Now TV Trial – The Complete Story (Days 1-30)

Now TV Trial

Friday (Day 1)

Over the next 30 days, I’ll be reviewing Now TV – with videos, blog posts, etc. We’ll be looking at what Sky Movies and Sky Sports has to offer as well as the Now TV Entertainment Pass. Keep coming back to the blog for further updates!

You can also keep updated at my Twitter page @chrisbenson007

So, here is the video for Day 1 – taking a look at the BBC Sport App. For those of you who just have Freeview, and rely on the Red Button Channel, then the Now TV box gives you access to the BBC Sport App. When there is more than one live sporting event on, the App enables you to have access to ALL of them. It also has a good selection of videos from a huge range of sports (Snooker clips, FA Cup goals, etc).

And, tonight on Red Button it’s Gymnastics – but through the BBC Sport App I’m able to watch 2 Pro 12 Rugby Union games which otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see – I can flick between them at my heart’s content.

Of course, next year we have the Olympics – and the App will surely have numerous streams of coverage… there’s also Wimbledon where there’s plenty of courts to watch. With the FA Cup coverage next week, through the App, you can select mini highlights from an individual game, rather than wait for the goals to come round on the ‘Red Button’ channel.

So, how do you find out what’s on there?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/17151954

Take a look at the website. For this Saturday example… it says this…

14:30-16:15, Football – Final Score, BBC Red Button

*Final Score continues uninterrupted from 14:30-17:25 on the BBC Sport website & app and Connected TVs.

This means that full coverage is available through the BBC Sport App for example.

Sunday, another example…

16:45-19:00, Rugby League – England v New Zealand, Autumn International, BBC Two (continues uninterrupted until 19:30 on BBC Red Button & Online)

Tuesday, another…

18:30-20:55, Football – 5 Live Final Score, BBC Red Button (continues uninterrupted until 22:30 on connected TV)

So, that’s the BBC Sport App – here’s my video… and keep coming back daily for more in the NOW TV Trial! Follow me on Twitter @chrisbenson007 for more too!

Saturday (Day 2)

Hello – back for more with the Now TV Trial! Take a look at the video below – recorded this evening…

Tonight, we look at BBC Iplayer. Great app of course, with catch up available on a good percentage of programmes which have been shown recently on the BBC platform.

But it’s not just catch up TV available through Iplayer. Coming soon – Frank Skinner will have an exclusive show on Iplayer… there’s also the BBC Four Collections.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/collections

From Bob’s Full House to Whicker’s World, the Collections are regularly expanding and selected episodes are free all of the time on BBC Iplayer.

As I mention in the video above, Iplayer is handy if you have Freeview because if you select S4C and ‘Watch Live’, you could watch ‘Sgorio’ – Welsh Football live on Saturday evenings, all for free. There’s also access to football on the BBC Gaelic channel BBC Alba.

I also activated my Sky Movies Pass yesterday – watched a great 2014 film called St Vincent starring Bill Murray, and this morning with the kids we watched ‘The Toy Story That Time Forgot’ – a 20 minute short from the Toy Story series, which was quite good. Picture quality on both, really good – no buffering, stream was superb.

Back for more tomorrow – hope you’re enjoying the trial so far.

Chris

Sunday (Day 3)

Good evening all…

A shorter post today, but I’ve been over to the other side of the Pennines, to Lancashire, to say happy birthday to my brother Phil, who was 30 yesterday – Phil, many happy returns.

With Day 3 of the trial, we’re looking at the Now TV Account menu – hope you enjoy the video below.

http://www.skysports.com/nowtv

This has a link to all of the Sky Sports passes currently available, £6.99 for a Day Pass, £10.99 for a Week Pass and £31.99 for a Monthly Pass. With the Monthly Pass, there’s no minimum contract, you can cancel at any time, I think this is a really good feature.

http://www.nowtv.com/bundles

There’s also some starter packs available at the link above – where if you purchase a box, you can acquire some entertainment, movies or sport to start you off – worth a look at.

Monday (Day 4)

I did ask my better half if she fancied watching tonight’s ‘Modern Family’ on Sky1, but we ended up watching a repeat of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ and then ‘Sex on Trial’ on BBC3…

I have been using Vimeo today – a great app I’ve only started to use on Now TV recently. Vimeo is home to lots of original videos – You Tube of course is probably the website/app we use as standard, but I’m slowly getting used to Vimeo.

Tuesday (Day 5)

2:00pm approx

I let my kids watch a Disney film during the afternoon – put on Toy Story using the Sky Movies Pass, and the film starts… then pauses, and buffers.

We try another film, Disney’s Planes. 10 minutes in, the same happens. This time, the film has managed to continue though.

3:00pm

We give up with the film, I contact Now TV’s ‘Live Chat’ to mention the problems we’ve been having.

Suggestions: “Hard reset the NOW TV Box, insert paper clip or safety pin at the behind of the box and hold it for 10-15 seconds.”

In fairness, the operator wanted me to stay on ‘Live Chat’ and try various options, I was looking after the kids today, I didn’t have time for that – just wanted to give them some feedback.

Wednesday (Day 6)

Watched last week’s episode of Modern Family through the Now TV Entertainment Pass. Modern Family is really good, now in its 7th season – and has only ever been shown on terrestrial TV in one spell so you may not have seen it (Season 1 was shown on Pick TV, but Pick never showed any more seasons).

Through the Now TV Entertainment Pass you can watch every single episode from the start right up to present date and mostly ad-free (e.g in the episode we watched on Wednesday there’s a very brief advert for Sky 1 half way through before the episode continues again). Modern Family is just one of hundreds of boxsets available with the Pass – TV has changed, we want to ‘binge-watch’ and broadcasters are realising this.

After yesterday’s problems watching Planes and Toy Story, I can safely say that all is working fine today – no buffering, no pausing, Modern Family played without any interruptions. Could well have been our broadband connection yesterday – we don’t have the fastest of broadband speeds…

Thursday (Day 7)

Watched a couple of bits through the You Tube app tonight.

1) I’ve been compiling a couple of Bradford City playlists for the last two seasons, with official highlights from each game, so I’m working my way through each match from last season at the moment.

The 2015/16 Bradford City Playlist I’m working on is right here, let me know what you think – maybe you think I should do one for your team!

2) My wife and I watched the new Lidl Christmas commercials (on You Tube there’s the 1 minute TV ad along with 9 other ads – the John Lewis Christmas commercial will be uploaded Friday morning from 8am so there’s obviously viewers on You Tube that advertisers can find).

You can find the Lidl ads right here:

Friday (Day 8)

ITV Player is available through the Now TV app – there is a good range of programming on there… but it’s not perhaps the easiest app to use.

Let’s take for example ‘George and Mildred’ (and why not, classic 1970’s sitcom currently being repeated again on ITV3). If you select ‘George and Mildred’, the most recent episode will begin playing after the adverts have finished. But how do you find an episode from earlier in the month? You have to press play on the most recent episode, let the commercials finish… and then once the episode starts press pause. You will then see an option to ‘View all episodes’ and play an earlier episode in the series. On the ITV Player website, this is much easier to do and you can find all episodes from a series a lot faster.

Programmes on ITV Player seem to be more limited than on BBC Iplayer – maybe that’s just my perception. But in recent months, ITV Player have tried a ‘First Look ‘offering (premiering Sheridan Smith drama Black Work on ITV Player before its showing on ITV).

Saturday (Day 9)

My wife and I start watching ‘Boyhood’ – a film we saw the trailer for a while ago. At just under 2 hours 45 minutes, it’s certainly a long film, but pretty unique – shot over 12 years, so you actually see the cast get older. We watched most of the film tonight, leaving an hour for us to watch hopefully tomorrow. And, once again, after Tuesday’s problems trying to watch Toy Story and Planes, no streaming problems at all, more and more I do believe the issue was with our broadband provider.

We were trying to decide what film to watch, and noticed there’s a lot of archive films available at the touch of a button. When I think Sky Movies, I think ‘new’ films, but they have films from years gone by too – all genres… and remember all without commercials or interruption. For £9.99 a month, that’s pretty good – I get so frustrated with films on commercial TV channels… you get into a film, then BANG! There comes the ad break. And some movie channels have annoying logos permanently fixed in the corner of the screen – none of these on Sky Movies, just shown as the director intended.

Sunday (Day 10)

Tried an app called Happy Kids 2 today – this is a free app, which you can download via the Channel Store. It’s great, my three year old son loved it today. There’s videos of nursery rhymes he recognises and sings at playgroup, he can learn and build confidence with letters and numbers – there’s hours of stuff on there.

Thanks to James Taylor for the tweet who asked if Now TV currently has a subtitle facility. As explained in the video above, unfortunately it’s a no… see the link below which confirms this:

http://help.nowtv.com/article/Subtitles

The BBC Iplayer App has subtitles available but as of November 2015, no programmes on Now TV carry subtitles – if this changes, I will let you know right here on this blog!

