menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Freesat



Click to see updates

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.

Help with Free satellite?
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau1
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?2
What is a CA module?3
My box says "No Satellite signal being received"4
Is there any way I can get free channels via satellite and have the kind of hard5
In this section
Show me the 55 TV channels have moved to the new Astra 2G satellite 1
Good news for Freesat? Astra 2E satellite launched2
No satellite signal? Check your dish for snow!3
New satellite footprints page4
BBC satellite changes: radio, BBC ONE HD, Red button reduction 12-15 October 2015
Changes to BBC HD transmissions on Astra satellites on 20 September 20126

Monday, 6 June 2011
10:59 PM

Panny TX-P42G15E in Spain has lost them -- not sure if it's S2 compatible. Rescan didn't work, running factory reset now. ZERO chance of help from Panasonic: they refused to even provide the firmware to allow the DVB-S tuner to work in Spain so always have to set up as if in Germany. Plus older model but I bought new 5 months ago. I'm furious...

link to this comment
BCNsteve's 3 posts ES flag
Tuesday, 7 June 2011

5:14 AM

BCNsteve: Your location doesn't matter, a full reset works the same anywhere.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
9:28 AM

I have a sony bravia ex503, I live in Nuneaton, Warwickshire and I have lost all my freeview hd channels this morning. All worked fine yesterday. Tried a retune but no change.
Anybody else having a problem?

link to this comment
Paul's 1 post GB flag
Paul's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
9:57 AM

@Briantist full reset didn't work. The g15E european model is different to the UK freesat-branded G15. It has a DVB-S tuner but no mention in the specs of DVB-S2 and certainly no sign of C4HD, or either of the BBC ones even after a full factory reset.

link to this comment
BCNsteve's 3 posts ES flag
10:21 AM

BCNsteve: actually, it DOES have a DVB-S2 tuner but I had to manually enter all the channel details to get the BBCHD channels back. Oh well, all's well...

link to this comment
BCNsteve's 3 posts ES flag
Richard Hall
12:38 PM

Richard : Just done a system/factory re-set on my Panasonic 50" TV & Panasonic BluRay Recorder and all is now O.K.
I think announcements should have been made at the end of the News programmes to ensure people understand why & when this was taking place. There must be numerous people, especially older people, who are very worried thinking their TV's etc are faulty and calling engineers out. There will be a lot of people making a lot of money at the expense of the vunerable/non-technical !

link to this comment
Richard Hall's 1 post GB flag

5:57 PM

BCNsteve: I'm glad to hear that.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

8:03 PM

Richard, glad that worked for you, but I will be very unhappy with that as a solution as all the changes to setting made by me would be lost.
Is that the only solution that will come?
I might be better off doing without these 2 programs as it would be a nightmare setting it all over again.
I have several pieces of equipment being input and all thr none Freesat programs on Other Satellites.

Anyone seen anything publicaly official from the BBC, Freesat or Panasonic on this problem?

link to this comment
David's 306 posts GB flag

9:36 PM

David: According to a response from Panasonic to the What Satellite web site it mentions that, "we have discovered that when a user has the BBC One HD and BBC HD services stored in the Other Satellite Services List, the user will have to perform a shipping condition reset to recover the BBC HD services". Although no mention is made of this in their response, if you have BBC One HD and BBC HD in your Other Satellites Service List for the Astra 2 and Eurobird 1 satellites try deleting them and do a Auto Freesat scan and see if this resolves your problem.

link to this comment
NottsUK's 345 posts GB flag
Select more comments

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.