When Broadcasting House was opened in 1932, the front of the building was likened to the prow of a ship. With a commanding view that befitted the vessel’s bridge was the grandest office. It belonged to John Reith, the first Director-General. But the office above his, acknowledged as the second-grandest in the building, with equally magnificent wood panelling and an even loftier view down Langham Place, was that of the chief engineer.
It’s September. That means back to school. And not just for the kids.
With Edinburgh hangovers barely forgotten, and TV execs and politicians still reeling from Dorothy Byrne’s outlandishly honest MacTaggart Lecture, conference season gets into full swing.
Not in Bournemouth but in Cambridge, courtesy of ITV, for the RTS biennial convention. There’s no prorogation for us.
The UK’s most successful digital television platform, Freeview, passed another milestone last month, when it debuted its mobile app. Users can now stream live shows from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 plus on demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and UKTV Play.
As the nation’s public service broadcasters dwell on the growing impact of Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, the move could be pivotal in ensuring that British PSBs don’t become stranded as young people’s video consumption moves more and more online.
The free app will provide viewers with the chance to watch on-demand content and live stream channels BBC, ITV and Channel 4 on mobile devices.
On-demand services BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My5 and UKTV Play will allow audiences to catch up on their favourite shows on the go, with a ‘Recommendations’ feature to help users discover new programmes.
To many adults, the choice of viewing options for children is as incomprehensible as the whistling language of The Clangers. There is now a myriad of platforms, apps and subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services offering access to children’s shows. They include Amazon, Netflix, Freeview Play, YouView and Sky Go.
Children can watch their favourite CBBC shows, such as The Next Step, via the BBC iPlayer – or catch up with Nickelodeon brands, such as SpongeBob SquarePants, on the app Nick Play.
If you were to believe the headlines, you might think that local television – dismissed by some as "Jeremy Hunt’s pipe dream" – was dead in the water. The former Culture Secretary’s vision, scorned by most broadcasters, was bulldozed on to the statute book four years ago and the first channels are now 18 months old.
Hunt thought it wrong that Birmingham, Alabama, had eight local-TV stations while Birmingham, UK, had none, and secured some funding and the Channel 8 slot on Freeview (in England, at least) to help the new stations get established.