Monthly Archives: August 2021

ntl EPG (2001 – Langely)

The now and next banner has changed little since the previous software version

Another shot, this time from the Ireland version of ntl

The main guide interface has had a rebrand, and the main layout has been updated

Navigation for the TV guide has been made easier, a list based view is used as opposed to the grid based guide that can be found on Sky and Virgin.

A list of available channels on ntl

Viewing more information about a TV program

Help information, shows the connection status of the stb

Shows a changelog and improvements made for this version

The diary is similar in concept to the TV guide, programs that are to be broadcast in the future can be entered here, and the stb will remind you when the program is about to start

PPV movies were provided by Front Row, similar to Telewest

Front row listings

The settings page, you can change the screen settings such as the picture aspect ratio, the signal type (S-Video and Composite, with RGB being used in later STB revisions)

Early Pace Di4001 receivers outputted S-Video in place of RGB, newer models replaced this with RGB output

Message that appears when you are not subscribed to a channel or service

Interactive

Interactive was handled by a separate component known as the Liberate TV Navigator, which is the middleware used for the interactive services. The version used is 1.1, this early implementation was separate from the main Tv Guide, which mean interactive icons like the red button were not possible, since the middleware only runs when the Interactive button is pressed, this changed in later implementations, where both the TV guide and interactive functions are using the Liberate engine.

Interactive services were made available in this version, powered by Liberate TV navigator, these services were similar to the Bromley platform

Interactive home screen, these were microsites that were optimized for use on a TV

News section with different providers or channels

BBC news interactive

Unlike Ceefax, Digital text can render full JPEG and GIF images, like a web page

All about Xbox 360 Storage and USB

Looking at both the USB and the storage system of the Xbox, since they are both intertwined and there are differences across the major revisions of the Xbox 360

Background: Xbox Original

To understand the logic of the Xbox 360 storage, you have to look at the past. The original Xbox was one of the first consoles to include an internal hard drive as standard which allowed for storage of game saves, music that could be ripped from an audio CD, or DLC that could be downloaded from Xbox Live. For regular users this meant you did not have to worry about memory cards since the Xbox had plenty of internal storage for game saves and since this was on a hard drive rather than NVRAM like the Sega Saturn, which means saves could be lost should the internal battery die.

Unfortunately the hard drive in the Xbox was one of the more expensive components of the Xbox, and this was one of the reasons the Xbox never made any profit for Microsoft. With this in mind the 360 would be designed over two storage options:

  • A basic version that would mirror the storage options of the PlayStation 2/GameCube, where there would be no internal user storage, but an external memory unit would be used instead. The user would still have the option to add a hard drive should they run out of space on the memory unit.
  • An premium version that had a internal (or sideloaded) hard drive that brought all the benefits of the hard drive in the original Xbox.

Giving the end user choice may have been a good idea in hindsight, however there were issues and limitations that followed, which will be discussed later.

Type’s of storage available on the 360

Xbox Memory Unit: Offered from 2005 – 2010 and was the primary storage option for the initial core and arcade consoles, available in capacities up to 512GB, designed to be plugged into the front of the 360 and internally use USB, like the original Xbox memory unit. These are not directly compatible with the 360 S models since they lack the ports, however thirds party adapters are available that allow these old memory units to be uses on the S models.

You cannot use an original Xbox memory unit on the 360, or vice versa. Even though they both use USB and are formatted to FATX. No reason has been given for this as this could allow for the original Xbox saves to be migrated over to the Xbox 360.

For the early 360 models without a hard drive, the NXE made these memory units mandatory, since portions of the dashboard are stored on this memory unit.

Further Information

USB Mass Storage: This option was introduced around 2010, before the launch of the S consoles. You can connect a USB memory stick or an external hard drive and use it as additional storage for game saves, DLC or for games themselves (both downloaded and installed of the DVD). Ideally you were limited to 4GB of storage, this was later increased to 16GB, then 32GB and then to 2TB following the release of the Xbox One.

