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Software update spikes certain Freesat set-top boxes

Fix for Goodmans, Bush and Grundig units coming soon

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A software update for Goodmans, Bush and Grundig Freesat set-top boxes that has caused owners widespread viewing problems could be fixed within hours.

Harvard International, which owns all three set-top box brands, released the over-the-air software update for its boxes on 13 October. The new software is believed to have been released to reorganise the boxes' channel list.

But numerous readers have since contacted Register Hardware to complain that, post-update, their Harvard-made boxes have contracted one or several mystery technical problems, including an inability to change channel; loss of picture and/or sound; loss of satellite signal; and constant box reboots.

Some readers even claimed that their Harvard set-tops won’t switch on at all.

Quite how many Freesat users have been affected by the fault isn’t known. Harvard’s Director of Communications, John Edwards, yesterday told The Times that the number is “in the low hundreds”.

Edwards also said that Harvard hopes to be able to release a software fix within the next few days.

Users whose Goodmans, Bush or Grundig Freesat boxes won’t turn on clearly won’t be able to receive the over-the-air update, but Harvard hasn't yet said how it will resolve this problem for them. A statement on the matter is expected later today.

Since the software update was issued by Harvard, rather than Freesat itself, customers with boxes manufactured by other vendors will not be affected.

Box maker Humax told us it is currently testing its own Freesat set-top software update, which should be released mid-November. ®

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