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Closing the News Multiscreen

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Pete Clifton Pete Clifton | 16:10 UK time, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

As you may have read elsewhere, the BBC and other broadcasters are currently working to provide HD channels on Freeview.

Nothing comes for free though, and inevitably, this means that the BBC's existing Freeview service has had to change to help accommodate HD.

It's been a busy time for Freeview users, with them recently being asked to re-tune their TVs or set-top boxes as part of a country-wide rearrangement of broadcast transmissions. Now at the end of October, the BBC will have less room to broadcast interactive TV on Freeview. More details on this are provided here.

For BBC News, this means that we're no longer going to be able to provide one of our services.

The News Multiscreen, which we've been broadcasting on Freeview for a number of years now, will close on Tuesday 27 October 2009.

Screngrab of Freeview News Multiscreen

Obviously News content will still be available for viewers of Freeview.

The BBC News channel continues to broadcast on channel 80, and a comprehensive News, Sport and Weather text service will continue to be offered via the Red Button.

As well as that, the bulletins that we provided via the News Multiscreen can still be found on BBC Online via the following links - News, Sport and Weather.

Our Entertainment bulletin, which was not available on Freeview, is also online.

This change does not affect those of you with Sky or Virgin Media - if you currently watch the News Multiscreen on one of those services, you'll still able to do so.

Removing a service is always a hard decision, but as television broadcast develops, with the arrival of HD transmissions and also with broadband-to-TV technology beginning to take a foothold in the UK, the BBC is exploring how it takes advantage of these changes to ensure that it continues to offer viewers innovative News services.

TVs and set-top boxes are emerging in the market that are connected to the internet and we are looking at what exciting video services we could offer in the future.

Pete Clifton is head of editorial development, multimedia at BBC News.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    My condolences. I rarely dipped in, but it's a shame to sacrife a useful catch-up service in favour of, for example, being able to see Simon Cowell's mug in high definition.

    Now, if you'd said BBC Three was going off-air...

  • Comment number 2.

    I wish this Ofcom lot would sort itself out. It's been messing about for years what with its channel auctions - and costing us (viewers), keep retuning and what's the betting that many will have to buy new TVs or Freeview boxes to get the decoding to allow HD? I don't watch TV much - mostly BBC1,2,4 and News24 and it's a shame some of the interactive service will be going but, huhhhhh, we're just customers after all. What do we count for?

    But a message to Ofcom: Stop fiddling! Get it right then leave it alone!

  • Comment number 3.

    Sadly this argument that BBC interactive services must close to make way for HD on Freeview is wrong and we are being mislead by BBC managers.

    When Ofcom issued its regulatory statement on Freeview HD, it had already mandated Channel Four plc to provide a channel slot on its D3&4 multiplex for one BBC Freeview service. This channel slot could be used for News Multiscreens but apparently the BBC would rather close it. Why?

    Instead the BBC is selling off the space on Freeview Mux B that News Multiscreens uses, probably to erotic channels. Why?

    I do not think that this is a price worth paying for HD, neither do I wish to see perfectly good BBC Freeview services closed where there is capacity still available.

    This (together with the closure of 302) is one of the worst BBC decisions that I can remember.

  • Comment number 4.

    You are too soft. Order the removal of pricedroptv and bidtv

  • Comment number 5.

    Ditch BBC Three instead. I am in its target demographic apparently and find it completely useless.

  • Comment number 6.

    You might even lose the rights to the F1 if you don't change you minds: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=36144306&posted=1#post36144306

  • Comment number 7.

    Very much a backward step as we are regular users of multi-screen and the internet is no substitute as its not available on our 32" living room TV. Also the loss of the 302 service is going to be a major loss. We didn't ask for HD on freeview and while we could have reluctantly accepted the loss of multi-screen on it's own, to loose two out of the three interactive services that we currently have is completely unacceptable.

  • Comment number 8.

    I never used it and I won't miss it. But I'm not interested in high definition either.

  • Comment number 9.

    This is utterly disgusting, those who want HD can get it already via DVB-S, this is similar to - had - the BBC closed all their regional services to pay for the introduction of the Colour TV service or more recently Ceefax and Nicam stereo...

    Please reconsider, if more space is needed then Ofcom should be chucking the shopping and soft-porn channels off Freeview, not closing a nationally beneficial NEWS SERVICE - this countries regulators and broadcasters really does have to get their probities right, get back to your Reithian roots BBC, to educate, inform and (only then) entertain, if there is no room for HD without closing a news service down then you should not be putting HD on the DVB-T platform.

    When this news becomes more widely known about I suspect that there will be many a letter signed "Disgusted of Tonbridge" sent to the BBC and or newspaper (especially those newspapers that like to 'bash the BBC') with a CC to their MPs, the BBC once again are shooting it's self in both feet whilst forgetting their reason for being and who pays the bills...

  • Comment number 10.

