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Red Button HD takes short break ahead of Commonwealth Games

SATELLITE UPDATE  The BBC's Red Button HD service has temporarily been withdrawn from Freesat and Sky today, as the BBC reconfigures its expanded Red Button offering ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

The past few weeks have seen extra Red Button streams for Wimbledon, the World Cup and Glastonbury on all digital TV platforms.

Parts of the Red Button service will now be changing, as the BBC moves channels around to provide enough bandwidth for an extended BBC Three and BBC Three HD during the Commonwealth Games.

BBC Red Button HD, which was on Freesat and Sky channel 986 will return for the start of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, on the same channel number.

However, the service will then operate as a part-time service, running from 1900 to 0530 BST until the end of the Commonwealth Games.

This is due to CBBC HD, which normally timeshares with BBC Three HD, changing satellite transponders to share bandwidth with BBC Red Button HD, in turn enabling BBC Three HD to go 24 hours a day until early August.

On standard definition TV, CBBC SD will be changing transponders shortly to enable BBC Three SD to expand. CBBC SD will share with an extra Red Button service - called BBC RB 0, which like BBC Red Button HD will broadcast from 1900 to 0530 BST. BBC RB 0 will appear on Freesat and Sky channel 980 by 23rd July.

BBC Red Button streams 1-5, available on Freesat and Sky channels 981 to 985 look set to remain on-air during the gap between the end of Wimbledon and the start of the Commonwealth Games.

After the Commonwealth Games end on the 3rd August 2014, the Red Button service will return to its usual single stream.

Importantly for most Freesat and Sky viewers, no action should be required, with satellite receivers being automatically redirected in the background.

If you do encounter a problem with BBC Red Button, the BBC advises Sky viewers: "If you do have a problem receiving any of our channels, you can try turning your set top box off at the mains, waiting 30 seconds and turning it back on again. If that doesn’t resolve your problem you can find more help at .

For Freesat viewers, the BBC says: "If you have Freesat and you do not pick up the new channels automatically, you may need to put your digital box or TV into standby for 30 seconds and then switch it back on again. If the channels are still unavailable then carry out a 'Freesat channel retune'. Full instructions can be found in the manual for your digital TV or box. Further help with retuning can be found at or by calling the Freesat customer support team on 08450 990 990."

Note: the BBC Red Button streams use the "UK spot beam" - reception beyond the British Isles and bordering territories is limited.

At a glance: Red Button channel numbers
BBC channels on satellite: manual tuning details 


  1. BBC RB HD is still on 986 for me

  2. Something has slipped then with that information to my box I suppose?
    No worries though, as it doesn't stop me using it for other things, I guess it will just come back there anyway when they are reddy.

  3. I don't think you're the only one where it still remains; a similar thing happened recently when BBC RB1 moved transponder, some boxes ignored the change.
    CBBC SD has today moved transponders ahead of BBC Three's extended hours.

  4. Yes I saw that over on Digital Spy about CBBC changing TPs.
    Just another piece in the puzzle I suppose ready for BBC 3 extending its hours!


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