This update marks the start of the unification of the Langley and Bromley platforms, as the colour scheme as been changed to match the one used by Bromley CR3. Internally many amendments were made in how the DVB-SI was handled in order for it to behave like the Bromely imersion.vplentation
The channels banner keeps its layout but adopts the new color scheme
Information banner that displays details on the program being broadcast
Setting a reminder for a future event, auto tune can be enabled for when you are settings a recording for a VCR, the box will then automatically change over to the channel
Main guide screen, different genres can be accessed here
This guide still has the classic layout, whilst the Bromley guide uses the grid like layout that is well known today
Pressing text on a channel that does not have an interactive link
Using the subject search feature to find a program
The settings area, which remained unchanged since the previous version
The channel banner that shows now and next information. Also supports transparency, a feature of the C-Cube GPU that was in the early Pace boxes
Future events can be found by navigating through the banner
Reminds can be set for future events, this predates the Sky personal planner which wouldn’t debut until 200. Don’t know why the symbol is upside down?
Viewing information about the show itself
The main home screen that appears when you press TV Guide, looks very similar to the Telewest version
The early EPG that was used on these cable guides was known as at-a-glance, and used a grid style layout to show channel listings
Sorting channels by genre
Pressing the i button gives detailed information about the upcoming show
Reminder notification, not sure if the STB will switch over automatically to the show being broadcast
TV on Demand
This is basically a near VOD service similar to Sky Box Office of the time, as true VOD would not launch until the ntl era, 2005
Main on demand screen with a list off currently showing events
Sample error/information box, on this one a warning is shown when the user is watching a copy protected movie
If the event is already showing a warning messages informing you will appear
Selecting the preferred start time
Updating VOD listings
Settings area where favorite channels and preferences can be amended
Display aspect ratio can be changed, along with the scart output (Composite and RGB Scart)
Pin control to restrict TV events and channels
A few captures of interactive sites that were available at the time, interactive launched in mid 2000 and was built on the Liberate navigator platform. Initial reception to the service was problematic, with issues bring the service being slow to load and some pages refusing to load likely due to the demands being placed on the server and lack of capacity. Supposedly this was due to the DOCSIS upstream being used to upload data as it was meant to, but the downstream being sent over the broadcast/DVB-C as opposed to DOCSIS, likely a carousel based system like Sky and ONdigital did.
Cable & Wireless planned to have up to 100 websites, with a lot being based on a cut down version to be displayed on a standard definition TV. Many sites can be loaded and accessed using a special URL which loads the homepage that the cable services uses.
Enhanced interactive services were due to be made avaliable later, these used technology developed by TwoWayTV and would have used the full capabilities of the digital services to deliver interactive games and multimedia.
The first generation software was designed and built by Pace, with the operator customizing the end interface of the guide. All follow a very similar design language, which would be replaced by a Liberate HTML based EPG in later revisions for both ntl and Telewest
Cable&Wireless home division was acquired by ntl who started merging the network operations with their own digital service. Cable&Wireless customers saw their EPG being rebranded using the ntl design scheme, and would be replaced entirely with ntl CR2. Initially both platforms were ran separately as they differed in return path and SI technology, which made integration difficult. After some time the two platforms would be unified with the Langley CR3 software. After ntl and Telewest merged, the Virgin media guide would be pushed to customers in 2007
Released in the arcades in 1998 and the ported to the Nintendo 64, here you are racing across various locations across the sunny state which range from cities to the beach. Many of the tracks are quite wacky, with you racing up the rails of the golden gate bridge, in a spaceship, a volcano or inside a trippy computer, in a way it feels like a roller coaster ride, of which there is a track where you can drive on a roller coaster. The game has various similarities with other Midway or Atari racing games like Rush or the Crusin games, which were also on the Nintendo 64 and plays like an arcade racing game, back in a time when this sort of racing game was popular before they all degenerated into racing sims.
