Gunpowder fact vs fiction: how accurate is the BBC series?

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The first instalment of BBC One’s Gunpowder, a three-part retelling of the infamous 1605 Catholic plot to blow up the House of Lords, and, in the process, King James I, was suitably thrilling. As a bonus, it even featured an angry Jon Snow (sorry, Kit Harington) as chief schemer Robert Catesby. (His co-conspirator Guy Fawkes is the name most remembered today, but it was Catesby who was the real brains of the operation.) But just how much of that gruesome first episode really happened? Here’s a quick round up of some of the key questions you might have after watching.


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This Monday BBC One Northern Ireland will air a special one-off documentary on NI Football League side Crusaders as part of the True North series.

BBC announces new dance shows for winter

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The BBC will be strutting its stuff on the dancefloor this winter, with a new setlist of dance-themed programming. Highlights include a behind the scenes look at the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker, a world premiere of BalletBoyz latest production, and Darcey Bussell investigating Margot Fonteyn.

PBS America joins Freesat for Halloween

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PBS America, currently on Sky and Virgin Media will join Freesat on October 31st on channel 160.

Source: UK Free TV.


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The BBC seems set to move BBC Three onto the BBC iPlayer. What should the BBC do with the channel's precious broadcast bits and top-page Freeview slot 7?

It seems quite likely that BBC FOUR HD will move from the "extra" multiplex that is broadcast from just 30 sites (to 16m homes, perhaps) to BBCB so more people can watch it. This will leave the "cheap slots" on Arqiva's com7 and com8 for more commercial channels.

Source: UK Free TV.

New Freeview TVs and boxes to be HD only from 2016

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As part of the rolling process to upgrade Freeview to an HD service, Freeview (as well as Digital UK and the DTG) are going to withdraw licenced use of the "Freeview trademark" from equipment that does not meet the most up-to-date high definition standards.

Pay TV to gain 200 million subscribers

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Pay TV subscriptions for 338 operators across 89 countries will increase by 200 million from a collective 704 million in 2014 to 904 million by 2020, according to a new report from Digital TV Research.


Troubleshooting: Freezing TV Pictures

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Digital TV interference

If you have a dish or digital aerial installed, occasionally TV pictures can freeze or appear ‘blocky’. This is usually caused by a weak signal, being outside of the coverage area, poor cable connections or certain weather conditions, especially high pressure or heavy rain.

Try performing some of these simple checks:

  • Wait for any prevailing bad weather to pass or atmospheric conditions to clear and check if the interference passes.
  • Check the cabling and connections to and from your digital box and/or TV. Damaged or loose aerial plugs can cause problems. Try disconnecting aerial amplifiers or splitters, which can sometimes lead to equipment getting overloaded or depleting the signal strength.
  • Verify the coverage and channels available for your address using a coverage checker, as provided on digital for Freeview, or with your service provider i.e. Sky. If the checker predicts good coverage or your service provider advises that there are no issues to the service, try retuning your TV or digital box to reload channels.

If the problems persist, you may wish to contact us to arrange for an engineer visit. Please call us on 0800 316 1218, where we will be pleased to help.

LTE and 4G

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LTE Graphic

Following on from all the claims of potential interference surrounding the imminent arrival of 4G mobiles, the CAI have reported little sign of any disruption.

The issue was expected to be fall UK TV reception, as a result of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) activity in the 800 MHz band. Experts within the CAI commented that "much of the expected mayhem has been avoided with the use of the higher LTE bands not adjacent to the existing use of channels 59 and 60 by TV transmitters dotted around the UK".

More information on LTE can be found here.

Have you experienced any traumatic TV interference with 4G?

Have you noticed?

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Sun Solar Flares

With the increase of solar activity in recent weeks and months, you might be experiencing some interference in the quality of your satellite connection. Here is a link to an article that provides more information on the topic.


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