    We have three 'babe' channels on Freeview, at least three dedicated shopping channels on top of ITV and so on who sell their airspace for such purposes and gambling. What rubbish.

  • Comment number 11.

    Erm when did the public get asked if the BBC Multiscreen News channel was ok to be dropped?

    We pay the licence fee, we should have some say in this.

    And I am also very annoyed at the loss of 302, if that is true, because one would assume that also means the loss of the F1 practice sessions and after race bits and pieces, not to mention the MotoGP qualifying and 125/250 races (or Moto2 as they are to be from next season) also.

    When will the BBC, OfCom and the other TV companies stop treating TV as a form of "entertainment" there purely for revenue making?

    Get rid of the rubbish that is on Freeview, 50% of the channels fall into that category, and leave what is currently there alone.

    Oh and if in order to received HD quality stuff I have to buy a new digibox and the usual SD signal is turned off as the Analog signal will be soon the BBC can kiss their licence fee good-bye as far as I'm concerned. I watch TV about 7hrs a week when there is no motorsport on (which is quite little as I understand the viewing figures) and I'll be damned if I'm paying for another box and the licence fee just to fund more strictly come dancing rubbish for the sheeple!

    /rant

  • Comment number 12.

    HD is pointless. It is a technology too far. It is technology for technology's sake. HD programmes don't look much better than SD programmes. On the other hand there is not sufficient viewable non repeated TV to fill two-thirds of the existing channels.

    Would it not be better to radically rethink what TV is about and take the TopUpTV approach (but free-to-air) of downloading a weeks or so's programmes (and adverts) once to a receiver/recorder and then letting people watch what they want when they want, or a schedule chosen by a broadcaster if they wish - leaving real time TV for real time events. From a viewer's point of view TV would appear the same. From a technology point of viewer the capacity of the medium would be substantially greater and its use more efficient. It always seemed silly to me to transmit live repeats which is/was after all what multi-screen was all about anyway.

  • Comment number 13.

    John_from_Hendon I would disagree with your assertion that HD is a technology too far. The main viewing display in peoples' homes has been getting larger and larger, and the extra definition is a necessary evolution. SD pictures do not often look good on large screens. HD is a better product in every way.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    I still don't understand the difference between sd and hd. Am I short sighted. I think text is slightly more readable.

    I'm not sure if that's worth upgrading for.

    I think it's mainly a reason for yuppies with too much disposable income to show off how black black looks on their tellies.

  • Comment number 17.

    #12. At 10:59pm on 20 Oct 2009, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "HD is pointless. It is a technology too far. It is technology for technology's sake."

    Very true in the UK and other countries that use the PAL or SECAM broadcast format, it was a welcome development in the that use the NTSC ('Never The Same Color twice') format, were colour reproduction has always been some what suspect. We simple don't need HD in the UK, it's been pushed and hyped for commercial reasons and not technical.

  • Comment number 18.

    again the fee paying people of this country are been ripped off by fee collection.
    the licence fee for tv and radio in this country has for years been a rip off and should be removed due to rubbish programming and lack of choice.
    freeview will never be viable until the system is resolved and people can watch programmes they like without over priced fees and contract payments to companies like sky.

  • Comment number 19.

    Whilst I really dislike the interactive services as they are a big waste of bandwidth and the BBC was gifted a far too generous allocation of bandwidth on the creation of freeview (and interactive is basically the BBC running channels on the sly), I actually think this is a silly decision. It is poor grasp of bandwidth issues and numbers by the BBC high echelons again. There is no actual need to get rid of them if you look in detail at the bandwidth and judgements as to what goes where. After flogging off spectrum, botched HD plans, yet another daft decision.

  • Comment number 20.

    I hope you are aware that it seems Freeview HD are responsible for the recent drop in Picture Quality of BBC HD on Sky, Freesat and I assume Virgin... cable.

    BBC HD have reduced the bandwidth to 9Mbps as the previously used bandwidth is unsustainable (we are not told in what way). It seems to me this to to ensure Freeview HD has the same (reduced) PQ as available on other delivery platforms. Much to the disgust and anger of current BBC HD viewers.

    Until recently BBC Standard definition PQ has been variable with occasional good quality on par with Channel 4 and 5 and other non-complex users of digital television.

    It seems the BBC has taken the decision of never mind the quality, but feel the width! I hope the shoehorning of BBC HD on DTT does not have any more adverse effects on the quality of BBC Technical transmission of HD pictures and 5.1 sound.

  • Comment number 21.

    #18. At 11:27am on 21 Oct 2009, delminister wrote:

    "again the fee paying people of this country are been ripped off by fee collection.
    the licence fee for tv and radio in this country has for years been a rip off and should be removed due to rubbish programming and lack of choice.
    freeview will never be viable until the system is resolved and people can watch programmes they like without over priced fees and contract payments to companies like sky."


    Err, how do you suggest that television (forget radio for the moment) should be funded if you think that both the TVL fee and the subscription funding models are wrong?!

