30 September 2009

8 in 10 TVs digital

Eight in ten UK television screens are beaming digital television into the nation's collective living room, according to the latest figures from Ofcom. By the end of June, there were 29.7 million DTT-enabled sets, of which 9.9 million were primary and almost 19.8 million were secondary sets. Freeview set-top boxes accounted for over 680,000 sales in the quarter, down 25% on last year (due to increased sales of digital TV sets, which have increased 41% year-on-year). Cumulative sales of Digital TV sets have now reached nearly 22 million and are likely to overtake those of set-top boxes (24 million) this year.

Retune Results

The nationwide shuffle of channels numbers and multiplex line-ups took place this afternoon. In order to continue receiving channels, most notably Five, everyone with a Freeview (DTT) receiver should retune.

As well as the planned changes, there were a few surprises. ITV2+1 has moved from Channel 27 to 33, presumably in preparation for the eventual launch of ITV1+1. A channel called News also appeared on channel 89, but little else is known about it. Top Up TV Anytime channels moved to channels 307 to 310.

Five has moved to a public service multiplex, giving it the same national coverage as the BBC, ITV1 and Channel 4; the "old" Five service may still appear on channel 800 for some viewers.

17 September 2009

Sweeping changes planned for 30 September

There will be a wide range of changes to the Freeview television service following the nationwide retune planned for September 30. Several channels will be switching multiplexes, changing channel numbers, launching and closing. Five will be moving to a public service multiplex (S4C already has).

Discovery's new channel Quest will launch; Viewers in England and Wales will lose ITV2+1 in preparation for the launch of ITV1+1; ITV3 and ITV4 will no longer be broadcast from relay transmitter stations; The Community Channel will close in areas that have already switched off analogue services, and many BBC Radio services will move muxes.

In addition, the following channel changes will take place:

36. Create & Craft
37. Price-drop TV (was 43)
38. Quest (was 47)
39. Super Casino (was 48)
40. Rocks and Co (was 49)

94. Smile TV 2 (was 33)
95. Smile TV 3 (was 37)
96. Babestation (was 42)
97. Partyland (was 50)
98. Television X

09 September 2009

Arqiva buys new encoders

Multiplex operator Arqiva has splashed out on some brand new encoding equipment, which it claims will allow it to start broadcasting two further channels on Freeview. The deal includes the Tandberg EN8100, which is supposedly a ruddy good piece of kit (technical term).

08 September 2009

Ymalen รข'r sioe!

All viewers in Wales will need to retune their Freeview receivers on September 9 in order to continue watching S4C Digital. The channel is switching to multiplex 2 (a public service multiplex) in preparation for digital switchover in the region.