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BBC Red Button Changes on Freeview

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Rahul Chakkara Rahul Chakkara | 13:36 UK time, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

As Controller of the BBC Red Button service, I have to look at what's available for viewers on the service and balance it with the BBC's full digital aspirations. This sometimes means I have to make hard decisions about what we do and what we can offer to our audience.

From October 27th, Freeview viewers will see some changes to the BBC Red Button service that is part of a government backed UK strategy to bring HD broadcast channels to a wider audience, first announced by Ofcom back in 2008.

In order to make space for HD broadcasts in the future we need to now switch off two of the three interactive streams we use to deliver BBC content on Freeview. This means that Freeview viewers will no longer be able to see the BBC News Multiscreen and the interactive stream (known as 302) will also cease to be used for Red Button content.

So what does that mean for you watching on Freeview? Well, we will still bring you coverage of sport, music and entertainment events like Wimbledon, Winter Olympics and Glastonbury.

Red Button will still help you navigate to this content even if it is now available via linear BBC channels rather than via 302.

And whereas before we have run Red Button content in long loops, meaning it is repeated frequently, we will now be scheduling shorter runs to make sure we fit in as much content as possible into the remaining space we have - no more CBBC extra runs through the middle of the night!

To ensure that you can find this BBC content available behind the Red Button we will also be providing better scheduling information to TV listings magazines and improve our on screen now and next information so you can set your Personal Video Recorders to record this content.

Content from the BBC News Multiscreen will remain available on BBC Red Button on Sky, Virgin and BBC Online and Tiscali. My colleague Pete Clifton has written about that in more detail today on the BBC Editors Blog. Like him, I recognise that some viewers will be disappointed they cannot view the News Multiscreen anymore however a broad range of news text pages remains accessible on Red Button; while the BBC News Channel provides frequent summaries of the day's main stories and weather updates.

So why now? Well Freeview HD transmissions will begin in December 2009 in the Granada and London regions so we have to carry out technical work to clear the BBC's multiplexes where all of our channels are played out. Freeview HD will be available to viewers when the first Freeview HD digital boxes hit the shops in early 2010. More on this from Freeview themselves.

We are looking at some of the emerging technologies to explore innovative ways of delivering the services we have taken off. I would welcome your ideas and thoughts on this.

Rahul Chakkara is Controller, TV Platforms

Editor's Update: 29 October 2009 - Rahul has responded to a number of the questions and comments that have been raised in the comments below in a follow up blog post


  • 1. At 2:45pm on 20 Oct 2009, Tom W wrote:

    Much better! My main frustration with last Olympics was how long it took to acecss the extra channels showing all the events via the red buttons. It would have been far better (and simpler!) to say "Olympic channels 1-6 are on channels 801-806" or similar.

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  • 2. At 2:54pm on 20 Oct 2009, Keith wrote:

    An interesting way to spin bad news about a loss of service.

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  • 3. At 2:54pm on 20 Oct 2009, Keep F1 on the BBC wrote:

    For the World Cup when Parliament is on holiday surely the BBC can use BBC Parliament to bring extra interactive coverage for freeview viewers?

    Using the latest MPEG-2 encoders as they become avaliable would be wise to get another stream back when feasible.

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  • 4. At 3:36pm on 20 Oct 2009, FishFingers wrote:

    So what this looks like is that a tiny fraction of viewers (in London and Manchester, surprise, surprise) will benefit, while the rest of the country has to put up with losing content for no reason?

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  • 5. At 3:44pm on 20 Oct 2009, Chris wrote:

    So in order to make way for services which will only be available in two regions everyone loses out? Additionally HD will presumably only be available where there is a very strong signal which is useless for the many people who can barely get current programmes.

    What remains seems to be a fairly poor part of what was once available.

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  • 6. At 3:56pm on 20 Oct 2009, FreddyOfGreggs wrote:

    So basically Freeview watchers who don't use HD are being screwed.

    What you're actually doing is providing LESS, but for a better picture quality for those privileged souls who can afford HD TV's and HD digital services.

    Cheers, BBC. Cheers.

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  • 7. At 4:15pm on 20 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:

    Will they be on freesat.....?

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  • 8. At 4:28pm on 20 Oct 2009, Dave wrote:

    Seems like Formula 1 fans that want to watch more feeds (i.e. onboard) on Red Button via Freeview will now have a reduced service.

    Nice to way to satisfy people... not.

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  • 9. At 4:46pm on 20 Oct 2009, readjono wrote:

    AWFUL decision.

    The red button coverage is what has made Freeview a handy platform. Now I will have to opt for Sky if I want to see the coverage of Reading, Leeds, Electric Proms and so on. If anything Freeview should be looking into EXTENDING the red button services to match that of Satellite.

    Freeview should be extending choice. Not creating identical channels just in a different picture standard. I won't even be getting HD in my area for years to come and even then I won't be able to afford it.

    A huge shame for Freeview.

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  • 10. At 4:47pm on 20 Oct 2009, Ray-Cathode wrote:

    When Ofcom issued its regulatory statement on the HD changes required for Freeview, it specifically mandated Channel Four plc to provide space on its D3&4 multiplex (by vacating one channel) for a BBC service. I assume this was to be 302 the second interactive stream. Why isn't the BBC taking up this option?

    The closure of 302 will adversely affect sporting coverage such as snooker and F1, not to mention Moto GP which hardly gets an airing on normal channels. I would accept the loss of News Multiscreens, but not 302 as well, when space has already been allocated for it.

    It appears that the BBC is going even further by selling off the 2 slots on Mux B presently occupied by 302 and 305. Why is this necessary? Licence payers do not want the BBC to turn into a spectrum broker; they want a good service. If this is the price to be paid for HD, then I don't want HD on Freeview. HD must not be allowed to hijack SD BBC services as it appears to be doing.

    Of all the defective decisions that the BBC has made, this is the worst ever. The whole sad HD on Freeview debacle, from the lack of receivers at launch, to the limited HD spectrum because of the government's failure to provide new spectrum for PSBs, heralds the beginning of the end of terrestrial TV broadcasting in the UK. If services have to close, then close BBC FOUR & Radio 6 & 7 on Freeview, not 302.

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  • 11. At 4:47pm on 20 Oct 2009, davedpg5 wrote:

    Thanks a lot for that, no more interactive F1 anymore. You really are improving your services for most of the UK

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  • 12. At 5:02pm on 20 Oct 2009, MarkS wrote:

    So two areas get HD from 2010 and as a result the whole country has to lose services. This makes a massive dent in sporting coverage for little gain.

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  • 13. At 5:02pm on 20 Oct 2009, GaryOfBeeston wrote:

    I'm sure Rupert and The Bearded One will be looking forward to increased revenue, now that their platforms offer more choice. Especially with the HD channels mostly simulcasting existing content.

    Is it too OTT to suggest that HD on Freeview will have the same effect on digital as Channel 5 did for analogue? Completely muck things up, spectrum-wise?

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  • 14. At 5:08pm on 20 Oct 2009, maethorechannen wrote:

    Exactly who is going to be able to view these Freeview HD services? Last time I checked, you can't yet buy equipment capable of receiving DVB-T2 with MPEG-4.

    So you're ruining a service used by millions for a service that will be used by no one for at least a while. Worse, it will be a very long time before there will be as many people benefiting from this as there are people who are loosing out.

    Well done.

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  • 15. At 5:08pm on 20 Oct 2009, FreddyOfGreggs wrote:

    I'm sure everyone would rather more content in lesser quality pictures than less content in higher quality pictures.

    You have your priorities completely wrong BBC.

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  • 16. At 5:09pm on 20 Oct 2009, replete_phoenix wrote:

    As harsh as this might sound, I really don't give a monkeys about red button interactive. Content of this nature could EASILY be provided over the internet if necessary, via either iPlayer or into network enabled freeview/freesat boxes. We've been waiting ages for an iPlayer capable Freeview box, and all freesat boxes can do this, but are just waiting for a service to launch.

    Pushing interactive content with a TINY audience over the air is crazy, and for years the BBC has been trying to interest us in red button content, but no one is interested. The only shame is that we'll lose if for sports events, which have been the only things so far to really make any meaningful use of the service.

    HD is the future, not more streams of SD content that a fraction of the total audience ever uses.

    I'm much more worried about the quality of HD, which I'm told is likely to be 720p, at fairly low bitrates. If you can't do 1080i, at a decent rate, please just don't bother.

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  • 17. At 5:18pm on 20 Oct 2009, KernowChris wrote:

    Please can we have the red button service emulated online, for me this is very sad news, Why have you not taken the stream on the 3/4 mux as originally planned when HD was announced by Ofcom.

    An explanation would be most welcome.

