Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Geekstravaganza

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  • steven crawford,

    I hope all these you tube videos don't irritate people without to good Broadband to much, but Nana that for a 'would your mum be doing it'?

    http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=NKusg6Jyc9Y

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Crap, I need remember that there is a reason there is three spelling for two.

    As an aside, some trivial information: It's weird how more women related more positively to the John kerwin advertisement campaign than men. PDF

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Jody Fanning,

    But this is a real issue for mainstream devices. The reason everyone loved MySky when it launched here was that the same gear had gone through multiple iterations in Britain and it was really user-friendly. The Topfield works, but it isn't quite fit for a mass-market device that you're expecting people to self-install.

    I'm afraid that the Topfield is about as mainstream as they come. I have had my TF5100 for over a year and it is one of the most usable decoders/PVRs I have seen here in Finland. But that not too hard since some of them are really terrible.

    At least you will get HD there though. The head of state TV here said basically that HD isn't stable enough standard yet and they won't implement it before 2012. Which is 5 years after going all digital. Of course every technical literate person in the country called him an idiot (which he really is).

    Hopefully the switch to digital goes smoother in NZ. It seems that the main benefit of digital here is to enable pay terrestrial channels and free up frequencies. The broadcasts are heavily compressed with extremely obvious artifacts. Youtube looks better at times.

    Finland • Since Mar 2008 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I get some HD TV when I download some sporting broadcasts from the states. This is compressed, and reduced in resolution for delivery, and I blow it back up to fullscreen, on a crappy 6 year old PC laptop screen.

    Still looks 10 times better than anything I've seen on NZ TV. Makes watching the box truly pleasurable.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm afraid that the Topfield is about as mainstream as they come. I have had my TF5100 for over a year and it is one of the most usable decoders/PVRs I have seen here in Finland. But that not too hard since some of them are really terrible.

    Yeah, it's not bad, but we've worked our way through a few quirks in the past few days. It's still nowhere near MySky for usability, and the manual is quite poor.

    OTOH, its geeky features rock. I still can't get it to connect to my router, but it didn't take me long to find a couple of great bits of Mac freeware that let you use the USB connection for file transfer (the official documentation insists these features are Windows-only, and that you have to install a special USB driver). I recorded Talk Talk from TVNZ 6 and ripped it to an AVI with a single piece of software. You can even upload custom EPGs, although I wouldn't think that's something your Mum and Dad would be doing.

    At least you will get HD there though. The head of state TV here said basically that HD isn't stable enough standard yet and they won't implement it before 2012. Which is 5 years after going all digital. Of course every technical literate person in the country called him an idiot (which he really is).

    I'll have some more on this later in the week. Turns out it's not entirely straightforward here either.

    Hopefully the switch to digital goes smoother in NZ. It seems that the main benefit of digital here is to enable pay terrestrial channels and free up frequencies. The broadcasts are heavily compressed with extremely obvious artifacts. Youtube looks better at times.

    Sky's digital pictures aren't that great, but they sound better than what you're getting ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This just in, literally:

    Freeview|HDTM Launch Date Announced

    Steve Browning, General Manager, Freeview, today announced that Kiwis’ can look forward to HD capable Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) courtesy of the Freeview|HDTM service from 2nd April 2008.

    “Freeview|HDTM is New Zealand’s first high definition capable digital service and has the potential to dramatically alter the way in which Kiwis access and then enjoy television and radio programmes. It will provide crystal clear digital quality pictures and sounds on all channels with the added bonus of TVOne, TV2, and TV3 broadcast in a high definition format,” he says.

    “The Freeview satellite service made bad reception a thing of the past, delivering crystal clear standard definition pictures to over 80,000 homes since its launch in May 2007. The addition of the Freeview|HDTM service provides the option to access free-to-air digital television and radio via UHF aerial,” he adds.

    The Freeview|HDTM service will be available in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Napier, Hastings, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, or approximately 75% of New Zealand homes.

    An official launch event for media and invited guests will take place in Wellington on Monday, 14th April, to mark this significant step in New Zealand broadcasting history.

    The launch event will feature a HD broadcast of programmes kindly provided by Natural History New Zealand so those in attendance can experience, first hand, the digital experience that is Freeview|HDTM.

    Freeview|HDTM digital terrestrial receivers can be purchased from New Zealand's leading appliance retailers from 2nd April 2008.

    So you can rush out to the shops on April 2, plug in your box and sit down to watch Media7 that night!

    But it won't be in HD, the boxes are $500, and there's some other stuff ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Belatedly regarding King of the Hill, because I was at WOMAD with the spirit dancers: huh. Do people find Hank Hill to be an asshole? I love him. He's so wonderfully self-limiting and horrified by everything, but so dedicated, and Bobby is such a free spirit in comparison - his character is just genius. Of *course* Hank would have a borscht-belt-loving prop comic son who regularly wears a cape! Poetic justice. No, *Peggy* is the crazy asshole one. That woman is a megalomaniac.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So you can rush out to the shops on April 2, plug in your box and sit down to watch Media7 that night!

    I feel like I need someone to provide a 'freeview for dummies' guide in short sentences.

    I really just want to know when I can get it, cheaply, and have it not be out-of-date 6 months later. And who I should see about that without having to buy a new TV.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    (but not have missed out on anything when I do buy a new tv in 5 years)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    It's weird how more women related more positively to the John kerwin advertisement campaign than men.