There’s a good selection of cars which feature different stats like the handling, acceleration and speed. The N64 version allows you so alter the cards slightly by changing the colour hue, and the engine whilst they are fixed on the Arcade version. There’s a good verity of vehicles from muscle cars, pickup trucks to golf carts and sports cars. Music is pretty good using its own soundtrack inspired by various genres that were popular towards the end of the 90s, with grunge and progressive style rock tracks to techno and house, with a folk inspired track on the farm course. Like Crusin USA there are opponent cars and AI oncoming traffic which you have to avoid.
The arcade version is using the 3DFX graphics processor paired with the MIPS R5000 CPU which Atari were proud of as it is present on the billboards plastered throughout the track. You can even see the 3DFX chip towards the final stage of the Silicon Valley track, since 3DFX were based in California.
The arcade mode features a single race or a Do The State mode which takes you though all the tracks
This is one of the few arcade games that runs off a hard disk, thus required a separate CHD file in order for it to run in MAME. Hard disks gave advantages compared to the CD_ROM drive as they were still able to offer a lager storage capacity and faster loading times, important for arcade games since the user does not want to wait for the game to load. Typically most arcade game uses surface mount ROM chips that stored the game data. Multiple versions of the game exist, this is version 2.1a of the game.
The arcade version of the game runs on a MIPS based CPU paired with the 3DFX graphics accelerator. You can race in a similar fashion to Cruis’n USA with ‘Do the state’ – in this mode you complete a series of races
The arcade version is also uncensored, as you are able to hit people in the mall (this can be an optional settings within the games setup mode) hitting them just causes them to scream and bound away down the track in a comedic fashion.
This was a conversion of the arcade version, and there are some differences in the presentation of the game. Graphics have had a noticeable reduction with lower resolution textures being used in place of the detailed ones used in the arcade, the environment has also been changed slightly with the N64 having less items in the background. However the N64 does have its trademark fog effects to cover the draw distance which leaves the impression your racing on a foggy autumn day, whilst the arcade is set in the summer and has nice backdrops and sky textures This version is also censored, as in the mall track its possible to run over the shoppers in the arcade version, but they don’t exist on the N64 version, this isn’t violent as you don’t see any blood or guts, in fact it looks like there bouncing around the mall when your call collides with them. Another change was the bikini girls that appears at the start and end of the race. The most noticeable change is the music, with everything being converted to MIDI instead of using the Midway Sound System on the arcade Sadly the game was only released in NTSC regions, A PAL version of the game exists and the Rom is fully playable in both emulators and an actual PAL N64 but was cancelled close to release. It even has support for five common languages in Europe (German, Spanish, Italian & French) The gameplay itself its slightly different with different cups being offers which offer a series of racers (around 6) to complete. Like the arcade, ‘Do The State’ mode exits which takes you through all the tracks in the game.
As mentioned in the arcade version, some elements of the game have been removed, most notably are the track/trophy girls that appear when you win a race and the removal of people in the mall track.
The game was officially released for NTSC (America) regions, a PAL version was planned and a ROM of it exists but was never released to market, until now.
Start screen, the arcade version had an attract sequence, whilst the N64 version shows a static screen that cuts to a demo sequence
Winning a race on the arcade version causes a group of bikini clad girls to appear to celebrate your win, which don’t appear on the N64 version. On the arcade version, the effect looks creepy because they sometime appear when you can is still moving and since they follow the car, it looks like they are moving at 30mph whilst standing still…
The track selection screen, the arcade version looks similar to the crusinUSA screen. The N64 version is split into different series of racing, known as Light, Sport. Each series has 5 tracks to race accross different weeks, which unlocks cars.
