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BBC Parliament Monday, 14 October, 2002, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
BBC Parliament
the Lords
The Lords, Houses of Parliament

BBC Parliament now broadcasts on digital terrestrial television (Freeview) channel 45, in addition to being available on digital cable and on Sky at channel 508.

The channel offers comprehensive coverage of all the parliaments and assemblies which govern the political life of the United Kingdom.

What all our Freeview viewers want to know is why the channel is broadcast as a quarter screen only service on DTT? This is the answer, from BBC Reception Advice:

Q: Why is BBC Parliament broadcast as a quarter screen only service on DTT?

A: Digital Terrestrial TV has the ability to squeeze a number of services into the frequency space that would have been occupied by just one analogue channel.

The precise number of services that each digital channel can accommodate will depend on the quality and robustness of the transmission.

If you fit in more services, the quality of each of them will diminish, resulting in higher numbers of picture errors such as 'blocking'.

It is felt to be a more efficient use of space to display BBC Parliament within a text format, with the picture a quarter screen, thus enabling the broadcast of other services.

This is only possible because the majority of camera shots are of one person talking.

The Digital satellite TV system has a far greater capacity since there is more allowable frequency space, and reduced susceptibility to interference.

The additional capacity allows BBC Parliament to be broadcast in full screen on the Digital Satellite system.

Please visit the link below for more information.

UK Parliament

Westminster lies at the heart of the channel's weekday schedule.

Across the week, the House of Commons is broadcast live and the House of Lords is shown in full the next day.

The channel is committed to offering increased access to Parliament's work in making public bodies and ministers accountable.

It broadcasts the whole sequence of meetings of key committees, and gives them a regular place in the schedule.

At weekends it also covers the work of the Commons' second chamber, Westminster Hall.

Coverage of debates is uninterrupted. Viewers are guided through the debates with continuous, on-screen text, naming the speakers and providing supporting information.

Commons debates are introduced by the journalists who go on to present a daily review in The Record.

An hour-long weekly edition reviews the main themes from the chambers and committees.

Devolved Bodies

The channel aims to offer a comprehensive platform to follow the work of the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly.

Eight hours on Saturday is devoted to the broadcast of debates from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

In addition, BBC Parliament broadcasts the weekly political programmes from the Nations.

European and Other Assemblies

BBC Parliament produces two weekly half-hour programmes devoted to Europe.

European Focus concentrates on the European Parliament and Euro Brief on broader political and social themes.

EU Parliament Building
European Union Parliament Building, Brussels Belgium

At the weekend the channel takes a borader look at the world's political scene - through broadcasts of C-Span, major announcements and debates in Brussels and Strasbourg, and excerpts from the work of Europe's national parliaments.

The channel covers the main party conferences, as well as the TUC, live, and debates from the GLA.

For information about how to receive BBC Parliament, visit the BBC's digital information site:

US viewers, visit:

If you have a question or a complaint about the channel, please feel free to contact us, we welcome your views.

BBC Parliament
4 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

Or email your comments to:

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