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Brekkie26,484 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
I would say of the commercial "digital" channels I'd rate E4 as the best. It's the only one of the spin offs to ITV, C4 and C5 that have really invested in home grown drama and comedy and it's identity has always been quite strong. More importantly though in moving to Freeview back in 2005 it paved the way for more higher quality channels to launch on the platform.

As for the worst - well, name any shopping channel.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
MetalGearRex652 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
I would say of the commercial "digital" channels I'd rate E4 as the best. It's the only one of the spin offs to ITV, C4 and C5 that have really invested in home grown drama and comedy and it's identity has always been quite strong. More importantly though in moving to Freeview back in 2005 it paved the way for more higher quality channels to launch on the platform.

As for the worst - well, name any shopping channel.

I'd agree. E4 always seemed to be one of the best channels by far, it had a huge impact on Freeview as a whole, and easily appeals to a large audience. Other channels that boosted Freeview a lot by offering content usually locked by a paywall included ITV3, Pick, Quest, to name a few.
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VMPhil6,868 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I don't think I really have a favourite "digital" channel but the ones I frequent the most are the likes of Gold, Comedy Central, Dave, FOX, mainly for comedy, sitcoms, panel shows etc. Then you have channels like Spike and ITV4 for the guilty pleasure of police programmes.

I do find that when it comes to films, if you don't have a Sky Movies subscription then you're not left with much choice but there's usually something on TCM or Film4.

It can be easy to feel jaded about multi-channel, and yes there's a lot of rubbish out there, but for all the likes of TLC or ITVBe there's also a Challenge or a Horror Channel, something that appeals to a niche audience that we wouldn't have had in the days of 5 channels. And more and more of these channels are available through Freeview and Freesat.
MrDexB76 posts since 21 Jul 2014
Granada North West Today
I don't really see any channels as the worst. But the channel I think has become increasingly bad is TCM UK. It switched from many classics that applies to the name Turner Classic Movies to a channel that is way too new and unwatchable, too full of Westerns, Moulin Rouge that should belong to another channel and too many sequels like Exorcist II. The only TWO films that appeal to me there now is Exorcist and Ben Hur.

I know there are other film channels but compared to TCM US, which has a pretty dedicated fanbase, some of them even constantly contribute to TCM Party, TCM UK is a incredibly dull bucket of dirge.
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Riaz268 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Back in the 90s and early 2000s it was decent. Modern History channel seems to be devoid of any history.


Absolutely agree. I used to love the History channel in the 1990s and early 2000s, although I thought it was a bit biased towards WW2, but there's hardly any proper history left in it now. You certainly couldn't use it as an effective learning resource and the programmes are now unrelated to the history curriculum kids study at school.

I have known parents get satellite and cable for their kid's education back in the days when the History channel showed history and Discovery showed science and technology. It must be well over 5 years since I heard satellite / cable channels and kid's education in the same sentence.
sda|1,402 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
In defence of some of these channels - I enjoy History's programming immensely, as someone who is interested in modern US history, American Pickers, Pawn Stars etc are brilliant! Still plenty of traditional programmes if you search around.

The whole portfolio of Sky documentary channels are for the most part great, motoring shows in particular have found a home on Discovery and Nat Geo.

At lease those channels haven't made a complete u-turn and keep the name and change programming completely! (TLC)

Special mention must go to Sky 1, Atlantic and UKTV for stepping up quality homegrown content over the last 10 years or so after decades of little investment.
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London Lite6,727 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
The decent programming is still there, it's just spread out over more channels or Netflix.

History and MTV are probably the two most obvious who have changed their formats to adjust to the larger multi-channel environment.
MetalGearRex652 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
In defence of some of these channels - I enjoy History's programming immensely, as someone who is interested in modern US history, American Pickers, Pawn Stars etc are brilliant! Still plenty of traditional programmes if you search around.

The whole portfolio of Sky documentary channels are for the most part great, motoring shows in particular have found a home on Discovery and Nat Geo.

At lease those channels haven't made a complete u-turn and keep the name and change programming completely! (TLC)

Special mention must go to Sky 1, Atlantic and UKTV for stepping up quality homegrown content over the last 10 years or so after decades of little investment.

I remember 10 to 15 years ago when Sky and UKTV channels were based off US and BBC programming. Now it's a mix of a lot with original content. That in itself is what I'd commend both Sky and UKTV for.

Not much people here have discussed about channels that have died off. Which defunct channels did you enjoy, and which current channels do a good job of continuing their legacy? Personally I enjoyed BBC Three for Good News and Family Guy, and Virgin1 was a brilliant channel especially for Freeview.
Last edited by MetalGearRex on 5 June 2016 5:15pm - 2 times in total
'What is the only planet capable of sustaining life?'
'Mars.'
VMPhil6,868 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
In defence of some of these channels - I enjoy History's programming immensely, as someone who is interested in modern US history, American Pickers, Pawn Stars etc are brilliant! Still plenty of traditional programmes if you search around.

The whole portfolio of Sky documentary channels are for the most part great, motoring shows in particular have found a home on Discovery and Nat Geo.

Yes and there are still other channels that show history programming in the traditional sense, Discovery History and Yesterday off the top of my head