Sunday, 12 August 2012

Probably my last post as Fetch TV does a runner

It looks like it's all over now for Fetch TV, as their official Web site is showing "access denied" and their support pages can't find the backend database either. That means no more firmware updates, no ticket reports, no remote recording, no way to buy official accessories and no Fetch TV PPV service (which, whilst listed as installed on my Pansaonic Viera plasma TV, has gone missing from the list of runnable apps there as well).

After a bit of Googling, I did find a second Web presence for Fetch TV at but before you get too excited, it looks like there's been no updates to it this year and any account links point to a now non-existent staging URL, so this www2 version looks like it was a staging server that dubiously is open to the public.

Having switched to a Linux media centre setup for the Olympics, I haven't plugged in my 8320HD for a while, so I'm not sure if iPlayer is working any more or not. Also note that Tesco's eBay store is flogging off the many 8320HD returns they had as refurbishments - either for C grade (duffed up a bit) for £51.98 or decent condition for £61.98. It could be worth a punt, though it still riles me that they never fixed all the major bugs and never introduced the long-promised new UI.

All of this means that any links to the official FetchTV site from here no longer work, but I'll leave them up here anyway just for reference. Strangely, the firmware downloads are actually still available because they're on a different domain! I downloaded them all ages ago in case they got pulled, which is probably likely to happen soon once FetchTV notice...

I guess this is likely to be my last ever posting on this blog, since there's very little left to write about the 8320HD. A couple of years ago, it was "hot tech" and, surprisingly, nothing surpassed it in 2011 either. Having looked at the early YouView boxes, I'm massively disappointed that their price is high and they're missing some crucial features compared to the 8320HD (no wireless, can't play from USB or the network).

It confirms to me that a PC media centre route is the only sensible option this year - it may cost more (£300 typically), but it's massively more flexible. Also, if you don't like the OS or software you're using for your media centre, there's always several suitable alternatives available (many of which are free!), unlike a set-top box where you'd have to get rid of it and buy a different brand/model.

So that's it folks - a ride of 2 years suffering the endless firmware updates that suddenly dried up a year ago leaving us with a somewhat flaky 8320HD, which was a shame because if they'd have cleared up the major bugs, it would have been a cracking little box. I'm signing off now and getting back to my Linux media centre (yes, I'm typing this using a wireless keyboard and mouse inside Firefox - try doing that on your 8320HD!) long and thanks for all bugs.

Update: I thought I'd peruse one last time to see what people make of the disappearance of Fetch TV from the Net and came across this posting which is apparently an e-mail to users (not me obviously!) claiming that Fetch TV has deliberately gone dark on the Net for 2-3 months (possibly until October!) whilst they integrate with However, why leave a rubbish "access denied" message up, when they could have easily put that same e-mail statement on the site so that<anything> would have displayed it? I'll keep an eye on the Fetch TV site in the next few months then to see what happens - if it does come back in full, I may have to resurrect this blog from the grave :-)