Monday (Day 11)

Starting today, I have a trial of Sky Sports – so, if you have any questions about this or any other part of Now TV… keep them coming.

I activate a 24 Hour Sky Sports Pass during the evening, although it’s been my daughter’s 2nd birthday party today so I don’t get chance to watch anything before bed!

Tuesday (Day 12)

8:06am – I watch about 20 minutes of Sky Sports this morning whilst the kids are playing happily! And literally, that’s all I get chance to watch with my 24 hour Sky Sports Pass – not really worth £6.99 today! But that’s not Sky Sports’s fault, I’ve just been busy! In the 20 minutes I saw, I watched some of last night’s Grand Slam of Darts as well as the World Golf Championship, which was quite entertaining.

There is one criticism of the midweek Sky Sports schedule – there’s not much on there. Well, there is… there’s Sky Sports 1-5 and Sky Sports F1, but take the Grand Slam of Darts as an example, this is a live event, but Monday’s coverage (4 hours long) was repeated at least twice on Sky Sports channels on Tuesday before the next day’s coverage started! Do Sky Sports need all the channels they have? The answer to that is yes, at certain times, they do – but this seems to be a much quieter week for the viewer. If you’re going to buy a £6.99 Day Pass, then you’re probably going to buy it at the weekend to watch the Premier League football. And, if you activate the pass at 5:30 on a Saturday evening, you would get to see…

  1. The game at 5:30 on a Saturday shown live
  2. The game at 8pm shown delayed from earlier in the day
  3. 50 minutes of highlights from another 3pm Saturday fixture
  4. A Sunday lunchtime game from the Premier League
  5. Most of the 4pm Premier League Sunday game shown live – you’d miss the last 20 minutes or so if a day pass was started at 5:30pm Saturday.

Wednesday (Day 13)

A Now TV-free evening tonight, I watch ‘Class of ’92’, the BBC1 documentary from last week, and some of the Champion of Champions Snooker on ITV4. Back for more tomorrow.

Thursday (Day 14)

Whilst watching Jeff Lynne’s ELO in concert on BBC Red Button, I get in the mood to listen to some more music. And that is where the Now TV box comes into its element. You have a few choices:

  1. Vevo – Official music videos, all totally authorised and endorsed. Good selection on here, some artists don’t feature, but excellent picture quality and if you create an account you can build up your own playlists to watch at your convenience.
  2. You Tube – We all know You Tube, you can find official and unofficial music material on there… and if you sign into You Tube using your Google account, you can synchronise playlists so there appear on your Now TV You Tube App interface.
  3. Spotify – Premium Spotify is available through the Now TV app, which means commercial-free music with no interruptions. If you haven’t used Spotify yet, seriously it’s brilliant. As with Vevo, some artists haven’t arrived on Spotify yet (don’t go expecting The Beatles to be on there!), but there’s plenty of full back catalogues on there from artists you will like. My tip – try using ‘Free’ Spotify first on your PC, Laptop etc, see if you like it – it’s really easy to use. If you like it, and don’t want the ads, then subscribe to Premium Spotify.

Friday (Day 15)

Thank you Channel 4 for ‘All 4’ – which out of the free-to-air catch up services, I think it’s the best by a mile. There are hundreds of hours of archive programming on there, programmes going right back to Channel 4’s launch in 1982!

I’ve been watching Series 9 of Peep Show this week and Series 2 of Catastrophe. Both shows are featured on All 4, as well as comedy classics such as Whose Line Is It Anyway, Drop The Dead Donkey and other Channel 4 favourites such as Location, Location, Location, One Born Every Minute… all for free remember! I’ve watched Peep Show Series 1-8 but as Series 9 is the last series, I might have to give the show another run once it’s finished. And we’ve not seen Catastrophe Series 1 so All 4 means we can watch that… And… Toast of London Series 3 starts on Channel 4 this week, again I’ve not seen Series 1-2 so I can use All 4 for this. Seriously, there’s something for everyone on here. Catch up programming as you’d expect from the last 30 days and plenty from the last 30 or so years along the way. The app is really easy to use via the Now TV box – easy to find programmes, and next year there will be a choice of foreign language drama to watch at the touch of a button, with eventually 600 hours of drama there on All4 to choose from – the online selection will be titled ‘Walter Presents’ (see below)

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/walter-presents-the-best-foreign-language-drama-from-around-the-world

Saturday (Day 16)

Activate a Sky Sports Day Pass at lunchtime which I’d won on Twitter last weekend of all places! My 2nd Football team is Wigan Athletic and they were playing live on Sky Sports this lunchtime against Rochdale at a very wet Spotland. Wigan won 2-0, I managed to catch most of the second half.

I also managed to catch the first of this evening’s quarter finals in the Grand Slam of Darts – great match, Sky Sports really does excel in its sports coverage, you can see the high production values, they really come across.

Even on a non-Premier League Saturday, there’s still enough sport to wet the appetite. Football League games… there’s been Euro 2016 play off games this weekend… Cricket and Golf from around the world of course full coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Sunday (Day 17)

After a day out visiting friends (Jill and Will thanks for the lemon liqueurs!), me and my wife spend tonight trying to switch broadband providers. How ironic, that during the process our broadband crashes, so we can’t complete the process. That’s showbiz. Now TV had kindly sent me a Sky Sports Week Pass to look at their channels – I was going to activate this tonight, but the code isn’t working :-(. So, in it’s absence I’ve gazed at the Champion of Champions Snooker final on ITV4 (although wasn’t the greatest of finals, one frame this evening was almost an hour long, I reckon ITV4 will have been screaming in desperation for a commercial break by that point!)

Monday (Day 18)

The NOW TV Entertainment Pass at £6.99 a month is bloody good value. You get 13 premium channels – yes, you get a lot more channels on Sky and Virgin, but how many of them do you actually watch? Keep a list for a week of what you watch on those platforms, and for most of you I reckon the majority of your viewing will be available through the Now TV Entertainment Pass.

You get Sky 1, Sky Living, Sky Arts and Sky Atlantic – four great Sky channels and each of them has a great selection of content available at the touch of a button, as well as being able to watch the channels ‘live’.

ITV Encore, a Sky exclusive channel is on here too – it could have more content from the ITV archives, but it’s not a bad little channel (the same programmes do tend to be repeated over and over).

GOLD, a UKTV channel is full of classic comedy – as well as more and more original programming these days (for example recently their own sitcom Bull aired, starring Robert Lindsay and Maureen Lipman). Only Fools and Horses, Miranda, The Vicar of Dibley and Fawlty Towers regularly feature. I’m sentimental, I prefer Gold when it was UK Gold back in the early 1990’s – and it screened dramas such as Edward Woodward in Callan and rare sitcoms that will never see the light of day again 😦

Nick Jr is brilliant for my two youngsters – they love Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and more recently Paw Patrol. For older kids, there’s the Disney Channel.

Discovery Channel is on here too – with hours of brilliant documentaries. Yes, we have Quest on Freeview which gets some Discovery programming but is the jewel in the crown.

ABC Studios features too – with numerous boxsets from their archive – Desperate Housewives, Marvel’s Agents of Shield…

Tuesday (Day 19)

Today, I’ve done another video showing you a bit of the interface to Sky Movies, hope it’s helpful. Please keep your comments coming and any questions which you may have.

Wednesday (Day 20)

Couple of questions I can hopefully answer now – as to which apps are/are not on the Now TV box.

BT Sport – as of November 2015, this isn’t on the Now TV box.  But BT is Sky’s biggest rival, what would you expect?  Maybe there will be a time when both offerings will be available (after all both Now TV and BT Sport are available on Chromecast).

Amazon Prime – again no, but the market is very segregated – with lots of things to subscribe to…

Netflix – this isn’t available either, but is available on some Roku boxes.

Eurosport Player – sadly no, would be great if it was.  Eurosport is available on other platforms such as TV Player Plus and BT, as well as Sky and Virgin, so you never know, it may join Now TV one day…

You Tube – Yes, and it’s a really easy to use app.

Vevo – Great music app and yes it’s available on the Now TV box.

 

Thursday (Day 21)

Time to have a quick look at Demand 5 – Channel 5’s catch up offering on Now TV.

Now, my children love Milkshake, Channel 5’s children’s programming broadcast daily.  Demand 5 provides a big selection of Milkshake programming at the touch of a button – and best of all, it’s absolutely free.  Take Thomas and Friends – there are lots of seasons available, to keep the kids entertained!  There is a but…

Take Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom for example.  The show is available on Nick Jr on Now TV, therefore the free episodes which normally would be available on Demand 5 cannot be seen through the Demand 5 on the Now TV box?!

