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Will there ever be more services on the Freeview Light transmitters?

The short answer is no; as that seems unreasonable, here is a longer answer.

The short answer is no; as that seems unreasonable, here is a l
published on UK Free TV

The digital terrestrial service that is known today as Freeview, started life in Parliament as the Broadcasting Act 1996.

Part I act gave the regulator, then the Independent Television Commission, the authority to establish digital terrestrial television services in the UK, and paved the way for a "six multiplex" service. One multiplex was reserved for the BBC, a second jointly between the "Channel 3 licence holder", Channel 4, Gaelic programming in Scotland plus Teletext UK as the "national teletext provider"

One half of the third multiplex was passed to Channel 5 and the S4C Corporation, with the remaining three and a half being put up for a public auction. The ITC duly awarded the remaining three multiplexes to "British Digital Broadcasting" in 1997, which was a combination of two big ITV companies at the time, Carlton and Granada.

British Digital Broadcasting, ONdigital and ITV Digital

On Sunday 15th November 1998, the services was launched under the name "ONdigital", a mixture of free-to-air and pay services, and rather dwarfed by the launch six weeks earlier of the much superior Sky Digital service.

ONdigital renamed itself ITVdigital on 11th July 2001, but the woollen monkey toy in the adverts proved more popular than the service, and the service closed on 1st May 2002.

It became clear (especially to BBC director-general Greg Dyke, pictured right) that the digital terrestrial service was popular with viewers, but it was unsuitable as a pay-TV platform.

ITVdigital handed back three multiplex licences to the ITC, and the ITC then re-awarded one to the BBC and the other two to Crown Castle International, a company formed when the BBC's engineering division was sold off.

A company, DTV Services, formed to publicise the new service, which was now called Freeview.

Sky joined in, and purchased slots on the new service (from CCI) for Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky Travel. Also there from the start of Freeview was Flextech Television "ftn", music channel TMF, UKTV's UK History and UK Bright Ideas, and shopping channel, QVC

Digital switchover process

When it was decided that the analogue television signals would be turned off, the BBC, as it funded by a universal fee decided that it must provide the two multiplexes of services to all homes.

Ofcom, now the regulator, decreed that the multiplex shared by Channel 3 and Channel 4 (called "Digital 3 and 4 Ltd") must also provide service to all homes that had analogue. This was because Channel 4 already provided this level of coverage, and as the licence holder for Channel 3 has "public service obligations", the broadcasting of multiplex 2 should also extend to all existing TV masts.

However, for the commercial multiplexes, Ofcom simply invited Crown Castle Ltd and S4C Digital Networks (SDN) to apply to extend their networks. Ofcom, having granted the multiplex licences already, felt it had no legal power of compulsion to insist more homes were served, and in December 2006 announced that no application had been received - at this point Ofcom no longer planned for additional frequencies for the commercial multiplexes.

Both commercial operators decided that the cost of providing the equipment, installation and ongoing operation of services from the 1,000 smaller transmitters would cost more than any additional revenue they could get from the TV channels that rent their broadcast capacity, as the work would only expand the actual number of homes broadcast to by 9%.

Since this time, S4C Digital Networks multiplex was bought by ITV plc, and Arqiva acquired the CCI multiplexes. For this reason the commercial multiplexes are known as SDN, ArqA and ArqB.

The map shows the locations where Freeview Light service is generally the only Freeview reception option.

See also: Where are the public service (Freeview Light) transmitters?

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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

3:33 PM

Yes Brian that is what I was pionting out.

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David's 306 posts GB flag
Saturday, 28 April 2012
12:50 PM
Bishops Castle

Brian, Having just installed a tv/freeview box where I live (Bishops Castle , S,Shropshire)in addition to a satellite system.. I for one was annoyed by the lack of channels from the Oakeley Mynd Freeview light transmitter. Your comment "you should perhaps not expect other people to subsidize your choice of living location?" could be taken the other way around as we are paying "a subsidy!" to the others to watch a full service.. ( a bit of humour needed there!!) The whole situation would be laughable if it was not so annoying..

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Nik's 2 posts GB flag
Nik's: mapN's Freeview map terrainN's terrain plot wavesN's frequency data N's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

1:28 PM

Nik: What is this subsidy that your refer to as paying? Is there a by-law in Bishops Castle that requires such a payment to be made?

A TV Licence is required by law to watch television services as they are broadcast. It does not guarantee receipt any signals.

However, the money from the TV Licence goes to the BBC and as a Public Service broadcaster, the BBC transmits Oakeley Mynd.

