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All posts by MikeB

Below are all of MikeB's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

Roy: I hadnt heard about that particular problem, although I will ask in tech support tomorrow and the Panaonic rep when I am working. Its not unknown for EPG software to just get too old to be compatable - thats sort of what happened to our ony PVR about 6 years ago when there was a slight change to the EPG and every machine in the country threw a wobbly. Its not just Panasonic, but you might have just been unlucky. In any case, think of your set as just a panel, and then plug in stuff to upgrade where needed. With my TV salesman hat on, I would say after eight eyars, your due an upgrade anyway, and so one size up from your current set, and stick to the big four brands!

Your slight problem will be to get a cheap set top box - Freeview HD ones are difficult to get hold of (and dont bother with the Manhattens - I have one and its now barely useable), but Freesat ones like the one that Humax does will do fine.

If you are looking for a box, then look to kill two birds with one stone and get a PVR. They will be smart (and the latest versions will have wifi), have two or more HD tuners, and so will be able to stream, record and watch live. 129 for the BT Youview PVR (Humax under the bonnet) but no wifi is the cheapest, but its worth waiting until Dec 26th - the sales might get you something even better for the same money or clearance models might be available at good prices - always worth looking at returns.

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Rod: Tablets and phones often have small speakers at the front or side of the tablet, and are obviously pretty close to the user. TV speakers are actually a lot more powerful (2 x 10W on a 40in plus), but are generally tucked underneath, for design purposes.

We want slim flat TV's these days, and that means somethings got to give - and thats the sound. To be fair, even the average CRT was not designed to have great sound, it was an afterthought even then, but the weight and bulk of such a set gave a better resonance and simply more space. TV manufacturers are not trying to make TV's sound bad to sell extra soundbars - its just the nature of the beast.

Spend about 185 or more on a decent mid range soundbar and you will be fine - 300w or more, digital optical and HDMI input (better sound and the ability to control the volume with the TV remote) wireles sub (much easier to hide away). You can spend a lot more (Sonos is very popular), but even a 80 soundbar from a decent make will greatly improve the sound, if only because it might be 4 times the output of the TV itself.

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Roy: I had a word with the Panasonic rep, who aid that he had a 10 year old TV from another brand which had a similar problem, and one of the people I work with said that some customers had reported a similar problem.

The reality is that the EPG is software, and like all software, it gets to the point that its less likely to be supported. Modern smart TV's have an advantage in that being automatically connected to the net, they get automatic updates. Older sets needed to be updated via a flash drive, with the update software loaded via the companies website, and then put into a usb slot on the side (hence the reason TV's have them).

On an eight year old set, you have to wonder when the last update for the software was available, but google the model and see if there is firmware support you can download. A search in the TV's setup menu should tell you what version it is, and then you can check if a later one is available.

Its worth giving it a go, because it costs you nothing . If it works, great. If not, you havnt lost anything and you still have other options. It didnt work for my Sony PVR, despite my best efforts, but thats the way it goes.

MikeP - I would disagree - the reason for increasing the size of the set is simple - its usually going to be a better picture (in terms of resolution), we are watching HD more (which improves the picture anyway), and you will have got used to that size - just as I cant get into a suit from 15 years ago (sadly), so it will look odd to stay with the same sized screen, plu that TV will actually be smaller.

A 40in TV from ten years ago (with an SD tuner) was 39.5in wide. Now, its 36in wide (actually, they are all 43in now, but anyway). The frame around the edge had hugely shrunk.

That means if you go up one size (to a 49in), the loss of bulk in the frame around the screen means the TV is only 43in wide. And since its going to have an HD tuner , the picture will look better anyway, plus a 4K set (and they are all 4K these days) will upscale very well from HD. So you can sit closer to the set, or go up a size or more - and so going up is fine.

And with a 4K set, that screen resolution is potentially the same as your local multiplex, and the size of the screen to distance ratio is way closer in a cinema than at home. But we will mostly be watching upscaled HD (4k is via streaming, discs or Sky Q/Virgin at present), so you dont need to sit too close - 2 to 2.5 times the size of screen away is my recommendation (which is much more conservative than the figures quoted above). The ratio used to be 2.5-3 times the size, hence the larger screen at the same distance.

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Derek: Check your system first - there are 2000 homes served by that transmitter, and if there had been a serious problem for a long time, you would expect a lot of complaints.

But your system is much more likely to be at fault, perhaps a dodgy cable or loose connection. If your not getting the full range of channels you expect, then thats likely. And check your tuned into that transmitter.

