back to article God-botherers burst onto IPTV Freeview: The End is Nigh

Freeview HD, the UK's broadcast platform of default, now has a selection of god channels to accompany the nationalistic broadcasters, as the move towards narrowcast TV continues despite its inevitable destination. Revelation TV is already up and running, along with The Christian Faith Network, while The Christian Channel will be …

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I Googled 'Teapot Makeover' and this story was second. There certainly is a video of Mr. Oosterhouse in action, but I don't think there is an actual TV program called Teapot Makeover.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought it was being included as one of the God programs...

I was all set to drink wisdom from the spout of the Mighty Teapot, via it's prophet, Carlton Oystercard (or whatever his name is)

Pity - worshipping a teapot is something that could catch on in England.

By the way, there's no problem pumping out Christian programming over IP TV, as Jesus will ensure that each stream can handle at least 5,000 concurrent connections

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Flame

TV

Sorry, I read that as Transmission Vector rather than TeleVision - probably because I regard religion as a communicable disease,

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Re: TV

Fortunately there seems to be an increasing level of natural immunity to it.

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Happy

What IPTV needs is some way to filter things out. Something based around categories or an editorial column. I've often thought that perhaps the 'channel' will morph into a kind of editorial. Perhaps a business will spring up where people create their own 'channel' and try to build up followers.

So I'll create 'Channel Andrue' where the content is 'Crime dramas, Documentary style reality TV, Crime documentaries and Formula One' with the occasional 'Generic drama' if/when one turns up that is worth following. With some pithy comments, sarcasm and occasionally intelligent insight.

Any takers?

:)

P.S.: Oh and there'll be no religious content whatsoever on my channel.

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Meh

What I want rid of

is reality TV (apparently, formally known as unscripted drama) and soaps.

This way we do not have our minds polluted by trailers of bored morons prattling on about nothing and trailers for shows of nasty people being unpleasant to each other.

Other things that I do not like, I am adult enough to ignore.

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Meh

Re: What I want rid of

I think some reality TV is okay. I doubt very much that Deadliest Catch, Ax Men or Ice Road Truckers is scripted(*). Edited to emphasise excitement and exaggerate problems, yes, but not scripted. But by and large if someone wants to watch it then it play. TV stopped being particularly educational many years ago. The best you can say about it now is that it keeps people quiet and off the streets.

(*)If DC is then kudos to the poor crabber who had the end of his finger chopped off :-/

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Anonymous Coward

Firewall?

I can see a market for "content firewalls" here :D

You could have the following presets :

1) No god-botherers under any circumstances;

2) Right-wing Christian nutters/NRA TV;

3) Jihadi Muslims;

4) Paranoid Jews;

5) Intolerant Hindus;

6) Bloody Annoyed Sikhs;

7) "Suits you sir" Mormons;

8) No blood thanks we're Jehovahs Witnesses;

9) Church of England/Atheist TV

10) I'll believe any old crap, show me all the imaginary friends' channels.

Symantec could do the software, you have to believe in miracles to think their software does anything anyway :)

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JDX
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Re: Firewall?

I like how you grouped CofE with Atheist.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Firewall?

The way the General Synod goes, it is sometimes hard to tell...

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Re: Firewall?

On holiday in Greece once with a satellite service, I laughed for hours watching the religious channels, evangelist preachers with their non sequitur logic, imam call-ins with worried punters asking if they were allowed tassles on their prayer mat, etc. If you ever think you're taking life too seriously it's just the tonic!

That's not to say wall to wall channels of utter pish is what we want, but!

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Happy

Re: What I want rid of

"This way we do not have our minds polluted by trailers of bored morons prattling on about nothing and trailers for shows of nasty people being unpleasant to each other."

Thats taken care of the BBC Parliament channel then :)

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Mushroom

Re: Firewall?

You forgot the category for Scientologists, Catholics and other Cults...

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Re: Firewall?

