Call the Freeview Advice Line
Don’t bother calling Freeview, whilst there might be carriage agreements in place between BT and Freeview broadcasters, it looks like BT are managing this themselves over their network.
The multicast streams are all there now, encrypted, but they include HD versions of many Freeview SD channels and stacks of regional variations.
According to a mod on a similar post, they had planned on launching it during April, but this was scrubbed very late - hence the reason call centre staff and terms and conditions online made reference to it.
There’s not been any mention of when they now plan to launch.
Obviously anything can change but here are the services I found with a multicast scan;
CBS Drama SD
CBS Justice SD
CBS Reality SD
BBC Alba HD
BBC News HD
BBC One East HD
BBC One East-Cambridge HD
BBC One London HD
BBC One Midlands East HD
BBC One Midlands East HD
BBC One Midlands West HD
BBC One N East and Cumbria HD
BBC One N Ireland HD
BBC One North-Lincs and Humbs HD
BBC One North-West HD
BBC One North-Yorks HD
BBC One Scotland HD
BBC One South East HD
BBC One South HD
BBC One South-Oxford HD
BBC One South-West HD
BBC One Wales HD
BBC One West HD
BBC Parliament HD
BBC Scotland HD
BBC Three HD
BBC Two England HD
BBC Two Northern Ireland HD
BBC Two Wales HD
C4 London HD
C4 Midlands HD
C4 North HD
C4 Scotland HD
C4 South HD
C4 Ulster HD
Channel 5 HD
Paramount Network HD
Food Network SD
Quest Red SD
ITV1 Central West HD - Central East
ITV1 Central West HD West Country
ITV1 Central West HD - West
ITV1 Central West HD
ITV1 Granda HD - Border England
ITV1 Granada Border Scotland
ITV1 Granada HD
ITV1 London HD
ITV1 Meridian East HD - Anglia East
ITV1 Meridian East - Anglia West
ITV1 Meridian East - Meridian North
ITV1 Meridian East - Meridian South
ITV1 Meridian East HD
ITV1 UTV ND
ITV1 Wales HD
ITV1 Yorkshire West HD - Tynes Tees
ITV1 Yorkshire West HD - Yorkshire East
ITV1 Yorkshire West HD
STV1 Aberdeen HD
STV1 Edinburgh HD
I agree, it definitely could of been handled better.
To get to the stage where you’ve circulated details to the call centre teams and they’re advising it’s launched, would suggest an eleventh hour problem.
Also, worth keeping in mind that launching this service literally quadruples the number of services carried over multicast - that may bring it’s own complexities.
It's by no means the finished article yet but you can already access many of the Freeview channels and watch them live online and you don't need BT TV to do it.
If you have a smart TV or a set top box then download the various apps, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 & My5 all deliver live content as well as archived content, the only 'disadvantage' is the lag which means that those watching (say) an off-air football match will see the kick off and any goals etc around 60 - 70 seconds before those watching via the apps.
Edit: And not to forget that you can watch live TV online via a laptop etc and cast it to your TV
I don't think the OP is referring to simply getting access to Freeview channels.
Yes, you could download each and every app, moving from app to app with different layouts and navigation, but it's clunky.
Bring all of that together, along with BTs subscription services, HD versions of SD channels on Freeview, and make it all available without an aerial, anywhere in the home with wifi, and you've got a half decent offering that might just give YouView a fighting chance past 2024.
Aside from that, looking at the bitrates for the services currently testing - there's a considerable improvement on quality when compared to the space available on Freeview, or even Freesat - even the SD services are higher.
The HD channels are running around 6-7Mb/s, and SDs 2.8-3Mb/s. In theory, the SD channels should look better than through Freeview - especially anything on SDN, which runs all channels at 544x576. The average for CBS Reality on SDN is 1.2Mb/s, so as well as doubling the bitrate, with move to a higher resolution should mean there’s an improvement.
The OP made it quite clear in message 6 that an aerial is not a practical option.
As I stated in my post, using the apps in such a way is not ideal by any means but by the sound of it, it does allow him more choice than he currently has