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  • 18. At 5:23pm on 20 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:

    There is alot of annoyed people on here BBC: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=1146870

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  • 19. At 5:38pm on 20 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:

    F1 fans are annoyed too: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=1116419&page=133

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  • 20. At 5:57pm on 20 Oct 2009, pigeon96 wrote:

    No No what about MotoGp coverage the practice coverage saturdays and the 125-250 races on race day.i bet MotoGp gets pulled when theres a clash with other sports.DOES DORNA Know about this BBC.?.NOT HAPPY even less from the licence fee.grrr

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  • 21. At 6:11pm on 20 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:

    Reason to get freesat

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  • 22. At 6:12pm on 20 Oct 2009, techsmedders wrote:

    This is to put it simply just silly. There is no need to remove these services in Pre-DSO areas as MUX B is not going to be cleared for HD use until switchover, otherwise, BBC Four, etc... would be lost. In the areas where HD is being implemented before switchover, this is going to be on a new Multiplex, so removing from MUX B is still unessasary.

    In post DSO areas, one stream has to be lost and I can see that the News Multiscreen service could be this as there is the News Channel, internet, etc... However, 302 SHOULD STAY as it offer interactive services which many people watch, and when there are two event on at the same time (e.g. Final Score and F1) 301 AND 302 are needed for this. Lets not forget that the Olymics in 2012 are comming up and the BBC is expected to provide the best service ever. Now HD is one thing, but unless we have 302 AS WELL as the other streams, this is less options open to Freeview viewers which is shocking. That means there will be less events available than the last olympics, just some will be doubled in HD (I and most others I know (and I expect most Freeview viewers) would rather watch the additional sports over the HD doubled footage from BBC1/2).

    And besides this, 302 should be taking place on D3+4 after switchover where it was promised a slot from Channel 4 in the BBC/Ofcoms Freeview HD plan (which I still don't think should have been implemented the way it is - but that is another argument)

    I really hope that someone at the BBC takes not and changes its mind on this issue as it is going to affect a lot of people who will feel mis-sold the Digital Switchover, and wonder why they pay so much to the BBC in order to recieve LESS content after the switchover.

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  • 23. At 6:14pm on 20 Oct 2009, Brekkie wrote:

    Absolutely pathetic - we all knew this was coming and the BBC and OFCOM have really screwed over Freeview viewers. DSO should have meant more interactive services, not less.

    Last year we got 3 additional streams for the Olympics and two for things like Wimbledon - next year we'll get just the one, all so content can be simulcast on an HD channel than no "HD-Ready" TV in the country will actually be able to receive.

    Not so bothered about News Multiscreen, though it will be missed, but 302 absolutely needs to be restored ASAP.

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  • 24. At 6:18pm on 20 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:

    Guess freesat/sky/cable/online will have motogp now

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  • 25. At 6:18pm on 20 Oct 2009, Brekkie wrote:

    P.S. I also believe this is against the BBC's Charter in providing a certain plurality of service across all platforms. That's been the justification given for bringing BBC HD to Freeview - so how can removing interactive services be done at the same time when as standardised a service as possible is supposed to be available across all platforms.

    Along with the recent loss of ITV3 & ITV4 for many viewers, the loss of the BBC red button service is a major blow for Freeview. And nobody think about going to Freesat to get the service - 18 months on and they still only offer the Sport Multiscreen!

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  • 26. At 6:45pm on 20 Oct 2009, horningman wrote:

    This is a very serious error of judgement. It acts against the interests of many viewers who greatly enjoy the excellent sports coverage and other programmes on 301/302. Freeview should have all six of the additional BBC channels, not be reduced to only one. HD, which is very questionable value, should be put on separate additional multiplexes. If the government won't permit extra multiplexes then HD shouldn't be on Freeview at all.

    Please, I urge you, reconsider this. You've got it wrong.

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  • 27. At 6:45pm on 20 Oct 2009, MrJonPollak wrote:

    Does this mean that F1 Practice will not be aired live on Freeview?

    (sorry if this was asked above. I haven't the time to dredge through all the comments)


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  • 28. At 6:54pm on 20 Oct 2009, dansus wrote:

    Oh dear...

    Can we have interactive online please to replace the missing services until IPTV takes off, ive become quite attached to watching F1 onboard with the 5L team.

    ps: please ensure the default audio for F1 on 301 is 5Live and not BBC1 audio.


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  • 29. At 7:36pm on 20 Oct 2009, Martinbee wrote:

    Very much a backward step and big mistake by the BBC. We all loose out now and will not receive HD in my area 'till late 2011 and that will reduce my current service even further until switchover is completed in 2012, so I'm not a happy viewer at the moment.

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  • 30. At 7:56pm on 20 Oct 2009, groovyccb121 wrote:

    Bad decision - i'm a regular user of 302, and if anything, there isn't enough choice on Freeview! To reduce the Red Button offerings by 50% is ridiculous! And as for having clearer listings, at the minute - i know it's getting better, but there's still a lot of programmes on 301 and 302 which just say 'BBC Red Button', this certainly needs to be clearer if the programmes aren't going to be repeated as much.

    I agree with many of the comments above - there's not going to be room for everything. What happens when several sports appear at the same time, will the others have delayed coverage on 301, I suggest this would be better than nothing, and am sure it could be accomodated, even during the night for us with PVR's?

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  • 31. At 8:10pm on 20 Oct 2009, pikester13 wrote:

    fantastic bbc what a compleate cock up u have began to make! like we freeviewers dont have enough services cut down to accomadate other rubbish u now slash the redbutton interactive streams for flaming HD yet the waste of space parliment channel retains 24hrs space wich is a waste on freeview anyway so much for the bbc trust an acting as a voice for the licence fee payer yea my u kno what
    later yaw'll

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  • 32. At 8:16pm on 20 Oct 2009, Ian wrote:

    (I have just registerd with BBC blogs specifically for this.)

    This is outrageous. By all means get rid of the multiscreens, but the loss of 302 is very poor indeed.

    The BBC were awarded essentially two multiplexes on the creation of Freeview - mux 1 and mux B. Now, the BBC are giving mux B away for HD - of which their BBC HD will form one of eventually four channels - so are giving away 3/4 of a multiplex? Why????

    This of course all results from Ofcom's crazy plan for getting HD on Freeview while being able to sell off the maximum analogue spectrum to gain more revenue for the Treasury. But why is it that the BBC (and so the BBC viewer and licence fee payer) loses out?

    ITV shout "jump" and Ofcom asks "how high?" - but it doesn't seem to work for licence fee payers? If Ofcom had any sense or concern for viewers, they'd force a 7th stream on Mux C, and somehow force it to be given to the BBC for Mux C. Instead we're losing the value of 302 for a HD service that, as far as I can tell, no-one seems too fussed with.

    I'm with Ray Cathode - one of the worst BBC decisions I can think of. (Or if you were forced into it - say so.)

    Bad Ofcom. (And Weak BBC.)

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  • 33. At 8:23pm on 20 Oct 2009, groovyccb121 wrote:

    As a suggestion which would perhaps 'ease' the loss of 302, how about in the regular 'Press Red' blog which is published on this website, how about compiling a kind of schedule


    Interactive 1 (Freeview only)
    14:30 Final Score
    18:00 Moto GP (Delayed from earlier)
    19:30 Electric Proms

    I think this would be a good idea.

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  • 34. At 8:28pm on 20 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    HD belongs on the DVB-S platform, certainly until DSO is completed nation wide and thus the old analogue spectrum can be deployed - oh hang on, Ofcom/HMG wants to sell it off to the highest bidders, that's that then, the poor old customers who pay the bills suffer. :-(

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  • 35. At 8:37pm on 20 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    31. At 8:10pm on 20 Oct 2009, pikester13 wrote:

    " yet the waste of space parliment channel retains 24hrs space wich is a waste on freeview anyway"

    The BBC parliament channel is one of the last decent, informative, channels left!

    The BBC should be looking at combining the CBeebies and CBBC channels then closing BBC Three if they need more space.

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  • 36. At 9:38pm on 20 Oct 2009, GaryB007 wrote:

    At the bottom of the Press Release, it says "Later this week the BBC will publish details of the Notice to Tender for the sub-lease of capacity on Freeview Multiplex B which will be temporarily left vacant when the streams are switched off."

    Not only are the depriving us of a stream, they're flogging off the space for the time being.

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  • 37. At 9:43pm on 20 Oct 2009, David wrote:

    Saddened to hear this. The red button offering on Freeview was always poor in comparison to satellite, and now it's even worse. With all the new channels of utter rubbish springing up, surely there was a better solution? This really does epitomise what's worst about "digital choice".

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  • 38. At 9:51pm on 20 Oct 2009, GaryB007 wrote:

    Can anyone (preferably Rahul) confirm that there won't be any bitrate reductions to the remaining services services as part of these changes? BBC1/2 can look pretty nasty when the picture gets busy, and the changes to BBC HD show that picture quality isn't really a priority any more. I'm hoping the BBC don't follow the commercial channels in continually reducing their bitrate until they look like a YouTube video.

