Houston We Have a Problem 11



Ask Rick 172 24/09/11


Boxing Clever

I have a minor but very annoying problem with my Virgin V+ box.  I cannot get rid of a few minutes recording of Holby City. If I delete it, it returns the next day, even if the box is switched off overnight. I have reported the problem to Virgin who commented, unhelpfully, ‘Oh I thought we'd got rid of that’.

Keith Mathieson, by email


As Virgin’s response indicates this is a known problem and it has yet to be resolved. The only solution I am aware of is to reformat the V+ box’s hard disc drive. You will lose all recordings and settings for future program and series recordings but it does clean the slate and often fixes other sorts of glitches with the V+ box.


Switch it on and on the remote handset press the Home button then press and hold Play/Pause until ‘E-00’ appears on the front panel display. Next, press the TV Drive button and the display changes to ‘E-01’. Now press Ch- four times or until the display reads ‘hdd4’ and the format begins. This can take up to 8 minutes after which the display shows ‘rFt’ and the V+ box reboots. You should wait at least ten minutes after the format to allow the Electronic Program Guide to re-load, before trying to set any timed recordings or series links.



Android Anxiety

When purchasing my Android smart phone I was told that there would be no need to install anti-virus software for web browsing. I’ve always been sceptical of this advice, and I now notice that major anti-virus manufacturers are producing protection for Android phones.  Are they necessary and if so will it affect the phone’s performance?

Conrad Eades, by email


There’s no need to panic, yet… Android is based on the Linux operating system, which is very secure, however, viruses, trojans and spyware do exist. The threat is growing and eventually anti-virus software will be necessary but at the moment the biggest problem is that users forget that smart phones are computers and drop their defences or take risks. Android has an effective safeguard against infections and users have to give permission for apps to install files or access information so when installing an app check for suspicious requests. For example, there is no good reason why a simple game or compass utility, say, would need to access your messages or contacts. Disabling security measures or ‘rooting’ an Android phone is just asking for trouble and only download apps from trusted sources, such as the official Android Market. Avoid pirated media like the plague. Keep your phone’s system software up to date and check battery consumption; an unexpected or rapid overnight drain might indicate an infection. The rest is simple commonsense. Don’t click on adverts and pop-ups, do not respond to unsolicited emails or spam and avoid storing private or personal information on your phone, especially online banking PINs and passwords.


If you still feel vulnerable then by all means install some anti-virus software. The freeware offerings should be able to cope with all current threats. In Android Market have a look at Anti-Virus Free, AVG, Dr Web Light, Lookout Security, Norton Mobile Lite and NetQin. If you experience a slow-down or increased battery consumption simply try another one.



Perplexing Pictures

Following the placing of an online order with a well-known cosmetics company, my wife completed a request to review a recently purchased product. After typing it in she was asked if she would like to add a photo. It suggested she might like to use one of her own images. To her surprise up came several pictures, including one of the dog and myself. Quite amazing, how do they do it?

Don Turner, by email


The first time this happens it can be quite disconcerting but it’s nothing to worry about. When you click on a web page button to choose an image you are seeing pictures stored on your PC. The browser sends a command to open Windows Explorer and displays the contents of the Pictures/My Pictures folder, where your photos are normally stored. When Explorer is set for Thumbnail or Icon view your pictures will appear. All this happens locally. None of the images displayed on the screen have left the computer or are visible to anyone, else until you make a selection and click the Upload or OK button. 



Headphone Hookup

I recently purchased a Samsung Internet TV, Freeview Recorder and a set of Wireless Headphones. I want to be able to use the headphones at the same time as the TV speakers are operating. However when I plug the headphones base into the TV this cuts out the TV speakers. The dealer told me I needed additional equipment, which they did not sell.  Can you tell me what it is and where I can buy it?

Paul Phillips, by email


Until recently most TVs had at least two, and sometimes three analogue audio outputs in the form of a stereo headphone jack, right and left stereo line-level outputs on phono sockets and stereo audio outputs on one or more SCART sockets. Your model sounds as though it has only two audio outputs, an analogue headphone socket that mutes the speakers and a digital optical or Toslink connector. The sales assistant was almost certainly referring to a Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC), which changes the digital optical output into analogue stereo via a pair of phono sockets. Converters made by Lindy and Cyp are readily available from online sellers like Amazon and cost around £40.00. However, you might want to check to see if your Freeview recorder has any SCART AV output sockets. If so it’s worth trying a SCART to headphone adaptor, which again is widely available and shouldn’t cost you more than £5.00 or so. The only downside to this arrangement is that you need to use the tuner in the Freeview recorder to watch TV, or set it to the same channel as the TV so that the sound though the headphones matches the picture. 



© R. Maybury 2011 0509


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