    Hmmmm, lemme think on that for a moment:

    there's a bloke on the telly .... in a nice white shirt .... not bad looking either -- but not too good looking .... he's talking about his feelings .... admitting he feels 'down' from time to time .... says it's okay to get help ...

    Nope, I can't imagine either why women related more positively to the John Kirwin campaign than men.

    :)

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Belatedly:

    PAS is currently like a really cool nighclub that plays all the right music.

    Some might say that it's more like a comfortable little cafe that plays some really naff music, like the Black Seeds or something. But not me, obviously.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Nope, I can't imagine either why women related more positively to the John Kirwin campaign than men.

    I'm so naive.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Jody Fanning,

    OTOH, its geeky features rock. I still can't get it to connect to my router, but it didn't take me long to find a couple of great bits of Mac freeware that let you use the USB connection for file transfer (the official documentation insists these features are Windows-only, and that you have to install a special USB driver). I recorded Talk Talk from TVNZ 6 and ripped it to an AVI with a single piece of software. You can even upload custom EPGs, although I wouldn't think that's something your Mum and Dad would be doing.

    At least for mine, the USB driver was a necessity, but the were Linux and Mac ways to connect.

    I don't really think that ripping programmes off the box is a mainstream feature. Explaining how to reencode a transport stream into a divx is always going to be a bit of a struggle. In that respect the Topfields are more of a geeks toy, especially since they allow you to write your own software for it. One of the best I have come across allows skipping of 3min,1min,30sec per button press. Bye-bye ads...

    As for quality, the soaps are fine, but a live sports event is a depressing sight on a good TV. Of course if you are in a poor reception area now then any digital signal is an improvement.

    Finland • Since Mar 2008 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    I'm a bit late on this one (my apologies). Pleased to hear that I'm in one of the areas served by Orcon's unbundled service.

    Much faster downstream speeds would be great - but why is the UPSTREAM speed still limited to 1MB ? Can't actually find anywhewre on the Orcon website to ask them the question.

    Moving content between high speed servers that are offshore is great but at some poiint we need to get that content onto the network first.

    We are rapidly moving into a world of video and other bandwidth thirsty content everywhere.

    Or am I missing something? (Besides a commercial account using fibre or UNS?)

    Is 1mb upstream a limitation of ADSL, perhaps?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 363 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    OK - I should have looked it up A (in ADSL) stands for asymmetric as in faster upload speeds are somewhat of problem for ADSL...

    However it does seem that upload speeds of 3.5Mbit/s are possible under some types of ADSL.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 363 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    bit of an old link in there now, but...

    some stereotypes can be quite funny.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Beckingsale,

    If you are considering signing up for the new Orcon naked DSL service I suggest you hold fire. My experience so far has been extremely frustrating. I requested to keep my current phone number (changing numbers is a pain) but instead they allocated a new number (I only discovered this when friends let me know that my number was no longer working). I asked them to fix this 5 days ago and it has not been resolved.

    The broadband access worked for 1 day before that stopped as well (the speed tests indicated about 8 Mbit/s which is a bit disappointing given that I’m only 1 km from the exchange, but still a massive improvement on the speed I get from iHug). I notified Orcon 3 days ago that the broadband wasn’t working but have had no resolution.

    I’ve wasted hours of my time trying to get through to the Orcon Help Desk. Most often you just get an engaged signal. The few times I have got through I’ve waited on hold for up to half an hour before giving up. The Help Desk staff are very friendly and apologetic but seem to have limited technical skills.

    I’m at the point were I just want to cancel the whole deal but I can’t get through to anyone to do this! They have a separate customer disputes line but this just diverts to the Help Desk (not very useful).

    I can only assume other customers are also having issues based on the inability to get hold of any support personnel and the long delays getting this resolved.

    I would be interested to hear if anyone else is having similar experiences. All very disappointing really.

    Since Apr 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I requested to keep my current phone number but instead they allocated a new number

    Thanks for this info, and the rest. I guess it's another tech co that can't keep up with or manage demand for their new services. (Is Orcon providing baggage handling services to Terminal 5?)

    Heh heh - while searching for the above link I found this one! It's no good updating the page itself, if the google search result still reads:

    At London Heathrow Terminal 5 we’ve created a natural, logical journey that’s so calm, you’ll flow through. It shouldn’t take long to get from Check-in to ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan Blair,

    Hi guys,

    There are a small number of customers who are experiencing issues with their transfer to the Orcon+ network, and while I realise this is of little comfort to those of you who are among those few, I will try to give a bit of background:

    There are a variety of different things causing these faults (including the sheer number of people that have taken up the offer), and there are people here working to fix all of them. For example, we are finding that some copper lines have faults that have gone undiagnosed on Telecom's network, probably just manifesting themselves as substandard sync speeds. When these customers come over to our network the fault is causing major problems for that customer - in terms of performance and stability.

    While I am not trying to excuse these problems, the whole LLU process is a new process - right from provisioning through to fault resolution. Our guys are all working overtime to do everything that we can to ensure that the problems are resolved. Unfortunatley in some cases we are reliant on third parties, and we are managing these relationships as actively as possible.

    So apologies for your experiences, and I have definitely taken the better communication message on board.

    Duncan Blair
    Group Product Manager
    Orcon

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    For example, we are finding that some copper lines have faults that have gone undiagnosed on Telecom's network, probably just manifesting themselves as substandard sync speeds.

    I suspected as much! <profanity redacted>

    Thanks for posting.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

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