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Astra 2G arrives at launch site

If all goes to plan, the latest satellite to serve the British Isles goes into orbit late November.

Amazon Fire TV launches

From BBC iPlayer to YouTube via Netflix, TVPlayer, Sky News, STV, Vevo and more...

BBC DAB coverage boost

New transmitters expand coverage in southern England, Powys and Scotland.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Applicants for next round of Local TV licence awards revealed

Ofcom has published a list of applicants for the next round of local TV licence awards, which could see more local TV stations launching on Freeview and YouView in Aberdeen, Ayr, Carlisle, Dundee, Inverness and Stoke on Trent.

Each location has one applicant, in contrast to the earlier local TV licensing rounds which saw multiple applicants fight for licences. This means that providing the applicants meet Ofcom's basic criteria, they are more or less guaranteed to be awarded a licence.

Ofcom confirms Birmingham local TV deadline has been put back

Days before Birmingham's local TV service should have launched, Ofcom has confirmed that it is carrying out 'due diligence' on a request from the administrator to transfer the licence to another organisation following the collapse of the original winner of the licence, BLTV (City8 Birmingham), this summer.

South Africa's eNCA news channel closes UK Sky service

UPDATE  South African news channel eNCA has been withdrawn from Sky, after just over two years on the digital satellite platform, with the expense of satellite broadcasting being cited as a reason for the closure.

The channel, which was beamed free-to-air in Europe via the Astra 2F satellite, could also be received using Freesat receivers through manual tuning or non-Freesat mode.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Astra 2G arrives safely at launch site

International Launch Services (ILS) has confirmed that new satellite Astra 2G has arrived safely in Baikonur Cosmodrome after an emergency landing en-route from France to Kazakhstan.

Astra 2G is satellite operator SES's latest satellite to head for the 28.2/5 degrees East orbital position, the position used for UK Sky and Freesat channels. Astra 2G joins Astra 2E and F, and is the final part of a renewal programme, which is expected to enable the original first generation Astra 2 and Eutelsat satellites, which were brought into service during the early days of digital satellite TV, to retire.

Al Jazeera prepares to move into new Shard Hub

Al Jazeera is preparing to open its new European news hub on the 16th floor of London's Shard next week.

According to The Independent, the new 28,000 square feet hub will house nearly 200 staff, with the 16th floor chosen as having the best skyline views over the UK capital - a higher floor would have reportedly "ruined the perspective". Both Al Jazeera and The Shard are under Qatari ownership.

Trash Can added to DAB

Trash Can Radio has become the latest new station to join the local DAB service covering Surrey and South London. The station describes itself as the home of "trashy Rock’n’Roll, Old School Rhythm & Blues, Punk, Ska, Rockabilly, 60s Garage punk and all other kinds of pure trash music."

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Ofcom consults on small scale DAB

Ofcom has commenced a consultation exercise over proposed trials, which aim to provide smaller commercial and community radio stations with a low-cost gateway on to DAB digital radio.

Many of these stations have stayed off DAB due to the cost or due to the existing multiplexes having coverage areas that exceed FM coverage, and Ofcom proposes to conduct trials to see how smaller stations can be helped on to DAB using low-cost, small-scale transmissions.

Merseyside local TV draws closer to launch

Liverpool's local TV station has moved another step closer to launching on Freeview this year, with Ofcom granting the licence for Bay TV Liverpool this week.
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