Channel 4

c4ident-dinerChannel 4 is a UK public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the station is now owned and operated by the Channel Four Television Corporation, a public body established in 1990, coming into operation in 1993.

With the conversion of the Wenvoe transmitter to Digital on 31st March 2010, Channel 4 will become a national TV channel, after almost 28 years.
The channel was established to provide a fourth television service to the UK that would break the duopoly of the Licence Fee-funded BBC’s two established services and the single commercial broadcasting network, ITV.

Channel 4 enjoys almost universal coverage in the UK and some neighbouring countries and a significant audience share, despite having seen new competition with the growth of cable, satellite and digital services.
Channel 4 was established with, and continues to hold, a remit of public service obligations which it must fulfil. The remit changes periodically, as dictated by various broadcasting and communications acts, and is regulated by the various authorities Channel 4 has been answerable to; originally the IBA, then the ITC and now Ofcom.The preamble of the remit as per the Communications Act 2003 states that:

“The public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular: Demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and content of programmes; Appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society; makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an Educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and exhibits a distinctive character.”

Website: www.channel4.com


Channel 4 HD

c4hdOn 10 December 2007, Channel 4 launched a high definition television simulcast of Channel 4 on Sky+ HD, after British Sky Broadcasting agreed to contribute toward the channel’s satellite distribution costs. On 31 July 2009, Virgin Media added Channel 4 HD on channel 146 as a part of the M pack. On 25 March 2010 Channel 4 HD appeared on Freeview channel 52 with a placeholding caption, ahead of a commercial launch on 30 March 2010, coinciding with the commercial launch of Freeview HD.

On 19 April 2011, Channel 4 HD was added to Freesat on channel 126. As a consequence, the channel moved from being free-to-view to free-to-air on satellite during March 2011. The channel carries the same schedule as Channel 4, broadcasting programmes in HD when available. Initially this has been mostly American imports (such as Ugly Betty for example) and movies, however, original programming such as Hollyoaks and Skins have been broadcast in HD.

Although the intention is to increase the amount of “home grown” material being broadcast in HD. It has been announced as the UK’s first full-time high definition channel from a terrestrial broadcaster.


 

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