This is the link to what episodes of Ben and Holly should be available on Demand 5 – http://www.channel5.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=ben+and+holly&commit=Search as seen on the Desktop version of Demand 5.  But on Now TV, these episodes are only available if you purchase an entertainment pass.

Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol are two other shows that are available on Nick Jr, therefore not available on Demand 5 – but are available on the full version of Demand 5.

Still a good offering though – as watch as catch up from the last 30 days there’s archive content on there from numerous Channel 5 shows.  Channel 4’s ‘All 4’ still has the edge in my opinion for catch up and archive content, but Demand 5 is pretty close.

Friday (Day 22)

Thanks to Now TV for the Sports Pass kindly provided – a week of Sky Sports means 168 hours of sport… across 7 channels!  Yes, 7 channels.  Sky Sports 1-5, Sky Sports F1 (this will become Sky Sports Darts over Christmas) and Sky Sports News.  Sky Sports may not have the UEFA Champions League now, but at weekends in particular no other broadcaster can compete with its live sport offering.  And take December as I mentioned above – the World Darts Championship will dominate the schedules for two weeks – darts fans on Now TV will love it!

 

Saturday (Day 23)

Been selling quite a lot of my DVD’s this weekend on Music Magpie and Zapper – I’ve had The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett, for years – I’d bought it at a Christmas Fayre and never got round to watching a single episode.  Ironically, a couple of days after posting the box of DVD’s to get some money, I discover 37 episodes are available in ITV Encore’s On Demand section through the Now TV Entertainment Pass.  I start to watch episode one from 1984… and yes, after all these years I discover I like the show!

 

Monday (Day 24)

On Now TV, you will also find Red Bull TV – home to a good selection of on demand music and sport. For example in the football pre-season, they showed a Red Bull friendly tournament… wouldn’t have thought of looking on there but the coverage was really good.

 

Tuesday (Day 25)

Sky Store – home to pay per view movies… if you don’t want to subscribe to Sky Movies via Now TV then this is the option for you. There’s films for all budgets, always some films really cheap (older releases), with the newer releases being close to a fiver. But you’ll be seeing them just a few months after their release at the cinema, and in the comfort of your living room. I like the fact that for a lot of films, you can watch the trailer for them on the Sky Store app before deciding if you want to watch them. I know trailers are available on You Tube, etc but it’s good that they’re on Sky Store, because you can stay in the same app then and go on to make a purchase if you wish to.

 

Wednesday (Day 26)

Sky Sports News. Have to mention this because when it was on Freeview I watched it regularly, I was gutted when it left Freeview! If you purchase any Now TV pass (Sports, Movies or Entertainment) you get access to Sky Sports News. If you haven’t heard of it, then it’s what it sounds like – sports news, 24 hours a day. Top emphasis on Football as you may expect, but it’s really good for goals, interviews and other features.

 

Thursday (Day 27)

News apps on Now TV which I use… BBC News and Sky News. The BBC News has a similar layout to the BBC Sport website – but provides a good selection of short news items if you just want bitesize news updates, rather than tuning into the BBC News Channel.

 

Friday (Day 28)

What other apps are there which I may not have mentioned during this trial? NHL hockey for example? Short highlights of NHL games are free – a couple of minutes of a lot of games – not bad, I’m not an avid fan, but if you are it’s a good way to keep in contact with the sport.

Saturday (Day 29)

Love a feature on the Entertainment Pass called ‘My TV’, where you can add your favourites, to make them easier to find. Handy when you have screaming kids wanting to watch Paw Patrol! Now TV literally has thousands of hours of on demand content, so anything to make things I like easier to find is good with me!

Sunday (Day 30)

And so, we reach the end of the Now TV 30 day trial. Would I subscribe to Sky Movies again? I think I would – I watch more films that my wife though, and my children don’t really watch feature-length films yet, but the time will come when they’ll want to! For me, Sky Sports is brilliant value – at just over £1 per day. Think about that – my wife gets a Daily Mail every day and for not much more you can get 7 live sports channels. For football fans, especially fans of Premier League clubs then you know what to expect. Darts World Championship soon… Super League Rugby there’s brilliant coverage…

What would my hopes be for the future of Now TV?

  1. I’d like to see a couple more channels through the Entertainment Pass (Watch or Alibi or Eurosport perhaps?)
  2. Interactive content for Sky Sports (e.g Saturday nights during Football First make the selection of games available, that would be ace!)

Chris

 

 

 

 

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Sport on Freeview UK – Week Commencing Nov 28th 2015

Sport on Freeview UK – Week Commencing Nov 28th 2015

Farewell BBC3

You will have probably heard the news that BBC3 will be online only from March 1st.  Sometimes, BBC3 proves to be a valuable home for live sport, when it cannot be accomodated on BBC1 or BBC2.  What happens now?  Especially if the Red Button channel does indeed get phased out as reports suggest it may.  Athletics, Tennis, Women’s Football have all been shown live on the channel in the past – then there’s live music such as Glastonbury and T in the Park?  Earlier this week on Red Button, there was a 1985 Northern Ireland cookery programme in a loop called ‘Cook with Clare’ that was on for almost 24 hours!  I think the channel’s phasing out may have already started, we shall see…  Think I’m wrong?  BBC3’s phasing out has started long before the official announcement over the closure – they’ve been showing looped repeats of Top Gear and Don’t Tell The Bride nightly for months, with a handful of new programmes that had already been commissioned.  With more cuts to follow next year, I fear BBC4 will be next…

Snooker – UK Championships on the BBC

Enjoy the Red Button coverage whilst it’s still there!  Here is the order of play for the UK Championships over the weekend, two tables of coverage available on the BBC Sport App and website.  Limited coverage on BBC TWO this weekend partly due to other sports (e.g tennis and women’s football).  But at least we get to see at least one table of live coverage all weekend should be a great tournament.

Saturday 28 November

Second Round (Best of 11 frames)

13:00

Stuart Bingham (Eng) v Anthony Hamilton (Eng)

Graeme Dott (Sco) v Jack Lisowski (Eng)

Mark Williams (Wal) v Tom Ford (Eng)

Gary Wilson (Eng) v Martin Gould (Eng)

Yu De Lu (Chn) v Marco Fu (HK)

Liang Wenbo (Chn) v Jimmy Robertson (Eng)

Tian Pengfei (Chn) v John Higgins (Sco)

Mark Davis (Eng) v Ken Doherty (Ire)

19:00

Joe Swail (NI) v Adam Duffy (Eng)

Kyren Wilson (Eng) v Mike Dunn (Eng)

Zhou Yuelong (Chn) v Shaun Murphy (Eng)

Gerard Greene (NI) v David Gilbert (Eng)

Li Hang (Chn) v Ricky Walden (Eng)

Ross Muir (Sco) v Ben Woollaston (Eng)

Joe Perry (Eng) v Robbie Williams (Eng)

Jamie Burnett (Sco) v Alan McManus (Sco)

 

Sunday 29 November

Second Round (Best of 11 frames)

13:00

Michael Georgiou (Eng) v Mark Allen (NI)

Chris Wakelin (Eng) v Michael Holt (Eng)

Judd Trump (Eng) v Stuart Carrington (Eng)

Daniel Wells (Wal) v Allister Carter (Eng)

Mark Joyce (Eng) v Sydney Wilson (Eng)

Matthew Selt (Eng) v Sean O’Sullivan (Eng)

Oliver Lines (Eng) v Mark Selby (Eng)

Dechawat Poomjaeng (Tha) v Ryan Day (Wal)

19:00

Robert Milkins (Eng) v David Grace (Eng)

Dominic Dale (Wal) v Peter Ebdon (Eng)

Neil Robertson (Aus) v Aditya Mehta (Ind)

Fergal O’Brien (Ire) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Tha)

Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Jamie Cope (Eng)

Anthony McGill (Sco) v Luca Brecel (Bel)

Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Robin Hull (Fin)

Xiao Guodong (Chn) v Jamie Jones (Wal)

 

This Weekend on Motors TV – Freeview Channel 71

Hardcore rallyists and motorsport junkies everywhere: good news! You can finally stop getting your off-road motoring kicks from mowing up soggy leaves. That’s right, Motors TV is here to save your weekend from various horticultural horrors with coverage of the rally world’s most spectacular get-together and shedloads more!