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  • 39. At 9:58pm on 20 Oct 2009, Ray-Cathode wrote:

    I have just realised that neither 302 nor 305 needs to close on Freeview. Firstly there is the guaranteed Channel Four plc capacity for one stream, which is not being used. Why is this?

    Then there are the BBC radios which are all available on DAB across the nation and most of them on FM. The total spectrum use of the BBC radios on Freeview would be sufficient for the other interactive channel.

    Why the BBC thinks that keeping its radio output on Freeview is more important than 302 or 305 is a mystery to me. In fact the radios would only have to go in areas already undergone Digital Switch Over (DSO).

    So both interactive services could be saved across the nation whether before or after DSO. Simples! (Unless you are the BBC).

    Please state why the BBC cannot do this.

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  • 40. At 11:42pm on 20 Oct 2009, readjono wrote:

    Realistically we will see NO extra stuff already on the red buttons on the BBC linear services as most come before BBC3 and BBC4 air and it's VERY unlikely they'll be adding any extra stuff to the schedule on BBC1 and BBC2.

    How exactly can you cater for tastes with Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and Radio 1's Big Weekend with one screen? It's a joke, there was so much there was no time for loops.

    What about stuff like CBBC Extra and Springwatch content? This is always airing when other interactive broadcasts are going on. So ultimately everyone is going to lose out in a big way.

    Can the BBC not just buy another slot - which will evidently be free before HD is ready - and go back to committing itself to the DTT platform rather than wrecking it?

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  • 41. At 05:31am on 21 Oct 2009, HD wrote:

    While I rarely use the multi-screen interactive service, and when I have I've found it useful. Though I would prefer a HQ HD channel than an interactive channel, I don't see why one has to be removed to make room for the other. The BBC and Ofcom should NOT be selling off the UK's TV spectrum, they should be used for things like multiple interactive channels AND multiple HQ HD channels as well as SD ones. If there is additional bandwidth available the BBC should use it instead of selling it off, and they should tell Ofcom not to sell off OUR TV spectrum, and ensure it can be used for HQ TV.

    Also, if things need to be removed from Freeview, the shopping channels and +1 channels should go.

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  • 42. At 07:23am on 21 Oct 2009, bellboy52 wrote:

    This is outrageous. Don't use the news multi-screen but the loss of 302 is a disaster. BBC please rethink this very poor decision. Red button content/implementation has been getting better and better..... This is a massive step back.

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  • 43. At 07:51am on 21 Oct 2009, techsmedders wrote:

    Looking through this and other forums, I have managed to find less than 3 people in favour of this. After speaking to my family and friends and telling them they will soon loose the multiscreens and 302 interactive coverage. The majority of people I have met are not too bothered about the multiscreens but no one I have spoken to wants 302 to go. Many people do not realise what this means for them so looking at an article like above, they are likely to think it is a good move. Having informed several people they were shocked to realise what will actually happen. It is also these type of people who think they will be able to recieve HD on their TV from Freeview as its HD ready - another point that needs to be addressed at some point.

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  • 44. At 08:53am on 21 Oct 2009, NorthDown2 wrote:

    Poor day for Freeview. I agree with the other posts that most won't notice 305 News multiscreens going, though I did use them occasionally, but the loss of 302 is devestating to the strength of the Freeview offering. I looked up the list of sport on the red button and the number of 'Not available on Freeview' labels is a sad indictment that this decision is the wrong one. Normally I have been supportive of the BBC and its decisions are usually good, but this is utterly, utterly the wrong decision.

    I think Rick O'Shea and the Fanzine on Scrum V will not be having 600-700 texts now that it appears that rugby will not be shown on Freeview on a Friday.

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  • 45. At 09:00am on 21 Oct 2009, Jordan D wrote:

    A joke. 302 is an excellent channel and much better than the countless shopping channels that litter Freeview. The BBC it appears doesn't want to show the sport it has rights for.

    Shame on you guys for rolling over so easily.

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  • 46. At 09:06am on 21 Oct 2009, lambjon wrote:

    Very poor decision to switch off channel 302. I do have satellite and generally watch the interactive stuff on there, however, when I am at work, if I want to record a sporting event from the interactive stream, I can only do this on Freeview as it is not possible to do it on a Sky digibox.

    The loss of this channel will be particularly noticeable during some of the major events such as Wimbledon and next years Winter Olympics, when we are used to 2 additional live streams.

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  • 47. At 09:12am on 21 Oct 2009, saturnsix wrote:

    Before this was announced I completed the BBC Trust consultation on Red Button, and then as now, I'd like to emphasise the importance of the 301 302 side channels, which I recall were a cornerstone of the BBC's plans for the service. Now we seem to be in a situation where ease of maintenance and cost cutting seem to be crippling the service.

    In particular, I'm concerned about those who use the Red Button service for sports such as snooker etc which aren't covered sufficiently on the linear channels, who are not going to be willing or able to use BBC online as a replacement. Admittedly, the 305 screens are redundant with the rest of the BBC portfolio, but the removal of 302 seems a backwards step.

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  • 48. At 10:08am on 21 Oct 2009, andrewmw wrote:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. The BBC freeview news multiscreen has been available for years in its various 2 screen then 4 screen formats as things progressed.

    I often use this service, and as much as the HD services will be liked, there isn't a single box in the country yet that is going to be capable of receiving the broadcasts when they start.

    The whole point of analogue switch off surely is to create more room for all these services. It isn't "oh dear we seem to have run out of room, we are going to have to remove some services in order to get the HD platform rolling out." I am not in an area that has switched yet - but in places like Devon where this has already happened, they have had channels removed and they have no analogue signal now.

    What sense does this make? NONE! Absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    Get a grip Auntie, people rely on these services! Don't destroy more more to bring services that many people won't be able to get without buying newer equipment next year!

    A Very disgrumpled viewer!

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  • 49. At 10:16am on 21 Oct 2009, cping500 wrote:

    My view is that people should ask the Trust if it has reviewed Management proposals in this area and if not to COMPLAIN about it and urge it to do things urgently. There is enough evidence on here to suggest a management failure. Note complain is a magic word in writing this sort of letter.

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  • 50. At 11:00am on 21 Oct 2009, 2Bdecided wrote:

    "Reason to get freesat".

    Not really. You get more interactive streams on Freesat than on Freeview, but there's no little weather video loop etc etc. You need Sky to get the complete service (an old sky box, no subscription, will do fine).

    Also, you can set most Freeview PVRs to record the interactive streams, as they were also listed as normal channels (301, 302). It doesn't work this way on any other platform.

    I suppose the problem is that Aunty has never explained that the Freeview service is limited and crippled - but in reality it _always_ has been, and now is more so.

    I wonder if this current move, ahead of when it was really needed, and dropping more than necessarily needed to be dropped, has been calculated to cause maximum upset in the hope of pushing OfCom's hand. After all, it was OfCom alone who said "lets fit HD into the same space we originally allocated for SD - we're not giving any of the "spare" old analogue TV spectrum that we're about to clear back to TV broadcasting - we want to sell it to mobile phone/internet companies instead!".


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  • 51. At 11:04am on 21 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #49. At 10:16am on 21 Oct 2009, cping500 wrote:

    "My view is that people should ask the Trust if it has reviewed Management proposals in this area and if not to COMPLAIN about it and urge it to do things urgently. There is enough evidence on here to suggest a management failure. Note complain is a magic word in writing this sort of letter."

    Whilst I agree totally with what you say "cping500", I'm afraid that this is going to be another 'fate-a-complee', just like the BBC's switch to using Geo-IP sniffing has been - "Never mind the technical issues, never mind the complaints from those who ultimately pay for the service, we should just do as we think best and whilst sticking the proverbial two fingers up at our paymasters".

    I would love the BBC to prove me wrong...

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  • 52. At 11:09am on 21 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:

    Shocking decision by the BBC

    now the world snooker will be a farce for freeview viewers who wont be able to watch hradly any of it


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  • 53. At 11:16am on 21 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:

    A joke. 302 is an excellent channel and much better than the countless shopping channels that litter Freeview. The BBC it appears doesn't want to show the sport it has rights for.

    Shame on you guys for rolling over so easily.

    excellent comment


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  • 54. At 2:04pm on 21 Oct 2009, __bc__ wrote:

    Ever since it was announced that HD channels would be launched on Freeview it was was always inevitable that one of two things would happen: either the quality of existing SD channels on the PSB multiplexes would lowered or some of them would have to close. The loss of bandwidth available for SD channels was always too great to be compensated for by the use of newer encoding technology (despite some wishful thinking on the part Ofcom). Given this choice, the correct decisioned has been made. It's just a pity it was hushed up until now.

