Satellite tests start for BBC Red Button Winter Olympics service

SATELLITE UPDATE The BBC has begun preparations for a pop-up Red Button stream on satellite for the duration of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

As previously announced by the BBC, there will be up to two Red Button streams available on digital TV platforms. But the BBC currently operates just one Red Button stream on all digital TV services, meaning pop-up, or temporary, streams have to be created for additional coverage.

Following the successful implementation of temporary Red Button streams last Summer, the BBC has promised to do the same during major sports events this year.

Last week, Ofcom approved plans by the BBC and Arqiva to launch a pop-up stream to provide extra Winter Olympic coverage on the digital terrestrial TV platform (for Freeview and YouView viewers).

Now, tests have commenced on the Astra 2F satellite (manual tuning details: Frequency: 12.552; polarisation: vertical; symbol rate: 22.000  FEC: 5/6, service ID: 54190). The stream is showing the BBC Digital Widescreen Test Transmission, originally created in the late 1990s to show off the glory of standard definition widescreen TV, and features scenes from a Cornish summer's day.

Once testing is complete, the stream is expected to be made available via existing Red Button service on Freesat, and given a channel number alongside the existing BBC RB1 stream on channel 981. Details about availability on Sky are still unknown.

The second Red Button stream is expected to be live between 3rd and 24th February 2014.

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