The LSD tunnel in San Francisco track
The start lady appears when the race begins for the arcade version, she does not appear in the N64 version
Entrance to the LSD tunnel, building resembles a workstation PC of the era. Although the front looks more like a PC speaker
Tree are much more detailed in the arcade version
The pier section, just before the rollercoaster part
Inside the LSD building which also simulates parts of a computer, you can see the 3DFX chip in the arcade version, and the Nintendo/SGI chip for the N64
Drving on the rollercoaster, the arcade version has a better draw distance with the sky being visible, the N64 is fogged out
This laptop comes with an onboard M2 SATA drive that has a 256GB capacity, with the provision of adding a SATA hard disk internally. Whilst you could add another SSD, I decided to reuse an old HDD I had around for some extra storage.
To prepare, make sure you have the hard disk ready that you would like to install and the SATA cable. The thickness of the SATA drive is important, as you will see later I made the mistake of installing a thicker HDD than the bay is designed for. I would also check and make sure the SATA cable is already shipped inside your laptop, since I assumed I had to purchase one separately.
This was a bit tricky, you have to unscrew the screws, the top three being fastened into place and are non-removable. What this means is that you unscrew then as normal but they do not come out of the case, rather they stay to prevent them from falling out.
Once the screws have been removed or loosened, you will need to pry around the edges of the laptop with either a credit or debit card or a thin plastic tip to loosen it. You may need to pry to get it to loosen, be gentle and apply even gradual pressure.
Removing the caddy
Once opened you will locate the area where the HHD will be installed, alongside the battery that will need to be removed and the socket where the SATA cable will connect to
Removing the battery
The SATA cable will need to route under the internal battery, so we have to temporary remove it, or in my case move it so we can access the area underneath There enough space where you can just place the battery on top of the motherboard whilst you install the SATA cable.
Adding the Hard Drive
Dell have provided a hard disk caddy where the drive can be installed, simply unscrew it (for screws) to take it out.
Unfortunately at this point is where I made my first mistake, since I assumed Dell did not provided you with the SATA cable and had to be purchased separated. Imagine my surprise when I took out the HDD enclosure and saw the SATA cable nestled between the plastic cover, meaning I now have two SATA cables. Well that’s £18 wasted…
Then again at least I have one spare incase anything was to happen to it. I’m pretty sure the Dell service manual mentioned you had to buy the came separately, or maybe that only applies to certain markets?
Now it is time to screw in the HDD, which is where I ran into the second issue. I noticed the SATA cable wouldn’t reach, At first I thought I had installed the HDD the wrong way round since the connector wasn’t aligning up but from looking at the hole underneath the HDD bay it seemed to fit. Upon closer inspection it seemed the hard drive I was trying to install was too tall for the enclosure and I had installed it upside down. When the hard drive is too THICC for the laptop…
Thankfully I had another hard drive lying around, a HGST that was pulled from my old PS4 when I upgraded its hard disk. This hard drive was thin enough that it would fit inside the bay.
A quick power on test before reassembly to ensure I didn’t fuck anything up. The laptop booted and the HDD was recognised in its BIOS EFI (Still trying to get used to that)
Released for both Mac and PC in 1997, Virtual Springfield puts you directly into Springfield where you can freely explore the Simpsons town, Springfield. Whilst promoted as being a 3D game, it’s actually 2D with a 3D-based perspective, using an engine built by Vortex Media Arts. This isn’t the first Simpsons game released, with previous titles being released on the NES and the Sega MegaDrive, and it wouldn’t be the last either.
This game was an interesting look at Springfield since in the show, whilst there was never any continuity of the town itself, buildings would come and go and the layout of the town never remained consistent, not helping was the change of animation studio from the first few seasons. Still, a lot of references to the early seasons of the show are present.
The main object of the game is to collect all 74 of collector cards, which are hidden across 17 different locations. Some locations are locked and can be unlocked by collecting specific items. The game’s HUD is designed around the player wearing a VR headset and using it to navigate Springfield.