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  • 55. At 2:43pm on 21 Oct 2009, ManuelRC wrote:

    This is ridiculous. While HD may offer a better picture for those willing to pay for it, it is not like the current picture quality is unwatchable. I didn't hear masses demanding better picture quality before the TV manufacturers launched their marketing blitz. However better content is always something people look for and respond to. Sacrificing content to accommodate a service with minimal benefit is like selling your left eye to buy a pair of sunglasses. Only a fool would see this as a good deal.

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  • 56. At 2:53pm on 21 Oct 2009, niteluva wrote:

    When I saw this forum title on digitalspy I thought it was a fool joking about - then I find the news confirmed here!

    I will hardly notice the missing news multiscreens to be honest, but cutting 302 as well is a ridiculous decision. As already mentioned, Freeview's existing two interactive streams already struggle to cope with live sports and music events adequately. There is little hope of sufficient live coverage on BBC1-4 to make up for the shortfall. Cutting 302 to make way for a substandard HD Freeview service beggars belief - the majority of HD viewers are surely going to stick with the superior satellite or cable HD services, even after Freeview HD becomes available.

    A decision made by executives with large screen non-Freeview HD TVs and no understanding of the real world outside TV-land.

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  • 57. At 3:21pm on 21 Oct 2009, Andrew Bowden wrote:

    Hello all.

    Rahul has asked me to reply with the following message:

    Thanks for all the comments. There's lots of questions here and issues that I can see you feel strongly about. I'm going to go through these and do a post by the end of the week following up on some of the issues raised


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  • 58. At 3:36pm on 21 Oct 2009, poshsimontemplar wrote:

    I'd like to add, I too am annoyed.

    Bad decision, BBC, imho. Listen to your licence payers!

    We live in an area where the Freeview reception is poor, and will have little chance of seeing the HD for a long time. We spend enough on upgrading our aerial just to get Freeview.

    I spend many, many months writing and complaining about the poor coverage of FV in our area and received little satisfaction from the BBC, the Minister, my local MP, etc. Everyone just spelled out what was going on and, in simple terms, we'd have to lump it. That's just not good enough!

    I upgraded to Freesat earlier this year so that we could get a signal that didn't break up. One of the things it gave me was HD from the BBC.

    Now, having made that investment, i'm now faced with more new hardware to get the new FV HD service in, who knows when.

    Oh, and, BTW, isn't it time that HD on Freesat was used to its full potential. Most of the time i've seen it, it's had fairly run-of-the-mill tv shows.

    There's been much better sports coverage on 302, and now that's going away. So wonder people are upset about this.

    How about a re-think on this, having read the comments here, it's clear that a lot of sports fans use the sevice that is going.

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  • 59. At 4:19pm on 21 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #54. At 2:04pm on 21 Oct 2009, __bc__ wrote:

    "Given this choice, the correct decisioned has been made."

    No it has not, if it was not going to be possible to keep the same SD content, quality and channels the whole idea of putting HD on to the DVB-T platform should have been scrapped or at least suspended until after DSO is complete and the analogue spectrum will (should) become available.

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  • 60. At 4:37pm on 21 Oct 2009, ropies wrote:

    I'm a really big fan of HD and find a lot of these comments disturbing. The red button service is not something I agree with but I don't go round actively campaigning for its removal. A lot of the intolerant comments on here about HD are just silly. You guys enjoy your red button service, I'll enjoy my HD.

    And to the BBC. Please don't justify this decision in the name of high definition, you bring High Definition into disrepute.

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  • 61. At 5:02pm on 21 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #60. At 4:37pm on 21 Oct 2009, ropies wrote:

    "A lot of the intolerant comments on here about HD are just silly. You guys enjoy your red button service, I'll enjoy my HD."

    Yes, and you are doing so via either the DVB-S or cable platforms, not having HD on the DVB-T platform will not inconvenience you in any way shape or form, in fact attempting to squeeze a LQ HD service into the existing DVB-T multiplexes and then the broadcasters and equipment suppliers (inevitably) hyping the service will probably just end up alienating more people than it converts and thus could conceivably damage further HD investment in the UK...

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  • 62. At 6:46pm on 21 Oct 2009, techsmedders wrote:

    I'd love to hear the BBCs response to all of the comments on this page, especially as it is evident that the vast majority of people think a poor decision has been made

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  • 63. At 6:52pm on 21 Oct 2009, Kevin wrote:

    This is a very bad decision and seems to have been sprung on us with very little notice and for highly dubious reasons. I do not feel that enough effort has been made to find ways in which these services can be preserved. The loss of the News multi-screen is annoying but liveable with as I doubt whether many used it often - I do occasionally but probably not enough to justify keeping it. The loss of 302 will seriously jeopardise the BBCs ability to cover major sporting and muscial events and is likely to result in the main channels becoming even more clogged up with sport, which is unacceptable to many. I urge you to reconsider this serious degradation in the Freeview service.

    P.S. Don't you dare remove BBC Four and 6 Music as someone else suggested - they are absolutely sacrosanct!

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  • 64. At 7:41pm on 21 Oct 2009, pikester13 wrote:

    i realy hope that the BBC think again but im not holdin out because they wont like 2 do a u-turn will they??? but i hope BBC u do later yaw'll

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  • 65. At 8:57pm on 21 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:

    I think the BBC have to think of the older population in this poor decision

    Im young myself and have access to the internet but im sure there are many pensioners who enjoy sports such as snooker and are relying on freeview to watch the world snooker championship and with this decision these older people are left with little if no snooker coverage of the world snooker on freeview

    Alot of them may have no access to the internet so cant watch it on the bbc sport website

    so think of the older and vulnerable people when making this decision to get rid of channel 302

    please reconsider

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  • 66. At 9:26pm on 21 Oct 2009, Case_Master wrote:

    This is a strange decision on the eve of the digital switchover, many sports fans will suffer as a result. None more so than snooker fans who rely on channel 302 to provide live matches.

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  • 67. At 9:32pm on 21 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #63. At 6:52pm on 21 Oct 2009, pottager wrote:

    "P.S. Don't you dare remove BBC Four and 6 Music as someone else suggested - they are absolutely sacrosanct!"

    Add BBC Parliament, The news Channel, BBC Radio7 and the World Service to that list - just because the radio services are also on DAB is no excuse for their removal from the DVB-T platform - the same logic would suggest that if people want HD TV they should invest in either Satellite or cable, if they can't get either - tuff...

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  • 68. At 9:37pm on 21 Oct 2009, BBC run by tyrants 4 tyrants wrote:

    The Beeb should think these decisions through before making them. Many Snooker fans are pensioners and rely on the red button coverage due to the fact that the coverage on the main channels has practically dried up nowadays. Taking the red button coverage off is scandalous......if you used a fraction of the F1 budget you could maintain this valuable service for your long suffering customers.

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  • 69. At 9:45pm on 21 Oct 2009, Brekkie wrote:

    So if my maths is correct the BBC mux will be hosting 7 channels after DSO - BBC1-4, BBC Parliament and 301. It's not ideal, but as the other muxes are pretty much at 8 channels, surely room can be found for 302 too - sod the picture quality, as long as those gullible enough to fork out for another HD box for their supposedly HD TV can get a (not fully) HD channel which runs 9 hours a day, never mind the other 95% of Freeview viewers and SD channels.

    In the short term it needs to be BBC Parliament which is sacrificed. Not ideal I know, but the BBC should put the licence fee payer before politics, and if capacity is scare, the channel should be reduced once again, even if it's a case of closing it at weekend when Parliament isn't in session and the demand for the interactive streams is at it's highest. And if that's not possible, it needs to be ensured where multiple events are airing both BBC1 and BBC2 are covering them, not viewers being directed to an interactive service they can't watch.

    Quite frankly it's all an absolute joke - and to be fair I'm certain it's something the bloggers here are not happy about at all, along with those in BBC Sport. It's been absolutely scandalous from the start this HD fiasco - I'd love to know what the deal was which practically overnight saw the major broadcasters turn from strongly opposing it to fully supporting it.

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  • 70. At 9:51pm on 21 Oct 2009, Brekkie wrote:

    (forgot News 24)

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  • 71. At 10:24pm on 21 Oct 2009, Kriss25 wrote:




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  • 72. At 10:38pm on 21 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    69. At 9:45pm on 21 Oct 2009, Brekkie wrote:

    "In the short term it needs to be BBC Parliament which is sacrificed.

    No it does not, you can get your entertainment and sport on any of the other channels, there is only one place for pure politics in the UK - BBC Parliament...

    "the BBC should put the licence fee payer before politics,"

    The day they do that will be the day that the BBC is closed down - fact... Anyway, those who want/need BBC-P are licence fee payer too.

