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All posts by Colin R

Below are all of Colin R's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

paul Wood: Like Paul I would like to know when will show the new channel details following the chnages made to the Crystal Palace transmitter on 21 March 18.

In particular, I would like to know what the power levels are for the com7 and com8 muxs on channels 55 and 56.

My PVR is showing zero signal strength on channels 55 and 56. This could be because I have a band A aerial (I don't know) or it could be because the power levels on Ch 55 & 56 are lower than they used to be on Ch 33 & 35.

Curiously, my PVR says that there is still quite a strong signal on Ch 35. Is this because it is being used for a different mux now, perhaps one of the 200kW ones? Hence my desire to see the updated details on this website!

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Freeview 2024?
Wednesday 13 June 2018 1:21AM

@Briantist Brian Butterwoth:

Below my comment is the full DigitalUK text that Brian is referring to.

As I said in my post of 24 April to the Crystal Palace transmitter page, it seems that the Government wants to sell off all the Freeview raido spectrum to make billions of pounds. This latest announcement from DigitalUK seems to be code for 'Freeview viewers can go to expensive online or to even more expensive satellite to get their so-called 'skinny bundles', because FREE terrestial TV is going to come to an end in the next ten years'. My post copied here:

"Does anyone get the feeling, like I do, that the government would like to sell off the entire UHF TV specturm to mobile data serivces sometime in the next ten or twenty years, and shut down terrestial TV altogether? All these recent less-than-user-friendly changes [for the 700Mhz band clearance] may be a way of 'encouraging' people to switch to satellite TV, or in due course to most TV being delivered by broadband Internet. It may be no coincidence that Ofcom recently set OpenReach and other broadband infrastructure providers a target of a minimum of 10Mb/s broadband to all homes, i.e. sufficient bandwidth to be able to watch any television channel of your choice. It may be feasible, and it may even be reasonable by then, but it would be nice if there was some open and honest communication of the strategy, if this is indeed the case."

DigitalUK 11 June 2018:

"Broadcasters collaborate to secure future of free-to-view TV
The UK's top broadcast companies have signed a new five-year agreement to accelerate Freeview's transition to a fully hybrid platform, providing the best in free-to-view live and on-demand TV.
The collaboration between BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and network operator Arqiva the four shareholders of Digital UK - will see an investment of 125 million over the next five years to build on the success of Freeview Play, the UK market leader in free-to-view connected TV. Alongside the ongoing support for the Freeview platform, new developments will include a mobile app and improvements in content discoverability and navigation. Since launch in 2015, more than three-and-a-half million Freeview Play products have been sold in the UK from brands including Panasonic, LG, Sony, and Toshiba, accounting for 60% of smart TV sales. The service gives UK viewers a seamless combination of live and on-demand content all in one place with no monthly subscription.
Digital UK will lead on implementing the new strategy, focusing on product development and working closely with sister organisation, Freeview, on a refreshed marketing approach and brand positioning. The new investment will help Freeview exploit the trend towards cord cutting' as viewers build their own skinny bundles' combining free-to-view TV with low-cost streaming services. Since 2016 Freeview has grown its base of main sets by over a million homes to 11.4m cementing its position as the UK's largest TV platform. Around 19 million homes watch Freeview on either the main or a secondary set.
Key areas of development will include:
A new mobile app enabling viewers to access live and on-demand content on a range of smartphones and tablets, launching later this year
Restart functionality allowing viewers switching on mid-way through a programme to watch from the start using catch-up links built into the Freeview Play TV guide
Improved navigation through voice search, and further evolution of the Freeview Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) on televisions
The agreement to invest in developing Freeview as a fully hybrid platform reflects the continuing strength of linear TV but also the growth of on-demand viewing.1 Ofcom recently highlighted challenges created by new players such as Netflix and Amazon, calling for more industry collaboration to maintain the prominence of PSB content on connected TV interfaces.2
Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK, said: As the UK's TV landscape becomes increasingly impacted by global players, this new commitment from our shareholders is a major boost for UK viewers. Building on this spirit of collaboration, we will not only safeguard free-to-view TV but reinvent it for a new age of viewing.'
Joining forces is a strategy that the head of the world's foremost alliance of public service media, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), supports, Technological innovation increasingly requires new models of co-operation and investment to meet ever changing public needs. The EBU has always
1 Source BARB
2 PSB in the Digital Age, Ofcom, 8 March 2018
championed open innovation initiatives for Public Service Media. This new deal provides added value and new services for viewers across the UK, especially for online and streaming consumption, said Noel Curran, Director General of the EBU.
About Digital UK
Digital UK supports Freeview viewers and channels. The company manages strategy, policy and service development for digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the UK and provides day-to-day technical management of the Freeview Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). Digital UK is owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva and has also led development of Freeview Play, a hybrid platform bringing together free-to-view DTT and catch-up services in a range of TVs and set-top boxes."