    The Multiscreen and LCN302 issue is not directly related to the funding method, although it is annoying that the BBC doesn't seem to consult with it's paymasters, the problem has been caused by the advert funded commercial broadcasters wanting their own HD channel and Ofcom jumping to both those broadcasters and HMGs requirements and thus expecting a quart to be squeezed into a pint pot...

  • Comment number 22.

    HD TV is much better than broadcast TV. The problem is either the TV user settings are set up wrong or not connected right.

    Don't go by what you see in a TV store. Only when properly set up can you see why HD is vastly better.

    You need a HD ready TV connected via a HDMI lead to Freesat HD, Sky HD, Virgin HD or soon Freeview HD box to a HD channel to see HD or use a Blu-Ray HD player. These are the only ways.

    BBC HD now provides a test card to then set up your HD TV so you can the best picture from it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/12/a_christmas_present_from_the_h.html

    And for the best sound quality to go with the picture quality you also need a 5.1 surround system.



    As for the multiscreens during the Wolrd Cup BBC Parliament should go off air to provide extra room.

    And when better compressin technology is around other interactive services can return for freeview viewers.

  • Comment number 23.

    "This change does not affect those of you with Sky or Virgin Media"
    I think i agree it will not affect me - as I use ex NTL Virgin media it was not available to me and will continue to not be available to me (AIUI it it only available to ex telewest), but the phrasing implies to me that you think it is available to all virgin media users.

  • Comment number 24.

    22. At 12:37pm on 21 Oct 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "HD TV is much better than broadcast TV."

    Err, HD TV is broadcast TV!

    "Don't go by what you see in a TV store. Only when properly set up can you see why HD is vastly better."

    Indeed, never go by what you see in a chain 'shed'! But what you say about incorrectly set up HD sets can also be said about SD CRT (and even worse, LCD) sets that have not been correctly set up, when feed from a decent off-air signal and correctly set up I've seen better SD than some indifferent HD LCD sets - even when correctly set up!...

  • Comment number 25.

    I like the idea of iPlayer but the software is shockingly bad to the point that I will only use it if there is something that I really, really want to see, and I am prepared to wait at least a day for it to download, sometimes it has to download two or three times before I can watch it successfully. I think there should be a unified Catch-Up TV software service, and that could be achieved by opening up iPlayer to other broadcasters as has recently been rejected by the BBC board, but please fix the software first.

  • Comment number 26.

    In reply to comments made @ #22

    "As for the multiscreens during the Wolrd Cup BBC Parliament should go off air to provide extra room."

    Those who hold that opinion should not be allowed to vote...

    "And when better compressin technology is around other interactive services can return for freeview viewers."

    Wrong way around, when better compression technologies arrive (or more space is made available by Ofcom/HMG) then HD should be made available on DVB-T, until then HD belongs on the DVB-S platform or cable.

  • Comment number 27.

    Why are you not using the 3/4 Multiplex space allocated when the HDTV plan was announced by Ofcom is my question.

  • Comment number 28.

    Only one table will be available to view during the forthcoming snooker tournaments then?
    J

  • Comment number 29.

    @21 as people already pay for sky or virgin wouldnt it seem fairer that as customers we only pay for what we want rather than some of the rubbish we have to put up with on bbc or itv.
    i never watch bbc or itv but i still have to pay fees for watching channels i have already paid for so what am i funding except over paid presenters and actors on channels i have no interest in.

  • Comment number 30.

    Pete:

    My heartfelt condolences and thoughts regarding the demise of the
    Multi-screen and its closing in the next few days....


    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 31.

    In reply to comments @ #29:

    "@21 as people already pay for sky or virgin wouldnt it seem fairer that as customers we only pay for what we want rather than some of the rubbish we have to put up with on bbc or itv."

    No, as yet I have seen nothing on the BSkyB Platform (that is unique channels, such as NatGeo, whose content is not available elsewhere), I do see a lot of worthwhile content on the FTA and even FTV channels, including both the BBC and ITV.

    "i never watch bbc or itv"

    That says far more about you than it does the BBC or ITV...

    The BBC needs funding as a PSB (and fast becoming the only Public Service Broadcaster in the UK), this can either be done via a TVL, a surcharge on PTV and PPV subscription charges or via the central tax system - the last option is especially bad as it further muddies the water between the exchequer/HMG and the BBC plus it would mean that people who chose not to use a television receive would still have to pay for the service.

    People might not wish to watch PSB content, that is their choice, no one should be prevented from having access to PSB content just because the commercial broadcasters either can't or do not wish to proved such programming. There is an argument for a slimmed down BBC, getting back to their core services (and this would include 'listed' sports/tournaments/events), but not the wholesale removal of their public funding method.

  • Comment number 32.

