Review: Oxford DSO Stage 1

Probably not the most exciting event for most people, but last night was ‘Oxford DSO Stage 1’ – that is, the first stage of digital switch over when one of the analogue channels was turned off (BBC2 in our case) and in its place (on the relays, anyway) goes the ‘BBC A’ digital mux containing the BBC channels (obviously, including BBC2).

Two weeks from now, on 28 September, all the other analogue channels get turned off and the relays start broadcasting all three digital muxes, with the main Oxford transmitter broadcasting all 6 muxes at full power.

Sad as it was, I thought I’d stay up till midnight to see BBC2 analogue disappear – there was a trashy film on BBC2, but instead of going off at midnight they actually waited until 01:13 (end of the film) to turn it off (I was yawning a lot by then!).  Snow appeared on the screen, and BBC2 analogue was gone forever.  At the same time, BBC1 analogue also disappeared, but that was to come back by the following morning.

Then I went to bed (understandably).

The following morning, I was expecting the worst.  The powers that be, in their infinite wisdom, had decided to switch UHF channels 34 and 53+ around which could only have ended up in disaster.  (The reasoning behind it was sensible – to get all the PSB muxes into Group C/D so existing non-wideband aerials could be used).  Instead of the box thinking ‘oh, it’s the same LCN (Freeview channnel number) just on a different UHF channel’ it just refused to show it.  Hmph.  So I had to do a manual retune on the box.  And just as I feared, this did the usual thing of deleting all my timers on the replaced channels.  I really don’t understand why the manufacturers haven’t sorted this one out yet – it makes things very user-unfriendly.

Anyway, retune done, everything worked okay again and I had all six muxes back.  I will have to do all this again on September 28 when more channels move (68 is moving to 60-, 51- moving to 62, and 34 is moving to 59-, and 29 moving to 55 – putting all the muxes in Group C/D at last).  And I’ll lose virtually all my timers – again :(