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Feb 19 2013

A high-definition simulcast of BBC Two will start transmission on Tuesday 26 March at 6am.

BBC Two HD will replace the current BBC HD channel, which broadcasts high-definition shows from across the BBC, as part of the Delivering Quality First plans.

BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow said the new channel would “showcase more of our programmes at their very best – helping to highlight our commitment to high quality, engaging and ambitious programmes on BBC Two”.

Programmes such as Paul Hollywood – Bread, Science Britannica and upcoming drama The Fall will now be available in high-definition for the first time.

BBC Two HD will be free on all digital television platforms offering HD channels including: Sky HD (169); Freeview HD/YouView (102); Virgin Media (187); Freesat HD (109); and BT Vision (852).

BBC HD was the UK’s first free-to-air high definition channel when it started airing in December 2007.

BBC One HD launched in November 2010 with variants for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales starting in the last six months.

This post originated from BBC’s Ariel site.

84 Responses to “BBC Two HD to launch on March 26”

  1. Keith Says:

    What happens to he HD programming from BBC3 and 4?

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  2. admin Says:

    Keith said:
    What happens to he HD programming from BBC3 and 4?

    At this time, nothing it would seem. It means you’ll lose access to any HD programmes from BBC Three and Four until the BBC sort themselves out.

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  3. Keith Says:

    Thanks Admin for a quick response. Do you have any idea of what they need to do to sort this one out?

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  4. admin Says:

    Keith said:
    Thanks Admin for a quick response. Do you have any idea of what they need to do to sort this one out?

    As a simulcast, the only thing I can think of is that the BBC would need a BBC Three HD and BBC Four HD channel, but they have previous said there is no funding for such channels at this time. I guess iPlayer might still have them in HD though.

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  5. Lawrence pearce Says:

    That’s excellent news even though this was promised quite a long time ago. Now all we need to do is to persuade Freesat to group the main HD channels together in the EPG like they do with Freeview. I’m sure that stadard definition local news material could be made available via a red button service to allow this.

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  6. Paul Oldroyd Says:

    That’s a shame. I’ve been hoping that they would drop the idea. Most of what I watch on BBC HD is from BBC4, not BBC2

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  7. Keith Cobby Says:

    As I have posted several times before, the BBC have plenty of money. It is just a question of priorities.It would be interesting to know exactly how much it would cost to transmit BBC3/4/News in HD.

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  8. Chris Says:

    There are three big questions here.

    1. What happens to HD programming from BBC3 and BBC4? (as already mentioned)

    2. The press-release mentions a “simulcast network version of the BBC2 schedule” – so what exactly is happening to the local programming on BBC2? I always assumed it would be moved to BBC1, now that BBC1 HD is regionalised (mostly), But the above wording to me sounds like BBC2 HD will be a generic network version while BBC2 SD remains regionalised, much like BBC1 SD/HD were initially.

    3. What are they going to do with 3D simulcasts?

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  9. Chris Says:

    PS. The press release I referred to is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2013/bbc-two-hd.html

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  10. Neil Says:

    Chris said:
    There are three big questions here.
    1. What happens to HD programming from BBC3 and BBC4? (as already mentioned)
    2. The press-release mentions a “simulcast network version of the BBC2 schedule” – so what exactly is happening to the local programming on BBC2? I always assumed it would be moved to BBC1, now that BBC1 HD is regionalised (mostly), But the above wording to me sounds like BBC2 HD will be a generic network version while BBC2 SD remains regionalised, much like BBC1 SD/HD were initially.
    3. What are they going to do with 3D simulcasts?

    Here’s my thoughts together with answers to some of your questions:

    1. – I think we’ll loose this until extra DTT capacity comes along to launch them, most likely early next year.

    2. – As part of DQF, the beeb have already said they plan to remove opts from BBC Two and make it a single national service. In the meantime, the HD service will be a full simulcast of BBC Two England.

    3. – I reckon that as nobody has taken the fifth DTT HD slot (now advertised three times), then the BBC may decide to use it to make the Red Button video stream HD on all platforms. 3D content in the future could be made available via the Red Button for viewers with HD equipment.

