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BBC HD to switch to DVB-S2 on 6th June 2011

The BBC will switch to the higher-capacity modern modulation scheme for the BBC HD and BBC One HD channels on satellite.

The BBC will switch to the higher-capacity modern modulation sc
published on UK Free TV

The high definition (HD) television channels on satellite require a lot more bandwidth (number of bits per second) than the standard definition (SD) ones, as you might expect.

However the additional capacity required is reduced in two ways. First the MPEG-4 compression system is used (rather than MPEG-2) and generally the DVB-S2 modulation system increases the bandwidth of each satellite transponder.

Generally speaking, around nine SD television channels can be carried on a transponder in DVB-S mode, and four HD channels on one in DVB-S2 mode.

For historical reasons, the BBC's Astra 2D transponder 50 has been providing BBC One HD and BBC HD (and also ITV1 HD Merdian South) in the DVB-S mode, and this has used all the capacity on the transponder, because of the lower bitrate.

The changes

One 6th June 2011, the BBC will switch the transponder to DVB-S2. If you watch using Sky+HD, Virgin Media or Freeview HD you will not have to do anything.

If you use a branded Freesat box (or TV set), you may need to put it into stand-by mode for 30 seconds on 6th June. If that doesn't work, perform a 'first time installation'.

Update: Some Panasonic Freesat boxes are unable to deal with the change - see comments below

If you are using a unbranded Freesat box, you may find that you also have to do a 'first time installation' to get the channels back.

Some older satellite equipment will not support DVB-S2. If you can't watch Channel 4 HD, then you will no longer be able to watch the BBC HD channels.

Sky HD, Freesat HD EPG issues

Currently BBC One HD cannot automatically replace BBC One in the Sky EPG at position 101, because there are 15 regional versions of BBC One, and only a single BBC One HD 'stream' on the satellite.

BBC Two carries four regions for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For a BBC TWO HD to appear in the Sky EPG at position 102, the BBC would need to provide four versions of BBC TWO HD.

All the other BBC channels are national, and have no regional components. BBC Three timeshares with CBBC, BBC FOUR timeshares with CBeebies, plus there is BBC News, BBC Parliament and BBC Alba.

The extra capacity found by moving to DVB-S2 could allow the BBC to provide BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC channel in HD, and these could be provided in the "usual" EPG slots for Sky HD and Freesat HD users, which would put them on the lower numbered channels nearer the top of the guide.

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Sunday, 10 July 2011
Mark Aberfan Aerials

12:45 PM

Hi David,

The differance is that the freesat spec includes dvbs2 & if as in this case the hardware is not capable & cannot be upgraded by software then the box is not fit for the job & should be swapped out, alba group have already had to do this because some early hd boxes could not access I-Player & lg had to give Humax freesat hd boxes out because their tv's could not access i-player.
Unfortunatly the retailer is responsable in law & he has to seek backup from his supplier. No I have not had to refund any of my customers because I dont sell these boxes,as there is no margin on them & too many issues, dont get me wrong the boxes are good value & very impressive for the price but when things are so cheap corners have to be cut & from time to time issues will arise.
The panasonic issue is a more difficult one as it is a premium priced product which raises your expectations but they have taken their time to bring a expected upgrade to market, They have not done their brand or their affected customers any favours, Its
difficult to guage what is a reasonable time to keep customers waiting & at what point it could be called unfit for the job, its also clouded by the fact they have provided upgrades for other models also without any great rush. I work with some panasonic dealers who are not happy with this situation souring cutomer relations during a difficult trading period.

Mark Aberfan Aerials

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Mark Aberfan Aerials's 1,059 posts GB flag

1:39 PM

Thanks JB and Mark.
It is a TX-37LZD81.
First they promised the upgrade in Sept. 2010 as you say that would have been a long wait. Now they still say Sept. but 2011.
From my understanding of what they say to me it is taking all this time to test the results on the sets on the upgrade. To me they are not issuing an upgrade as they scared stiff of killing the TV with it.
I have asked them to do the Samsung or was it LG solution of issuing a box with the feature they are silent on that suggestion.

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David's 306 posts GB flag

3:11 PM

David: Thanks for the info, and as probably realised the reason for asking being that I wanted to have a look at the manual to "check the spec" so to say, as it so happens its virtually identical to the later "G20" ranges with the tuner being DVD-S2 capable and the symbol rate being shown as having a maximum of 30MS/s.

It seems to be the 23k symbol rate that is causing the problem, or more accurately the lack of being able to choose it, as I was worried about this on my own G20 model as it didn't appear as being a manual choice, however a subsequent auto-scan gave the desired results, this being suggestive that a mysterious (and lengthy!) download I noticed the set carrying out much earlier on in the year "may" have been connected to adding the 23K facility to the sets reception capabilities, as I couldn't determine any other reason for it.

By the way, the TV doing an automatic shutdown reboot on completion of the download, this rather fascinating other members of the family who happened to be watching at the time.

Indications seen in the tuning menu after the reboot whilst viewing BBC1 HD.

S/R : 23000
Modulation : QPSK
FEC : 8/9.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 7 August 2011
3:00 PM

I have a Goodmans GFSDTR320HD, Supplied by the government scheme for the elderly and disabled, the first box developed problems and was replaced with identical unit. Just like others i can no longer record the BBC HD channels. I have been told by the installers that the help and support was only for one year, and they refused to help me. Anyone know what my legal position is please?

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Alan's 13 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

8:07 PM

Alan: If you'd bought it from a shop, I'd argue that a second failure indicates that it's not of satisfactory quality and they'd have to exchange it. The switchover help scheme is a bit of a grey area. Contact your local Citizens' Advice Bureau and see what they say.

I assume that you paid for satellite equipment to be installed, or was Freeview (through an aerial) not possible where you are?

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Monday, 8 August 2011
8:52 AM

Yes I paid for all the FreeSat equipment and installation, I already had Freeview and thought the FreeSat option sounded good, indeed it was! But then the BBC HD changed, and I could no longer record them from the epg.
I assumed that the guarantee period would start again from the replacement FreeSat box, but Euro Aerials Ltd (who handled the government scheme for the Granada area) refuse to help.

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Alan's 13 posts GB flag

8:55 AM

Alan: If you have a "branded" Freesat box this is guaranteed to work. See the information at the top of the page about resetting the box to "factory settings".

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
12:36 PM

Briantist, thanks, I do have a branded Freesat HD box (goodmans), it does not offer a factory reset option, and I can't see where on this page the instructions are to do a factory reset. I have unplugged the box forcing it to do a first time installation, and manually done several first time installations, but no luck. So this guaranteed to work solution is what?

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Alan's 13 posts GB flag
4:32 PM

I have contacted the government switch-over scheme, who arranged my satellite installation, they have contacted the BBC, Digital UK, and Goodmans directly, and got this response; The Renault channel 651 is interfering with the new BBC HD settings, and at the moment there is no solution to the different boxes problems of recording BBC HD from the epg. I do not believe this at all!!!!!! Further, I contacted Consumer Direct (Government)who said this type of equipment is covered by the 1979 sale of goods act, and covers the equipment for SIX years, yes, SIX years. But Euro Aerials refuse to accept this. The chap at the switchover scheme is taking this further,and will let me know what happens.

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Alan's 13 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 10 August 2011

7:35 PM

Alan: Please let me know how you get on.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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