When I achieve my aim of becoming 'Evil Emperor', with fluffy white femile, I'd take John's firewall idea and reverse it our ex-colonialists in NA.

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Re: What I want rid of

It said Reality TV is UN-scripted drama. The idea is that you get all the excitement and tension without having to pay a Jack Rosenthal or David Nobbs - hence cheap - hence popular

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Trollface

Re: Firewall?

I didn't realize that US TV's were so much more advanced than UK TVs. Over here, we have this thing call a "channel selector", that allows the view to watch, or to not watch, whatever the view chooses. We even have the ability to program the "channel selector" to show our favorite channels, so that we can remove those channels that we don't wish to watch.

It's a shame that the UK forces people to watch everything, and that the only response is to attempt to filter out with a firewall what is not desired. I guess Max Headroom was more of a documentary....

(seriously: you don't like it, don't watch it. You have the power!)

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Go

Re: Other things that I do not like

I must be the height of adultness. I can ignore "reality TV" too. I really don't care if they keep making it, I'll just keep not watching it.

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Only available through IP?

Excellent - none of that rubbish on my telly then.

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Meh

A decade or two?

Its mostly crap now so you could switch it off tomorrow for me.

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Trollface

Pray tell, what is this "TV" you speaketh off, dear sir?

Wasn't it popular in the times of Queen Victoria and Lady Thatcher?

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Stop

Re: Pray tell, what is this "TV" you speaketh off, dear sir?

Funny post, although the TV came after Queen Victoria so not entirely accurate, but I get your meaning.

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Support

You say: "All Freeview HD boxes support internet video, though not many of them are connected up yet and implementations are patchy"

Whilst the popular Humax HD FOX receivers support some media from the internet (ie youtube/iplayer); they don't support the MHEG streaming iptv channels as mentioned in this article. Shame really.

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"All Freeview HD boxes support internet video"

No they don't.

IPTV is NOW mandatory but it was optional until earlier this year and wasn't even optional for the first two (I think) years.

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I seem to remember a television channel on analogue cable some time ago called whereits.at. It was off air most of the time, but I remember putting it on once and there was a woman with a cheap keyboard singing "Everybody's good at cooking something... and I'm good at cooking CRUMBLE!!!!" or something like that.

I have no idea what is was or whether it was intentionally bad, but it was hilarious...

Perhaps we might see a return to that kind of thing*. Not sure if that's a good thing or not*

*Also, not sure if Sky and Virgin have had that kind of channel on all the time since then, as I haven't subscribed to either for quite a few years.

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The quality of television drops in proportion to the amount of stuff available and the cost of transmission. When there were only two or three channels, you HAD to compete to put the best stuff out there or nobody watched you, which meant you couldn't afford to broadcast any more.

Now, anybody can watch anything they like, when they like, the competition doesn't exist. People ignore you anyway, unless you're showing exactly what they want to watch at that exact moment, or provide it online somehow 24 hours a day anyway. And, shockingly, that costs less than it ever has. So now people cherry-pick what they want to watch and all your adverts and "undiscovered" dross never get watched but still cost absolutely peanuts to keep showing all day long anyway, so why the hell not show them?

All it means is that the signal-to-noise ratio of TV has gone so low that most people don't bother. My TV is a display device, not a broadcast TV reception device. It shows what I want, when I want, if I want and I watch less TV now than I ever have (except for a year or two where I watched no TV at all and didn't miss it one bit) - and virtually zero "live" or "unseen" TV at all. Statistically, I probably watch 20 times more pre-recorded content that I have physical disks for than I ever watch on TV. Meanwhile, 7000 channels of junk play 24/7 unwatched. We're already there. You can't escape that by adding more tat, and making it cheaper and easier to broadcast.