    The beeb have been very cagey about this whole ‘closing BBC HD’ issue, I do think there’ll be an announcement of what they’ll do with the fifth HD stream for DTT shortly rather than just nothing if C5 won’t take it. Obviously this all relates to DTT, DSAT has plenty of bandwidth to launch all BBC services in HD tomorrow but they won’t do it though if it’s not available across all platforms, the good old ‘platform neutral’ policy!

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  11. Keith (original) Says:

    I know it won’t happen, but I would have much preferred them to have kept BBC HD for showing programmes from BBC3&4 _and_ also introduced a BBC2 HD simultaneous broadcast channel.

    Does anyone else, at times, feel as though the BBC is being slowly dismantled?

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  12. strangequarks Says:

    Shame on you BBC, what a disaster your HD service is. You found space for nations variants of BBC1 HD which hardly anyone wants then discontinue all HD broadcasts for BBC3 & BBC4. As always YOU alone know best & to hell with what we the viewers want to see – the BBC Trust is a farce. Why do you insist on hobbling your HD service to satellite in the name of the awful platform neutrality? The viewers pay for the license so why do you NEVER listen to us?

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  13. barrie Says:

    I was a little annoyed at the press release that listed $ky Freeview, Youview and Virgin before mentioning Freesat. Freeview and Freesat should have got top billing from a BBC press release – or am I being pedantic!?

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  14. admin Says:

    barrie said:
    I was a little annoyed at the press release that listed $ky Freeview, Youview and Virgin before mentioning Freesat. Freeview and Freesat should have got top billing from a BBC press release – or am I being pedantic!?

    They have to remain impartial, which usually means they end up mentioned last!

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  15. Keith (original) Says:

    @14 – then it would be best to list them in alphabetical order, perhaps.

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  16. Brian Damage Says:

    Well, we knew this was coming – but this announcement alone makes no sense.

    As mentioned above, the expenditure on the new regional 1HD channels (for just a few hours of regional news/weather per week) is hugley extravagant if the BBC now can’t continue to broadcast their HD content for BBC3, BBC4 and/or any showcase events.

    Perhaps the answer lies either with the remaining DTT HD slot (on air for fewer hours per day than BBC HD currently broadcasts) or with some form of on demand service such as The Space.

    With regard to the iPlayer, I suspect that there is a regulation which prevents them streaming HD content via this unless it has been recently broadcast. (You only have to look at the number of BBC3 repeats of HD material which is only ever available in SD on the iPlayer)

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  17. Keith (original) Says:

    @14 continued… Actually, I think the services should always be ordered free first, then subscription in alphabetical order.

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  18. stingy al Says:

    they should scrap bbc4 (which i love & signed the petition to save) move all its programmes n guys over to bbc2 and keep comedy and kids continuing on bbc3

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  19. Chris Says:

    I like to think this is an “intermediate” and transitory situation. BBC3 HD and BBC4 HD have not been asked for or approved yet, but it makes absolute sense for it to go this way eventually. Together with all regional programming being tidied up and put into one place and all childrens programming being tidied up and put into one place. It will all take time to do so but I teink the BBC is doing a bit of housekeeping to maximise the resources it has got while still able to move forward with technology. Be patient with Auntie!

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  20. swjoduk Says:

    stingy al said: they should scrap bbc4 (which i love & signed the petition to save) move all its programmes n guys over to bbc2 and keep comedy and kids continuing on bbc3

    So comedy fans lose out? I for one will miss comedy shows on BBC HD and therefore I am very disappointed with this decision.

    You say kids tv on BBC3, isnt most, if not all, kids tv on CBBC & Cbeebies?

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  21. Neil Says:

    Chris said:
    I like to think this is an “intermediate” and transitory situation. BBC3 HD and BBC4 HD have not been asked for or approved yet, but it makes absolute sense for it to go this way eventually.Together with all regional programming being tidied up and put into one place and all childrens programming being tidied up and put into one place. It will all take time to do so but I teink the BBC is doing a bit of housekeeping to maximise the resources it has got while still able to move forward with technology. Be patient with Auntie!

