As part of ITV's plan to move all existing versions of ITV HD regions together, ITV HD versions for the Central (West) and Meridian (SE) regions have moved from Astra 1N to Astra 2F, frequency 11097 V.
ITV HD Central and Meridian have until now only been available via Sky, and not the Freesat EPG. It's expected that Freesat viewers in the affected regions will, at some point, be able to access the missing regions. Currently, Freesat only offers ITV HD London or Granada in England, Wales and Scottish Borders.
Scotland's STV HD has gone off air via satellite, but will return ahead of its formal launch on Freesat and Sky in April. UTV HD has been available since late last year in Northern Ireland on both services.
Next week, all remaining ITV standard definition services on Astra 1N will be migrated to Astra 2E. The move is expected to occur during the early hours of Tuesday morning (11th), with a brief break in service expected when the channels switch satellites. Sky and Freesat viewers within the British Isles do not need to take any action.
At this point, viewers in Europe who lost BBC channels on the 6th February will also lose access to ITV. UK broadcasters who transmit free-to-air are having to restrict their satellite footprint outside of the British Isles due to broadcast rights reasons.
The move is part of a three phase replacement of existing satellites at 28.2 degrees East, with the launch of Astra 2F, E and later this year G. (Not launched in alphabetical order). Each satellite carries a much tighter UK spotbeam, limiting reception outside of the UK, Ireland, Northern France and Benelux countries. Affected viewers in Europe first lost access to Channel 5 in standard definition when the first batch of channels migrated in late 2012 following the launch of Astra 2F. The affect of the tighter spotbeam went largely unnoticed until this week's migration of BBC channels.
Astra 1N, which was put in service at 28.2 degrees East to maintain satellite services for the UK and Ireland, following the retirement of the Astra 2D UK spotbeam satellite, will move to its originally intended position at 19.2 degrees East to cover continental Europe. The move is expected to start immediately after the last services have migrated to Astra 2E next week.
ITV/STV/UTV regions on satellite - Manual Tuning Reference Guide ►
- In other satellite news, the BBC's Red Button streams have been added to the Sky EPG today, making the pay TV platform the last major digital TV service to allow viewers to directly access and record the channels. Freeview was the first platform to allow this, with the Red Button channels originally on channels 701/702, before moving to their current home of 301/302. Freesat and Virgin Media viewers saw the BBC Red Button streams added to their channel line-ups last year, when the BBC launched temporary extra Red Button streams to cover Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the British Grand Prix. BBC RB2 is a temporary service for the duration of the Winter Olympics.
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BRITISH TV BLACKOUT IN EUROPE
On Thursday 6th February, the BBC’s services on Astra 1N moved to their permanent home on Astra 2E.
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