UKTV takes Freeview bandwidth from Al Jazeera English

Al Jazeera English has gone HD-only on Freeview, with the bandwidth previously used for the standard definition version of the news channel being snapped up by UKTV for its expansion on the platform.

Channel 133 now advises viewers to switch to the HD version of Al Jazeera on channel 108. However the multiplex carrying Al Jazeera HD is only available to around 70% of the UK population via compatible Freeview HD devices and YouView boxes.

Coinciding with the removal of Al Jazeera English in standard definition at midday today, Home from UKTV has launched on channel 25 and sister channel Dave Ja Vu has moved to channel 84, filling the ex-Al Jazeera capacity.

The changes follow an advertisement by multiplex operator Arqiva late last year, which advised of a rarely available Freeview slot becoming available. Al Jazeera had been available in standard definition on the platform since 1st July 2010, at first as an evening-only service.

Dave Ja Vu's continued existence on Freeview gives UKTV a slot for any future expansion of its channel portfolio on Freeview. Dave Ja Vu was previously used as a stop-gap to secure Freeview bandwidth before the launch of Really, Drama and now Home on the platform. It's widely reported that UKTV are looking at their options for future free-to-air services.

YouView & Home
For YouView viewers, the launch of Home on Freeview has a number of consequences. Home on channel 25 replaces the previously available service on the YouView service operated by BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk on channel 314. TalkTalk has advised its customers that as a result of the changes, Home will no longer be available in the TalkTalk Player, and viewers will have lost any recordings.

TVPlayer & Home
With Home having gone free-to-air, the channel is now available for free online and on mobile at TVPlayer.com.




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14 comments:

  1. Should Al Jazeera HD have moved to 133 and taken the place of the now closed SD version?

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  2. Fed up as i was enjoying the South Africa 7 up programme!!

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  3. Absolute disgrace. Al Jazeera English was best news channel on freeview. Replaced by more down market rubbish! Also widely watched by Brits with international, Middle Eastern etc heritage. There should be some way of preventing this loss.

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  4. Why would Al Jazeera allow this? It was by far the best news channel with the best documentaries. I cannot go back back to watching the BBC!

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  5. Absolutely agree - Al Jazeera was the best news channel!!

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  6. Sounds like a conspiracy to keep the UK in the dark and well timed coming up to the referendum. Quite ironic that it is going to be taken by "DAVE" JA VU. Like many others I feel that a balanced truly world view has been lost.

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  7. Al-Jazeera TV one of the most respected team of journalists out there and is now lost to people in the UK with just the standard freeview TV box. This is a sad loss. When I sit down in the lounge, I miss the world perspective, the documentaries , the debates. I can go off to the computer 8n my study, but it's not as relaxing , and many people don't have good enough streaming broadband. Is there any chance of bringing Al-Jazeera back to standard freeview in the near future? The people of the UK need it.

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  8. Its like a capitalist version north Korea in this country, the state has obviously been at work here to remove All Jazeera, can't have the sheep getting any ideas now can we!.

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  9. Its like a capitalist version north Korea in this country, the state has obviously been at work here to remove All Jazeera, can't have the sheep getting any ideas now can we!.

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  10. Goes who owns Freeview, yes it is our old friends, the bastions of free speech and democracy the BBC, ITV, CH4 and Sky! Of course in the shake up on March 1st BBC 3 went off air and there are now two channels going spare. Why could All Jazeera have the standard definition one? Well that wouldn't suit Dave and his chums before the referendum.

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  11. - BBC standard definition capacity cannot be offered to commercial broadcasters.
    - Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar, a country that has lost of oil revenue recently, so it would make financial sense to focus on the HD version only, and recently Al Jazeera and Arqiva signed an international agreement which will see Al Jazeera focusing on versions of the channel with improved picture quality. The existing carriage agreement between Arqiva and Al Jazeera for the standard definition channel was ended - incidentally notice was given long before the referendum date was announced.

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  12. Typical Tory tyrants shut down anyone who reports facts about your nation. Worked for Goerrbels

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    1. Al Jazeera is still open for business and found on Freeview HD channel 108, on Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and online.

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  13. This is bullshit. Al Jazeera was the only channel to cover a lot of international stories. The BBC always covers only the 3 top stories (and they even do that well).

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