    "even if it's a case of closing it at weekend when Parliament isn't in session"

    Politics doesn't stop just because it's the weekend, as it is the weekend is mostly used to catch up on what could not be covered live during the week in the four parliaments or chambers in the UK (never mind the european and international content it also carries at the weekends), if anything there is a very strong case for both LCNs 301 and 302 to be primarily for politics, only being used for other content when there is no political content to be screened...

    I assume that you were in some weird way trying to make a point or two but sorry all you have come over as someone who doesn't actually understand the BBC Charter!

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  • 73. At 10:45pm on 21 Oct 2009, John From London Town MBE wrote:

    Absolutely shocked. When the Beeb get right on the money, by using the red button so viewers can tap into live Snooker, suddenly the carpet is pulled from under us, the viewers. Not good & not thought through at all.

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  • 74. At 10:56pm on 21 Oct 2009, Jubbahey wrote:

    Well, if the planned cut of 302 goes ahead, then I think we should all get a reduction in our license fee. Less service should = less funding from viewers.

    And since they stand to get more income from selling off those channels, then an even further reduction should be issued.

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  • 75. At 00:57am on 22 Oct 2009, Andrew Broad wrote:

    Yet another reduction in the quality of my life, along with the imminent analogue switch-off, and the demise of video cassettes.

    At least I now know to look for a common solution to all three problems...

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  • 76. At 01:37am on 22 Oct 2009, Green Soap wrote:

    What's the point in complaining to the BBC? They never make mistakes, and know better than you, dontchaknow.

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  • 77. At 03:35am on 22 Oct 2009, Rialto2 wrote:

    I always took it for a given that the News Multiscreen would go, but the loss of 302 is unacceptable. The coverage of music events and sports events like the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Snooker, Wimbledon, F1, and many other smaller sports which already don't receive much coverage will be greatly reduced if shown at all. As you well know it is not about looping repeats it is about what you do when two events are on at the same time as is common at weekends. Linear channels BBC FOUR and BBC THREE cannot be used before 7pm and the News channel can't be used. BBC ONE and BBC TWO clearly can not show all the Live events which used to be on 302 as they have other schedule commitments outside of sport and music.

    There doesn't need to be a debate over whether HD is needed or which BBC channel should go. HD can be catered for without the loss of 302, as was originally planned.

    At switchover all muxes will be 24mbit/s. In order to clear Mux B the BBC will move BBC FOUR/Cbeebies, BBC Parliament, 301 and 11 radio stations to the 6mbit/s gained on Mux 1. The last remaining service on Mux B is 302. Now surely if the BBC are then giving up initially 2/3 of this Mux to Channel 4 and ITV and then 3/4 when Five HD launches, then they can claim one channel from Mux 2 (the shared ITV/Channel 4 Mux). As ITV gave up its space for Five this year then Channel 4 can give up one channel to the BBC. Remember as this is all at switchover Channel 4 can bid for a channel on the 6mbit/s gained on each of Muxes C & D owned by Arqiva
    when switched to 64QAM. Remember Channel 4 are being given, for free, around 10mbit/s on the newly created HD Mux B, so surely they can pay for 2mbit/s to carry their moved SD channel. If channel 4 can not afford this then they can loss one of its +1 channels, remember the BBC are handing over 2/3 of a Mux to Channel 4 for free so surely a payment of one SD channel on Mux 2 is not too much to ask for.

    I would be grateful for an explanation of why this is not happening, or is this just a case of hawking out publicly owned spectrum to the highest bidder. HD should not be used as the excuse for why this is happening.

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  • 78. At 11:10am on 22 Oct 2009, wildJONESEYE wrote:

    we are now on the verge of a complete digital set up and in effect what you are saying is no point getting Freeview it would be far better to give your cash to Rupert Murdock and Sky that way you will get full service from the BBC.

    it really is very shabby that we as License Payers to the BBC has to rely on Sky to get the best out of out License Fee.

    surely every digital viewer to any digital outlet should get full service from the BBC that is only right after all We pay for them.

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  • 79. At 11:47am on 22 Oct 2009, groovyccb121 wrote:

    If we're only getting one interactive stream, i suggest the following:

    1. Screen sports which couldn't be shown live, later on in the slot, broadcast them 'as live'.

    2. With 'Comedy Extra' shows, they're normally only 10 minutes long, so i suggest no more than an hour of back-to-back showings of them, should give time to show other things then? For example, i like watching the 'Classic GP' shows, with less space we're less likely to see these now - so please try and squeeze in at least 1 showing, even during the night, so us with PVR's can watch them!

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  • 80. At 11:54am on 22 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:

    And whereas before we have run Red Button content in long loops, meaning it is repeated frequently, we will now be scheduling shorter runs to make sure we fit in as much content

    Nice try with that comment snooker was never repeated over and over during the worlds the live matches were shown on 301 and 302 and then once thye were over iyt just said this stream is over

    so there were no repeats so thats not a valid reason to cut the snooker coverage for freeview customers

    please keep channel 302

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  • 81. At 12:29pm on 22 Oct 2009, kylerickards1974 wrote:

    So are the feeds remaining on Freesat?


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  • 82. At 12:33pm on 22 Oct 2009, wildJONESEYE wrote:

    keep repeats off the Red Button its that simple.

    its a interactive stream and LIVE Should always take precedent over Repeats.

    it seems strange in the Digital age that channels show repeats anyway theres SKY+ and Freeview + if people wants repeats its up to them to record it.

    LIVE First then if nothing to show you can show repeats if you want.

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  • 83. At 12:39pm on 22 Oct 2009, Peter David Jones wrote:

    I would just like to say that Freeview has been a great success and in my opinion one of the best parts has been the red button service. I have nothing against HD but surely a better way could have been found...

    This is a shameful act BBC plugging Freeview then removing services.

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  • 84. At 12:40pm on 22 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:


    yes its only the freeview cusotmers suffering as it seems the bbc doesnt care about people with freeview judging by this poor decision

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  • 85. At 12:48pm on 22 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:

    I urge the BBC to look after their customers

    Stop trying to shaft freeview customers



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  • 86. At 12:51pm on 22 Oct 2009, kylerickards1974 wrote:

    @ GJ

    Many thanks, as I just posted on Facebook, the Freeview and the Freesat HD viewers are now both unhappy campers...


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  • 87. At 1:00pm on 22 Oct 2009, poshsimontemplar wrote:

    Some people have mentioned that there is covearge over the Internet. That's a poor substitute to watching a larger quality TV screen, imho. In addition, our computer is located where it's impossible for more than one person to watch/use. Add to that the problems of bandwidth throttling, and it's just not on to expect anything other than a short clip online.

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  • 88. At 1:00pm on 22 Oct 2009, ComedyTigs wrote:

    I'm pretty dismayed about this, as with most contributors. Freeview users always were treated as 2nd class viewers when it comes to additional BBC content (as compared with Satellite/Cable). The BBC should be looking to address that inequality instead of making it worse.
    I use the interactive streams frequently. They've paid for sports and entertainment rights and now terrestial viewers will often be deprived. I'm guessing the amount of BBC Wales Scrum V rugby coverage will be reduced before we even start on the major sporting events. And I don't the think their reasoning is good enough.
    I urge you to think again, BBC.

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  • 89. At 1:04pm on 22 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:


    excellent point plenty of people are relyng on freeview channel 302 as they dont have access to the internet to watch sports on the bbc website

    the bbc are being very short sighted with this

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  • 90. At 1:07pm on 22 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:


    i looked at their schedule and wales scrum v wont be on freeview due to the loss of channel 302 next week

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  • 91. At 1:12pm on 22 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:


    here it is

    Friday 30 october

    Cycling, Track World Cup

    1900-2300 Live coverage of Track World Cup from Manchester

    Scrum V

    1900-2100 Live coverage of Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors with commentary options (not available on Freeview)

    pathetic bbc decision

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  • 92. At 2:43pm on 22 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #79. At 11:47am on 22 Oct 2009, groovyccb121 wrote:

    "If we're only getting one interactive stream, i suggest the following:

    1. Screen sports which couldn't be shown live, later on in the slot, broadcast them 'as live'."

    ...and the BBC should be banned from reporting the results in any shape or form, on TV, radio or online until they have been the above has been done - cue the '(What ever happened to) The Likely Lads' and episode: "No Hiding Place"!

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  • 93. At 2:55pm on 22 Oct 2009, groovyccb121 wrote:

    Re post 92 - you're right, they should to that ;-)

    Love that episode of the Likely Lads, maybe that's what Freeview viewers will have to resort to :-)

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  • 94. At 2:57pm on 22 Oct 2009, groovyccb121 wrote:

    Thinking more and more about the snooker situation, particular as the UK snooker Championship is coming up in December, we're only going to be able to view one table - and if we want to see any of the matches we miss, we'll have to wait till the early hours of the morning to see highlights on BBC2's Snooker Extra. I agree with comments above - if there's repeats on the main channels, then live entertainment should replace them any time - (e.g if it's repeats on BBC4, put the snooker on there occasionally, or even BBC Parliament if it's in recess?)

