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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
Can I attach a Freeview digibox to a Combi TV/Video unit?1
My high gain aerial can't get all the Freeview channels I expected2
I can't get Freeview yet, when will it start in my area?3
Are there plans to extend the range of regional variations on Freeview?4
How can I Receive Freeview on two TVs using one box?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

Comments
Friday, 27 July 2012
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

5:47 PM

Mark Barden and Alex F.: Thank you!

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
Saturday, 28 July 2012
S
Stephen P
sentiment_satisfiedGold

1:34 AM

Also good words for Brian.

Olympic gold star.

But "tolerant" ??

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Stephen P's 1,170 posts GB
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
D
Dean Ensor
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

1:31 PM

Great news I just wish Sky Sports News/ Soccer Saturday / UK GOLD would return / come to Freeview some time. Another Movies / Pop channel also needed on Freeview how about VH1 and TCM/ Movies 24

link to this comment
Dean Ensor's 44 posts EU
Monday, 6 August 2012
R
Rob
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

1:16 PM

I know its late to say so... but your website is the best and very clear and very usefull info and very helpful

link to this comment
Rob's 170 posts GB
Friday, 10 August 2012
P
Peter
8:35 PM
Stevenage

Are you aware that if you are running Firefox under Ubuntu the banner links at the top of the page do not work. OK with Chrome.

link to this comment
Peter's 4 posts GB
Sunday, 16 September 2012
J
Jane
8:25 PM

Dear Brian, many thanks and congratulations on your site's 10th birthday. The hard work you must put into making it clear, informative and user-friendly is very much appreciated. Kudos and saludos to you!

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Jane's 4 posts GB
Friday, 21 September 2012
P
Peter
10:31 PM

Congratulations Brian on a simply incredible website the amount of work you put into it must be mind blowing.

Keep up the excellent work look forward to another ten years best regards from ABC Aerials Exeter

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Peter's 7 posts GB
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:52 AM

Brian. - Many thanks for yuor production of aSuperb" web site. - Well managed and highly informative. - Keep up the good work.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB
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