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Satellite Update: TRT World in the UK, 80s Music, Discovery shuffle

Weeks after being spotted testing on a number of key satellites serving Europe, TRT World has been testing on the Astra 2 satellite cluster, serving viewers in the UK and Ireland.

In December, the channel - which is the English language television news service from Turkish state broadcaster TRT - was found temporarily broadcasting on the Astra 1 (19.2 East) and Eutelsat Hotbird (13 East) satellite positions, using satellite capacity held by uplink provider Globecast.

Now TRT World has been spotted testing using capacity previously used by Arise News on the Astra 2 satellite position used by Sky and Freesat users in the UK and Ireland, appearing to confirm that the channel is preparing to launch on all major satellite orbital positions serving Europe.

Unlike on other satellite orbital positions, channels wanting to launch on Astra 2 and go on the Sky Electronic Programme Guide are required to undergo a period of testing before they become officially available to viewers. Elsewhere, channels may enter normal service on the same day they appear on satellite.

The former user of the bandwidth, Arise News ceased broadcasting via satellite shortly before Christmas. The channel has had a long history of troubles surrounding non-payment of staff and suppliers resulting in the channel crashing off air on numerous occasions. Since its removal from Sky, the channel has been observed broadcasting  through the Vision TV portal on Freeview channel 244 and on Freeview channel 257, both available on compatible connected TVs. A live stream of Arise News is - at the time of publication - available at http://www.visiontv.co.uk/index.html under "News". 

Manual tuning details - TRT World
Satellite:    Astra 2G 
Frequency:    11479
Polarisation: Vertical
Symbol Rate:  22000
FEC:          5/6
Service ID:   50881
This is a test and may cease or change without notice.

News in Brief:
80s Music
Now Music has flipped to an 80s music format, bringing viewers the hits of the 1980s all day every day. Available on Sky channel 378, Freesat 513 or via TVPlayer.com.

Box Office gone
As previously reported on a516digtal, the days of Sky's movie-based Box Office service on satellite are numbered. The service was switched off, as scheduled during the early hours of the 4th January. What happens to the satellite capacity and EPG slots remains to be seen.

Discovery shuffle
Discovery is moving some of its Sky channels to a new position on the EPG from 5th January 2017. The changes only affect viewers in Great Britain and not Ireland.

The following channels are affected
Discovery Shed    - moving to 161 from 242
Home & Health     - moving to 162 from 240
Home & Health + 1 - moving to 240 from 241 

Made in Birmingham and Made in Liverpool
The recently relaunched local TV channels for Birmingham and Liverpool will make their official debut on Sky on 9th January 2017, although tests have already been taking place.
Viewers in the Granada TV region will see Made in Liverpool on channel 117, while viewers in the Central (West) TV region will see Made in Birmingham on that channel number.

Outside of these areas, Sky users can manually tune in the stations. Due to encryption, these channels are not going to be available on Freesat.

Other satellites:
Not available on a standard Sky / Freesat dish set-up

Walloons complete Hot Bird switch
The main public service and commercial TV channels serving the French speaking part of Belgium - Wallonia - have completed their switch from Astra 1 to Hot Bird this week. Transmissions on Astra 1 ceased on Monday 2nd January, as the pay TV operator carrying the channels reduces its presence on Astra 1. A notable exception is AB3 - currently broadcasting free-to-air, which has moved to a new slot on Astra 1, taking capacity previously used by Dutch TV before it was removed from Astra 1 last year. The changes mean that to watch all stations targeted at Belgian TV viewers, you need a satellite system set up for three satellites: Astra 1, Astra 3 and Hot Bird.

Belgian TV [Wallonia](encrypted)
Satellite:    Hot Bird 13 East
Frequency:    10930 
Polarisation: Horizontal 
Symbol Rate:  29900  
FEC:          2/3
Service ID:   16910 - 16915

Satellite:    Astra 1  19.2 East
Frequency:    12515
Polarisation: Horizontal
Symbol Rate:  22000
FEC:          5/6
Service ID:   4102

More 4K UHD on Hot Bird
Satellite operator Eutelsat has announced the arrival of two new UHD channels on the Hot Bird satellite position at 13 degrees East.
They are: Fashion TV UHD (which actually launched on the 23rd December) and Travelxp 4K, which launches this month. Travelxp 4K will use the new HDR picture technology developed by the BBC and Japan's NHK for its broadcasts.
Update 05/01/2017: Travelxp 4K now confirmed as broadcasting on Hot Bird - details added below

Fashion TV 4K
Satellite:    Hot Bird 13 East
Frequency:    12539
Polarisation: Horizontal
Symbol Rate:  30000
FEC:          5/6
Service ID:   1102 UHD Receiver required

Travelxp 4K
Satellite:    Hot Bird 13 East
Frequency:    10727
Polarisation: Horizontal
Symbol Rate:  30000
FEC:          3/4
Service ID:   4603 UHD Receiver required