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The digital TV switchover – how was it for you?

The vast majority of the UK has now gone through the digital TV switchover, with London being the latest area to make the switch. But how was it for you? We want to hear your switching tales of joy or woe.

There are now just two more regions to switch from analogue to digital TV; Tyne Tees on 12 September and Northern Ireland on 10 October.

But if you’ve already gone through the digital switchover, was it a smooth transition?

Even if you were fully prepared, we know that the constant tuning and retuning of your TV can be a right pain. We’ve heard tales of lost channels, boxes that refuse to work and confusing messages popping up on your TV screens.

Ideally you should now have a vast range of shiny new digital channels with an electronic programme guide showing the next seven days’ TV listings and access to digital teletext and interactive red button services. But was it worth the effort and expense?

The expense of switching to digital

The switchover cost me a fair chunk of cash. I needed a new aerial installed and, because I wanted to benefit from the new HD channels, I lashed out on a new TV and PVR, costing me roughly £1,500 in total.

Setting that lot up and having to retune everything twice was a pain too – and I’m supposed to know what I’m doing. But now it’s all done and dusted, I’m very pleased with what I’ve got and the picture quality on the HD channels blows me away.

Still, although I might be happy with the outcome, I know many of you aren’t. A fifth of the people we asked in our recent survey said they experienced some sort of problem during the switchover, whether it was an older set-top box that stopped working, or they were just annoyed by the incessant retuning.

And although I’m happy with the new programmes at my disposal, it’s easy to feel a bit disappointed with the plethora of shopping channels, repeats and shabby ‘adult’ chat lines that make up much of the additional content on offer.

Anyway, was the digital switchover a hit or a miss? Do you think it was a worthwhile exercise that didn’t cause much trouble, or was it a complete pain in the neck that’s just let a load of dross into your living room?

Comments
Member

@Kermit.

You clearly have a lot of expertise in this area and you have given suggestions which I have found very helpful before – I hope they help Barbara too – but could you tell me, for my benefit (at least initially) whether you have come across other Panasonic problems before like the ones I’m having, where either low power or “super” standby, or switching off / power cuts, cause the apparatus to revert to auto tuning and poor discrimination between signals?

Member
Barbara says:
31 August 2012

Thank you for your responses. I have received and e-mail from Panasonic Care as follows, so, I will wait a while and see.

In response, I would explain that additional Freeview channels were implemented by the BBC as a part of the ‘Red Button’ service during the Olympics.
“We have been made aware that as a result of the recent removal of these additional ‘Red Button’ channels, a number of manufacturer’s Freeview products are unable to receive the BBC channels correctly.
We currently have confirmed reports that our 2010 ‘X Series’ range of Viera TV’s, are effected by this issue, the symptoms being ‘No Signal’ displayed when selecting a BBC channel. This may seem to be corrected by changing to a non-BBC channel and back again, however, the problem reoccurs after a short interval.
We are working closely with the broadcasters to determine the cause of the issues, so that a resolution can be implemented as quickly as possible.”

Member

I’ve owned a lot of Panasonic equipment over the years, largely because it has been high quality, cutting edge and reliable. My only problem was with an old DVD recorder which had a known power supply issue and needed a voltage regulator change (TWICE!). It was an fault with this model only and I’ve always been delighted with their other equipment.

I’ve not encountered any of the problems you’ve had, but this may be because I live in a good exclusive signal area – ie no conflicting signals.

Member
Barbara says:
31 August 2012

“In response, I would explain that additional Freeview channels were implemented by the BBC as a part of the ‘Red Button’ service during the Olympics.
We have been made aware that as a result of the recent removal of these additional ‘Red Button’ channels, a number of manufacturer’s Freeview products are unable to receive the BBC channels correctly.
We currently have confirmed reports that our 2010 ‘X Series’ range of Viera TV’s, are effected by this issue, the symptoms being ‘No Signal’ displayed when selecting a BBC channel. This may seem to be corrected by changing to a non-BBC channel and back again, however, the problem reoccurs after a short interval.
We are working closely with the broadcasters to determine the cause of the issues, so that a resolution can be implemented as quickly as possible.”

Member

Barbara, I would still suggest doing a manual re-tune as explained earlier, as a pre-emptive solution to the problem described by Panasonic. It may be a work-around that works.

Member
Brian Saunders says:
9 September 2012

I have also had problems with my Panasonic Viera TV. Since March, I have been trying to obtain a Cam Module from Panasonic which, they said, would fix my problem of not being able to get the BBC’s Red Button Service, which has been missing since the changeover, It arrived 2 days ago, (September) but this software update hasn’t made any difference all!
Anybody out there got any ideas?

Member
Longley Shopper says:
9 September 2012

I’m glad it isn’t just me that’s having this problem as I generally really like Panasonic equipment and really didn’t want to find I’d got a “Friday afternoon” TV, but how do we solve our problems? Looks like Brian, Barbara and I have all got TV’s from the same range but with different problems, to which Panasonic appear to be only offering ‘none-answers’ (specifically “you’ll have to wait”, “It’s not our problem” and “Leave it switched on all the time”.

Any further ideas Kermit? Anyone else?

Member
Gravesy says:
26 September 2012

Gained some digital channels that we used to have to watch on terrestrial ITV CH4 Ch5 but lost Really, Dave, Pick TV, ITV2+1, CH 4+1 among others. So no further forward to be honest.

Member
Robert says:
26 September 2012

I am now using a Panasonic digital DVD/VHS recorder along with my Panasonic digital TV. I set up the DVD recorder to record something from BBC4 the other night and when I played it back, three quarters of the way through appeared a message on the recording which said something like “a new digital station has been found. Do you want to retune now? Yes or No” As a result the rest of the programme on BBC 4 was terminated at this point and not recorded. Can anyone tell me if this is normal? If so, how can I ever be sure that I will actually record the full length of a future programme without this happening again? This seems most unsatisfactory!