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Digital TV News

July 16, 2010

Less money spent on BBC shows

by David Allen
Initially, the news that the BBC is spending less on new programming would seem to be a testament to good management, as the quality of programming is as good or as bad as it always has been and the broadcaster covers more channels with the introduction of digital TV. However, although spending on programming is down by around 13 ...



July 15, 2010

Switchover begins at Skriaig

by David Allen
Yesterday, work began on the Skriaig transmitter in Scotland, as part of the digital switchover programme being carried out by Digital UK. For households which are still receiving the analogue TV signal, this first stage will mean that BBC 2 is taken off the air. It acts as a warning that the full signal is about to be shut ...



Orange interested in Project Canvas

by David Allen
It is no secret that Project Canvas wants to expand its partners, especially after the broadcaster Five pulled out of the scheme due to the channel being put up for sale by RTL. It seems that while one partner walks away, there is another potential new partner waiting in the wings and Orange, the broadband and phone service provider, ...



BBC extends The Open contract

by David Allen
It seems that the main sporting events will not all be carried by satellite TV sports channels, as the BBC announced before the start of The Open at St Andrews that it has agreed a contract extension with the organisers. This new contract will see the BBC covering the event until at least 2016 and this is not just ...



BBC takes legal action against pirates

by David Allen
The management of BBC Scotland has taken steps to make anyone found distributing copies of “The Scheme” guilty of committing a civil and criminal offence. The Scheme follows the lives of six families living on a housing estate in Kilmarnock, but the problem with this particular programme is that the series was taken off the air halfway through the ...



July 14, 2010

ESPN broadcasts “The Open” in HD

by David Allen
The sports channel ESPN has announced plans to show a highlight programme, called The Open Highlights, covering all of the day’s events at The Open Championship in high definition. The first programme will be aired on the 15th July at 11 pm, although there will be a special Sportscenter preview show in HD a day earlier at the same ...



Phorm director could be Canvas chairman

by David Allen
The future of the multi channel online TV partnership currently known as Project Canvas could be in the hands of Kip Meek, a director of the targeted advertising and internet tracking firm Phorm. The project is at the moment made up of Arqiva, BBC, BT, Channel Four, ITV and TalkTalk. This group is expected to announce its choice of ...



BBC Breakfast may go up north

by David Allen
It has emerged that the popular morning news programme, BBC Breakfast, could be moving to MediaCity in Manchester. Apparently there is still spare capacity at the BBC’s new premises in the purpose built development in Salford and the hundred-strong team behind BBC Breakfast would fit in there just nicely. However, there are issues with moving a popular show up north. ...



July 13, 2010

Xmas Gavin and Stacey planned

by David Allen
When the second series of the hit BBC comedy show Gavin and Stacey finished, it was believed to be the end. However, the BBC has come under fire recently with regards to its content and by all standards this is a show that delivers what the BBC needs. However, there was talk that the show could return for a ...



BBC wins World Cup

by David Allen
The World Cup may be over, but it seems that Spain were not the only winners in this competition, for when it comes to the TV coverage the BBC beat off its rival ITV, with almost five times as many viewers choosing the BBC. It has to be said that ITV put pressure on itself by poaching Adrian Chiles ...



LG pushing into the 3D market

by David Allen
LG is planning an assault on the 3D TV market following the launch of its first Blu-ray 3D recorders and 3D Ready TVs. The company is set to produce a range of bundles, which will include LG branded 3D active shutter glasses. The plan is that by producing all the equipment a viewer needs, the consumer will be ...



July 12, 2010

GMTV morphs into Daybreak

by David Allen
GMTV has become a fixture at breakfast time, but no matter what the early morning show on ITV comes up with, it has still been losing out to the BBC early morning show, BBC Breakfast. However, ITV has been making some serious decisions recently and the revamp of the old and tired GMTV is one change that the new ...



Project Canvas loses Five

by David Allen
Just as things are beginning to look up for the multi-channel online TV partnership, Project Canvas has lost one its main partners. The terrestrial channel, Five, has pulled out from the project, leaving a big hole to fill. For Five this must have been inevitable, as the channel lost almost £40 million last year and has been put ...



OK! Boss looks at Five

by David Allen
For a TV channel that was written down in value by its owners from £500 million to £112 million and that lost £39 million during 2009, the sale of the terrestrial TV channel Five has brought in a lot of interest. The frontrunners are Sky, ITV, Endemol owner John de Mol and now Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily ...



Panasonic launches on demand service

by David Allen
The television maker Panasonic has announced that it is building a partnership with Acetrax to develop a new and innovative service. This will include video streaming as well as a cloud based film download service designed for owners of internet connected Viera televisions. If it catches on, this new services could challenge some of major providers of TV content, ...



RNIB works on talking STB

by David Allen
It is estimated that every day around a hundred people in the UK alone begin to notice a loss in sight and as the average age increases this is only going to get worse. However, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) are working with Bristol based software developer Ocean Blue, to build an electronic programme guide (EPG) ...



Ubisoft claims 3D TV will take off in 2013

by David Allen
No matter where the information is found, there seems to be a 3D TV story around that either says the system will never work or that it is due to take off big time very soon. The cynical consumer could be forgiven for thinking that in either case this is part of larger marketing plan and so will hold ...



