Sky picnic

D

davemurgtroyd

Regular Member
Messages
1,228
Location
Oxford
My Satellite Setup
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My Location
Oxford
Anyone remember this attempt to launch a subscription service to Freeview?

I have one of their never officially released boxes somewhere in the loft. Box with card-slot and I believe DVB T2 (although SD only). Excellent GUI, Boxes already produced were sold off by Currys (and others) after project was cancelled as Freeview boxes for £10 IIRC


 
Fisty McB

Fisty McB

Member
Messages
282
My Satellite Setup
Currently under redevelopment.
My Location
County Tyrone, N. Ireland
I had one some time ago, bought one in 2009 (I think) online from Currys for £20 inc. delivery. Main reason I bought it for was to view the new ROI DTT test transmissions at the time for what would later become Saorview - the channels it carried at the time were all in SD, and the Sagem manufactured receiver could decode SD MPEG4 video (allegedly the proposed Picnic service was planned to use MPEG4 video, before Ofcom put the kibosh on the idea). The fact that these receivers suddenly flooded the market came as a surprise as there was no previous public indication that such receivers had been manufactured.

The GUI was decent, the remote control OK, but the STB itself was larger than it really could have been compared to other "Freeview" single-tuner STBs on the market at the time, and it also had an almost built-in fault - the power transformer supplied with the receivers were not properly isolated, causing a stray AC voltage at the DC plug. This would cause the receiver to regularly freeze & lock up, not responding to remote control commands or front panel buttons, so would require the power to be turned off/on. Replacing the power supply with a suitable DC 12V 1.5A replacement that was isolated cured it.

Eventually as HD services started on Saorview which the "Picnic" receiver couldn't handle, and TV's with built-in DTT tuners were becoming more available at cheaper prices, the Picnic STB was becoming redundant. I dropped it in the electronics bin in the local council skip a good few years back.
 
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