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ITV HD Regions on Freeview

MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
Both satellite and Freeview versions of ITV's main channel are 720x576.


When did that change ? Presumably when the 'must carry' on D-Sat directive came in ? I clearly haven't been paying attention over the last few years !


I may have totally misremembered, but I have it in mind that ITV increased its resolution on satellite to 720x576 quite a long time ago. I’m sure I remember there being an improvement on SD before ITV HD launched on DSat, so probably over 10 years ago. I seem to remember some discussion on here about how they’d got some new, more efficient encoders which allowed them to improve the picture quality.

It happened in 2010, previously only the modern day West Country W region enjoyed higher resolution as the satellite signal temporarily fed terrestrial transmitters in the region.
MI
mici0123 World News
I'd love to know how many people still have SD only Sky boxes these days. Presumably still a sizeable number given that C5 for example, which has been a non-regionalised service for years, hasn't switched off its SD stream.


Well TBH there is nor real point in C5 shutting down the SD stream. C5 SD currently runs at 1.7 Mbps according to DigitalBitrate. That's not enough for an HD stream of one of their other channels so all they can do is either switch off C5 SD and give all the other channels on that Mux a little more space or do a +1 for 5select or Paramount Network.

Well those streams are also used for Freesat viewers, but Channel 5 took the view that 1 national HD channel was more important than sustaining several regional variations in SD.

Put simply, C4 must believe that the LEMNUS model is still profitable.


For C4 it's actually less about space on DSAT I think. On 11127V, the Mux that currently hosts C4 HD and 4seven, they have about 19 mbps of space.

So they basically could just run 2 additional HD services on that Mux easily, without shutting down any of the SD services. Do they still have that carriadge deal with Sky for E4, More 4 etc.?
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today

When did that change ? Presumably when the 'must carry' on D-Sat directive came in ? I clearly haven't been paying attention over the last few years !


I may have totally misremembered, but I have it in mind that ITV increased its resolution on satellite to 720x576 quite a long time ago. I’m sure I remember there being an improvement on SD before ITV HD launched on DSat, so probably over 10 years ago. I seem to remember some discussion on here about how they’d got some new, more efficient encoders which allowed them to improve the picture quality.

It happened in 2010, previously only the modern day West Country W region enjoyed higher resolution as the satellite signal temporarily fed [the analogue] terrestrial transmitters in the region.


Yes, I remember that, and a bit rate of something like 8 or 9 Mb/s. It was in the gap between WC's Plymouth base closing, and completion of DSO in the region. Saved the bother and expense of providing distribution circuits from Bristol to the 'SW' transmitters. The BBC did the same thing to feed Sandy Heath when they moved the Cambridge studio, and at Bilsdale for reasons I can't remember. Also the Channel Islands from 2003 until DSO.
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Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
SP
Spencer Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)

I may have totally misremembered, but I have it in mind that ITV increased its resolution on satellite to 720x576 quite a long time ago. I’m sure I remember there being an improvement on SD before ITV HD launched on DSat, so probably over 10 years ago. I seem to remember some discussion on here about how they’d got some new, more efficient encoders which allowed them to improve the picture quality.

It happened in 2010, previously only the modern day West Country W region enjoyed higher resolution as the satellite signal temporarily fed [the analogue] terrestrial transmitters in the region.


Yes, I remember that, and a bit rate of something like 8 or 9 Mb/s. It was in the gap between WC's Plymouth base closing, and completion of DSO in the region. Saved the bother and expense of providing distribution circuits from Bristol to the 'SW' transmitters. The BBC did the same thing to feed Sandy Heath when they moved the Cambridge studio, and at Bilsdale for reasons I can't remember. Also the Channel Islands from 2003 until DSO.


I remember often watching ITV Westcountry via ‘Other Channels’ on Sky due to the better picture quality, and my other half wondering why, whilst sat in Harrogate, we were watching adverts for companies in Truro and Exeter.
TM
tmf9 London London
I'd love to know how many people still have SD only Sky boxes these days. Presumably still a sizeable number given that C5 for example, which has been a non-regionalised service for years, hasn't switched off its SD stream.


Well TBH there is nor real point in C5 shutting down the SD stream. C5 SD currently runs at 1.7 Mbps according to DigitalBitrate. That's not enough for an HD stream of one of their other channels so all they can do is either switch off C5 SD and give all the other channels on that Mux a little more space or do a +1 for 5select or Paramount Network.

Well those streams are also used for Freesat viewers, but Channel 5 took the view that 1 national HD channel was more important than sustaining several regional variations in SD.

Put simply, C4 must believe that the LEMNUS model is still profitable.


For C4 it's actually less about space on DSAT I think. On 11127V, the Mux that currently hosts C4 HD and 4seven, they have about 19 mbps of space.