    I only watch Freeview when my Sky+HD box is busy - I am not too impressed with Freeview - I can see my local transmitter (Reigate) but I dont get all of the channels that I should despite having a new aerial and an amplifier fitted! I wont be able to take advantage of the Freeeview HD offering unless I buy an external HD Freeview box anyway. Why fiddle with the technology when it is still new? We are expected to buy new equipment as Ofcom and the broadcasters make these changes. Why not get the specification sorted out before launching a system and then "tweaking" it a couple of years later?

  • Comment number 33.

    The loss of 302 is going to be a real blow, especially for your sports coverage. Two interactive channels made things quite flexible, just one makes Freeview viewers even more second class citizens compared to satellite viewers when it comes to additional coverage.

    Could there be extra coverage broadcast on BBC Four or BBC Three up to 7pm and then on CBBC or CBeebies from 7pm onwards or is that not allowed?

    HD should be there to enhance viewers options not give with one hand and take with the other.

  • Comment number 34.

    #33. At 8:37pm on 21 Oct 2009, imacbb wrote:

    "Could there be extra coverage broadcast on BBC Four or BBC Three up to 7pm and then on CBBC or CBeebies from 7pm onwards or is that not allowed?"

    That is not possible as they are basically the same channels, both BBC 3 and four share the same 'frequencies' as CBeebies and CBBC do, only having different Logical Channel Numbers (LCN), this is why BBC 3 and 4 only start their programmes after the two kids channels close down, the only possible spare capacity is after 04:00 and before 06:00hrs.

  • Comment number 35.

    when will all the idiots who work in TV realise that we do not want HD..we want programs that we can watch ..we want a service that is not for ever breaking up...since the introduction of digital our tv service is terrible..we get sound break up followed by picture breakup where in the past we got perfect pictures and sound..what we the consumer wants is not HD but od..ordinary definition in good quality...do you get it

  • Comment number 36.

    Great, so whilst I'll only have access to one interactive service, that's OK because if I go and shell out several hundred for a new plasma screen and a hundred or so more for a Freeview PVR I'll be able to watch Mr Smug du Beke present 'Strictly Dancing Teen Idols on Ice with the Stars' or 'Help! I'm the World's Fattest Single Mom' in crystal clear 'quality' - a word that whilst possibly applicable to the picture has long since been absent in terms of programme content.

    As for the argument about screen size, well believe it or not not everyone feels the need to devote an entire wall of their lounge to ever-bigger screens (which consume three times as much electricity as the old ones); I'm certainly in no hurry to ship my perfectly serviceable 32" CRT off to the landfill. For me one extra interactive channel is about a million times more useful than one of HD - the current offerings in no way justify the enormous outlay - but then I suppose we are all meant to be trying to spend our way out of recession!

    As others have said if anything must go it should be BBC3, the Corporation's execrable attempt to get 'down wit' da kidz', an affront to PSB and a complete waste of license money, especially considering most of those at whom it's aimed neither pay a TV license NOR watch BBC3!

  • Comment number 37.

    We, the consumers DO want HQ HD, and HD should be on Freeview, not just on Freesat - some people won't be able to receive satellite transmissions.

  • Comment number 38.

    just wait until the bandwith and resolution on all the BBC Sd channels gets lowered, which is pretty much a certainty to happen. The quality is gooing to be awful on SD as well as BBC HD.

    Its going to be sub standard picture quality accross all channels.

    Bring back CRT tvs and anologue signals.

  • Comment number 39.

    37. At 03:20am on 22 Oct 2009, HD1080 wrote:

    "We, the consumers DO want HQ HD, and HD should be on Freeview, not just on Freesat - some people won't be able to receive satellite transmissions."

    No, SOME people want HD, most others do no0t, most p0eopel do not have a HD set and will not have one for some time (based on normal TV life cycles), there is no need for Ofcom or the broadcasters to rush into offering HD on the DVB-T platform, they should wait until after DSO is complete.

    Sorry HD1080 but your utter selfishness, demanding DVB-T HD broadcasts is outstanding, you knew that HD is only available via DVB-S or Cable in the UK, when you bought into the HD hype - want HD, get satellite or cable - stop expecting the majority to suffer a reduction in services.

  • Comment number 40.

    #38

    "The quality is gooing to be awful on SD as well as BBC HD.

    Its going to be sub standard picture quality accross all channels."


    Indeed, this is what those pushing for DVB-T (like HD1080) just don't seem to grasp, not only is SD going to be total carp but HD is going to be a such a low bit-rate - compared with DVB-S and cable - they would have been better watching a high bit-rate SD signal...

  • Comment number 41.

    I can (and frequently do) acquire news content form multiple sources via the internet for free. If I do this, noone complains.

    If I tried to acquire high-definition commerical video content for free via the internet, I would get called "Nasty Pirate".

    I rarely used any of the additional inteactive streams on Freeview. News I get via websites. (Most notably BBC's) Radio 1's concerts were fun, but hardly essential viewing. Doctor Who's commentaries were frequently prempted for flower shows, always lost the show's audio track, and I did better by playing the podcast side-by-side with the regular BBC1 (or DVRs) showing.

