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Interesting Stuff 2009-04-23

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Dave Lee | 13:40 UK time, Thursday, 23 April 2009

"Watch Horrible Histories on your terrible TV!" screams a soldier on the new Horrible Histories minisite which launched on Friday. It's just one of many recent minisite launches, including Ashes to Ashes, Lifegivers and Gardeners World.

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On Monday we launched iPlayer HD. Nick Jackson, a University of Lincoln student, has blogged his satisfaction -- along with some frustration at the restrictions of broadband speeds in university accommodation.

Dan's Media Digest casts a critical eye over the launch -- and wonders if the new HD streams will be made available on Virgin set top boxes. The same thing is being discussed here, too.

WebTVWire gives a good breakdown of all the new additions here.

See a selection of news coverage about iPlayer HD here.

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The Guardian reports that the £250 million surplus from the Digital switchover could be used to fund the Government's broadband-for-all scheme:

The BBC's licence fee deal includes £130m a year set aside for the digital switchover help scheme between now and 2012, when the UK is due to completed the move from analogue to digital terrestrial television.

However, last year the National Audit Office estimated that up to £250m could be left over from the digital switchover fund once the analogue TV signal is switched off in 2012, based upon lower than expected take up in the first region to make the move.

There has been a fight between Ofcom, Carter and the BBC over what to do with any leftover digital switchover cash. Darling's intervention suggests that the government has won and the licence fee money will be used to support universal broadband.

One commenter questions the 2mbps target, especially given the recent iPlayer HD launch:

[T]hat's not enough to get the best out of, say, BBC iPlayer now, with its impressive new hd options. strikes me as a waste of money to roll out something that's already on its way to being obsolete.

Steve Busfield isn't entirely convinced. When exactly does the digital switchover cash switch over?

More on the plans here and here.

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The Radio 4 blog asked for thoughts on their site redesign -- and now they're acting on that feedback.

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PaidContent reacts to our announcement of the new Buyer's Guide, oddly comparing it to Project Kangaroo -- a project that was completely different.
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Up Your Ego is -- how can we put this lightly? -- less than impressed about Radio 4 putting a Webby Award graphic at the top of their pages.

Dave Lee is co-editor, BBC Internet Blog, Future Media and Technology.

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