Arqiva's second digital terrestrial multiplex (Arqiva B/COM6) is now providing 12 consecutive videostreams. Late this morning, the caption that had been on channel 47 since April was replaced by a mostly static screen, occasionally interrupted by a version of the 4seven promo posted on this site last month.
Arqiva B is only available in post-switchover regions, whilst the two remaining pre-switchover regions - Ulster and Tyne Tees still receive the lower bandwidth multiplex D, which only carries 8 video streams (streams 1-8 on the chart below).
The addition of an extra stream had been indicated since May, when the amount of "null packets" or bandwidth not being used for anything increased.
Late last year, Arqiva B got an extra 3Mbps of bandwidth due to technical changes to the signal. This extra space was utilised by Big Deal. This extra bandwidth was not enough to be shared by both 4seven and Big Deal, so the bitrates for BT Vision hosted channels Sky Sports 1 and 2 were reduced in recent weeks and 4seven stablemate Film4 had its resolution cut today.
Last week, Arqiva's first multiplex (Arqiva A/COM5), commencing using 10 videostreams between 00:00 and 02:00 allowing Price Drop TV to extend broadcasting hours.
CURRENT 12 STREAMS ON ARQIVA B:
Primary users in bold (where applicable).
4. Ideal World / Smile TV2
7. Russia Today
8. Create & Craft / Rocks & Co / Al Jazeera English / Adult Babestn
9. Sky Sports 1 (hosted by BT Vision)
10. Sky Sports 2 (hosted by BT Vision)
11. Big Deal
In addition, Arqiva B also carries MHEG gateways to Vision, CCTV, Sports Tonight, Racing UK plus the following audio services: Premier Radio, Bauer radio stations The Hits, Smash Hits, Heat, Kiss, Magic, Q, Kerrang and Global's Smooth Radio.