Closing the BBC HD channel and replacing it with a single version of BBC Two in high definition.
We will continue to invest in high-definition broadcasting, including through the replacement of BBC HD with a single version of BBC Two HD. The variants of BBC One in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be broadcast in HD from 2012.
Launch a single version, with no variations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, of BBC Two in HD in 2012 to replace the current BBC HD channel. Nations variations would continue in SD
Some BBC One regions to be culled from satellite
The BBC proposals say:
We are reviewing the number of regional variants in England we carry on digital satellite and intend to reduce this to enable savings in distribution costs, though these programmes would continue to be transmitted on Freeview
Red button to be cut to single screen on satellite and cable after Olypmics
The BBC proposals say:
Reduce the number of video streams available on satellite and cable from nine to one to provide a more consistent service across all TV platforms. This would take place towards the end of 2012, after the Olympic Games
Close the news multiscreen service
Medium Wave and Long Wave to close
The BBC proposals say:
Reductions to Medium Wave transmissions for local radio in England in places where coverage duplicates FM
No re-investment in Long Wave once the current infrastructure which relies on technology that is no longer being manufactured has reached the end of its life. In the long term, this will result in the end of Radio 4 on LW, although we do not expect the transmitters to fail in the current Charter period. If they do fail suddenly, we are committed to safeguarding the programming on Radio 4 LW and will use our analogue services to provide continued coverage.
As a Licence payer I want my region available on Freeview, satellite and all other platforms. If they are struggling for money maybe they should consider scrapping the licence fee and compete in the advertising market like all the other channels.
I think the reduction of BBC1 regions on satellite would upset a lot of people if it's their region.
Perhaps having a red button service with the local 6:30pm to 7:00pm news repeated region by region may help.
Eg. BBC1 region A repeated at 6am-6:30am then region B at 6:30am-7am, ... then after all regions shown repeat region A again.
Regions not removed from the main BBC1 channel would not need to be shown in the red button loop.
Check the list below of BBC medium-wave transmitters to be retained. Most will be closed. If BBC FM or DAB local radio is not reliable on a portable or incar radio, in most cases the MW option be lost and a rooftop aerial, satellite or online will be the only remaining options - but not for a portable radio. The "protected" transmitter list is interesting. Might it be intended to provide a public service network in the event of a national emergency?
"Delivering Quality First / Public consultation
Medium Wave transmission for BBC services would end in areas of England where coverage duplicates FM. Subject to further technical analysis, across the UK the stations which BBC management would expect to continue to transmit in Medium Wave include Radio 5 Live, BBC Asian Network, BBC
Radio Jersey, BBC Radio Guernsey, BBC Gloucester, BBC Derby, Radio Scotland, Radio Wales and Radio Ulster/Foyle
Bearing in mind our ambition to increase thedistinctiveness of BBC services and serve all audiences, and in light of the need to make savings, we would like your views on the
proposals affecting the BBC’s programmes and services made specifically for audiences in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the regions of England outlined above."
Changing BBC HD to BBC 2 HD should have been done from the begining. What your article does not mention is that BBC 2 is going to carry more repeats many of which are not in HD. I think it would be better to close BBC 3 and BBC 4 and put the best programs on BBC 2.
Satellite viewers seem to be badly hit by these changes. The only programs I watch on the red button are the practice F1 sessions but of course Sky is going to provide them in HD next season.
It is now clear that the licence fee is not a viable way to finance the BBC. I would sell the whole organisation off which could be used to reduce the deficite.
David Pinfold Friday 7 October 2011 9:09PM Banbury
Sid - No Sky do not. The BBC simply rents satellite space off SES Astra in Luxembourg the same way Sky do. In fact from what I've read on these pages Sky charge the BBC to include BBC channels in their Electronic Programme Guide (EPG).
I to have heard that. But loosing the BBC regions on satallite will be upsetting. But surely by cutting them they mean the ability to be able to tune into the individual regions As you can do at the moment. I.E getting Look North when you live in Cornwall. So your local news Programme will still be there at 101
Mark A. Saturday 8 October 2011 11:37AM Haywards Heath
In the beginning there was the testcard.
Then the mighty teletext service Ceefax came and killed (replaced) the testcard.
Then came iText on digital TV that replaced Ceefax.
And then came the BBC cutbacks, and low and behold the rebirth of the testcard came once again.
I can appreciate a BBC regional re-shuffle. Living in Wareham, I find that BBC South and Meridian are more appropriate to the Home Counties and South East. They are predisposed to Folkestone and Oxford and not very interested in incidents on the western side of the A36 Southampton to Bristol road. We are better served by the Bristol and Plymouth service areas.
I always thought having every BBC region available 24 hours a day on satellite was a complete overkill and was decided on when NuLabour was at the helm and I guess the BBC management thought they would continue to get inflation+ increases in licence fee year on year to support their lavish spending.
