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Top Up TV, will it survive past 2013?


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Old 04-02-2014, 00:34
1andrew1
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TopUp TV is the gateway to pay-TV on DTT in the UK. It provides the conditional access capability which allows BT to offer its pay TV channels on DTT.

However, BT has announced that it will be ceasing to offer BT sport on DTT for new customers.

So will 2014 see the end of TopUp TV or will it survive? It's been falsely written off many times before and shown an instinct to adapt and survive, but could this be its final show?

Top Up TV
As Pay TV experts, Top Up TV is the gateway to broadcasting Pay TV channels - from subscription services to home shopping - on the Digital Terrestrial platform.

We play an active and integral role in supporting some of the most innovative Pay TV broadcasters operating today.

Top Up TV has capacity on the COM4 multiplex as well as servicing key sporting channels on the COM6 multiplex.

As part of our current portfolio we are supporting BT Sport in their exciting new broadcasting venture, and helping to make it a success.

Uniquely on DTT, Top Up TV provides a fully-integrated Conditional Access (CA) capability for pay channels operators and can integrate the CA head-end with subscriber management services.

This state-of-the-art facility is operated and managed 24/7 under the highest levels of security and resilience.

Top Up TV can also provide content management and broadcast through its partners including scheduling and playout.

Our many years in the industry ensures we can offer technical support of the highest calibre.
http://www.topuptv.com/main/business.html
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Old 04-02-2014, 00:37
Paddy C
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Erm, I don't know how to break this to you.... but...

http://www.topuptv.com/main/index.html
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Old 04-02-2014, 00:40
1andrew1
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Erm, I don't know how to break this to you.... but...

http://www.topuptv.com/main/index.html
Click on the business tab, the company's still going strong.
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Old 04-02-2014, 00:42
epsilon
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Erm, I don't know how to break this to you.... but...

http://www.topuptv.com/main/index.html
Perhaps you missed the link at the bottom or the page you quoted, which takes you to their business section.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:10
epsilon
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So will 2014 see the end of TopUp TV or will it survive? It's been falsely written off many times before and shown an instinct to adapt and survive, but could this be its final show?
The business section refers to capacity they have on COM4, the bulk of which was being used for the Marketplace channel, which has now closed. The amount of space they have to offer other channels is becoming very limited.

If Channel 5 don't use a full 24 hour timeslot for 5 +24, it remains to be seen what happens to the rest. Similarly, the former Anytime 3, 5 and 6 timeslots are still unused and so far haven't been taken over by the Channel 5 owned slots they shared with.

Fully encrypted pay-tv channels are very expensive to operate compared with newer methods of delivery such as MHEG-IC. It's unlikely that there will be very much demand for the business services they provide after BT Sport leaves the platform.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:16
epsilon
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Similarly, the former Anytime 3, 5 and 6 timeslots are still unused and so far haven't been taken over by the Channel 5 owned slots they shared with.
Oddly enough, Channel 5 +1 tonight extended their hours into the former Anytime 3 slot. The 1 hour timeshift is now available 24/7 on Freeview although much of the extended hours are occupied by a video caption during the period where the repeat of Supercasino can't be shown.
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Old 04-02-2014, 20:06
Everything Goes
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Looks like some people forum members have gotten out of their straight jackets

Top Up TV is gone. Let it go! Even if they have some capacity they are holding on to the remnants of the company is pretty much a Zombie.
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Old 04-02-2014, 21:16
epsilon
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Looks like some people forum members have gotten out of their straight jackets

Top Up TV is gone. Let it go! Even if they have some capacity they are holding on to the remnants of the company is pretty much a Zombie.
It was still alive and well until a few days ago when Marketplace closed.

It's also the only way third party companies such as BT Sport can service basic encrypted channels on the platform. It may look similar to a zombie but it is still breathing.

At a guess, TUTV's ownership of space on DTT probably ended at the point where Marketplace was removed. SDN and Channel 5 will probably reallocate the remaining 4 hours in their own sweet time. But.... another nail in the coffin.

Alas, as much as you want TUTV to be gone, it is still haunting the platform. It's not over until the fat lady sings.
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Old 04-02-2014, 23:36
TelevisionUser
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Click on the business tab, the company's still going strong.
It's still going but I'm not sure the word 'strong' is appropriate, 1andrew1. BT TV have made it pretty clear that once the BT Infinity high capacity rollout has been completed then BT Sport 1 & 2 will be withdrawn from the Freeview/DTT platform to be replaced by cheaper IPTV broadband delivery.