    That is true. Don’t forget that it’s not just a case of lashing up an HD Encoder and getting the services ‘on air’, the playout needs to be HD too and currently BBC2, 3 and 4′s isn’t. CBBC and CBeebies share playout with BBC Three and Four respectively so there’s work to upgrade all of this which requires investment. BBC1 is now full HD playout, I suspect BBC HD’s playout will become that of BBC2 England.

    11. – I do feel the BBC are lacking in the times! What annoys me is there’s still a lot of money wasted for pointless things internally, if this was saved for other projects they’d have a bit more expenditure for things like this. Sorry beeb but I don’t buy this whole “we’re broke” excuse all the time!

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  22. Steven Morgan Says:

    When is the BBC One Wales HD will start.? I am confused BBC One HD has moved to Channel 972 with no Channel at the 108 slot. Is it already available?

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  23. Richard Parslow Says:

    Steven Morgan said:
    When is the BBC One Wales HD will start.? I am confused BBC One HD has moved to Channel 972 with no Channel at the 108 slot.Is it already available?

    It has but maybe not on your freesat box, maybe do a channel search/update scan ?

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  24. Steven Morgan Says:

    Richard Parslow said: It has but maybe not on your freesat box, maybe do a channel search/update scan ?

    Thank you. I did an update scan and I now have BBC One Wales HD. Diolch!

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  25. stingy al Says:

    swjoduk said: So comedy fans lose out? I for one will miss comedy shows on BBC HD and therefore I am very disappointed with this decision.
    You say kids tv on BBC3, isnt most, if not all, kids tv on CBBC & Cbeebies?

    sorry , i meant more of a merge of 4 into 2 and having 3 on all-day with cbbc on it during the morning like it used to be. im sure a good scheduling shuffle could save a hell of alot of cash for em

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  26. Richard Crichton Says:

    At least it will be on all day unlike the part time BBC HD which only starts at 4pm weekdays.

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  27. Richard Crichton Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    At least it will be on all day unlike the part time BBC HD which only starts at 4pm weekdays.

    I meant the programes start at 4pm. I know the preview nonsense is on all day

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  28. Terry Says:

    Remember in the consultation where they said no channels would be lost?

    They LIED.

    The value of BBC HD far exceeds the value of BBC2 HD. We get fewer viewing options, and less quality (BBC3&4 HD rebroadcasts).

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  29. Neil Says:

    At least we’ll be able to see 30 mins of BBC News in HD weekdays 1100 – 1130 once it goes live from New Broadcasting House as BBC2 simulcasts 30 mins of BBC News weekday mornings.

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  30. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said:
    At least we’ll be able to see 30 mins of BBC News in HD weekdays 1100 – 1130 once it goes live from New Broadcasting House as BBC2 simulcasts 30 mins of BBC News weekday mornings.

    30 mins of doom and gloom in HD. I can’t wait. :-)

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  31. Richard Crichton Says:

    Off topic but did you see Walking Wounded a return to the front line on C4. Best factual TV i’ve seen all year.

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  32. Keith Cobby Says:

    No I didn’t see it. I’m too busy watching RT HD!

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  33. Martin Says:

    Might have been asleep but how long has active tv been on freesat just found it today channel no 408

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  34. admin Says:

    Martin said:
    Might have been asleep but how long has active tv been on freesat just found it today channel no 408

    Since the 14th January

    http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/update-scan-140113/

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  35. Sensible Paul. Says:

    Can anyone think of any HD programming on BBCs 3 or 4 that either hasn’t already been on 1 or 2, or is shown on 1 or 2 as a repeat?

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  36. Neil Says:

    Keith Cobby said:
    No I didn’t see it. I’m too busy watching RT HD!

    They do show some good documentaries on RT, seen some good ones over the last couple of weeks, they are all in native HD too which is a bonus.

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  37. Andy Bell Says:

    Just to be clear. The four SD versions of BBC2 will continue until at least 2015. Then there’ll be a decision on whether to do HD versions, drop the variations or continue as before.

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  38. Neil Says:

    Andy Bell said:
    Just to be clear. The four SD versions ofBBC2 will continue until at least 2015. Then there’ll be a decision on whether to do HD versions, drop the variations or continue as before.

