interface before deciding whether to go with the 360.

 

Dave
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Blimey Dave you don't do things by half with your replies. Excellent as usual. Will do some further research. 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).