African Movie Channel Added to Channelbox

Channelbox, the streaming portal available on Freeview devices connected to the internet, has welcomed African Movie Channel to its line-up. It is the first channel of its type to launch on Freeview.

African Movie Channel operates 24×7, showing award-winning Nollywood movies, alongside the best movies from other parts of the African continent. This includes movies produced by its in house production company, AMC Original Productions, or AMCOP.

Channelbox can be found on Freeview channel 271, on compatible Freeview devices with an internet connection. Due to the way the Channelbox portal is broadcast, the service has a limited coverage area, and is not available to those who receive a relay service.

African Movie Channel is currently exclusive to Channelbox and Freeview, and is not yet available on other platforms.

Freeview Channel Number Shuffle

Some channels have changed number on Freeview. Although no channels have moved frequency, some equipment may require a retune for the changes to become visible (you may need to reset series recordings).

Starting with CCX TV, this channel has moved from 23 to 73. Dave Ja Vu (Dave +1) has made a similar move in the opposite direction, replacing CCX TV on 23, moving from 79.

A further 3 channels have made smaller moves. Jewellery Maker moves from 73 to 71. Shopping Quarter moves from 74 to 72, allowing Yesterday +1 to move from 75 to 74.

None of these changes appear to be as a result of a change in channel ownership, but Dave Ja Vu may give way to allow another UKTV owned channel to move to higher position in the EPG.

That’s TV Goes Festive

That’s TV, a network of 20 local and regional TV stations has temporarily become That’s Christmas. The seasonal service is offering a festive mix of classic drama and music.

That’s TV has recently become a music led service, maintaining local news and information during weeks, albeit in reduce amounts compared to when the channel first launched. Music is from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, with the channel found in some areas on Freeview, either on channel number 7 or 8.

This format appears to be successful, as in October 2020, the combined network attracted 4 million viewers. This is it’s highest ever reach, with the channel currently the most popular music based TV channel in the UK.

Major Freeview Channel Number Changes

To allow for BBC Four to move to channel number 24 in Scotland, as per Ofcom requirements, many channels are about to change channel number.

On the 4th November (2020), all channels currently with a number between 24 and 54 inclusive, will move down 1 slot. Affected channels include ITV4 which moves from 24 to 25, and E4 +1, which moves from 28 to 29.

Additionally, as of 27th October, some channels move to a higher number. ITV Be +1 makes the highest move, from 97 to 57. Horror Channel moves from 70 to 68, which Quest +1 and Quest Red +1 also moving to 69 and 70 respectively (from 76 and 72).

As no channels are changing frequency, a re-tuned is not automatically required, although some receivers may need a full or partial re-tune to update the channel numbers.

BBC Sounds App Now on Freeview Play

The BBC Sounds app, allowing users to access radio, podcasts, and playlists from the BBC, is now available on some Freeview Play devices.

Humax have confirmed that the FVP-4000T and FVP-5000T Freeview Play recorders can access the app via the Explore Freeview Play interface, which can be found on channel 100 when the device is connected to the internet.

It has not been confirmed if other Humax devices, or devices from other manufacturers, can access the app.

Sky Arts Now on Freeview

As previously reported, Sky Arts has now gone free-to-air. The channel is available on Sky, Freesat, Freeview, and Virgin Media, and shows arts and culture based programmes.

Sky Arts is now available on Freeview channel 11, and has achieved a prominent position on the EPG due to number swapping with other Sky owned channels.

This means that the channel is close to channels from public service broadcasters BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, who already show arts and culture based programmes.

Sky Arts on Freeview, What We Know So Far

Helpfully, information has been rather drip fed, but more details have now been confirmed for Sky’s Freeview channels.

On Freeview, Sky Arts will be available on channel number 11, and will be broadcast on the COM5 multiplex, from the 17th September (2020) Sky Pick will move from channel 11 to channel 34, but will remain on the same multiplex. Depending on your equipment, a re-tune may be required.

It appears that Challenge is continuing, at the least for the time being. There is currently capacity on the COM5 multiplex, meaning that Sky Arts can be added without the need to close another channel.

Merit appears likely to close, once it has given Sky Pick the 34 channel number, but this has not been confirmed. Additionally, Sky Arts will also be available on Freesat channel 147.

Viewer Difficulties Following Re-tune

Following the Freeview re-tune event on 12th August (2020), as part of the clearance of frequencies for 5G mobile networks, the BBC is reporting that some viewers have hit difficulties.

Despite re-tuning, some viewers have been unable to restore all channels. The exact number of viewers affected is not available, but has been described as ‘many’. The areas and channels affected are also unknown.

Freeview, who oversee the terrestrial TV network in the UK, has said that anybody experiencing issues should contact them. The problem causing the issues is unknown.

Eh, a News Post on a Wednesday? Merit Change

I’m making a one off exception to the recently introduced news update schedule (i.e. new updates should occur on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays), as the Merit channel has thrown up a new development. The channel has moved to temporary multiplex COM7.

An onscreen message reveals the channel is back at 9pm, suggesting the originally reported broadcast hours of 9pm to midnight are in fact correct. The logo consists of orange text in a handwritten script font style, and does not follow the ITV corporate style, or feature the ITV logo.

I’m sure there will be more developments to this channel to report on in the near future.

5G Clearance Resumes

The clearance of Freeview terrestrial TV frequencies has resumed, in order to make way for 5G mobile phone signals. YouView users (inlcuding BT TV, Plusnet TV, and Talk Talk TV) are also affected, as these sevices incorporate Freeview services.

Viewers in North East Wales, North West England, and the Creetown, Gosforth and St Bees areas of the ITV Border region will need to retune on the 12th August (2020). Viewers in the Isle of Man and Kendal area will need to retune on 19th August.

In general, viewers receiving TV from a main transmitter (eg. those who recieve channels such as Dave and Quest) will need to retune from 6am. Viewers who receive a relay service (ie. only BBC, and the main ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 channels), will need to wait until early afternoon before attempting a retune.

In some areas, only some of the relays are affected, although short interruptions may still occur.

The exact method for retuning will vary depending on the device, although as the frequencies are changing, a first time installation, or full scan may be required. Consult the instruction manual or manufacturer for information on how to do this.

If you use a Freeview recorder or YouView device with recording capabilities, it is worth noting down what programmes are set to record, as some devices may reset series links (although previously recorded programmes are safe).

Normally, I would list the full details of the transmitters affected, but I don’t currently have this information.