Certainly, staying at home could be as dull as ditch water if people did not have some form of entertainment, so there is an assortment of gadgets that are out on the market to allow people to enjoy their time at home. Although computers and mobile phones with the help of the internet are capable of providing means to pass the time when at home, many still consider television sets as the ultimate source of entertainment. Watching TV remains a popular pastime across the U.K., and the switch from analogue to digital TV has further glued people’s eyes to the telly.
Today, many homes have digital HD television sets that support different picture formats, complete with enhancements to allow better viewing experience. In the U.K. a digital TV, which replaced the old-fashioned analogue type, has become a permanent fixture at home, and digital HD viewing cards are necessary items in order to view a wider selection of channels, including free-to-view and premium channels. A discussion of the digital HD viewing cards and their features as well as their proper operation is important to maximise the satisfaction from watching television and help buyers with their purchase.
The Switch from Analogue to Digital TV
Analogue broadcasting that started some fifty years ago had given homes the best viewing experience at that time, but the influx of high-definition monitors for computers made analogue TV a laughable option. The broadcasting industry felt the need to keep up with the latest technology and thus was born digital TV with much better resolution. Digital TV also offers the benefits of wider selection of channels and access to digital radio channels without needing a separate DAB.
TV System Components
A TV system can have a digital TV, a digital box to receive digital satellite television broadcasts, and viewing cards to access premium channels. In TV jargon, anything that is digital or HD means better quality and more pleasurable viewing experience.
Digital HD TV
Digital television sets are replacing analogue TV sets, and there are parts of the world where these old-fashioned analogues are being rendered obsolete. A digital television is superior to an analogue television mainly in resolution. When you have a digital TV, it means that you receive the exact pictures and sounds taken from the original source. This type of TV provides clear, crisp pictures as opposed to the fuzzy resolution of an analogue TV. Digital technology allows local TV channels to broadcast two to four channels in a space of a single analogue channel, which is the reason that networks can offer wider selection of channels to the viewers.
A digital box is a very useful device for home users. It permits a home user to access the internet on the TV, but most importantly, the device receives digital satellite television broadcasts, a function that allows users to view the digital channels in the U.K. The most common features of an early digital box are SCART outputs, a dual-output RF modulator with passthrough, an RS232 serial port, and RCA socketed audio outputs. It also has an LNB cable socket and a 33.6 modem. Latest models of digital boxes do not have an RF modulator output but have a single scarf socket and an RCA and phone socket for a composite video output. A digital box has two card slots: one for VideoGuard card and another for a digital HD viewing card.
Digital HD Viewing Card
There are two kinds of channels that can be viewed through a digital box: There are free-to-air channels, such as BBC, CNBC, and a slew of shopping channels, while there are free-to-view or premium channels that requires a special viewing card. Free-to-view channels from Sky have encrypted transmissions, and they can only be decrypted by inserting a digital HD viewing card into a digital box. This type of card is made of hard plastic and has a white surface with a Sky logo on the centre. The card also has built-in microprocessors.
Once you insert a digital HD viewing card to a digital box, it allows you to access channels such as VIVA, Sky 3, LFC TV, Fiver, and Five USA. One HD viewing card is Sky Freesat card,, providing access to more than 200 free-to-air channels, ranging from entertainment to news, music to movies, shopping to religion, children to adult, sports to documentaries, and more. Another type of card is Freesat from BBC and ITV. It is less expensive than Freesat from Sky when considering the overall TV package, but it airs fewer channels. Other viewing cards include Top-Up TV viewing cards for ESPN Sport and Virgin Media viewing cards..
Digital HD Viewing Card Exclusivity
Every digital HD viewing card has a unique code, and once the card is inserted into a digital box, it functions only for that digital box. In the installation stage, transmission to the provider of the card and box number occurs. This exclusivity, often called card pairing or card marrying, prevents someone from viewing a free-to-view or premium channel on any other digital box with the same card. However, it is possible for authorised personnel from a provider to configure an already-paired viewing card to make it compatible with another digital box. Card pairing is most convenient to the provider because it requires people to buy one digital HD viewing card per digital box.
How to Insert and Set Up a Viewing Card
To insert a digital HD viewing card into a digital box,, turn on the power of the digital box and open the panel on the front if it has one. Just a reminder, standard digital boxes do not have a panel that acts as a cover for the card slot, while high-definition ones do. Nevertheless, you can find the slot on the front of the box, and then gently insert the card into the slot with the gold chip facing upwards. Using your TV remote control, choose the HDMI input to set up the channels.
After the selection, you should see on the screen an indication that you are good to go; otherwise, you see an on-screen indication that no satellite message has been received. When this happens, check if the wiring on the back of the digital box is properly connected or consult the manual that came along with the digital box. If it still does not work, you may need to phone the provider to get technical support.
Watching Local Channels While Travelling Abroad
After roaming around the tourist spots in your dream holiday destination or just wrapping up an important business meeting with your foreign partners, a Freesat viewing card comes in handy if you want to spend the rest of the night watching English shows in a villa or a transient house far away from the U.K. A digital HD viewing card like a Freesat card allows viewing of free-to-view channels like Five and Channel 4.
A Freesat card is different from other digital HD viewing cards because it can be used in any digital box. A Freesat card enables the digital box to receive transmissions from English TV channels and radio channels, and in some cases, BBC regional channels through BBC One and Two. It also allows access to all BBC digital services and terrestrial services. Free-to-air channels, on the other hand, do not need a card, and you can watch them anywhere in Europe as long as the dish allows transmission from Astra 2D signal.
Buying a Digital HD Viewing Card on eBay
Buying a digital HD viewing card is much less of a hassle if you buy it online, and the best online shop to visit is eBay.. The website offers different viewing cards, from brand new to previously owned ones. You can also find on eBay digital box packages that include a digital box or a set-top box with a viewing card.. What is great about buying on eBay, aside from having an array of viewing cards to choose from, is you can also access popular and complementary products related to your search, such as finding a suggested digital box on the side whilst doing a search on viewing cards.
To search on eBay, just type the keyword in the search bar and go from there. Always buy from credible sellers with a verified payment method and an excellent user ratings percentage. Do not forget to read the product details carefully before making a purchase to make sure the product is exactly what you need. Also, take note of details concerning the delivery, as well as the postage and packaging details to determine if there are additional costs due to shipping.
A digital HD viewing card makes your TV viewing experience more interesting. It provides access to more TV channels as well as digital radio channels for you to have more options. It is rather dull to spend a night at home watching TV with only a limited number of channels to choose from. Pairing or marrying a viewing card to a digital box is easy, and viewing the premium channels takes only a few hours.
A viewing card, such as a Freesat card, is useful when travelling because you can insert it into a compatible digital box and watch English channels even when away from the U.K. Since the U.K. switched to digital TV, a digital HD viewing card has become an essential part of TV viewing, and for many home users, having a digital box is just not enough when there are digital HD viewing cards that grant them access to more than just the free-to-air channels. Therefore, buyers may want to take the time to buy a quality digital HD viewing card to expand their TV viewing options wherever they may be.