Ipv6 OSPFv3 Summary-Prefix command

This is an interesting OSPFv3 command. There are some things you can and can’t do with it. It behaves the same as IPv4 OSPF (from what I can see).

Say you want to advertise just a single address from a range within a set of subnets, but you don’t want the rest of the subnets appearing in neighbor tables, you can do:

summary-address 1be1::/16 not-advertise
summary-address 1be1:5::/32

Alternatively, you can’t do the following:

summary-address 1be1:5::/32 not-advertise
summary-address 1be1::/16

This is because neighbor routing tables will simply see the 1be1::/16 route, therefore making the 1be1:5::/32 network still reachable. This is confirmed by pinging devices in the 1be1:5::/32 network.

Note: On some other vendors the command is Summary-address.

IPTV: How to stream all Freeview Channels on to your network

Receiving 9 multicast channels at once

First of all I can’t help but recommend you read the Angry Technician’s post How to stream EVERY channel from Freeview onto your network  as he’s written an excellent tutorial on what I’m going to also try and explain below. I’ve spent some time fine tuning (huh, get it? cause we’re tuning in…oh forget it) my setup based on his tutorial and hopefully it will provide you with some more examples and help in getting TV streaming across your network.

What you will need:
– Some technical knowledge.

You could say this is quite an ambitious project and you’ll need to be able to do things like install linux on a dedicated machine, install tuners, get drivers working etc. If all this is new to you, good luck, and I still recommend you give it a go, but I can’t promise I’ll be able to help you if you get stuck.  Admittedly I got it all working within a couple of hours, and at the time of first setting this up, I was quite a linux novice. Through this project, I have acquired a lot of skills and knowledge of linux, so for me it’s been very good.

– Actually a bit of technical [networking] knowledge

Sweet so you have some linux knowledge maybe? That’s great but this could become quite an intermediate to expert project. It really depends on the network you’re plugging the TV Box into.

I would highly recommend at minimum you use a Gigabit Switch in your network. There’s quite a lot of ways you could have the traffic flow to clients, and each configuration suits different scenarios. E.G. If you have specific hosts purely for receiving TV, you could simply have a separate VLAN the TV box and clients are connected to. Traffic would then just spam out all connected ports in the VLAN, basically this would be a broadcast network. This probably isn’t practical though, and what you would do instead is enable a feature called IGMP Snooping (and possibly filtering). This will probably be satisfactory enough for small networks, but if you are running the multicast over a layer 3 network, you will need to have a look at PIM-DM or PIM-SM.

I’m a network engineer but found this project quite full on getting it working throughout the network it’s currently running in (quite a few layer 3 switches using PIM-SM). I put this under intermediate to expert because if you’re running this through a layer 3 network, that’s exactly where it’s defined by Cisco. Cisco documentation and configuration is minimal in the Cisco CCNP curriculum, and only the CCIE Routing and Switching book will you find a bit more detail. If your network is small and all you have is a managed layer 2 switch[s] you’re probably fine, as you’ll only need to enable IGMP Snooping and possibly filtering on your devices. Don’t let above drive fear into you in trying to set this up, but you may just need to do a bit of background reading on multicasting 🙂

-At least 1 Terrestrial or Satellite TV tuner.

This really comes down to your budget and how many channels you want to be able to stream. Basically you will need at least 1 tuner per frequency for channels you want to receive. Here in Christchurch NZ, we currently have 16 TV channels and 3 Radio stations transmitted over 3 frequencies. This means I only need 3 tuners to be able to stream all channels at once. Effectively 1 dual TV card and 1 single tuner.

– Dedicated PC

This could just be an old 1GHZ pc with 1gb of ram. Nothing fancy, as we’re simply sending the received digital data and multicasting the traffic on to the network. A 1Gbit Network card would be recommended though. Make sure you have enough free PCI/PCI-E/USB ports for Tuners though.

