With more and more people refusing to pay their TV licences, the BBC need to find ways of saving money and be better value. So, with that, the BBC Trust has formally approved proposals to close down BBC Three as a regular TV channel. From March 2016, it’ll be moved online.
The Trust provisionally approved the proposals back in June, but now, it is official.
Chair of the Trust’s Services Committee BBC Trustee Suzanna Taverne said: “The decision to close a TV channel is a difficult one, and one we have not taken lightly. The BBC must adapt with its audiences; the evidence is very clear that younger audiences are watching more online and less linear TV.”
“The plans enable the BBC to deliver more distinctive content online, while bearing down on costs; to address concerns about the impact of moving BBC Three online, we have set new requirements for programmes for younger audiences on BBC One and Two.”
Worryingly, that mean we see Russell Howard’s Good News on one of the major channels.
Younger people, of course, do watch more things online and, thanks to most people having a console and other devices, you can watch iPlayer on your big telly anyway. It probably won’t make much difference to the average household.
So what conditions have the BBC Trust imposed on this move?
- All BBC Three long-form content will be transmitted on slots on BBC One and BBC Two on an on-going basis as soon as BBC Three closes on TV.
– BBC Three long-form content will be made available on both BBC One and BBC Two at a variety of times across the schedule and throughout the UK
– A commitment to providing risk-taking space being incorporated in the service licences of BBC One and BBC Two
– A commitment to programmes targeted at younger audiences will be incorporated in the service licences of BBC One and BBC Two
– The online channel should have the same accessibility standards as linear television wherever practicable
This move is going to save the BBC in advance of £50 million, apparently.
Women – do you find it hard to make your mind up? Do you wonder where men get all their music from? Do you wish someone could help you and that little brain of yours? You might be thinking “Shut up, you patronising swine – I can cope perfectly well without you patting me on the head, thank you very much! Cheeky shit.”
This chat is all thanks to Jimmy Iovine, who works for Apple since they bought Beats Music, who was on television being asked about streaming music. He said: “Streaming’s a technology… what this is is a music streaming service. What is does is… sort of gives you 30 million songs, and it serves them up to you and makes it easy to find music.”
“So I always knew that women find it very difficult at times – some women – to find music. And this helps makes it easier with playlists, curated by real people. They’re not made by algorithms alone – they’re made by algorithms but with a human touch.”
There’s a new advert, aimed at women, and Iovine was asked about his concept for it: “I just thought of a problem: girls are sitting around talking about boys, right? Or complaining about boys! When they’re heartbroken or whatever… they need music for that, right? It’s hard to find the right music. Not everyone has, you know, the right list… or knows a DJ.”
Of course, in the scheme of things, Iovine’s comments are fantastically unimportant, but really, you’d think that somewhere in his brain, he’d perhaps consider that women are every bit as nerdy about music as men are. Likewise, there’s men and women who couldn’t give two hoots about music at all.
Either way, this is the latest bad press that Apple have got in the past 12 months – something they can’t seem to avoid lately. They’ve been sued over the WiFi Assistant, had issues with everything crashing after an update, confessed that some of their phones are worse than others, annoyed loads of people with Apple Music’s auto-renewal, and of course, made a man go on a hilarious rant. The response from Apple customers on social media has been, shall we say, on the venomous side.
He’s since apologised about his remarks, but Apple need to get shipshape and, while they’re at it, stop executive patronising their customers.
The ugly scrapping between BT and Sky continues this week, with a decision by Ofcom to ditch a load of rules, which would normally force Sky to provide channels Sky Sports 1 and 2, to rivals at a controlled price.
Ofcom have said that the Wholesale Must Offer obligation (WMO) isn’t necessary any longer, as Sky had demonstrated that it was willing enough to offer their sports channels to their competitors on commercial terms.