Hell, I remember when I was a kid being envious of America's cable programmes, where literally kids were allowed to just get in front of a camera at home and have their own local channel. Even back then, though, it occurred to me that I'd never *watch* it, it would just be cool to have your own channel. A whole nation of kids probably thought the same and they were all "broadcasting" to absolutely nobody. It seems that turned into YouTube when the Internet come along but it was the same principle. The easier it is to do something yourself, the more the quality of the stuff aimed at everyone DROPS.

That said, precisely who is watching the religious channels? Surely sloth is a sin, no? Sitting watching someone preaching is hardly work and you couldn't even be bothered to go to church if it was your day of rest anyway? It might work in America, where they can easily get 100,000 turn up at a church to listen to a famous pastor, but I doubt it will do anything in the UK at all. Hell, we barely use the churches we have except for weddings, "christenings" and funerals.

TV is dead. Has been since it became viable to put an MPEG file online and watch it in real-time on the other side of the world. A TV is a display device, not a content source. Squeeze as many channels as you like into it, because it's not going to do anything but hasten TV's death and promote the alternative of buying pre-recorded media or a subscription to past content archives. As the example shows, DTDD hasn't been on TV for 30 years, but people still obviously download it and watch it and buy DVD's of it (saw it in HMV the other day). The TV companies have no interest in showing that old content. Hell, I bought Just Good Friends on DVD because for DECADES they never showed them on TV and I'm waiting for the next series of The Two Of Us to come out on DVD. It's cheaper, easier, more convenient, and more efficient (i.e. hours of entertainment vs hours of faffing about) to download and/or buy pre-recorded content than watch the junk on TV.

Saturday night TV died 20+ years ago. Broadcast TV died 10+ years ago. It's just a display device. Treat it as such.

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Windows

The Cult of the Amateur

Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur, explores these and similar issues. He writes polemic: you can spot the rhetorical devices, but some good points made.

I have not had a TV since I left home (30 years ago). One day in the late 70s, I was walking down a road in suburban Liverpool, and heard the Coronation Street theme tune from each house I passed. That did it.

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@Lee Dowling

Some lovely argument there Mr Dowling, but the logic fails fairly early on:

"When there were only two or three channels, you HAD to compete to put the best stuff out there "

No you didn't, because there was so little choice that the punters had virtually nowhere else to go. Remember the crud on telly in the 1970's? I do, and it was pants. Occaisional reruns of 1970's ToTP shows the dismal standard of production considered adequate (haven't seen any reruns of Crossroads, but that wasn't exactly hyper realistic, either). Shops shut on Sundays to emphasise the captive audience, but even then the Beeb wasted an hour of near prime time with Songs of Praise, and half of the rest of the time was either shut down, or bl00dy test card - how was that "being forced to put out your best stuff?, unless test card was the best stuff.

Going back to the mind numbing ennui of Sunday evening, I remember the emotional cruelty, filled with overwrought tripe like Onedin Line, Upstairs Downstairs (mark 1, even worse than the recent stereotyped remake), things that probably never even merited a repeat (The Brothers, anyone?). Endless dull "variety" shows, Opportunity Knocks, The Golden Shot, Black and White Minstrel Show, Jim'll Fix It, that ghastly programme with Esther Rantzen....

What about Doctor Who of the day? Cardboard sets rubbish SFX even by standards of the day, unapologetically and arguably intentionally bad acting, and plots that were even worse - my kids recently bought the DVD of Dr Who, The Green Death, with Pertwee and that ridculous car - dreadful, dreadful tosh that every 1970's apologist should be forced to sit through. Lookiing at the epic quality of Tennant's Dr Who (acting, content, SFX), I'm in no hurry to go back to the 1970's (although that twerp Smith seems intent on taking Dr W backwards).