First and foremost, gear up for the pantomime of power sliding and excessive tyre smoke that is the Monza Rally Show, which returns this weekend for another eclectic gathering of rapid gravel busters both old and new. Stars of elite motorsport from around the globe take to Monza’s hallowed asphalt with some serious mud-plugging machinery, including legendary rally cars from the pages of history and the latest breed of fire-spitting off-road racers. This fantastic event will be shown live and kicking with us so make sure you come and catch all of the madness!
As the Italians seem to have the whole racing malarkey down to a tee, we’ll stick with them for our next exciting offering: our review show of the 2015 Italian Motorcycle Championship season. ‘Nail-biting’ doesn’t adequately describe this no-nonsense series, with proceedings in the three most advanced categories going right down to the wire at the last round in Mugello. Fewer than 32 points separated the top three contenders in the Superbike and Supersport championships, while Moto 3 leader Fabio Di Giannantonio and close rival Marco Bezzecchi negotiated their 27-point difference in the only way these rapid riders know. How did it all wrap up? Tune in to reveal all!
We have another jam-packed season review this weekend, this time for the highly talented young guns contesting the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Indeed, this year saw the likes of Antonio Giovinazzi and Jake Dennis come to the fore and rack up a healthy number of winners’ trophies between them. However, the top honours in the title fight went to Dennis’ superstar team-mate Felix Rosenqvist, who managed to seize 13 victories and 24 podiums in 33 races, cleaning up in the title chase with three races left to run. If you can’t quite believe those stats, come and join us to discover how the swift Swede pulled it off.
Our favourite Antipodean thunderwagons, V8 Supercars, were back in action for a somewhat exciting penultimate round at Phillip Island last weekend, so we’re buzzing to bring you all the best bits of the high stakes encounter. Fierce title rivals Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes arrived at the island battleground separated by 239 points, and it looked as if the latter had a rather steep mountain to climb to keep his hopes for a fourth title alive. The Red Bull Racing Australia driver reckoned he could be in with a solid shot if he reduced the gap to 170 points or less, but did he manage it? We’ll give you one guess for how to find out.
If you happen to be left wanting even more, be sure to catch our coverage of BRDC Formula 4 and the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals!

 

Saturday 28th November on Motors TV
15:45 – Italian Motorcycle Championship best-of, Moto 3
17:50 – Italian Motorcycle Championship best-of, Supersport
20:00 – Italian Motorcycle Championship best-of, Superbike

Sunday 29th November on Motors TV
07:45 – Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, Portimao
08:35 – BRDC Formula 4 best-of
11:50 – FIA Formula 3 European Championship best-of
16:00 – LIVE Monza Rally Show
20:00 – V8 Supercars highlights, Rd 13, Phillip Island

 

Saturday November 28th 2015:

07:05 – 08:00

Race of Champions

CHANNEL FOUR

 

08:20 – 09:55

F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice 2

BBC TWO

 

09:00 – 10:00

Racing – The Morning Line

CHANNEL FOUR

 

09:55 – 11:05

F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice 3 LIVE

BBC TWO

 

11:05 – 12:05

F1 Rewind – Amazing Races

BBC TWO

 

11:30 – 12:00

Football Focus

BBC ONE

 

12:10 – 14:05

F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying

BBC ONE

 

12:45 – 17:00

Darts – Players Championship LIVE

ITV4

 

13:00 – 16:00

Channel 4 Racing LIVE from Newbury and Newcastle

CHANNEL FOUR

 

13:00 – 14:30

Snooker UK Championships LIVE

BBC Red Button

 

13:05 – 16:30

Snooker – UK Championships LIVE

BBC TWO

 

14:05 – 17:10

Tennis – Davis Cup Final

BBC ONE

 

14:30 – 16:30

Final Score

BBC Red Button

 

16:30 – 17:10

Final Score – Football Updates

BBC TWO

 

16:30 – 23:00

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

 

19:00 – 23:00

Darts – Players Championship LIVE

ITV4

 

21:00 – 22:20

Football League Tonight

CHANNEL FIVE

 

22:20 – 23:40

Match of the Day – including Man City v Southampton

BBC ONE

 

23:00 – 13:00 (Sun)

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

 

23:40 – 00:30

Snooker – UK Championship Highlights

BBC TWO

 

Sunday November 29th 2015:

00:30 – 02:30

Snooker – UK Championship Extra

BBC TWO

 

11:50 – 15:15

Tennis – Davis Cup Final LIVE

BBC TWO

 

12:10 – 15:15

F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix LIVE

BBC ONE

 

12:45 – 17:00

Darts – Players Championship LIVE

ITV4

 

13:00 – 23:00

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

 

14:30 – 17:15

Aviva Premiership Rugby LIVE

Leicester v Bath

BT Showcase

 

15:15 – 17:25

Women’s Football LIVE – Euro 2017 Qualifier

England v Bosnia and Herzegovina

BBC TWO

 

17:25 – 19:00

Snooker – UK Championships LIVE

BBC TWO

 

19:00 – 23:00

Darts – Players Championship LIVE

ITV4

 

21:00 – 23:00

TNA Impact Wrestling

Challenge

 

22:30 – 23:50

Match of the Day 2 – including Spurs v Chelsea

BBC ONE

 

23:00 – 23:30

Wrestle Talk TV

Challenge

 

23:00 – 13:00 (Mon)

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

 

Monday November 30th 2015:

00:00 – 00:50

Snooker – UK Championship Highlights

BBC TWO

 

00:50 – 02:50

Snooker – UK Championship Extra

BBC TWO

 

13:00 – 18:00

Snooker – UK Championship LIVE

BBC TWO

 

13:00 – 23:00

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

Between 1pm and 6pm today, two tables available on Freeview!

 

23:00 – 00:00

German Football Highlights

ITV4

 

23:00 – 13:00 (Tue)

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

 

23:15 – 00:05

Snooker – UK Championship Highlights

BBC TWO

 

Tuesday December 1st 2015:

00:05 – 02:05

Snooker – UK Championship Extra

BBC TWO

 

13:00 – 18:00

Snooker – UK Championship LIVE

BBC TWO

 

13:00 – 23:00

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

Between 1pm and 6pm today, two tables available on Freeview!

 

22:55 – 00:25

League Cup Highlights

CHANNEL FIVE

 

23:00 – 08:00 (Wed)

Snooker UK Championships Highlights

BBC Red Button

 

23:15 – 00:00

Race to Super Bowl 50

BBC TWO

Repeated on Red Button 8am Wednesday.

 

Wednesday December 2nd 2015:

00:00 – 00:50

Snooker – UK Championship Highlights

BBC TWO

 

00:50 – 02:50

Snooker – UK Championship Extra

BBC TWO

 

11:00 – 13:00

Snooker UK Championships Highlights

BBC Red Button

 

13:00 – 18:00

Snooker – UK Championship LIVE

BBC TWO

 

13:00 – 23:00

Snooker UK Championship LIVE

BBC Red Button

Between 1pm and 6pm today, two tables available on Freeview!

 

22:40 – 23:40

Sports Life Stories – Jermain Defoe

ITV

 

23:00 – 00:00

League Cup Highlights

CHANNEL FIVE

 

23:15 – 00:05

Snooker UK Championship Highlights

BBC TWO

 

Thursday December 3rd 2015:

00:05 – 02:05

Snooker UK Championship Extra

BBC TWO

 

00:30 – 13:00

Snooker UK Championship Highlights

BBC Red Button

 

13:00 – 18:00

Snooker – UK Championships LIVE

BBC TWO

 

13:00 – 23:00

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

Between 1pm and 6pm today, and 7pm until 8pm, two tables available on Freeview!

 

19:00 – 20:00

Snooker – UK Championships LIVE

BBC TWO

 

23:00 – 13:00 (Fri)

Snooker – UK Championship Highlights

BBC Red Button

 

23:15 – 00:05

Snooker – UK Championship Highlights

BBC TWO

 

Friday December 4th 2015:

13:00 – 18:00

Snooker – UK Championships LIVE

BBC TWO

 

13:00 – 23:00

Snooker UK Championships

BBC Red Button

 

 

19:30 – 22:00

MOTD – FA Cup 2nd Round LIVE

Salford City v Hartlepool United

BBC TWO

 

23:00 – 00:00

FA Cup Goals

BBC Red Button

 

23:35 – 00:25

Snooker – UK Championships Highlights

BBC TWO

 

 

MC Diary – Sundowner Middle Distance Tri 2015

Saturday September 5th 2015:

9:30am

I stop and get petrol at Esso on the A650 (Tong St) before heading down the M62 towards Hull – with my ‘best of’ Robert Palmer CD entertaining me – it sounds so fresh that CD, even 20 years after I got it!  ‘She Makes My Day’, still my all time favourite.

 

11:05am

Arrive at Allerthorpe Lakeside Park for the Sundowner Middle Distance Triathlon – first job was to announce winners of the Sprint event which started at 9:30.  Such a busy park – as well as the triathlon, there were plenty of families there, just enjoying the scenery and the fresh air – must remember to bring the family here…

 

4:00pm

I found a chair and placed myself near to the finish line – and started commentating to the growing crowd.  The triathlon was to take several hours for most competitors – during the ‘run’ and in the transition area though I was able to give entrants a shout out…  the team organising the ‘timing’ of the race kindly lent me a tablet -and basically once runners stepped over the timing mat on each lap, their names would appear on the tablet and I could read them out.  Clever or what?!  I love technology like that.