The regulator added that Sky’s introduction of NowTV, and BT’s buying of football rights, shows that the market is more competitive than when the rules were initially brought in, so the end of WMO could see BT customers unable to watch Sky Sports 1 and 2.
This is far from over though, as BT are looking at their legal options after the decision from Ofcom. A spokesperson called this move “very disappointing”, adding: “We will consider our legal options in the light of this decision and, in the meantime, continue to offer our customers access to Sky Sports 1 and 2.”
“Ofcom has said it is important for pay-TV retailers to have access to key Sky content to be able to compete effectively in this market, and that they want consumers to have access to these channels. We therefore expect Sky to behave appropriately so that we can continue to offer our customers access.”
“We still believe that effective remedies are essential to address the failure of competition in the Pay TV market, in which we estimate Sky has had around 75pc share of retail subscription revenues for more than 10 years.”
This row has been going on for years now, with claim and counterclaim being batted back and forth over deals on sports channels. Sky argue that BT have basically refused to let BT Sport to be included in a Sky subscription, while BT has claimed that Sky has been undermining competition in sports rights by exploiting their dominance.
As it stands, BT will now have to have commercial negotiations with Sky without WMO, and seeing as this is so petty and longstanding, Sky may price out BT, leaving their customers without the goods.
Sky are looking at taking on Netflix, Apple and Amazon, as they release a new set-top box and “best of the web” streaming service called SkyQ. The broadcaster reckon this is biggest product innovation since the Sky+ box. Big talk.
The service will kick off next year, and will let you watch shows on up to five different screens and, it’ll also have five times the amount of storage capacity than their current box. And what’s this ‘best of the web’ nonsense about? Well, you can get YouTube, Vevo, Facebook and stuff from Condé Nast (who are the publishers behind Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Wired).
In addition to all that, this new thing will also have new remote control with a touchpad, which sounds pretty fancy. It’ll allow you to swipe and scroll, just like the Apple TV thing and you’ll be able save recordings from your set-top box onto a tablet, so you’ll be able to watch them anywhere you like.
“Think of Sky Q as something that is beyond a box,” said Stephen van Rooyen, from Sky. “It is an eco-system of products. The important thing is it allows you to consume programmes in and out of the home across more screens than ever before. It is about more than just TV content, we are bringing the best of the web to the big screen.”
There’s no news on price as yet, you’ll be finding that out in early 2016.
Google, or Alphabet or whatever they’re called now, have launched a kid-friendly version of YouTube in the UK and Ireland, to save little Terry or Gladys from looking at dodgy stuff like bums and street-fights.
YouTube Kids is designed with 3 to 8-year-olds in mind, and it’ll focus on children’s television shows, nursery rhymes and things that are educational. We’re still hoping illuminati crackpots will flood the comments with their theories.
Basically, this is an app that applies a filter on YouTube’s vast cache of videos. Things with swearing, violence or ‘suggestive’ content, will be wiped out in favour of cuddly animals and overly enthusiastic adults in dungarees.
This of course, is a reaction to how much parents are sitting their kids down with tablets and phones, rather than the TV. Very handy when you’re having a pub lunch and little Natasha is playing up while you’re trying to eat some oven chips from a bit of slate.
Now, YouTube Kids will still show adverts, but certain ones will be banned from the app, so you won’t have to worry about your child asking for a Bulmers or whatever. You don’t have to log-in to use the app either, so if you’re concerned about your offspring being targeted by ads, you can rest easy. Ish.
Parents can also set timers, which locks the app after a certain amount of time, if you’re worried about your children going square-eyed.
Are spoilers making your life a misery? Do you have friends who are complete blabbermouths and tell you the ending of everything, like that time someone told you that the kid in Sixth Sense was actually Darth Vader, and he could see Keyser Söze, when no-one else could?
Well, there’s hope for you yet. You can get a Chrome extension called Spoiler Alert, which will try and protect you from your stupid friends who let their mouths run away with themselves when they’re excited about a TV show or film.
