Satellite Update: ITV changes, Keep it Country moves, BBC reconfig

ITV has made technical changes to its HD channel for the Anglia region for satellite viewers as it beefs up capacity for more HD regions and channels. 

Following a transponder change, ITV Anglia HD sits on the same transponder as STV HD and UTV HD. The change took place yesterday without any prior warning, although the vast majority of Sky and Freesat viewers in the Anglia region won't have noticed any changes to their reception.

May also affect viewers who have manually added STV HD and UTV HD
A small number of viewers, including viewers who have manually tuned into any of the channels on the transponder - including STV HD and UTV HD may need to delete these and retune due to the technical changes that took place to facilitate ITV Anglia HD.

ITV is now hosting five HD channels on the affected transponder, in a move which will ultimately enable it to host at a least one version of each ITV region in HD on satellite (not sub-regions), plus HD versions of channels it currently doesn't offer in HD on satellite. Bit rates are variable, averaging around 8Mbps, but typically peaking in around 15-16 Mbps.

As there are numerous services carrying the same content for most of the time on each HD transponder, ITV isn't able to fit as many channels as it technically could, as it uses statistical multiplexing, which facilitates variable bitrates that adapt to the content being shown. If a number of services show the same content, and that content includes fast moving action (e.g. sport), they will all need increased bitrates at the same time reducing the amount available for other services.

Within the past month, ITV has also received a satellite and cable licence for "ITV Box Office", indicating a further service that will need to be accommodated.

ITV Anglia HD launched earlier this year on satellite only. A launch date for Freeview is not known.

Manual tuning details:

Astra 2G, Frequency 11068

Polarisation: Vertical
Mode:         DVB-S2, 8PSK
Symbol Rate:  23000
FEC:          3/4
Revised tuning information for Sky boxes - now also including SkyQ.

Keep It Country has moved. Sky and Freesat users should be unaffected (any affected boxes should be reset). The channel is particularly popular in Ireland, where both country music and generic free-to-air satellite receivers are in abundance.

Manual tuning details for the channel:

Astra 2G, Frequency 11082
Polarisation: Horizontal
Mode:         DVB-S, QPSK
Symbol Rate:  22000
FEC:          5/6

The BBC will be reverting back to its normal configuration next week. Following the closure of the BBC Olympic channels on Monday, CBeebies and CBeebies HD will move back to their timesharing home with BBC Four and BBC Four HD. BBC Four reverts back to an evening-only service with its usual arts and culture focused programmes.

The reconfiguration for the Olympics took Swiss cable operators by surprise - In Switzerland, cable operators can take free-to-air satellite channels even if the broadcaster concerned objects, as long as copyright holders are compensated. Oblivious to the change, cable subscribers lost CBeebies and CBeebies HD when the channels changed transponder to make way for the extended BBC Four and BBC Four HD Olympic coverage.

Sky has made adjustments to its sports channels, making room for the new Sky Sports Mix channel that starts at 12:30pm on Tuesday 24th August. To increase the likelihood of viewers being aware of the new channel as they channel surf through this weekend's sporting action, it's already appeared on channel 407. As reported earlier this week, this means a number of other Sky Sports channels have had to move to make way, including Sky Sports F1, now on 408.

Astra 19.2: On the 30th September, Eins Plus and ZDF Kultur - SD and HD - will be closing ahead of the launch of the new public service Youth channel. Following the footsteps of BBC Three, the new youth channel (as yet unnamed) will be online only. Eins Festival will rebrand to "One"  this autumn, targeting the 30+ year group. It broadcasts a full length version of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in English on weekday nights.

a516digital CHANGES
Articles and reference guides on a516digital that mentioned manual tuning on Sky were previously written to reflect the terminology used by traditional Sky boxes. Following the launch of SkyQ, individual pages are currently being revised to reflect the terminology used by the different types of Sky receiver. Pages that haven’t been updated, may still refer to terminology that does not apply to SkyQ boxes. As an interim, guidance was flagged with (not SkyQ) to avoid users following instructions not intended for SkyQ users, particularly during the time when Sky Q mini box users reported not being able to manually tune channels - something that users should now be able to do. These references will be removed as part of the update and where appropriate a link to updated information applicable to all Sky boxes. SkyQ users who would like to improve the information provided on this site can this contact link.

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