By the end, my voice was going, I’d given it my all!  I wanted to stay, looked like a great atmosphere in the marquee where the bar was as I left.  A live band had just started, and there had been a delicious hot buffet too.

8:00pm

Billy Joel’s ‘best of’ CD kept me awake during my drive back to Bradford – the sunset as I headed towards York was lovely, like someone had gone over the landscape with a red paint brush.  Got back at 9pm and poured myself a deserved whisky and finished off my wife’s Chinese take-away (in fairness there wasn’t much left!).

For more info on the Sundowner Middle Distance Tri and a whole host of other events to take part in (or even volunteer at!) visit http://www.freebirdevents.co.uk

It’s never too late to do a triathlon – maybe make it your 2016 New Year’s Resolution!  Freebird organise some fantastic events throughout the year across Yorkshire.

 

MC Diary – Heaton Park Mo Run 2015

MC Diary – Heaton Park Mo Run 2015

If you need an MC/Compere for an event, please contact me, get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.  Chris

Sunday November 22nd 2015:

7am:

After a quick coffee and a toasted teacake, I leave a very bitterly cold Bradford.  As I approach the M606, I do something I have never done before in my life.  I pick up a hitch hiker, an elderly gentleman, who had obviously fallen on hard times and was desperately trying to get to Solihull for a job interview tomorrow working in a warehouse over Christmas.  I drop him off at Birch Services on the M62, and hope that he’ll make it to Solihull for his interview.

 

8am:

I send a message out on Twitter – giving an advertisement for my hitch hiker, seeing if I can get him down the M6 – worth a try 🙂

I arrive at Heaton Park near Manchester, and introduce myself to the organisers of today’s Mo 5k and 10k runs – one of 17 Mo Running events which has taken place this year.  All for a great cause – Movember, which seems to get bigger and bigger every year.

For more info on the Mo Running events take a look at https://www.mo-running.com/ – you can also find them on Twitter @Mo_Running

 

8:36am:

 

9:40am:

I have the job of picking out the best fancy dress outfits from the 1000 people that have attended today!  Four medals to give out – not an easy task!  I really enjoyed doing this though – I’d had a walk around, and picked out people to interview, etc… and got them all to line up in front of the waiting participants.  In the end, Captain America and Zorro were among the winners I picked!

 

9:50am:

Warm up time – and the sight of almost 20 nuns and an archbishop doing the warm up on top of a hill in the distance with British Military Fitness is brilliant, I wish I’d got a picture 🙂

 

10am:

Start of the 5k race – I run over and count the runners down…. and away they go…

 

10:10am:

The start of the 10k race – and after that I hang around near the finish line to provide commentary as the runners conclude their 5k and 10k races.  I also manage to do a couple of interviews with some of the winners – Giles Bennett, the winners of the men’s 5k was the first person I interviewed and you could genuinely tell Giles had enjoyed coming down to Heaton Park and taking part – I think he won last year as well!  Giles completed 5k in 19 minutes and 33 seconds, well done Giles!

I also got to interview Anne Hyland who won the Female 10k race, in 46 minutes 56 seconds, a brilliant time.  I literally stopped Anne for an interview seconds after she’d finished running – the women’s race was so close, with Stephanie Mallett just seconds behind Anne, she’d made Anne work all the way to the finish!  Anne later said she won the event last year and she might try for the hat trick in 2016!

 

11:45am:

All runners have finished – a great morning, it’s great for runners of all abilities; there’s timing facilities available for those who want to take it more seriously but also has the fancy-dress ‘fun’ element to attract runners who perhaps don’t participate in any other event during the year.

 

The timing team from http://www.resultsbase.net really helped me out today and did a terrific job and keeping runners informed of their times.  Take a look at the results for yourself on their website.

 

12:15pm:

Back on the M62 towards Bradford.  I peep over at Birch Services where I dropped the hitch hiker off this morning.  He’s still waiting for a lift.  My heart sinks.  I honestly thought he’d have got another lift in the four and a half hours since I’d dropped him off.  Just hope he gets to Solihull…  I guess we’ll never know.

 

 

Sport on Freeview – Week Commencing Nov 21st 2015

Sport on Freeview – Week Commencing Nov 21st 2015

The Future of BBC Red Button

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34851369

If you missed this story earlier in the week, then plans suggest the BBC Red Button service will be phased out.  If you look at the schedule below…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/entries/c3dea520-96fe-46c9-a20f-7c73f4c061c8

…then that suggests to me phasing out has already begun.  Archive Northern Ireland documentaries this week?!  For me, I will miss Red Button – if the BBC do give up their Snooker and Darts rights, then I at least hope the coverage will stay on Freeview.  The Snooker UK Championships is on the BBC until 2016 – will be interesting to see what happens after that.  The BDO Darts World Championships is on BBC until 2016 – again after this, who knows?  BBC has Formula 1 coverage of 10 live races until 2018.

And of course, BBC3 will go ‘online’ only next year, so another space where sport sometimes goes, will be closing (even this week BBC3 are showing ATP Tennis and Women’s Football).

Saturday November 21st 2015:

09:00 – 10:00

Racing – The Morning Line

Channel 4

 

12:10 – 12:50

Football Focus

BBC ONE

 

12:45 – 17:00

Darts: World Series of Darts Finals

ITV4

 

13:30 – 16:00

Channel 4 Racing LIVE from Haydock and Ascot

Channel 4

 

14:00 – 16:30

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis

BBC ONE

 

16:30 – 17:10

Final Score

BBC ONE

 

19:00 -23:00

Darts: World Series of Darts Finals

ITV4

 

20:00 – 21:00

World’s Strongest Man 2014

Spike

 

21:00 – 22:25

Football League Tonight

Channel 5

 

21:00 – 23:00

BAMMA – Night of Champions

Spike

 

Please RT! My sports guide to sport on Freeview now online at http://www.sportonfreeviewuk.wordpress.com – all listings for next 7 days

 

 

22:20 – 23:50

Match of the Day – including Man City v Liverpool

BBC ONE

 

Saturday 21 November on Motors TV
09:35 – Delayed-as-live V8 Supercars, Rd 13, Phillip Island (Race 1&2)
11:30 – LIVE FIA World Endurance Championship, Rd 8, 6 Hours of Bahrain
20:00 – FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB, Best of

 

Sunday November 22nd 2015:

 

12:45 – 17:00

Darts: World Series of Darts Finals

ITV4

 

18:00 – 19:00

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis

BBC TWO

 

18:00 – 19:00

Red Bull X Fighters

Dave

 

19:00 – 21:00

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis

BBC THREE

 

19:00 -23:00

Darts: World Series of Darts Finals

ITV4

 

21:00 – 23:00

TNA Impact Wrestling

Challenge

 

23:00 – 23:30

Wrestle Talk TV

Challenge

 

Sunday 22 November on Motors TV
13:00 – Delayed-as-live V8 Supercars, Rd 13, Phillip Island (Race 3)
14:50 – Delayed-as-live Macau Grand Prix, FIA GT World Cup
16:15 – Delayed-as-live Macau Grand Prix, Touring Car Cup
17:10 – Delayed-as-live Macau Grand Prix, FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup
18:35 – Delayed-as-live Macau Grand Prix, Motorcycle Grand Prix
19:35 – Indy Lights Season Finale, Laguna Seca
23:05 – Supercross de Paris, Lille

 

Monday November 23rd 2015:

06:00 – 06:15

Hat Trick Heroes II

ITV4

 

17:00 – 18:00

Red Bull X Fighters

Dave

 

23:00 – 00:00

German Football Highlights

ITV4

 

 

Tuesday November 24th 2015:

00:00 – 01:00

Motorsport UK

ITV4

 

18:30 – 19:30

UEFA Champions League Tonight – Build Up

BT Showcase

 

18:30 – 22:30

5 Live Final Score

BBC Red Button

 

19:30 – 22:00

UEFA Champions League – Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb

BT Showcase

 

22:00 – 23:05

Being Kevin Pietersen

ITV4

 

23:30 – 00:15

Race to Super Bowl 50

BBC TWO

Repeats on BBC Red Button

 

Wednesday November 25th 2015:

18:30 – 22:30

5 Live Final Score

BBC Red Button

 

22:00 – 23:00

Champions League Highlights

ITV

 

23:50 – 00:20

Champions League Highlights – Extra Time

ITV

 

Thursday November 26th 2015:

13:55 – 16:00

Women’s Football LIVE – Wales v Kazakhstan

BBC Red Button

 

16:55 – 19:15

Women’s Football LIVE – Germany v England

BBC Red Button

 

17:30 – 20:00

UEFA Europa League – Qarabag v Tottenham LIVE

BT Showcase

 

19:00 – 20:00

Women’s Football Highlights – Germany v England

BBC THREE

 

22:40 – 00:00

Europa League Highlights

ITV

 

Friday November 27th 2015:

08:55 – 10:45

Formula 1 – Abu Dhabi Practice One LIVE

BBC TWO

 

12:15 – 18:00

Davis Cup Final Tennis LIVE

Day One

BBC TWO

 

12:45 – 17:00

Darts – Players Championship LIVE

ITV4

 

13:00 – 14:35

Formula 1 – Abu Dhabi Practice Two LIVE

BBC Red Button

 

19:00 – 23:00

Darts – Players Championship LIVE

ITV4

 

19:30 – 20:00

A Question of Sport

BBC ONE

 

19:30 – 21:30

Scrum V – Edinburgh v Dragons LIVE

BBC Red Button

00-Heaven: 05 – You Only Live Twice

00-Heaven – 05: You Only Live Twice

Continuing my 00-Heaven season – I plan to watch all of the official James Bond films before I go and see Spectre at the cinemas in November!  These reviews are taken from my actual diaries.