The game runs slowly on PCem when running it directly from the CD-ROM (being played from an external Blu-ray drive) so it’s usually based to create an iso image of the game, then mounting it into PCem. (Update: It seems that I had set the CD-ROM speed in PCem to 4x, which wasn’t fast enough for the game, since increasing it to 16x the stuttering issues have reduced, but you still get the odd delay, defiantly dump to BIN/CUE when running in PCem)
The game is navigated using a point-and-click approach, moving your mouse cursor to a specific area lets you either select or interact with an object or if it turns to an arrow, lets you move in that direction. If the game is left idle, random animations are played out.
Some buildings (Like the Simpsons house) can be entered some have multiple rooms that can be navigated through. Some rooms/buildings are blocked and require an item to be in the inventory before it can be accessed, these can be obtained by picking up the item by clicking on it.
It’s not really a game in the traditional sense, there’s no fail state or any challenge, except for collecting cards. It’s more of an application like the previous Simpsons Cartoon Studio. Nowadays you could probably build the same game within a modern browser, like Bing maps but for the Simpsons universe, and maybe leverage a VR headset for full immersion.
Being a long-time fan of the show (For seasons 1-9) and an obvious target for this product, my only gripe is that there weren’t more things to interact with per location. Sure the game will have a limited scope, imposed by the technology of the time.
There are the occasional mini-games featured in the Noiseland Arcade, but certainly more activities like this could have been sprinkled into the game.
Quite a few locations are missing like the Springfield dog track where they adopted Santa’s little helper, Krusty Burger (appears in-game but cannot be entered), Department of Motor Vehicles, Police Station (again cannot be entered)
Virtual Springfield uses a hybrid disc that allows the PC copy of the game to run on a Macintosh system. To get the game up and running, you simply insert the CD into the Mac and click on the Virtual Springfield icon on the desktop, the game will launch, providing you set the colour depth to 256 colours. No installation is required.
The game will run on a G4 PowerPC-based Mac, running on OS 9.2.2, but you must change the display colour depth to 256 colours, otherwise, the game will crash the system upon startup. Virtual Springfield will not change the display automatically. It also works by changing the resolution to 640×480 since the game will not scale for a higher resolution, resulting in the game being displayed in the center of the screen with black borders around, if run at a higher resolution. What annoys me is the game does not give an error message informing you of this, just crashes the Mac instead.
The classic environment on Mac OS X does not seem capable of playing the game, this was tested on both OS X Jaguar and Panther classic modes.
The third console instalment of the Ridge Racer series. This sets on a more darker tone, with more realistic looking graphics and a completely revised soundtrack inspired by industrial drum and bass.
The main game mode where you complete a series of races. Like the previous game you start in bottom place and have to finish in third place or higher against the computer controlled cars. There are five classes in total with a bonus sixth class and an extra GP, which is unlocked by completing the main GP mode.
Medals are awarded depending on what place you finish in. As you play the game you will need to replay a few of the races to build up your credit in order to purchase new vehicles, as you move up the GP class the competitors cars also get faster
Unlike the previous games in the Ridge Racer series, cars are handled differently with you only starting from one car, instead of four being available. When more races are completed, credit are awarded which allow you to spend them on buying new cars or upgrading your existing car, which will be required in order for you to progress though the next class of GP. Different cars have different specifications, with some having better handling, acceleration or top speed. Some of the later cars are in manual transmission only which requires you to manually change and shift gears.
The Grand Prix mechanic would be expanded heavily in it’s successor – Ridge Racer Type 4.
The mode that no one ever uses, here you get access to the fastest models of the cards with the goal of having the fastest time.
Like the previous Ridge Racer PlayStation games, they all use the same track with some variations in them, Rage Racer is no exception as all tracks have the same starting area but then branch off into different sections and bends, which then combine back together at the end of the lap. This gives the premise of the tracks being set in the same urban city or a town.
