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Changes to UK Free TV

I have been running this site in my own time since July 2002. After nine years I am considering making some changes.

I have been running this site in my own time since July 2002.
published on UK Free TV

The purpose of the site is to provide independent (from the broadcasters, infrastructure companies and Digital UK) information about the choice people can make to watch free to air television services in the UK.

Having many years of technical, managerial and communications experience - and particularly after seeing at first hand the failure of ONdigital to communicate the technical difficulties - I thought the would be plenty of people who would need straightforward technical digital TV assistance.

When the site launched the only form of "feedback" was a personal email service, but on 7 October 2005, I introduced a direct commenting service. This has on the whole been very successful and popular - over 88,000 comments have been posted since then.

Many people have assisted people from all over the UK and around the world, and these contributions have made the site a lively and helpful place.

However, 28,500 of these posting are mine, and it is taking an increasingly large amount of my time.

In addition, the number of occasions where personal attacks are being launched on me and my professional knowledge, or I have to deal with uninformed and incorrect answers being given to people has increased.

The main upshot of this is that I spend very little time doing the "top line" site tasks, such as writing articles, upgrading the database information, adding in new sections such as the radio transmitter and YouView pages and so forth.

Whilst I appreciate that visitors can reasonably think that "in a democracy we are free to discuss pros, cons and preferences", this site is not a democracy, UK Free TV is my project.

Therefore I am proposing that:

1. Certain sections pages will be closed to further comments. I really do not have the time to spend going round and round in the same loop discussing same things, such as with the tedious digital radio haters. Such discussions add nothing to helping out people with their reception issues and will be moved to a holding page or deleted if they are insulting.

2. Some sections will be pre-moderated. Comments will not appear until I approve them.

3. Off-topic comments will be deleted or moved. For example, questions posted about Freeview reception in Jersey posted on the Winter Hill page. I will normally move them to the general purpose Feedback page.

4. I will then will have the time to improve the resolution and accuracy of the transmitter coverage pages, upgrade the radio transmitters section and provide information about the upcoming local TV, IPTV and YouView.

I will instigate these changes shortly.

Bold indicates changes made from feedback.



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Comments
Friday, 4 March 2011
J
Jaybee
4:50 PM

I have not commented previously on your site but I receive each issue of your newsletter and read and attempt to understand. I am not a digital techie but I appreciate your site.
If people can only contribute with negative replies to your attempts to supply information I do not blame you for taking the steps that you propose.
May you continue to find the time to maintain this site as it does help the majority. Thanks

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Jaybee's 2 posts GB
Saturday, 5 March 2011
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

3:59 PM

Jaybee: Thank you very much for your support.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

4:26 PM

JohnB: Thanks very much.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
I
ian, notts
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

4:31 PM

funded not run! yes but these guys are getting paid for something and doing nothing! been to a customer today and she paid £40 to the bbc (she thinks) for a man to test with a meter and say the signal's not good enough? got me a job (i admit) but he's done nothing to help an oap? i know you don't need to know the answer but wondered who has set this up and how the contracts went out? not impressed with what i've seen of this and i was telling oap's to try this first

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ian, notts's 253 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

4:33 PM

ian, notts: There is no way the BBC would do that. Sounds like someone's ... pretending.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
S
steve
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:33 PM
Wrexham

What Newsletter?

I think what ian.notts's lady had paid for was the help service for digital switching for old/disabled people, which indeed charges £40, payable in advance, to provide "whatever you need" to get Freeview.

If that is a new rooftop high gain and an amp; that is what they should provide. Is that what you provided? And I think they provide satellite if no Freeview possible. It is also an option for £56 instead of £40.

Phone 0800 40 85 912. The old lady should have a 10 digit Customer Reference Number.

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steve's 1,172 posts GB
P
Pete
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:44 PM

Unless of course you are on certain benefits Steve, in which case this help and equipment for some older people service can be free. I seem to recall they indicated it would be free to even more people initially, but then changed their mind and the rules, moving the bar up so to speak. They were also very poor with their knowledge as to why relays only broadcast a limited number of channels (when I asked them), telling me quite incorrectly that it was due to poor reception or obstacles such as trees rather than the real reason which is that most relays only relay a limited number of MUXs compared with the main transmitters, with very few exceptions. I had to tell "them" that when I found out, and it came as a complete surprise to them. So beware.

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Pete's 452 posts GB
P
Pete
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:47 PM

I think this help scheme is, at least part, funded by the BBC ?

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Pete's 452 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

6:51 PM

Pete: It is specifically funded from the Licence Fee, as an "add on", it does not come from BBC funds directly. TV tax on the TV tax | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice has details.

The service should never describe itself as being the BBC as it is legally and very specifically not so.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
S
steve
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:58 PM
Wrexham

IIRC the Switchover Help Scheme is paid for out of the License fee. Which is no longer just for the BBC, so even more clearly a tax.

Totally free is if you are on income related benefits like Income Support.

I know about it because we have a disabled son, who gets it.

So I am setting them on the kitchen TV, which JUST achieves analogue with its wire loop angled at the window that faces the Wrekin. I think they will need a new roof-top ae - 3 stories up. Walls 2 foot thick. Listred. Conservation area!

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steve's 1,172 posts GB
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