So they basically could just run 2 additional HD services on that Mux easily, without shutting down any of the SD services


C4 doesn't necessarily lease that entire transponder. Satellite capacity can be hired by the amount of bandwidth required, so C4 only pay for the space they need.
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
tmf9 posted:
I'd love to know how many people still have SD only Sky boxes these days. Presumably still a sizeable number given that C5 for example, which has been a non-regionalised service for years, hasn't switched off its SD stream.


Well TBH there is nor real point in C5 shutting down the SD stream. C5 SD currently runs at 1.7 Mbps according to DigitalBitrate. That's not enough for an HD stream of one of their other channels so all they can do is either switch off C5 SD and give all the other channels on that Mux a little more space or do a +1 for 5select or Paramount Network.

Well those streams are also used for Freesat viewers, but Channel 5 took the view that 1 national HD channel was more important than sustaining several regional variations in SD.

Put simply, C4 must believe that the LEMNUS model is still profitable.


For C4 it's actually less about space on DSAT I think. On 11127V, the Mux that currently hosts C4 HD and 4seven, they have about 19 mbps of space.

So they basically could just run 2 additional HD services on that Mux easily, without shutting down any of the SD services


C4 doesn't necessarily lease that entire transponder. Satellite capacity can be hired by the amount of bandwidth required, so C4 only pay for the space they need.

C4 have the entire transponder used for C4 HD. C4 took the whole transponder in 2011 as part of a deal with SES and last renewed the capacity in 2018.
TM
tmf9 London London
If C4 are hiring the full transponder just to carry C4 HD and 4Seven it is an awful waste of money. That transponder has always been more than half empty. If they are paying for all that unused space it is particularly odd that they didn't use it to house the Box music channels when looking to cut transmission costs:
https://www.globecast.com/the-box-plus-network-signs-with-globecast-to-increase-dth-distribution-efficiency/
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
tmf9 posted:
If C4 are hiring the full transponder just to carry C4 HD and 4Seven it is an awful waste of money. That transponder has always been more than half empty. If they are paying for all that unused space it is particularly odd that they didn't use it to house the Box music channels when looking to cut transmission costs:
https://www.globecast.com/the-box-plus-network-signs-with-globecast-to-increase-dth-distribution-efficiency/

The deal with Globecast was signed before C4 took full control of the Box Plus Network.
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
I'd love to know how many people still have SD only Sky boxes these days. Presumably still a sizeable number given that C5 for example, which has been a non-regionalised service for years, hasn't switched off its SD stream.

Unlike ITV, who are reducing the number of SD regions on satellite, but can still offer viewers a service from a neighbouring region, importantly one within the macro region for advertising purposes, if C5 pulled their SD service, there would be no alternative at all.

SD-only sat households must be dwindling fast though, and even those cheap SD-only Freesat boxes given to viewers in some regions at digital switchover must be about dead now.

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As for ITV HD on Freeview, Ofcom was very proactive in the beginning getting HD TV on Freeview in the first place. I suspect intervention will be needed if we are to get beyond the technical block of mux BBC-B's regional restrictions.

It would have been nice if the income the BBC has been receiving from third-party broadcasters for carriage on BBC-B was going into pot of money to improve HD provision, in the same way income the BBC receives from programme sales goes back to programme making.
Last edited by TheMike on 18 October 2020 7:20pm
TedJrr and Markymark gave kudos
GO
gottago London London
I'd love to know how many people still have SD only Sky boxes these days. Presumably still a sizeable number given that C5 for example, which has been a non-regionalised service for years, hasn't switched off its SD stream.

Unlike ITV, who are reducing the number of SD regions on satellite, but can still offer viewers a service from a neighbouring region, importantly one within the macro region for advertising purposes, if C5 pulled their SD service, there would be no alternative at all.

What do you mean by this as there are no advertising regions on C5 at all now, SD or HD.
MI
mici0123 World News

What do you mean by this as there are no advertising regions on C5 at all now, SD or HD.



He means if C5 shut down C5 SD there is no alternative for viewers with SD-only boxes. For them, however small that number of viewers must be by now, C5 just goes away.

ITV on the other hand can shut down a few regions in SD and give SD-only viewers in those regions just another ITV variant, basically the same situation they had with HD for many years just with the SD channels. Yes they loose their local news, but they at least can still watch other ITV programming.
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
And it's about providing the minimum possible service for the few SD only viewers on satellite based on commercial rather than PSB considerations - keeping C5 SD going still, but reducing it down to a single service to match HD and changing ITV to a "new" watered-down SD service based on macro ad regions.

Bringing us back to ITV HD regions on Freeview, the same also applies - as long as viewers are getting the right macro ads, local news is a secondary concern.
Last edited by TheMike on 18 October 2020 9:30pm

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