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Feeds to Irish Channels

Just a question about distribution (January 2018)

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DO
dosxuk

The BBC used to do their Astra uplinking in house, then when they sold the department that did it to Siemens, I believe Siemens-then-ATOS continued to do it (with some services upland via Arqiva also at one point), albeit from facilities at BBC-owned sites.

Some of the services the BBC outsourced to ATOS (renamed bit of Siemens) have now been brought back in-house to the BBC - uplinking may be one of them.

It was insourced, although just for the domestic services on Astra.

Explains why the HD lacks the crispness of Sky’s HD services.


Sky like their cameras to have loads of detail wound in. Most other broadcasters prefer the more realistic look.

You can only really compare the uplink facilities by seeing identical footage being transmitted at equivalent settings through both sites.
MR
mrwish
Just a couple of points about the Sky and Freesat things. There are indeed separate "home" transponders which provide the EPG, NIT and bouquet data for both platforms. Freesat on 11425H and Sky on 11778V.

I believe the Freesat 7 day EPG is similar to "standard" EIT data, but it's all transmitted on the one transponder (11425H) and also uses Huffman coding - the same as the EPG on HD Freeview channels. I vaguely remember something about them not being able to use standard EIT extended info for each channel because of some proprietary data that Sky require to be transmitted for their receivers already using the relevant PIDs. I could be wrong!

Back to the original topic, I guess any non-live programming (like Big Brother on non eviction nights, and Take Me Out tomorrow on 3e etc) will just be supplied separately to the Irish channels for playout locally? I know RTÉ get their own copy of EastEnders even though it's usually on at the same time as BBC One because they add a commercial break in the middle. Other BBC programming I've seen on RTÉ has the purple BBC Worldwide branding added at the start.
NG
noggin Founding member

The BBC used to do their Astra uplinking in house, then when they sold the department that did it to Siemens, I believe Siemens-then-ATOS continued to do it (with some services upland via Arqiva also at one point), albeit from facilities at BBC-owned sites.

Some of the services the BBC outsourced to ATOS (renamed bit of Siemens) have now been brought back in-house to the BBC - uplinking may be one of them.

It was insourced, although just for the domestic services on Astra.


I think 1998 to 2003 (when the Beeb were encrypted on Astra 2A/B) the uplinking was outsourced
to NTL at Crawley Court (Arqiva in today's money) ? When they went unencrypted on Astra 2D, (and also added all the BBC 1 English regions) then it was 'insourced' to the teleport they built by the W12 East Tower ?


Yes - but that W12 Teleport was part of BBC Technology, that was then sold to Siemens (later rebranded as ATOS), so again outsourced - albeit to previously BBC owned facilities - and as part of the sale there was a 10 year deal which has now expired.

I believe that bit of the BBC outsourcing deal with ATOS has not been extended and uplink, internal lines etc. have now been in-sourced (with the fabric of the BBC internal network moved from Vodafone (formerly Energis, then C&W) to BT.
NG
noggin Founding member
It was insourced, although just for the domestic services on Astra.

Explains why the HD lacks the crispness of Sky’s HD services.


Sky like their cameras to have loads of detail wound in. Most other broadcasters prefer the more realistic look.


Yep - Sky Soprts definitely like a 'commercial' look to their pictures. Not French, but quite (artificially) 'crisp'...

Quote:

You can only really compare the uplink facilities by seeing identical footage being transmitted at equivalent settings through both sites.


Sky do run at quite high average bitrates for their sports channels, and significantly lower average bitrates for their movie channels. BBC One HD, BBC Two HD etc. on satellite are probably averaging lower than Sky's sports channels, but higher than their movie channels (though encoders play a massive part in this - you can't just compare bitrates)
HA
harshy Founding member
Well I watch bbc world news hd that looks very crisp and vivid as well on 19.2e their bitrate seems to be some 8.5 Mbps constant, and even the bbc commercial channels look great on 13e, maybe I need to produce a comparison video between world news hd and the news channel in the uk Smile
LL
London Lite Founding member
Well I watch bbc world news hd that looks very crisp and vivid as well on 19.2e their bitrate seems to be some 8.5 Mbps constant, and even the bbc commercial channels look great on 13e, maybe I need to produce a comparison video between world news hd and the news channel in the uk Smile


Checking the HD streams of World and the NC on Zattoo Switzerland, the NC sourced from 28E is certainly softer than World which has a sharper picture.
NG
noggin Founding member
I'd only compare transport streams (and the video decoded from them on the same platform and display) - anything else is adding too many variables.
HA
harshy Founding member
I'd only compare transport streams (and the video decoded from them on the same platform and display) - anything else is adding too many variables.