    I may be in the minority, but they're removing things I don't use for something I actually would watch.

    And, just for once, I'm in the group being advantaged, not the one being short-changed. It makes a pleasant turnaround.

    Roll on Freeview HD.

  • Comment number 42.

    #41. At 09:55am on 22 Oct 2009, TiggsPanther wrote:

    "I may be in the minority, but they're removing things I don't use for something I actually would watch."

    The point you are missing is (and being utterly selfish too), just because you don't watch/use the services, others do. As I mentioned way up, what the BBC is going to do is akin to - had - the BBC turning off their mono audio stream to make way for Nicam stereo TV or even more arrogantly messing with the old 405 line VHF service when they started the 625 line colour service on UHF even though most people in the UK still had only 405 line VHF sets!

    It's not as though one can't receive an HD service via DVB-S or cable, and as there isn't a single HD DVB-T digital tuner in consumer service as yet...

    "Roll on Freeview HD."

    ...also known as 'The death of Freeview', that is both HD and SD. :-(

  • Comment number 43.

    I notice that some of the posts have spoken against HD on Freeview. As a HD enthusiast I agree with you. Cramming 4 or 5 HD channels onto one multiplex is going to give a very poor quality HD. People are already complaining about the bitrate drop on BBC HD but freeview HD will be worse. If freeview is to have HD Ofcom should give back some of the multiplexes they have stolen and it should be done properly.

    The problem with freeview is that all the channels are transmittered with too lower bitrate and this has contributed to the takeup of HD. Upscalled SD on Channel 4 HD looks very good in comparison to Freeview.

    In the long term I think that Freeview should move to MIMO, DVB-T2 and MPEG-4. MIMO doubles the bandwidth, DVB-T2 increases bandwidth by about 50% and MPEG-4 also doubles the bandwith.

    One of the reasons for the demise of the News Multiscreen is that the BBC has given away 75% of one of its multiplexes.

    http://www.ukfree.tv/fullstory.php?storyid=1107051626

  • Comment number 44.

    #43. At 10:54am on 22 Oct 2009, trevorjharris wrote:

    "In the long term I think that Freeview should move to MIMO, DVB-T2 and MPEG-4. MIMO doubles the bandwidth, DVB-T2 increases bandwidth by about 50% and MPEG-4 also doubles the bandwith."

    If you mean changing all DVB-T broadcasts, that's a non starter (the public outcry would be deafening, and quite correctly so), that doesn't mean that a future HD DVB-T service couldn't use such codecs etc, HD tuners/STBs being being duel format.

  • Comment number 45.

    @42

    The same point works in reverse though, and that's the problem with situations like this.

    It's an either/or choice. And there are people on both sides who want one and not the other. But you can't assume that the other point of view doesn't exist.

    Like I said, I know I'm probably in the minority. But I'm also putting it out there that there are some of us out here who will benefit from the change. Or who won't mourn the loss of the missing functionality.

    And as someone not in a position to get satellite or cable for the forseeable future, the "keep HD off Freeview so we can watch the news" seems equally selfish.
    It's all to do with one's viewpoint. They can't service both sides, and each can only see the other's argument as wanting to lose something useful for the addition of something less so.
    Whichever side "wins", the other loses.

    I'm just worried that this is going to turn into an outcry that is protrayed as "the entire public wants...", but the "public" isn't speaking for everyone.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think some people are slightly over-reacting. I've used the multiscreen on occasion and i'd be suprised if their was ever more than fifteen minutes worth of programmes across all four screens, which is a tiny amount of programming to take up an entire channel.

    AS for the HD debate, i'm officially HD blind, there's a display in our local telly shop, an HD telly next to a normal one. I've spent minutes staring at them in my lunch hour and i honestly cannot tell the difference.

  • Comment number 47.

    #45. At 1:08pm on 22 Oct 2009, TiggsPanther wrote:

    [re comment @ #42]

    "The same point works in reverse though, and that's the problem with situations like this. ..//.."

    No it's not, as there is not one single HD DVB-T receiver in consumer use, those who have bought HD televisions etc. know that they need to have either a DVB-S receiver or cable box. If for what ever reason these can't get either satellite or cable then they are in the same position as those who can't get an SD satellite service or cable, what you now want is for those reliant of SD Freeview to have an even worse service just so that you can flex your HD ego...

    HD belongs on either DVB-S or Cable, until after DSO at least.

  • Comment number 48.

    This is not the first time I have voiced this but I consider that has stopped being on the fence and is now Conservative and getting further right wing than ever. And why do we have to fund your research to get things on a computer rather than as a public service Television and Radio Broadcaster. We pay for a Television and Radio Broadcaster not a computer Broadcaster. If you put the money into Television and Radio Broadcasting then maybe we would have better programmes which are going down hill more and more. it is time the BBC got back to what it is paid to do and that is Brodcast on TV and Radio.

  • Comment number 49.

