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Friday 04 December 2009, AM

Media Talk: Google News offers an olive branch to Rupert Murdoch link

Round up: Freeview HD

Yesterday's technical launch of Freeview HD was the big news in Internet Blog Towers and there's some good coverage out there. Paul Murphy is the Editor of the Internet blog. - link

Distribution Core Technologies Section and DVB-T2

Over this and subsequent posts I'll aim to tell you more about the work of the various teams in the section in areas such as high definition radio cameras, video coding, white spaces and the future of radio. As part of the T2 team, I was lucky enough to be at the awards ceremony and thought I'd give some background into the work that was recognised by the award. It achieves this through a combination of more advanced modulation techniques, improved error correction coding and time interleaving as well as more efficient signalling and allocation of pilots. - link

Don't be fooled by fake Freeview HD deals

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Thursday 03 December 2009, PM

One For All Freeview HD SV9380 TV Aerial | Electricpig

The snappily titled SV9380 has been built with digital switch over in mind and packs the latest tech to give you the best viewing options. One For Alls dual patch technology eliminates unwanted reflections by implementing differential mode in the two antenna plates. Put simply, this means a better signal and fewer errors which is especially important for HD transmissions. - link

Freeview HD is in the air, you just can t see it yet | BitterWallet

Suddenly all your favourite non-Sky One programmes are so crisp and detailed you can smell them Except you cant watch them, because nobody will sell you a household receiver yet. Unfortunately, there wont be a set-top box that can receive this new type of signal until early next year engineers are describing today as a technical launch rather than a consumer launch, which wont happen for another four months or so. - link

Call for BBC Alba on Freeview campaign - Stornoway Today

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Digital signals for TV go live

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How real does TV have to be? |Television radio |

The Top Gear team had 'a bit of fun' with Norwich airport. The latest involves the Top Gear team, who, the Sun reports today, allegedly staged a stunt in which James May appeared to crash an airship, causing an emergency alert at Norwich airport. These are just the latest in a series of outcries about trust on TV. - link

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Thursday 03 December 2009, AM

Digital TV - News - BBC mulls BBC HD picture quality demos - Digital Spy

Viewers subsequently reported various issues with picture quality on the channel, and called for the broadcaster to return it to pre-August standards. He explained that a major issue is that these people cannot see the results being produced in the BBC labs or the technical tests which have been conducted. After publicly acknowledging the problem, the BBC has worked hard to address it. - link

BBC HD quality better than ever | Broadband TV News

I think unfortunately what has happens is a little like in digital radio, people tend to equate the bitrate with the quality and find it very difficult to believe you can get an improved generation of coder you can actually use a smaller bitrate and still achieve the same level of quality. Plumb acknowledged there had been some initial difficulties with the first generation of encoder, which had been quickly owned up to. There was a very small issue on certain shot changes and that has been cleared and wont be an issue with Freeview HD whatsoever, he said. - link

Freeview HD goes live Register Hardware

With the launch today of the Freeview HD service, the UK can claim to be at the forefront of digital television - though most punters won't be able to receive the service until spring 2010. Todays launch saw services switched on at the Crystal Palace and Winter Hill transmitters, between them providing coverage for around 22-23 per cent of the UKs population. As of today, while we may have the first operational TV service in the world using the new DVB-T2 standard, there arent any receivers available to buy. - link
Wednesday 02 December 2009, PM

Peter Mandelson declares war on Rupert Murdochs media empire |Media |The Guardian

Mandelson believes that, unlike New Labour in 1997, the Tories have provided clear evidence of how they are pursuing a near identical agenda to News Corp. - link

Easter push for Freeview HD | Broadband TV News

The new HD EPG now features Freeview branding for the first time, though manufacturers are free to create their own look and feel. Until April 2008 this will be a simulcast of ITV1 London, after which some regionalisation will take place. - link

Digital TV - News - Freeview HD begins UK transmissions - Digital Spy

Freeview has commenced technical transmission of high definition broadcasts towards a full commercial launch in spring 2010. Both HD channels were incorporated into the Freeview EPG with all existing standard definition offerings. Freeview will also now introduce its branding onto the EPG to remind viewers what they are watching, even when using third-party services, such as IP Vision. - link

