Teletext is being rebranded on the 9th March to move across to the new purple colour scheme (which Teletext Holidays launched a while ago). In addition to the newÂ look pages, there will be a brand new service launching on Freeview called Teletext Extra – which will be an EPG service. All of Teletext’s Freeview Interactive services will be rebranded – including Teletext, Teletext Cars and it is also thought the Teletext on ITV and Teletext On 4 services will also adopt the new branding.
The much anticipated extra two quarter screens have been added to BBC News Multiscreens on Freeview (available by pressing the red button on any BBC channel and going down to the Multiscreen option). One of those new video screens is dedicated to Weather. All four quarter screen feeds are now shown in widescreen format instead of 4:3, and the MHEG has been redesigned to complement the new four-screen service.
As part of the recent Top Up TV channel lineup changes, Cartoon Network no longer broadcasts on Top Up TV. An MHEG is shown instead.
The Top Up TV Promo video loop is back until the end of February, between 1pm and 11pm, on channel 43. The Top Up TV Promo video loop will be removed again at the end of February to make way for Setanta Sports, which launches on the 1st March.
Sky are planning to launch a premium service on DTT by the Summer. This will mean all of their channels on Freeview will be taken off – Sky Three, Sky News andÂ Sky Sports News – and these are rumoured to be replaced by Sky Sports 1, Sky Movies 1, Sky One and Sky News (premium – not free). The new Sky service will utilise MPEG4 technology to launch these new channels – which will allow them to have four 24-hour video streams instead of the three channels on Freeview at the moment. A new Sky set top box will be needed to get these channels on Freeview, and it is thought there will be a monthly subscription to view them. The new Sky DTT set top box will decode the MPEG-4 video streams and it is thought a smart card will be needed in order to activate and use the service – similar to how Top Up TV and Sky’s satellite service works. To clarify, from the Summer, Sky News, Sky Three and Sky Sports News will no longer be available on Freeview and all Sky channels on DTT will be subscription-only premium channels. More news as we get it.
Teletext Games has launched on channel 103. The MHEG placeholder message had been on that channel since before the New Year, and the channel has now officially launched. There are lots of MHEG-based games to play – check it out on channel 103.
Setanta Sports 1 will launch on Digital Terrestrial on the 1st March as a premium channel. Setanta Sports 1 will cost Â£10.99 a month for Premiership football, golf, SPL football and European football. More details on this new addition to Digital Terrestrial can be found at www.topuptv.com/setantasports.html
Sumo TV – a retro channel – is now timesharing with Smile TV. Sumo TV is broadcast on Smile TV between 4am and 5am.
New quarter screen video feeds – one for Sports and one for Weather – will be added to BBC News MultiscreenÂ by the end of February. This follows the closure of the quarter-screen version of BBC Parliament a while back – when it changed into a full screen version of the channel. More news as we get it.