Sunday August 30th 2015:

Started ‘You Only Live Twice’ last night… and tonight I finished watching it…  I didn’t know till watching it that the film screenplay was written by Roald Dahl?  I enjoyed it, it doesn’t have an in-depth plot – it’s fast paced action all the way.  Not sure why Bond had to get married in order to blend in, could he not just have hid somewhere?!  And how did he survive getting shot at the beginning of the film, it didn’t explain it!

You Only Live Twice was released in UK cinemas on June 12th 1967, and received it’s UK TV premiere on ITV on November 20th 1977.

On ITV that evening…

7:15pm – The Rag Trade.  Sitcom

7:45pm – You Only Live Twice

9:55pm – Sunday Drama – Blue Skies From Now On

10:55pm – News

BBC1 had Poldark and a film called ‘The Dark at the Top of the Stairs’….

Chris

 

00-Heaven: 04 – Thunderball

00-Heaven – 04: Thunderball

Continuing my 00-Heaven season – I plan to watch all of the official James Bond films before I go and see Spectre at the cinemas in November!  These reviews are taken from my actual diaries.

Friday August 28th 2015:

Critique: ‘Thunderball’

Finished watching ‘Thunderball’ this afternoon.  There’s one main problem with the film – it follows ‘Goldfinger’!  It would be hard for any film to follow.  I was reading about ‘Thunderball’ online after I’d watched it and one person had wrote one problem was the big fight sequence at the end which was underwater, it feels as if it’s in slow motion – I agree with that, then Bond gets out of the water, the pace changes and it just doesn’t flow.

Still, a cracking theme by Tom Jones, love ‘Q’s appearance in Nassau (he always steals the show Desmond Llewellyn).  Four films down, twenty to go!

Thunderball TV Times

Thunderball arrived in UK cinemas on 29th December 1965, but only received its UK television premiere on ITV on 26th February 1977.  What else was on ITV that day?

12:30pm – World of Sport.  Including Wrestling from Brent Town Hall.

5:05pm – News

5:15pm – The Six Million Dollar Man

6:15pm – New Faces

7:15pm – Celebrity Squares

8:00pm – Thunderball

10:25pm – News

10:40pm – Yes Honestly.  Sitcom.

Incidentally, BBC1 in comparison that evening had Jim’ll Fix It, Dr Who and Ronnie Corbett’s Saturday Special!

Chris

 

NOW TV Trial – The Story so Far (Days 1-19)

Now TV Trial

Friday (Day 1)

Over the next 30 days, I’ll be reviewing Now TV – with videos, blog posts, etc.  We’ll be looking at what Sky Movies and Sky Sports has to offer as well as the Now TV Entertainment Pass.  Keep coming back to the blog for further updates!

You can also keep updated at my Twitter page @chrisbenson007

So, here is the video for Day 1 – taking a look at the BBC Sport App.  For those of you who just have Freeview, and rely on the Red Button Channel, then the Now TV box gives you access to the BBC Sport App.  When there is more than one live sporting event on, the App enables you to have access to ALL of them.  It also has a good selection of videos from a huge range of sports (Snooker clips, FA Cup goals, etc).

And, tonight on Red Button it’s Gymnastics – but through the BBC Sport App I’m able to watch 2 Pro 12 Rugby Union games which otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see – I can flick between them at my heart’s content.

Of course, next year we have the Olympics – and the App will surely have numerous streams of coverage… there’s also Wimbledon where there’s plenty of courts to watch.  With the FA Cup coverage next week, through the App, you can select mini highlights from an individual game, rather than wait for the goals to come round on the ‘Red Button’ channel.

So, how do you find out what’s on there?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/17151954

Take a look at the website.  For this Saturday example… it says this…

14:30-16:15, Football – Final Score, BBC Red Button

*Final Score continues uninterrupted from 14:30-17:25 on the BBC Sport website & app and Connected TVs.

This means that full coverage is available through the BBC Sport App for example.

Sunday, another example…

16:45-19:00, Rugby League – England v New Zealand, Autumn International, BBC Two (continues uninterrupted until 19:30 on BBC Red Button & Online)

Tuesday, another…

18:30-20:55, Football – 5 Live Final Score, BBC Red Button (continues uninterrupted until 22:30 on connected TV)

So, that’s the BBC Sport App – here’s my video… and keep coming back daily for more in the NOW TV Trial!  Follow me on Twitter @chrisbenson007 for more too!

Saturday (Day 2)

Hello – back for more with the Now TV Trial!  Take a look at the video below – recorded this evening…

Tonight, we look at BBC Iplayer.  Great app of course, with catch up available on a good percentage of programmes which have been shown recently on the BBC platform.

But it’s not just catch up TV available through Iplayer.  Coming soon – Frank Skinner will have an exclusive show on Iplayer… there’s also the BBC Four Collections.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/collections

From Bob’s Full House to Whicker’s World, the Collections are regularly expanding and selected episodes are free all of the time on BBC Iplayer.

As I mention in the video above, Iplayer is handy if you have Freeview because if you select S4C and ‘Watch Live’, you could watch ‘Sgorio’ – Welsh Football live on Saturday evenings, all for free.  There’s also access to football on the BBC Gaelic channel BBC Alba.

I also activated my Sky Movies Pass yesterday – watched a great 2014 film called St Vincent starring Bill Murray, and this morning with the kids we watched ‘The Toy Story That Time Forgot’ – a 20 minute short from the Toy Story series, which was quite good.  Picture quality on both, really good – no buffering, stream was superb.

Back for more tomorrow – hope you’re enjoying the trial so far.

Chris

Sunday (Day 3)

Good evening all…

A shorter post today, but I’ve been over to the other side of the Pennines, to Lancashire, to say happy birthday to my brother Phil, who was 30 yesterday – Phil, many happy returns.

With Day 3 of the trial, we’re looking at the Now TV Account menu – hope you enjoy the video below.

http://www.skysports.com/nowtv

This has a link to all of the Sky Sports passes currently available, £6.99 for a Day Pass, £10.99 for a Week Pass and £31.99 for a Monthly Pass.  With the Monthly Pass, there’s no minimum contract, you can cancel at any time, I think this is a really good feature.

http://www.nowtv.com/bundles

There’s also some starter packs available at the link above – where if you purchase a box, you can acquire some entertainment, movies or sport to start you off – worth a look at.

Monday (Day 4)

I did ask my better half if she fancied watching tonight’s ‘Modern Family’ on Sky1, but we ended up watching a repeat of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ and then ‘Sex on Trial’ on BBC3…

I have been using Vimeo today – a great app I’ve only started to use on Now TV recently.  Vimeo is home to lots of original videos – You Tube of course is probably the website/app we use as standard, but I’m slowly getting used to Vimeo.

Tuesday (Day 5)

2:00pm approx

I let my kids watch a Disney film during the afternoon – put on Toy Story using the Sky Movies Pass, and the film starts… then pauses, and buffers.

We try another film, Disney’s Planes.  10 minutes in, the same happens.  This time, the film has managed to continue though.

3:00pm

We give up with the film, I contact Now TV’s ‘Live Chat’ to mention the problems we’ve been having.

Suggestions: “Hard reset the NOW TV Box, insert paper clip or safety pin at the behind of the box and hold it for 10-15 seconds.”

In fairness, the operator wanted me to stay on ‘Live Chat’ and try various options, I was looking after the kids today, I didn’t have time for that – just wanted to give them some feedback.