Not all devices can be used, USB flash drives that are not fast enough will not be approved for use, since the Xbox 360 performs a speed test when initializing the storage. This is because some games may malfunction if they cannot access the data fast enough.

Xbox Hard Drive: Generally the most popular form of storage since its fast and easy to set up, but there are some caveats. First was the hard disk design changed from the original models to the S model, whilst the drives are the same internally and could open the case and manually swap the drive over. This is because the hard disk enclosure was redesigned, on the original models the hard drive was connected either on top or on the side depending on the orientation your 360 console was in, whilst the hard drive for the S model was designed to slot inside the console itself.

Unfortunately you cannot use your own hard drive since it has to be formatted and partitioned using Microsoft proprietary format, and Microsoft has not officially released a formatting tool. If you wish to use your own HDD you must softmod the console, or reflash the hard drive itself to make it appear as a Microsoft drive, for which you are limited to 500GB capacity as this was the largest hard disk Microsoft had released for the 360.

The hard drive is the only storage medium that allows for backwards compatibility for original Xbox titles, since these games were reliant on using the hard drive for caching and user storage. These games will not run if the Xbox 360 does not have a hard drive. Some third party hard drives can also cause issues as they lack the partition 3 that stored the Xbox emulation and game data. This will need to be restored manually be the user.

Internal Flash storage: This was available for Arcade models released after 2008 that did not come with a hard drive. These models have either 256MB or 512MB of internal storage that was used for the dashboard, which became essentially when the NXE dashboard was released. Memory units and hard drives could still be used for these models. With the release of the 360 S, the 4GB model came with internal storage that was really a USB drive mounted internally to the console, like the Wi-Fi adaptor. This internal storage behaves like the memory unit. Some users have been able to modify and replace this internal storage.

HD-DVD: This addon also came with a built in memory unit, but was designed to be connected to the rear of the console and was intended to store a copy of the HD-DVD movie player. Not much is known about this unit so for now I wont discuss it further.

Storage Summary

Memory UnitUSB StorageSATA Hard Disk
CapacityUpto 1GB (512Mb per memory unit, upto 2 can be connected)Up to 4TB, upto 2 can be connected at onceUpto 500Gb for an unmodified console
SpeedUnknown, less than 480MbpsUp to 53MB/s (480Mbit/s) shared between different USB devicesUp to 150MB/s (1.5Gbit/s)
Availability Original models only, S model requires an adaptorAll ModelsAll Models
Can be used forSaves, Music, DLC, AppsGame installs, Saves, Music, DLC, AppsGame installs, Saves, Music, DLC, Apps

Game Installs: Games than can be installed from the DVD drive, this also covers games downloaded from Xbox Live using the games on demand service

Maximum Storage: Theoretically the maximum storage for the Xbox 360 is 5.505TB, with a 500GB SATA HDD, two 2TB USB drives/HDD and two 512MB memory units, along with a 4GB internal flash memory assuming a basic S model is being used. I’d say that’s enough for the entire Xbox 360 game library.

USB Ports

The amount of USB ports vary on the different models

Launch Consoles

USB 1 – Rear of the console

USB 2/3 – Front of the console, hidden behind the flap

USB 4/5 – Used for the Memory units

USB 6 – used on later revisions for internal storage

S Consoles

USB 1/2/3 – Rear of the console

USB 4 – Kinect port

USB 5/6 – Front of the console, hidden behind the flap

USB 7 – internal used for flash storage for 4GB S model

USB 8 – internal, used for WiFi adaptor module (Why not PCI express?)

Good idea to run Kinect games off USB storage?

USB has limited bandwidth which is shared across the different devices that are connected, in the case of the S models this included the internal Wi-Fi adaptor. This could potentially cause issues when running games that use I the Kinect sensor which uses the USB bus, and a USB external drive. There is a theory below that the Kinect/rear USB port has its own dedicated controller/bus, which gives it’s own bandwidth

Are all the USB ports the same?