July 9, 2010

YouTube looking to dominate

by David Allen
The user generated video site, YouTube, may be the largest video site in the world, but it wants more than that. YouTube is looking to dominate the world of video, not just online or via a smartphone, it wants to take over the TV too. Currently two billion videos a day are viewed on YouTube and ever since its ...



Humax reveals the T2 STB

by David Allen
The set-top box maker, Humax, announced further details about the new HDR Fox T2 set-top box at a press event. According to the commercial director, Graham North, and the chief technologist, Bob Hannent, the equipment will be launched in two weeks time and will cost £329. The HDR Fox T2 will feature a 500 GB hard drive and offer ...



Millionaire creators win £177m in court

by David Allen
The most successful game show in the history of television is “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and the show's UK based creators have won a bonus payout of £177 million following a drawn out legal battle. The case was against Disney which has been showing the US version of the show through the ABC network since 1999. It turns ...



July 8, 2010

BBC in trouble over fake hoodies

by David Allen
If there is one thing that the BBC had, it was credibility, especially when it comes to news and factual programming, but now when it came down to making a series about a housing estate in Bristol. The BBC’s credibility as a broadcaster was questioned following the showing of scenes filmed on a dark evening, with teenagers wearing hoodies ...



The end of the analogue TV

by David Allen
The end of analogue only televisions has been coming for a long time, but finally the UK’s main electrical retailers have called time on the technology, thereby saving a massive amount of shelf space. According to the body in charge of the digital switchover, Digital UK, the main electrical retailers in the UK have now changed their sales strategies ...



Project Canvas content protection plans

by David Allen
Just because Project Canvas will be a cutting edge online TV platform, this does not mean that it is going to become a free for all, as the management of the service has announced plans to use the Marlin DRM solution to protect its content. The Marlin DRM system was developed by Intertrust, Panasonic, Phillips, Samsung and Sony, but ...



July 7, 2010

Google TV STB makes an appearance

by David Allen
When Google announced its intention to enter the world of television and video, this may have been taken with a pinch of salt by some people, for Google is quick to announce ideas but occasionally is not too fast in following up on them. But online TV and video is a different thing as there is money to be ...



BBC exec heads over to TalkTalk

by David Allen
The problem with cutbacks is that staff get a bit worried about the future, especially if the competition is taking on staff to expand into new markets. With TalkTalk being a main player in the development of the online television service Project Canvas, it requires people with experience in this field and the BBC’s controller of TV platforms would ...



July 6, 2010

Apple TV 2 rumour

by David Allen
Steve Jobs may have called Apple TV a “hobby” but that could have been his way of putting the competition off the trail, as it seems that there could be some serious changes to Apple TV being prepared. According to a recent report by the NY Times, it would appear that Apple is working hard to rework the system, ...



BBC Trust criticises BBC over content

by David Allen
The BBC is in a bit of spin at the moment and unless this is sorted out fast, things could go terribly wrong for the corporation. One of the latest issues to hit the BBC comes from the BBC Trust, which has criticised the broadcaster over the content it is showing during the daytime on BBC 1 and BBC ...



Stars’ pay could lead to media war

by David Allen
As the pressure builds to reveal those high salaries that presenters and stars are being paid, the BBC Trust is warning that if these secret pay deals were made public, it would spark a war within the media, as celebrities, agents and the BBC management struggle to justify these huge amounts of cash. The BBC has been against revealing ...



Channel Four managing UKTV’s ads

by David Allen
Channel Four has announced that it will be taking on the management of UKTV’s advertising on both the TV and online, in a deal that will last ten years. This deal will mean that Channel Four will now command around thirty per cent of the UK television advertising market. Currently, advertising for UKTV and Virgin Media TV is handled by ...



TV shipments grow

by David Allen
Despite fears that the market would suffer due the financial crisis, it seems that global sales of new televisions have increased. During 2009 the figures released were showing just a small two per cent increase, but the figure recently released by Display Search shows that shipments of new televisions jumped by fifteen per cent to around 242 million. Naturally, this ...



DTG looks into DTT delivery

by David Allen
The UK’s Digital TV Group (DTG) is launching a new consultation concerning the DTT platform and how it can fit in with the expansion of digital TV in the UK. The consultation comes under the very long title of Delivering an Interoperable, Efficient, Stable and Innovating Horizontal Digital TV Market, however despite its serious title, this consultation will be ...



BBCW posts record profits

by David Allen
The commercial division of the BBC has posted record profits for the year up to March 2009. BBC Worldwide had revenues of £1.07 billion and returned a profit of £145.2 million for the year, which is up by a third on the previous year. The revenues for BBCW have been boosted by sales of the top BBC brands such ...



MSPs have concerns over new TV channel

by David Allen
The proposed launch of a new TV channel in Scotland is causing problems. On the one hand there is the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, which wants a new network created that will include a digital TV channel as well as content available online. However, opposing this is the regional Newspaper industry, which is backed by the Scottish MSPs, despite that ...



