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The sport section of Radio 4's long wave service became the longest named service, BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra. The Asian Network was promoted from a Midlands-only AM service.
The three other networks were codenamed "Network X", "Network Y" and "Network Z".
"Network X" became "1Xtra", "Network Y" launched as "6Music" and "Network Z" became "BBC7".
BBC Radio 1Xtra, as it now is, is still close to the original remit of "contemporary black music to a young audience and break new, non-chart UK talent".
BBC Radio 6 Music, has moved somewhat from the remit of "BBC archives of concerts and music interviews to explore music from the 1970s to the 1990s", and is now a very popular off-playlist music station.
BBC Radio 7 was intended to provide "spoken-word entertainment in a way which will encourage new listeners to speech radio".
In the next month, BBC Radio 7 will become, with a suitable 'correct' spelling, BBC Radio 4 Extra. There will be little change to the content of the station, aside from the dropping of the Cbeebies Radio service and the provision of some extended contemporary BBC Radio 4 programmes such as Now Show Extra and News Quiz Extra and Desert Island Discs Revisited.
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Joe Sunday 13 March 2011 12:19AM
I'm glad to hear the end of Cbeebies; there was nothing more annoying than them waking me up in the early hours with their music. I have radio 7 on all night to help me sleep. I like to doze off listening to a story. Get rid of the comedy programming and the channel will be bliss.
Can anything be done to improve the podcasts from BBC7 which frequently restart?
I listen to the podcasts via an internet radio, a Clarus Plus. Some of the hiccoughs may be due to fluctuation in my wifi signal strength, but I frequently experience restarts before I get to the end of a story. I was listening to Morse the other night and about 5 mins before the end it restarted. I am convinced that whoever puts the podcasts up cuts them off before the programme has finished. Usually before a story starts you get 5-10 mins of the previous programme and I suspect this intro causes the programme to be cut before it's finished.
I'd like to hear a full story from about 10:00pm but that's when the comedy is on, which is why I opt for the podcasts. What use is a 15 minute segment of a story on podcast?
Not a single aritcle in this weeks Radio Times about this change from BBC Radio 7 to Radio 4 Extra, apart from the name change in the listings pages. How bizarre for a BBC publication not to cover a significant change to one of its own radio stations. Not really living up to its name is it. Looking forward to AMBRIDGE EXTRA. I don't suppose the new station will be in STEREO on DAB unlike its predecessor ? That would be too much to hope for. Still hopefully it will continue in STEREO on Freeview, Freesat & on line & BBC i-player.
Mark A.: Radio 4 is always broadcast in stereo on all platforms. However, much of the production is make to ensure it mixes down properly to mono for LW/MW transmission, so the news programmes, for example, are produced in mono, but broadcast in stereo.
It would, in fact, be better quality to provide these programmes as mono rather than joint-stereo.
Mark A. Thursday 31 March 2011 7:53PM Haywards Heath
I was just saying that if the BBC decide to close down Radio 4 Extra to save money with their cutbacks,
they would then have room to transmit any other channel in stereo.
I hope they don't as I like the drama and comedy programs they play.
Radio 5 and Radio 5 Sports Extra could also become one station one day.
RE : "There will be no changes to the transmissions other than the change of name (and graphics)" : Not quite Brian, the BBC have already announced closer links to BBC Radio 4 for BBC Radio 4 Extra, such as the new Ambridge Extra and old Desert Island discs appearing on this channel with themed sets of archive guests, but for the first time on this frequency. I just thought Radio Times might have mentioned this.
I also thought some capacity was to be freed up with the closure of the BBC Asian Network on this National multiplex, but this seems to have been delayed. I thought I'd heard somewhere that The Asian Network was moving to the Local Multiplexes alongside BBC Local Radio DAB.
M.Rothwell: Mendip broadcasts the West region services, which for BBC news is Points West. You could also be using Stockland Hill (BBC Spotlight south-west news) or Wenvoe (BBC Wales). ITV1 broadcasts 'The West Country Tonight' from both Mendip and Stockland Hill, so it's harder to tell.
Given that you have similar signal levels from a Group A transmitter (Stockland Hill), a Group C/D transmitter (Mendip), and a Group B transmitter (Wenvoe), I'd strongly recommend a grouped aerial. You're much less likely to get a 'region overlap' problem, where the box selects services from the wrong region that you then have problems with, because the signals received off to the side are poor.
As the signals from all transmitters are pretty strong, I'd go for an 18-element Yagi. In the loft you might want to try an aerial with X-type elements because these are shorter than the equivalent Yagi for the same performance - outside the Yagis are usually recommended because they have less surface area and are blown about less by the wind.
There's a reasonable chance your aerial is already suitable, but you have an overlap problem. See if your box or TV has a status information or signal strength menu which lists the frequencies used, and look at which way the aerial points. It's most likely that your aerial points north-east to Mendip, but could have stored channels from Stockland Hill.
