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VMPhil8,936 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
It’s the twentieth anniversary of digital television! To be precise, the twentieth anniversary of the commercial launch of Sky Digital, with ONdigital launching on 15th November.

Digital TV introduced features we take for granted today, such as an electronic programming guide (on Sky at least), widescreen, interactivity, more channels, radio through your TV, and the end of a lot of analogue reception quirks. It also allowed for accessibility features including one-button-press subtitles and audio description.






Here’s an interesting segment from the Money Programme from the time.

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DE88, Stuart and 2 others
  • Alan de Robson
  • Worzel
gave kudos
Alan de Robson108 posts since 8 Aug 2012
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I always loved that ONdigital helicopter promo.

I remember, as a 24-year old idents and channels geek, being incredibly a) excited and b) disappointed that I couldn't watch the launch of BBC Choice because it went live a few days before Sky Digital's launch.

I had similar feelings about News 24 the year prior because I didn't live in a cable area.

PS I did think when I got ONdigital (later Sky) that digital standard definition TV pictures lacked the depth of the analogue pictures. And I still do feel that. I think I posted back here in mid-2006 (how long ago!) that HD reminded me of analogue.
OFCOM's queen bitch
buster1,675 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
It was used again when the BBCi streams were added to DTT (shortly after the collapse of ITV Digital) in May-ish 2002 - it was really quite exciting finding those (as nothing had been announced at that point.
Whataday9,114 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Digital TV introduced features we take for granted today, such as an electronic programming guide (on Sky at least), widescreen, interactivity, more channels, radio through your TV, and the end of a lot of analogue reception quirks. It also allowed for accessibility features including one-button-press subtitles and audio description.


To be picky, Sky Digital introduced IPGs. Most Cable services had an EPG from the mid 90s.

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dbl gave kudos
VMPhil8,936 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Here's an interesting BBC trail, attempting to explain that digital television doesn't automatically equal subscription television. Even though I think it was possible to buy an ONdigital box at full price without a subscription I don't think many chose to do so.

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DE88, watchingtv and Joe gave kudos
DE88637 posts since 8 Jan 2017
UTV Newsline
Here’s an interesting segment from the Money Programme from the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cWzq3nkv_Aq


Totally off-topic here... but I wonder how many people watched the Money Programme in the late '90s just for Maya? Wink

I'm slightly ashamed to admit that having more than four or five channels wasn't something associated with me and my parents until mid-2002, shortly after our move to Ireland from London. Embarassed Obviously, while we were still living in Ealing, we'd have seen all the OnDigital/ITV Digital and Sky Digital ads, as well as all the BBC Digital/Online promos - this one playing a part in me becoming a big Fatboy Slim fan:

"Channel 5! The channel that brings you England goals!" -- Jonathan Pearce, 31 May 1997
OF99278 posts since 30 Jul 2017
UTV Newsline
I am so glad digital TV exists. I also find early digital TV extremely interesting, as I was born in 2003.
Anyone who even thinks of talking about channel codes in a thread where I am involved will be apprehended! (not really)