This is a list of channels receivable from 28.2°E without requiring any
sort of card or subscription. They should be watchable using any
digital receiver - though I can't say I've tried other than with a Digibox.
You are likely to lose the interactive component(s) though...
This document primarily lists the channels with their new channel numbers (as of 28th February 2006). If the channel was previously referenced by a different channel number, the old number is specified as "(was #<old channel>)".
You can also read my personal thoughts on a number of these channels, or you can look at a plain channel listing (ideal for printing).
It is a shame to see TV5, TVEi, Eurosport, and
CNBC sell out to Sky. All of these are freely available at 19.2°E
but here at 28.2°E you'll need a card...
It is especially a shame as Eurosport has evolved into Eurosport UK on SkyDigital, which perhaps justifies the decision to encrypt (perhaps they are part-funded by Sky?). I recall the days when Eurosport operated in half a dozen languages and was designed to provide freely accessible European sporting events to everybody. This was not just an attempt to counter the subsidation of sports (i.e. who can watch Test Match Cricket for free these days?) but also to provide coverage to sports that may be considered more a minority market; such as Curling. If you want to watch Eurosport, in English or German, you'll find it on Astra 1x at 19.2°E analogue. The digital version also offers English and German, but the Digibox does not have a way to choose languages, so you'll only get it in German...
The 'central' version of the BBC 1 service.
If you have a FreeSat or Sky card, this will be automatically set to your regional BBC1 channel instead of defaulting to London.
102 BBC 2 England
The 'central' version of the BBC 2 service.
If you have a FreeSat or Sky card, this will be automatically set to your regional BBC2 channel.
103 ITV1 Central W
Apparently the 'central' version of the ITV1 (I'm surprised they aren't using the London region).
If you have a FreeSat or Sky card, this will be automatically set to your regional ITV channel, such as Meridian North...
The interactive content - common to all ITV channels - consists of a few games (which you'll need to pay for), a summary of what was on This Morning, some dating stuff... and little of actual value as far as I could see.
On the other hand, ignore the red button on the ITV channels and instead press text. The teletext service is a lot fuller, detailed, and more interesting...
Unfortunately, the other ITV1 regions (TyneTees, Meridian, etc) are not in the EPG listing. You'll need to patch them in manually as "Other Channels". Note that accessing them as 'Other Channels' renders the interactive/text services inaccessible.
115 BBC THREE
How do you describe BBC THREE? Repeats from BBC 1 and 2 and stuff so weird it
wouldn't make it to BBC 1 or 2?
Only broadcasts after 7pm.
116 BBC FOUR
Rather akin to BBC THREE; though seems more 'deep' and 'arty' than the other BBC
Only broadcasts after 7pm.
This is the ITV channel aimed at twenty-somethings, so you'll find programmes like 3rd Rock From The Sun (yay!) and movies like Jurassic Park III.
Unfortunately..... as I write this, the current fixation appears to be The X-Factor, and at times it can seem as if this channel ought to be renamed "ITV X-Factor". But, on the bright side, somebody is eliminated each week, so eventually they'll declare a winner and then it'll all go away - most likely to be replaced by I'm A Dickh^WCelebrity, Get Me Out Of Here which isn't altogether different. Or more interesting...
Chicago Hope, Peak Practice, LA Law, The Practice, Karen
Sisco, Maigret, Quincy, Cadfael... All that sort of stuff shown all
Toss 'Airwolf' and 'At Home With The Braithwaites' into the mix, I'd be tempted to classify this as 'ITV without the crap'.
This new channel from ITV contains programmes such as Dream On and Alien Nation; from what (little) I have seen of this channel, things are looking interesting...
135 S4C~ Digidol (was #151)
The 'Welsh' version of Channel 4; with lots of help from the BBC apparently.
Contains mostly Welsh language programming, but some things such as Pobol Y Cwm carry English subtitles on-screen.
Other regular programmes are Planed Plant, Y Tywydd, and Penawdau Newyddion (it is like reading Polish, isn't it?).
Sorry Emlyn, can't find a trace of teletext...
Off-air between midnight and 11am (roughly).
150 Reality TV (was #187)
All those 'fly-on-the-wall' and 'police camera' shows collected in one place. Perhaps we should
also dump "Help! I'm a wannabe-celebrity and stupid enough to be here..." into this
On air most of the day (about an hour of teleshopping around 6am).
151 Reality TV +1 (was #188)
The Reality TV programming, shown an hour offset. So if you enjoyed seeing that helicopter crash and hundreds of people die horribly ... you can watch it all again! Oh, the excitement... Erm, or not?
Times as for #150, only an hour delayed.