July 5, 2010

HDMI to be phased out

by David Allen
Some of the largest television manufacturers in the world are working on a system that would be able to combine power, internet, video and audio into one simple connector. Could this spell the end for HDMI cable and port? The companies have formed the DDBaseT Alliance, based on the connector's title, the HDBaseT cable, which could be launched onto ...



ITV slumps to all time low

by David Allen
It may have something to do with the World Cup and Wimbledon coverage, but ITV has seen its worst ratings ever and considering that the channel is fifty five years in September, this is not a figure to be proud of. In fact when the ITV first started it was getting around 188,000 viewers, but last weekend, at one ...



Ofcom facing cuts

by David Allen
In line with the government's cost-cutting plans it seems that even the media regulator Ofcom will have to take a look at itself and find ways of cutting back on annual budget. To start off with, the chief executive Ed Richards has taken a ten per cent pay cut, but there is no doubt that the cuts will mean ...



The revolution that is Project Canvas

by David Allen
At the moment Project Canvas is still a work in progress. The basics are already known and the concept is to renew the current free-to-view digital television service in a form that can be viewed online. The details of this service will be launched by the end of the month, but the best way of looking at it is ...



July 2, 2010

BB creator interested in Five

by David Allen
John De Mol, the creator of the reality TV series Big Brother is being reported as partnering with the Greek broadcaster the Antenna Group, with a view to making a bid for the UK terrestrial channel, Five. A successful bid would put De Mol’s company Endemol in control of a channel that has really struggled over the past couple ...



BBC2 to run movie weekend

by David Allen
BBC Two has officially been named as the home of BBC films and to celebrate this there will be a weekend of films taking place this month. The BBC has been involved in the funding and production of a wide range of films and on the weekend of the 17th July the movie weekend will kick off with The ...



ONO to partner with TiVo

by David Allen
The Spanish cable television company ONO has announced a partnership with TiVo, in a similar deal to the one recently announced by the UK cable TV provider Virgin Media. ONO announced that the TiVo software will be installed into all of the company’s next generation set top boxes. The cable provider will become the exclusive distributor of the TiVo software, ...



BBC Trust admits overfunding

by David Allen
Finally it seems that the BBC is having a reality check, with Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the governing body the BBC Trust, admitting that the BBC is overfunded. For the BBC and the TV Licence fee payer this is a monumental occasion, when the BBC will no longer be seeking more cash from the licence fee. In fact ...



AverMedia launches new digital TV tuner

by David Allen
Portable digital TV tuners, like the AverTV HD Volar A867R from AverMedia, can revolutionise the way that some people watch TV. This device plugs into the USB port of a computer running Windows Vista or 7 and the user can watch the free to view digital TV service Freeview through the Windows Media Centre. Alternatively, the user can ...



July 1, 2010

BBC Trust is shaken up

by David Allen
The BBC Trust may have been given a slight reprieve from disbandment by the government, but that has not prevented a major shake up of the organisation resulting in several high profile members of the board standing down. Two of the main players leaving will be the vice chairperson, Chitra Bharucha and the trustee representing Wales, Janet Lewis-Jones. On ...



Project Canvas will be free

by David Allen
As the multi-channel internet-based TV service known as Project Canvas begins to make launch plans, already there is speculation on how this is going to work for the consumer. It seems that TalkTalk has the answer and it comes in the form of a bundled deal. Consumers taking out a broadband and phone service bundle will be able to ...



Freeview gets Al Jazeera

by David Allen
The English version of the Qatar based news service Al Jazeera, has announced that as from today it will be showing up on the free-to-view digital television platform, Freeview. The channel is already available on satellite TV through Sky and Freesat, where it can be received in around ten million homes, but this deal with Freeview will effectively double ...



June 30, 2010

BBC looks into pensions

by David Allen
As if the cutbacks and top slicing of the TV Licence were not enough for the BBC to worry about, it seems that the subject of pensions is going to play a large part in the future financing of corporation. Currently there is a deficit of around £2 billion, which means that the BBC will need to tackle this ...



Pay cap for managers at the BBC

by David Allen
In a move to save money, the BBC has announced that from now on its senior staff can expect to earn around ten per cent less than their counterparts in commercial television. This is a further change of direction for the BBC, where once it was thought that landing a senior position was like winning the lottery. These financial changes ...



More religious programming on the BBC

by David Allen
It was only few months ago when the Church of England complained about UK television and in particular the BBC, because of the apparent decline in religious programming. As a public service broadcaster, this concerns the BBC more than the other channels. It seems that the BBC has taken notice and as from the 11th July a new Sunday ...



Five-O goes to Bravo

by David Allen
It has been a long time coming but finally the re-make of that icon of seventies' television, Hawaii Five-O, is almost complete. Once again the barriers between pay-TV and free-to-view TV will come into play, especially as terrestrial broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV are not likely to take a chance in the early days on a remake. The ...



STV signs deal with YouTube

by David Allen
The Scottish broadcaster STV and ITV, the regional licence holder, have come to an arrangement with Google that will see over two and half thousand hours of content being made available on the video site YouTube. It is hoped that this deal will open up a valuable extra line of advertising revenue from the broadcaster’s latest programmes, as well ...