Nick Austin has created a unique TV channel.

In 12 years of broadcasting, he has never employed a single presenter.

He has built a regular audience of 1.7 million viewers without ever moving an international TV station out of his Georgian mansion in Crowhurst.

It has never been that inconvenient for him.

In fact, he has occasionally filmed the flowers in his front garden and the Sussex countryside, which can be seen and occasionally smelt from his office window.

It is a TV station known and watched across the world - a station which has lasted far longer than many of its competitors.

Mr Austin has never employed more than ten people. Few media moguls have kept costs so low and popularity so consistent.

So what was the secret?

Mr Austin has always produced TV entirely composed of classical music and film of the countryside.

His Landscape Channel has been a staple of cable and satellite services for years.

Mr Austin called it programming to relax to but admitted his station has been described as "TV to pull teeth to".

Despite his reputation for transmitting short bursts of popular classical music across the globe, there are gold discs on Mr Austin's wall.

He had the idea for the Landscape Channel while running a record company, Beggars Banquet, which published Gary Numan's hit single Cars in the mid-Eighties.

This followed a successful career managing a punk and a mod band.

The channel had more rock 'n' roll credibility than was immediately obvious.

At the back of the building, director of programming Mike Appleton sat among racks of classical music CDs.

After 30 years of producing Seventies music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, Mr Appleton produced Live Aid.

He was a friend of Bob Geldof's and co-ordinated the international music event which made $100 million and changed the face of fund-raising.

After creating the greatest gig the world had ever seen, he moved to the Landscape Channel to produce instrumental TV.

Like Mr Austin, he saw a gap in the market for background TV.

He got directors to film landscape scenes to accompany classical music and broadcast the results.

He said: "The films were like pop videos without the cars, guitars or artists."

He has been sending directors and cameramen to attractive parts of Europe for 12 years now armed with a CD of classical music and a brief to illustrate it.

For a while, the channel was a mainstream hit.

In 1990, it was broadcast between 9am and 11am on Channel 4.

The broadcast won a massive postbag from people wanting to get hold of the music.

Since then, it has appeared on cable and satellite systems across the globe.

The lack of language made it an international product which appeared from Latvia to Spain.

Mr Austin has recently signed an agreement to put it into India.

As more and more channels have been added to cable networks, the Landscape Channel has returned to homes across Britain.

It has built the number of viewers in the UK to 200,000 subscribers.

New technology meant the channel could be delivered by cable companies to individual towns and even smaller areas.

The Landscape Channel has been the cheapest form of TV short of a test card, prompting businesses to ask whether they can have a TV station of their own.

From September, the programming will be created in MPEG2 format, a video version of the files used to send music over the internet.

Any firm with a server and a computer network will be able to transmit the Landscape Channel to its offices and reception areas.

Mr Austin will brand the channel for individual companies with their logos on-screen and their advertisements between music tracks.

At first the service will be adopted by big firms eager to boost their brand and add that special something to a reception desk.

But with costs kept low by distribution over a computer network, it could soon be even more widespread.

Mr Austin said: "I can't wait until we can have the Doris and James at the Dog and Duck Pub Channel."