ONdigital was the first Digital Terrestrial platform in the world, and was to be a subscription service to compete with Sky analogue. Sadly it wasn’t to last as ONdigital entered administration in April 2002. The boxes themselves continued to work with the FTA Freeview service until 2011 when the transmissions were broadcast using 8K FFT, which the ONdigital boxes did not support.
The ONdigital guide software was developed using Canal+ Mediahighway middleware, alongside the NHEG5 virtual machine for digital text services. Mediaguard was used for the conditional access system.
Now & Next
Appers when you change channels, it cannon be called up by a button on the remote, you would use the Info button for now & next
The red dot means no signal
Pressing OK brings up a channel list, that can be used to jump to certain channels
Pressing info gives a now and next view on what’s currently being broadcast, you can select different channels but can only see now & next.
The main menu
Setting the Timer
ONdigital lacked an EPG, it had only now & next and that was it. If you wanted to record a programme in the future you had to manually set it. ONdigital did provide a monthly magazine that gave TV listings for all of their channels which could be used to track the TV listings.
Its worth mentioning that Teletext, BBC, ntl, and ONview (ONdigital) offered MHEG service that broadcasted a TV guide, but this could not be used to set a reminder.
Favourite channels worked differently comparted to Sky or cable, you could mark as many channels as you wanted as a favorite, symbolized by a heart icon. However when the favorite channels settings was on, the Chan+ and Chan- would only scroll through favorite channels list only.
Whilst we are here, might as well look at the ONdigital era channel list, it seems the original owner never bothered to rescan the box after Freeview launched, and did not rescan it either after ONdigital rebranded to ITV Digital.
Not much to see since I don’t know the smartcard PIN, but from memory you can lock certain channels.
Smart Card data, shows when the current entitlements expire. it appears this card was in use until the demise of ITV Digital
The postbox, designed to receive broadcast messages, this was never used
Signal strength, you have to manually enter the channel number to find out
Information relating to the manufacturer, software version and hardware revision
Hidden information menu, not much to do except to view certain debug information
Pressing the guide button brings up this menu
ONmail was ONdigital’s email service that could be access through the set top box, using a remote and a receiver that plugs into the serial port on the ONdigital box.
A PIN is required to access the service, since the PIN number on the card is unknown, we are unable to progress past this point.
Not that we’d get any further, the servers were shut off shortly after ONdigital entered administration.