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

Tuesday, 14 June 2011
8:03 PM

I'm grateful to the advice by Steve above. Last Tuesday I set my Panasonic DMR-XS350EB DVD Recorder to record BBC Breakfast on HD. I could not understand why it hadn't recorded. Then someone on Thursday told me the BBC were in the process of setting up for 3D. Then at the weekend I realised that neither BBC HD channels were working.

I went onto the 999 Freesat page and read about the BBC HD changes. The 30sec pause and resume never worked nor did re-tune :(. Today I phoned Panasonic to CONFIRM that a Factory Reset would NOT erase recorded programmes, upload MP3's or pictures on the Hard Drive and they assured me it would not. ** The Manual does not tell you that **
Yes I did the Function Menu/Others /System update/ Initalize /Shipping Condition and turned the box off and isolated it at the wall.
Turned it back on, re-entered my Postcode and it found ALL the freesat channels and all the HD channels work including BBC 108HD and 109 - PHEW! :) I hadn't noticed that Channel 4 have an HD option on CH126.

All my HDD data is still in place - PHEW!
I was worried having had the machine decoded to Region 1 that it would not play NTSC DVD's but everything is fine.
I DID NOT have to put my Panasonic TV TX-L26X20B back to factory settings. I think the BBC HD picture is a touch sharper.

My other Sony TV with the Humax Foxsat HD just need a 2 minute re-tune with the box. The problem lay with Panasonic. As has been stated it is not possible to manually tune to the 23.0 Ksym/s option.

Disgrace how the BBC operate with no warning or useful online help. They seem more interested in trying to promote Andy Murray in 3D. Imagine the uproar if they had done this the day before the Royal Wedding. BBC you treat your customers shabbily (Eg like mushrooms)

link to this comment
Livewire's 1 post GB flag

9:04 PM

David: The event referred to must have been about two or three months ago now, and to be quite honest I dont really know exactly what the software update was installing, as when I arrived back at the house my wife said that it had just suddenly started about 10 minutes or so prior to me arriving, with about a further 30 minutes passing before it completed its task, the only thing I seen mentioned on the screen being the usual "do not switch off" etc before the "download complete - set will now re-boot" warning.

I didnt have time to delve any further into the details of the lengthy download, but suspect it may well have been connected with the BBC's proposed Symbol Rate changing activities, especially as this setting (23) was not evident in the manual selection list and yet it appeared during an auto-tune from the hidden "automatic detect" list.

By the way, the download took place whilst the set was running on Freeview BBC1.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Saturday, 18 June 2011
1:51 PM

I followed your method of carrying out a "Shipping Conditions" reset to my Panasonic BS850 DVD recorder and now BBC 1HD and BBC HD are both back in action!
Many thanks,

link to this comment
David's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Brian Goodwin
12:19 PM

Have a Panasonic DMR-XS350EB, performed 'Shipping conditions' and can now receive BBC1 and BBC HD, but every 30 seconds or so the picture breaks down. They were OK before and other chanels are OK. Signal strength is 10 and signal quality is 8/9. Panasonic says it's a BBC problem. Freesat says it's a Panasonic problem. Any ideas?

link to this comment
Brian Goodwin's 2 posts GB flag

2:02 PM

Brian, of course the whole problem was started by the BBC on the 6th. June by changing the way they did.
As for your present problem thats difficult but as others seem to be ok now maybe something unique to your unit.

link to this comment
David's 306 posts GB flag

6:00 PM

Brian Goodwin: Re: BBC-HD glitching every 30 seconds or so, just out of curiosity does the other HD services (ITV1-HD / Ch4-HD) do similar?

This said assuming that when you mention other channels as being OK it's normal Freeview you are referring to.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Graeme Hartley
8:29 PM

See Livewire. The only bit of advice that worked for me. Follow the step by step advice. It worked having tried everything else. Thanks

link to this comment
Graeme Hartley's 2 posts GB flag
Monday, 20 June 2011
Brian Goodwin
5:16 PM

jb38: ITV1 HD is fine, Ch4 HD also breaks up (never tried it before the retune). All other Freesat channels are OK. Can't get Freeview yet.
Have tried the reset to 'Shipping Conditions twice now and still get the above symptoms.

link to this comment
Brian Goodwin's 2 posts GB flag
6:15 PM

Ian Batty - In case you haven't solved your problem yet - I have the same Pioneer and couldn't find the channels on 10847 with a manual scan and so I did a full rescan and replaced all satellite channels and it worked, BBCHD and BBC1HD on 0217 and 0218 respectively

link to this comment
JayBee's 1 post ES flag
8:50 PM

I get BBC1 HD/ BBCHD Demo and Chn4 HD on my Panasonic Freesat TV with no problems .
Some other Channels are in HD like NHK Japan
I also get
ITV HD when I tune into " Other Satelite"
its not local but London region and thats OK .................

link to this comment
Jay's 7 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.