New look Teletext services coming on the 9th March

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 new 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.

BBC News Multiscreens – Four screens now available

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.

Sky to go premium on DTT

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 and 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.