    Another good reason for why the BBC should lose their access to public funds. The organization clearly cannot compete with the private sector and the eventual cutting back of additional services will be neccessary in order to protect their over bloated salaries. With the continued expansion of services by competitors such as SKY and Skyplayer (have you seen how much clearer their resolution is on the web com[pared to BBC News?) it is simply a matter of time that self indulgent government owned entities like the BBC become the dinosaurs of tomorrow.

  • Comment number 50.

    @boilderplated

    I did say that the changes in transmission mode should be a long term plan. It could be implemented over several years one multiplex at a time. If Freeview was to include these technologies in the freeview spec now many people would then be already equiped. In fact the new HD freeview boxes will probably support mpeg-4 and DVB-T2 with SD aswell as HD.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    @39 - I was commenting after post 35 which said things like "what we the consumer wants is not HD". Well I'm a consumer and I do want HD. I didn't see you make any insulting comments about post 35, probably because you too keep saying HD shouldn't be on Freeview. And you call me selfish for wanting Freeview HD? If you go to any TV store, I think it would be hard to buy a TV today that wasn't HD.

    And I'm sorry that BBC News multi-screen is going, I've used it too occasionally, but the Freeview channel BBC News 24 shows news 24 hours a day, and what would have been on News multi-screen can be watched on news 24, probably multiple times every hour - and in full screen - where isn't news multi-screen only a quarter of the screen for each news thing on Freeview?

    But like I said in another blog, I think that no services should have to be removed, and that the BBC should stop selling off TV spectrum and they should use any additional spectrum that is available. And Ofcom should stop selling of the UK's TV spectrum, so it can be used for HQ TV. And I think the BBC should ask Ofcom to stop selling off bandwidth that could be used for HQ TV services (HD, SD, red button services, etc.).

  • Comment number 53.

    I found where you watch the headlines stream online:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7875336.stm

  • Comment number 54.

    49. At 6:26pm on 22 Oct 2009, Smolder wrote:

    "Another good reason for why the BBC should lose their access to public funds. The organization clearly cannot compete with the private sector and the eventual cutting back of additional services will be neccessary in order to protect their over bloated salaries."

    Sorry but you simply do not understand the actually issues here, this is something that has been forced on the BBC by the regulator (Ofcom and HMG) for technical reasons, it's NOTHING what so ever to do with BBC salaries or even income (BTW Murdoch, of BSkyB fame, earns a lot more than anyone at the BBC does!), even if the BBC was funded via a comercail style subscription fee rather than the TVL they would have had to make these changes. What the BBC has done is to come up with a 'solution' to the problems handed to them by Ofcom, a wrong solution in many peoples opinions judging from the responses here and elsewhere.

    You might like to enlighten yourself with the actually facts before you attempt to make another blatant anti BBC rant in the future.

  • Comment number 55.

    50. At 7:00pm on 22 Oct 2009, trevorjharris wrote:

    "If Freeview was to include these technologies in the freeview spec now many people would then be already equiped."

    Rubbish, with 85% plus Freeview take up, many homes with multiple STBs, it's far to late in the day for such changes, these boxes will probably have a 10 year life at the very least - do remember that many expensive TVs now have built-in DVB-T receivers. Any change to the basic SD spec' can't be realistically rolled out for some time now, probably 10 plus years, without risking a consumer backlash.

  • Comment number 56.

    There is a real issue here. It is doubtful if public value will be achieved by putting HD on freeview NOW and in particular because of it's restrictive coverage (to London and the NW). It is quite wrong that an existing service should now only be available via paid commercial sources. The Trust should call in these proposals for review.

    Just some incidental notes... the latest big screen TV (45") need just over 100W when on and costs £800+ for eco enthusiasts.

    The red button in not an internet service but a DTV service

    May people connect their computer to the TV and I note there is a special link on the iPlayer site about this.

  • Comment number 57.

    Sounds like you have to have plug your laptop into you TV. Pity the people who have never used a computer

  • Comment number 58.

    The multiscreen was useless anyway, you couldn't enlarge it and you only got four screens where as satellite got six, unless freeview gets the same as freesat I can see it dying a long and miserable death.

  • Comment number 59.

    mitzedupree, the reason you couldn't enlarge the multiscreen, was because it was a standard channel split into four quarters (also the reason there were four screens)

  • Comment number 60.

    News multi-screen is actually a lot less than a quarter of the screen for each news thing on Freeview.

  • Comment number 61.

    #58. At 12:34pm on 23 Oct 2009, mitzedupree wrote:

    "The multiscreen was useless anyway, you couldn't enlarge it and you only got four screens where as satellite got six, unless freeview gets the same as freesat I can see it dying a long and miserable death."

    Hmm, so if one can't have the whole cake it's better not to have any cake at all?...

  • Comment number 62.

    The multiview is moving for more HD on Freeview...
    When will the BBC actually manage to put more out on its own HD channel? At the m,oment, its a pointless exercise watching a chat show in HD as it is not something that lends itself to the medium.
    If the BBC were to actually spend some cash on making worthwhile HD content, then it wouldnt be so bad.

