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Keeping FTA channel list up to date

  • 22-07-2022 10:03am
    Registered Users Posts: 40 lenovo1

    As I plan to move away from Sky I have tuned in the free to air channels on my Sony TV. I stayed away from Freesat as it seems to have problems updating documented on here.

    The list is even slow to populate the now and next. However I organized them in the same order as freesat and can use the phone app to see what's on. Works well although it was a bit of work, fine for a one off.

    How can I avoid the need to do that again if signals change. I tried to delete the God Channel and add it back in with a manual tune. It didn't reapear on the channel list. No loss but I was trying the principal.

    Under advanced settings I turned on Channel replacement and Auto Service update, will this address the issues?


  • If it's a generic tuner in your TV, you'll have to retune if a channel changes frequency. Why not keep the Sky box (as long as it's not a Sky Q box, you have to return them if you are leaving Sky) and get a UK region Sky Freesat card. The EPG will update if there's a change. Sat Planet in Sligo sells them. Details here:

  • Registered Users Posts: 40 lenovo1

    Thanks for replies. Not sure if it's generic or not. How do I check? It's a Sony KD-55X81J.

    I think I through out an old Sky box last year. Maybe that's the solution.

    Never thought "basic" tv would be so complex!

  • Registered Users Posts: 356 ✭✭doney84

    Having done a quick Google it looks like your TV has Freesat. I don't have a Sony TV but to get Freesat working on my TV (LG) I had to set the country to UK and then when I done a satellite scan Freesat was activated. More than likely you will also have to enter a UK post code as this sorts the region that should apply ie. BBC One London, BBC One Scotland, BBC One NI ... etc

    Not sure how user friendly the Sony is to switch between Freesat & terrestrial TV for the Saorview channels (if you need them?). Maybe someone with a Sony TV will be along shortly that can advise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 40 lenovo1

    Cheers. However there was a thread on here regarding freesat not updating properly so stayed away from that. Basically it loaded 7 days but didn't reload a new day every day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭andy1249

    The problem we all have in this country is we are relying on a satellite footprint overspill for most of our UK channels and a terrestrial service that works on a different system to the UK terrestrial service for RTE.

    There are very few TVs that can populate a 7 day EPG for both of these systems in a stable manner , I know of only one , Walker , and the problem with that is, well , its a Walker TV.

    I ditched Sky back in 2013 and bought an enigma 2 box running openvix ( Tiviar Alpha + ...obsolete now ) and have another 2 boxes now , both Zgemma H7s but one with internal hard drive and one with back slots for SSD hard drives.

    These boxes are cheap enough , are a bit of a pain to setup , but once its done they are pretty much bulletproof.

    They use ABM ( auto boquet maker ) to collect EPG data from both freesat UK and Sky UK and can combine that with Saorview , then you build your favourites list and that is your main EPG.

    Like all such boxes , including Sky , they scan for changes early in the morning by default , usually 3am.

    I have an LG CX , fantastic TV that has tuners that probably work just fine in the UK but are a nightmare here , it cannot reliably switch between saorview and freesat.

    I dont bother with the TVs tuners ,and use the Zgemma , which has been sitting there doing its job quietly for years now.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 40 lenovo1

    Thank you. I see why the Zgemma H7s may be the solution now. So despite not being a Freesat box it can do the 7 day EPG (hey one day is probable enough) and update like a freesat box should a frequency change.

    I get that we are in a grey area and manufacturers wouldn't be designing TVs for saorvier and fta. I on't mind the bit of set up once its not something I will need to fiddle with regularly.

    Seems like this is the way to go, a little more expensive than I hopped.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,422 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    I used to have a Sony TV with Freesat but the software was a royal PITA to use. It wouldn't allow the non-Freesat FTA channels and the Saorview EPG only updated if you selected a channel first. I ended up using my Zgemma all the time instead. With the Zgemma and other enigma powered boxes you can make your own favourites list which can include any combination of Saorview and satellite, all with a full 7 day EPG and series linking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 40 lenovo1

    Can your Sony TV remote work the Zgemma?

    Cutting down on different remotes is probably the biggest issue really.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,422 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    It's the other way round. The Zgemma turns the TV on and off and controls the volume.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭andy1249

    Ive got two options.

    Harmony Ultimate is my usual single controller for everything.

    However , the "LG magic remote" along with the TV's very intelligent smart system also controls it without issue. I dont use the zgemma remote at all , its very poor in comparison to either of the above.

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