The box after inserting several NICs and the Tuners

Post OS installation

I won’t go into detail with physical installation, nor installing your choice of linux (I recommend Ubuntu 12.04) but once you do have it installed, probably the first thing I’d suggest you do is make sure your tuners are coming up correctly and working. Simply open a terminal and enter “ls /dev/dvb/”

Depending on how many tuners you have, you should see adapter0 and up for each tuner. If you don’t see any tuners, it’s probably time to start googling support for your tuner, but you can also find more log info by typing dmesg. I’m simply suggesting all this as the HVR2210 didn’t work out of the box for me. If you have this card, I believe my solution was:

 cd /lib/firmware/
 sudo wget http://www.steventoth.net/linux/hvr22xx/firmwares/4019072/NXP7164-2010-03-10.1.fw
 Reboot the machine

 

Still with me? Lets get started!

Programs to install:

  • Ubuntu 12.04
  • VLC 2.0.1 – Possibly not needed, but very helpful for diagnosis
  • Vino – VNC Server that comes with Ubuntu
  • dvb-apps (A package containing various different tools for dvb cards)
  • dvblast (Made by the same people as VLC. This is what multicasts all the channels out)
  • minisapserver (for creating the channel playlist in VLC)
  • udpxy (converts the RTP multicast streams into unicast HTTP streams. Currently useful for viewing the TV streams on wireless devices.)

Installation

Open a terminal and enter the following:

 sudo -s
 apt-get update
 apt-get install dvb-apps minisapserver vlc

- Sudo is basically running the command as administrator, like in win 7 opening command prompt by right clicking it and “run as administrator”. -s is opening a shell, so you’re opening a shell as root so you can enter any commands in it you want without having to be asked to run it as admin (as such).

– Apt-get would probably be one of my favorite things since using linux. Ubuntu/linux comes pre-loaded with a database of websites hosting apps and utilities that you can request to download from without having to manually go to the website, find the download link, wait for it to finish and then install. Instead you can do above and it will download it and install it for you! There’s also a gui “app store” as such called synaptic package manager, and also the ubuntu software center.

You could also simply add dvblast to that list above, but I believe I had issues with SD channels (sound not working) which resulted in me needing the current unstable version. More info is available on the commands below again on another Angry Tech post, but simply copy and paste below in a terminal and it “should” install fine. I’ve done this on linux mint and ubuntu with no issues.

 	sudo apt-get install git
 	git clone git://git.videolan.org/bitstream
 	cd bitstream
 	sudo make install
 	git clone git://git.videolan.org/dvblast
 	cd dvblast
 	sudo make install

DVBlast is now installed so we can now get on to the first step which is scanning your local terrestrial tower. DVB-apps comes with some configs for different terrestrial towers, and you can see if your local one already exists by typing “ls /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/”

In my case, my local tower here in Christchurch New Zealand didn’t exist, so I just entered “sudo gedit” into a terminal, which opens the gui text editor, and created and saved the following:

  Sugarloaf, Christchurch NZ
 #
 # Channel allocation details for NZ can be found at
 # http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/policy-and-planning/current-projects/broadcasting/digital-television-2007-frequency-plan
 #
 # T freq bw fec_hi fec_lo mod transmission-mode guard-interval hierarchy

 # Multiplex DA
 T 562000000 8MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
 # Multiplex DB
 T 578000000 8MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
 # Multiplex DC 
 T 594000000 8MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE

I had to find out the frequencies used, which wasn’t too hard. Just do a google and find out what your local tower is and what frequencies are used.

Once you have your configuration file sorted, we use a program called “scan” which does just that. It will tell us the all important PIDs (the unique identifiers for each channel) and a lot of other helpful information.

Just run the following command, which will output what it finds into a file called channels.txt

 scan /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/nz-christchurch -u > channels.txt

If you open channels.txt, you will find something similar to the following:

TV ONE:682000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:280:330:1200
TV2:682000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:281:331:1201
U:682000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:282:332:1202
TVNZ 7:682000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:283:333:1203
TV3:698000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:450:400:1300
FOUR:698000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:451:401:1301
TV3 PLUS1:698000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:452:402:1302
C4:698000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_

The only thing we’re really interested in is the Channel, the frequency, and the PID. These are the first and last values, so as an example with the first one, the channel is TV ONE, the frequency is 682MHZ, and the PID= 1200, which I also made bold as you can see.

What you now need to do, is make a config file for each frequency which will then be used for each tuner. So if your local tower has 3 frequencies, you will need 3 config files, and 3 tuners.