The Commercial broadcasters choose where to site their transmitters. The operate on a profit driven basis and have no "Public Service" obligation, unlike BBC, ITV1, C4 and C5. The cost for them to transmit from the remaining 1,000 or so relays would increase their potential viewer base by 8.5% of the population whilst requiring them to expend roughly the same amount as they have done to cover 90% of the population now. This is capitalism for you; if it isn't likely to generate a worthwhile return, then it won't get done.

So in areas where the Commercial broadcasters decide not to serve (such as yours), how does paying the same amount to the BBC (which does broadcast) amount to a subsidy when none of that revenue goes to the Commercial broadcasters???

I sympathise with your position and am concerned that the private interests of broadcasters are being allowed to affect the availability of services. The same is true in other areas such as postal services and telecommunications and is the case for broadly the same reasons.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

3:51 PM

On a poor relay get Sky, Free fron Sky or Freesat.

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Dasvid's 306 posts GB flag
Monday, 30 April 2012
10:22 AM

DAve and Dasvid, thanks for reply ..

Dave.. You obviously missed the comment "A bit of humor needed there"

You really think that we pay a subsidy? Please realise I was not being entirely serious!!

I have worked in the broadcast industry and know how the finaces work and suprisingly I can read as well so have read Brians well expalined comments.. Thanks anyway..

Dasvid: As I said, I all ready have a satellite system and the freeview set up was an tv in the bedroom.

Regards to both of You

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Nik's 2 posts GB flag
Monday, 14 May 2012
G Thompson
4:48 PM
King's Lynn

Digital - Ha! 'this service is not currently available' / 'no signal' / then good picture / then freezing pictures - Freeview Light is a travesty and all equipment should have a large sticker on stating if you are unfortunate to live in a Freeview Light area your service will be diabolical! Don't try to record anything because you cannot guarantee a signal. You will not be able to see your local news but you can see the local news in a place 60 miles away, so why waste your money upgrading. If you were lucky enough to have lived pre-digital you will be thoroughly p----d off with digital.

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G Thompson's 2 posts GB flag
G's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

5:01 PM

G Thompson: It's clear that you do not wish to address the issues. You are fortunate in that you do not reside in a so-called "Freeview Light" area.

If the problem is that the local news you are getting on BBC One and ITV1 is wrong for the transmitter your aerial faces, then this may be an indication that it is tuned to a transmitter to which the aerial doesn't face. In your particular area there are a number of overlapping signals.

This was the case with analogue before switchover.

For example, your receiver could be tuned to Yorkshire from Belmont (in Lincolnshire) instead of Anglia from the King's Lynn relay transmitter (even though your aerial faces the latter).

If this is the case, I am not sure by reading your postings that you wish to get to the bottom of the problem and find a solution.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

6:40 PM

G Thompson: It is worth looking at the history of TV reception in the Kings Lynn area. Belmont entered service in December 1965 with Anglia TV on C7. In November 1966 BBC1 North was added on C13 and BBC2 started on C28. Many viewers would have had aerials installed on Belmont from this date for all three services and in due course when UHF transmission began on BBC1 and ITV most viewers were tuned to Belmont. In 1974 the decision was made to transmit Yorkshire TV rather than Anglia from Belmont, to the consternation of viewers in the South of the coverage area who now had both BBC and ITV coming from Leeds. The Kings Lynn relay was a two channel transmitter, introduced to provide the East Anglia services of BBC1 and ITV to an area where a significant number of people were receiving the wrong local news for their area. It is likely that viewers who bothered to tune into this service were in many cases receiving the signal off the back of their Belmont aerial, as they would have needed a second aerial for correct reception of the two extra channels. To the present day, you should be able to receive a full freeview service with good reception from Belmont (and at your location, Waltham) when using the correct aerial. As with analogue, Kings Lynn relay tops up the available channels with the East Anglia services. It is admittedly a bit more fiddly to combine aerials to receive all services, due to the spread of frequencies in use.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Thursday, 5 July 2012
Linda Dale
10:33 PM

Should I be able to get the new Channel 4 channel I live in Leek N. Staffs which as I understand is classed as a Freeview Light area served by the Sutton Coldfield transmitter.I keep getting messages to re tune my set but have tried and usually get automatic updates for other channels when they become available.

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Linda Dale's 11 posts GB flag
Linda's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mark Fletcher

10:40 PM

Linda Dale,Leek.No is the answer to your question if you receive directly from the Leek relay mast.

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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