Wednesday (Day 6)

Watched last week’s episode of Modern Family through the Now TV Entertainment Pass.  Modern Family is really good, now in its 7th season – and has only ever been shown on terrestrial TV in one spell so you may not have seen it (Season 1 was shown on Pick TV, but Pick never showed any more seasons).

Through the Now TV Entertainment Pass you can watch every single episode from the start right up to present date and mostly ad-free (e.g in the episode we watched on Wednesday there’s a very brief advert for Sky 1 half way through before the episode continues again).  Modern Family is just one of hundreds of boxsets available with the Pass – TV has changed, we want to ‘binge-watch’ and broadcasters are realising this.

After yesterday’s problems watching Planes and Toy Story, I can safely say that all is working fine today – no buffering, no pausing, Modern Family played without any interruptions.  Could well have been our broadband connection yesterday – we don’t have the fastest of broadband speeds…

Thursday (Day 7)

Watched a couple of bits through the You Tube app tonight.

1) I’ve been compiling a couple of Bradford City playlists for the last two seasons, with official highlights from each game, so I’m working my way through each match from last season at the moment.

The 2015/16 Bradford City Playlist I’m working on is right here, let me know what you think – maybe you think I should do one for your team!

2) My wife and I watched the new Lidl Christmas commercials (on You Tube there’s the 1 minute TV ad along with 9 other ads – the John Lewis Christmas commercial will be uploaded Friday morning from 8am so there’s obviously viewers on You Tube that advertisers can find).

You can find the Lidl ads right here:

Friday (Day 8)

ITV Player is available through the Now TV app – there is a good range of programming on there… but it’s not perhaps the easiest app to use.

Let’s take for example ‘George and Mildred’ (and why not, classic 1970’s sitcom currently being repeated again on ITV3).  If you select ‘George and Mildred’, the most recent episode will begin playing after the adverts have finished.  But how do you find an episode from earlier in the month?  You have to press play on the most recent episode, let the commercials finish… and then once the episode starts press pause.  You will then see an option to ‘View all episodes’ and play an earlier episode in the series.  On the ITV Player website, this is much easier to do and you can find all episodes from a series a lot faster.

Programmes on ITV Player seem to be more limited than on BBC Iplayer – maybe that’s just my perception.  But in recent months, ITV Player have tried a ‘First Look ‘offering (premiering Sheridan Smith drama Black Work on ITV Player before its showing on ITV).

Saturday (Day 9)

My wife and I start watching ‘Boyhood’ – a film we saw the trailer for a while ago.  At just under 2 hours 45 minutes, it’s certainly a long film, but pretty unique – shot over 12 years, so you actually see the cast get older.  We watched most of the film tonight, leaving an hour for us to watch hopefully tomorrow.  And, once again, after Tuesday’s problems trying to watch Toy Story and Planes, no streaming problems at all, more and more I do believe the issue was with our broadband provider.

We were trying to decide what film to watch, and noticed there’s a lot of archive films available at the touch of a button.  When I think Sky Movies, I think ‘new’ films, but they have films from years gone by too – all genres…  and remember all without commercials or interruption.  For £9.99 a month, that’s pretty good – I get so frustrated with films on commercial TV channels…  you get into a film, then BANG!  There comes the ad break.  And some movie channels have annoying logos permanently fixed in the corner of the screen – none of these on Sky Movies, just shown as the director intended.

Sunday (Day 10)

Tried an app called Happy Kids 2 today – this is a free app, which you can download via the Channel Store.  It’s great, my three year old son loved it today.  There’s videos of nursery rhymes he recognises and sings at playgroup, he can learn and build confidence with letters and numbers – there’s hours of stuff on there.

Thanks to James Taylor for the tweet who asked if Now TV currently has a subtitle facility.  As explained in the video above, unfortunately it’s a no… see the link below which confirms this:

http://help.nowtv.com/article/Subtitles

The BBC Iplayer App has subtitles available but as of November 2015, no programmes on Now TV carry subtitles – if this changes, I will let you know right here on this blog!

Monday (Day 11)

Starting today, I have a trial of Sky Sports – so, if you have any questions about this or any other part of Now TV… keep them coming.

I activate a 24 Hour Sky Sports Pass during the evening, although it’s been my daughter’s 2nd birthday party today so I don’t get chance to watch anything before bed!

Tuesday (Day 12)

8:06am – I watch about 20 minutes of Sky Sports this morning whilst the kids are playing happily!  And literally, that’s all I get chance to watch with my 24 hour Sky Sports Pass – not really worth £6.99 today!  But that’s not Sky Sports’s fault, I’ve just been busy!  In the 20 minutes I saw, I watched some of last night’s Grand Slam of Darts as well as the World Golf Championship, which was quite entertaining.

There is one criticism of the midweek Sky Sports schedule – there’s not much on there.  Well, there is… there’s Sky Sports 1-5 and Sky Sports F1, but take the Grand Slam of Darts as an example, this is a live event, but Monday’s coverage (4 hours long) was repeated at least twice on Sky Sports channels on Tuesday before the next day’s coverage started!  Do Sky Sports need all the channels they have?  The answer to that is yes, at certain times, they do – but this seems to be a much quieter week for the viewer.  If you’re going to buy a £6.99 Day Pass, then you’re probably going to buy it at the weekend to watch the Premier League football.  And, if you activate the pass at 5:30 on a Saturday evening, you would get to see…

  1. The game at 5:30 on a Saturday shown live
  2. The game at 8pm shown delayed from earlier in the day
  3. 50 minutes of highlights from another 3pm Saturday fixture
  4. A Sunday lunchtime game from the Premier League
  5. Most of the 4pm Premier League Sunday game shown live – you’d miss the last 20 minutes or so if a day pass was started at 5:30pm Saturday.

Wednesday (Day 13)

A Now TV-free evening tonight, I watch ‘Class of ’92’, the BBC1 documentary from last week, and some of the Champion of Champions Snooker on ITV4.  Back for more tomorrow.

Thursday (Day 14)

Whilst watching Jeff Lynne’s ELO in concert on BBC Red Button, I get in the mood to listen to some more music.  And that is where the Now TV box comes into its element.  You have a few choices:

  1. Vevo – Official music videos, all totally authorised and endorsed.  Good selection on here, some artists don’t feature, but excellent picture quality and if you create an account you can build up your own playlists to watch at your convenience.
  2. You Tube – We all know You Tube, you can find official and unofficial music material on there… and if you sign into You Tube using your Google account, you can synchronise playlists so there appear on your Now TV You Tube App interface.
  3. Spotify – Premium Spotify is available through the Now TV app, which means commercial-free music with no interruptions.  If you haven’t used Spotify yet, seriously it’s brilliant.  As with Vevo, some artists haven’t arrived on Spotify yet (don’t go expecting The Beatles to be on there!), but there’s plenty of full back catalogues on there from artists you will like.  My tip – try using ‘Free’ Spotify first on your PC, Laptop etc, see if you like it – it’s really easy to use.  If you like it, and don’t want the ads, then subscribe to Premium Spotify.

Friday (Day 15)

Thank you Channel 4 for ‘All 4’ – which out of the free-to-air catch up services, I think it’s the best by a mile.  There are hundreds of hours of archive programming on there, programmes going right back to Channel 4’s launch in 1982!

I’ve been watching Series 9 of Peep Show this week and Series 2 of Catastrophe.  Both shows are featured on All 4, as well as comedy classics such as Whose Line Is It Anyway, Drop The Dead Donkey and other Channel 4 favourites such as Location, Location, Location, One Born Every Minute…  all for free remember!  I’ve watched Peep Show Series 1-8 but as Series 9 is the last series, I might have to give the show another run once it’s finished.  And we’ve not seen Catastrophe Series 1 so All 4 means we can watch that…  And… Toast of London Series 3 starts on Channel 4 this week, again I’ve not seen Series 1-2 so I can use All 4 for this.  Seriously, there’s something for everyone on here.  Catch up programming as you’d expect from the last 30 days and plenty from the last 30 or so years along the way.  The app is really easy to use via the Now TV box – easy to find programmes, and next year there will be a choice of foreign language drama to watch at the touch of a button, with eventually 600 hours of drama there on All4 to choose from – the online selection will be titled ‘Walter Presents’ (see below)

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/walter-presents-the-best-foreign-language-drama-from-around-the-world

Saturday (Day 16)

Activate a Sky Sports Day Pass at lunchtime which I’d won on Twitter last weekend of all places!  My 2nd Football team is Wigan Athletic and they were playing live on Sky Sports this lunchtime against Rochdale at a very wet Spotland.  Wigan won 2-0, I managed to catch most of the second half.

I also managed to catch the first of this evening’s quarter finals in the Grand Slam of Darts – great match, Sky Sports really does excel in its sports coverage, you can see the high production values, they really come across.

