Virgin turning off analogue tv early June

ClubMan

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I think he's confusing the analog cable transmission of radio (which IS being switched off) with the digital cable transmission of radio that may be analog (e.g. FM) or digital (e.g. DAB) in its original broadcast form (e.g. BBC R4 FM or DAB (if that exists) as originally broadcast in the UK) and relayed in digital form by VM on their cable).
 

ClubMan

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A stupid analogy...

There's a motorway with two lanes - one for diesel trucks and one for electric trucks. For every diesel truck there's a corresponding electric truck carrying the same load (one TV or radio channel). Diesel trucks can exit the motorway with no restriction. Electric trucks have to go through a special toll booth (the VM digibox). VM are closing the diesel lane but keeping the electric lane open. The same loads will keep getting delivered but only in one form and only through the toll booth.

(I realise that this analogy is not strictly correct since there are some TV/radio channels on digital and not on analog and maybe vice versa but hopefully it still helps to clarify what I believe the situation to be.)
 
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Odea

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I have no VM TV package but can still get the analog TV and radio transmissions in spite of that. Presumably not for much longer though.
Well done Clubman. The rest of us have been paying through the nose for analogue TV despite the fact that it was effectively available for free. I remember investigating this a few years ago and it was hinted at through Boards etc. I had considered cancelling my subscription at that time. Sorry I didn't, too late now.
 

ClubMan

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This seems to be a relatively up to date list of channels on VM digital cable including the radio channels which VM don't seem to mention much, if at all, on their website for some reason:

https://www.tvchannellists.com/List_of_channels_on_Virgin_Media_(Ireland)

My understanding is that this list will not be affected by VM switching off their analog signal.

And to further labour my motorway/truck analogy above VM are not closing the "diesel" lane but eliminating diesel traffic and making the diesel lane available to additional electric trucks (albeit also only through the toll booth) - e.g. additional digital channels or extra broadband bandwidth. :D
 

ClubMan

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Well done Clubman. The rest of us have been paying through the nose for analogue TV despite the fact that it was effectively available for free. I remember investigating this a few years ago and it was hinted at through Boards etc. I had considered cancelling my subscription at that time. Sorry I didn't, too late now.
I don't watch much TV so a few years ago it made sense for me to get rid of the digital TV package and just take broadband/phone (don't even need/use the landline but it's bundled anyway).
I think I also got fed up with some messing around on VM's part but can't remember what it was.
I'm currently on the month by month (Freedom?) 240Mbps broadband/phone thing.
I'd be open to switching my broadband service to another provider if there was something suitable but I think that VM are still way ahead in terms of theoretical raw speeds (240/360Mbps) at the moment?
I don't like how they offer preferential options to new customers but I suppose that's just business.
I was tempted to switch to another provider for a few months (not sure how long is necessary) and return as a new customer to get a better deal but it seems like too much hassle even for me...
In fact somebody in VM support actually suggested this to me - maybe they were just sick of dealing with a moaning customer. :D
 

Odea

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I don't watch much TV
A bit like ourselves. We watch most of our programmes/TV shows on our laptop. I was happy enough with our analogue stations although it appears that we have been paying through the nose for this.
A bit like those people on Plan B in the VHI who never changed. Our legacy analogue just kept increasing in price year on year to the point where it is now more expensive than any of the digital packages offered by Virgin.

We have our Broadband plus landline through Vodafone. No complaints, about €35 per month.
 

Brendan Burgess

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I think he's confusing the analog cable transmission of radio (which IS being switched off)
Hi ClubMan

This is the bit I don't understand. How do you know it IS being switched off? Is that from your technical knowledge that TV and Radio must travel the same lane. I tried to follow your analogy but got lost on a roundabout.

