ITV Digital

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ITV Digital was a British digital terrestrial television broadcaster, which launched a pay-TV service on the world's first digital terrestrial television network as ONdigital in 1998 and briefly re-branded as ITV Digital in July 2001, before the service ceased in May 2002. Its main shareholders were Carlton Communications and Granada plc. It was particularly noted for its failure to break into the digital television market.



Digital terrestrial television (DTT) started in the UK in 1998. Six multiplexes were set up, with three of them allocated to the existing analogue broadcasters. The other three multiplexes were auctioned off. A consortium of Carlton Television, Granada Television and British Sky Broadcasting won the auction as British Digital Broadcasting (BDB). The brand ONdigital was adopted for launch. BSkyB was forced by the Independent Television Commission (ITC) to withdraw from the consortium on competition grounds; this effectively placed Sky in direct competition with the newly launched service (although BSkyB was still forced to provide key channels such as Sky Movies and Sky Sports to the service). In all ONdigital was given one year from winning the licence to launching the world's first DTT service. In addition to launching audio and video services they also led the specification of an industry-wide advanced interactive engine (based on MHEG-5). This was an open standard that was then used by all broadcasters on DTT.

The new digital broadcaster was launched on 15 November 1998, with a lineup of 18 channels, including many channels developed in-house by Carlton and Granada.[1] On 18 September 2000, ONdigital launched an Internet television service, ONnet,[2] and in the same year a deal with multiplex operator SDN lead to the launch of pay-per-view service ONrequest.

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