The tracks follow a specific design and were designed around the PlayStation’s limitations, as most tracks feature bends that obscure the environmental view as to prevent pop in and to keep the game running at 30fps. Slope and hills are also used to this effect and are incorporated as a game mechanic as for manual transmission vehicles you have to drop down a gear in order to maintain your speed. All of this was used in the next Ridge Racer Game (Type 4) to greater effect and shows how Namco was able to make the most out of the PlayStation hardware which was becoming mainstream at this point.
The environments themselves feature a European look judging from the building design, and some Greek style columns can be seen with the first track, which contrasts from the Japanese look of the city in the first game.
However the quantity of the tracks is part of the games downfall, with it recycling the same tracks as reversed and mirrored. It would have been nice to race on the original tracks from Ridge Racer and Revolution, or include the Rave Racer tracks which was already released to the arcades by the time Rave Racer came out. The fact that most tracks are reused limits the variety and questions the value of the game, eventually you are going to get bored of these tracks. It’s even worse when you compare it to the Rush and Crusin series of game which feature way more tracks that are independent from each other.
Mystical Coast: The started course for the game, driving past the waterfall into the tunnel, then pass down onto the coast area with Spanish/meddidertain style housing and then into some ruins until you reach a tunnel that takes you back to the starting line
Over Pass City: starts the name as Mystical Coast where you pass the waterfall but the tunnel takes a different direction into the main city, here there are very steep hills past the tram and steep curves as you return to the starting line. This is the longest course in the game.
Lakeside Gate: Tricky since there are a lot of sharp turns where you need to drift sharply. Reaching top speed isn’t much of an issue here but having a car that you can control well is necessary. There’s a lot of tunnels and cave/hill like scenery when then proceeds into a rural area with some open scenery.
The Extreme Oval: A simple track designed for cars to reach their top speeds, but has one sharp turn within a tunnel.
As someone who regularly listens to drum and bass, the music in Rage Racer was a pleasure to listen to with many songs taking inspiration from the industrial rock and break beat samples of the era. With many tracks being inspired by popular tracks of the era. They are also similar to music that was used in Namco’s other games, like in Tekken.
As a Ridge Racer game it takes the series into a more serious setting with its GP/credit based mechanic and its realistic art style but as a racing game it falls short due to lack of content, especially with the amount of tracks.
The game as not been released on any digital platforms, which is odd since this is an entirely Namco game that does not feature any licensed cards or music.
The game based on the popular TV show, came out very early in the shows life, along with a hit number 1 single
Story mode does not make for a good game, with the enemies being repetitive to the point of tediousness. The first level starts you off in your home town where you are attacked by deranged Turkey’s (who have the most horrible sound effect, and it’s horrendous if there’s 3 or more enemies present) and throughout the first three levels its just ongoing Turkey’s, with the occasional cow thrown in (only on the PC version, I’ve not seen the cow in the console versions on this level).
On the next stage you encounter Tank enemies which are larger Turkey’s that have the ability to spawn more turkeys that will attack. The tank’s have much more health than regular turkeys and will start to run into the beginning of the level when their health goes below 30%. If a tank manages to make it to the start point of a level, than another stage will need to be completed after you complete the level, where you have to kill the tank enemies that escaped, with a replenished health bar. You will need to do this before they destroy the town, of which depends on how many tanks had escaped. For this reason its a good idea to kill the tanks in the main game, since you are going to have to beat them regardless. What’s frustrating to me is they speed run back to the start of the level, meaning you have to chase them whilst firing, and causing you to backtrack. This makes the level much more tedious since you hare going through areas you have already passed.
The next levels don’t change much, replacing the turkeys with clones, robots, aliens and moving toys, however its mostly the same type of enemy throughout the level which become boring fast. Some of the later enemies becoming literal bullet sponges, taking 20-30 hits before they go down.
The multiplayer on the other hand is rather fun, playing as a regular FPS with a interesting selection of guns. The console versions let you play with two players, whilst the PC version supports LAN netplay. If there is one reason to play this game, its for the multiplayer mode.
