29 November 2007

The Jewellery Channel launches on Freeview

The Jewellery Channel launched on Freeview channel 44 this evening, at just before 19:30. The channel, which currently broadcasts on Five US in the mornings, will broadcasting in Turner Broadcasting’s spare capacity on multiplex A every night between 19:00 and 21:00.

28 November 2007

Ofcom: Public want more Freeview channels

An Ofcom survey, commissioned to help the media regulator decide what to do with the spectrum freed-up by digital switchover, has revealed that the public would prefer more Freeview channels rather than HD services or mobile television. Nearly 70% of respondents said they could go without mobile television, compared to just over 20% who could live without Freeview.

27 November 2007

Sci-Fi and National Geographic added to Anytime

Programming from the Sci-Fi channel and National Geographic will be available via Top Up TV Anytime from tomorrow. Top Up announced earlier this month that the Sci-Fi channel would be added to the on-demand line-up alongside a fourth channel, only revealed today to be Nat Geo. According to a report, “more channels will follow” in 2008.

23 November 2007

History, Crime & Investigation d├ębut on Anytime

Programming from The History Channel and the Crime & Investigation Network is available on Top Up TV Anytime from this morning. The two new channels will be joined on Wednesday next week by the Sci-Fi channel.

20 November 2007

Broadcasters reveal Freeview HD plan

In a surprise move, the UK’s major terrestrial broadcasters have announced plans to broadcast high definition channels on Freeview. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five – who all took part in DTT HD trials in London last year – will use “new technologies” and the re-shuffling of channels on various multiplexes to allow for HD channels to be broadcast on one dedicated Freeview multiplex by as early as 2009. The proposals, which will require approval from the BBC Trust and Ofcom, contradict the broadcasters’ earlier claims that extra capacity was needed in order to launch HD channels on DTT. BBC HD was approved for launch yesterday, whilst Channel 4 HD launches next month, and ITV HD is scheduled to begin early next year.

3 new channels coming to Top Up TV Anytime

Three new channels will be added to the Top Up TV Anytime line-up later this month. Programming from The History Channel and the Crime & Investigation Network will become available from November 23, with content from Sci-Fi launching on November 28. A fourth, as yet un-named, channel will also be launching “soon”. Earlier this month, Top Up TV re-arranged its broadcasting schedule in order to free-up more hours for Anytime content.

19 November 2007

BBC Trust approve HD channel

The BBC Trust has approved the full launch of BBC HD, the broadcaster’s high definition channel currently transmitting a trial service on satellite and cable. The service will typically broadcast a 9-hour schedule on these platforms from launch. Plans to launch an overnight “best-of” service on Freeview by using the overnight downtime of BBC Four, BBC Parliament and BBCi have been (sensibly) rejected, but the Trust wishes the full service to be available via DTT “as soon as possible” – not likely to be before switchover.

16 November 2007

Freeview launches advertising campaign

Freeview launches its first television advertising campaign tonight. The promotion, designed to encourage analogue viewers to use Christmas as an excuse to switch over to digital television and buy a digital receiver, will be accompanied by a print campaign pushing Freeview Playback.

14 November 2007

Top Up TV Anytime claim more daytime hours

Top Up TV Anytime 3 has begun broadcasting video tests between 11:00 and 13:00, on top of it’s existing schedule (23:30 to 06:00). Use of the slot, previously occupied by Teachers’ TV, could allow Top Up TV to broadcast more content to Anytime subscribers, or simply to re-arrange its programming schedule.

Britain’s first Analogue Switch-off complete

The first set of transmitters to cease broadcasting analogue television signals in favour of digital broadcasts switched in the early hours of this morning in Whitehaven and Copeland. After BBC Two was switched off last month, residents of the Cumbrian town can now no longer watch BBC One, ITV1 or Channel 4 via analogue television; instead, around 20 channels from three digital multiplexes are available via an aerial (as well as many more via satellite). The move completes the region’s digital switchover programme, which will be followed next year by the remainder of the Border television region.

French digital TV could disrupt Olympic coverage

Digital television transmissions from France could interfere with the equivalent transmissions on England’s south-east coast when the French complete their switchover in November 2011. According to a report from the National Audit Office, the powerful signals from the other side of the Channel will disrupt existing (pre-switchover) domestic signals. The BBC could be forced into bringing forward the switchover dates for the London and south-east regions if the situation is not resolved.

13 November 2007

ITV sign new deal for interactive content

ITV have signed a new, long-term contract with Emuse, an interactive advertising service provider (and the company behind the first “interactive” ad campaign on Freeview). The deal will see interactive content from the broadcaster available on Freeview as well as satellite, and on all channels (not just the flagship ITV1).

09 November 2007

BT Vision claims 60,000 subscribers

BT Vision, the Freeview-plus-broadband on-demand service, had 60,000 subscribers at the end of September, according to its latest report. The company aims to have 100,000 by Christmas, and 3 million by 2010. It is not known how many “subscribers” within the 60,000 figure are in fact BT employees, many of whom have been offered the service for free or at a much reduced cost.

06 November 2007

UKTV Gold hours cut for Anytime extension

Top Up TV subscription channel UKTV Gold now closes at 23:30 each night, rather than at 01:00 the following morning. The change, which took place on November 1, means that Top Up TV Anytime 3 can begin broadcasting an extra 90 minutes of programming every day.

QVC extends carriage contract to 2022

QVC has signed a new contract with multiplex operator SDN to remain broadcasting on Freeview until 2022. Their current deal was due to expire in November 2010. QVC has been broadcasting on “Freeview” since April 2002, when it replaced the now-defunct Shop! channel.

02 November 2007

25 years of Channel 4

Channel 4 is 25 today. Launched as the fourth terrestrial channel for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on November 2, 1982, Channel 4 now operates 4 channels on digital television – the others being E4, More4 and Film4 – and will operate the UK’s second digital radio multiplex when it launches. Although sometimes controversial, Channel 4 has had a hugely influential effect on British television; its commitment to Freeview has had a hugely positive effect on the platform. Happy birthday, Channel 4, from deeteetee.co.uk.

01 November 2007

Gems TV launches on Freeview

As reported last month, Gems TV has secured transmission capacity on Freeview, and began broadcasting this morning. Found on channel 43, the channel timeshares with Film4 on multiplex D: it’s broadcast hours appear to be from 06:00 to 12:45.

25 years of S4C

Welsh broadcaster S4C celebrates its 25th birthday today. Launched on the evening of November 1, 1982 (the night before the launch of Channel 4 in the rest of the UK), S4C has been the home of Welsh-language programming ever since. Now broadcasting solely in Welsh on digital television, the station also provides coverage of the principality’s Assembly on S4C Two and has plans to launch a children’s channel in the near future. Digital switchover will be a challenging time for the station, but it deserves to be hugely successful. Penblwydd hapus, Sianel Pedwar Cymru, from deeteetee.co.uk.