Author Topic: Frontier Silicon: major changes lead to limited usability of all FS radios  (Read 19785 times)

Dogmatix

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All my Frontier radios have gone mad. This appears to be why:

_____________________________________________________________

Why did the service change on 7th May 2019?

On 1st May 2019 we experienced a major outage of the Internet Radio & Podcast service used by our customers’ Internet Radio devices. This was caused by issues with a third-party service provider that were outside our control.  The service provider has also informed us that they are unable to ensure service provision beyond week commencing 6th May.  Any such failure to provide the service would have caused the Internet Radio functionality on all our customers’ devices to stop working unless we had taken this remedial action.

As a result, we have made some changes to the way the service is delivered, and you may notice the following changes:

    We have deployed a replacement service, and configured all devices to use it.  It may take several hours for your device to see the new service.  Older devices may need to be powered off and back on again to force them to see the new service.
    We are using a new provider for the Internet Radio and Podcast directory.  You may discover some new stations and podcasts that were not previously available, and you may find some stations and podcasts are missing.  If you notice a station or podcast that you think is missing from the database then please raise a support ticket and we will aim to get it added within 2 business days.
    You may see some slight changes to the menu structure on your devices due to the change of provider.
    The previous customer portal is no longer available, and so you can no longer use it to add your own stations.  If you would like a station adding to the database then please raise a support ticket and we will aim to get it added within 2 business days.
    It is no longer possible to recall Favourites.  Depending on your device, we recommend using the Device Presets or Last Listened functionality to recall your favourite stations instead.
    Any Device Presets that you have previously saved will no longer work and so you will need to resave them.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of these changes, which we have made in order to provide continuity of service for customers and users.  This is a large and complex migration and whilst we have tested and rehearsed this scenario in advance there may be an initial period of reduced service stability.  We will be monitoring the service closely during this time and will communicate any issues via the status page at https://status.frontiersmart.com/.

If you have any further comments or questions about the service then please browse the Knowledge Base, and submit a support ticket if you cannot find the information you are looking for.

_______________________________________________________________

This information is being displayed at https://support.wifiradiofrontier.com/portal/home to which the usual portal redirects. Nothing on the Roberts website yet.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Solo2

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Did vTuner go belly-up?  Bad news for my Yamaha receiver, if so.
Radios:  2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT

Dogmatix

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I'm not sure. Was there a Yamaha-specific website to register Yamaha radios and set up Favourites, like with Pioneer?

I think that Frontier have changed to a different, as yet un-named database provider, who does not have the whole website favourites and added stations infrastructure that vTuner provided for Frontier. Either way, this represents a major limitation on the radios (especially those with a small number of presets). It also means no means to add stations by URL, or to synchronise station lists between radios.

The various Frontier-using brands appear to have been caught by surprise by this move. There is nothing on the Roberts website as yet. They are going to get a lot of very cross customers calling in tomorrow morning (me for one), as are Hama and others. We can but hope that they lean very heavily on FS to restore the missing services or something like them asap.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Dogmatix

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Actually, Yamaha seem to be two months ahead of the game: see https://uk.yamaha.com/en/news_events/2019/0305_av_update_on_internet_radio_station_access.html, dated 5th March.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Astur

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From Como Audio website:

"Though they have been a great partner over the last decade-plus, in order to avoid the very real possibility of the Internet radio service no longer working, we’ve taken the immediate action of partnering with an alternate station aggregator. This is the same aggregator who supplies the premium music streaming services to our Musica model (Deezer, Napster, Tidal, and Amazon Music). This change was not made as a cost-saving measure, but to allow us to continue to reliably support the Internet radio functionality of your Como Audio model(s)".

tadworth506

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Another big omission is that BBC podcasts (listen again) is no longer there. Before if a BBC station was selected there was the option to either listen live or select a podcast. This was my main reason for buying a Roberts radio even though I preferred the Reciva portal to FS.
By loosing the BBC podcasts, the "added stations" "favourites" and the radios no longer synchronised this new portal is basically pants
IR100's....OXX Digital...IRMA1...BT internet radio....Freecom Musicpal(v.tuner)...tranciva (frontier silicon)... Acoustic Solutions Net008..Roberts stream 83i... No reason at all why I need so many...and now a Pure One Flow so I again can listen to BBC Listen Again.Also have Zettaly Avy

Solo2

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Actually, Yamaha seem to be two months ahead of the game: see https://uk.yamaha.com/en/news_events/2019/0305_av_update_on_internet_radio_station_access.html, dated 5th March.

