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Lost BBC HD channels on satellite?

A number of viewers with free-to-air satellite receivers have reported losing access to BBC HD services following changes to the signal this week.

On Wednesday morning, the BBC changed the Forward Error Correction of its HD transmissions via the Astra 28.2°E satellite system in order to create space for two new channels launching in the next few months: BBC Two Wales HD and BBC Scotland HD.

Various satellite receivers have dealt with the changes differently; some have experienced no problems while others have lost channels.

A number of Humax Freesat receivers have reportedly triggered an increased number of call-outs to specialists from viewers seeking to restore BBC channels. Affected viewers with Humax or other types of receiver are being advised to retune and to not unplug their receivers overnight when updates are made.

A retune can be done on Freesat receivers via the menu. Other types of free-to-air receiver may need to be manually tuned.

Older Panasonic devices are not compatible with the switch; affected devices failed to handle the changes to ITV's HD signals switched to the same parameters a few years ago resulting in picture break-ups. The BBC has advised viewers to contact Panasonic customer service.

And viewers living outside the core reception area over in continental Europe may also have increased difficulty receiving the channels, as the changes have made the signals less robust in overspill fringe reception areas. However, the BBC points out that the signals are only intended for users around the British Isles.

Coinciding with the changes, audio bitrates for BBC HD channels on satellite have also been reduced.