Software update spikes certain Freesat set-top boxes
Fix for Goodmans, Bush and Grundig units coming soon
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. ®
I am having the same problem, bought my box in June last year. I called the help line, firstly you get told by an automated system that you will be charged 10p per minute, you than get left on hold for over five minutes (nice little money making first). When I eventually got thru to an operator, I asked how on earth they could roll out a system upgrade without having it tested, and than suggested that they should roll back. Standard answer, we are aware of the problem and are trying to sort it out. Give me your telephone number and we will call you back when the problem has been resolved. I am sorry this is not acceptable I paid a lot of money for my box and pay my TV licence one would expect better service from a 1st World country.
Recieved new box this morning from Harvard, Not a Grundig but Goodmans same bits inside different guise, seems ok not cut out or anything yet. So if your box naf phone 0871 2304695 tell them since update box freezes, loses sound, switches itself on and off and they should sort it out
Re grundig freesat failures
My box was picked up this morning by Harvard the say it will be back friday or saturday after they reprogramme it, will keep you informed
I have Goodmans Freesat box and love it, but, from problematic experience using a Windows PC with associated Update Tuesdays, I have the auto update switched off. I can then satisfy my geek-like urges to scour blogs and will only allow the update if it proves to be a non-FUp. I now feel fortunate that I have this policy! I originally adopted it because of the auto-updates annoying habit of updating when you switch on to watch, say Eastenders at 8, only to miss half of it while the whatever-speed download takes place
Welcome to the world of IT
I kind of like this because a whole load of ordinary Josephines have been introduced to a world where automated software updates break stuff and the supplier couldn't give a shit. Maybe those people will believe IT the next time they tell then it was an automated update MS or CA that broke their PC or application.
On the subject of Freesat or Freeview. What, really, is the point? I seldom see anything in the schedules I'd want to watch. And as for HD, if it's shit on an ordinary TV it's still going to be tedious annoying shit on HD. HD TV is the perfect example of a varnished and polished turd.