No, or at least there are certain devices that can only be connected to specific ports:

Kinect – original 360 models: the Rear USB port was designed to run on its own bus, therefore a device connected has the full bandwidth that USB2 can provide which is why Kinect can only be connected to this port for the original models, the other USB ports seems to share bandwidth (possibly along with the memory units, this was referenced on an online podcast (Major Nelson, unfortunately the link is no longer active and does not appear in the podcast archives.)

Memory Unit Adaptors: Although the S models lack the memory unit ports on the front, Datel released a USB to memory unit adaptor that was intended to connect a memory unit to a PC to transfer and backup save files. The side effect of this was the memory unit can be used on the S model XBOX 360, despite Microsoft not officially supporting it. However only the front USB ports can be used, and the icon varies depending on which port you connect to. The left USB ports appears as Memory Unit A, whilst the right appears as Memory Unit B.

Sample adaptor: eBay, GAME

Miscellaneous

USB: I have noticed some differences in behavior between the front and rear ports of my Xbox 360 S, specifically with USB Memory stick when you turn it on. Sometimes of the flash drives are plugged into the rear and you turn it on, the 360 will not detect of mount the rive and you have to unplug and connect the drive before the 360 will recognize it. This never happens when you leave then plugged into the front. However as of 2021 this seems to have been rectified, so maybe a dashboard update has resolved this issue.

External Hard Drives: Use of external hard disks is recommended due to the speed and capacity they provide (external SSD’s can also work but will be heavily bottlenecked, and might be limited by the power that USB2 can provide) However I would advise to avoid the cheaper external hard drives that you will see on Amazon or eBay, purely because they are dumb in the sense that they do not spin the disk down when the Xbox 360 is powered off. They will keep the hard disk spinning constantly despite the host device being powered off, wasting electricity and reducing the lifespan of the hard disk if not property ventilated, essentially they are a false economy. A lot of the branded drives (Western-Digital/Seagate/Samsung) external drives do spin the drive down when the host has powered off and reactivate when they detect the device being powered on.

Xbox 360 Consoles & SKU’s

Xbox 360 Core: Launch entry level model – No internal flash user storage, no hard drive included but can be added later, memory unit required for NXE update,

Xbox 360 Arcade: Replaced the Core model, No internal user storage, No hard drive included but can be added later, memory unit required for NXE update.

Xbox 360 Arcade (Jasper): Same as previous Arcade model but with 256MB onboard user storage, no hard drive included but can be added later, Can take the NXE update without any additional storage needed, 512MB version later available

Xbox 360 Pro: Launch premium model, Shipped with 20GB/60GB hard drive which is required for it to boot post NXE dashboard, No internal flash user storage

Xbox 360 Elite: Revised premium model, Shipped with 120GB/250GB hard drive which is required for it to boot post NXE dashboard, No internal flash user storage

Models from this point forward are Xbox 360 S

Xbox 360 S: Glossy black case (later matte), Shipped with 250GB/320GB/500GB hard drive storage, No internal flash user storage, Requires hard drive to boot

Xbox 360 S: Matte black case, Shipped with 4GB internal flash memory, No hard drive included but has bay area for it to be installed, Hard drive not required to boot.

Xbox 360 E: Available in the same storage configurations as the S models (4GB flash or HDD)

NXE Update and storage: Because the size of the dashboard grew significantly with this update, additional storage was required in order for this dashboard to function. All Xbox 360’s have internal on-board flash memory, even the original core models and the ones shipped with a hard drive however this memory cannot be manipulated by the user. They contain 16MB of onboard flash which contains the dashboard kernel itself and the system software which is required for the 360 to operate. This was increased to 256Mb for the later arcade revisions so they could store the NXE update without the need of external storage. This 16Mb flash cannot be accessed directly by the user and was intended to be used for the dashboard itself

Letts Science Explorer

Science Explorer was a piece of software I remembered back in school which ran on RM Window Box PC’s (although it did not require it, able to run on 16 and 32 bit Windows systems). Designed as a learning tool for ages 7 to 11, it focused on a variety of different science subjects.