Well finally they have been made to wake up and smell the coffee! Unfortunately none of the Big Cheeses have been decapitated and it will be the lower orders in the engine room who will be sacrificed. I think the cuts are not deep enough and remember they are still working with a budget of THREE and a HALF BILLION POUNDs a year and that's around TEN MILLION QUID a day to provide a few lack lustre broadcasts. Strewth !
There are plenty of solutions to the problem of supplying local regional news by satellite at 6:30 pm which would involve a more complicated delivery procedure and make more efficient use of the satellite bandwidth purchased. I am sure the BBC are aware of this but seem reluctant to do it. They were also reluctant to scramble all their broadcasts on Freeview and Freesat and sell them al-la-carte on the basis that the viewer could decide which channels he wanted to pay for.
Instead we pay for everything regardless of if we want it or not. With a more flexible and subscription based service they could provide more channels for sport and film for example and compete with Sky. It seems they are not allowed this option and allow Sky a free run at it.
Maybe the tide is turning for Sky and with the recent EU ruling regarding the use of other decoders to show football in pubs, they may not have the game to themselves.
We need people in Government with vision and leadership skills, but sadly these are all lacking and I expect things will linger on and be bodged in the manner the BBC are taking the axe and hammer to their services.
It is my view that like the NHS, the BBC has become too big for itself, a dinosaur and will eventually sink under the weight of its own arrogance and conceit for those who pay to fund it.
It was with dismay that I have read some of the comments.
In my opinion the licence fee is value for money even with the few progs I watch.
I have just given up my cut price £20 pm, which is £240 py, subscription to Sky Sports as I did not consider it value for money even at that price.
Are these the sort of prices we want from the BBC.
Whilst I agree they have some serious overstaffing caused by the old boys network the present position is caused by politcal dogma.
Why should the cost of the propaganda World Service come out of the licence money as the present goverment insist it should.
A forum such as this lives by exchanging different viewpoints. Unfortunately, deciders take no notice of the good ideas put forward here. I recommend contributing to the DQF consultation in constructive terms. Writing to MPs might also help. Of course, we might end up cancelling out each other´s opinions, but such is democracy!
DQF consultation - The section on MW switch-off where FM is deemed to provide cover interestingly omits reference to DAB. One might wonder why. There are areas, in valleys or remote or low-lying, where FM and DAB signals are unreliable or not available. Due to cost, topography or complexity, satellite or internet radio are not an option for many. There are also issues of portable or mobile reception. Many are used to having a number of easy to operate, cheap and battery-powered radios around the house. Being tied to the TV, PC or hifi-system is not exactly progress for local radio listening. The local press should be made aware of these issues, so that those who might lose their local radio station are forewarned and can write to the BBC and their MP to claim the right to MW local radio if FM or DAB are not available or reliable. I also hope there is a viable plan for MW coverage nationwide in the event of a national emergency including significant failure of digital networks.
If the BBC were open as to where costs could be saved, we all see many alternatives, such as presenters, overpaid "celebrities", top echelons, night-time duplication etc. Although the BBC World Service is not as outstanding as once it was, it is not an organ of government and renders an invaluable service to the world, where relatively objective information is ever harder to access. It used to be denied to UK listeners - at least we now have it on DAB (alongside a lot of duplicated commercial stations; but that is another story).
Mark A.: You seem to have your wires crossed here somewhere.
On satellite the interactive services are provided using indivdual MPEG2 encoded streams. They have their own PIDs (5300, 5300, 5500, 5600 and 5700).
There isn't really any limit to the number of audio streams (beyond the capacity of the satellite transponder) and any APID can be selected by the OpenTV/MHEG5 software to show alongside a video stream.
Sadly the Sky OpenTV software is incapable of switching PIDs during the normal running of a broadcast because it would be very sensible of the BBC could supply a "BBC One England" service in MPEG2 at very high quality and split it into lower quality regional services when required.
I rather suspect that the removal of "small" regions will get booted into the long grass as the relevant MPs will probably get wind of it.
michael : I agree that responding to the consultation is a good idea, but the BBC Trust have pointed out that if you want to say "no" to a proposal then you need to make it clear where you think the money should come from.
Channel Islands - 48997 homes
Oxford - 415699
Northern Ireland - 647578
East Yorkshire/Lincolnshire - 715399
South East - 725392
South West- 770075
East - 848197
East Midlands - 887298
Cambridge - 965700
Wales - 1234236
South - 1421192
North East - 1585975
North - 1936494
Scotland - 2407092
West Midlands - 2883382
North West - 3095483
London - 4854895
Gareth smart: It is not the ability to access other regions the BBC is going to remove but whole BBC One regions, they will not be accessible in any way (other than by Freeview) if they are removed from satellite.
