Tuesday, 15 May 2012

BBC announce the Digital Olympics / Expensive Setup documented

The BBC have announced their "Digital Olympics" TV coverage, though most of it was either known beforehand or could have been easily predicted. There will be 7 BBC TV channels that are possibly worth recording for their Olympics coverage as follows:
  • BBC One. This will be broadcasting throughout the day in both SD and HD. It will take breaks for news though, at which point it dismally switches to BBC Two (SD only!). It's always been outrageous that BBC One HD has a permanent onscreen logo to ruin the purity of any HD recording, especially when BBC One SD doesn't have such a logo.
  • BBC Two. A bit pathetic that this is SD only - rumours are that BBC HD might eventually become BBC Two HD, but not until well after the Olympics. Only airs Olympics during BBC One news programmes.
  • BBC Three. Not only just available in SD, but a permanent and disgustingly purple logo is present. This channel will be extended to 24 hours on Freesat during the Olympics, but will remain restricted to something like 7.00pm-5.30am each day on Freeview.
  • BBC HD. Annoying logo in the corner like BBC One HD.
  • BBC News. Sadly only in SD in again and frequently has an onscreen clock and an irritatingly distracting scrolling ticker along the bottom with a bright red background - arrgh!
  • BBC Red Button channel 301. SD only again - often accessible by pressing the red button on BBC SD channels.
  • BBC Red Button channel 302. Predictably SD only and also can be accessed via the red button. This will broadcast only during the Olympics and currently has a static caption stating this.
Note that the 24 HD channels on Freesat/Sky/cable won't actually be up and running until just before the Olympics start, but all the channels will appear on the appropriate platform's EPG, hopefully with 7 days to go. It would be reasonable to assume that sports would not "wander" between the 24 HD channels - once they air on a particular channel, then you'd expect them to stay on that channel for the duration of the Olympics (and if two or more channels are needed by one sport, again you'd assume they'd stay on those channels). From what I've read, sadly the BBC will again destroy the purity of Olympics HD recordings by including a BBC logo on all 24 HD channels.

There are also three BBC digital radio channels covering the Olympics that you could record:
  • BBC Radio 5 Live
  • BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
  • BBC Radio 5 Live Olympics Extra (only available for the duration of the Olympics)
And if you really want to be a completist, it could be worth recording these too:
  • Channel 4 HD news bulletins
  • ITV 1 HD news bulletins
  •  Sky News (this may only be in SD on Freeview and Freesat)
The BBC claim that there will be about 2,500 hours of TV coverage in all, though remember that not every channel is HD and not every channel will be broadcasting Olympics coverage all day (even some of the 24 HD channels will remain idle for long periods - possibly showing highlights from earlier? - because there won't be 24 events to cover on some days).

I will be documenting how to install Ubuntu+XBMC+PVR+tvheadend on a Revo this weekend, but until then, you can now read a lot more detail (though no links/prices/exact models yet) on the Expensive Setup page.

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