Letts Science Explorer

The user interface is reminiscent of early adventure games like Myst, it makes heavy use if CD-ROM technology to load pre-rendered 3D images that give the impression you are in a 3D environment, albeit with a heavily dithered colour palette. You are supposedly transported to a underwater science facility which provided learning activity related to science, with different sections dedicated to various subjects of science.

Whilst the software does install some files to the hard drive, Science Explorer is run mainly off the CD-ROM, since hard drives at the time had limited storage capacity. This means the software is constantly accessing the cd drive, A moderately faster drive is recommended since the program loads the images off the drive as the user navigates the facility.

Letts Science Explorer

Each user has their own account, which is accessed by entering their name which keeps track of what that they have learned, the subjects they have accessed and their test scores, however there are no passwords.

Map

Letts Science Explorer
Letts Science Explorer

User Interface: Like Myst you navigate thought the facility using the mouse, where the cursor changes to indicate the direction where you are going. Moving to a different area, the software loads a different image from the CD-ROM. You can teleport to a different area instantly (depending on the CD-ROM speed) rather than having to keep clicking on the screen to navigate, and you an jump to a specific component in the subject

Letts Science Explorer

Each subject has the same formula, a Briefing, Investigation and a Tell Me More

Investigation

An interactive exercise relating to the subject, this is like a practical exercise and can very depending on the subject. Either you have a problem to solve, or a test that you can carry out using various factors. One example was the sound insulation exercise, where you can discover which materials are better at insulating sounds of a different pitch.

Briefing

A introduction to the subject, the text on screen is narrated and is typically accompted by an image relating to the subject.

Tell me More

Gives additional information relating to the subject, may not be part of the curriculum but still interesting to know.

Fact Point

Letts Science Explorer

Gives a interesting trivia relating to the type of science.

Interesting, since this came out in the late 90s, where the tower of Pisa had been shut due to stability concerns. Thankfully they managed to stabilize the tower and was able to reopen.

Letts Science Explorer

Compatibility

Since this old software was designed to be run on Windows 3.1 to 95 & 98, it contains some 16bit components that prevent it from functioning on modern 64bit Windows systems. PCem v16 was used to emulate the Windows 95 environment that the software was designed to run on, which was running from a ISO image (PCem can access a physical CD-ROM drive on your host PC, but its slow and has a delay which leads to stuttering.

External Links

Archive.org

Ridge Racer

One of the first textured 3D racing games, and mostly known of being a launch title on the first PlayStation console. However it appeared a year earlier in the arcades. The arcade version runs on much more powerful 3D hardware, runs in a higher resolution, a higher framerate (60fps vs 30fps on the PS1) thanks to it’s Evans & Sutherland 3D hardware, which was previously used to power their simulations and CAD hardware.

Arcade

Released to the arcades in 1993 and running on the System 22 hardware, which was in direct competition with Sega’s Daytona USA and Midway’s Crusin USA.

PlayStation

The game was ported to the original PlayStation in 1994 as a launch title, and was considered to be an acceptable port of the arcade despite the downgrade made in order to run on the PlayStation hardware. The PlayStation port has support for the Namco neGcon controller, that allows the player to replicate analogue steering by twisting the controller as at the time the dual analogue controller wasn’t available.

Ridge Racer Hi-Spec

Runs in a resolution of 320×480 which is higher than the original release but less than the arcade version. The main attraction to this version is the 60fps upgrade and the gouraud shading, which enhances the graphics greatly. However there are only two cars on the track, with only 1 in time attack, and the texture quality has been reduced slightly. I had to disable texture filtering and display then unfiltered since it just looked like an N64 game. The polygon count of the cars and track may also have been educed, since the guide mentions optimised textures and polygons.

