A pioneering community television service that is delivered via the Internet goes on trial in London’s Shoreditch later this month, with screen design and branding by Kemistry.
Digital Bridge, which is run by the Shoreditch Trust, will test its Shoreditch TV system in an initial 1000 homes in the east London borough, ahead of a roll-out to 20 000 homes in the second quarter and 40 000 by the end of the year. If this trial proves to be successful, the scheme is likely to be expanded nationally, and Digital Bridge has already received interest from France, Sweden and Canada.
Kemistry was brought in three months ago to work with ITN on its films for the service and subsequently became involved in designing a dedicated brand, says consultancy director Graham McCallum. ‘The Shoreditch TV brand is designed to be adaptable by different local regions around the country: we’ve created an umbrella brand where you can drop in a local version,’ he says.
Shoreditch TV will offer access to a range of information about the local area, including a channel dedicated to community safety that relays video from surveillance cameras placed around the neighbourhood. The technology is provided by Video Networks, which owns and operates the Homechoice broadband TV and Internet service. It will also offer users access to PC functionality, such as e-mail and Microsoft Office applications, through their TV sets, as well as broadband Internet access.
‘The idea is to engage low income families, or those with little access to technology, ahead of the Government’s digital switchover [to be completed by 2012].
‘We have tried to make the interface simple to operate from the TV remote control and easy to navigate for people who aren’t used to it. Rather than lists of information, we’ve tried to inject some local personality into it,’ says McCallum.
Campaign posters launching the service are designed by Kemistry and feature people from the neighbourhood, to portray a ‘friendly, local look’, adds McCallum. The consultancy also created the logo and visual identity for Digital Bridge.
Digital Bridge is funded by the Government, the European Commission, local authorities and the Shoreditch Trust. Expansion of the Shoreditch TV service to Tower Hamlets in London is planned in the final quarter of the year and the company has also received expressions of interest from other UK areas.
• Shoreditch Trust is a ten-year, £60m regeneration programme funded through the Government’s New Deal for the Communities
• Digital Bridge is the primary project in its social enterprises
• It will deliver community channels, broadband Internet and PC on TV through Video Network’s 8mb/s network