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The Freeview Years: 2007

On the 30th October 2012, Freeview will have been on air for ten years. Take a few moments to revisit highlights from Freeview's first ten years on air:

Highlights from 2007

The first town in the UK piloted the digital switchover process that was subsequently used as a model for all other switchover events: In November 2007, analogue services from the Whitehaven relay transmitter in Cumbria were switched off, and viewers began receiving the basic Freeview service that would eventually be rolled out at all transmitter sites that weren't already carrying Freeview at the time of the switchover.

Freeview also launched Freeview Playback in 2007 - later rebranded "Freeview+" in 2008, providing PVRs that could pause live TV and record Freeview channels under one brand name, highlighting to the consumer that you didn't have to have Sky+ to pause live TV...

ITV Play's days were numbered in March 2007, when irregularities in the handling of competitions on ITV Play and other ITV channels became apparent. The scandal reverberated across the industry, eventually engulfing shows like Blue Peter who weren't too honest about a competition.  The slot on multiplex D went blank, but was later used for ITV2+1.

Film 4+1's days were also numbered by August 2007, when Channel 4 decided to launch a timeshift version of its main service - Channel 4+1. On 20th August 2007, various changes to Channel 4 services took place as Channel 4+1 took channel 13.
  • More4 moved from channel number 13 to 14
  • E4 moved from channel number 14 to 29
  • Film4 moved to from channel number 29 to 32
Another channel that was to bite the dust was Disney's abc1, which closed on the 26th September 2007. Had viewers had enough of Home Improvement?

Virgin 1 launched on the 1st October 2007, replacing f tn, initially airing in the same twelve hour timeslot on Freeview as ftn used, but available 24/7 on Virgin Media's cable network and on Sky. It was seen as Virgin Media's bid to compete with Sky One, and contained many US imports including "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles", which went on to become the channel's highest rating show.

Two weeks later on the 14th October 2007, UKTV Bright Ideas was closed down. It's final broadcast was just before 1800.

The next day, UKTV History moved to UKTV Bright Idea's slot on multiplex D requiring a retune. As UKTV Bright Ideas slot consisted of 0600-1800 daily, this meant that UKTV History's evening programmes were no longer available on Freeview.

New channel Dave took the old UKTV History capacity on multiplex C but launched on channel 19 using the old UKTV Bright Ideas channel number.

Dave turned out to be extremely successful. Born out of a rebrand of the UKTV G2 channel, the channel's launch on Freeview led Dave to become UKTV's most watched TV channel and spurned the management team at UKTV to give all of their channels odd names in the months and years that followed...  Eden, Blighty, Alibi etc

Dave launch advert and UKTV Bright Ideas closedown. No use plugging the other UKTV channels  for Freeview viewers... 

The Jewellery Channel made its first appearance on Freeview channel 44 between 7pm and 9pm in December 2007.

In the world of pay TV, Setanta launched a service via Top Up TV in March having piloted a pay per view service using CITV's capacity on multiplex 2 on Sunday afternoons.

Nuts TV launched on Freeview in November, airing from 9pm to 1am. The channel never really caught on and was replaced by CNN in January 2009.

On Radio, Clyde 1 replaced country station 3c on Freeview in March 2007. It was only temporary though, and closed in October 2008.

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