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Orry Verducci

A member since 1 February 2005


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Orry Verducci

TV Breakdown Appreciation Thread

This was discussed a couple months ago here: https://tvforum.uk/tvhome/cbeebies-bbc-four-breakdown-46393

CBeebies and BBC Four are now played out separately from each other, although controlled from the same suite, which allows both channels to be on air at the same time. Normally they're not which is why they used to share, but the Olympics games usually requires BBC Four to broadcast in the day and previously created a whole world of pain, so all the channels were separated when the new playout facility was built to avoid these problems.

As already said, the breakdown slides are put on each channels output when they're off air, so the appearance of them during the handover is due to playout at Red Bee and the multiplexers at the BBC switching things around slightly out of sync with each other.

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Orry Verducci

Freeview and Freesat to merge

For clarity, as others have alluded to, Digital UK is responsible for the management of the UK digital terrestial platform. This means they're responsible for things like technical standards, the EPG, channel number allocations, service data, etc. With Freeview Play they're now also responsible for the discovery of on-demand services and the new internet delivered CLM EPG which allows IPTV services to seemless appear on the Freeview EPG. They're not responsible (as far as I'm aware) for the Freeview name or marketing, although they are closely connected to it, nor do they own the multiplexes or are responsible for the content on them.

With them bringing DUK and Freesat together I suspect they will be looking towards moving them to a single operation and technical platform, in which Freeview and Freesat use the same EPG data, the same on-demand services, a same IPTV services using a single backend, etc. In the long term they could also introduce a single channel number plan for both platforms, if they can get the broadcasters on board.

Hopefully this will means broadcasters won't have to come to two separate carriage agreements going forwards, one to be on Freeview and another to be on Freesat. Currently you have to pay to be on the Freesat EPG, whereas DUK have to give LCN's to anyone with mux carriage. This has created the situation where disputes or cost constraints have resulted in channels being missing from Freesat even though they are FTA on satellite and sometimes Freeview (e.g. Channel 4 HD). If they start to negotiate single agreements for both platforms, operating to the DUK model, that should hopefully result in the addition of the missing channels to the Freesat EPG.

So in the short term, not a lot will change probably, but in the long term we could be looking at Freeview and Freesat essentially becoming the same service but delivered via different means. It does also open the doors for hybrid receivers, which could show a single guide picking up some services terrestrially and others via satellite depending on what's the best option/quality for each channel.