I'll give you there were some enduring 1970's gems (Dad's Army, Steptoe, Porridge, Fawlty et al), but these are the few bits that survived - and interesting to note that almost all of the things we remember from then and view today are comedy. And there was some comedic material that really hasn't aged well, and probably only originally existed for the relative lack of alternatives - like Reggie Perrin (never funny in the first place), It Ain't Half Hot, To the Manor Born, Bennie Hill, or The Goodies. And as for the plethora of US imports today, what about the stuff foisted on us then? Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ironsides, Rockford Files, Charlies Angels, CHIPS, Columbo, Heart to Heart, Quincy, Six Million Dollar Man, Brady Kids etc etc.

Reality TV and modern day talent shows are now lowlights, but even so it is worth noting that people might look back at Big Brother 1 and 2 as an interesting social experiment if they'd stopped then, and the talent shows have generally had fair to very good production values - the main problem has been the repetition and interminability of the format. But faced with the evil choice I'd still rather sit through a series of X Factor than Opportunity Knocks.

Look at the epic quality of the Beeb's modern documentaries - Blue Planet, Yelllowstone, etc etc - all produced in an era of increasing choice.

You might not like all of it (I don't), but at its best modern British telly is better than it has ever been, and the reason probaby is competition from other channels, not from other programmes on the same channel. If the pundits are right that broadcast telly will die, then that's bad news, but I think the death of broadcast is being over-hyped. The main threat to broadcast TV is not Youtube, Sky or IP Freeview, but is actually OFCOM, who are even now conspiring against the public interest to work towards a goal of shutting down broadcast TV.

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@Ledswinger

As ever, I think the truth lies somewhere between you and Lee. For one thing, I found at least 3 of the 'dross' you cite to be very good/funny - easily capable of comparison with today's output. I suspect others will agree with me, though we might well select different programmes from your list.

Of course, lacking modern CGI, early Dr Whos look cardboardy (as did Blakes 7, many years later) - and so did the first Star Trek series. Producing something to rival Spooks or modern Dr Who in the 70s would have taken a whole year's budget for a single programme. But ITV produced 'Jewel in the Crown' and 'Brideshead', 26-part 1 hour series - I don't think Downton Abbey is any comparison.

Nature documentaries have also benefited hugely from technological advances, but modern Horizon (even though that it's vastly improved in the last couple of series) doesn't stand comparison with the 70s version. A 1-hour 'talking heads' interview with Richard Feynman (still available on YouTube and (I think) iPlayer), anyone? 'Now the chips are down', which genuinely woke (many) people up to the potential of the microprocessor - we showed it to everyone in the IT department and I recall seeing it at BCS meetings.

Not everything was better in the 70s, but many things were, and a lot of the reduction in quality is caused by trying to fill 10x as many channels from the same size creative pool.

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Happy

Re: @Ledswinger

I remember in the late 80s even still, BBC2 used to close down for a little 10 minuet snooze with some shit Jazz music in the afternoons before Finger Mouse came on!

"that ghastly programme with Esther Rantzen...."

Which one dude? Everything she was in sucked hard! Actually the best thing she ever did was that advert for Ambulance Chasing Lawyers Direct - dozy mare ends up doing an advert for exactly the sort of company she spent years campaigning against - duh!

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American TV preachers

Were found to have a large audience of middle aged church ladies with far smaller numbers of other demographic subgroups. These church ladies tend to be poor, but it is unclear whether they watch religious shows because they're poor, or poor because they watch religious shows (rife with xtian pan handling).

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Re: @Chris Miller

"As ever, I think the truth lies somewhere between you and Lee."

You make us sound like the Yin and Yang of el Reg. Yang Lee sounds quite convincing, but Yin Ledswinger sounds like a small but dangerous Glaswegian.

You're right on Horizon - a shadow of its former self. As somebody that can demolish a Big Mac in about thirty seconds, I had high hopes for last night's "Eat Fast and Live Longer" episode, so the actual content came as something of a disappointment.....

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AOL's into television

Surely they'd better spend their time making programmes about how to recycle unwanted CDs?

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Nev
Alien

Cosmic Teapot MakeOver...

...perhaps?

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Re: Cosmic Teapot MakeOver...

Radio Gnome?

