Sunday, March 26, 2006

Belfast has a local community TV station!

Unbelievable. I've lived in the city of Belfast for the last 4 years, and no one has ever mentioned that Belfast has it's very own community TV station.

Now everyone knows that Belfast has a number of local radio stations: Citybeat 96.7 and Downtown/CoolFM etc. But a TV station?

Well, believe it or not, if you live in Belfast, tune your analogue TV to channel 62 (799.276MHz), have a decent aerial (or even a powered set top one), you'll pick up the transmission from NvTv - Northern Visions Media Centre. (Northern Visions are only licensed to broadcast using a single 500 Watt transmitter - so there are patches of the city that won't receive a strong enough signal.)

Started up in February 2004, NvTv's local awareness advertising is obviously as appealing as their website :( as no one I've spoken to over the last few days has ever heard of it. Sitting under our noses, all this time, a sixth free-to-air analogue TV channel. And what a schedule ...

The shows for each day are on a rolling loop - changing at roughly 5pm each night. And the week's omnibus of shows is pumped out back-to-back starting 5pm each Saturday. You'll catch the schedule on the NvTv website - but no where else. The local papers don't run the schedule; my TiVo knows about the channel, but has no programme details; DigiGuide are not NvTv-awar either.

It's mostly community-based programming - talking about the arts scene, building programmes and topical vox pops. But they run some locally-produced short films - and there's no advertising!

Check it out - channel 62.

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