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Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation
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Old 18-11-2020, 11:16   #1
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Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

​A new consultation has been announced following the HD swap trial. It's pretty major for Freeview what's being proposed.

https://www.freeview.co.uk/consultat...-uk-LCN-Policy

"In this consultation, Digital UK proposes a package of changes to the LCN Policy, which aim to:

Enable the use of new technology in Freeview Play devices, which will make it easier for viewers to discover HD content, and give them access to more channels.
Give more flexibility to channel providers. We believe channel providers are best placed to manage their portfolios to the benefit of viewers.

In particular, we propose to:

-Enable HD channels to take the place of their SD equivalents, on devices which support this.

-Enable ‘IP fallback’ channels on devices which support this. That could mean that devices that are not connected to an aerial could nonetheless receive certain channels via IP; and that viewers who rely on relay transmitters, and are therefore missing channels from some UK-wide multipexes, could receive some of those channels via IP.

-Enable channels that are delivered solely via IP, with no DTT element, to be received by devices that support them.

-Remove the restrictions on how often channel providers may reorder LCNs within their portfolio and change channels’ names.

-Remove the restrictions on channel providers trading LCNs.

-Increase the minimum broadcast hours requirement for any new channel launching on the platform to six hours per day."

Last edited by cheekyangus; 18-11-2020 at 12:40. Reason: Space out a bullet point.
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Old 18-11-2020, 15:49   #2
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

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Old 18-11-2020, 19:43   #3
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

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Old 19-11-2020, 09:59   #4
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

​I've have a quick read through the consultation document (available on a link on the page I linked to above). It's very repetitive, though there are interesting details.

"Channel List Management (CLM) is a new feature that has been enabled in certain new Freeview Play product ranges in 2020. We expect all newly introduced Freeview Play devices will add support for this functionality."

My initial take. CLM enables many of the proposed changes, so most Freeview viewers will not notice much difference, even those with existing Freeview Play-branded equipment. They don't mention existing equipment being enabled by software updates, not even existing Freeview Play-branded devices, so the likes of HD swap will likely only happen for those with new equipment.

Basically we're not going to magically have a significant new platform overnight.
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Old 19-11-2020, 13:23   #5
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

​<cont>

Again this is my initial thoughts and interpretation. They kept saying in the document that, at least to start with, any broadcaster who wanted a "IP fallback" would also need to have an app on Freeview Play as it would use processes already used for streaming channels provided in the existing Freeview Play-compliant apps. They also said organisational procedures (i.e. paperwork to comply and be added, not interface placement related) already used for current services/apps would will be used as they are already in place.

I may copy'n'paste pieces later as to what I'm trying to convey above, as my wording doesn't seem quite correct, I'm composing it from memory and their wording seemed clearer.

I think this all might mean that some of the streaming proposals could be implemented on older equipment, at least existing Freeview Play-branded equipment, just not all of the proposals.

So HD swapping and at least some of the streaming proposals will only work on models from 2020 onwards that have Channel List Management functionality. I don't get the impression there will be a branding launched to help the public identify compatible models, they certainly don't seem to mention it.

They don't mention how CLM works.
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Old 24-11-2020, 15:31   #6
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

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Originally Posted by cheekyangus View Post
​<cont>

Again this is my initial thoughts and interpretation. They kept saying in the document that, at least to start with, any broadcaster who wanted a "IP fallback" would also need to have an app on Freeview Play as it would use processes already used for streaming channels provided in the existing Freeview Play-compliant apps. They also said organisational procedures (i.e. paperwork to comply and be added, not interface placement related) already used for current services/apps would will be used as they are already in place.

I may copy'n'paste pieces later as to what I'm trying to convey above, as my wording doesn't seem quite correct, I'm composing it from memory and their wording seemed clearer.

I think this all might mean that some of the streaming proposals could be implemented on older equipment, at least existing Freeview Play-branded equipment, just not all of the proposals.

So HD swapping and at least some of the streaming proposals will only work on models from 2020 onwards that have Channel List Management functionality. I don't get the impression there will be a branding launched to help the public identify compatible models, they certainly don't seem to mention it.

They don't mention how CLM works.
This is not surprising, really. Freeview is very much a free digital terrestrial platforms service, which is great for how things are today. But any company that wants to survive in this fast changing digital world will be acutely aware of the need to prepare for the future.

With this initiative, we can see a future developing in which Freeview will be supporting a whole range of free streaming services instead of TV channels. The only question I have is whether they will also provide subscription services in the long term, which they may need to do for the sake of financial viability. In which case they may wish to modify their name to Freeview+!
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Old 01-12-2020, 18:19   #7
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

Arqiva is no longer to ne a shareholder in Freeview , but will still be providing DTT services.
https://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2020...t-of-freeview/

Not strictly speaking directly related, but I think the changes being made are why Arqiva are pulling out.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:08   #8
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

This came out yesterday, but I didn't have time to post at length.

The previously mentioned consultation has resulted, at most basic, in the decision to go ahead with the proposals. There are a few small amendments, to some of them, but the gist is the same.
https://www.freeview.co.uk/consultat...-uk-LCN-Policy
---

The LCN/slot trading is happening but awaiting the rate card to be produced, so nothing will happen until it is.

I can't see many channels using it actually. ITV and Sony have the most placeholders, and most prominently positioned, and I suspect they'll keep them for IP Fallback use.

TCC is the most likely to LCN to be sold IMHO, though I'd expect it to swap with an IP Fallback-enabled Blaze+1 first. Having said that, I doubt there are many obvious takers for it as it isn't very prominent position, so the money won't be great.
---

According to an article on RXTVlog about HD/SD swap, the Channel List Management feature used is new and only supported on some Freeview Play devices starting in 2020, and they (RXTVLog) are of the opinion that existing models aren't going to be updated to support it by TV manufacturers. https://rxtvinfo.com/2021/freeview-h...ons-are-coming

I suspect they are correct. So it will be a long time before HD/SD swap is available to the majority of Freeview users, since most people don't update their equipment that often.
---

Another RXTVlog article, this time about IP Fallback, says the technology for that was similarly introduced in 2020, so again this feature will take some time to be significantly available. https://rxtvinfo.com/2021/ip-fallbac...d-for-freeview

My opinion is that IP Fallback is a greater prospective selling point for most people, particularly those in Freeview Relay-only regions who can't or don't want Freesat. They gain the most from upgrading their Freeview equipment to models that support this. Providing they have decent broadband, of course. Getting a 4x increase in channels would be very attractive. It also might help with 2nd/3rd/4th TVs were they may have patchy reception as they don't have access to the roof aerial.
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Old 02-03-2021, 15:55   #9
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Re: Major changes proposed in new Freeview consultation

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheekyangus View Post
Arqiva is no longer to ne a shareholder in Freeview , but will still be providing DTT services.
https://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2020...t-of-freeview/

Not strictly speaking directly related, but I think the changes being made are why Arqiva are pulling out.
Arqiva are heavily involved with the new 5G services, & of course 5G broadcast/multicast has already been tested by the BBC. Internet combined with 5G delivery would result in huge savings in broadcast costs as well as freeing up the rest of the Band IV broadcast spectrum Freeview currently uses.
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