The Nintendo 64 version has 17 different maps to choose from, all with a variety of weapons. The PC version has the most maps, with 26 in total This includes all the N64 maps, plus some PC exclusive maps. PlayStation has an alerted version of the multiplayer mode, discussed in its section.
The first release of the game, and was the best version of the game until the PC version, however it remains the most accessible. Multiplayer supports up to four players on one console with a range of multiplayer options, including deathmatch. This version also features a high score table and supports 16:9 aspect ratio and a ‘High-Res’ mode with the use of the expansion pack.
Downside to this version is the significant frame drops when there’s a lot of action on the screen, and the short draw distance being disguised as fog.
Below is running on Retroarch Mupen64plus with Angrylion RSP plugin, I do own a copy of the PAL version of the game, but my N64 is one of those models that only supports composite out (No RGB or even S-Video, way to go Nintendo)
Released a year later (1999) and used a revised soundtrack compared to the MIDI N64 version, the cutscenes are captured from the N64 version instead of being pre-rendered on a workstation like many other games of the era. Graphically its a downgrade compared to the N64 version, and the multiplayer only supports two players, known as head to head in this version.
The PlayStation version comes with a head to head mode that has 6 maps, some of which are modified from the Nintendo 64 version. DM1 is based off the Ravine level from the N64, but with some alterations like the removal of water. DM4 is based of the badlands level, DM5 off badlands 2 and DM6 is based off the Gym Class map. DM2 and DM3 look to be unique maps for the PlayStation version.
Captured on Duckstation emulator with bi-linear filtering and rendered at twice the original resolution, with GTE accuracy enabled
The definitive port of the game, with better graphics and CD audio. Also comes with a proper multiplayer mode that use the Gamespy client (now defunct) to organize games. However there are issues running this game on modern systems, as the game only seems to work on Windows 98/Me systems (95 untested but assumed to work) this could be down to DirectX/Glide support on modern systems.
Below is running on the PCem v17 emulator running Windows 98, emulating a Pentium Overdrive MMX 200Mhz, 3DFX Voodoo graphics, with a Aztech sound galaxy soundcard.
There is also a software rendering mode that renders the games graphics in just the CPU, ideal if you do not have a dedicated 3D accelerator or one that is unsupported. Unfortunately it gives PlayStation level graphics at a weird screen aspect ratio.
These were hard to find, so I thought i’d put them here
Press the Esc button, select Options and move the mouse cursor to the lower left of the screen and then click, you can then enter the below cheats. Sometimes you may have to move the cursor so it goes off the screen before you can enter a cheat.
A futuristic racing game released in 1995 for various platforms.
In Wipeout your mostly battling against the track itself, rather than the rival ships, and at fast speeds the game can become a challenge, requiring quick reflexes. Thankfully it comes with a banging soundtrack, something which is a staple of the Wipeout series of games.
2 Player mode exists for the console versions, but its one of those games that needs a serial cable, two PlayStation or two Saturn’s, TV’s and copies of each game.
Probably the best version, since it has all the graphical effects, and the sound effects when you enter a tunnel. Can also be played on the PlayStation 3 and PSP as part of the PS Classics. Only issue with this port is the low resolution and the pop-in textures on the track, poor draw distance. As a bonus the game supports the use of a NeGcon controller, allowing for an analogue control, useful for turning and for the airbreaks.
On modern emulators you can sort of re-create the PC effects such as higher resolution and texture filtering, but you are still stuck at 30fps. Overclocking the CPU results in the game running too fast.