I’d suggest you just make a folder in your home directory called dvb, which you store each config file in.

Below are my 3 config files.

/home/localadmin/M1.cfg

;TV1
239.255.1.1:5004    1   1200
[ff08::1]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]	    1   1200
;TV2
239.255.1.2:5004    1   1201
[ff08::2]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1	1201
;TVNZU
239.255.1.6:5004    1   1202
[ff08::6]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1   1202
;TVONE+1
239.255.1.7:5004    1   1205
[ff08::7]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]	    1	1205

/home/localadmin/M2.cfg

;TV3
239.255.1.3:5004    1   1300
[ff08::3]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1   1300
239.255.1.33:5004/mtu=2000 1 1300
;FOUR
239.255.1.4:5004    1   1301
[ff08::4]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1   1301
;TV3PLUS1
239.255.1.5:5004    1   1302
[ff08::5]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1   1302
;C4
239.255.1.8:5004    1   1303
[ff08::8]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1   1303
/home/localadmin/M3.cfg

;PRIME
239.255.1.9:5004     1    1404
[ff08::9]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]       1    1404
;Maori TV
239.255.1.10:5004    1    1400
[ff08::10]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    1400
;Parliament TV
239.255.1.11:5004    1    1401
[ff08::11]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    1401
;Trackside
239.255.1.12:5004    1    1402
[ff08::12]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    1402
;ChineseTV
239.255.1.13:5004    1    1403
[ff08::13]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    1403
;TV9
239.255.1.14:5004    1    1413
[ff08::14]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    1413
;TV33
239.255.1.15:5004    1    1405
[ff08::15]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    1405
;ChoiceTV
239.255.1.16:5004    1    1407
[ff08::16]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    1407
;BaseFM
239.255.1.20:5004    1    2002
[ff08::20]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    2002
;RadioNZ National
239.255.1.21:5004    1    2000
[ff08::21]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    2000
;RadioNZ Concert
239.255.1.22:5004    1    2001
[ff08::22]:5004@[2001:17:17::1]      1    2001

What’s this doing? the semicolon is just specifying a comment purely in this case just to help you identify the channel. Next line in the multicast address chosen:port chosen. 1 sets the stream to always be on, followed by the unique channel PID.

IPv6
If you looked closely you will notice I’m also doing IPv6. IPv6 addresses must be specified in brackets due to using semicolons (which would otherwise be followed by a port). As I mentioned earlier, this machine has several network cards in it. I then have the IPv6 address specified that I want the IPv6 multicast to send out of. Otherwise the stream will default to eth0. This is specific to where this box is used and your set up will probably be quite different.

Note here that you could have used a route in the linux routing table to also specify the out going network card. This is what I had set up before knowing that I could use DVBlast to specify out. The reason I changed it though is because after an unspecified amount of time, routing would stuff up and the IPv6 multicast started sending out with the IPv6 link-local address, not the global-address, which had bad results due to using a layer 3 switched network.

Now that the config files are done, it’s time to actually start the streams.

Continuing with my example, put the following 3 commands in separate terminal windows:

For tuner 0 (TVNZ Frequency):
  dvblast -a 0 -c /home/localadmin/dvb/M1.cfg -f 578000000 -m qam_64 -b 8 -e
 For tuner 1 PRIME/KORDIA Frequency): 
  dvblast -a 1 -c /home/localadmin/dvb/M3.cfg -f 594000000 -m qam_64 -b 8 -e
 For tuner 2 (Mediaworks Frequency):
  dvblast -a 2 -c /home/localadmin/dvb/M2.cfg -f 562000000 -m qam_64 -b 8 -e

Here’s what each parameter does:

 -a n tells dvblast to use tuner number n for this multiplex. Obviously, you can’t use each tuner more than one at any one time. Numbering starts at 0, not 1.
 -c nameoffile.cfg tells dvblast to use the config file you just write. It doesn’t matter where you save it. 
 -f 000000000 is where you specify the frequency for this multiplex. 
 -m qam_x the  modulation type for this multiplex. And then… 
 -b n the bandwidth for this multiplex. 
 -e Finally, -e tells dvblast to also stream the EPG data.

If you wanted to do them all in 1 terminal, just put “&” on the end of the command, enter, then the next dvblast instance.