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  • 95. At 2:58pm on 22 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    87. At 1:00pm on 22 Oct 2009, poshsimontemplar wrote:

    "Some people have mentioned that there is covearge over the Internet. That's a poor substitute to watching a larger quality TV screen..//.."

    Especially when there is still a large portion of the population who either do not have a computer at home or if they do, can't get a fast enough connection, some are even still on a <! 52kbps dial-up service...

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  • 96. At 5:02pm on 22 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:

    I want Dave Ja Vu to be removed to make way for 302

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  • 97. At 5:48pm on 22 Oct 2009, thetubberlad wrote:

    As a snooker fan, I'm deeply disappointed. With the UK Championship coming up, snooker's second biggest tournament, the thought of only being able to view one table annoys me.

    Shameful decision.

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  • 98. At 7:41pm on 22 Oct 2009, pikester13 wrote:

    im stunned that people on here want the poxy parliment channel to stay on freeview in stead of 302 !!! whyyyyy its never served a ligitamate perpuse in terms of spectrum on DTT, never. i as a licence payer am sick of missing out on TV shows or live broadcast's via the redbutton coz of limmeted space! its a disgrace, and there aint any need for the overload of radio channels from the BBC on freeview becoz they are on D.A.B thats wot it for aint it??? later yaw'll

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  • 99. At 9:01pm on 22 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    In reply to comments @ #98:

    Those who object to the BBC-P channels existance do not deserve an opinion, in my opinion...

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  • 100. At 9:38pm on 22 Oct 2009, Brekkie wrote:

    It's about priorities though, and it's BBC Interactive, not BBC Parliament, which is often flagged up as one of the highlights of Freeview. BBC Parliament would still be available on Freesat, Sky, online and if 302 remained better use of 301/302 could be made to stream live coverage of key debates and news events during the week when other live events aren't using the service.

    In reply to those saying about C4 giving space. I think that was only as part of the unrealistic "best case" scenario OFCOM put forward where even more channels were squeezed into the ITV/C4 mux. C4's main responsibility as part of all this has been to give space to S4C in Wales.

    And back to sport - BBC Sport have stated they aim to offer live coverage of every event in 2012. This doesn't seem to be helping to reach that goal, but I hope 302 would be reinstated by then - but really with DSO I expected at least one extra interactive stream, not two less!

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  • 101. At 10:11pm on 22 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #100. At 9:38pm on 22 Oct 2009, Brekkie wrote:

    "It's about priorities though, and it's BBC Interactive, not BBC Parliament, which is often flagged up as one of the highlights of Freeview. BBC Parliament would still be available on Freesat, Sky, online...//..."

    But so would the would be conetent of LCN 302....

    Sorry but democracy trumps even news, with BBC-P - as Tony Benn says in a trailer for the channel - we can see what is done in our name. I would prefer to see BBC1 close long before BBC-P.

    Anyway, as I understand it, parliament has decreed that the BBC must broadcast the proceedings of - at least - the House of Commons, so there is not a lot of chance that BBC-P channel would close even if someone in the BBC suggested the idea! This is also why during the last Olympics when the BBC did use the BBC-P channels Freeview mux for interactive content it was on the understanding that if Parliament was recalled from recess the interactive content would cease and BBC-P would resume.

    "And back to sport - BBC Sport have stated they aim to offer live coverage of every event in 2012. This doesn't seem to be helping to reach that goal,..//.."

    Assuming that you mean the 2012 Olympics, come on, such a special even will probably take over all the regular BBC broadcast channels, BBC One and Two, the shared muxes of CBeebies, CBBC, BBC Three and Four, the iterative 301 and not doubt the same arrangements will be made to use the BBC-P channels whilst P is in recess as last year. Even then this does not include any extra spectrum that Ofcom could/will be making available on a temporary bases for television services.

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  • 102. At 10:38pm on 22 Oct 2009, Rialto2 wrote:

    Here is the link to the Ofcom proposal on HD on DTT paltform:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    I believe p36 4.101 and Figure 2 on p37, as well as p60 5.25 show that only one BBC stream should be lost to vacate Mux B and one moved to Mux 2 to replace a Channel 4 service. Am I reading this wrong or have things been changed?

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  • 103. At 11:23pm on 22 Oct 2009, GJ THE AUSSIE STUD wrote:


    are you the BBC lap dog as you seem to be finding excuses to cover for them

    its a rubbish decision by the bbc so stop making them look good


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  • 104. At 11:57pm on 22 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #103. At 11:23pm on 22 Oct 2009, GJ The Aussie Stud - Australia 2010/2011 Ashes Winners in Australia wrote:


    are you the BBC lap dog as you seem to be finding excuses to cover for them

    its a rubbish decision by the bbc so stop making them look good "

    Err, defend them, if my criticism is defending them than I would love to what what I have to do to criticise them! The only things I have defended are the rather to heavy-weight/intellectual (for some, it would seem) Parliament channel and the rights of SD Freeview users against rather what I consider selfish HD users.


    My sentiment also, but along with 302 I also want to see all the other existing BBC channels/services survive. I suggest that you reread what I've said again...

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  • 105. At 11:40am on 23 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:


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  • 106. At 7:24pm on 23 Oct 2009, Hyperstar wrote:

    Follow Up: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pressred/2009/10/followup-to-bbc-red-button-cha.shtml

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  • 107. At 7:54pm on 23 Oct 2009, Slickhick wrote:

    Slickhick - Hurrah Hurray i'm on cable - no problems.

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  • 108. At 2:32pm on 24 Oct 2009, notodigital wrote:

    Dont sit back sky users, looks like they are messing with sky as well. I just had a strange postcard off sky saying something about not getting BBC1 on 101 anymore, im guessing that they are making 101 HD? This is really out of order i feel like switching the lot off.

    Are they really saying more people should be buying HD tv's how bad is that for the enviroment, they already have half the country throwing out perfectly good tellys for digital switch over. Ive not seen a good lcd or plasma tv for sale as yet - the pictures are awful compared to my old tv, HD costs money and its really not that good.

    The whole thing is a con. My old dad said they ripped us of with decimalisation and this is just another example.I now believe he's right.

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  • 109. At 3:16pm on 24 Oct 2009, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    So we'll get Winter Olympic Games coverage alright: any word about Winter Paralympic Coverage?

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  • 110. At 01:36am on 25 Oct 2009, Midnitedraven wrote:

    So, digital switchover has meant people have had to go out and buy new equipment/pay monthly fees for Sky etc.
    Then going to make people buy more equipment, because of HD in 2010.
    So not only is this ruining the planet (making more equipment and dumping more eqiupment) in a time when its all "renewable energy" "we must change" "carbon footprint"; we're currently in a time where almost 2 million people are unemployed, with more jobs being lost everyday, pay cuts, pay freezes.
    Thats right, get us to spend a ridiculas amount of money on a license fee, and then CUT CONTENT!.

    If its not bad enough that such sports as Ice Skating (which i love, and never get to see) just isn't covered on any channel on freeview; and that when it is covered by the BBC, its an hour highlight program that involves the host talking to an expert for 35-40 minutes out of that hour.
    You're now cutting content for people (lets face it, ALOT of people) who cant afford Sky, or any other service (HENCE FREEVIEW) or cant have a dish on their house, or cable into their house.

    Broadband for everyone by 2012, lets introduce a tax for everyone with a phone line to pay for it! Even that is a stupid thing. (Not everyone wants bloody broadband).
    Its no longer FREEVIEW.
    Its what-we-can-be-bothered-showing-you-VIEW.

    And making room for HD services?
    I have NO interest in watching programs in HD.
    It makes no difference to me whether you can see every minute detail, funnily enough, im too busy WATCHING THE PROGRAM to care about how GOOD it looks.
    LCD HD tv's are the crappist quailty unless you have £1000+ to spend, which at the moment and in general NO ONE DOES!

    BBC, you are really beginning to lose the faith and confidence to watch your channels in the people of the UK.

    And WHEN is new season Spooks gonna be on!!!

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  • 111. At 4:58pm on 25 Oct 2009, Dan_G_WP wrote:

    302 (along with 302) is the sole reason why I first bought a Freeview box a few years ago: during the snooker Grandprix, I knew there would be a brilliant semi-final that evening, so I went down to Tesco and bought a cheap STB.

    But what now? Snooker championships have two tables for most rounds -- having two interactive channels is essential. And what about the rest of sport -- this means that coverage of Wimbledon, the Olympics etc. is essentially being cut by 50%.

    All for HD, which no-one can tell from SD anyway (look at blu-ray sales)?

