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Channel 4 HD to start on Freesat

From April 2011, Channel 4 will be broadcast in high definition for Freesat viewers.

From April 2011, Channel 4 will be broadcast in high definition
published on UK Free TV

Channel 4 and Freesat today announced that Freesat HD viewers will soon be able to enjoy Channel 4 HD when the channel launches on the subscription free satellite TV service in April.

Channel 4 HD becomes the fourth HD channel on Freesat joining BBC One HD, BBC HD, and ITV1 HD.

Freesat Managing Director Emma Scott said: "This is fantastic news for Freesat. C4HD is a high quality channel and we're sure it will prove popular with our discerning viewers.

"The addition of a fourth HD channel makes Freesat an even more attractive offer for savvy TV viewers looking for quality TV without monthly bills."



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An Independent Scot would still be able to watch the BBC on satellite, surely? 5
Were ... you watching UK Free TV from the Astra satellites until last week?6

Comments
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Josh
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

2:48 PM

Yes, finally!!

Now Freesat will equal to Freeview HD in terms of HD channels.

Whatsmore, I guess those who can't get a decent Freeview signal now won't need a Sky+ HD box with FTV card!

Since Channel 4 HD uses DVB-S2 whilst currently on Astra 2a in it's encrypted form, will it be downgraded to DVB-S once on Astra 2D FTA? Or will there be some changes to Astra 2D so that Channel 4 HD can still be DVB-S2? I mean, offical Freesat boxes are supposed to support DVB-S2 right?

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Josh's 97 posts GB
Josh
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

2:51 PM

*And I forgot to mention, all we need to wait for now is for Channel 5 to be on Freesat!

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Josh's 97 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

2:53 PM

Josh: DVB-S2 isn't used on Astra 2D for technical reasons (it doesn't seem to support it).

It only effects the bitrate provided by the multiplex.

It does not effect the bitrates used for each HD channel, only the total bandwidth available.

All Freesat receivers are DVB-S2 compatible.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

2:54 PM

Josh: FIVE have signed an exclusive deal with Sky until 2012. Unless Richard Desmond, who is hardly a Rupert Murdoch fan, decides otherwise.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

2:57 PM

Josh: DVB-S2 gives a 30% increase in the bits available in the same spectrum.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Josh
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

2:58 PM

So will it stay as DVB-S2 on 2D do you think?

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Josh's 97 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

3:09 PM

Josh: No, as I said, Astra 2D doesn't seem to support DVB-S2.
Let me explain more clearly. DVB-S2 is standard used to provide the MULTIPLEX. It provides 30% more bits on the same transponder as DVB-S.
It doesn't effect in any way shape or form the stuff, any of it, carried by the multiplex, other than by making 30% more bits aviliable.
So, Channel 4 HD does not broadcast *IN* DVB-S2, it is CARRIED using a transponder in DVB-S2 mode.
If the channel moves to Astra 2D, then it will be carried on a DVB-S transponder (as are BBC and ITV HD channels).
It won't change one bit of the part of the multiplex that is the channel.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

3:11 PM

Just like if you have a 10Mbs cable connection, and you up that to 20Mbs service, it doesn't change the contents of your emails.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
M
Mike Dimmick
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

4:48 PM

Briantist: There's no reason to think that Astra 2D does not 'support' DVB-S2. It was launched three months after Astra 2B, which does currently host some S2 multiplexes. So, in fact, do some of the Astra 1 cluster e.g. 1H which went up in 1999. The S2 spec was first released in 2005.

From this, and the fact that some Astra 1 transponders were converted from PAL to DVB-S, I conclude that the transponders are just dumb amplifiers and relays of the uplinked signal.

The difference is that 2D's transponders are configured for the Fixed Satellite Service band, not Broadcast Satellite Service as 2B is. These are ITU terms - FSS covers 10.7 - 10.95 and 11.2 - 11.45 GHz in 27 MHz channels, and BSS covers 11.7 - 12.5 GHz in 33 MHz channels. The simple fact of the wider bandwidth gives higher bitrates, so can lead to false comparisons. The DVB-S2 spec does indicate that 30% or so improvement can be had from the same carrier-to-noise ratio, compared to DVB-S.

Right now the FTA broadcasters don't need DVB-S2, but they might do soon if any more leave Sky and go FTA. ITV has some FTV rather than FTA regions, but they're advertising regions (showing different adverts) rather than content regions (where the actual programmes could be different, though it's often limited to local news output anyway).

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

5:29 PM

Mike Dimmick: My reasoning is simple - no one, not the BBC, ITV or Sky have ever used DVB-S2 on Astra 2D.

Given the 30% extra capacity gained from doing so leads me to the conclusion that there is a technical reason for it not happening.

Your points are all perfectly correct, I shall see if I can find out a definitive "why" (or, if you are correct "when") from my contacts.

There are clearly two transponders, 50 (BBC HD, BBC One HD) and 56 (ITV1 HD Granada, STV HD), that only have HD services on them and would clearly benefit from DVB-S2.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
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