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DMOL proposes Freeview EPG shuffle to pull in IPTV

Channels ferried

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The organisation that manages the UK's digital terrestrial TV platform has revealed how it hopes to rejig the Freeview EPG Logical Channel Number (LCN) list to create space for more channels.

And, for the first time, to incorporate IPTV services.

DMOL (DTT Multiplex Operators Ltd) wants to make the EPG listing more easy to navigate, largely by more clearly defined, and better separate, blocks of channel numbers for specific types of genre.

Its proposals, on which is now calling on stakeholders to comment, will see channels 1-99 reserved for national and local channels delivering a variety of programmes. HD channels will gain their own grouping: channels 101 to 109. Kids' stations will sit in the 110-119 band, with news channels running from 120 to 139.

Adult stations will lie between 300-349. Radio stations will continue to take channel numbers 700 and up.

Interactive services will be placed in the 200-299 - teletext (one of which will be Teletext) and MHEG - and 350-399, sandwiching the smut. IP-delivered services will run from 400-499, according to the DMOL proposals.

This is muddy, since the MHEG channels will be able to deliver content to the TV or set-top box over an internet link, as can the services DMOL generalises as "interactive".

For instance, would BBC iPlayer be an MHEG, an IPTV or a VoD service? Depending on which of these the BBC and/or DMOL decides iPlayer is will govern where it might sit in the Freeview EPG.

DMOL details its rationale for the changes in a long-winded 131-page PDF you can download from its website. It said it has been guided by what research tells it punters want, and by its mandate to allocate the channels numbers in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner.

Interested parties have until 5pm on 24 May to throw in the twopenn'th. ®

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