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  • 112. At 09:34am on 26 Oct 2009, alan smith wrote:

    So does this mean that if you do not have a full HD television or a full HD box you won't get HD programmes?

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  • 113. At 2:06pm on 26 Oct 2009, jce951 wrote:

    Why do they have to be messing with stuff.Just logging in to leave this message was a nightmare because they changed the id thingy.

    This messing about is now worse than ever,we all expect better from the BBC its bad enough changing to digital (out of order in most peoples opinion)but they now are forcing HD on us - the majority dont want it, its all very well if you have plenty of money and want to pay extra but why should the rest have to put up with changes.
    The widescreen thing still bugs me, the titles off the screen etc but i wont be bullied any more by the government or the BBC. Ive gone along with them so far as having sky fitted but im not going to put up with any more messing about.
    Our family have really had a belly full of all this if it doesn't all settle down in the next year or so i can think of at least 3 families doing without tv.

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  • 114. At 2:07pm on 26 Oct 2009, Andrew Bowden wrote:

    notodigital - as I understand it, the postcard you got about BBC One on channel 101 on Sky is because they're tweaking the regional versions. Some people don't get the appropriate regional news, so these changes will fix that.

    raffleticketdemon - if you don't have a HD set top box then you won't get BBC HD. However all the programmes on BBC HD are broadcast in standard definition on other BBC channels. Specifically on TVs, if your TV is labelled "HD Ready" this means it needs a set top box in order to get HD channels. If it's has a "HDTV" logo then it doesn't need a set top box. Right now the only "HDTV" TVs I know are Freesat ones, however they'll appear on Freeview eventually.

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  • 115. At 3:20pm on 26 Oct 2009, Douglas Potter wrote:

    I too have registered purely because of this. SAVE 302. The whole point of Freeview is to give choice in sport news and music. This decision is just plain unfair and wrong. HD maybe the future but what about now and the people who cannot afford HD?

    This bizarre decision MUST be reversed.

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  • 116. At 3:55pm on 26 Oct 2009, AmbassadorDelenn wrote:

    Following on from Sue at No 109's point about the Paralympic Games, will this spell the end of coverage of the Wheelchair Event at Wimbledon? If so, I think it's a real shame as I've really enjoyed watching this over the few years the BBC has been covering it.

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  • 117. At 4:15pm on 26 Oct 2009, Tim Jinkerson wrote:

    Surely if 302 is to go anywhere it should be used to roll out BBC ALBA on Freeview? Not to be sold off for more shopping and 'adult' channels.

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  • 118. At 4:40pm on 26 Oct 2009, Andrew Bowden wrote:

    Hello Tim - the BBC Trust is currently reviewing BBC Alba, and as part of that they are reviewing proposals for coverage on Freeview.

    A number of options have been reviewed and the suggestion the BBC Executive has made is to not broadcast BBC radio stations in Scotland via Freeview between 5pm and 11pm, which would release just enough space to broadcast BBC Alba. As part of the review the BBC Trust are seeking views from the public on all aspects of BBC Alba, including Freeview coverage.

    You can find out more on the BBC Trust website at

    And you can take part in the BBC Trust review for BBC Alba at

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  • 119. At 5:37pm on 26 Oct 2009, drt wrote:

    @Rahul Chakkara: "whereas before we have run Red Button content in long loops, meaning it is repeated frequently, we will now be scheduling shorter runs to make sure we fit in as much content as possible into the remaining space we have"

    Really? Are you sure?

    A quick look at the EPG for this week shows that Shirley Bassey at the Electric Proms is on continuously from 0600 today (probably earlier, too) until 1920 on 27/10 (switching from 302 to 301 due to the closure), and again from 2240 on 27/10 to 1400 on 28/10, and again from 1500 on 28/10 to 1920 on 28/10 and again from 0600 on 29/10 to 1820 on 29/10, and again from 1910 on 29/10 to 0545 on 30/10, and again from 0600 on 30/10 to 0845 on 30/10, and again from 1445 on 30/10 to 1850 on 30/10, and again from 2310 on 30/10 to 0940 on 31/10, and again from 1120 on 31/10 to 1245 on 31/10.

    This is a whole lot of Bassey, and not a lot of "scheduling shorter runs". The net result? No Classic F1 for the last race of the season.

    If you are going to make a bad decision, at least be serious in your promise to minimise its impact.

    Present evidence would suggest little reason to trust the BBC on this.

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  • 120. At 9:03pm on 27 Oct 2009, alaninbelfast wrote:

    With Freeview bandwidth neutered, maybe FreeSat will get some development time to allow it to catch up with News Multiscreen and the niceties that other platforms have.

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  • 121. At 10:42pm on 27 Oct 2009, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    119. At 5:37pm on 26 Oct 2009, drt wrote:

    "This is a whole lot of Bassey, and not a lot of "scheduling shorter runs". The net result? No Classic F1 for the last race of the season."

    Err, that might be because there is no classic F1 races to be shown, the Abu Dhabi track being brand new, not because the BBC is obsessed with Miss Bassey! :~)

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  • 122. At 9:19pm on 28 Oct 2009, drt wrote:

    @Boilerplated - there is Classic F1 this weekend, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2009/10/your_classic_season_finale.html for details.

    And since my comment (but probably unrelated to it), Classic F1 is back on the 301 schedule - hurrah!

    But, the F1 Forum, advertised on the EPG last Sunday for immediately after the race is now replaced by the New York Marathon - and so the BBC fails F1 fans again.

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  • 123. At 10:56am on 29 Oct 2009, Andrew Bowden wrote:

    Rahul has responded to many of the questions and comments raised here in a follow up blog post. If you haven't read it already, it's available here:

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  • 124. At 10:23pm on 30 Oct 2009, duncan wrote:

    I'm not interested in HD but very interested in all the sport that is not available on freeview red button over this weekend. Just read your own web pages on red button
    Saturday NO F1 alternative commentary ; nor rugby league and reduced cycling
    Sunday No football league show, now alternative commentary for F1.
    this is first few days over the coming weeks there will be so much the BBC have paid to televise which normal families who can not afford Sky etc. will miss.
    The way this has been implemented is dreadful I am disgusted and very very disappointed with the BBC

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  • 125. At 6:33pm on 31 Oct 2009, Rod_G wrote:

    I'm fascinated by the job title "Controller of the BBC Red Button service".

    There are also green, yellow and blue buttons on my freeview controller ....

    In fact there are 37 buttons on the controller. Perhaps there is a "Controller of the BBC Help Button service"

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  • 126. At 09:55am on 01 Nov 2009, Tim George wrote:

    Removal of news multiscreen is fine if the coverage from BBC News Channel provides the regular information required and promised. As one example, this week we switched on to hear weather forecast just before 8.30pm, to hear a brief 30 second presentation, with promise of more details in half an hour. Just before 9pm, the same forecast was broadcast, with the same promise of a more detailed forecast in another half an hour. So if I switched on at just after 8pm, I would have to wait nearly 1.5 hours to get a detailed forecast! This has happened on too many occasions in the past.The news multiscreen would have given us the information we needed (we were on a walking holiday in Cumbria) in a few minutes, rather than a 1.5 hour wait for a detailed forecast!!!
    Secondly, at 9pm one evening last week, the news headlines included a story on Michael Jackson. It was the evening that Gordan Brown had announced a U turn on TA funding reductions and there were a lot of interviews connnected with this, but we watched from 9pm to 9.50pm waiting for the Michael Jackson story, then gave up, fed up of waiting!
    So take away News Multiscreen, but give us the information we need through BBC News Channel a little quicker please!

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  • 127. At 4:31pm on 01 Nov 2009, poshsimontemplar wrote:

    I really am angry about the complete failure to get the F1 forum coverage on Freeview today.

    I pressed red and could only get the New York Marathon or the Cycling.

    I tried my two TVs and no luck on either. Channel 302 was no longer

    This really has got me so wound up.

    The BBC Management have no idea how angry they have made me.


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  • 128. At 5:36pm on 01 Nov 2009, Tony Wrenn wrote:

    Feeling much the same as Posh.

    Why was it necessary to remove the Red Button Facility when there is no replacement service for freeview viewers?

    Why at the end of the F1 coverage were we invited by Jake Humphries to press our red buttons in order to join the commentary team on the F1 Forum?

    Why is it also published in the Radio Times that the Red-button facility is available when it is not?

    If the Redbutton transmissions are available what do we have to do in order to receive them?

