View Full Version : freeview box strange behaviour

26th Aug 2013, 20:06
my freeview box, which is used to provide a signal for a vhs video recorder, has recently started to change channels for itself. Most annoying. It doesn't seem to matter what channel it is left playing in the evening, by the morning it has invariably changed to Skynews channel by the morning. A real pain if you want to record something on the timer.

Any idea why it has started to do this and/or how I might stop it?

The box is a cheapo Dreamax we have had for about 18 months.



tony draper
26th Aug 2013, 20:28
Digital stuff does mysterious things,try unplugging it from the mains ie yank the mains from the socket or unplug the power supply from the unit, dont just switch it off,give a few seconds power it up again and retune it or if it has the menu option of first time install let it do that, reload the freeview channel,if that doesn't work disconnect it altogether pick it up and throw it in yer recycling bin,buy a newun they's cheap enough.
I recommend the Humax HD freeview one it gives you the four freeview High Def channels as well, if your budget runs to it the Humax with a hard disk recorder beats the poo out of a VCR.

26th Aug 2013, 20:39
My freesat box - same thing but fed by a pie-dish contraption on the roof - brings me nothing but repeats on BBC1 and BBC2. Is this normal ?

26th Aug 2013, 20:41
That's BBC1 and BBC2 for you.:E


26th Aug 2013, 20:43
Go to the setup menu, select 'revert to factory default' or similar, then re-scan for your local stations.
If that doesn't provide a solution then you may have to invest in something better.

26th Aug 2013, 20:46
you may have to invest in something better

Like a good book, for example. I recommend anything by Michael Connelly.

26th Aug 2013, 21:10
As a relative yoof, I got hold of a couple of primitive TV zappers, and went round the TV rental shops in the local high street (Remember they used to leave sets on all night?) Through the glass, turned them all to whatever was the noisiest channel (Usually ITV iirc) and volume up to full.
What fun...

Seriously, might someone be playing silly b=gers?

west lakes
26th Aug 2013, 21:23
Impact Maintenance

Big hammer, will kill or cure it! :E

27th Aug 2013, 07:39
Possibly dodgy PSU causing a reset (or maybe mains interference?)

27th Aug 2013, 07:48
my freeview box, which is used to provide a signal for a vhs video recorderHow many people still use those?

27th Aug 2013, 09:27
I'm not being funny, can you still buy VHS tapes?

27th Aug 2013, 09:36
You can in most 3rd world countries and they still rent out
tapes as well as flogging off blank ones when you can find
them. DVD is catching on but VHS is still quite popular.

27th Aug 2013, 09:44
I'm not being funny, can you still buy VHS tapes?

A quick google shows that Maplin still sells them.

27th Aug 2013, 09:48
Never mind the tapes, I need a VHS player for all my old recordings.

27th Aug 2013, 10:34
Amazon has several VHS recorders on sale


27th Aug 2013, 10:38
How long before CDs, DVDs and BluRay are superseded by something else?
Remember laser discs??

This is why I am reticent about committing all my photographs to digital media.

After I am gone, the photographs that date back to the early 20th Century will remain viewable, and anyone discovering them will be able to riffle through them and decide what is worth keeping and 'archiving', whereas a pile of CDs/DVDs or flash drives could contain anything (or nothing of value) and will require suitable equipment to view.
Already I have computer hard drives that contain photographs that present difficulty in accessing as the standards have moved on.

8 inch and 14 inch Winchester hard discs, 8 inch and 5 inch floppies, 3 inch discs, 3 inch discs, zip drives are all now virtually obsolete. What about Sony memory sticks?

How long before SD cards are replaced by infinitely more efficient storage media?

I also have VHS tapes containing audio-only recordings of classical music.

27th Aug 2013, 10:46
Amazon has several VHS recorders on sale

I know. I was looking for a 2nd hand one in the London area, being fiscally challenged (a.k.a. a tight git) and not wanting one with a DVD player built in......

27th Aug 2013, 12:48
video tapes and recorders are easy to come by, for free, around these parts (Reading, Berks). Since the big analogue switch off my partner has acquired several job lots of tapes and a few recorders through the local "freegle" organisation. After sorting out the pre-recorded tapes into films we might watch and stuff we won't some get added to our collection and the rest go to a charity shop. All of the non-pre-recorded just go into a box of tapes for re-use. Getting a few spare recorders also seems to be a good idea 'cause they don't last forever.

27th Aug 2013, 13:23
I still have a dusty but working Sony Betamax recorder...AND a Philips original, too!
The Power Off Reset works most times when digital stuff gets it's knickers in a twist. You have to unplug it or turn the mains socket off and leave it off for long enough for the capacitors in the power supply to discharge. Then fire it up again, and it will run through the start up routine in software...this usually gets you to a defined start point where it all bursts into life once more. Getting a unit with an inbuilt hard disc really improves the televisual experience...it becomes simple to record whatever you want, then replay it and fast forward through the pestilential advertisements!
I agree about photographs...modern kit means that millions and millions are taken, but they are quite likely to go unseen by future generations...who will still be looking at the products of Granny's Eastman Box Camera....

