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UK Free TV is ten years old today

On the 5th July 2002, I created the first page on UK Free TV. And now it's ten years later... Here is a short history of ten years of independent, free digital TV advice...

On the 5th July 2002, I created the first page on UK Free TV.
published on UK Free TV

To celebrate the one-decade of UK Free TV, I am first posting a short graphical history of the website.

The very first "version" of what would become the UK Free TV was included in a web-site I did for BT Broadcast Services back in 1996.

Under a section called the "Broadcasting Information Library" there was a "Digital Terrestrial TV Channels" page. This was one of the few sources of information on the new fangled "world wide web".

Just before ONdigital launched (on 15th November 1998) I was asked by BT to troubleshoot some of the technical issues that ONdigital were having. One thing I discovered was that the "technical support helpline" had no information to help them.

ITV digital, as it now was, folded on 1st May 2002, and when Freeview was announced I decided to create the "missing" web technical support resource for DTT as a personal project, and registered the name "UKFREE.TV" on 5th July 2002.

From the start the vision was "One main feature of this site will be to work out for you the options you have in your local area. By providing your postcode and details the your equipment you have (or are thinking of buying) we will be able to tellyou what you can get, what you have to spend to get it, and how to make sure you are getting the very best quality".

Here is how the site looked at the beginning:

In the first few years, the site evolved to have stories, maps, an enhanced prediction system, and details of the upcoming ("in 849 days") digital switchover.

As the site progressed, I evolved it to be more "accessible" (or "user friendly" in old money). This version has the "free+easy" strapline, and the ability for everyone to add comments, suggestions, questions and answers to each pay.

I was quite pleased that "Free and Easy" was taken up by Freeview for their point-of-sale blurb...

The next version of the site was created because computer screens were wider.

The next version of the site changed the look to add more colour. The colours were used to signpost the growing number of sections on the site.

And so to the current design, which has now taken into account the number of people using mobile devices to access the site:

All questions
BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
Removing all barriers to communication between diverse cultures2
How do I get a test card with Freeview3
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau4
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?5
In this section
Seeing something different? We are doing A/B testing on a new Material Design1
Please share your thoughts about UK FREE TV2
The next 50 things on UK FREE TV. What would you like to see? 3
UK Free TV now uses friendly web addresses4
Best ever emails and improved menus on UK FREE TV5
Use the Knowledge base to find answers to your technical problems6

Saturday, 7 July 2012
8:16 PM

Congrats on reaching the 10th anniversary of this excellent site. Here's to many more years!

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StuartPlymouth's 1 post GB flag
Mark Fletcher

8:42 PM

Happy 10th birthday to UK Free TV.I only joined this forum since September 2011 but a very valuable forum and website it is !

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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
Sunday, 8 July 2012

12:52 AM

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday UK Free TV
Happy birthday to you.

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Nick's 58 posts GB flag
Peter Browning
9:43 AM

Brilliant site real wealth of information not only to general public but also to the trades.

Congratulations for all your hard work mate keep it up
and may this great website continue for many years to come

Best Regards Peter

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Peter Browning's 7 posts GB flag
Monday, 9 July 2012
2:36 PM

Excellent site, just what the dipole ordered.
10 Years have just wizzed by, but what a wealth of information and patience with questions from the likes of me.
All the best for the coming decade and beyond
Brian Greensides

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Brian's 17 posts GB flag
Des Collier

4:43 PM

Well done Brian,on 10 years of dedication & hard graft on an excellent website,here's to another 10 years,like the new look!!

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Des Collier's 171 posts GB flag
Des's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:54 PM

Stephen P: Just wanted to say that the break in emails was unintended and require a bit of code to be fixed. When the fix was done, the site then made up for all the missed emails in one go...

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag

10:59 PM

A bid thank-you to Jordy, Peter Newlands, Nedbod, Adam B, Josh, Phil, Mark Aberfan Aerials, Ian Porter, StuartPlymouth, Mark Fletcher ,Nick, Peter Browning and Brian Greensides for you kind comments!

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
Sunday, 15 July 2012
Alex F.
3:33 PM

I love this website! Been a reader since I moved to UK in 2006 and got my first Freeview box :-)

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Alex F.'s 14 posts GB flag
Monday, 16 July 2012
Mark Barden
2:28 PM

This is most useful and able site on Freeview televsion in my opinion. Briantist is intelligent and very tolerant of a lot of Herbert's!

Thank you Briantist!

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Mark Barden's 4 posts GB flag
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