Sony posts Freeview recorder lost channels fix

Freeview logo Many Sony DVD recorder owners have complained that technical support staff do not work weekends

Sony has issued details of how to fix "a major technical issue" that has caused several of its DVD recorders to lose access to Freeview TV channels.

Dozens of owners had written to the BBC to complain that a software malfunction had caused their devices to stop receiving or recording Freeview channels on Friday.

Many complained about the initial lack of response from the firm.

Sony has now blamed the problem on "corrupt broadcast data".

It has recommended affected consumers unplug and then reconnect their devices. If this does not correct the problem it suggested they carry out a "full factory reset". Full instructions have been posted on its community forum.

Unplug and wipe

Sony's own support forums as well as other independent online sites had filled with complaints from irate users over the weekend.

"It may already have come to your attention that thousands of owners of Sony DVD units have completely lost all their access to Freeview channels," Geoff Cheers, from Chorley, wrote to the BBC.

Graham Johnson, from Oxford, added: "There are thousands of people affected by this, many of whom, like me, have wasted hours today trying to retune and repair their machine. Many folks, it seems, have also been out and bought a new one."

On Saturday a customer support agent tweeted that the issue had been "flagged" to a dedicated team, but provided little other information.

Early speculation centred on the possibility that the problem had been caused by a firmware update, but the Japanese firm later said it was caused by "something [that] has changed in the way that these devices are receiving EPG [electronic programme guides] data from Arqiva".

It later issued a clarification saying the communications infrastructure company was not to blame, and that the issue had arisen due to "corrupt data" sent by broadcasters.

It added that it was now working with the firms to remedy the problem.

In the meantime it suggested affected users carry out the following steps:

  • Turn the machine on and eject any disks.
  • Press the "stop" button on the recorder. While still holding it down, press and release the "on/standby" button, and then release the "stop" button as well. This resents the machine deleting the corrupted data.
  • Owners should then follow the on-screen instructions to retune the machines, selecting "digital guide" rather than "guide plus" when given the choice.

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