This build of the game was bundled on the Ridge Racer Type 4 bonus disc, and was not a standalone version of the game. It was meant to showcase a 60fps game on the original PlayStation hardware, and what sacrifices were needed no be made, as Namco were keen for later Ridge Racer titles to be running in 60fps. Ridge Racer V for the PlayStation 2 would be the first home game to be running at 60fps.

Zeebo

The game was ported to the Zeebo, a home console released in Brazil by TecToy and QUALCOMM, graphics have been slightly altered and the music is rendered entirely in MIDI.

Comparison

PSone on the left, using moderate enhancements in the Duckstation emulator with the Mame emulation of the arcade in the middle and the Hi-Spec version on the right, I wanted to see if I could get the PSone version to match the arcade in terms of image quality by upping the resolution to 640×480 and enabling texture filtering, something with System 22 lacked.

Arcade emulation seems to have issues rendering the flag, which is supposed to flap freely, maybe a physics issue with one of the Texas Instrument DSP?

The game isn’t a straight port and some design changes had to be made, the HUD has been changed around and the track objects have also changed. Some buildings have also been changed to be in line with the PSone limitations. On the right you can see the effects of the shading which affects the art style slightly, giving a more realistic look. The ground textures have also been altered.

It’s worth mentioning that System 22 also supported gouraud shading, but Ridge Racer did not utilise it until Rave Racer in 1995.

Sunset differences between the two ports, The Hi-Spec mode does not have a night time version.

Game over is rendered in 3D for the arcade version, a static image on both PSone versions.

Comparison of the night sky, In the middle of a race the sun will set on the intermediate and time trials courses, to simulate a Le Mans race, the arcade shot is taken from one of the attract demos.

Boundary Break (Arcade)

With the help of some cheats in MAME, we are able to disable the collision detection, allowing us to move outside of the track. This gives some interesting close ups of some in game environment buildings.

Ridge Racer System 22

A look of the city from a different angle

Ridge Racer System 22

In the first tunnel, there is a path that is blocked off and is inaccessible

Ridge Racer System 22

A closer look at the other tunnel, with a view of the cars, normally these aren’t directly accessible. Namco used lower resolution models of the cars, since you typically see these driving in a distance.

Ridge Racer System 22

Another closer view of the cars, the tunnels ends abruptly to the outside, and the cars just disappear, and respawn at the other side after a few seconds.

Ridge Racer System 22

Before the end of the tunnel, theirs an intersection to another tunnel, which leads to a dead end

Ridge Racer System 22

The ground near the bridge, you can see the low detail textures, since System 22 didnt support texture filtering, giving a minecraft appearance

Ridge Racer System 22

Another shot of the beach, sometimes if you break out of a track early on, your car remains on a higher evaluation allowing for a top down view for later sections of the game

A look at the buildings near the beach

Ridge Racer System 22

A closer look at the crowd at the start of the game

Tire Garage Starblade, one of the shops near the overpass. Starblade was a 3D rail shooter

The buildings lack modelling towards the rear, since this view would not be available normally in the game. Also note the gap in the Sky where a bit of the blue sky is visible. Seems Namco displayed an overlay across the sky when it was night time, something the MAME emulator has issues replicating accurately.

Italian tomato, some sort of resturant or obscure namco game?

A closer view of the construction site, the trucks are levitating…

Ridge Racer System 22

View of the city, some of the building’s are quite long

The boats in the beach section

One of the many restaurants near the beech, this building appears multiple times. Also this game predates lightning effects, as the game is supposed to in night time mode but the building appear as if its daytime, however in the starting section, the buildings do change to a night time effect.

A distant island, near the marina

Another restaurant building

Ridge Racer System 22

Alternative view of the dead end tunnel, I’d like to try and do this to the PSOne version.

Todo: Mjlonir emulator was capable of running the system 22 versions of Ridge Racer with graphics acceleration, but as it was based on an older version of MAME it suffered from a lot of emulation and graphics issues, and uses an outdated rom set. Vivanonno was another emulator that was worth a look at.