    I thought it was on the cards the ‘nation’ variants of BBC2 were to close? They should put this ‘nation’ programming on BBC1 instead.

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  39. Terry Says:

    Sensible Paul. said: Can anyone think of any HD programming on BBCs 3 or 4 that either hasn’t already been on 1 or 2, or is shown on 1 or 2 as a repeat?

    All of the Scandi-dramas, like Borgen, Forbrydelsen, The Bridge … or other European stuff like Spiral …

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  40. Rich Says:

    Only Connect! great show currently on BBC HD and BBC4.

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  41. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    Terry said: All of the Scandi-dramas, like Borgen, Forbrydelsen, The Bridge … or other European stuff like Spiral …

    Spiral is only shown in SD. Still a great program!

    Being Human is a BBC3 program which is HD. I don’t recall that being repeated on BBC1 or 2.

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  42. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said: I thought it was on the cards the ‘nation’ variants of BBC2 were to close? They should put this ‘nation’ programming on BBC1 instead.

    Newsnight Scotland on BBC1 Scotland. That wouldn’t work.

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  43. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Newsnight Scotland on BBC1 Scotland. That wouldn’t work.

    I honestly didn’t know there was a Scottish variant of Newsnight. Does Wales and NI have one too or just unique to Scotland?

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  44. Andy Bell Says:

    There are plenty of programmes on BBC2 in the nations which could not easily go on 1 – minority sports like shinty, arts documentaries, parliamentary and party conference coverage. If opts on 2 were scrapped it would cause big problems. That’s why it’ll be reviewed in 2015.

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  45. Neil Says:

    Andy Bell said:
    There are plenty of programmes on BBC2 in the nations which could not easily go on 1 – minority sports like shinty, arts documentaries, parliamentary and party conference coverage. If opts on 2 were scrapped it would cause big problems. That’s why it’ll be reviewed in 2015.

    2015 – just in time for a potential new government who might be in a position to throw the BBC some more dosh.

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  46. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said: I honestly didn’t know there was a Scottish variant of Newsnight. Does Wales and NI have one too or just unique to Scotland?

    Just Scotland Neil. Normal Newsnight till 11.00 then cuts away for the duration.

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  47. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Just Scotland Neil. Normal Newsnight till 11.00 then cuts away for the duration.

    Interesting, so a 20min opt-out for Scottish issues. I never knew they did that as part of Newsnight but makes sense I guess.

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  48. Bernard Danby Says:

    Regarding a separate issue will someone at join free sat please inform the Daily Mail to update their Saturday weekly TV.guide as it still insists that 5 USA and 5star and PICK TV are on freeview only Thanking you

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  49. Richard Crichton Says:

    ESPN is selling its channels to BT Group. That’s one in the eye for Sly. :-)

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  50. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    ESPN is selling its channels to BT Group. That’s one in the eye for Sly.

    Definitely, about time they had some serious competition and it will come in the form of BT. Anything that dents Sky’s funding is in my opinion a good move.

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  51. Keith (original) Says:

    @40. Sadly, the last series of Only Connect was BBC4 (thus SD) only. All previous series had been simulcast on BBC HD but not that one – and no time-shifted version (that I could find). Shame because it looked stunning in HD.

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  52. Neil Says:

    We might be getting an update scan today – possibly the addition of Showcase 2, lets wait and see.

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  53. alexander Says:

    If Channel 5 doe’s not take up the spare HD slot then allow the BBC to launch an upgraded version of BBC HD. Its main source of programes would come from BBC 3 +BBC 4, plus the odd series from abroad.

    Can anyone confirm if there are any spare multiflex in FREEVIEW..

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  54. Terry Says:

    Apparently the Review Show, that used to come on after Newsnight on a Friday is moving over to BBC Four only. So there’s another programme that won’t get an HD broadcast.

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  55. alexander Says:

    With ESPN selling their channels to BT GROUP, and if the BBC launche’s an upgraded version of BBC HD. The new channel would carry HD programes from BBC3, BBC4, ESPN(BT GROUP) plus any other productions.