John Fisher/John F: One "advantage" of having the BBC World Service radio being paid for by the Licence Fee is that duplication can be removed. Before the two services had to duplicate foreign staff because the had to be funded by different methods.
The "BBC World Service" is an independent news service under normal BBC rules and has never provided "propaganda".
It would certainly be interesting to know audience statistics for all transmitters. Where there is - de facto! - coverage by FM or DAB, then MW may justifiably become superfluous. BUT published plans indicate that there will be areas with BBC local radio coverage now on MW which will then have zero coverage - unless many infill DAB transmitters including a commercial multiplex are built. Two big ifs! The DQF consultation curiously does not mention DAB replacing AM local BBC radio. The official ostrich-mode response to DSO and CCI problems may have something to do with scepticism regarding official proclamations re radio... We hear nothing of provision for a national emergency. (Blackberry is a pinprick, but indicative of the vulnerability of modern communications.) A small number of MW stations with emergency capability would best meet the requirement. The short list of "protected" MW transmitters might well be intended for this, ie Radio 5 plus selected others. Re BBC budget cuts : if there were an independent public board to determine BBC budgetary expenditure, major programme production and duplication costs would be slashed without diminishing quality. It is important that all with an interest respond to the consultation and write to MPs and local authorities. Our local council is now taking up the issue at BBC and government levels.
michael: "We hear nothing of provision for a national emergency"
That bit is actually addressed, as the mobile phone system has a special "emergency" protocol built into it. At one point in the past my phone was one of those devices allocated for emergency priority, for reasons I am not able to disclose.
I can't quite see the logic is saying that MW or LW is needed in "an emergency" as I can't think of many people who would have such a device.
There is no logical reason why an analoguenetwork would be needed "in an emergency" given that everyone has access to Freeview...
I get the impression that this is the thinking at government level, the assumption being that no emergency is foreseeable which would cripple communications significantly, so FM, DAB, DTT, DSat etc. combined would provide enough cover. Let's hope such assumptions are never put to the test!
As long as MW local radio is replaced with an equally audible DAB or FM signal, I will be happy to have less interference when listening to foreign AM stations!
Gareth smart: It is not the ability to access other regions the BBC is going to remove but whole BBC One regions, they will not be accessible in any way (other than by Freeview) if they are removed from satellite. (Briantist, 13.10.11)
Not good news for viewers forced to switch to satellite because they can´t get a freeview
Mark: and BBC Radio Derby is one of the local radio stations that has yet to find a home on DAD as there is no local radio multiplex operating in Derbyshire.(Briantist,13.10.11)
BBC Radio Devon is in the same category, but MW is not included in the "safe" list, so is due to be switched off. Bereft of Freeview and DAB reception, some will be left with no BBC local radio and no BBC regional television news. Hmmm...
It would be interesting to see if regional BBC does gets shunted from digital satellite, as Freeview is not avaliable to all homes in UK due to locations of transmitters and the ability of the roof ariels to pick up signals due to hills, etc.
Des Collier: Many people listened to radio Luxembourg through the night. Mind you it was totally different 50 years ago, children had bed times, pubs closed at 10.30pm, even the street lights went off at midnight. It was only night workers that didn't go to bed at least before 1am.
Briantist: Most BBC local stations finish "local" broadcasting at 7pm (unless there is a football match or other event to cover), a regional service takes over until 1am when 5 Live takes over until 5am. The idea that afternoon programming should be shared is not new as there used to be Afternoon Special, a very popular program which linked Derby, Nottingham, Leicester and Lincoln. I remember when Radio Derby started to do local broadcasting in that slot many listeners switched to Radio Nottingham, some even had FM aerials installed pointing to Nottingham in order to continue receiving the service! Personally I think Radio Derby, BBC East Midlands TV and commercial free Radio 1 are excellent value for money at less than £3 per week. As for local commercial radio, the rot set in when the regulators insisted on different outputs on FM and medium wave. The public service element from the original IBA model was put onto GEM AM which proved very popular, which I suspect was to the annoyance of the radio station owners who really wanted the flagship FM service to be popular. GEM then became part of Classic Gold, the local team of presenters moved to Saga 106.6 where the good work continued until Saga was bought by GMG who changed it to Smooth Radio and ended local broadcasting except for traffic news during drive time.
"We hear nothing of provision for a national emergency"
My understanding has always been that Radio 4 longwave had a backup role in the event of a National Emergency.
Surely the point about R4 L.W is that only 1 transmitter @ Droitwich needs to be kept running to provide a signal that can be received across Europe.
Reliance on Mobile phones and freeview is all well and good but these services require a large network of transmitters which could be difficult to secure.
In this day and age anybody out to cause maximum disruption is going to target the mobile phone network (this could be done with a computer virus).