A look at: Adi’s Attic

Adi was learning assistant. I’m not sure if this would be classed as a game, it does contain a few games, but Adi is not considered a game in itself. Its kind of like Microsoft BOB, only more focused at primary and secondary school students, which had a focus on Maths and English exams.

Since the game was designed to run on Windows 95, I’ve captured these from a Windows 95 install running in PCem (Fantastic emulator), emulating a Pentium Overdrive based system. The game makes use in Intel’s Indeo technology and Microsoft WinG, not DirectX. Maybe this was to allow Windows 3.1 compatibility, but Adi is a 32bit application.

adi maths english

The splash screen, appears whenever you start Adi.

adi maths english

User selection screen each user has their own profile which was meant to track their progress with the math’s and English exercises and online activity.

adi maths english

Creating a new user for the first time, here you specify the Name, DOB, School Year and then your favourite traits. This would have been viewable online to other users, since Adi had support for online virtual classrooms, which as you have probably guess are no longer online.

adi maths english

Shortly after you will be transported to his attic, and its kind of a nice looking attic. This is where different sections of the application can be accessed. You can click on certain object to open different parts of Adi. Objects you can click on are indicated by the mouse cursor, which changes when you can select an item.

Objects will randomly animate if Adi is left unattended for a while, or you can animate the objects yourself.

adi maths english

Jukebox gives two options, Music and Background Music. Music allows you to play sample music from various genres, most likely from a generic sound library. Background music lets you select ambient music like city traffic and jungle rainforest sounds.

adi maths english

A picture editor lets you freehand draw on a canvas, basically MS paint but comes with some built in clipart.

adi maths english

Adi comes with a calculator, although you might as well just use the Windows one, unless you are already in Adi and need access to a calculator and Alt+Tab isn’t an option.

adi maths english
adi maths english

A notepad like component. This supports the use of passwords for certain memo’s

Simulations

adi maths english

These were an interesting part of Adi, these are like mini-games that learn you of real world issues, and how certain actions affect things like the environment or the economy. Although a bit relaxed since these simulations lack restrictions like budget, keep in mind this is aimed at kids.

adi maths english

Investigations the effect of water and waste pollutions near a seaside, you can change various options such as how clean the beaches are, if tanks should be cleaned at sea, the pesticides used in farming and the use of water treatment plants. Reminds me of SimCity where you had to be careful of the type of industry you zone in order to keep pollution levels in your city low.

Whilst this was engaging as a kid, its too sandbox, having something like a budget would be more realistic, i.e having cleaner batches reduced pollution but costs more since you would need to install bins and people to help clean the beaches up.

adi maths english

Set to emulate a random shithole in Africa, this investigates the effects on the savanna by local residents. A balance will need to be found to prevent the savanna from becoming dry, whilst keeping the residents happy and satisfied. Adding power and water infrastructure helps but again does not take into account the cost of such infrastructure.

adi maths english

The effect of pollution on a small valley/village, you have to balance the output of factory’s at the expense of the village health and the pollution of the environment.

The balance of nature, this explorers the relationship of Rabbits and Fox’s with human hunting, and how nature is a delicate cycle.

How a company works

adi maths english

A simulation of capitalism, you have to balance sales and market share with R&D in order to guarantee growth.

adi maths english

How a country gets developed, you choose what the type of war the country is currently in, the health and education of the population which has an effect on the population amount, farming and international investments.

Other Activities

adi maths english

The Solar System

adi maths english

Information relating to the solar system, from a time when Pluto was still a planet

Astronomy

Shows different consolations about Greek mythology

The Space Conquest

A timeline of different event from both the Russian and American space programs

Endangered Species

Animals that are at risk of being endangered, and animals that have already become extinct.

The Water Cycle

How H2O works

Online

There was an online component of Adi, where you could meet other users online and access chatroom and virtual classrooms. Unfortunately the online servers are no longer online.

adi maths english

Videos

Further Information

VIVENDI GAMES (UK) LIMITED – Overview (free company information from Companies House) (company-information.service.gov.uk)

Untitled (globalnet.co.uk)

Remembering UK Music Channels

But why bother with music channels now that you have Youtube or Vevo?

