Houston We Have a Problem 10



Houston We Have A Problem 124, 02/10/10 


Virgin Delayed Action

We have a Virgin V+ HD Box and as you are aware, setting programmes to record is extremely easy.  However, we have recently lost the ends of programmes especially when preceded by sport.  Moreover, when there are programme changes, Virgin does not appear to update the listings. Is Virgin addressing the problem and does the equivalent Sky system suffer from the same drawbacks?

Frank Casson, by email


Virgin, like Sky, relies entirely on an Electronic Program Guide or EPG to control when a programmed recording starts and finishes. Providing broadcasters notify Virgin and Sky in good time the EPG can be updated to compensate for changes in the schedule. Last-minute changes and unexpected overruns are a problem, though, Sports programmes are the worst offenders and they usually happen too late for the EPG to be corrected. Most program overruns (and almost unheard of early starts) tend only to last a few minutes and by default Virgin+ (and Sky+) boxes automatically begin recording 2 minutes before the scheduled start, and continue recording for 5 minutes after it is supposed to end. Longer overruns are comparatively rare but you can add up to 10 minutes to the start and end times of a programmed recording by going into the V+ Menu and the option is in the V+ Extras sub menu.


There’s no denying the many advantages of EPGs over VCR timer programming systems but in this one respect they had the edge. Most of the last generation of video recorders had a facility called Program Delivery Control or PDC whereby broadcasters could send a signal that would instruct VCRs to automatically extend timer recordings for as long as necessary.   



Mystery Photos

I've got a mystery that I hope you can help me with. I returned from holiday recently and downloaded my digital photos from my camera (a Panasonic DMC-TZ3) onto my PC. When I came to view the images I found about 20 that I had not taken; most were taken in what appears to be Austria, which I have never visited. The interesting thing is that the last few rogue images have been taken at Fowey, which I did visit whilst on holiday. How could these pictures have found there way onto my memory card?

Robert Palmer, by email


A mystery indeed but since on this camera the only way to recorded images is by pressing the shutter button, physically connecting it to a computer or removing the memory card and inserting it in another camera or computer, we can discount any technical jiggery-pokery. If are absolutely certain that the camera and memory card hasn’t been out of your sight then the images must have already been on the card or on your computer. You can find out when they were taken and even the make and model of camera used by looking at the image file’s embedded EXIF data. Open Windows Explorer, select Details View, right-click the header bar in the right hand pane and select the attributes you want to display.



Taming Picasa

I am using Picasa 3. I need to back up a large number of digital photographs onto CDs. I select a folder and  'Select All' to select a subset of photos. Then: File >Save As >Save in > DVD/CD-RW Drive.  But all I get on the CD is a copy of the first photo. What am I doing wrong?

Barry Johnson, by email


It sounds like it should work and you almost had it but what you should do after you have selected the images you want to copy is click the Export icon. It’s on the lower toolbar, to the right of the Photo Tray where thumbnails of your images are displayed. After that follow the prompts to choose the location and name of your exported folder.



iPod Library Transfer

I recently lost my laptop. I had most of my files backed-up to an external drive, apart from my iTunes library. I have a large number of music files on my iPod Classic and wonder how I can transfer them into a new copy of iTunes?  I am afraid that I may overwrite or delete the files when I try to ‘sync’.

Nigel Webster, by email


You are right to be cautious and if you connect your iPod to a PC with a newly installed copy of iTunes it will attempt to sync with the device, copy its blank library to player which will erase everything. However, there is a safeguard and it won’t do it without asking; iTunes displays a warning message first and you would have to ignore it and click the Erase and Sync button for it to happen. That‘s the good news. The bad news is that Apple doesn’t make it easy to transfer content from an iPod to a PC, and it’s really difficult on iPod Touch and iPhones, unless they’ve been ‘jailbroken’. It can be done, though, there are a number of options and strategies and your best bet is to read through the detailed tutorial on the iLounge website at: http://tinyurl.com/yvk9p4



Sharing Satellite

I have digital Freeview via my analogue rooftop aerial and a cable into the attic and then to a distribution amplifier, which connects to set-top boxes and TVs in other rooms. My question is, how do I get the same distribution setup using a satellite dish aerial?

Leo Massey, by email


The principle is exactly the same. The cable from the dish goes to a distribution amplifier – obviously one designed for satellite TV – that splits the signal into as many feeds as you want or need. The only difference is that if you want to view subscription channels each set top box must have its own viewing card, which in the case of SKY means paying for a Multiroom account. For more details go to http://tinyurl.com/3yfapq6. If you simply want to watch satellite TV in another room on one TV at a time then you would be better using a wireless ‘AV Sender’ and a wireless remote extender. 




© R. Maybury 2010 3008


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