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  56. Rosco Says:

    New fta service for anyone interested in these things – Sky News Arabia. Transmitting in Arabic, but its got plenty of bandwidth and its a decent picture.

    10876V 22000 5/6 for anyone who wants a look.

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  57. alexander Says:

    Rosco said: New fta service for anyone interested in these things – Sky News Arabia. Transmitting in Arabic, but its got plenty of bandwidth and its a decent picture.

    Hasn’t the BBC got an arabic news channel for the middle east?

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  58. Rosco Says:

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  59. alexander Says:

    Rosco said: Yup:
    http://en.kingofsat.net/find.php?question=bbc+arabic&Submit=Zap

    Thanks for corfirming the service exits.

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  60. Neil Says:

    Although it’s branded as ‘Sky News Arabia’ it’s actually only 50% joint owned by them so not fully controlled by the Murdoch elite! Interesting it’s FTA too although unless you speak fluent Arabic you won’t understand it!

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  61. Soldierboy001 Says:

    Can’t see the need for comedy in HD the jokes are just as funny in SD/HD and on radio, the same goes for the news just as miserable. jolly, informative on SD/HD and the radio. Save HD for what it is best for i.e. Nature Programing, Drama and Sport. Remember HD is free on Freesat so be glad of that and stop moaning please. I do though notice it’s the usual suspects that do all the moaning???????????

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  62. Richard Crichton Says:

    Moan still no Demand 5 and 4OD on Freetime.

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  63. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    Moan still no Demand 5 and 4OD on Freetime.

    It seems to be taking a long time to sort, not doing the freetime branding much good with these delays.

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  64. Soldierboy001 Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Moan still no Demand 5 and 4OD on Freetime.

    Richard I asked a question on here when Freetime was launched, it was based on Demand 5 not allowing certain programes to be seen after their broadcast time and would this apply to Freetime as this would negate the advantage to me if I missed a certain program that was prevented to be aired on Demand 5 being also not shown on Freetime. Do you have an answer to this?

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  65. Godfrey Edwards Says:

    I live in Spain and have just bought a second freesat box, however it will not except
    my uk post code is there any way round this problem, the first box works fine.
    I await your comment.

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  66. Soldierboy001 Says:

    Check to see if you are putting the post code in correctly, some applicationd need a gap in the post code some do not. I have a friend who seems to be having the same problem and I will see later this week end so will be interested in any follow up to this. Problem is a lot of people on this site resent us using Freesat!!!!!!!!!

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  67. Richard Crichton Says:

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  68. admin Says:

    According to sources, Lord Sugar “kicked off”, telling Mr Desmond: “You don’t know who I am.”

    …wish we didn’t!!!

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  69. Neil Says:

    Wow… Mr Desmond isn’t to be messed with! if only he’d stand up to Rupert in the way he stood up to Alan Sugar… maybe he wants to one day buy The Sun from NI once Rupert finally retires.

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  70. Richard Crichton Says:

    I wonder if there is a connection between the (so far) non appearance of 4OD and Demand 5 on Freetime and the fact that both TV companies are YouView stakeholders while they have no stake in Freesat.

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  71. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    I wonder if there is a connection between the (so far) non appearance of 4OD and Demand 5 on Freetime and the fact that both TV companies are YouView stakeholders while they have no stake in Freesat.

    It’s an interesting one but as PSB’s then they have a moral obligation to make their on-demand services across all platforms in Ofcom’s eyes from a long-term perspective. Once all platforms have on-demand as standard add-on then I guess Ofcom would be asking questions of C4 and C5 as to why they aren’t on Freesat, especially when enables these services for the first time.

    I wonder if we’ll see them make an appearance by the end of this Month perhaps?

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  72. alexander Says:

    Neil said: Richard Crichton said:
    I wonder if there is a connection between the (so far) non appearance of 4OD and Demand 5 on Freetime and the fact that both TV companies are YouView stakeholders while they have no stake in Freesat.

    It’s an interesting one but as PSB’s then they have a moral obligation to make their on-demand services across all platforms in Ofcom’s eyes from a long-term perspective. Once all platforms have on-demand as standard add-on then I guess Ofcom would be asking questions of C4 and C5 as to why they aren’t on Freesat, especially when enables these services for the first time.
    I wonder if we’ll see them make an appearance by the end of this Month perhaps?