Or course, it won’t fix those annoying arses who watch Game of Thrones, who tweet ‘OMG #GoT’ every time they watch a bloody episode of it.
First off, you have to add the extension to Chrome – do that here. Once you’ve sorted all that out, and registered and all that, you then go to ‘Find Alerts’. From there, you can toggle the options of the shows and films you don’t want to hear about.
You can use the extension’s drop-down menu, or add your own and all that jazz. From there, you’ll be protected from the people who are determined to spoil your fun when you’re watching shows and films. It’ll stop you from seeing Trending Topics on social media too, which often gives the game away.
Of course, you could just log out of your social media account and get your finger out when it comes to a new episode being aired. That’s the easiest way around the problem.
The owners of mucky website RedTube must be popping bottles today, as YouTube has announced a subscription service called YouTube Red. Just think of all those people tapping RedTube into their browsers because they’ve forgotten what the new YouTube service is called.
Anyway, YouTube has racked up billions of people as an audience, thanks to the free, ad-supported service. Now, it would like you to pay for it. Of course, for a lot of people, the ad-service is just fine and you’ll be sticking with that thankyouverymuch. However, there’s a lot of kids out there who do nothing but watch YouTube vids – be it from subscribing to wildly popular vloggers or people who do make-up tutorials and such.
Obviously, old people don’t understand this at all and will be muttering under their breath about how this is all nonsense. That’d be the same old people who made Noel Edmonds famous, taking a higher ground there.
Some famous YouTubers will be taking their shows behind the paywall, only available on the new YouTube Red subscription service. It’ll launch late this month in America and will cost $9.99 per month. You can imagine that there’ll be the usual dollar=pound conversion rate, where Brits will have to cough-up £9.99 every month.
If you subscribe to this tier, you’ll be able to watch all YouTube videos with no adverts, and you’ll be able to download them to your mobile and watch them offline. As well as that, you’ll also get Google Play Music thrown in too.
“We believe in the advertising business. 99.9% of the content on YouTube will be free, as it always has been” says chief business officer Robert Kyncl. “The world that all of our advertising partners are used to remains alive and well and [watch time] continues to grow at an astonishing 60% year over year. There is nothing we are taking away from there, merely adding onto it.”
A load of cinemas in the UK and Ireland were teasing people last night on social media, but now, we’re here with a new trailer set to air today as well. Nerdgasm.
You have to wonder how quickly these will sell out, don’t you?
And, for full geekjaculation, there’s a new Star Wars poster to look at for the new film, which is very nice and Star Warsy. Look at it here.
Anyway, the film will be shown on December 18th, so get cracking if you want to be one of the first to watch it.
BT have been sending out messages to everyone, about what happens with BT Sport, now that there’s some extra charges coming in. And of course, this being BT, they’ve made the language and procedures a bit complicated, in a bid to squeeze some pennies out of you.
Their correspondence says: “We’re writing to remind you that the discount you’ve been receiving on BT Sport is ending soon. To keep your discount, you need to renew your BT broadband contract by 17 November 2015. If you don’t renew your contract, you will have to pay an out-of-contract charge of £6.75 a month for BT Sport Lite.”
Now, if you want to downgrade, the first thing you should do is click here, and look at your options. There’s a FAQ section as well, so you can weigh things up too.
You can downgrade to BT Sport Lite, which is free but has fewer channels and the like. It is a good idea to ring BT up. You can do that by calling 0800 5878827. The process will involve some members of staff making puppy-dog eyes at you in a bid to retain you, but all-in-all, the process is pretty painless.
What Are The Changes?
BT say this: “BT Sport Pack is free for new customers who take BT Broadband and BT TV on a new minimum contract term of 12 or 18 months. BT Sport Pack is also free for existing BT Broadband and TV customers who recontract those services for a further 18-month minimum contract term. Customers that don’t take BT TV can still view BT Sport on one of the alternative platforms.”
