TV Update will brick 20,000 set-top boxes

Written by Antony Leather

September 30, 2009 // 2:07 p.m.

Tags: #bbc #broadcasting #free-sat #hd #itv #satellite #set-top-box #sky #tv

An upgrade designed to allow future broadcasting of HD television on Freeview will potentially see up to 20,000 digital set-top boxes stop working and 25 million boxes in some 18 million homes need re-tuning today.

The upgrade will also give 500,000 new homes access to channel Five and a new channel called Quest will be available, although nearly half a million homes will find they can no longer access ITV3 and ITV4. The BBC has stated that all Freeview TV sets, set-top boxes and digital recorders including TopUp TV and BT Vision boxes will need to be retuned from lunchtime today.

Certain models by Daewoo, Labgear, Triax and Bush will probably stop working entirely. However it's possible that many devices including other set-top boxes, recorders and TV's may be able to be updated via an over air download (OAD) or via a DVD.

Channel favourites and any scheduled recordings may also be affected by the update, which has been advertised via on-screen messages leading up to the 30th September roll out. A small number of channels will have moved position in on-screen TV guides too.

The BBC has provided a list of potentially problematic hardware which you can download here. It also lists manufacturer contact details for owners of models that might throw a wobbly after today's update.

Has the switchover gone okay for you? Has your set-top box died an untimely death? Let us know in the forums.

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