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Changes to BBC HD transmissions on Astra satellites on 20 September 2012

In preparation for the launch of the Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland versions of BBC One HD, the BBC are making a small change to the way the transponder is configured.

In preparation for the launch of the Scotland, Wales, Northern
published on UK Free TV

About a year ago, the BBC upgraded the satellite transponder it uses for HD channels to the DVB-S2 standard (BBC HD to switch to DVB-S2 on 6th June ), and at the start of this year moved the transponders to a new satellite, Astra 1N (BBC satellite services moving to Astra 1N on 24th February).

Following this, the BBC is now going to make another change to the configuration, moving from QPSK to 8PSK modulation (from 4 to 8 Phase-shift keying), and a corresponding switch of the FEC (forward error correction) from 8/9 to 2/3.

This change will give a significant increase in the bitrate on the transponder - the change allows three bits to be carried per "symbol" (which remain at the 23.0MSymb/s rate) , rather than two as before).

The change from DVB-S to DVB-S2 last year increased the "usable" bitrate from 33.8Mbits/s to 46Mbit/s, the change to the 8PSK 2/3 will provide 58.8Mbit/s. (for more see DVB-S2 ready for lift off).

This will be used to allow for five high definition BBC television streams to be carried on satellite. The current two, used for BBC One HD and the BBC HD channel will be changed to:

  • BBC One HD for Northern Ireland
  • BBC One HD for Scotland
  • BBC One HD for Wales
  • BBC One HD for England (and the Channels Islands)
  • BBC Two HD for the UK

The changes will happen later in the year, after the configuration changes have been made to the transponder on 20th September 2012.

Freeview and cable users will not see any changes on 20th September. You won't see any changes if you do not have any HD channels.

If you use Sky or Freesat-from-Sky your box should not require any action. If you are unable to watch BBC One HD or BBC HD on that date, turn the Sky box off at the mains, wait 30 seconds and turn the power back on. After a few minutes the box should be able to show the channels again.

If you use Freesat, you may have to "soft reset" the box on 20th September. To do this, put the Freesat HD box or Freesat HD TV into standby for 30 seconds and then switch it back on again. In some rare cases, this will not work and you will need to do a "first time install" on the receiver.

BBC television regions by population size

The diagram above shows the United Kingdom, split into the populations in each BBC television region. It is interesting to note that the BBC will be providing special versions of BBC One in HD for Scotland (9.1% of the population), Wales (3.5%) and Northern Ireland (2.5%) whilst neglecting the large London (18.4%) North West (11.7%) and West Midlands (10.9%) regions.

However, the BBC has commitments to the "nations" and does provide additional programming and opt-outs above the "regional news" slots provided for the English Regions.

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Friday, 4 January 2013

9:42 PM

conor: here is the url Force the tax paid UKTV stations onto Freeview and Freesat - e-petitions
hope this helps

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conor's 60 posts GB flag

10:35 PM

conor: Seems a bit of an odd way to go about things... as the BBC is independent of Parliament.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

10:41 PM

... and it is BSkyB's subscription contract requirement that keeps UKTV's Dave, Dave Ja Vu, Really and Yesterday off Freesat, along with Discovery's Quest, MTV's VIVA and 4Music.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

10:43 PM

and to call them "tax paid" is very silly, as UKTV brings in money to the BBC in addition to the TV Licence.

A petition to say "stop BSkyB requiring all of each provider channels to be subscription" might be better.

(Note - Sky breaks it's own rules with Pick TV and Challenge

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 9 January 2013

5:49 PM

BBC 1 SCOT HD (8901) LCN 980
BBC 1 WALES HD (8911) LCN 981

were added to Freesat on 3 Jan.

At present they are only available on a Freesat box by entering a unique postcode which maps to a Freesat Test Region.

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js's 827 posts GB flag
Thursday, 10 January 2013

7:18 PM

The name "BBC 1 SCOT HD" looks a bit tight-fisted. What is the cost of four more characters?

On the Freesat Network, for service types 1, 2 and 25, we have service name lengths as follows:

3 of length 2
11 of length 3
11 of length 4
12 of length 5
9 of length 6
8 of length 7
21 of length 8
14 of length 9
22 of length 10
28 of length 11
24 of length 12
15 of length 13
30 of length 14

It would appear that Freesat have restricted service name lengths to a maximum of fourteen characters.

On the ASTRA Network, for service types 1, 2 and 25, we have:

1 of length 0
7 of length 2
25 of length 3
56 of length 4
30 of length 5
37 of length 6
50 of length 7
51 of length 8
58 of length 9
69 of length 10
70 of length 11
79 of length 12
55 of length 13
57 of length 14
17 of length 15
2 of length 16

It would appear that BSkyB have restricted these service name lengths to a maximum of sixteen characters.

However, if all service types are allowed, much longer names occur, the longest being "Sky News Active iText Quad" at 26 characters.

Note: The usual SERVICE TYPES are -
1 digital television service
2 digital radio sound service
12 data broadcast service
25 advanced codec HD digital television

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js's 827 posts GB flag

8:12 PM

There were some changes to Freesat today.

"Men & Movies" renamed to "more>movies"

"The Active Ch"

This service, unusually, does not have the Freesat Streams mapped to it (yet).

The service presently has an empty Flags-LCN-Region descriptor so is not yet available on a Freesat box (in Freesat mode). It does have full Freesat EIT Schedule data.

There is a description (Huffman-coded B2 descriptor in the ASTRA SDT) for this service:

"LA Muscle brings you sport, fitness, health and general well-being programming. Helping you stay in shape with our yoga, dance and training classes. We are behind the scenes at major fitness events."

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js's 827 posts GB flag
Friday, 11 January 2013

8:43 PM

Just to update, the Freesat Streams were mapped to "The Active Ch" today.

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js's 827 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
1:01 PM

Hi there,
Bought a brand new Humax Freesat+ box with freetime last week but its not recording everything I set it to record. Seems to be having a problem with the new BBC 1 Scot HD channel. I live in South Queensferry and this channel has only just become available. No one else I have discussed this with seems to have heard of any problems with this box. Can you help.

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Kate's 1 post GB flag

6:39 PM

Kate: see - please.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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