Now you should be able to open VLC and type in each multicast address to view each stream (provided you have a route on your host [and the sever] to the multicast range.

2.5 SAP configuration

SAP allows you to simply pick the channels from a nice friendly list of channel names in vlc playlist. All you need to do is create a config file for it like below, and save it to /home/localadmin/dvb/sap.cfg

 # sap.cfg - Configuration file of the mini SAP server

 	# Global miniSAPserver options
 	[global]

 	# Number of seconds between announces. 5 is default. Internet announces better use 30.
 	sap_delay=5

 	# The network interface on which to stream.
 	#interface=eth2

 	[program]
 	type=rtp
 	name=TV1
 	user=localadmin
 	machine=tvserver
	site=mattie47.com
 	address=239.255.1.1
 	port=5004

        [program]
        type=rtp
        name=TV1v6
        user=localadmin
 	machine=tvserver
	site=mattie47.com
        address=ff08::1
        port=5004

Then open a terminal and run: sapserver -c /etc/dvb/sap.cfg

It looks like SAP announcements was implemented in one of the latest versions of DVBlast as seen here.

So, I hope this was helpful in getting multicast IPTV streaming on your network. Possibly a bit of work, but it’s pretty cool to have setup. If you’ve gone through above, there’s also another pretty good IPTV multicast program for linux called MuMuDVB. I’d recommend also checking it out.

Christchurch NZ Sugarloaf Freeview Frequencies

Freeview Logo

March 2016 Update:
Frequencies have changed again for Christchurch and other parts of the country. After much searching to see what had changed, I came across: http://www.freeviewnz.tv/media/1116/nz_dtt_transmission_map.pdf

This is essentially all the information you could want regarding frequencies used across NZ, including their freeview channel number, and actual MHZ frequency.

 

UPDATE: Have updated this page with latest frequency info (was a little outdated). If you are in Christchurch, there’s a channel scan/dump at the very bottom if you want more information.

As detailed here, the Freeview UHF frequencies for Christchurch recently changed. I couldn’t immediately find a site with the details for the new frequencies so have added them below:

Sugarloaf Christchuch

562000000 Mediaworks Frequency (Channel 32)
578000000 TVNZ Frequency (Channel 34)
594000000 SKY/KORDIA Frequency (Channel 36)

Channel PIDs

The PID is basically the unique identifier for each channel as it’s multiplexed on to the frequency. The following may be helpful for some, if you can’t do a manual scan with your tuner (typically if you’re on Windows or Linux).

  • 1200-1202,1206, and 1207 are TVNZ – TV1, TV2, TV1PLUS1, TV2+1.
  • 1300-1303 are MediaWorks – TV3, FOUR, TV3PLUS1, C4.
  • 1400-1405, 1407, 1413 are Kordia and SKY – Maori TV, Parliament TV, Trackside, ChineseTV, PRIME, TV33, TV9.
  • 2000-2001 are Radio (again on Kordia/SKY frequency) – BaseFM, RadioNZ National, RadioNZ Concert.

 