At that stage, Top Up TV will have zero customers and, since pay-TV has failed twice on Freeview/DTT (ITV Digital and Top Up TV), I really cannot see anyone trying again to make a go of a linear channel pay-TV service on the most expensive digital TV platform.
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Old 04-02-2014, 23:56
1andrew1
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It's still going but I'm not sure the word 'strong' is appropriate, 1andrew1. BT TV have made it pretty clear that once the BT Infinity high capacity rollout has been completed then BT Sport 1 & 2 will be withdrawn from the Freeview/DTT platform to be replaced by cheaper IPTV broadband delivery.

At that stage, Top Up TV will have zero customers and, since pay-TV has failed twice on Freeview/DTT (ITV Digital and Top Up TV), I really cannot see anyone trying again to make a go of a linear channel pay-TV service on the most expensive digital TV platform.
I agree you with and said something similar in my first post. Knowing some people's enthusiasm at the status of the company, I was surprised to see it alive and kicking yesterday so thought I'd share the good news.
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Old 05-02-2014, 00:25
TelevisionUser
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I agree you with and said something similar in my first post. Knowing some people's enthusiasm at the status of the company, I was surprised to see it alive and kicking yesterday so thought I'd share the good news.
If the Top Up TV bosses had had any sense then they should have been the first ones to go down the route that VuTV have now taken - extra channel choice but delivered by much cheaper IPTV delivery. They've missed the boat now and I can't see them coming back in any significant form.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:31
epsilon
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If the Top Up TV bosses had had any sense then they should have been the first ones to go down the route that VuTV have now taken - extra channel choice but delivered by much cheaper IPTV delivery. They've missed the boat now and I can't see them coming back in any significant form.
To be fair, the business tab on their website is probably about squeezing every last drop of possible revenue out of their existing investment in the platform. The deal with BT Sport will provide them with some income, as did the teleshopping on their Marketplace channel.

TUTV are probably in a better position than anyone to know how viable pay-tv is on DTT. They pulled the plug on their own services, so expecting to attract new third party broadcasters is over-optimistic. Perhaps they didn't see IPTV as being a big money spinner and didn't wish to make any further investments in the platform.

They may reinvent themselves once again and become some sort of support company for other broadcasters. I would think it is more likely that, following the departure of BT Sport, we won't be hearing much more about the company.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:46
lbear
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At that stage, Top Up TV will have zero customers and, since pay-TV has failed twice on Freeview/DTT (ITV Digital and Top Up TV), I really cannot see anyone trying again to make a go of a linear channel pay-TV service on the most expensive digital TV platform.
Encrypted subscription DTT has failed THREE times, you forgot OnDigital
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:51
epsilon
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Encrypted subscription DTT has failed THREE times, you forgot OnDigital
OnDigital and ITV Digital were the same thing, the change of name was a rebrand, not a failure.
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Old 05-02-2014, 15:22
captainkremmen
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There's a difference between the company and the service they provided.

TopUPTV to the average Freeview viewer and potential customer is dead. The service is no more.

The company itself survives, just, at the moment. But as has been said, they should have gone down the IPTV route a long time ago. If they had done so they may well have been in a better position, especially if they had been able to do deals to give them preference on YouView for non BT and Talk Talk customers who want decent IPTV channels without having to use either ISP.

Unfortunately they have probably missed the boat, and I would be pretty surprised if even the company itself lasts beyond this year.

I agree with TelevisionUser, given pay TV has failed twice on Freeview now, I very much doubt anyone else will try it in such a way ever again.
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Old 05-02-2014, 17:37
epsilon
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As I said, they probably have sufficient knowledge of the market to reach a conclusion that pay-tv isn't going to work on terrestrial tv, even if delivered by IPTV.

At the moment, equipment capable of handling MHEG-IC is a very small proportion of the market as a whole. It offers very little of substance to persuade customers to upgrade their existing equipment. The situation is similar for non-BT/Talk Talk YouView equipment.

With the current levels of market penetration, anyone offering a start-up pay-tv service via IPTV is attempting to sell a niche product to an already niche market.

VuTV are attempting to offer a limited number of channels but in SD at a time when the public are becoming used to and expecting HD. It will be interesting to see if they can avoid becoming a third pay-tv failure.
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Old 05-02-2014, 18:17
hyperstarsponge
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I like to see the Top Up space used for Freeview channels.
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Old 05-02-2014, 18:43
epsilon
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I like to see the Top Up space used for Freeview channels.
The only TUTV slots not reused are 2 2hr slots, both between 4am and 6am. As one shared with 5* and the other with 5USA, the space will presumably be taken over by those channels at some point. Both channels show teleshopping at that time on other platforms, so even if they take back the space it won't offer very much to the viewer.
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