The station, based in Cosham, started at 8:15pm. It launched without the fanfare of publicity that accompanied other local TV channel launches, such as Notts TV's blue duck campaign.
That's Solent is the first local TV station of the That's TV network of local channels, which will provide local programming on Freeview, YouView and Virgin Media in many parts of central southern England. The next That's TV station to launch is That's Oxford, expected to launch during early 2015. Further stations serving Basingstoke, Guildford, Reading and Salisbury are planned for the coming years.
|That's Solent Freeview coverage area (map: Ofcom)|
That's Solent is backed by Esther Rantzen, who becomes the vice-president of programming on the channel. Managing Director Daniel Cass was behind Six TV, the analogue local TV channel that originally served the area.
The service is broadcast on Freeview and YouView channel 8 from the Rowridge transmitter on the Isle of Wight.
Most Freeview viewers who retuned in September as part of wider changes to the digital terrestrial TV service will not need to retune to gain access to That's Solent, as the station has been broadcasting a pre-launch loop since the end of August on channel 8.
- Update: it's also being carried on Wight Fibre channel 108.
(Technical footnote: The Ofcom map above shows 'Rowridge VP' as the transmitter, referring to the vertically polarised Freeview service from Rowridge that benefits viewers who frequently suffer from co-channel interference, and particularly those living beyond the local TV coverage area shown above. a516digital understands that the local TV service is not broadcast on a vertically polarised (VP) signal, but is in fact broadcast with horizontal polarisation. Most existing aerials should be suitable. Local TV broadcasts on UHF channel 29/538 MHz.)