Back in 2002, the BBC decided it needed to provide additional listening options for the digital radio listener. Five new services were proposed for the capacity the BBC had on DAB digital radio and digital satellite.
The sport section of Radio 4's long wave service became the longest named service, BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra. The Asian Network was promoted from a Midlands-only AM service.
The three other networks were codenamed "Network X", "Network Y" and "Network Z".
"Network X" became "1Xtra", "Network Y" launched as "6Music" and "Network Z" became "BBC7".
BBC Radio 1Xtra, as it now is, is still close to the original remit of "contemporary black music to a young audience and break new, non-chart UK talent".
BBC Radio 6 Music, has moved somewhat from the remit of "BBC archives of concerts and music interviews to explore music from the 1970s to the 1990s", and is now a very popular off-playlist music station.
BBC Radio 7 was intended to provide "spoken-word entertainment in a way which will encourage new listeners to speech radio".
In the next month, BBC Radio 7 will become, with a suitable 'correct' spelling, BBC Radio 4 Extra. There will be little change to the content of the station, aside from the dropping of the Cbeebies Radio service and the provision of some extended contemporary BBC Radio 4 programmes such as Now Show Extra and News Quiz Extra and Desert Island Discs Revisited.
Nice to hear EARTHSEARCH II in stereo on BBC RADIO 4 EXTRA (weekdays 6:30pm) again on Freeview & the i-player but sadly in boring low bit rate MONO on DAB. This is a classic James Follett Sci-fi series first broadcast at noon on Sundays on BBC Radio 4. Ditto BETTER THAN LIFE the "Red Dwarf" classic radio series (by Grant Naylor), also in stereo, read by the amazing Chris Barrie. Weekdays at 6pm. Catch up on the i-player. I hope they go on to repeat "INFINITY WELCOMES CAREFUL DRIVERS" epecially those driving trucks in the vicinity of BEDFORD FALLS and cars in HOLBY CITY !!
Nedbod: I know Brian, that's why I record it using the phono lead from the i-player. I now have all 20 episodes of EARTHSEARCH I & II which costs a small fortune to buy on CD. I think it's fantastic. The sound quality is excellent (even in the car). My mates were astounded when I played it to them t'other day. I even added TEXT to my CD with episode info on my car text display, COOL !!
Phono lead sounds very good, especially now the bit rate on line and even on TV has improved. Can't believe the BBC are now broadcasting the World Service in stereo overnight on Radio 4 DAB and FM (1am - 5:20am UK time) in higher quality than Radio 4 itself after 7pm on DAB, when it always seems to be in mono these days and generally since the Olympics in 2012.