Media: 2 Dec 09 - Victoria Derbyshire in Zimbabwe; Jeremy Hunt on BBC Pay; Tiger Woods's reputation. link

Web giants unite against Digital Britain copyright plan

Others have suggested that the clause could be used to tweak laws so that search engines could not publish summaries of news stories in their results. Bis said that clause 17 was a necessary extension of its plans to reduce copyright theft and that fears that government would mould copyright laws to their needs were unfounded. Clause 17 is part of the government's Digital Economy Bill, outlined in the Queen's speech in November 2009. - link

See the history of satellite TV

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Wheres kids TV in our digital future? |Media |

A modest annual sum of around 30m had been proposed, to meet the gap created by ITV's effective withdrawal from children's TV, and a drop of some 50m a year in funding since 2004. It is even crueller because there was a moment of brief but well-founded hope back in July, when the idea of a children's fund was put forward in the consultation for a contained contestable fund created from the BBC licence fee. This was launched by the culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, over the summer. - link

Freeview HD has arrived

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Wirral is now a totally digital telly area From Wirral Globe)

The move extends digital terrestrial television Freeview coverage to all households served by the Winter Hill transmitter group, which includes Wirral. All terrestrial TV signals were turned off shortly after midnight and a team of engineers worked through the night on the switch to all-digital TV services. Analogue services will remain switched off permanently, allowing Freeview channels to be broadcast from dozens of local relay transmitters for the first time. - link

Pic of the Day: Freeview HD Technical Launch

There was a demo for a Freeview HD postcode checker that should also be going live soon. Paul Murphy is the Editor of the Internet blog. - link
Wednesday 02 December 2009, AM

Freesat managing director Emma Scott - Digital Spy

Freesat recently confirmed plans to launch a beta of BBC iPlayer on December 7, followed by a full rollout in Q1 2010. The on-demand service will be joined by ITV Player later in the year. The firm further revealed that its sales have now passed 750,000 units, and could soon breach the one million mark. - link
Tuesday 01 December 2009, PM

Tech Weekly podcast: Freeview HD and Josh Harris on We Live In Public |Technology |

There's also a look at what the launch of Freeview HD - the first service to offer free high definition channels over the air, without a dish or cable installation - means for the UK. On top of all that, we'll be asking you to send us your 2009 highlights and 2010 predictions - leave us your tech highlights of 2009 and what things you think will be big next year in the comments below. - link

Toshiba Freeview HD Blu-ray Set-Top Box

We are a family run business that has been selling appliances and electrical items for more than 40 years. - link

Anger at digital TV tax

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One day to final digital switchover in Lancashire From Lancashire Telegraph)

The digital switchover has been hailed a success so far in Lancashire after the first phase - which saw the BBC2 signal switched off - last month. Digital UK, which is managing the switchover, said it has dealt with a range of queries including tuning issues, but that no major problems were reported. Now viewers must ensure all their TVs can receive a digital signal. - link

Freesat backs BBC HD picture quality - Digital Spy

Viewers subsequently reported various issues with picture quality on the channel and called for the BBC to return it to pre-August standards. On satellite, it's a pretty high picture quality. - link

DRDB responds to defend DAB

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Ofcom publishes BT pension consultation | Ofcom

Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. 4G auction bidders announced December 20, 2012 Ofcom has today announced the bidders in the forthcoming 4G mobile spectrum auction the largest ever sale of mobile airwaves in the UK. npower fined for making abandoned calls December 6, 2012 The conclusion of an Ofcom investigation has today found npower, the gas and electricity supplier, to be in breach of rules on abandoned calls. - link

Astra to launch four more satellites by 2014

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Tuesday 01 December 2009, AM

Toshiba previews Cell TV and Freeview HD

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BBC iPlayer use, in beautiful graphics |Technology |

Want to get a visual version of BBC iPlayer use To find out more information about driving traffic to your content or to place this widget on your site, visit We welcome your feedback at or - link

Digital Radio sales reach 10m

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Monday 30 November 2009, PM

What should ITV do with GMTV? | Stuart Heritage |Television radio |

What would you like to wake you up on a dark and rainy winter's day Probably something a little more appealing than the current choice of breakfast television. Or there's Chris Moyles on the radio, but you're not an animal, are you But change may be afoot. - link

Next gen receivers to be broadband gaming hybrids?