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Brian Wright: Where I work, the bulk of TV's are on a normal HD TV source. In fact, one of my big bugbears is when I cant show off a TV on a normal source - some just cant be hooked up, especially at the high end, where manufacturers have set displays which make it tough to put in an alternative feed.

4K sets are fine on HD - in fact they are better than the few remaining HD sets we stock showing the same HD feed - better colour and movement, with very good upscaling, even at the decent entry level. Yes, there is some dragging, but not bad at all considering.

8K is already here - we have had a Samsung 75in set in the department for weeks. Its just that its lovely 8k demo doesnt actually show just how much better it is than the 75in 4K set (showing its demo) next to it, at two grand less...

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Friday 18 January 2019 7:26PM

Marion Windsor: A) The Q9 is lovely - congratulations!
b) The box and the TV are essentially seperate tuners, using the same aerial, and then linked via HDMI when you want to watch a recording.

If the Youview box is fine, then its not the aerial itself, and as you say, the old TV was fine.

The first thing to do is to check the aerial feed into the TV itself. The aerial should go first to the You View box, and then to the back of the TV. This is normally called 'looping through'. That means that everything gets a feed. In your case, the aerial feed will be on the One Connect box. Check that the cable is is good condition, and fits properly. If you have a spare lead, try changing it, just to check if its OK.

Then check your signal strength and transmitter on the TV. I dont have a samsung and I know its not quite as straightforward as say, A Panasonic. But you should be able to check which transmitter its on, and the strength of the signal. Could be too high or too low (both will manifest as no signal), but I am betting that either the TV has locked into the wrong transmitter, or that the aerial feed to it from the box is a bit dodgy.

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MikeP: True - we havnt shaken off SD yet! Streaming or sat/cable is going to be the way to go for 4K/8K for the time being, and even when T2 tuners become standard, as you say, 4K still isnt going to be really doable to any great extent.

And yet, my employer does not bother to stock any HD TV over 40in, apart from just 2 sets. Thats it. 32in - yes, they are all HD, but thats relatively few, because thats really a bedroom sized set now. 49in is the average size purchased, and 55in isnt running that far behind. And they are all 4K. So the mismatch, as it has been in the past, is between the screen resolution that most people can watch at, and the screen resolution that people can get. That demand can be filled by streaming, etc, but its not going to be broadcast any time soon.

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Bill Kocher: I am delighted that your using your set to the full! And yes, watching streaming on SD is a pain, and pretty awful on a 4K set.

You are not entirely typical, but like a lot of things, it takes time. Old habits die hard. BTW - take a look at Iplayers archive - a lot of great stuff, box sets, and some things in 4K.

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Ken Collyer: True, they dont know where a TV set might be set up, but as Mike P points out, tuners work fine within reasonable tolerances, and since not all muxes work at the same strength, its much easier to add an attenuator if needed, rather than add yet another component (which has a cost) to a problem that most people dont face.

Switching from HD to SD to solve a simple problem is short changing yourself - HD is certainly much better than SD (something I have to occasionally demonstrate at work to disbelieving customers - Which is most certainly wrong on that score), and its not sustainable long term.

The idea that 40in is a 'large screen' makes me chuckle - the most common size TV sold in my department is 49in, and 55in is almost as popular - we now have 75in sets in store, and the bulk of TV's are not even HD any more, but UHD/4K - so four times the screen resolution of HD. And now there is 8K...

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Steve: I think that the amount of timeshifting via DVR's is in part simply because:

people still often watch whats on (habit),

the sheer number of channels, including plus ones have increased enough to allow people to find something to watch (we are a bit lazy),

there are surprising numbers of people that still have a video player, and never quite got around to upgrading,

streaming has supplemented recording. I know thats what we do, since our DVR died a while ago. I would like to get another one, but its not the end of the world not having one. Add stuff like Amazon Prime, and you can watch huge amounts of stuff without a DVR at all.

As far as TV's being used as recorders - yes, you can. But there are limitations. I was asked this question by a couple of customers at the week end, but I pointed out that the bulk of TV's only have one tuner. That means you can record what your watching, but not another channel at the same time. And you do need to get the right sized drive, and that has to be formatted.

A lot of TV's have a sat. tuner as well, and some high level ones will have multiple Freeview and Freesat tuners, but overall, a proper box is easier - being a seperate box thats designed for the job. Remember that not everthing is streamed - films often cant be after broadcast, and not all series have everything online. Miss the first week, and you might not find it available once the second one is online.
A proper HD DVR thse days will often be smart and have catchup via Freeviewplay - and wifi. So a DVR will double up as an HD tuner and add smart features to an existing TV.

Personally, +1's are often very useful, and evidently they get used.

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