165 Bonanza (was #241)
If you like old TV programmes that must have been filmed in Glorious Technicolor (perhaps better suited to Disney's Alice In Wonderland than real people, in those days), then this is the channel for you! In between a small amount of teleshopping and 'quiz tv', you can catch up on lots of episodes of Bonanza, The Beverly Hillbillies (okay, I lie, this one's in black and white!), The Lone Ranger...
261 Travel Channel (was #148)
Mostly travel information, but presented in the form of interesting
programmes. Has a teletext service.
Appears to be 'associated' with Lunn Poly travel. I don't recall seeing this on the 19.2°E listings, so the programme line-up may differ from that at 19.2°E.
Right now I'm watching 'Avventura: Italian Cuisine'. Ahhhhhh... Long sigh. Oh to taste real pasta made by a real Italian. I'm sure it'd put my efforts to shame. At least I believe in making my pasta with egg, not the wheat'n'water concoction you often read recipes for.
262 Travel Ch +1 (was #149)
This is the travel channel programming an hour delayed.
Great movies for free - 3pm to 3am every single day!
316 Film4 + 1
Miss a bit? Not a convenient time? Schedule clash? This is Film4, only an hour later!
321 Zone Horror (was #330; was "The Horror Channel")
Get your fix of nubile girls screaming and acting badly - yes, this is full
of cheesy horror flicks for all of you that enjoyed Boris Karloff and those
B movies shown in the late hours when nobody else is likely to be watching...
If you should ever get the chance to see it - tape it - Asylum Night. This film must be one of their best acquisitions. I can't wait for the DVD release...
You can also read my reviews of their films.
Off-air between 5:30am and 11am.
322 Zone Thriller
I believe this was to be Zone Horror 2 or Zone Horror +1, but somewhere along the way it turned into a channel that appears to broadcast one film every night at midnight.
I wonder what this channel will evolve into, given time.
323 True Movies (was #333)
This seems to broadcast most of the day, and contains an assortment of made-for-TV fodder imported from America. Perhaps a couple of films worth watching, but...
...yes, they rescue Jessica McClure. It just had to be, didn't it?
324 True Movies 2
Even more true movies! It'd be nice if they did a Kellie Martin series?
325 Movies4Men (was #336, was "matineemovies")
For some inexplicable reason, while the films are invariably 4:3 ratio (like a normal TV set), they are presented in 16:9 framing - so you'll get to see lots of films containing short fat people. The way to fudge this is to reconfigure your Digibox to think it is connected to a 16:9 television. It'll then expand the picture to fill the frame correctly. Don't forget to set it back to 4:3 or 4:3L afterwards!
327 ACTIONMAX (was #339, was "bad movies")
The channel's own description used to read as follows:
369 Classic FM TV (was #464)
Well... This is an interesting misture. From Andrea Boccelli to Hayley Westenra. From horrible operatic screechings to gothic rock... not to mention the various guises of Emily Ovenden!
616 CBBC Channel
Programming for older children; much like the stuff shown 4pm-6pm on BBC 1.
Includes a special CBBC interactive service, which is much like the BBCi only
coloured lurid green instead of lurid red. What it needs are a few simple but
addictive 'free' games; you know - like a Pacman clone and maybe a game of
Patience. If the target audience is smart enough, why not teach them the
subtle arts of Go and Chess?
[there are games in the Digibox's 'Interactive' menu, but you only get so far before you are expected to go on-line to continue playing, and that is annoying; and I'm not just saying that 'cos I live abroad!]
Broadcasts between 7am and 7pmish.
Programming for children that still wear diapers. Or adults that'll end up in
diapers after too many episodes of Tweenies. Or maybe it makes sense if you
take hallucinogenic substances?
A little later on there was a furry dinosaur-like thing (Tambor?) in an egg and a cute girl called Sarah-Jane Honeywell (how's that for an equally cute name!?!?) presenting a programme going by the peculiar name of "Tikkabilla". The dinosaur had 'the grumps' in this episode so Sarah-Jane and a much larger man (Simon) tried to cheer him...err...it? up by jumping around a lot.
Entertainment for children that seems to consist of a large amount of
colourful pop songs. I guess why this channel is called Pop.
This channel has recently gone 24hour, so if you're lost with what to do with your kids at, say, four in the morning... Mmm...
620 Tiny Pop
Like 'Pop' but for an even younger audience.
