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Satellite Update: True Xmas rebrand, Quest moves

Tis the season for rebranding | Quest moves | Peppa Pig channel is back | Bavarian HD local channels | New mountain-themed channel

October has arrived, and with it begins the arrival of special seasonal channels.

Starting off, True Movies has completed its annual rebrand to True Christmas across all platforms. The channel was already showing festive films last week, now the channel name has changed to fit the channel's output, which generally features wall-to-wall US made-for-TV films.

  • Sky channel 321 (+1  322)
  • Freesat channel 302 (+1 303)
  • Non-satellite: Virgin UK 424;  Freeview/ YouView channel 62 between 2100 and 0500 (only available in local TV coverage areas)

During the next six weeks, further festive film and music stations will appear across the Sky EPG - Next up is Movies24 (Sky 327, +1 328) which becomes Christmas 24 on the 29th October.

Quest frequency change
Quest and sister channel Quest Red (Sky 144/162*; Freesat 167/169) have moved to a new satellite transponder on the 28°E orbital position as part of a shuffleround of channels operated by parent company Discovery. Sky and Freesat boxes should automatically handle the change, but for those who have manually tuned in the station, the new parameters are:
Satellite:    Astra 2E (28.2E)
Frequency:    12382
Polarisation: Horizontal 
Symbol Rate:  27500 (27.5Mbaud)
FEC:          5/6
Mode:         DVB-S 
*Quest Red channel 162 is not available in Northern Ireland via the Sky EPG.

Peppa Channel
Presumably the world's most favourite cartoon pig - Peppa Pig - is back with a dedicated channel. Nick Jr Peppa once again replaces Nick Jr Too... at least for the month of October. (Sky channel 620)

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The hills are alive with... a mountain channel
Digital TV has opened up many new genre-themed channels: the latest is a mountain-themed channel. France's Mont Blanc Live (ID: MB Live) is currently free-to-air on Astra 1 (19.2°E) and all about mountains and outdoor activities.
Satellite:    Astra 1KR (19.2E)
Frequency:    11229
Polarisation: Vertical 
Symbol Rate:  22000
FEC:          2/3
Mode:         DVB-S2
Service ID:   5081

Local TV in HD
Bavaria's network of local TV channels have now gone HD on the Astra 1 satellite cluster (19.2°E).  The move means cities like Augsburg (population 281,000 in 2015) can now tune into their local channel free-to-air in HD across Europe. Existing SD versions of the channel are due to close next March.
Satellite:    Astra 1 (19.2E)
Frequency:    10714 & 11552
Polarisation: Horizontal 
Symbol Rate:  22000
FEC:          2/3
Mode:         DVB-S2

Sky stays with Astra
Sky Deutschland has signed a new multi-year agreement that will keep its service on the SES Astra 19.2°E satellite system.

ORF goes card-less
Austria's public service broadcaster and platform operator ORF is starting the sale of card-less decryption devices for its satellite services. Most indigenous channels from Austria encrypt for broadcast rights reasons (mostly because the larger German broadcasters have the rights to screen many programmes free-to-air via satellite) and one of the outcomes of the move to a cardless system is to make it more difficult for non-Austrian residents to access Austrian TV services. ORF DIGITAL DIREKT enabled receivers have a CI+ module but no card and go on sale this month. Existing viewing cards are still valid, but will be phased out over time. Austrians pay €18 for five year's access to the main Austrian channels via the service.

Greeks get new BBC channel
BBC Earth, the wildlife and factual channel from BBC Worldwide, launched in Greece on 1st October 2017. Distributed in HD as a pay TV station, the channel is available via Cosmote TV and will include the premiere of Blue Planet II later this year. The Greek version of the channel is broadcast in English with some programmes carrying Greek subtitles. Cosmote distributes its services via the Eutelsat 9B satellite. BBC Earth is one of a number of new channel brands being rolled out around the world by the BBC's commercial arm.

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