- Showcase TV to return next month on Freesat.
The Showcase channel has been taken over by country music channel Keep it Country TV, which is now available on Sky and some connected Freeview devices.
Keep it Country TV is operated by Phil Mack Country. There'll be 17 hours of content each day to begin with, but is expected to develop into a full 24/7 service from March, once third party content left over from Showcase is removed.
It's the first dedicated country music TV channel for Europe since the closure of CMT Europe in 1998.
The channel is available on Sky channel 261 and via compatible connected Freeview TVs on channel 254. Free-to-air satellite receivers across Europe can receive the signal via the Astra 2 satellite cluster (manual tuning details below).
Keep It Country TV has said it will be allocated its own Freesat channel number soon and will appear on the platform in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Information TV - the company behind the Showcase TV channel - has today confirmed that Showcase will return to Freesat at the end of February, despite the current Showcase channel being taken over by Keep It Country.
Showcase and Information TV act as incubators for new niche channels, and have in recent times facilitated the launch of Irish TV and The Craft Channel. Showcase was pulled earlier this month on Freesat on the same day The Craft Channel was launched on the service.
Free-to-air satellite manual tuning
(Astra 2 satellite cluster, 28.2-5 degrees East)
Symbol Rate: 27500 (27.5 Mbaud)
Satellite News in Brief
(Astra 2 satellites unless stated)
- Showcase+1 has launched on Sky channel 279, (Freq: 11597 Pol: V, S/R 22.000, FEC 5/6)whether this will morph into the 'new' Showcase TV channel that's been promised for Freesat remains to be seen.
- Horse racing channel Racing UK has confirmed it will be launching in HD on 7th March 2016 on Sky. The HD channel will replace the current SD channel for Sky HD users. Racing UK will remain standard definition only on other platforms.
- Sky Movies Sci-Fi/Horror has been temporarily re-branded Sky Movies Aliens for a special season of movies.
- Horror Channel+1 and CBS Reality+1 are testing on a new satellite transponder - indicating a future frequency change for the free-to-air channels. (Freq: 11343 Pol: V SR: 27500 FEC: 5/6 SIDs 55217 & 55218)
- BT is testing on a new transponder (Freq: 11344 Pol: V, SR: 27500, FEC:5/6 SIDs: 55208, 55209, 55211, 55212). The encrypted feeds include low quality versions of BT's sport channels.
- Music channels The Box, Kiss (TV), Kerrang and Smash Hits are being dual-illuminated on satellite, indicating a satellite transponder change. Duplicates of existing services are now being broadcast on Freq: 12.304 Pol: H SR: 27500 FEC: 2/3 This is potentially relevant for Freesat viewers who have Kerrang or Smash Hits added manually, as they're not on the Freesat EPG. Also affected are the Irish versions of Channel 4, More 4 and E4 (which are encrypted) and 4Music (currently also encrypted on satellite). Early reports suggest the new transponder operates a UK spotbeam, which may pave the way for currently encrypted channels to go free-to-air (copyright/licensing issues prevent some services going free-to-air while broadcasting to the whole of Europe via satellite).
- Over on Eutelsat Hot Bird, 13deg East, Swiss public service broadcaster SRG is preparing to go HD only from 29th February. SRG produces three sets of TV and radio services - in German, French and Italian under the SRF, RTS and RSI names. The channels are encrypted due to copyright/licensing reasons.