Will you top up? 

9 February 2004 tbs.pm/695

Top Up TV website

Yes the rumours really are true. Someone is actually bonkers enough to try and do pay-TV on digital terrestrial television. In a few months time you can have your Freeview, and then top it up.

So for £7.99 a month, what will you get? Well according to the Top Up TV channel schedule a motley collection of part-time channels (eeh it’s like analogue satellite all over again!) including a bit of UK Gold and some E4.

Looking at the lineup, it’s all rather depressing. 10 quality channels we’re told but it seems to be offering more of the same. More repeats, much more lifestyle programming, and two episodes of Friends a day. And the biggest name in TV, Sky One, isn’t even in there.

And then there’s the fact that the technology hasn’t yet moved on. The service will initially require old OnDigital set top boxes, and is bound to be plagued by all the problems that OnDigital had – poor software, unstable pictures, poor reception. Some changes have be done on the digital terrestial TV network to solve these problems, but they haven’t been implemented on the multiplexes Top Up TV will use. Improvements have also been helped by new set top boxes… Which Top Up users won’t initially be able to use.

So will it work? Well in the Guardian, it is reported that the service will need only 250,000 users to break even. And let’s face it, that isn’t hard.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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Andrew Bowden Contact More by me

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Liverpool, Friday 20 May 2022