“Customers watching the BT Sport Pack on Sky can get it for £5 a month if you’re within your broadband minimum contract term. If you’re not in a minimum contract term, it’s £11.75 a month. You can always sign up for a further 12 or 18 month BT Broadband minimum contract term to watch the BT Sport Pack for £5 a month. If you watch on the app only, then it’s £5 a month. If you only get the BT Sport Pack from us on Sky (without BT Broadband), then it’s £19.99 a month.”
“If you don’t want to take a BT TV contract, and don’t want to pay £5 for the BT Sport Pack from 1 August, you have the option to downgrade to BT Sport Lite – a new service that launches on 1 August.”
So there you go. Everything you need to know, and the numbers you need to ring. The deadline is imminent for this, so act sharpish if you want out.
The weekend is upon us, which is nice. Unless you’re working tonight and all weekend, in which case, godspeed. Anyway, with some days off, you might want to watch a load of films for free. Sounds good right?
Well, there’s no catch, because Paramount Studios has launched their own YouTube channel and stuck up loads of films up, which you can watch for nothing. Hundreds of them!
Paramount say they are offering… “a collection of Paramount full-length films and clips including selections that range from black-and-white to colour, comedy to horror, and everything in between.”
Now, it is only available to Americans at the moment, so you’ll either have to wait or, we’re sure you can work the internet well enough to use a VPN or whatever, to get at all that lovely stuff.
We suggest having a look at CyberGhost (which you can get for free) or PrivateInternetAccess which will cost you, but well worth it if you’re going to be wanting to use it a lot (and it has won a load of awards and don’t mistreat your information as well). Anyway, have fun.
Short answer to both of these questions is that, no, Sony haven’t done anything of the sort.
That thing you can see on your PS4 is just an advert, so don’t sweat it. Obviously, Sony aren’t going to be giving games away for free, and you can assume that they understand how jumpy gamers are, so they wouldn’t want to anger them by making them have a game they didn’t want or have the memory space for.
Basically, in that horizontal information bar, Sony have whacked an advert for Destiny in it, which might annoy you if you’re anti-adverts, but you can opt-out of those too if you want.
If you don’t like these ads – which Sony have been mercifully tasteful with thus far – you go to your PlayStation 4 Settings, click System, then Automatic Downloads, and there, you should untick the Featured Content box. That means no more ads, which are uniformly ‘opt-in’ as standard.
There’s a similar thing with Microsoft’s Xbox One, which has a ‘What’s New’ section. Either way, if the appearance of Destiny on your PS4 has bugged you, you now know what you need to do, to get rid.
Fans of Back to the Future will know that October 21st 2015 is a special date – basically, Marty McFly went there. And yes, this is the real deal, not some ‘shopped job which has changed the date.
With that, a lot of people will be kicking their marketing teams into action. Pepsi, who star in the film, have been at it, and are recreating their bottles that star in Back To The Future II.
At the moment, it looks like it’ll be US-only, which is rubbish. That could change, mind you.
PepsiCo’s senior director of marketing, Lou Arbetter, said: “So we wanted to take advantage of the fact that Marty travelled to the future, to this month, and wanted to actually come out with the product.”
Each bottle will also come in a furnished case, which means it’ll probably be expensive and one for hardcore fans only. The lads down the comic book shop will be wetting themselves over this, and if you’re at New York Comic Con this week, Pepsi will give you a Back To The Future Pepsi bottle if you’re one of the first 1,5000 people there dressed up like Marty McFly.
We’re looking forward to a portaloo company doing a Jurassic Park marketing stunt. Anyway, here’s the bottle from Back to the Future II…
…and here’s Pepsi’s adverts about it all…
Amazon are being weird babies again, this time, they’re going to stop selling media-streaming gadgets from Apple and Google. Why? Well, they don’t want to sell things that aren’t easily compatible with their own video service. Honest.