To check all the frequencies, go to BBC Two, then ITV1, then ITV3, then Dave, then Yesterday. The final frequency in each list is for HD services, so if you have HD equipment, try any HD channel. (I said BBC Two above because there is now BBC One and BBC One HD, but any BBC service will do.)
If you find that it is storing signals from the wrong transmitter, you have a few options. You could try adding an attenuator when retuning, which hopefully will reduce the levels of the signals you don't want enough that the box won't see them. You might be able to leave it connected all the time if signals are strong enough. Or you might have to fit a filter (or use a diplexer as a filter) to reduce the level from the unwanted transmitters still further. Using an aerial of the right group should help. The cheapest, but most annoying, ways are to unplug the aerial when retuning and only plug in once it's got past the unwanted transmitters (but there's not much gap between Wenvoe at C49 and Mendip at C54), or to retune manually.
Newer Freeview HD boxes and TVs should store the strongest signal rather than the first encountered. Some of them also ask which region you want to store, if it finds more than one.
Nedbod: Nothing. However, people with problems tend to ask their questions wherever they first find a comment box, and the only way to reply to them with assistance is to use the page they asked the question on.
Brian tends to answer questions on the page they landed on rather than moving them to the correct page. It's often hard to figure out where the comment should go until you've asked a few questions about the problem or looked at the predictions.
Even when the question is posted on a transmitter page it's often the wrong transmitter - sometimes it's entirely the wrong region, not just one of several local possibilities.
I've sometimes posted the 'please re-post your comment on the correct page' response, but you tend to lose people - they don't repost. Unless Brian provides a facility to move a question to the correct page, perhaps allowing people with a lot of posts to move it too, we're stuck.
The site is used far more by people who just want answers, now, and once they get them they will never come back. People who actually want to have a conversation about a topic are far fewer.
Mike Dimmick: I will look into this when I have a moment, but it is a non-trivial thing to do. In particular there is the problem of a reply being split from a question when moved if the original timestamps are kept.
I'm always up for suggestions about how this could be done, it does happen quite a bit and doesn't really help with the flow.
It certainly needs a "X's comment moved to the XXXX page" if it happens.
mrs madalene mckeown Wednesday 13 April 2011 4:57PM
i am so pleased ccbies has gone. deove me nuts in the early hours of morning when the world isnt a place you want to be in then you switch on to ccbies.arggg. i would love to hear more murder mysteries and much less what you call comedy. why did it change i loved telling friends about bbc 7 . i hope it wont be full of quizz programmes. more plays and serials for late night please.
Brian: It has improved over the week and despite not altering my internet radio's settings the podcasts do tend to play without re-starting partway through, although I usually drop off to sleep whilst listening to them.
Mrs McKeeon: I couldn't agree more. It is sheer bliss listening to a murder mystery last thing at night or in the early hours. They can stick their comedy crap where the sun doesn't shine. :)
I'm still at a loss at the name change. BBC7 gave individuality BBC4 Extra means what? the adding of music based programs to a speech station? Although I am pleased at the dropping of CBBC.
Thank heaven for my bedside internet radio. I can now listen to stations like the Pumkin ones which offer speech stations for every mood, Comedy, Drama etc.
Very good Sci-fi drama on BBC R4 Extra this week from Tues 3rd May 18:30 by Ken Follet The Destrucion Factor, check it out on i-player if you missed it. He also wrote the excellent EARTHSEARCH (Series 1 & 2).
As we have discussed many times Brian your statement above that Radio 4 broadcasts in stereo at all times on all platforms is incorrect. The DAB BBC Radio 4services drops into mono @ 80 kbps on occasions throughout the week and particularly on Fri nights when Any Questions & the Friday Play go out in stereo on FM but mono on DAB to allow sport to go out on 5 Live Sports Extra. Only when there is no sport is R4 DAB in stereo.
Nice to hear EARTHSEARCH back on the radio again by James Follett. Pity it's still in mono on DAB. Currently recording it onto CD from the BBC i-player so I get the ANGELS 1 & 2 coming out of separate speakers. I hope BBC Radio 4 Extra follows on with EARTHSEARCH II
Nice to hear EARTHSEARCH II in stereo on BBC RADIO 4 EXTRA (weekdays 6:30pm) again on Freeview & the i-player but sadly in boring low bit rate MONO on DAB. This is a classic James Follett Sci-fi series first broadcast at noon on Sundays on BBC Radio 4. Ditto BETTER THAN LIFE the "Red Dwarf" classic radio series (by Grant Naylor), also in stereo, read by the amazing Chris Barrie. Weekdays at 6pm. Catch up on the i-player. I hope they go on to repeat "INFINITY WELCOMES CAREFUL DRIVERS" epecially those driving trucks in the vicinity of BEDFORD FALLS and cars in HOLBY CITY !!
Nedbod: I know Brian, that's why I record it using the phono lead from the i-player. I now have all 20 episodes of EARTHSEARCH I & II which costs a small fortune to buy on CD. I think it's fantastic. The sound quality is excellent (even in the car). My mates were astounded when I played it to them t'other day. I even added TEXT to my CD with episode info on my car text display, COOL !!