  • Comment number 63.

    I do not see how the regulators , can deprive the public of a usefull and informative service like news multiscreen , when it alocates channels to gambling , soft porn and shopping . Where is the logic in that ?

  • Comment number 64.

    The one thing I used the news multiscreen for was to catch up with the weather forecast. The "comprehensive weather text service" is complete rubbish, and oftentotally at odds with the broadcast forecast. I couldn't care less about HD.

  • Comment number 65.

    does anyone want HD whatever it is ..this is TV we are talking about...what we want is good quality reception for our current tvs ...since digital was introduced all we get is a forever problem with pixelled screens and sound disappearance ...give us quality now and after that sort your HD for your own benefit

  • Comment number 66.

    I have an HD TV properly set up, and both Freeview and Freesat.
    I do not think the HD picture is much different from the normal one.

    However I am less and less interested in watching TV at all and am considering getting rid of it altogether and saving the licence fee.

  • Comment number 67.

    I've used Multiscreen so rarely, I won't miss it. You can catch the headlines every 15 minutes anyway, so I never quite got the point of it.

    HD is all very useful for those with a massive screen - the sort that only really fits in a hotel lounge - but when I watch our very standard sized widescreen from about 12' away, the freeview picture is absolutely fine.
    What's the point of it, I guess, is the question.

    If BBC3 and 4 bothered to advertise themselves on BBC1 and 2, they might get a few extra viewers - they need to do some desperate work on that one!

  • Comment number 68.

    I think it was in Seinfeld, it's especially bad for the 100 meter runners. By 1/100th of a second it is decided whether or not you've won it or not. It's like you could have won if you had a pimple on your nose :) [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 69.

    The BBC spent ages plugging and advertising freeview. Now it is a great success you wish to remove some of the things which have made it a success. In addition you are waffling about news multiscreen when people will see it as the red buttons or 301 and 302 on which they have watched sport or music.

    What we do have on freeview now is soft porn channels, I notice there is room for them. Shame on you BBC....

  • Comment number 70.

    I am very dissappointed in the BBC dropping the news multiscreen service. I work outside and rely on the wether forecast. It is not always convenient to wait on a forecast coming on the news channel or to wait on a pc booting up to check the weather as I do not always have the time. Please reinstate the video weather forecast on the red button.

    This was one of the main reasons I purchased a freeview box as I do not watch 'strictly' etc. This could well be another reason for me to get rid of my tv competely and therefore not have to pay the tv licence.

  • Comment number 71.

    I use NTL Virgin media so I think it will be available to me. But this is very disappointing, people who need HD can already get it using DVB-S. Channel 302 will be a blow to sports enthusiasts. There are so many useless channels occupying the broadcast, they should have been shut before anything else.
    ~ JP ~

  • Comment number 72.

    News multiscreen was really handy - especially for checking the weather. Now you have to wait up to half an hour on BBC News Channel and invariably miss the forcast you're waiting for. The BBC came up with a great idea and then scrapped it - why? Surely it didn't cost anything as the clips were just recorded straight off the latest news programme.

  • Comment number 73.

    For the past three years I've found the News Multiscreen to be one of the most useful assets behind the red button, so the decision to remove it is very disappointing. If ever I wanted to see a proper weather forecast or news summary, all I had to do was switch on the TV and there it would be. The suggested alternative, of watching on-line, is silly: in the time it takes for my computer to warm up I could have seen it twice over on TV and switched off again.
    News Multiscreen is an example of "fixed stuff" which needs to be kept; if anything has to give way it should be "variable stuff" of minority interest, such as Proms in the Park.

  • Comment number 74.

    BBC News multiscreen was one of the most useful services on Freeview. Being able to easily check the weather, news and sports headlines at anytime was a real benefit. Surprisingly a number of my friends seemed not to know about the service but found it equally useful once alerted.

    Perhaps it has not been well publicised - but of all the services that might have been cut to release bandwidth this is probably the least sensible candidate

  • Comment number 75.

    36. At 01:18am on 22 Oct 2009, richie79 wrote:
    Great, so whilst I'll only have access to one interactive service, that's OK because if I go and shell out several hundred for a new plasma screen and a hundred or so more for a Freeview PVR I'll be able to watch Mr Smug du Beke present 'Strictly Dancing Teen Idols on Ice with the Stars' or 'Help! I'm the World's Fattest Single Mom' in crystal clear 'quality' - a word that whilst possibly applicable to the picture has long since been absent in terms of programme content.

    As for the argument about screen size, well believe it or not not everyone feels the need to devote an entire wall of their lounge to ever-bigger screens (which consume three times as much electricity as the old ones); I'm certainly in no hurry to ship my perfectly serviceable 32" CRT off to the landfill. For me one extra interactive channel is about a million times more useful than one of HD - the current offerings in no way justify the enormous outlay - but then I suppose we are all meant to be trying to spend our way out of recession!