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  • 129. At 10:50pm on 01 Nov 2009, hippybikerpunk wrote:

    Most disappointed at the loss of 302. Having seen the extra coverage available on freeview red button of F1, MotoGP, Snooker, was my reason for buying a freeview box in the first place, and then raving about it to my other ludite friends. I look pretty stupid now, don't I.
    I would like to complain about how this switch-off has been handled. The first anyone knows of its demise is when they try to use it. No mention of it on BBC news (main news or 80) on, or preceding the switch-off date. Why is there time on BBC news to talk about stuff like 'Strictly... ' in which i have zero interest, but something of the magnitude of discontinuing a service as useful as 302 is not even mentioned?
    I feel like i've been robbed & i'm not happy.
    I live on the south coast. Channel 5 never became available here on analogue. Will we EVER get HD on freeview here? i've still got analogue TVs, what use is HD to me anyway? 302 i found very useful, F1 practice, MotoGP qualifying, 125 & 250 racing, & now its all gone. Sob!

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  • 130. At 10:35am on 05 Nov 2009, tinman wrote:

    very bad move by the BBC to remove the video weather forecast on new multiscreen. I work outside and rely on being able to get the weather forecast when I need it. this was one of the reasons I got freeview. The text forecast on digital is never accurate or updated often enough. I do not always have the time to wait for my pc to boot up then browse to the bbc weather page then not be able to watch the weather forecast properly due to buffering all the time. I have an 8mb connection with O2 access and at peak times it is so congested you cannot watch BBC video as you cannot pause the stream to cache it on your pc to watch smoothly... I have sent the BBC an official complaint about this.

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  • 131. At 2:43pm on 06 Nov 2009, LordWoz wrote:

    The link at the top with Raul follow up to the comments above does not work.

    This is a stupid move by the BBC, but it seems to me that they don't care.

    Can't you get it in your heads. We should have been asked about this.

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  • 132. At 10:52pm on 08 Nov 2009, dcwinter wrote:

    Shame on you BBC!

    What a suprise - these changes are only for those with pockets deep enough to pay for an HD TV. Also, Manchester and London eh? What a suprise!

    It seems that you've forgotton we are in a recession too - how are we going to afford a new TV when times are so tough?

    The idea that the BBC is representative of the UK is a joke, and I'd urge everyone here to complain to the BBC Trust (not that it'll make a difference since they made their minds up already).

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  • 133. At 03:18am on 10 Nov 2009, Sean wrote:

    Will HD Freeview test be available in NI from Divis transmitter?
    I seen somewhere as the test will be at night, taking off BBC Four and BBC Parliament

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  • 134. At 12:09pm on 10 Nov 2009, Andrew Bowden wrote:

    dcwinter - whilst HD on Freeview will initially be in London and the North West (rather than just Manchester), it will be rolled out nationwide as digital switchover occurs across the country.

    Sean - there was a suggestion that BBC HD be broadcast overnight in areas where digital switchover has not been completed, however that idea was not taken forward. Divis switches in 2012 so I'm afraid you'll have to wait until then to get BBC HD via Freeview. It is, of course, still available via cable and satellite.

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  • 135. At 7:02pm on 25 Nov 2009, duncan wrote:

    If you didn't like Dr who this weekend was a waste of time on red button, on freeview. get 302 back BBC

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  • 136. At 1:27pm on 27 Nov 2009, Graham wrote:

    Is the BBC working with SKY? As it now seams, they want the licence payer to pay extra, over and above for a service that the BBC are broadcasting. Has this action been passed by the Governors & Government.
    How will people who have no Sky deal with this, are the BBC going to reduce the TV licence to compensate, for having SKY installed.
    I own a listed building, and so have to apply for planning consent just to get SKY.

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  • 137. At 5:57pm on 03 Dec 2009, PJNev wrote:

    This decision is really frustrating!! As a tennis & snooker fan and free-view viewer, the viewing is now going to be greatly limited particularly with snooker since the BBC will now not be able to show all the action live (at World Championship) & will reduce what it shows at the other tournaments - And quite often the match the BBC choose to show is not the one i want to watch. I also noticed that Score on Saturday was not on! I'm not bothered about HD, bring back 302!!!

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  • 138. At 10:07pm on 04 Dec 2009, AUKKIWI wrote:

    A really disappointing decision, and now we don't even have the option to hear a 'proper' commentary on any rugby that does make it on to the 301 channel, but only Fanzine babble. Probably worth a big fat bonus to the genius that made that decision!

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  • 139. At 9:28pm on 05 Dec 2009, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:

    So I guess that's why I wasn't able to watch the snooker today.

    Did anyone at the BBC even for one minute consider what your viewers might want? I used to be a great fan of the BBC, but the way you seem to take decisions purely on a whim and ignore the views of the people who pay your wages is starting to really annoy me.

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  • 140. At 4:27pm on 29 Dec 2009, TelevisionUser wrote:

    As the many comments above indicate, there has been significant disquiet over the way that the BBC have handled the closure of the majority of Freeview's interactive channels. Indeed, I understand that there have also been quite a number of complaints made to the BBC Trust over this very issue.

    I would like to make a couple of constructive points. Firstly, and in so far as it is practically possible, could the BBC have as much extra sport as possible, e.g. Scrum V, Test Cricket Scoreboard, Final Score, etc. as possible on the remaining channel 301 on Freeview in addition to the entertainment content and children's material?

    Secondly, the Freeview high definition service will have been established by the completion of digital switchover in 2012. Therefore, could the BBC please give a commitment now to re-examine the channel spaces available in 2012 to the BBC and other public service broadcasters to see if is practically possible to reinstate the lost Freeview interactive services?

    Do you think you could please respond to these questions via the main blog above or by a blue box response? Thanks.

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  • 141. At 12:47pm on 06 Jan 2010, julian wrote:

    Does anyone have any ideas as to why with the remaining freeview channel 301 is unavailable to view? Since the retune at the end of September, whenever there is something on the red button you click on the red button and an automated message states that 'at the current time this service is temporarily unavailable'. It has been since October so I was wondering if there is an easy fix?

    Any comments much appreciated.

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  • 142. At 12:35pm on 08 Jan 2010, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    Try the advice on http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/news/index.shtml#freeviewboxes

    301 is fine here in BBC London on the TVOnics and Panasonic Boxes I have.

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  • 143. At 11:44am on 12 Jan 2010, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    See also Red Button Hle page 9990 for manufacturers' helplines.

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  • 144. At 2:05pm on 19 Jan 2010, jamesd447 wrote:

    I cannot get sound on Red Button with my Grundig GUD 1500XI (bought December 2009). But it works fine on my other STBs in the house (a Tevion and a Philips). So I guess it's not a coverage problem, but I've read lots of posts on the Web about software issues with different kit. Needless to say I've tried Grundig support but no help forthcoming.
    Sorry if this is the wrong place to post but I can't find my way around to post for Technical support?

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  • 145. At 07:45am on 18 Feb 2010, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    Re 146

    James, have you tried a complete reboot?

    Over Aid Download shedules for your boxes will appear form time to time here: http://www.dtg.org.uk/industry/download_schedule.php

    Every good wish


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  • 146. At 7:47pm on 23 Mar 2010, Hyperstar wrote:

    302 is still needed

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  • 147. At 11:19am on 26 Mar 2010, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    Please, Red Button Team, would you revise page 9990 once more: the banner about the loss of the News Multiscreen is refering to five months after the event ... I miss Multiscreen still.

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  • 148. At 06:39am on 04 May 2010, david mahoney wrote:

    Missing BBC MULTISPORT Until about 20th April 2010 I could click on Sport/BBC Multisport on my 2 months old Bravia Sony (digital via satellite dish and HD).Then I got a screen message "LNB Overload" and had blackouts,screen glitches and failure to raise clicked on channels so being non technical I called in local TV specialists in aerials and dishes.They found that my LNB antenna was u/s and fitted a new one.All was well(all channels responding EXCEPT BBC Multisport.When I clicked on that channel I get a "please wait" note which is still there 30 minutes later.The button also feels "dead" Can you help a non technical 70+ year old please?

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  • 149. At 5:10pm on 04 May 2010, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    @ David

    Try asking the manufacturer of your Sat Box

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  • 150. At 5:33pm on 04 May 2010, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    #149. At 5:10pm on 04 May 2010, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    "@ David [comment #148]

    Try asking the manufacturer of your Sat Box"

    Better still, why not ask the specialists, after all "david mahoney" asked them to correct a fault, the fact that he still can't receive what he used to receive suggests there is still a fault and thus have not done what they were paid for!...

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  • 151. At 7:42pm on 29 May 2010, whatisthepointof303 wrote:

    Okay this is getting beyond a joke now. the Freeview stream on 301 is a fantastic channel, particularly for those of us who like sport but there needs to be at least two streams on Freeview. As I type this the stream of Henin-Sharapova is about to be interrupted by Eurovision!!!!! Yes, Eurovision which is on BBC1 anyway!!!!! Quite unbelievable.

    Please restore two streams to Freeview because the ordinary viewer without HD is suffering, and they deserve more from the licence fee.

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