Prime TV move upsets Freeview viewers
People are really angryANNA WILLIAMS
Prime TV lovers in Marlborough are furious there wasn't enough information about the channel dropping from TV screens when it changed broadcasters.
On Monday last week Prime changed the way it transmitted its Freeview Satellite service.
It is now broadcast directly by Sky TV, which means those without Sky TV have to reset their TVs to get the channel back.
ProjX Marlborough owner Russell Montgomery said he had helped 14 people in Marlborough get the channel back since the changeover.
Most of those he helped were elderly and did not use the internet, he said.
"People are really angry."
It would have saved a lot of grief and cost to a lot of people if it had been properly advertised, he said.
It only took five minutes to get the channel back and a list of easy-to-understand instructions are available online.
But for somebody who was not an internet whiz, it could be a nightmare to fix.
Blenheim woman Joan Bottom, 85, said she was "disgusted".
"It's all right for the young ones who are on the internet," she said.
"But what chance do us oldies have?"
She called Mr Montgomery to help her after she lost Prime on both of her TVs and did not know how to get it back.
Mr Montgomery did not charge her but other people may not have been so lucky, she said.
Instructions should have appeared on the screen as well as online so people could fix the problem themselves without having to pay someone to do it for them, she said.
On one of her TVs, the words "scrambled signal" appeared on the screen after she turned the power off.
A lot of elderly people would do that and then struggle to fix it, she said.
She had talked to at least 20 people who had also been frustrated when they suddenly lost Prime.
Mr Montgomery said he was aware of many people who had forked out up to $60 to have a technician rescan their set-top boxes to get the channel back.
"I suspect some people are making a killing out of this," he said.
"Wider media notification would have been more appropriate and would have saved a lot of people, and we are talking most Freeview TV viewers here, a great deal of anguish and expense."
The channel comes back after a blind scan which in most cases reloads Prime on set-top decoders.
- The Marlborough Express