    Doe’s this mean that UKTV will have to move onto FREESAT due to the BBC owning 50% of the package?

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  73. Neil Says:

    alexander said: Doe’s this mean that UKTV will have to move onto FREESAT due to the BBC owning 50% of the package?

    The thing with UKTV is they don’t have PSB status in Ofcom’s eyes. Likewise the sister channels of ITV, C4 and C5 don’t either. It’ only all BBC services plus ITV, C4 and C5 (in SD) that come under this category.

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  74. Neil Says:

    Looks like the freesat awards entries for 2013 are open again admin:
    http://www.freesat.co.uk/awards

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  75. alexander Says:

    Neil said: Looks like the freesat awards entries for 2013 are open again admin:
    http://www.freesat.co.uk/awards

    Pity we cannot vote for UKTV channels!

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  76. admin Says:

    Neil said:
    Looks like the freesat awards entries for 2013 are open again admin:
    http://www.freesat.co.uk/awards

    Yep, received the information this morning but don’t think I’ll promote this year, as it doesn’t allow customers to vote, just allows broadcasters to enter for the shortlist. I’ll post up when customers are able to vote for the specific categories. I find the posts that don’t allow anyone to vote just frustrate!

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  77. barrie Says:

    I see on dig spy that someone ITK says Travel Channel is coming to Freesat this month. Have you heard anything Admin?

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  78. Neil Says:

    barrie said:
    I see on dig spy that someone ITK says Travel Channel is coming to Freesat this month. Have you heard anything Admin?

    Just read that, lets wait and see if it’s true! I have a sneaky feeling FS have left EPG slots 405 and 406 vacant for Travel Channel when they did their recent reshuffle. 402 was also left vacant and, as I suspected, we know will soon be occupied by Showcase 2.

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  79. admin Says:

    barrie said:
    I see on dig spy that someone ITK says Travel Channel is coming to Freesat this month. Have you heard anything Admin?

    I’m waiting for a response from freesat as I don’t know who the member on digitalspy is to confirm if they are a reliable source or not.

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  80. Neil Says:

    admin said: I’m waiting for a response from freesat as I don’t know who the member on digitalspy is to confirm if they are a reliable source or not.

    They may deny knowledge until the official press release but will be interesting. This is another of my watched ‘non freesat’ channels so will be great to finally have it on-board.

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  81. mike Says:

    hi we live in Malta and use free sat can you please tell me why i keep having signal break up when its windy or spitting with rain, also why i cannot recieve any channel to do with channel 5.
    thank you

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  82. Tony Says:

    Hi Mike ,
    It could be to do with frequency and satellite beam changes . I’m sure not so long ago a lot of the frequencies changed over to tighter beams , basically so it would be harder for people outside the uk to pick up content. This would explain why your signal keeps cutting out. I think a bigger dish will be needed to sort your problem out. More tecky guys will no doubt tell you more.

    Regards
    Tony

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  83. Neil Says:

    mike said: hi we live in Malta and use free sat can you please tell me why i keep having signal break up when its windy or spitting with rain, also why i cannot recieve any channel to do with channel 5.thank you

    Because you live outside the UK footprint contour of the satellites which transmit the service. Channel 5 is now on Astra 2F with a super-tight UK spotbeam, currently the BBC, ITV and C4 are still on Astra 1N which has a slightly wider footprint, this will change though at the end of the summer when Astra 2E takes over and if you can’t get C5 now then you’ll loose all the others too.

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  84. Nick Reede Says:

    strangequarks said:
    Shame on you BBC, what a disaster your HD service is.You found space for nations variants of BBC1 HD which hardly anyone wants then discontinue all HD broadcasts for BBC3 & BBC4.As always YOU alone know best & to hell with what we the viewers want to see – the BBC Trust is a farce.Why do you insist on hobbling your HD service to satellite in the name of the awful platform neutrality?The viewers pay for the license so why do you NEVER listen to us?

    What he said, there are some wonderful HD programming from BBC3 and BBC4 and to lose this is a disgrace

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