Even on a non-Premier League Saturday, there’s still enough sport to wet the appetite.  Football League games… there’s been Euro 2016 play off games this weekend… Cricket and Golf from around the world of course full coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Sunday (Day 17)

After a day out visiting friends (Jill and Will thanks for the lemon liqueurs!), me and my wife spend tonight trying to switch broadband providers.  How ironic, that during the process our broadband crashes, so we can’t complete the process.  That’s showbiz.  Now TV had kindly sent me a Sky Sports Week Pass to look at their channels – I was going to activate this tonight, but the code isn’t working :-(.  So, in it’s absence I’ve gazed at the Champion of Champions Snooker final on ITV4 (although wasn’t the greatest of finals, one frame this evening was almost an hour long, I reckon ITV4 will have been screaming in desperation for a commercial break by that point!)

Monday (Day 18)

The NOW TV Entertainment Pass at £6.99 a month is bloody good value.  You get 13 premium channels – yes, you get a lot more channels on Sky and Virgin, but how many of them do you actually watch?  Keep a list for a week of what you watch on those platforms, and for most of you I reckon the majority of your viewing will be available through the Now TV Entertainment Pass.

You get Sky 1, Sky Living, Sky Arts and Sky Atlantic – four great Sky channels and each of them has a great selection of content available at the touch of a button, as well as being able to watch the channels ‘live’.

ITV Encore, a Sky exclusive channel is on here too – it could have more content from the ITV archives, but it’s not a bad little channel (the same programmes do tend to be repeated over and over).

GOLD, a UKTV channel is full of classic comedy – as well as more and more original programming these days (for example recently their own sitcom Bull aired, starring Robert Lindsay and Maureen Lipman).  Only Fools and Horses, Miranda, The Vicar of Dibley and Fawlty Towers regularly feature.  I’m sentimental, I prefer Gold when it was UK Gold back in the early 1990’s – and it screened dramas such as Edward Woodward in Callan and rare sitcoms that will never see the light of day again 😦

Nick Jr is brilliant for my two youngsters – they love Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and more recently Paw Patrol. For older kids, there’s the Disney Channel.

Discovery Channel is on here too – with hours of brilliant documentaries.  Yes, we have Quest on Freeview which gets some Discovery programming but is the jewel in the crown.

ABC Studios features too – with numerous boxsets from their archive – Desperate Housewives, Marvel’s Agents of Shield…

Tuesday (Day 19)

Today, I’ve done another video showing you a bit of the interface to Sky Movies, hope it’s helpful.  Please keep your comments coming and any questions which you may have.

 

More European Football on BT Showcase!

Hi we’ve just received a press release from BT, confirming their next two live European games…  It now means that all British teams in the Champions League will have been featured once, the minimum requirement for BT, and it means that Celtic will be screened during Europa League Matchday 6.  You can watch the games on BT Showcase, Freeview Channel 59.  Take a look at my blog for further information on BT Showcase, and which sports/games have been screened so far.

Also coming up in the next couple of weeks is BT Showcase’s third Aviva Premiership Rugby Union game – Leicester Tigers versus Bath on Sunday, 29 November, at 15:00.  Chris

Full BT Press Release below:

ARSENAL AND TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR EUROPEAN GAMES ON BT SPORT SHOWCASE

Arsenal’s clash at the Emirates against Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham Hotspur’s visit to Azerbaijan against Qarabag will be broadcast for free next week on the BT Sport Showcase Freeview Channel.

Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League clash will see Arsene Wenger’s men in a must win match and looking for revenge against their Croatian counterparts after a 2-1 loss in the away match. Kick off will be at 19:45 with the home side looking to bounce back from three defeats in Europe this season and needing to win to stand any chance of qualification.

Thursday evening sees Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur head to Azerbaijan as they face Qarabag, hoping to stay top of their UEFA Europa League table.  Kicking off at 18:00 on Thursday, November 26th, the English side could qualify from the group with a win.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “This is an exciting week for football fans with both London sides playing in crucial games as we get closer to the conclusion of the group stages.  BT Sport Showcase will give everyone the opportunity to experience BT Sport’s exclusively live coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.”

BT Sport is the only place to watch all of the 351 exclusively live UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches. BT has said it will show at least 12 UEFA Champions League matches and 14 UEFA Europa League ties live on BT Sport Showcase, where everyone can enjoy the action for free.

 

Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb

19:45

Tuesday

24th November

BT Sport Showcase & BT Sport Extra 1

Qarabag v Tottenham Hotspur

18:00

Thursday

26th November

BT Sport Showcase & BT Sport Extra 4

Sport on Freeview – Week Commencing November 14th

Sport on Freeview – Week Commencing November 14th

Hello and welcome to this week’s Sport on Freeview Guide – don’t forget to check out the Now TV Trial too, which is about halfway through.  Spread the word – tell your friends, the guide gets updated every week!

Already, in November we have had our most successful month yet in terms of visitors – so a big THANK YOU for your support.

Incidentally, look out for me at Heaton Park next Sunday (22nd) where I’m MC for the Mo10K Run there, should be a great event, if you’re nearby come and say hello!

Motors TV

Please find attached full listings for Motors TV for the next 7 days.

3. Motors TV 14 – 20 Nov

Saturday November 14th 2015:

08:15 – 10:05

Formula 1 – Brazilian Grand Prix Practice One (Repeat)

BBC2

09:00 – 10:00

Racing – The Morning Line

Channel 4

10:05 – 11:55

Formula 1 – Brazilian Grand Prix Practice Two

BBC2

11:55 – 12:55

Formula 1 Rewind – Great Results

BBC2

12:10 – 12:45

Football Focus

BBC1

12:45 – 15:10

Rugby League – England v New Zealand LIVE from Wigan

BBC1

12:45 – 17:15

Snooker – Champion of Champions LIVE

First Semi Final

ITV4

12:55 – 14:05

Formula 1 – Brazilian Grand Prix Practice Three LIVE

BBC2

13:30 – 16:00

Channel 4 Racing LIVE – From Cheltenham and Wetherby

Channel 4

15:10 – 17:20

Formula 1 – Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying LIVE

BBC1

18:45 – 23:15

Snooker – Champion of Champions LIVE

Second Semi Final

ITV4

19:30 – 22:00

Championship Boxing – Nick Blackwell v Elliott Matthews LIVE

Spike

21:00 – 22:00

Football League Tonight – League One and Two Highlights

Channel 5

22:00 – 00:00

Championship Boxing – Nick Blackwell v Elliott Matthews

Channel 5

22:20 – 23:00

Match of the Day – David Beckham’s Match for Children

BBC1

23:10 – 23:55

Euro 2016 Play Off Highlights

ITV

Saturday 14th November on Motors TV…
09:35 – ADAC GT Masters best-of
13:10 – United SportsCar Championship best-of
17:20 – Supercar Challenge, Rd 10, Assen (Superlights class)
18:00 – LIVE Supercross de Paris-Lille (Day 1)
22:35 – FIA World Rally Championship daily highlights, Rd 13, Wales Rally GB (Day 2)

Sunday November 15th 2015:

12:30 – 15:00

Channel 4 Racing LIVE from Cheltenham

Channel 4

12:45 – 17:15

Snooker – Champion of Champions LIVE

Final

ITV4

14:00 – 17:00

Tennis – ATP World Tour Finals LIVE

BBC2

15:20 – 18:00

Formula 1 – Brazilian Grand Prix LIVE

BBC1

18:45 – 23:15

Snooker – Champion of Champions LIVE

Final

ITV4

21:00 – 23:00

TNA Wrestling Impact

Challenge

23:00 – 23:30

Wrestle Talk TV

Challenge

Sunday 15th November on Motors TV
14:00 – LIVE Supercross de Paris-Lille (Day 2)
17:50 – FIM Enduro World Championship best-of
22:35 – FIA World Rally Championship daily highlights, Rd 13, Wales Rally GB (Day 3)

Monday November 16th 2015:

14:00 – 16:45

Tennis – ATP World Tour Finals LIVE

BBC2

Tuesday November 17th 2015:

14:00 – 16:45

Tennis – ATP World Tour Finals LIVE

BBC2

19:30 – 22:15

International Football LIVE – England v France

ITV

This match could be postponed due to recent events.

20:00 – 21:00

World Rally Championship Highlights

ITV4

22:55 – 00:10

International Football Highlights

ITV

Wednesday  November 18th 2015:

14:00 – 16:45

Tennis – ATP World Tour Finals LIVE

BBC2

Thursday  November 19th 2015:

14:00 – 16:45

Tennis – ATP World Tour Finals LIVE

BBC2

22:00 – 23:00

Documentary – Being Kevin Pietersen

ITV4

Friday November 20th 2015:

14:00 – 16:45

Tennis – ATP World Tour Finals LIVE

BBC2

19:00 – 20:00

UK’s Strongest Man

Channel 5