Adverts: Music channels do run adverts typically every 15 mins, however these are regulated by Ofcom and typically run at the same volume, a common issue I find with Youtube adverts is the volume isn’t standardized across videos or with other adverts, so when you do get an advert, its generally played out at a higher volume level, which I find infuriating.

I am aware that I could just install an adblock, however use of these is against the terms of service. Also the same can be said for music channels, i.e I could pre-record the program blocks on a PVR and then just skip forward through the adverts

Algorithm – It’s a mess when it comes to music and will often recommend or autoplay another song that has little to do with the previous song, Generally I prefer to listen to music in the same genre at the same time

On that note, why do TikTok compilations keep cropping up when I have never watched a TikTok video?

New music – YouTube rarely recommends me new music, instead it just autoplay’s me previous tracks that I’ve listened to, sometime offering new songs by an artist that I’ve listened to recently, but never a new artist or one that I have never listened to

Google – I want to reduce my reliance on BigTech companies

Copyright – another issue that crops up that people like to ignore, whilst lots of videos are provided by VEVO are generally safe from this, unofficial music video uploads by other users can be pulled anytime, and some may pull the video without offering  replacement upload.

Comments – I know I can just ignore them but occasionally you can find the odd good component. However most of the time it’s just some dead meme

Don’t get me wrong, our music channels aren’t perfect, especially in regards to how they handle 4:3 content in a 16:9 broadcast (They zoom in) and the bitrate and resolution they use could be higher, but they still offer benefits compared to online streaming services.

Channels closed in the digital era

VH1 (1994 – 2018)

A long running music channel that launched on Sky analogue in 1993, played contemporary music for adults, with occasionally American programs from the US version

PlayUK (1998 – 2002)

Part of the UKTV network, played both music videos and comedy shows.

MTV2 (1998 – 2010)

Launched as M2 initially, focused  on alternative non mainstream pop/rock, Ended up being quite different to tis US counterpart, eventually rebranded to MTV2

MTV Extra (1999 – 2001)

A sibling channel to MTV, which played music whilst regular programming was shown on MTV, replaced by MTV Hits in 2001

VH1 Classic (1999-

Similar to VH1 but played classic music from the 70s – 80s, replaced by MTV Classic (not sure what the difference VH1 to MTV makes?)

Q (2000 – 2012)

An indie focused music channel based in a similar style to its magazine counterpart. Initially used an SMS voting system

Smash Hits (2001-

General pop music channel that also played various genres, also used an SMS voting system during the early years.

MTV Dance (2001 – 2020)

Dance music channel by MTV, rebranded to clubMTV before being closed down for good

Chart Show TV (2002 – 2019)

Pop and chart music channel launched in 2002, initially known for it’s low budget song title graphics, the channel was treated to a rebrand in 2008, one of the well known FTA music channels back when the Bauer/EMAP and MTV channels were encrypted

The Hits (2002 – 2008)

Launched around the same year of Freeview, played the same music as Smash Hits & The Box with the SMS voting system. Replaced by 4Music in 2008

TMF (2002 – 2009)

The free to view version of MTV and MTV Hits, launched on Freeview in 2002 and later on Sky and cable. Shows on MTV would later be broadcast on TMF, alongside music videos, was replaced by VIVA in 2009

ClassicFM TV (2002 -2007)

A unique channel, played the same music as its radio counterpart, mainly remembered for its large and detailed song titles, that listed the composer, record label and artist album

P-Rock (2002 -2003)

A decent rock channel focused on upcoming rock artists, played a lot of Japanese rock projects like the mad capsule markets

Playlist of channel music

Channel U (2003 – 2009)

Urban and grime focused channel that also played underground HipHop with the occasional US track. Introduced me to the grime genre that was thriving at the time, mostly remember for its low budget videos and its occasional technical faults. Also home of the Boo Crew