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Freeview 2024?
Wednesday 13 June 2018 2:11AM

If the Government wants to sell off all of the UHF TV Spectrum to mobile data services, what does this mean for the TV channels that we can recieve? The DigitalUK Coverage Checker says that I can get 118 standard def and 16 high definition channels.

So what is a so-called 'skiiny bundle'? Presumably much less than 134 channels that I can recieve free-to-view over the 'air'? We already know that the channels in the Com7 and Com8 Muxes are liable for the chop (and that is nearly 25 channels!!) come the early 2020s because of the sell-off of first the 800MHz and now the 700MHz UHF TV spectrum to make billions of pounds for the Government at the cost of humble viewers. So we will already be down to about 110 channels within four years.

No doubt I would I have to pay not only my TV licence fee of 150.05 AND Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Google / Youtube, SKY, BT, ITV subscriptions totalling up to 500 per year to watch my 'skinny' bundle of, say, only fifty - seventy channels?

After all, the bloated BBC that pays its presenters and senior management high six figure salaries, and some 'talent' even seven figure salaries would take umbrage to a cut or elimination of the licence fee wouldn't it? While at the same time the BBC is apparently supporting the DigitalUK move to online and subscription services!

Letters to MPs are required to 'save our FREE UHF TV specturn'.

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Martin R:

Further to MikeP's reply, trophospheric lifts are not usually linked to air temperature. They tend to mostly occur when there is a slow decline in atmospheric pressure following a prolonged period (a few days or more) of high pressure. This can happen at any time of the year, but the probability of prolonged high pressure in the UK is higher in the summer, so there tend to be more 'lifts' in the warmer summer months.

If you have been suffering reception problems in the hot weather then it may well be due to a troposperic lift that has caused co-channel interference from other transmitters some way away. Transmitter frequencies are mostly selected to ensure that re-use of the same channels is by transmitters that are located sufficiently far apart that their coverage areas don't overlap. However, lift conditions can temporarily cause your aerial to receive a signal from more than one transmitter on the same channel, causing interference or loss of reception. One exception to this is the use of channels 55 and 56 for the Com7 and Com8 Muxes nationwide as part of the so-called 700MHz band clearance transmitter changes, which has for some caused co-channel interference even without troposperic lift conditions.

So if you are experiencing reception problems in the hot weather that you haven't experienced before then that old adage 'do not adjust your set' is appropriate, because it will most likely go away within a day or two.

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It would be great, albeit highly unlikely, if the Government would speed up the switch over to the Final all-DVB-T2 solution by providing free HD boxes to less well-off viewers, in the same way that it did by providing SD boxes to enable and speed up the analogue switch-off in 2012.

After all, the Government is raking in multi-billions by selling off the spectrum, first at 800MHz for 4G mobile, and then at 700MHz for 5G. So doesn't the population deserve some small proportion of this back by way of free or subsidised HD boxes to reduce the time that the current viewers of Com7 and Com8 channels will have to suffer some of their favourite channels off being off-air?

Incidentally, if the response to complaints about losing these Com7 and Com8 channels is "go watch them on satellite instead", then there needs to be some free or subsidised satellite kit for people currently without, and, not least, some money to get Channel 4, 4HD, 4Seven and 4+1 back on Freesat as well.

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