The game clears up rather well compared to how it originally looked
Wipeout was released for the promising Sega Saturn, and serves as an example of the PSY-Q dev kit for the Saturn, which Psygnosis were trying to promote at the time as an alternative to Sega’s devkit (a version of PSY-Q was released for the PlayStation). The soundtrack has been altered with some songs being removed
Screenshots: SSF emulator
WipEout was ported to the PC a year later than the PlayStation release, and was designed exclusively for ATI video cards and was typically bundled with Windows PC that had those cards. It’s one of the games that supports ATI’s CIF API rather than Direct3D. This limits it to ATI Rage series 3D chipsets, the one in my Dell OptiPlex being one of them, but in order to play CIF games you need to use an older 1999 driver from ATI (The Windows 98 bundled driver has no CIF support), also CIF is only supported under Windows 98, there is no support for Windows NT 4.0. ATI later removed CIF support from its drivers from late 1999 onwards, so you may have to downgrade the driver order to play. A CIF wrapper exists for Windows 7 onwards, although I’ve not tested it.
Screenshots below are captured from a Dell OptiPlex GX1 with an Intel Pentium 2 350mhz and an ATI RAGE 2 with 4Mb of VRAM
The main difference is the ability to play the game in a higher resolution and with the ability to play at a higher framerate, it’s not exactly 60fps on a Rage2 but its a lot more smoother than the PlayStation version. However the sound is not has good as the console versions, with the PC missing the echo sound effects that play when you enter a tunnel. It’s also one of those games that’s stores the music as Redbook CD audio, and the game plays the audio back like a regular CD player would. This gives the option to change the CD (as the game runs from the hard disk) to play your own music.
Very similar to the accelerated Windows version, but has a lot of enhancements removed, there’s no texture filtering, the framerate is lower and the resolution is reduced, likely because everything is being done on the CPU. You are limited to a low 320 resolution, 16 bit colour.
Personally I would stick with the PlayStation version, or the Saturn if you prefer more detailed textures. The PC versions sacrifice too much for what benefit they give, although you get the opportunity to run in a higher resolution, the missing sound effects are a huge setback and ruin the immersion of the game. besides with modern emulators you can run the game with additional filtering and upscaling, the FPS is still stuck at 30fps.
A concept imaging of Wipeout appeared in the movie Hackers, which features slightly different gameplay with obstacles on the track, a crew that speaks to you instead of techno music playing. It was believed to be rendered on a SGI workstation and features perspective correct texture mapping
Looks like Virgin are planning to pull the plug on the original TV service. Not sure what this will entail since they had already converted most of their SD channels to MPEG4 a couple of years ago, with the exception of BBC One and Channel 4 which remained in MPEG2, possibly for PSB reasons?
Here what’s shows up on a Virgin Media SD cable box (Pace DiTV1000 on UK2 software)
A look at Channel 4 on this box, one of the few channels that display video
Lets check the ntl software
I pulled out the Pace Di4000N running the ntl CR3 Bromley guide which dates from 2003
Horizon (HZN) is Virgins next generation TV platform
Same EPG data
I guess when a channel is off air it gives a link to the interactive services
Sadly no video, I never got round to amending the net id for this box, since it requires an SCART RS232 cable which seem of have disappeared off the face of the earth.
Last resort lets check the Pace Di4001N running ntl Langely CR3 software, which had a build date from 2004
Well this is a miracle, seems this box was able to locate and set my local netID
What the home screen looks like with actual video feed
Channel 4 still broadcasts in MPEG2 SD!
As does Birmingham TV (Our local TV station, that play Judge Judy all day)
A list of channels which includes the Tivo software update streams
ITV still remains an radio channel, this is because the video is AVC MPEG4, whilst the audio is MPEG2. No idea why they done this
So what will happen? likely the last few MPEG2 channels will disappear completely, leaving the boxes with nothing to receive. Possibly removing the SD versions entirely since all of their equipment would be HD capable, the exception is BBC1 which still has regional news in SD only. A shame since instead of investing in their playout and transmission network, they would rather invest in diversity (No, Not diversity of thought). Meanwhile if you want local news, your stuck with the SD versions for the future.
Radio channels may stick with MPEG2 Musicam, but could easily go MPEG4