29th Aug 2013, 06:00
2 TV's. hence 2 Digital Freeview boxes. One works as switched on over a year ago, the the other - ZeaTek - changes channels every day or so, and also scrambles the order of channels that I have programmed into the remote button selections, and I have to set to and move all the priorites around again.

I think (?) I can just about reach the water when I finally flip my lid and throw it out of the window. Drives me mad.

I had no problem with the non-digital stuff. It wasn't broke, so why fix it ? I can live without CNN, Fox News, Al Jaseerah etc. and as they aren't part of my Freeview options - I do !

Progress ?

I watched the Coronation on a black and white 8" CRT tube housed in a heavy wooden cabinet the size of the average wardrobe - quite adequate.

29th Aug 2013, 06:41
I bought a Grundig Freesat box around four years ago so that I could pick up UK telly. It cost about 30. Plugged it in, switched it on and no probs so far. :ok:

29th Aug 2013, 06:43
Some Freeview boxes may do this when they auto-update over-the-air at night. Our first Freeview PVR used to do it. The thing would periodically do a firmware up-date and then re-scan for new channels at around 2 am, in the process losing the link between our preferred channel order and the actual channel numbers.

It used to annoy me, too. The Freesat box I had did this once, not long after we got it, but when I checked out the manufacturers website in order to complain about it I found that the re-ordering of channels was down to a firmware bug that they were in the process of fixing. Sure enough, a couple of days later the box updated its firmware overnight and since then we've never had a problem with the channel numbers changing, even though it fairly regularly re-scans as new channels arrive.

29th Aug 2013, 11:53
I used to have a Sagem freeview box which, not long after it was installed, used to come up with "New channels have been detected" every time I switched it on, and it then insisted on scanning for the non-existent new channels before it would do anything I wanted it to. :ugh:

30th Aug 2013, 08:57
I checked through the setup menus and can't find anything which might control updating in the night. Our other fv box has an option to check for auto updates which can be set to on or off, we set it to off after it went and did it during recording a couple of times.

The unplug "power off reset" hasn't made it behave like it used to but since I changed the TV aerial it has stopped freezing up from time to time.

Ho hum.


30th Aug 2013, 09:18
I don't think you can stop some of these things updating, at least not without accessing the "secret" menu settings that often require an arcane sequence of button pushes. I never found a way of stopping our old Freeview PVR from auto-updating, it seemed to be on by default.

30th Aug 2013, 15:18
8 inch and 14 inch Winchester hard discs, 8 inch and 5 inch floppies, 3 inch discs, 3 inch discs, zip drives

You are bemoaning the loss of media that always had a limited lifespan. I don't think anyone sane would try archiving on floppies or zip drives (even at the time I didn't see much of a use for Zip drives, even when Iomega gave me a free one and a handful of cartridges to go with it, I still couldn't find a viable use for it ... clumsy technology it was).

Its wholly evident CDs and DVDs are goners as they are not going to cope with increasing volumes of data.

2.5 and 3.5 inch hard drives are going nowhere and the SATA/SAS method of connection is likely to be here to stay
LTO and similar tape is going nowhere

The technology in those three continues to mature rather than become obsolete.

Its merely a case of choosing your archiving media carefully and having a sound archiving policy in place (i.e. being prepared to move data accross if need be) and you also need to choose the correct storage format in the first place.

Your problem is that you're looking at the vast changes that have gone on in the last ten years of tech, and you're expecting the same to happen over the next ten years. The truth is that it's very unlikely, sure on the periphery we may see one or two exciting things.... but the fundamental core technologies are in a period of refinement rather than extravagant development..... the two technologies I mentioned above (tape and 2.5/3.5 drives haven't really changed that much in the last ten years and are unlikely to change much in the next ten).

To be perfectly frank, your average Joe Bloggs consumer who can't even manage to implement a viable backup routine for their computer (let alone manage to keep it virus free for more than two minutes) is better off making use of the increased prevalence of the "cloud" providers and putting the problem of data preservation into their hands.

How long before SD cards are replaced by infinitely more efficient storage media?

Irrelevant. SD cards are not acceptable as a long term storage mechanism (hell, they're hardly viable as a short term storage system beyond the very short period between you taking the photos and transferring them to your PC). Also, I'm not entirely sure SD is going anywhere, its a nice small form factor packaging, micro-SD and mini-SD already exists for even more compact applications.... its more likely to mature than become obsolete.

Also CF cards have been around longer than SD cards and are showing no signs of going anywhere. But same rule applies, they are not a viable archiving format, they weren't designed for that !

XQD is a lovely card format to work with, but its going to be a while until it trickles down to consumer level gadgets (if it ever does, because of its larger form factor).