Temporary Christmas rebrands reverted

Channels have now rebranded back to their pre-Christmas names:

– Sky Movies Christmas is back as Sky Movies Drama & Romance (including HD)
– Nick Jr Xmas is back as Nick Jr
– Blissmas is back as Bliss
– Christmas 24 is back as Movies 24
– Christmas 24+ is back as Movies 24+
– MTV Xmas is back as MTV Classic
– NOW Christmas is back as NOW Music

5 new HD channels from the BBC tomorrow

The BBC have confirmed their 5 new HD channels will launch tomorrow, Tuesday 10th December.

CBBC HD, CBeebies HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD and BBC News HD will all be available from tomorrow in time for Christmas – those channels were originally not due for launch until early 2014 so this is most welcome news.

The channels will appear in the following locations:

New BBC HD channels

In addition to the new high definition channel launches, it has been announced that BBC Two HD will replace the standard definition of BBC Two on Sky channel 102 (this change will take place in England only).

BBC One Scotland and BBC One Wales will also be replaced with their HD equivalents following the successful trial of swapping BBC One NI with BBC One NI HD in November.

Also from tomorrow BBC Alba, BBC Two HD and BBC Parliament will move to more prominent positions on the Virgin Media platform – BBC Alba moves to channel 161, BBC Two HD to 162 and BBC Parliament will switch to channel 605.

For more information on all of these changes click here to read the official BBC blog post.


BBC1 HD moves to 101 in Northern Ireland

BBC One HDIf you’re a Sky HD customer in Northern Ireland you’ll notice BBC One HD NI has moved from channel 143 to 101.

The move means the HD channel directly replaces its standard definition counterpart on channel 101.

This is the first time this has happened with any BBC HD channel.

The standard definition version of BBC One NI has moved to 141.

Lifetime to launch 4th November

LifetimeNew A+E Networks channel Lifetime is scheduled to launch on the 4th November.

The channel – a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB – will follow in a similar vein to its US counterpart and air entertainment & lifestyle shows, including original dramas & movies.

Lifetime will launch on Sky channel 156 (the same channel number Bio currently occupies) and Virgin Media channel 242.

Its +1 timeshift channel will also be available on Sky channel 197.

CBBC HD and BBC Three HD placeholders appear

Placeholders for CBBC HD and BBC Three HD have appeared on Freeview HD.

CBBC HD will be on channel 73 and BBC Three HD will be on channel 105.

You may need to rescan your Freeview box to pick up these placeholder channels.

The channel numbers may well change when the channels launch.

Both of the new HD channels will share bandwidth when they launch as CBBC airs until 7pm when BBC Three then comes onto the air (the same way their SD channels work now).

It’s not known when the channels will launch but it’s thought to be by the end of the year, or early 2014 at the latest.

The message on-screen on both placeholders reads “Coming soon, new HD channels from the BBC”.

BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD are also due to launch next year.


Sky Movies Superheroes now available

Sky Movies Greats has been temporarily rebranded as Sky Movies Superheroes for the rest of the summer.

From the 17th August to the 1st September the channel will air nothing but superhero movies.

Sky Movies calls this rebrand “a pop-up channel”.

Click here for more information.

Sky Movies

BT Sport launches on Sky and DTT

BT SportBT Sport launched this week, on Thursday 1st August.

On Sky the two new channels BT Sport 1 & BT Sport 2 can be found on channels 413 and 414 respectively. These channels are in HD on those channel numbers if you are an HD customer with standard definition simulcasts on 426 and 427. If you don’t have HD then the standard definition channels appear on 413 and 414 with placeholders for the HD simulcasts on 426 and 427.

BT Sport 1 and 2 are also available on digital terrestrial via BT Vision on channels 58 and 59, and also on BT Vision’s IPTV service.

Due to the launch of BT Sport, Sky Sports 1 & 2 are no longer available on digital terrestrial service Top Up TV, and ESPN America & ESPN Classic have closed down on all platforms.

BBC to launch five new HD channels

BBCThe BBC have announced five new subscription-free HD channels will launch in the coming months.

BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBBC HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD will all be made available by early 2014 on satellite, Freeview and Virgin Media.

The BBC Trust have approved the new HD channels for launch.

It’s been possible to launch these channels on Freeview thanks to new capacity made available by Ofcom – more details on this can be found on their website.

The official press release from the BBC Media Centre reports:

“The five new HD channels will be broadcast on satellite, covering approximately 99 per cent of UK homes from launch. On digital terrestrial television (Freeview HD and YouView), BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will use capacity on the BBC’s existing HD multiplex, which has 98.5 per cent coverage of UK homes. BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new HD capacity, which will cover part of the UK and grow in coverage over time. Further information on this new digital terrestrial television capacity can be found in the press releases issued today by Ofcom and Arqiva. The five new HD channels will also be offered to TV platform operators that run their own networks, such as cable TV and IPTV operators”.

All of the new HD channels will be simulcasts of their standard definition equivalents.

It’s also been announced “the BBC will present to the BBC Trust a proposal covering the technical options and timetable to launch English Regional variants of BBC One HD and variants of BBC Two HD for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland”.

Click here to read the BBC’s press release in full.