Amazon sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers, which said that it will be stopping selling Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast, because those gadgets don’t “interact well” with Prime Video. Keep in mind that Christmas is just around the corner, and a lot of people will be wanting to buy Google and Apple products, you almost have to admire the brass balls on Amazon.
Also keep in mind that, if you’re not the sort of person who can root things, Amazon’s tablets don’t run on the proper Android OS, which means if you get a Fire HDX or whatever, you won’t be able to download Google apps like YouTube, the Google Play store and the like. You can’t get the BT Sport app either. So it looks like Amazon are fencing themselves in, and trying to only flog their own stuff, which is a risky move.
This isn’t the first time Amazon have tried this. They got in a row with the Hachette Book Group, over the sales of print and digital books. Basically, Amazon blocked pre-orders for some of Hachette’s books, and a load of authors got angry and said the whole thing was anti-competitive.
Now, with that, you could argue that not selling Google and Apple stuff could fall under anti-trust rules, which means this could get very messy for Amazon. Even if it doesn’t raise these concerns, it is unusual for a company to send a load of potential customers elsewhere, if they want premium or popular products.
Either way, if you want Apple TV or Chromecast, you won’t be finding it at Amazon – mercifully, loads of other retailers are available.
Google have been busy bees, which has resulted in the release of a bunch of new stuff – notably, two new Nexus smartphones and two new Chromecast devices.
First off – the phones. Google showed off the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, which will both run on Android’s latest OS, Marshmallow. Google reckon the phones both have improved batteries, and the 5X will have a 5.7″ ultra HD screen, and it’ll have an all-metal body, which is fancy.
The 6P meanwhile, has a 12.3-megapixel Sony sensor, which Google reckon is the best ever camera on a smartphone. It’ll also have a fingerprint scanner too.
Google have also put out the new Pixel C tablet, which is basically a larger version of the two new phones, melded together. It’ll come with a full size keyboard as well. The 5X will start at £339 while the 6P will start at £449, with pre-orders beginning on Tuesday.
In addition to these, there’s also some new Chromecasts to check out – an updated version of the existing Chromecast, and Chromecast Audio.
The new version of Chromecast will still cost £30, and will have better connectivity, thanks to an upgraded antenna system and a WiFi chip that chooses the best connection. Google have updated the app (for everyone, regardless of which dongle you’re using) so it’ll feel more like a remote, rather than doing everything through your screen.
The completely new Chromecast Audio is pretty interesting too – basically, it is a dongle where you can stream audio. It isn’t the same as Google Cast for Audio, which links up Chromecast with your speakers, but rather, it works with any phone, tablet, or laptop that is connected to your network.
It has a ‘guest mode’ too, which will let friends play music to your speakers, even if they don’t have your WiFi password. Good for those of you who like having people over to your house and all that.
Obviously, Chromecast Audio links up with Spotify and all that too. It will cost £30 as well.
A lot of people have been going on about having a ‘Netflix and chill’ lately. For those of you who are a thousand years old, it basically means ‘would you like to come round for some intercourse?’
Well, Netflix have gone and created a button to facilitate exactly that. A proper, real life button with schematics so you can build it. Seems a bit much, like having a klaxon horn for when you’re getting the condoms out of the box, but there you go – stating ‘Netflix and chill’ should’ve already made your intentions clear.
Anyway, it’s called ‘The Switch’, and it puts your phone into Do-Not-Disturb mode, silencing incoming calls and messages, and if you have a smarthouse, it’ll dim the lights too.
It’ll also order you a pizza if you want and, of course, it’ll turn Netflix on. It can’t turn your partner on as well – you have to do something to earn your coital behaviour.
Netflix aren’t planning on selling these buttons to those who can’t build things like this, however, if you can, maybe you can make a load and sell them to randy people.
If you can’t manage to get someone over to your house, you can certainly have a Netflix and chill on your own, if you catch our drift.