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Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 – From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

As 2012 draws to a close and a New Year beckons we pull up a pew next to a roaring fire, uncork another carton of leftover eggnog and cast an eye over the stories that you, the readers, have been most interested in.

Recombu Digital launched in March this year as a sister site to the already-established Recombu Mobile and fellow new site Recombu Cars.

Over the last nine months, we’ve kept track of the whole BDUK process and the ongoing 4G in the UK saga (as well as how it might wipe out parts of Freeview) and tracked where BT’s ambitious £2.5 billion fibre network is going next.

We’ve covered plans for undersea cables going up to the Shetlands, self-determined fibre projects in Lancashire, campaigns to get broadband services fairly priced and we’ve travelled down to Cornwall to see how people in remote communities are getting connected in the 21st Century.

In short we’ve been pretty busy. But what have you been most interested? We begin our Recombu Digital 2012 Top Of The Pops-style countdown with a handy little guide on hooking up your laptop to your TV.

Here goes with the first ten – we’ll be back tomorrow with the final countdown…

Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 - From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

20. How can I connect my laptop to my TV?

Despite there being a ton of smart TV solutions and fancy-pants set-top boxes that let you access the internet (albeit in a limited fashion) perhaps the best way to get the internet on your TV screen is to employ a bit of lateral thinking and hook your laptop up to the telly box.

As well as simply plugging your laptop in with an HDMI or VGA cable there’s a number of other ways to do this, and we showed you how.

Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 - From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

19. Broadband Speed: How to boost your connection

It’s all very well having BT roll out super fast fibre all up and down the country but unless you properly set up your home network you might as well be using two coconut shells and a piece of string. Our quick ‘How To’ guide on how to make sure you’re getting the best out of your broadband was one of the first we did and has earned a place in the upper regions of our Top 20.

Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 - From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

18. Top 5 Freeview HD recorders: Freeview Upgrades

With the Digital Switchover finally finishing this year, plenty of you have been wondering what lovely Freeview HD gear is on offer now the analogue signal has finally been laid to rest. We rounded up the best of the best and will continue to do so throughout 2013. Expect this one to be a returning story for the years to come…

Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 - From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

17. BT makes 80Mbps cable services available to all ISPs

With the majority of consumer ISPs selling broadband to punters off of BT Openreach’s network, news that up to 80Mbps FTTC services were available to all ISPs on the network was always going to be welcome.

BT Infinity 40Mbps vs Virgin Media 30Mbps

16. BT Infinity 40Mbps vs Virgin Media 30Mbps

Blur or Oasis? Stones or Beatles? Virgin Media has been the king of fibre broadband in the UK for a while, that is until BT arrived on the block with its swanky new Infinity product. But which one should you get? How do they compare and which is best for you? Questions that many of you had and we tried to answer here in this feature.

When is superfast fibre broadband coming to me?

15. When is superfast fibre broadband coming to me?

Fibre broadband is the future – but when are we going to get it? It’s available now in certain parts of the UK and is rolling out slowly but surely to the majority of homes. We’re keeping a watch out for the latest announcements on fibre rollout form BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Plusnet – the whole lot – and collecting them all here. It stands to reason that those of you keen for some fibre in your broadband diet want to keep a watch out too.


14. How can I get UEFA Champions League football on TV?

The UK is a football crazy chocolate mad country and so it’s understandable that some of our most-read stories at Recombu Digital are about the best ways to get coverage of Premier League and (in this case) Champions League games on your screens.

Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 - From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

13. Jubilee phishing makes Prince William ‘most dangerous royal’ online

As well as football, another national obsession with us Brits is the Royal Family. Prince William seems like a thoroughly bloody nice fellow but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a dangerous person – at least in the eyes of online security specialists McAfee. As the heir apparent is a pretty hot search term, those searching for pictures and info on the Prince are more likely to find themselves on the receiving end of some malware rather than what they were really after.

Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 - From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

12. £50 a year for Virgin Media? – more than enough: Digital Voices 28/04/2012

Virgin Media is a premium service and premium services command premium prices. Still there’s some who think that £50 a month for superfast broadband, unlimited downloads and multi-channel TV is too much and would rather be paying £50 a year.

A comment bourne off the back of one of our Digital Voices comments round-ups generated the aforementioned howler from one Jason Gary Sewell.

Jason, we hate to break it to you but the TV Licence costs £145.00 a year for a colour TV. That’s the basic rate that everyone – whether they have Freeview, Freesat, Sky or Virgin – has to pay.

Recombu Digital’s Top 20 Stories of 2012 Part 1 - From Laptops to the Pirate Bay

11. The Pirate Bay retaliates to UK ban with barrage of downloading alternatives

This year has also seen the main UK ISPs finally clamping down on the Pirate Bay after they were served a court order.

The infamous Pirate Bay wasn’t about to go down with a fight, however, launching a retaliatory broadside in the form of links to various ways content-hungry pirates could get round the network-level blocks.

A sideshow to a perhaps wider story about freedom, intellectual property, censorship and the battle for the internet, but an entertaining one nonetheless…

That’s the first half of our 2012 countdown at Recombu Digital. We’ll be back tomorrow with the second part as we begin the countdown to 2013. Happy New Year to all of our new readers who have made our first year here so enjoyable and interesting. Until tomorrow…


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