localadmin@tv:~$ scan -a 3 /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/nz-christchurch >>> tune to: 562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE Network Name ‘Freeview ‘ 0x0000 0x0514: pmt_pid 0x0138 Mediaworks — TV3 (running) 0x0000 0x0515: pmt_pid 0x012d Mediaworks — FOUR (running) 0x0000 0x0516: pmt_pid 0x012e Mediaworks — TV3 PLUS1 (running) 0x0000 0x0517: pmt_pid 0x012f Mediaworks — C4 (running) 0x0000 0x0518: pmt_pid 0x0130 Mediaworks — The Shopping Channel (running) 0x0000 0x051c: pmt_pid 0x0132 Mediaworks — Al Jazeera (running) 0x0000 0x051d: pmt_pid 0x0133 Mediaworks — Te Reo (running) >>> tune to: 578000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE 0x0000 0x04b0: pmt_pid 0x0082 TVNZ — TV ONE (running) 0x0000 0x04b1: pmt_pid 0x0083 TVNZ — TV2 (running) 0x0000 0x04b6: pmt_pid 0x0084 TVNZ — TV ONE plus 1 (running) 0x0000 0x04b7: pmt_pid 0x0085 TVNZ — TV2+1 (running) Network Name ‘Freeview ‘ >>> tune to: 594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE 0x0000 0x058d: pmt_pid 0x0000 JDA — East Coast TV (running) 0x0000 0x07d0: pmt_pid 0x00dc Kordia — Radio NZ National (running) 0x0000 0x07d1: pmt_pid 0x00dd Kordia — Radio NZ Concert (running) 0x0000 0x07d2: pmt_pid 0x00de Kordia — BaseFM (running) 0x0000 0x05aa: pmt_pid 0x00f0 Kordia — MHEG IC Test Channel (not running) Network Name ‘Freeview ‘ 0x0000 0x0578: pmt_pid 0x00c8 Kordia — Maori Television (running) 0x0000 0x0579: pmt_pid 0x00c9 Kordia — Parliament (running) 0x0000 0x057a: pmt_pid 0x00ca Kordia — Trackside (running) 0x0000 0x057b: pmt_pid 0x00cb TVNZ — ChineseTV (running) 0x0000 0x057c: pmt_pid 0x00cc SKY — PRIME (running) 0x0000 0x057d: pmt_pid 0x0000 Kordia — TV33 (running) 0x0000 0x057f: pmt_pid 0x00ce Kordia — ChoiceTV (running) 0x0000 0x0580: pmt_pid 0x0000 Kordia — TVCentral (running) 0x0000 0x0582: pmt_pid 0x0000 JDA — TV Rotorua (running) 0x0000 0x0583: pmt_pid 0x0000 JDA — Info-Rotorua (running) 0x0000 0x0584: pmt_pid 0x0000 JDA — Channel North (running) 0x0000 0x0586: pmt_pid 0x00d0 Kordia — Firstlight (running) 0x0000 0x0587: pmt_pid 0x00d1 Kordia — Sommet Sports (running) 0x0000 0x0588: pmt_pid 0x00d3 Kordia — CanterburyTV (running) 0x0000 0x0589: pmt_pid 0x0000 Kordia — DunedinTV (running) 0x0000 0x058a: pmt_pid 0x0000 JDA — CUE (running) 0x0000 0x058b: pmt_pid 0x00d5 Kordia — TVSN Shopping (running) 0x0000 0x058c: pmt_pid 0x00d6 Kordia — Yes Shop (running) >>> tune to: 0:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_1_2:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE __tune_to_transponder:1519: ERROR: Setting frontend parameters failed: 22 Invalid argument >>> tune to: 0:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_1_2:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE __tune_to_transponder:1519: ERROR: Setting frontend parameters failed: 22 Invalid argument retrying with f=570000000 >>> tune to: 570000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_1_2:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE WARNING: >>> tuning failed!!! >>> tune to: 570000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_1_2:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE (tuning failed) WARNING: >>> tuning failed!!! dumping lists (34 services) TV3:562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:450:400:1300 FOUR:562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:451:401:1301 TV3 PLUS1:562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:452:402:1302 C4:562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:453:403:1303 The Shopping Channel:562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:454:404:1304 Al Jazeera:562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:456:406:1308 Te Reo:562000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:457:407:1309 TV ONE:578000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:280:330:1200 TV2:578000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:281:331:1201 TV ONE plus 1:578000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:282:332:1206 TV2+1:578000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:283:333:1207 Maori Television:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:550:600:1400 Parliament:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:551:601:1401 Trackside:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:552:602:1402 ChineseTV:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:553:603:1403 ChoiceTV:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:556:606:1407 Yes Shop:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:564:614:1420 Firstlight:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:558:608:1414 Sommet Sports:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:559:609:1415 TVSN Shopping:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:563:613:1419 Radio NZ National:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:620:2000 Radio NZ Concert:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:621:2001 BaseFM:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:622:2002 MHEG IC Test Channel:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1450 CanterburyTV:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:561:611:1416 PRIME:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:554:604:1404 East Coast TV:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1421 TV33:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1405 TVCentral:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1408 TV Rotorua:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1410 Info-Rotorua:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1411 Channel North:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1412 DunedinTV:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1417 CUE:594000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:0:0:1418

Samsung Galaxy S3 Review – 2 Months later

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is a fast, and innovative phone, but how does it stack up in terms of user functionality with other phones in the crowded smart phone market?

I’m lucky. Too lucky you might say, where I was the lucky winner of a Galaxy SIII. The morning I saw an email from SamsungNZ declaring me a winner it felt like Christmas had arrived early. After one month of painstakingly waiting for the phone to arrive, it came! I’ve now had the phone for 2 months and I hope below gives a good and open opinion of my thoughts on the Galaxy SIII and helps in your potential decision in buying one.

In my time of using this phone, I’ve kept it on stock rom. Normally this would drive me mad (I rooted and custom Rom’d my Galaxy S I9000 the day I got it), but after 2-3 weeks using  stock, I’ve been using MIUI launcher, instead of the default. This has generally kept me  happy.

The good

Screen
The first thing you really notice about the phone is just how good the screen really is. The phone features a 720 x 1280 pixel screen at 4.8 inches. This is currently the largest screen on a smart phone other than the Galaxy Note. For me this is the best looking screen I’ve ever seen on a phone. I compared it with a friends HTC OneX, and to me, it just looked better.

Probably the thing I like most about the touch screen is how it feels to use. The gorilla glass is curved with the edging around the phone. I’ve never seen this on a phone before, but it definitly adds to the user experience. I’d recommend getting your hands on a SIII to see what I mean.

Below is a short video I did trying to show how video looked on the phone, and also what it’s like to use with MIUI Launcher.

The Speaker

The back speaker on the SIII is loud but also sounds good. I’ve come from a Galaxy S, which to me sounds alright, but in comparasion, the SIII blows it out of the park. The first time I put music on using the SIII at full volume I was stunned at just how loud it was. If you’re someone who makes use of the back speaker on a phone, the SIII is my recommendation…Unless of couse you’re one of those people who plays rap on their phone speaker in public, in which case, please go do something useful for society…

Speed
Finally a phone that the facebook app doesn’t completely lag on. But in all seriousness the phone is quick and features a Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU. There are enough benchmark reviews out there so I won’t add to it. Nothing more to say here other than the phone is smooth and runs android well.

Camera
I’ve been extremely impressed with the 8MP camera, and have used it quite a lot. There are a few features Samsung are quite proud of such as the ability to take a burst of 20 photos and you pick the best one, or the ability to take a photo while recording in 1080P at the same time. For me though, I love the panorama feature. It’s quick and easy and the stitching of the photo happens within a couple of seconds. Unfortunately it’s not 100% perfect, but I think it still does a great job. I’ve got a couple examples here and here.

Galaxy SIII camera example

Shot taken using the SIII. Click the image to see the original.

Battery Life
For a smart phone, I think the battery life is generally pretty good. My Galaxy S needed charging every night and I wouldn’t get more than a day and a half out of it with general usage (with wifi and 3G data on). I always charge my SIII every night, but I have gotten at least two days out of it with some life still in it. Maybe I’m pedantic with worrying about being halfway through the day and my phone dies, but I don’t find it a hassle to charge my phone every night. If I was to turn data, wifi, 3G, and GPS off + limit the phone brightness, I could probably get several days out of it.

Music player
As do most smart phone users these days, I use mine for listening to my music. The default android music app has changed a bit over the years, and I’ve often been inclined to download a different music app such as Poweramp than use the default. Admittedly I think Android has gotten better when it comes to its default music app, but I still think it has a long way to go. Regardless I decided to stick with the stock music app and try and get used to it.

One feature I quite liked, which I’m not 100% sure is on other Android 4.0 ICS phones is music squares. Music Squares basically lets you listen to your music on shuffle but based on a certain mood. I can’t say how well it works, but depending on the mood or genre of music I chose, I did enjoy what I listened to (hey it is my music…). Still think it’s a cool thing to have there.

2 year free 50GB storage on Dropbox
This is actually awesome. I never thought I’d use dropbox, but this is extremely handy. Basically you can choose folders on your phone that are monitored for new content, in this case my photo gallery folder, and as soon as I take a photo, it gets uploaded to my dropbox account. From there the content gets synchronized across my choice of devices that have dropbox installed. You can also change it so it only uploads when in reach of wifi. I love it because it means I don’t have to get out a usb cable to download photos off my phone, and I really don’t have to worry about running out of space. If you’ve never used dropbox, I’d really suggest having a look at it.

