Freeview changes

3C has closed down and has been replaced by Clyde-1 on Freeview (it is thought this is temporary until a permanent replacement is found). You will may need to rescan your set top box for it to pick up the new channel name for Clyde-1 – unless your box automatically updates itself. Also, Emap and Channel 4 are going to be launching a new music/youth channel on Freeview – it is unknown at this stage whether it will replace The Hits on Freeview, replace a Channel 4-owned channel, or be a completely new slot (this option seems unlikely). I would imagine the channel would be like the E4 Music strand on E4.

ITV Play axed – ITV2 +1 coming to Freeview on the 15th March

Following the recent ITV quiz audits, ITV have decided to remove ITV Play from Freeview and on Sky (ie. it will be axed on all platforms), and replace it on Freeview with ITV2 +1 on the 15th March, and on Sky on the 16th March. Late night ITV Play quiz programmes will still be aired on ITV1 and ITV2 – but the channel itself will be axed. If the rumoured ITV Movies channel ends up launching, I would assume it would take ITV2 +1’s place on Freeview.

Sky channels not going off Freeview after all?

According to unconfirmed reports, Sky may be considering keeping their channels free-to-air on Digital Terrestrial and not transforming their DTT channel space into a subscription service. It was thought that Sky were thinking about changing the channel space they currently use to broadcast Sky Three, Sky News and Sky Sports News on Freeview into a premium service (with potentially different channels – ie. Sky One or Sky Sports). The premium service would have meant customers would need to have a new set top box specifically to decode and watch the premium Sky channels on Digital Terrestrial. Nothing has been confirmed or denied yet, so more news on this as it develops.

Teletext rebrand goes ahead – and Top Up TV Anytime software news

The rebrand of the major Teletext services on Freeview have taken place. Most Teletext services on Freeview now have a different colour (purple) and look slightly different (new logo, etc). Teletext Cars and Teletext Games haven’t been changed – Teletext Cars still has a blue background and the old logo. Teletext, Teletext On ITV, Teletext On 4 and Teletext Holidays all feature the new look purple Interactive services. In other news – the much anticipated Top Up TV Anytime software update is expected to be released via over-the-air download on the 13th March.

Teletext Extra information

The new Teletext Extra service – launching on Freeview soon – will be available for use on certain set top boxes from Spring/Summer. Thomson boxes and a new range of Alba/Bush set top boxes will be compatible with the new service following an over-the-air download that will be sent to those boxes (Thomson in the Spring and the new range of Alba/Bush boxes from when they go in the shops). Teletext Extra will “install” as an application on those boxes and will be a 14-day EPG TV listings service. More information on Teletext’s new look and for more information on Teletext Extra can be found at www.dtg.org.uk/news/news.php?id=2280.

Setanta Sports 1 has launched

Setanta Sports 1 has launched on Digital Terrestrial as a full channel – available by paying a monthly subscription fee of £10.99 a month. The new channel launched on Digital Terrestrial on the 1st March. You will need a set top box with a slot or a CAM in order to use the service, as a viewing card is required to unlock the channel. The new channel is on channel 34 on Digital Terrestrial – which is the same channel number pay-per-view Setanta Sports used to be available on. The channel in the EPG is still called “SETANTA SPORTS”, but it is now actually Setanta Sports 1. Setanta Sports 1 will be showing sporting action from live Premiership football matches, US PGA TOUR Golf, SPL matches, European football, Serie A, Bundesliga, Le Championnat, Portuguese and Dutch Division 1. More information on the new service is available at www.topuptv.com/setantasports.html and at Wikipedia. You will need to rescan your set top boxes (probably doing a full rescan and not just an Add Channels) in order to pick up the frequencies for channel 34. The new channel broadcasts from 12pm to 3am every day. In other news, the Top Up TV channels that were taken off the “linear” channel lineup have now had their placeholders removed from the EPG (and the Top Up TV Promo has closed down and has also been removed). If you rescan your set top box (full scan), you will notice channels such as the Top Up TV Promo, Discovery and Cartoon Network have gone.