Monday, 30 May 2011

Yes, you can downgrade your 8320HD firmware...

After being told for a long time by FetchTV that you can't downgrade your firmware once you've upgraded it (not good for people testing beta firmware out!), it turns out that there is a facility to do this.

Download the older firmware you want to downgrade to and put its unpacked files (autorun.html and upgrade.bin) at the top level of a FAT32-formatted USB stick as usual. Insert the stick into one of the 8320HD's two USB ports (go to Menu -> Media Centre -> USB  and select autorun.html if nothing happens) and it should tell you that the older version isn't suitable. Press and hold the Info button on the remote and it will apparently force a firmware downgrade.

However, the snags with downgrades are 1) finding the appropriate old firmware zip file in the first place and 2) whilst this might improve the behaviour of some later firmware bugs (e.g. HD exports, remote control repeating etc.), it will also bring back nasty old bugs and crashes galore. Early firmware releases were incredibly crashy for me and I wouldn't really want to go back to any of those.

Thanks to MaffyBoon on for the downgrade tip.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

FetchTV wins two awards...stop looking so surprised

FetchTV, who market the 8320HD, recently won two awards at the Connected TV summit. No, they weren't for "most repeating buttons on a remote control" or "most annoying ad banners in an EPG", but actually for "Outstanding Connected TV Service" and "Outstanding Achievement in Connected TV" - who'd have thought it? Thanks to RowanDDR at for spotting this.

I guess with Youview - likely to steamroller the market that FetchTV/IP Vision have been struggling in - delayed until February 2012, they didn't really have much decent opposition this year. I can't say that any of FetchTV's paid content appeals to me at all (DRM-infested, self-destructing, often not cheap and often months late appearing) and the slow fixing rate of various serious bugs since the 8320HD's launch almost a year ago hasn't put FetchTV in anyone's good books (except, it appears, other TV industry luvvies, who I bet haven't even seen an 8320HD!).

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Tesco Direct throw in free 1m HDMI cable

As part of their final offer, Tesco Direct have also added an extra free 1m HDMI cable worth £4.99 (er, you can buy cables for under £2 elsewhere!) when you buy the 8320HD. A bit strange perhaps, because the 8320HD comes with an HDMI cable already, but I guess it's always nice to have a spare.

I've just ordered an 8320HD for my sister for her birthday, but I'll be loathe to give it to her until Fetch TV release a firmware update to fix the dodgy remote control repeating bug. I'd also like Fetch TV to add auto-padding, because I'm still missing the beginning and ends of programmes unless I manually pad programmes (which is a pain to do). If they fixed those two bugs, the box would have no major issues for me (or ultimiately my sister!).