The bad

Some of these things really will be a matter of opinion, and with some I’m probably being slightly pedantic, but regardless I’ve added them for you to make your mind up about the phone.

The home button
I can’t stand it. I really can’t. I find it too small and hard to hit. It seems like something silly to comment on, but it’s something that has really frustrated me. In my opinion it needs to be bigger, and more like the home button on the S, or the SII.

There’s also a very frustrating issue issue related to the home button which I eventually managed to fix. I found with using the home button, I’d have to tap it twice a lot of the time for it to actually go back to the home screen. I found this incredibly annoying as I would hit the home button, and wait, and then it didn’t do anything till I hit it again. Quite possibly a bug and it was a hard thing to google. Basically it was related to S Voice. S Voice is Samsung’s Siri clone which I’ll get to later. To use it, you double tap your home button and it brings up S Voice. I think there must be an issue where if you tap it once, it sits there and waits for you to potentially tap it again thinking you may want to open up S Voice. I solved this double tap issue simply by opening S Voice, going into settings and then turning off the option to open S Voice via double tap. I found after doing this the phone feels a lot more responsive when using the home button because it’s not sitting there waiting for a potential extra tap for S Voice.

The accidental touch
For a while this is something I found quite frustrating. What I mean by the accidental touch is where you’re trying to do something on your phone, and without realising it you have a finger or a thumb on the outer edge of the phone that then just touches say the top right corner of the screen affecting what you might be in the middle of doing. Another example is you’re trying to take a photo with the camera app, and you accidentally hit the back button while with another finger trying to tap the screen to take a photo. Maybe this is a minor thing, but it’s something I’ve never noticed or had an issue with on any other phones. I think this just comes with having a larger phone, which can sometimes be difficult to hold and also how the screen goes right to the edge.

Minor things
– Stock Samsung keyboard in my opinion is rubbish. The predictive/autocorrect keyboard really isn’t that great. All I know is I came from several different 2.3 and 4.0 roms on the Galaxy S which had a different keyboard that I was far quicker on.
– The phone is sleek and a beautiful design, but for a while I always got worried when putting it in my pocket as it felt like it was going to slip past and end up dropping it on the ground (which has never happened).
– In my opinion S Voice isn’t that great. Maybe I just didn’t give it enough time, but I tried things like “find the closest starbucks” and it would come back saying it didn’t understand (voice to text worked correctly though).
– I don’t always see notifications. The light flashes randomly. My S1 would flash the softkeys if I had a txt or notification. If I bothered to spend some time on this, I probably could get it how I want, whether or not that be with some other app, but I have found the notification light quite annoying. This has especially been the case when trying to get to sleep, and then the light would start flashing (which admittedly is really bright) and keep me awake.

 

Conclusion

The SIII is a brilliant phone, arguably the best right now in the market, but had I not won mine, would I get one?

Probably not, and this is purely comes down to one thing. The value I place in a phone, and the amount I’m willing to spend on one. I’ve generally kept to the idea of not spending more than $600NZ on a phone (as at 19 Aug 2012, the cheapest you can get an SIII is $889 in NZ). Everyone treats money with different value, and for phones near that price range, I’d consider it best for value for money.

I have one more thing I need to admit. Most of this review I wrote several weeks ago and I’ve only just found the time to finish it. I’ve actually gotten rid of my S3 and traded it for an SII + some money. There’s only one reason I did this. For the last 2 1/2 months I’ve been having issues with RSI and OOS. Basically after a few minutes of typing and other activities I’d been getting extremely sore hands. I’m a lot better now, but it made things pretty difficult in using the SIII. If you’re someone who has issues with RSI etc, I would not recommend the SIII, or any large smart phone for that matter. I would get sore hands using the S3, as I found it just that little bit too wide, and also found it difficult holding it between my index finger and thumb from the top to the bottom of the phone. I’ve been finding the SII a lot better, even though it’s not that much smaller, for me it’s about the perfect size for a smart phone. I also have large hands, so don’t see how people with small hands can look at getting something like the SIII.

I hope this has been an enjoyable read and helpful if you’ve been considering getting an S3!

More photos of my SIII here.