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Richard Sambrook to leave BBC |Media |

Sambrook's move to the global news division later that same year was seen by some to be a direct result of the criticism in the Hutton report, but he and the BBC said the move was unrelated. I intend to build on his work by ensuring that Global News combines together, along with our colleagues across the BBC, to achieve our shared aims. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. - link

BBC orders production company to pay compensation after misleading viewers |Media |

The company has also been told by the BBC Trust to offer an apology and reimbursement to competitors in the three shows who should have won challenges but did not. The BBC will also broadcast an on-air apology. The BBC Trust ruled that the three series breached editorial guidelines on misleading audiences and staging and re-staging events and banned them from being broadcast again. - link
Monday 30 November 2009, AM

ITV suspends search for new GMTV programming chief |Media |

McHugh is retiring from the company on December 31 after 16 years, and a shortlist of replacements had been drawn up. This was thought to have included GMTV's long-serving executive editor, Martin Frizzell. ITV is understood to be looking for savings of around 10 by eliminating duplication between GMTV's editorial and commercial operations and its own, with some job cuts likely. - link

Open Rights Group coverage:

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BBC Worldwide was overdue to be thrown to the Lyons |Media |The Guardian

Last week it was the turn of the corporation's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, and its chief executive, John Smith, to have the rug firmly pulled from under them. Smith and his colleagues, charged with doubling profits to better support the BBC through hard times, were last week apparently criticised for trying to do just that. Smith and some of his senior executives have played a part in their own misfortunes and the results of the BBC Trust's 18-month review of Worldwide's activities will bring to an end many of the practices that Smith has introduced and championed in his five years in the job. - link
Sunday 29 November 2009, PM

DMGT :: REG-Daily Mail General: Re Teletext

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Saturday 28 November 2009, PM

BBC iPlayer October 2009 usage statistics [ppt]

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Saturday 28 November 2009, AM

UK Film and Television News - Arqiva Prepares For DSO With Christie Monitor Wall Upgrade

Arqiva is one of the founding members of Freeview and currently owns the licences for two of the three commercial multiplexes. This fulfills the requirement for a 24/7 mission critical, fully redundant system. The quality that came our was very encouraging - the Christie system certainly appeared to deliver a superior image. - link

Michael Grade: BBCs X Factor challenge was stupid - Telegraph

For the first nine months of this year, ITV's revenues were down another 11 per cent. The result was a resounding victory for ITV it has consistently won the head-to-head ratings battle, often by three million viewers or more. If they thought they could beat The X Factor, they were living in a dream world.'' This criticism is a bit out of character despite his family's commercially rapacious reputation, Grade has spent a large proportion of his career in public service broadcasting. - link

Jeremy Hunt: Tories will stand by BBC licence fee deal |Media |

In an apparent u-turn on earlier comments by Hunt and his Conservative colleagues about their plans for the BBC should the party win next year's general election, he said a future Tory government would not impose a freeze on the licence fee before it is due to be reviewed in 2012. He said it was important the BBC should not operate under the threat of its funding level being reviewed on a year-by-year basis, which he said would threaten its impartiality and ability to hold politicians to account. Hunt said he still thought it was wrong that the BBC should get an inflationary rise in the licence fee at a time when there was no inflation. - link

I shant mourn GMTV, that smarmy, padded seat of power | Marina Hyde |Comment is free |The Guardian

I'm afraid the runes do not look good. There are suggestions ITV will replace it with something marginally more heavyweight a child reading the news, say, or a coma simulation programme. Naturally, none of us could bear to write GMTV's obituary prematurely. - link
Friday 27 November 2009, PM

Michael Grade fires parting shot at BSkyB - Telegraph

A more likely pay-TV strategy for ITV, he said, was to charge people small sums of money to watch premium content on demand. - link

Beyond 2012 - The Future of the BBC

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