971 BBC 1 Scotland (was #941)
972 BBC 1 Wales
973 BBC 1 NI
974 BBC 1 London (if not mapped in as channel 101)
975 BBC 1 NE & C
976 BBC 1 Yorks
977 BBC 1 Yrks&Lin
978 BBC 1 N West
979 BBC 1 W Mids
980 BBC 1 E Mids
981 BBC 1 East (E)
982 BBC 1 East (W)
983 BBC 1 S East
984 BBC 1 South
985 BBC 1 Oxford
986 BBC 1 West
987 BBC 1 S West
988 BBC 1 CI
989 BBC 2 England (if not mapped in as channel 102) (was #959)
990 BBC 2 Scotland
991 BBC 2W
992 BBC 2 NI
Regional versions of BBC 1 and BBC 2. Links to BBCi 'interactive'. Teletext is a more sorrowful situation, p100 says that it only carries subtitling on p888...
If you do not have any form of card, then please note that channels 944 and 959 will not be available - you access them as channel 101 and 102.
Likewise, if you do have some sort of card (Sky, FreeSat, etc), then your own regional channels will be 'missing' from this list, and available as 101 and 102...
Sky's garish red'n'blue news service. Includes a reasonable interactive
section - choose 'Sky News Active' for the goodies, it isn't terribly
obvious. Much of the rest is either advertising or on-line stuff. Oh, and to
turn off that annoying ticker, choose '7' and go left once to find the 'OFF'
Includes a multiscreen where you can pick one of eight newsy things to watch, with a full-screen option.
503 BBC NEWS 24 (was #507)
The more tastefully laid out BBC news service. Sadly the six-item multiscreen keeps the screen to the upper left so you can see other options. It'd be nice of there was a full screen option here too, so I can watch the weather report without squinting to figure out where Kirsty McCabe is pointing...
504 BBC PARL'MNT (was #508)
Sounds pretty boring to me! It really needs an interactive service with a game allowing you to throw rotten veg at various members of the cabinet...
506 CNN (was #513)
The global American news service that prides itself on impartiality (which I
guess depends on how 'impartial' and 'balanced' you like your impartial and
balanced media; it isn't bad for something American). Like BBC World, CNN
carries a number of factual programmes alongside the constant news reports;
things like Larry King Live and Global Challenges...
Has a comprehensive teletext service.
507 S4C~2 (was #519)
Seems to be broadcasting remarkably boring 'information' pages from 9am to
6pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Does this mean nothing happens in Wales?
509 EuroNews (was #528)
271 Performance (was #202)
355 Chart Show TV (was #455)
356 The Vault (was #456)
357 B4 ("b 4 it's a hit") (was #457)
359 Classic FM TV (was #464)
360 channel U (was #467)
361 Fizz (was #468)
368 Musicians Chnl (was #475)
781 B4U Music
Refer to the plain channel listing.
Refer to the plain channel listing.
996 Chl Line-up [audio only]
This audio only channel appears to be some guy reading the channel list...
0101 BBC R1
0102 BBC R2
0103 BBC R3
0104 BBC R4 FM
0105 BBC R5 Live
0106 Classic FM
0107 Virgin Radio
0109 Capital 0110 Planet Rock
0115 BBC WS (WS = World Service)
0116 BBC R Scot.
0117 BBC R Wales
0118 BBC R Ulster
0119 BBC Asian N.
0120 BBC 6 Music
0121 Capital Gold
0122 WRN Europe
0125 UCB Europe
0128 smooth fm 0129 Solar Radio
0130 Panjab Radio
0131 BBC 7
0134 UCB Bible
0135 UCB Talk
0136 UCB Insp (inspirational)
0137 1xtra BBC
0139 BBC R n Gael ("Ceòl gàire is conaltradh")
0141 Raaj Radio
0142 RTE Europe
0143 BBC R4 LW
0144 BBC 5LSport
0145 Club Asia
0146 Real Radio
0150 Sukh Sagar
0151 Asian Gold
0154 BBC R Cymru ("Rhaglen ddifyr o sgwrs a cherddoriaeth gyda Siân Thomas")
0155 Pulse Rated
0156 CC Radio
0159 Family Radio
0160 RTE Radio 1
0162 FUN Radio
0163 Apple FM
0164 RTE 2FM
0165 RTE Lyric fm
0166 RTE R na G ("Clar ceoil, a chur i lathair ag Dara o Cinneide.")
0167 jazz fm
0168 Akash Radio
0169 Desi Radio
0170 The Hits
0171 Galaxy FM
0172 Smash Hits!
0176 Amrit Bani
0177 LBC 97.3
0184 Radio ("None of the hits. None of the time.")
0185 Spectrum 1
0187 Yarr Radio
0188 On Air
0189 Classic Gold
0190 big L 1395
This list was last updated on 28th February 2006.
Suggestions, comments, and corrections welcome.
'heyrick' at 'merseymail' dot 'com'.