31 July 2007

Changes afoot on multiplex B... again.

After reporting (in good faith, mind) that multiplex B would no longer carry the Engineering Channel back in June, multiplex B will no longer carry the Engineering Channel from August 3. The channel, which broadcasts software updates for receivers to download, will remain on multiplex 1. Several theories surround what the move signifies: the BBC could be moving their radio stations not currently on one of their multiplexes to B, or they could be preparing the multiplex for overnight HD broadcasts.

26 July 2007

33 million people: “What Switchover?”

33 million people are still unsure when digital switchover will occur in their region, according to a survey conducted for middleman website uswitch.com. The Border region was the most aware – useful, as they’ll be the first region to switch next year – but only 7% of Midlanders were able to correctly name the date for analogue switch-off there.

24 July 2007

Nuts TV to launch on Freeview

Yes, seriously. Broadcast are reporting that lads’ magazine spin-off Nuts TV will launch on Freeview on September 12, broadcasting between 21:00 and 01:00 every night. The channel is currently broadcast online, and will be live 5 nights a week, with recorded content on the other two. The channel plans to launch on other platforms later.

22 July 2007

Bulletin: Top Up TV, HDTV, PlayStation 3 TV?

Following the launch of the Showcase channel, Top Up TV will carry on-demand programming from British Eurosport from July 25. The future of the live stream – currently just two and a half hours in the morning – has always looked uncertain, but now looks increasingly likely to be scrapped. In other news, Ofcom have claimed that up to 4 High Definition channels could be launched on Freeview if the broadcasters accept its plans to re-arrange the multiplexes. In all likelihood, the plan is unlikely to ever be considered seriously, as all the major channels have been lobbying for an entirely new mux to be created for HD. Finally, you could soon be watching Freeview on your PlayStation 3 (assuming you have yours already): reports suggest Sony are developing an add-on to the next-generation console which would convert the machine into a PVR.

20 July 2007

"4 Music" planned to replace The Hits

Channel 4 and Emap are planning to launch their new joint-venture music channel in January. According to Brand Republic, the service known as "4 Music" will replace The Hits on Freeview early next year.

16 July 2007

BT Vision Sport unveiled

BT have released details of their DTT-plus-broadband service BT Vision’s new sports service. 242 Premier League football matches and 125 Football League games will be available over the course of next season on-demand a few hours after the final whistle: subscription to this service costs £4/month. For £12/month, this offering is enhanced with access to Setanta Sports’ channel. Individual matches will cost £1.99 each.

12 July 2007

CBBC to extend hours?

Broadcast are reporting that the BBC plan to re-launch the CBBC Channel and extend its broadcasting hours to 21:00. The move would require a change to the current timesharing arrangement between CBBC and BBC Three, which uses the kids channel’s bandwidth when it closes at 19:00. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Five Life will extend its hours to midnight, but this extra programming will not be available to Freeview viewers (as the channel timeshares with Television X).

09 July 2007

The Audi Channel on the way to Top Up TV

Top Up TV have signed up The Audi Channel and National Lottery operator Camelot as content providers for its downloads service. The channels will contribute to the new “Showcase” service, which initial reports suggest will be a daily 15-minute block of programmes from a variety of sources, similar to ‘preview’ channels on cable.

100 days to Switchover: Whitehaven prepares

A survey conducted by Ofcom and Digital UK has revealed that all 25,000 households in the Whitehaven region – the first to switch to digital-only television in 100 days time – plan to convert to digital. The news allays fears that a small hardcore of “digital refuseniks” would not attempt to convert and abandon television altogether in protest.

06 July 2007

Ofcom publish post-switchover frequencies

Ofcom has published the frequencies of and strengths at which digital multiplexes will be broadcast post-switchover. The document currently only lists details for main transmitters; full details for each reason will be published closer to each switch – the plan for the Border region can be found here.

05 July 2007

Channel 4+1 to launch on August 20

Channel 4 will become the first of the major terrestrial broadcasters to launch a timeshifted version of their flagship channel when Channel 4+1 launches on all digital platforms (including Freeview) on August 20. Five will launch “+1” versions of Five US and Life on satellite this autumn.