    As others have said if anything must go it should be BBC3, the Corporation's execrable attempt to get 'down wit' da kidz', an affront to PSB and a complete waste of license money, especially considering most of those at whom it's aimed neither pay a TV license NOR watch BBC3!


    I completely agree richie79.

  • Comment number 76.

    I am really disappointed at the closure of the News Multiscreen, which I used every day. Was any investigation done into how widely this service was used before making the decision to remove it? On-line is not a satisfactory replacement as many of us don't have PCs always on. While I do understand that technical changes need to be made for future new services, removing a useful and popular facility is a backward step.
    If there is any chance of the service being restored many viewers would be very pleased indeed.

  • Comment number 77.

    I have never supported analogue turn-off, and how ironic I should now lose the one digital facility I used regularly (for weather forecasts on demand).

    FM turn-off? Bah humbug.

  • Comment number 78.

    The BBC freeview text service is rubbish!

    We have recently upgraded to a Panasonics TX-L32G10X from a CRT box. This new set is amazing in its use of the analog CEEFAX service and even allows the picture to be viewed at the side of text if required.

    When the analog services ends I will miss its CEEFAX service because its now so easy to navigate between pages and I have absolutely no use whatsoever for an embedded picture.

    Are we going to see an improved digital CEEFAX service on a par with the analog one and with a button that removes the embedded picture when required?

    Please!


  • Comment number 79.

    > 75. At 12:40pm on 06 Nov 2009, LordWoz wrote:
    >
    > ...I'm certainly in no hurry to ship my perfectly serviceable 32" CRT
    > off to the landfill.

    I still use a perfectly serviceable Grundig of 1985 vintage - and it doesn't even have a SCART socket!

  • Comment number 80.

    The beauty of TV is that you do not have to watch it constantly to read the text, but can get on with other jobs whilst listening and viewing as necessary. The multiscreen facility was a fantastic way of catching up on the news in a few minutes without needing to listen to all the headlines in detail, or read through teletext items through various menus.
    As such, I am really disappointed that BBC has chosen to take this away from its viewing and paying public, many of whom prefer not to pay extra monies to cable or satellite companies. Yes, HD may well be a great service when it's available, but will it include flexible and useful services such as 'multiscreen'?

  • Comment number 81.

    I would like to reiterate so many of the users above that BBC News multiscreen was one of the most useful services on Freeview. Being able to easily check the detailed weather and news ON DEMAND is THE SINGLE FEATURE we miss the most. At least upgrade the existing weather page - it's awful.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    I've just discovered that the news multiscreen has gone. I think this is pretty serious. It was a single place where you could get a view of whats going on, better than the web site home page even. Now you have to watch news24 or try to get round the hopeless teletext so try and see whats going on. I wanted to see quickly what has been happening regarding traffic and snow issues across the country and with a PC running and a lot of website hopping I can;t see it. I don't care whether its HD or not, I want a decent news service and the multiscreen was way better than watching TV for an hour. Please very seriously consider how you get news to people, BBC.

  • Comment number 84.

    Well, at least you have the decency to say nothing comes for free. Digital TV certainly didn't (despite early promises from the Government). But if you think saying removing the rolling video weather forecasts is a price worth paying for HD, then think again. Exactly what is the point of HD? Apart from selling more TVs. Have you seen the mountains of perfectly working TVs that have been thrown away after digital takeover? What's the carbon footprint for that lot?
    Many of us don't want huge cinema screens in our living rooms. We live in average sized houses with average sized rooms and don't need high definition for a small screen. (Does anyone need high definition?) I gather the programmes are more expensive to make (so more license fee wasted) and require a whole new technology of makeup etc. so that we don't see all the blemishes in our actors' skin.
    So you haven't sold me the idea of HD. I'm not sold on digital either. We had a perfectly satisfactory system. We could watch one programme and record another. If there was more than one TV in the house, we coud watch different things. And, since the invention of transisitors, TVs turned on instantly. Now we have to wait for them to 'warm-up' again. Where's the progress? Don't tell me I have more choice. Forty channels of rubbish is no match for four channels of good programming. And, I hope everyone is making good use of Channel 5 because since the 'changeover' we've also lost ITV3 to make it (C5) available to the millions who were clammering for it (apparently).
    So, as others have said, no public consultation and more backward steps than I can believe possible. And costing us money for the priviledge.
    We can't control the commercial channels and it seems we have no say in what the Government does, but please, BBC, let us have some say in what happens to what was the best TV broadcaster and be some kind of voice of reason.

  • Comment number 85.

    So, The freeview multiscreen has be removed to accomodate HD.Why for goodness sake? We have high quality digital pictures already. This is public squander, unneeded and unwanted, good money down the drain.WE are still waiting for local DAB radio,another farce. Service? what a laugh! I would sack the BBC board and scrap OFTEL who should be answerable for this mess.




    OFTEL who have

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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