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Alien

Re: Cosmic Teapot MakeOver...

Obligatory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_Pot-Healer

"The story concerns a man who thanklessly fixes pots in a totalitarian future Earth, only to be summoned by a godlike alien known as Glimmung, who has recruited him as part of a multispecies specialist team sent to "Plowman's Planet" (or Sirius Five) for a mystical quest, which is to raise the sunken cathedral of Heldscalla from a surreal alien ocean."

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Re: Cosmic Teapot MakeOver...

I'm so glad Wikipedia is back up...

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Thank goodness for the broadcasting code

If you want to see how bad god channels can get, go watch some in the USA. They're invariably people babbling in tongues, exorcisms, spiritual healing etc. interspersed with right wing political opinion and ads / funding drives hawking "miraculous" products such as water from the holy land, end of the world videos, donation pledges for various ministries and assorted other nonsense. It's all hard selling on a soft audience with the obvious implication that buying shit from these channels somehow facilitates easier entry into heaven.

At least the UK broadcasting code takes the edge of some of this though a short viewing of the bilge they put out shows its clearly not enough.

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people babbling in tongues

Isn't that just an artifact of the low audio bit-rate?

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Re: people babbling in tongues

No. Evangelicals over there spend a lot of their time speaking actual genuine gibberish. They believe it is the holy spirit taking over their body. I sometimes wonder if it is a different kind of spirit.

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Re: people babbling in tongues

"Evangelicals over there spend a lot of their time speaking actual genuine gibberish"

How do you know it's genuine?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: people babbling in tongues

> How do you know it's genuine?

If they aren't being coherent, its fake or they don't know their bibles:

1 Cor 14:19ff But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children.

BTW do you mean Pentecostals rather than evangelicals?

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Re: people babbling in tongues

I'm thinking along the lines of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqNLMuijRyU - from about 4'45". They claim to be evangelicals. Perhaps Pentecostals do it as well.

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Joke

A quick heads up

Just to let you all know, my new show "Piss Pot Makeover" is starting tonight at 9PM on GoatSlaughter TV - the new Satanist channel on Freeview HD!

Check it out, this week I will be wrapping a late Victorian era porcelain chamber pot with some offcuts of cheap textured wallpaper and also showing you how to snazz up a 1980s vintage plastic hospital bedpan!

I bet BBC1 are shitting themselves! I better send them one of my props!

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Re: A quick heads up

In the interest of free speech and balance I believe your intended show is a necessity.

You may want to call dibs on channel 666 so that your viewers know where to go.

I will particularly look forward to the other shows that will be on the Satanist channel:

Sacrifices - explores some new ideas on what makes a good, err bad, err proper sacrifice.

Dating the Dark one - what will our guests make of their mystery date?

Witches in Winter - Dancing naked in the moonlight is all well and good in the summer....

ttfn

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Re: A quick heads up

I do hope there will be sacrifices.

Specifically, virgin sacrifices.

Even more specifically, Virgin Media sacrifices.

Okay, that'll just be one sacrifice, but still!

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Devil

Re: A quick heads up

Don't worry guys, the "fall lineup" as they call it over in NY and Hollywood is kick ass - literally, we have a show about kicking donkeys - part of a series called "Animals Hospitalised"

Also look out for our glitzy new talent show - "The Hex Factor" it goes a bit whitcrafty but our sponsors (an infomercial for a motivational self-help audiobook on cassette tape) insisted we widen the demographic a bit!

It's really exciting times for us, we even have our own miniature version of BBC TV Centre - its basically the same thing except it's in a small light industrial unit it Chigwell!

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Re: A quick heads up

Satanist - "thought for the day" ?

< special radio 4 vicar voice > I was cleaning the blood off the sacrificial alter the other day and looked up and saw a cricket match on the village green and I thought, our Lord Satan is a lot like a cricket match .......

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: A quick heads up

Satanist - "thought for the day" lol

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