Thanks for the info about Yamaha.  Unfortunately, my receiver is on the list of those that won't be updated to airable.radio, so if vTuner sputters out, that's it.  Fortunately, I have the Grace tuner connected to the Yamaha, so if Reciva continues to work, I'm good there (and if Reciva follows suit, there's always TuneIn via the chromecast audio). And yes, (Castalla), there's the LMS castbridge plug-in option, so BBC listen again and podcasts via the chromecast audio are also still available.
Radios:  2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT

castalla

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Hmm.

Maybe this is the time to invest in a cheap raspberry pi and install LMS.   I have a Roberts S1 speaker and a Yamaha xda-10 - both appear as squeezebox players using the upnpbridge plugin.   All the tunein stations, bbc podcasts, favourites, added urls, etc.

Big spender?  There's always Sonos!
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Crystalset

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Thanks for the info Dogmatix. On my Roberts SB1 radio I lost all presets. When I tried presets & 'last listened to' I got the following message on the screen & voice-over: 'Due to recent changes to our Internet Radio service you will need to save your presets again.'
I've started resetting some presets & all seems ok.

Dogmatix

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I have talked to Roberts and to Hama this morning. The upshot is that after the outage last week, vTuner told Frontier that, by the way, they aren't going to play with them from 6th May. (Perhaps vTuner want to concenrate on providing service via smartphones.) This caught Frontier on the hop, so they've found a new stations provider/aggregator (neither Roberts nor Hama knew who it is yet). This new provider does not provide a user portal, so the features of synchronised favourites for multiple radios, and adding stations & streams by URL, are not available any more / for now.

Hama said that they were only informed by Frontier yesterday afternoon. Roberts aid that they have not yet been informed by Frontier. Both see that they are now selling radios that do not do everything they are advertised as doing, and will make this point to Frontier. The Hama chap I spoke to made a point of defending Frontier, saying that they have been forced into the change and have done all they can to ensure that the internet radios still work as such at all. The villain of the piece is therefore vTuner. Nevetheless, Frontier could have involved the brands earlier, and given end users a chance to note down their favourites and added stations before cutting access to the portal. They should also say if the lost functions (or equivalents thereto) will be restored in due course.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Dogmatix

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Roberts have some information for users at https://www.robertsradiotechnical.co.uk/Documentation/internetradiomigration.pdf.

The advice is somewhat self-contradictory: on the one hand "No action will be required by yourself", but on the other hand, "Existing Internet Radio or podcast presets will be lost and need to be stored again."

No indication of who the new provider is, or whether Favourites and Added Station functionality will (ever) be restored.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

dog-man

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Aaaaaaaarrrrrgggghhh,  My expensive radios are not much use to me at the moment.  I am a big user of BBC on demand and many stations that were in my presets don't seem to be available now. Hopefully they will appear eventually. I certainly don't have the urls so will have to do a lot of googling.

Alan E Hill

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Another big omission is that BBC podcasts (listen again) is no longer there.

I don't know if it's connected, but the BBC have removed their podcasts from the Google Podcast aggregator. It seems that the Beeb will not use a service which does not supply listener numbers/data.

However, delivery via RSS is still OK. MediaMonkey fulfils that task for me. Podcasts are also mostly available on iPlayer Radio. I'm not certain the position with regard to BBC Sounds because it's geo-blocked, but I do know that Sounds has exclusive (non-RSS) podcasts, which is irritating and somewhat foreboding if you live outside the UK.

Personally, I don't know what was wrong with iPlayer Radio. I'm not certain it's an improvement at all.

And before anyone says it BBC podcasts outside the UK do carry advertising to fund them, or at least the potential.
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Today I'm mostly listening to LiquidLounge

Paul Webster

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Ah - so that is why Airable had a mention on the Squeezebox forum.
Looks like FS have had ability to use Airable for a while (partnership announced in Jan 2017).
I wonder if Reciva (in their current guise) had the opportunity to quote for the job.
Reciva-based Logik IR100 and Tangent Quattro MKII plus lots of Logitech (ex-Slimdevices) Squeezebox and 2 old Turtlebeach Audiotron, handful of O2 Jogglers and some Raspberry Pis

Solo2

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It looks like Frontier-Silicon added airable.radio to some of its modules 2 years ago.  http://www.airablenow.com/frontier-silicon-adds-airable-api/  I guess vTuner's service interruption of a week ago brought things to a head and caused Frontier-Silicon to jump ship as Yamaha did earlier.  Airable is Tune In GmbH (not the same as the US TuneIn, Inc.).  It sounds like vTuner has some management troubles.  I don't think it would be difficult for Frontier-Silicon to add their own portal for "my stuff" type of customization. 
Radios:  2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT