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First 20 Towns/Cities for Local TV Announced


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Old 14-12-2011, 07:38
TV Time Mike
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From what I've read over this I must admit I don't get it!

As noted above local TV has a very limited appeal, if local news, sports and lifestyle programing was mixed in with a national channel then maybe.

Also there is the money issue, okay local firms want to advertise but they can do it cheaper on the radio and get to a fairly wide audience while local TV adverts will cost more and not reach the same levels.

And here is the big one how much broadcast time are we really talking about? A few hours a day then when if it's peak early evening local and national news on BBC and ITV cover the major local issues and general interest in snappy chunks.

I just don't see this being viable unless someone has one heck of a clever rabbit to pull out of the hat.

It could just be one long advert for the local MP, a handful of big firms with the odd person popping up talking about bulbs and 2CV's. I'll admit I might be wrong but what can a "local" TV channel really do and can it keep going for any real length of time.

As I see it there are plenty of other cheaper means to sell the region or town you live in and obtain adverts and keep people informed that hit the local population and do a better job.

But I am willing to wait and see we all might get a nice surprise.
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Old 14-12-2011, 07:56
kev
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And here is the big one how much broadcast time are we really talking about? A few hours a day then when if it's peak early evening local and national news on BBC and ITV cover the major local issues and general interest in snappy chunks.
90 Minutes of programming (IIRC) repeated ad-nauseum over 24 hours seams to be the proposal (although broadcasters would be able to broadcast more).

However this might not be that bad - apparently BBC Three has only 90 minutes of new programming a day so it's possible to envisage a reasonable schedule that doesn't seam too repetitive, but then again drama and comedy doesn't go out of date as quick as news and current affairs!

I just don't see this being viable unless someone has one heck of a clever rabbit to pull out of the hat.
The removal of a national spine seams to be a death nell for this - if you don't give people a reason to tune in they won't find the local stuff - the US relies on the national spines (ABC, CBS, NBS, Fox, MyNetworkTV, CW) to fill the schedules! Could you really be arsed to retune all your boxes yet again to find a local channel broadcasting news that's probably going to be less well presented than BBC East Midlands today from a broadcaster you have no reason to believe or trust? If they had been on air at DSO in position six then they might have stood a chance, but even Channel M missed that boat!

But I am willing to wait and see we all might get a nice surprise.
Would be nice if we did get a nice surprise.
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Old 14-12-2011, 09:29
Caxton
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If local programmes are coming from main transmitters like Norwich from Tacolneston for instance that are broadcasting at 100 kw with the present digital set-up and the local station at only10kw http://www.10ash.info/ will that not be awkward trying to get an aerial set-up that can cope with the huge amount of difference in transmitter power. At the moment some people have to have attenuators on their aerials or smaller aerials to suit but will certainly need larger ones for the local station. Also if the local station is not coming from the main transmitter this will necessitate yet another aerial being fitted. This sounds like a pile of trouble that many will not bother with. It one also looks from the prospective footprint of that local station that applies to Norwich that some people living up to 15 miles or more from the Norwich city centre will receive a coverage while those much closer just outside the city will get no coverage

http://ofcom.org.uk/static/maps/loca...es/Norwich.png
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Old 14-12-2011, 09:40
BMR
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Nothing for Derby it would seem. And it doesn't look like we will get the Nottingham station either......
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:04
Spot
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If local programmes are coming from main transmitters like Norwich from Tacolneston for instance that are broadcasting at 100 kw with the present digital set-up and the local station at only10kw http://www.10ash.info/ will that not be awkward trying to get an aerial set-up that can cope with the huge amount of difference in transmitter power. At the moment some people have to have attenuators on their aerials or smaller aerials to suit but will certainly need larger ones for the local station. Also if the local station is not coming from the main transmitter this will necessitate yet another aerial being fitted. This sounds like a pile of trouble that many will not bother with. It one also looks from the prospective footprint of that local station that applies to Norwich that some people living up to 15 miles or more from the Norwich city centre will receive a coverage while those much closer just outside the city will get no coverage

http://ofcom.org.uk/static/maps/loca...es/Norwich.png
That does look very odd, as the white area to the north-east covers suburbs where many tens of thousands of people who would regard themselves as residents of Norwich actually live - Sprowston, Rackheath, Spixworth. I'm also a bit puzzled as to why that area would be a blackspot whilst the signal picks up again further out, as it's not low-lying. You'd expect some parts of the city centre to be more problematic, which of-course is why the Norwich Central relay was built, to improve poor analogue reception - I'm not sure how many people will still be using it now we've gone digital.
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:25
marria01
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Surely part of that beauty pageant is going to be how much it costs the local tv licensee to gain access to the multiplex - which is where Arqiva will have the upper hand.
Seriously, Arqiva don't know the meaning of the word 'cheap'. Just because they have all that existing infrastructure, their internal market will mean that everything will be charged out at market rates.

Look at the reference offer for MTS at Winter Hill for the Channel M mux. What they're charging there could be provided by a third party for a fraction of the cost.
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:51
cdon77
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I just don't see how this is going to work. They keep making comparisons to the USA where virtually all channels are local tv affiliated to a Network.

Unless they plan to break up BBC, ITV, CH4, CH5, Sky, etc and make every channel broadcast from every transmitter a local tv station and affilate them to a Network you just can't compare it to the USA situation.

We are a small geographic country in comparison to the USA, there are reasons why local tv works in the USA with large distances between towns and cities.

I give it 2-3 years max before they throw in the towel and the local tv stations start to fail. The interleaved channels will be auctioned off to a a couple of national channels.
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Old 14-12-2011, 12:06
freeview_user
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:There all going to be budget channels with poor technical quality anyway. And the shows would be awful. As I live in Cumbria you can guarantee all i'll get is Lake District 24/7. Poor quality cameras etc...
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Old 14-12-2011, 12:10
BMR
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:There all going to be budget channels with poor technical quality anyway. And the shows would be awful. As I live in Cumbria you can guarantee all i'll get is Lake District 24/7.
And, if you are very very lucky, 'Lake District 24/7 +1'
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Old 14-12-2011, 12:11
freeview_user
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Maybe it will be called Sheep TV?

...or Cheap TV for that matter
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Old 14-12-2011, 12:29
Jacquicrossland
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It would be better if local TV was on a regional basis rather than the mess we have with channel M at the moment. So in my region of Granadaland a Manchester channel could also be received in Liverpool, a liverpool channel in Manchester, etc. This way better power could be used, and ex-pats living in other cities, or maybe planning a trip there, could watch other city's channels. For example, somebody in Manchester or Bolton planning a holiday in Blackpool could view a Blackpool channel from their homes even though not living in the town.
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Old 14-12-2011, 12:36
freeview_user
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It would be better if local TV was on a regional basis rather than the mess we have with channel M at the moment. So in my region of Granadaland a Manchester channel could also be received in Liverpool, a liverpool channel in Manchester, etc. This way better power could be used, and ex-pats living in other cities, or maybe planning a trip there, could watch other city's channels. For example, somebody in Manchester or Bolton planning a holiday in Blackpool could view a Blackpool channel from their homes even though not living in the town.
But that could be more expensive and not viable. The number of people that would do that would probably be minimal.
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Old 14-12-2011, 16:51
wns_195
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It would have been more sensible to require ITV to broadcast more regional content.

Unless the channels broadcast major events such as live sport and music, I can't see why people would watch.

The channel for Leeds is supposed to cover the major urban parts of West Yorkshire. If people from Bradford or Huddersfield think it is too much about Leeds, I don't think they'll support it.

Local commercial radio has become more national in recent years, but should be able to attract a larger audience. If local commercial radio isn't working as it should, I don't think local TV will do any better.
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Old 14-12-2011, 17:15
trilobite
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Will existing set-top boxes be able to handle the QPSK transmission format, or do we require yet another box?
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Old 14-12-2011, 17:25
lf2k7
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It would have been more sensible to require ITV to broadcast more regional content.

Unless the channels broadcast major events such as live sport and music, I can't see why people would watch.

The channel for Leeds is supposed to cover the major urban parts of West Yorkshire. If people from Bradford or Huddersfield think it is too much about Leeds, I don't think they'll support it.

Local commercial radio has become more national in recent years, but should be able to attract a larger audience. If local commercial radio isn't working as it should, I don't think local TV will do any better.
ITV providing more regional content rather than less? That's a far more practical solution - especially if they want to maintain their regionalised advertising!

The net result will end up the same - large company franchises a channel, provides 95% of the content (a la Heart FM or ITV1).

The benefit being that it will have far greater coverage owing to existing relays.

Alternatively, since the BBC is partially funding this, is to give over a small slice of BBCA/BBCB for lowres local programming.
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Old 14-12-2011, 18:06
BMR
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Will existing set-top boxes be able to handle the QPSK transmission format, or do we require yet another box?
I don't know or care what QPSK is, but this whole project will be an epic, epic fail if it doesn't work with existing boxes and aerials.
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Old 14-12-2011, 18:08
David (2)
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is there not a risk of content duplication in regard to news. We already have local news from BBC and ITV.
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Old 14-12-2011, 18:14
BMR
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is there not a risk of content duplication in regard to news. We already have local news from BBC and ITV.
There is always a risk. The point about local telly is that it will beable to give more airtime to local things. So instead of 5 mins at 6.30 PM, a local station will be able to report live from the scene, take calls from viewers live on air and stick with a story.

And local TV should be local and not regional. So instead of the whole East Midlands, the Nottingham station will be able to concentrate on truly local things....
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Old 14-12-2011, 18:25
chrisy
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It's all been done before in analogue and died a death. Remember TV 12 on Isle of Wight, mostly relayed Sky News, failed and replaced with Solent TV which also failed. There were local stations in Southampton and Portsmouth which also failed. One planned for West London never actually happened. There were similar stories in much of the rest of the UK.
Ah, I remember this one. TV-12 were doing quite well (not sure if they were turning a profit but they at least weren't taking heavy losses), but when their RSL was up for renewal it went out to competitive tender. There were two bidders - TV-12 and Solent TV. For some reason, rather than re-licence TV-12 for another term, the ITC awarded the licence to Solent TV. Solent TV lasted about a year.

A lot of the planned local stations never happened last time. There were loads around Hertfordshire awarded all to one company. This company only managed to get one on air, and that didn't last long.

The injection of cash to help the new startups should help this time round. Some of the companies previously responsible for analogue RTSLs are planning to bid (such as SixTV Oxford, one of the more successful ones) and are well aware of the risks. Digital broadcasting should help a lot with getting people to tune in, as the channel will automatically appear on the EPG after a retune. A lot of the problems from last time have obviously been looked at.

This is Jeremy Hunt's most publicised project so I'm pretty sure the government will do everything they can to stop it all collapsing after a year... could be very embarrassing for him if it goes wrong.
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Old 14-12-2011, 18:32
kev
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I give it 2-3 years max before they throw in the towel and the local tv stations start to fail. The interleaved channels will be auctioned off to a a couple of national channels.
Last time they tried local TV many stations didn't even make it to air - I'm not sure if any of them made it to DSO apart from Channel M who failed to make it to digital on time!

Community radio which is supposedly way cheaper hasn't been a roaring success either - the low transmission powers don't exactly help (most of the Nottingham services don't seam to have a decent signal anywhere in the city for instance!).

Local TV in the States has a national backbone and full power transmitters too, and are the main stations.

If you wanted the american model imagine the following

London
Channel 1 - ITV affiliate
Channel 3 - C4 affiliate
Channel 5 - BBC ONE affiliate
Channel 7 - TF1 affiliate
Channel 9 - BBC TWO affiliate
Channel 10 - ITV-2 affiliate
Channel 11 - C5 affiliate
Channel 13 - Movies 4 Men affiliate
Channel 15 - S4C affiliate
Channel 17 - Oxford University TV (licenced for Oxford and fringe reception in parts of London)
Channel 19 - ITV-3 affiliate (licenced for Reading and fringe reception in parts of London)
LBC News 24 - LBC News TV affiliate
Channel 26 - ITV-3 affiliate (licenced for Luton and fringe reception in parts of London)
Channel 29 - ITV-3 affiliate (licenced for Gatwick and fringe reception in parts of London)
Croydon TV - Deutsch Welle affiliate
Channel 57 - UCL TV - PSB Network TV affiliate
Channel 60 - RTÉ affiliate
Channel 63 - Unaffiliate

but Inverness having only

Channel 45 - BBC TWO and ITV-1 affiliate (ITV-1 knocked out of prime time)
Channel 48 - BBC ONE and C4 affiliate (C4 knocked out of prime time)
Channel 50 - C5, ITV-2 affiliate targeting Aberdeen (fringe reception)

I don't know or care what QPSK is, but this whole project will be an epic, epic fail if it doesn't work with existing boxes and aerials.
Most boxes should be compatible - I'd imagine the majority of those which aren't have already become doorstops at DSO.
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Old 14-12-2011, 18:48
Greebo
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Will existing set-top boxes be able to handle the QPSK transmission format, or do we require yet another box?
Channel M in Manchester ran for a while using QPSK and as far as I'm aware there were no issues due to TV or box compatibility. It was observably more robust than the QAM16 mode they are using now.
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Old 14-12-2011, 19:12
BMR
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Hi, Kev. I don't think there is any suggestion we are going to follow the full american model, so Inverness won't be losing stations, nor will London be gaining so many.

IMHO these channels must

1) Be available on existing boxes and aerials (see above)
2) Be at position 6 on the EPG - ITV 2 will have to move
3) Be on cable and ideally satellite, again at position 6 (106)
4) Be allowed to show teleshopping during off air times

If that happens then they may stand a cat in hells chance of success.
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Old 14-12-2011, 20:10
DragonQ
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Oh god please don't put these on satellite, where is there narrow beam space for 30-40 streams, even if they are SD??
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Old 14-12-2011, 20:14
Muzer
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Why would they need narrow-beam space? I doubt they'll be licensing any of their content...


Nah, I'm sure the government can make provisions for them to be crammed onto a couple of Eurobird1 (well, soon Eutelsat 28A) transponders - cheap as chips, and not taking the space away from anyone who deserves it more! Well, that's if the government want them on satellite in the first place - I doubt they will somehow!
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Old 14-12-2011, 20:26
DragonQ
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There will blatantly be licensing issues somewhere down the line, which'd require them to be either encrypted (not an option for Freesat) or narrow beam (no capacity).

Like you said though, I doubt it'd happen.
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