Brendan
 

ClubMan

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This is the bit I don't understand.
Because VM have said so! - i.e. that they are terminating the transmission of all analog (TV and radio) signals on the cable - i.e. the signals that more or less date back to the NTL/Cablelink/Communal Aerial days and that could be tuned in using just a TV or radio (and no need for any digibox decoder because the signals were analog and not digital).
Once that is done the only way to get access to any content on their cable will be using a digibox which will decode the digital signals that carry TV and radio channels (including radio channels that might be analog - e.g. FM - in their original broadcast format but carried in digital form on the VM cable).
And it frees up extra space for more digital signals (e.g. extra TV/radio channels, more broadband bandwidth).
I am assuming that they are not changing their digital signals at all and so will continue to carry the same digital channels and radio.
But, honestly, THEY should be able to tell you without you needing to depend on third party forums like this!

The only people affected will be those who still use the "old" analog signal via a TV or radio (without a digibox) - that means me (fair enough since I haven't been paying them for this in years :)) and you if you have multiple TV/radio points in your house only one of which is via the digibox with the others connected directly to a TV or radio.
I'm sure that VM will provide you with additional digiboxes for your other rooms - and charge you for the privilege... :)

Edit: actually I see now that VM are not as explicit as I assumed about switching of ALL analog signals:

https://www.virginmedia.ie/switchoff/

But when they say "analog TV" here I presume that they actually mean all analog signals (TV AND radio). But again THEY really should be able to explain what they are doing to customers....
 
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ClubMan

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I don't know but I would not expect so.
Again they really should be able to explain what they're doing and what solutions they can provide for your specific needs and at what the costs and requirements are.

To be honest if I was you and BBC (Radio 4?) was the priority then I'd be inclined to look at some other solution such as an internet connected radio or even a satellite dish to receive the free to air TV and radio channels:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free-to-air_channels_at_28°E#Radio

Or even a laptop/PC and a suitable online radio app with recording capabilities (haven't really researched these lately so I can't make any suggestions right now).
 

jpd

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We use an old iPhone with the TuneIn radio app to listen to BBC radio . The iPhone connects to our wifi network and we have a Bluetooth speaker to enhance the sound, although this isn't strictly necessary. The Bluetooth speaker has a USB port and charges the iPhone. The TuneIn radio app is free and covers radio transmissions from all over the world. You could use the BBC iPlayer instead, I imagine.
 

ClubMan

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I think that a key requirement for Brendan is the ability to record (e.g. BBC R4) programmes for listening later (not all of which will be archived online or on the player for listening back). I don't know if you can do that with TuneIn Radio?
 

IsleOfMan

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Once that is done the only way to get access to any content on their cable will be using a digibox which will decode the digital signals that carry TV and radio channels (including radio channels that might be analog - e.g. FM - in their original broadcast format but carried in digital form on the VM cable).
Can a second hand Virgin Digibox or other similar box decode the Virgin signal or is it coded for each individual subscriber. A family member moving house brought his old box to his new home and it worked fine?
 

Leo

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Can a second hand Virgin Digibox or other similar box decode the Virgin signal or is it coded for each individual subscriber. A family member moving house brought his old box to his new home and it worked fine?
It's coded to the box/ subscriber. For the digital signals, they can block individual boxes once the owner stops paying the subscription.
 

ClubMan

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On their UK twitter site there are a lot of complaints about UKTV being dropped. I wonder if that is connected?
That's a completely separate issue due to contractual disagreements between VM and UKTV and nothing to do with any analog switch off issue.

What is gone?
The analog signal to devices connected directly to the cable (not via a digibox)?
The radio channels on the digital feed accessed using your digibox?
Both?
 

ClubMan

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That's odd as I would have expected all analog channels to be gone at once.

Are the radio channels still available via the digibox?

I really don't know why VM can't seem to give you clear info on all of this to be honest.
 

Brendan Burgess

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I really don't know why VM can't seem to give you clear info on all of this to be honest.
It takes a long time to get through on the phone and the answer is unreliable anyway.

I tweeted to get a written response, but they don't seem to answer tweets about service.

There is no email address.

Brendan
 
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