BBC HD to switch to DVB-S2 on 6th June 2011
The high definition (HD) television channels on satellite require a lot more bandwidth (number of bits per second) than the standard definition (SD) ones, as you might expect.
However the additional capacity required is reduced in two ways. First the MPEG-4 compression system is used (rather than MPEG-2) and generally the DVB-S2 modulation system increases the bandwidth of each satellite transponder.
Generally speaking, around nine SD television channels can be carried on a transponder in DVB-S mode, and four HD channels on one in DVB-S2 mode.
For historical reasons, the BBC's Astra 2D transponder 50 has been providing BBC One HD and BBC HD (and also ITV1 HD Merdian South) in the DVB-S mode, and this has used all the capacity on the transponder, because of the lower bitrate.
The changesOne 6th June 2011, the BBC will switch the transponder to DVB-S2. If you watch using Sky+HD, Virgin Media or Freeview HD you will not have to do anything.
If you use a branded Freesat box (or TV set), you may need to put it into stand-by mode for 30 seconds on 6th June. If that doesn't work, perform a 'first time installation'.
Update: Some Panasonic Freesat boxes are unable to deal with the change - see comments below
If you are using a unbranded Freesat box, you may find that you also have to do a 'first time installation' to get the channels back.
Some older satellite equipment will not support DVB-S2. If you can't watch Channel 4 HD, then you will no longer be able to watch the BBC HD channels.
Sky HD, Freesat HD EPG issuesCurrently BBC One HD cannot automatically replace BBC One in the Sky EPG at position 101, because there are 15 regional versions of BBC One, and only a single BBC One HD 'stream' on the satellite.
BBC Two carries four regions for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For a BBC TWO HD to appear in the Sky EPG at position 102, the BBC would need to provide four versions of BBC TWO HD.
All the other BBC channels are national, and have no regional components. BBC Three timeshares with CBBC, BBC FOUR timeshares with CBeebies, plus there is BBC News, BBC Parliament and BBC Alba.
The extra capacity found by moving to DVB-S2 could allow the BBC to provide BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC channel in HD, and these could be provided in the "usual" EPG slots for Sky HD and Freesat HD users, which would put them on the lower numbered channels nearer the top of the guide.
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Mike Dimmick: The Panasonic has four symbol rate options when it scans in other channels mode. They are Auto, 22000, 27500 and 29500. If I scan the transponder using the Auto option it picks up the names of the channels, BBC HD, BBC One HD, ITV HD and 6945 and puts them in the channel list. When I go to watch BBC HD or BBC One HD all I see on the screen is "No Signal", while ITV HD shows encrypted at the bottom of the screen and "No Signal" in the centre.
With the receiver in Freesat mode I still get the "No Signal" on the screen with BBC HD and BBC One HD, but when I press the "Guide" button on the remote all the EPG is there. The Panasonic is receiving some information from the satellite, but unfortunately not the bit I want to watch.
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NottsUK etc: With reference to Panasonic HD television receivers. On arrival home a short while ago I found that my G20B range Panasonic TV had stopped receiving the BBC HD channels on satellite, indicating neither strength or quality on a signal condition check.
I am unaware if this applies to all Panasonics but mine doesn't offer 23000 as a symbol rate choice on the manual scan menu, however thankfully, if a new auto scan is carried out it will be found that all corrects itself and BBC HD returns as normal, with 23000 seen entered in the info box when a further signal check was carried out.
I also tested BBC HD out on my Foxsat HDR, it performing perfectly OK without any alterations being necessary.
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