Channel clip

The Amp (2003 – 2006)

Indie and alternative rock channel launched by Sky, replaced by Bliss in 2006

Scuzz (2003 – 2018)

A rock and metal themed music channel launched by BSkyB in 2003 before being sold to CSC Media, kept its branding and genre before its closure

Channel clips here

Flaunt (2003 – 2010)

A memorable music channel that played through all genres, originally launched in 2003 as a pop/dance channel, in 2006 it changed its identity to cater to an LGB audience, would later revert to a dance channel. Would occasionally play urban themed music videos until the launch of Flava. Relaunched as Dance Nation TV

Snapshot of channel – 2007

VH2 (2003 – 2006)

Played indie and alternative music, replaced by MTV Flux in 2006, apparently due to mobile advertising

The Vault (2003 – 2019)

Sister channel to chart show tv, played older music videos, similar to VH1 classic

Musicians Channel (2004 – 2006)

B4 (2004 – 2008)

Originally a channel that played newly released music, sometimes before its release date, also played alternative and independently released music, replaced by Flava in 2006

Fizz (2005 – 2009)

The pop version of Channel U, worked on a voting system where the viewer could vote for their song, mostly remember for the horrendous sidebar that displayed chat messages alongside the music video. Rebranded to Startz in 2009.

Preview

Bliss (2006 – 2015)

Replaced The Amp in 2006, played chilled and relax music videos along with power ballads.

MTV Flux (2006 – 2008)

Replaced VH2, was supposed to be a viral video with music video’s.

BubbleHits (2006 – 2009)

A pop music channel focused on having only 60 second adverts

Clips from the channel

Rockworld.tv (2006 – 2010)

This was focused on indie and upcoming rock and alternative music acts, and rarely played videos, rather than to focus on live performances

Snapshot

oMusic (2007 – 2010)

Replaced ClassicFM TV, played the similar genre of music, focused more on chilled music.

FHM Music (2007)

Timeshared with Q

NMEtv (2007 – 2012)

Indie music channel similar to the magazine

Channel clip

Just Fabulous (2007)

Hip and RnB lifestyle channel

Brit Hits (2008)

This was supposed to be a music that focused on well known tracks from British artists, however it eventually turned into one of these physic channels before being rebranded and moved to another EPG slot, basically a filler channel for an EPG slot

Flava (2008 – 2017)

Replaced B4, played Hiphop, urban and RnB music.

Bedroom TV (2008)

A unique music channel where viewers would upload their own music videos mimed to actual music, video quality was mostly the same as MySpace video

Snapshot

VIVA (2009 – 2018)

Replacement for TMF, played both music videos and TV shows, typically older MTV shows such as Daria, Jackass and Cribs.

MTV Rocks (2010 – 2020)

Rock music channel, replaced MTV2, closed in 2020 due to mismanagement

Lava (2010 – 2011)

A rock themed music channel, that didn’t last long, replaced by Greatest Hits TV

Dance Nation TV (2010 – 2013)

A replacement for Flaunt, pretty much played the same dance music

Greatest Hits TV (2010 – 2013)

Vintage TV (2010 – 2018)

Played old music videos from the 60- 80s, and later the 90s

WTF (2011)

Weekly top forty, a chart music channel that operated on SMS voting

Massive RnB (2011 – 2013)

Capital TV (2012 – 2018)

Music channel that played contemporary pop and dance, like the radio station

Heart TV (2012 – 2018)

Music channel similar to the radio station, played older hits from the 80s to 90s

Buzmuzik (2012 – 2014)

CSC’s version of Starz/Fizz, displayed a sidebar showing tweets and texts from viewers.

Heat (2012 – 2016)

Pop and greatest hits music channel catered to a similar demographic to its magazine counterpart. Replaced by BoxUpfront.

Planet Pop (2013 – 2015)

Another pop music channel, replaced Massive RnB

Chilled TV (2015 – 2017)

Played soft music, later rebranded as Chilled90s