31 August 2008

Sky Three becomes... Sky 3

Sky Three has become Sky 3 today. Along with Sky 1 and 2, the channel has also been given a new look. It remains on Freeview channel 11.

28 August 2008

Teachers' TV to extend Freeview hours

Teachers' TV will extend its broadcasting hours on Freeview by 100% from September 1.

Q1. If Teachers' TV currently broadcasts for one hour a day, how many seconds per day will the channel broadcast after September 1?

The channel's new broadcasting hours will be 16:00 to 18:00 daily.

Q2. UKTV Gold currently starts at 17:00, and ends at 23:30. Express as a percentage the reduction in hours the entertainment channel will suffer.

Teachers' TV will remain on Freeview channel 88.

Q3. If a train leaves Glasgow at 10:10am, travelling at 45mph going South and another train leaves London at 2:05pm travelling at 75kph going North, how far will each train travel and at what time will the two trains meet?

Show your working.

27 August 2008

Top Up TV Anytime 4 appears

Top Up TV Anytime 4 has appeared on channel 41. It is being broadcast on multiplex D, and not alongside the other subscription channels on multiplex A. This suggests it could be using spare capacity on the Film4 stream, estimated to be the four hours between 04:45 to 08:45 daily. Earlier this month, Top Up TV were awarded a license for a fifth "Anytime" service.

25 August 2008

BBC Parliament returns

BBC Parliament has returned to Freeview, after a three-week absence. Its capacity had been used to broadcast an additional "interactive" video stream of Olympic Games coverage. Parliament is currently in recess.
Edit: The Community Channel, also forced off-air by the Olympics, has also returned to Freeview today.

17 August 2008

PS3 Freeview box launch date announced

Playstation 3 owners will be able to watch and record programmes from Freeview on their games consoles from September 19, Sony has confirmed. Their new PlayTV device is a Freeview receiver which turns the PS3 into a PVR and allows content to be streamed to a PSP. The unit will go on sale for £70.

15 August 2008

4Music launches on Freeview

4Music, the new channel from Channel 4 has launched on Freeview channel 18. 4Music is C4's fifth channel, and replaces The Hits which closed this morning. Unlike it's predecessor, the schedule of 4Music is dominated by music-related programming rather than music videos: tonight, it will broadcast the "music task" live from Big Brother house, for example.

The Hits ceases broadcasting

Music channel The Hits has ceased broadcasting. The station has been available on Freeview since the platform launched back in October 2002, and has stuck to the format of playing music videos (as opposed to music documentaries or general entertainment programming) ever since. As a result, it was one of the UK's most popular music stations. It will be replaced at 19:00 tonight by 4Music, a new channel from Channel 4.

14 August 2008

ITV and Channel 4 submit HD plans

ITV and Channel 4 have submitted their proposals for the proposed forthcoming HD offering on Freeview to Ofcom. ITV plan to simulcast channel 3 broadcasts between 18:00 and 23:00 each evening, with a focus on sport and drama. They also propose to sub-let their capacity during the day to other broadcasters, and offer an overnight HD service aimed at those with HD PVRs. Meanwhile, Channel 4 propose launching their existing 4HD channel in England, Scotland and NI. A new high-def version of S4C will be available in Wales. Teletext will also offer a data service, using an enhanced version of Freeview's existing MHEG system.

Top Up apply for fifth Anytime licence

Top Up TV have received a licence for Top Up TV Anytime 5, according to Ofcom's latest update. They have previously been awarded licences for "Anytime 4" and a data service, although none of these have yet appeared on-air.

250,000 Freeviewers affected by changes

Nearly one-quarter of a million Freeview viewers were forced to buy new equipment following the roll-out of new transmission standards, it has been reported. The changes meant that some "legacy" boxes – those manufactured before the digital tick certification mark was launched – would no longer be able to receive channels. Freeview had estimated that around 1% of the total number of receivers in use would be affected.

05 August 2008

Final transmission changes take place today

The final stage of a nationwide roll-out of new transmission standards for Freeview channels will be completed today. The remaining transmitters yet to make the switch (those in the Anglia, Meridian, Yorkshire, Wales, Westcountry, Central and West regions) will be updated. Some obsolete Freeview receiver models – estimated to be around 1% of the total number in use – will no longer function after the changes.

Teletext boosts digital pages

Teletext will carry more pages from its analogue counterpart from tomorrow (Wednesday). The TV Guide will only carry listings for nineteen channels to make room for the new content, according to an on-screen message.

04 August 2008

BBC World Service moves multiplex

The BBC World Service is now available on multiplex B. Previously carried on D, the radio station was the last-remaining BBC service to be carried on a commercial mux. The station's channel number, 710, is unaffected, but listeners will need to re-scan their receivers.

Switchover help scheme "a Trojan horse"

The government's digital switchover help scheme has been fiercely criticised by a coalition of consumer groups and equipment manufacturers, who claim the scheme is "stressful, confusing and unfair". The contract to carry out the scheme was awarded to Sky earlier this year, but is funded by the BBC licence fee. Critics argue that this has given the satellite broadcaster an unfair advantage and an opportunity to promote its pay-TV services to the most vulnerable members of society. It provides satellite dishes and set-top boxes to claimants, but also provides free Sky+ services and two months free viewing of many subscription channels.

03 August 2008

BBC Parliament suspended for Olympic recess

Broadcasts of BBC Parliament were suspended on Freeview today, in preparation for enhanced coverage of the Olympic games. The channel's capacity will be used to provide an extra interactive stream of coverage from Beijing. Parliament is currently in recess, but broadcasts continue online and via other digital platforms. The channel will return to Freeview on August 24. Meanwhile, according to EPG listings, the Community Channel will also be off-air between August 9 and August 25 for the same reason.

01 August 2008

Free Setanta for Top Up TV customers

Setanta Sports are giving free subscriptions to new and existing Top Up TV subscribers in time for the new football season. Under the terms of a new deal, announced today, new customers will receive a free Setanta "Season Ticket" (although a £20 connection fee applies), whilst existing subscribers to Top Up can get three months free.