I’ll try recording the Briefing from BBC World News HD and BBC News HD get it trimmed down so they are both exact length, the one thing I am expecting there is the BBC World News HD file to be larger then the BBC News HD one as the bitrate on BBC World News HD always hovers on the 8.3mbps mark.
NG
noggin Founding member
I'd only compare transport streams (and the video decoded from them on the same platform and display) - anything else is adding too many variables.

I’ll try recording the Briefing from BBC World News HD and BBC News HD get it trimmed down so they are both exact length, the one thing I am expecting there is the BBC World News HD file to be larger then the BBC News HD one as the bitrate on BBC World News HD always hovers on the 8.3mbps mark.


Just to be clear I meant the visual quality of the bitstream - not the file size. Bitrate doesn't tell you the whole story unless you are comparing the same encoders with the same configurations (and running the same firmware)

Is the BBC News HD recording from DSat or DTT?
GE
thegeek Founding member
Back to the original topic, I guess any non-live programming (like Big Brother on non eviction nights, and Take Me Out tomorrow on 3e etc) will just be supplied separately to the Irish channels for playout locally? I know RTÉ get their own copy of EastEnders even though it's usually on at the same time as BBC One because they add a commercial break in the middle. Other BBC programming I've seen on RTÉ has the purple BBC Worldwide branding added at the start.
On the rare occasions of a live EastEnders, then RTE will take a fibre feed from the BBC - they have a point of presence in London so can pick up material directly.

I've heard stories about Setanta doing things very much on the cheap, though. They apparently would just rebroadcast material from a domestic Sky receiver - someone (who had worked for them!) told me he once saw a 'The batteries in your remote are low" on-screen message on Setanta UK while they were rebroadcasting some GAA from RTE.

Yes - but that W12 Teleport was part of BBC Technology, that was then sold to Siemens (later rebranded as ATOS), so again outsourced - albeit to previously BBC owned facilities - and as part of the sale there was a 10 year deal which has now expired.
Strictly speaking, Siemens IT Solutions and Services (the part of the business which had absorbed BBC Technology) was sold to Atos Origin, and the whole business became Atos.
MA
mapperuo
Just a couple of points about the Sky and Freesat things. There are indeed separate "home" transponders which provide the EPG, NIT and bouquet data for both platforms. Freesat on 11425H and Sky on 11778V.

I believe the Freesat 7 day EPG is similar to "standard" EIT data, but it's all transmitted on the one transponder (11425H) and also uses Huffman coding - the same as the EPG on HD Freeview channels. I vaguely remember something about them not being able to use standard EIT extended info for each channel because of some proprietary data that Sky require to be transmitted for their receivers already using the relevant PIDs. I could be wrong!

Back to the original topic, I guess any non-live programming (like Big Brother on non eviction nights, and Take Me Out tomorrow on 3e etc) will just be supplied separately to the Irish channels for playout locally? I know RTÉ get their own copy of EastEnders even though it's usually on at the same time as BBC One because they add a commercial break in the middle. Other BBC programming I've seen on RTÉ has the purple BBC Worldwide branding added at the start.


Slightly unrelated but factual none the less, The Big Brother highlights shows are played out live from the MCR onsite just like a live show, presumably because they edit so close to TX time.
GE
thegeek Founding member
Slightly unrelated but factual none the less, The Big Brother highlights shows are played out live from the MCR onsite just like a live show, presumably because they edit so close to TX time.

This isn't uncommon - quite a lot of short-turnaround sport reversions are played from EVS to TX because the file wouldn't make it to server on time.

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