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BBC Scotland TV satellite slots activated

The first precursors of the new BBC Scotland TV channel have been spotted on satellite.

BBC Scotland TV launches in both standard and high definition on the 24th February 2019 and will be available on all major TV platforms in Scotland, as well as via satellite across the whole of the UK.

On satellite, the channel's future HD slot has been activated and is currently showing a copy of BBC Two.

A slot for the standard definition channel has also been allocated; it will take over the bandwidth of BBC Two Scotland.

BBC Two Scotland will be closed ahead of the launch of BBC Scotland TV. Viewers in Scotland will be switched to the main network edition of BBC Two ahead of launch day, with BBC Four expected to move down the EPG in Scotland to make way for the BBC Scotland channel to appear on channel lists in time for the launch on Sunday 24th February.

Scottish opt-out programming currently shown on BBC Two Scotland transfers to the new Scotland channel.

Satellite:    Astra 2G 
Frequency:    11023
Polarisation: Horizontal 
Symbol Rate:  23000
FEC:          3/4
Mode:         DVB-S2 8PSK 
Service ID:   8924
Status: showing a copy of BBC Two

Satellite:    Astra 2E
Frequency:    10802
Polarisation: Horizontal 
Symbol Rate:  22000
FEC:          2/3
Mode:         DVB-S QPSK 
Service ID:   6420 
Status:  points to BBC Two Scotland.

Any room for more HD from the BBC?
Cost-cutting at the BBC means there's been no money to increase the number of transponders it hires from satellite operator SES and there's been slow progress in getting the English regions ready for HD, both in the studios and on household TV screens. But already, there's one HD service that hasn't gone live on satellite: BBC Two NI HD.

The BBC has chosen to load its HD satellite transponders with five HD channels each; both transponders have technically got space for one more HD channel on each. The BBC says that's not possible; however ITV have, using the exact same configuration, got six HD channels per transponder. Sky is carrying up to eight HD channels per transponder, albeit with a different set of transponder parameters.

At the very least, there would be room for BBC Two NI HD and the first English BBC One region to go HD to fit on the BBC's existing capacity without any changes to current signal parameters.