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HenryQ
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Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

VM wrote to me the other day saying my current cable box will soon no longer be supported. They offered a free TiVo box as a replacement (yes free!).

The technician came round this morning (a day late, but that's another story). He was very pleasant and seemed knowledgeable but, after an hour, couldn't get the TiVo box to relay any TV channels to my digital TV (a Samsung).

In desperation, he disconnected the HDMI cable and connected an old SCART cable instead. That worked.

So, now I now have a brand new TiVo box (with all sorts of bells and whistles which I don't need) but with poor picture quality. To get HDMI again will involve my buying a new TV. Admittedly, my Samsung TV is over 10 years old, but there was nothing in VM's letter to warn me that the new box would only work with SCART, not HD.

I'm stuck because the mechanic took my old cable box (which worked!!) away with him.

If I do buy a new TV, does anyone have any advice as to what to go for. My current Samsung is 32" and all we use it for is to watch TV. (Old fashioned, I know)

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Message 2 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

Sounds like a faulty TiVo or (less likely) a faulty HDMI port on the telly.

Given the OLD box worked over HDMI (I assume) , if the NEW doesn't, its likely knackered. Thats as long as you are confident the TV accepts 1080i.

 

 

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HenryQ
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Message 3 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

Not a faulty TiVo - the mechanic today tried two different boxes. Neither worked.

VM have simply misled me. My old box worked fine, but VM (not me!) wanted to replace it. I am now stuck with SCART unless I fork out hundreds of pounds on a new TV.

Even so, how can I be sure that the wretched VM signals will even talk to any new TV that I decide to buy?

Just to give you an idea of how childish VM has now become, the accompanying leaflet describes the back button as a "Clever little way to navigated back". I am not joking. Clever? Little?

VM has obviously been taken over by ten-year-old idiots. Why not write instructions clearly and properly?

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cje85
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Message 4 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

Any new TV should work with HDMI. Despite its age I'm surprised your current TV isn't working with the new box. Do you know the exact model of the TV?

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Message 5 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

How did the OLD box connect to the TV?

For the record its not strictly that VM WANT you to have a new box- its simple necessity. The HD and HD+ boxes are about to stop working.

 

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HenryQ
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Message 6 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

To answer the above two questions:

TV is a 32" Samsung LE32R74BD:

Before VM Mechanic arrived, it was connected to the old VM box, via HDMI, and working fine.

Then:

1. Mechanic arrived with new cable box.
2. He unplugged the HDMI plug from the old box and plugged it into the new one (ditto power supply).
3. He synchronised the new Remote with the Samsung TV.
4. He switched on the new cable box and various set-up processes kicked off (i.e. the new box was able to talk to the Samsung TV over HDMI and, from a distance, I reckon it was downloading updates - i.e. HDMI connection definitely working).
5. The set-up appeared to complete without error.
6. But, after the set-up finished, TV channels refused to play. Instead, there as an error message on the TV screen saying the connection wasn't working and to phone 150.
7, Technician tried a different HDMI cable - but still no good.

Mechanic then got a second cable box out of the van and repeated the above process. Same problem. The cable box could set itself up OK (via HDMI) but couldn't get any TV channels.

Eventually, Mechanic tried my old SCART cable. TV channels immediately played OK. So, Bingo! I've now got TV again, but not HD.

 

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Message 7 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

Sounds like the HDCP handshake is failing.

Known fault with that model...

https://forums.digitalspy.com/discussion/1025519/samsung-tv-skyhd-problems

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HenryQ
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Message 8 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

Hmm. Your link doesn't make good reading - but it does look like my Samsung TV was never properly compatible, despite being advertised, at the time, as "HD Ready".

What's odd is that HDMI worked with my old VM box on HDMI, but not with the new one. With the old VM box, I remarked to my wife - when the HD channels started to come online - that I couldn't see any difference. But then, I am getting on and my eyesight is a bit deficient now. Whereas, in fact, it looks like my Samsung TV was mis-sold as being fully HD ready.

So, it looks like I'll need a new TV if I want HD. But certainly never again a Samsung!! Too late now to chase them for false advertising, but they are definitely to be steered well clear of.

Can anyone recommend a decent 32" manufacturer - not Samsung?

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Message 9 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

On the plus side a 32 inch full HD is likely to be cheap as chips now.

Personally I like LG

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-and-home-entertainment/televisions/televisions/lg-32lm6300pla-32-sm...

With Black Friday coming up, you can likely get an equivalent set even cheaper. Just make sure its got free-view HD.

 

 

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HenryQ
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Message 10 of 16
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Re: Is this the most expensive "free!" cable box in history?

Thanks for the recommendation. We are off to the shops tomorrow.

BTW, I was surprised that Virgin Media's mechanic didn't leave us with any instructions on how to use the new TiVo box. Not all the buttons are that obvious. Why didn't he leave some information?

Anyway, I've just done a search and have found an on-line 40-page manual. VM's mechanic didn't even mention it existed, let alone leave us a copy.

As you might imagine, the manual if full of irritations - "Get stuck in", "The TV you love", "snuggle up", "you are in for a treat", "cheeky little shortcuts".

I am not joking. This is the kind of drivel one has to wade through. They simply have no idea what a negative impression their childishness gives.

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