iconv(): Detected an illegal character in input string in /var/www/html/ukfree.tv/public/view/blogCaerusview.php at line 115 [8] Are we going to get BBC local radio on Freeview in England? | free and easy
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Are we going to get BBC local radio on Freeview in England?

If you have Freeview in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you have always had two extra BBC radio stations. Do tests in the West Midlands perhaps mean that we will we soon get local radio in England? I hope so.

Some people will be happy to hear BBC local radio in digital sound for the first time.  Photograph: Shutterstock
Some people will be happy to hear BBC local radio in digital sound for the first time. Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

The BBC standard definition Freeview multiplex operates at a bitrate of 24.1Mbps. That is actually enough to carry over 380 digital radio stations (in monaural 64kbps).

Given that some of this capacity is used for the "national" services for Wales (Radio Wales, Radio Cymru), Scotland (Radio Scotland and Radio nan Gaidheal)) and Northern Ireland (Radio Ulster abnd Radio Foyle) it seems a bit of a shame that Freeview users in England do not get their local radio stations. According to a516digital: BBC local radio spotted testing on Freeview in West Midlands there are tests going on.

I thought it might be useful to think about how this might work in practice.

The BBC can't really sub-region the TV regions to get them down to "county size". This would require doubling (or more) the number of expensive stat-mux points, and making changes to the already-complex Freeview broadcasting arrangements.

So, it seems to me the obvious track is to add the appropriate several stations to each TV region. This could be done with existing equipment and no changes to the broadcast system.

You would end up with something like this:

CAMBRIDGE PSB1

732 BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
754 BBC Radio Northampton
766 BBC Three Counties Radio (duplicated)

CHANNEL ISLANDS PSB1

740 BBC Guernsey
743 BBC Radio Jersey

EAST PSB1

738 BBC Essex
753 BBC Radio Norfolk
762 BBC Radio Suffolk (not on DAB yet)

EAST MIDLANDS PSB1

736 BBC Radio Derby (not on DAB yet)
747 BBC Radio Leicester
755 BBC Radio Nottingham

EAST YORKSHIRE AND LINCOLNSHIRE PSB1

742 BBC Radio Humberside
748 BBC Lincolnshire (not on DAB yet)

LONDON PSB1

738 BBC Essex (duplicate - Don)
749 BBC London 94.9
763 BBC Surrey
766 BBC Three Counties Radio (duplicated)

NORTH EAST AND CUMBRIA PSB1

735 BBC Radio Cumbria (not on DAB yet)
752 BBC Newcastle
765 BBC Tees

NORTH WEST PSB1

745 BBC Radio Lancashire
750 BBC Radio Manchester
751 BBC Radio Merseyside

SOUTH PSB1

730 BBC Radio Berkshire
759 BBC Radio Solent
764 BBC Sussex (duplicated)

SOUTH (OXFORD) PSB1

756 BBC Oxford

SOUTH EAST PSB1

744 BBC Radio Kent
764 BBC Sussex (duplicated)

SOUTH WEST PSB1

733 BBC Radio Cornwall
737 BBC Radio Devon

WEST PSB1

731 BBC Radio Bristol
739 BBC Radio Gloucestershire (duplicate Anthony)
760 BBC Somerset (not on DAB yet)
767 BBC Wiltshire

WEST MIDLANDS PSB1

768 BBC WM
734 BBC Coventry and Warwickshire
739 BBC Radio Gloucestershire
741 BBC Hereford and Worcester
758 BBC Radio Shropshire
761 BBC Radio Stoke

YORKSHIRE PSB1

746 BBC Radio Leeds
757 BBC Radio Sheffield
769 BBC Radio York (not on DAB yet)

An additional thought - now Sky won't charge the BBC for EPG listings anymore - and not that Sky had much in the way of radio EPG listings - but it might be possible for the local radio (England) services to make their way onto Sky and Freesat.

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