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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
Profile photo of dave d
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.”

Profile photo of kermit
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.”

Profile photo of kermit
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!

Profile photo of dave d
Member

Yes, I had same problem both on Sunday evening and on Tuesday evening of this week. And despite re-tuning both times I got the same message again last night (but wasn’t trying to record then).

Digital is a pile of pants.

Member
james says:
22 November 2012

i have a sony tv and sony dvd recorder with latest software update.after my last retune my recorder ,s guide lost all bbc channels and a lot of other channels;i,m left with about a dozen channels i can record;also my tv has downloaded a lot of rubbish channels, which i think are porn.i have tried everything i know to fix this problem without success.any help would be appreciated. james

Profile photo of william
Member

I wonder how many people here will be affected or know someone who is when 4G finally gets rolled out, I guess there’s not long to wait now.

See https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/4g-digital-tvsignal-interference/

Member
bess says:
2 October 2012

my panasonic viera worked perfectly on digital but now i get nothing. used menu button to make sure that software is up to date, which it is. tthe tv guide screen tells me it is 10th jan 2013, but no other information. a search reveals absolutely no channels and neither does the system update, other tan the software is up to date. please help

Member
Jacquie says:
4 October 2012

I live in NI and our switchover is happening on 10th and 24th October. I have two elderly parents and this has been a nightmare for them and a bigger one for me trying to sort them out. They signed up to the help scheme, which have turned out to be hopeless, it is only to sort out the bedroom TV and the reception is very bad. They have to come back any day now to attempt to set them up again! I havent even attempted to sort out my own upstairs TV as I am sick to death of it. Now I have to go up to their house on both dates early before I go to work to retune their downstairs tv, as they cannot comprehend that. Mum records a lot and doesnt seem to understand that this will not work after the switchover. So wish me luck for the next few weeks because I may end up in an asylum 🙁

Member

Following the retune on 17th October, my Goodmans GDR10 keeps recycling to “You must retune your box now – press OK to retune”. Press OK, and it re-installs the channels, then a few seconds later returns to the “You must….. ” screen. I’ve tried resetting it through the menus, turned it off at the plug, but so for not found anything that works. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Buying a new box is an expense I’d rather avoid, especially since one reason for buying this one was its RF output.
Not happy at present.
K

Profile photo of kermit
Member

It you’ve re-tuned it since 17 Oct, you don’t need to do it again. Ignore future prompts and just cancel them.

Profile photo of dave d
Member

@ Kermit and KS – the problem KS describes is exactly the one I get with my Panasonic TV and DVD recorder.

It’s no use saying “Ignore future prompts and just cancel them.” I’m afraid, because (at least on my Panasonic set) as soon as you try to change channel you get a black screen, no sound and cannot get any channel, even the one you just ‘left’ until you DO retune, yet again.

It’s most frustrating, especially when it happens multiple times per day as K S says.

Do you have any further thoughts or advice Kermit?

Member
james says:
21 November 2012

since the final digital retune ,my sony recorders guide drops most of the channels when it is turned of,all the software on my recorder is up to-date;my tv is also sony;anyone have any ideas on how to solve this problem.

Profile photo of dave d
Member

I’ve finally got some joy with my Panasonic kit: a fellow allotment holder has Panasonic tv and DVD equipment too, bought from an independent tv dealer in the area. Turns out the dealer is the authorised Panasonic service agent for South Yorks. I contacted said dealer who said most channel updates are for the “adult” channels ….. I.e. porn. They suggested I removed these channels from my OSG and told me how to. I did this and now, 3weeks on, I’ve not seen a retune message or had a black screen since!

Hope it continues!!!!!

Member
Keith says:
11 December 2012

I keep getting this infuriating message popping up on the screen. ‘A new dvd service has been found. If you OK this you will lose all recorded programmes etc.etc.’ not wanting this I click no and it disappears . How do I stop this message from appearing. The owner’s hand book does not provide an answer and is far too complicated.

Member
Arty lee says:
5 May 2015

Under this new change over as iam disabled I was supposed to get a free free view box and areil however yes I got a free view box but I never had an outside areil which was agreed to under the grant even after phoning and having engineers out twice I still never had an areil put in and still have a fuzzy picture as I have a disability that can make me bed bound and I have no out side areil socket in the bedroom though I do have areil down stairs yet I still can’t watch TV up stairs I have tried calling again but the line is closed I have emailed the bbc every month for nearly six months and nothing so the change over for me was a nightmare and still is

Member
Arty lee says:
5 May 2015

Would be greatfull for any advice as I have looked into having areil installed but I can’t afford it at all