How would it work on satellite though, even though they're just PID switching for the regional opt outs they would still need the bandwidth to carry 10 or however many news programmes.
I'm not sure if distributing them to the box via the Internet like Sky do for adverts is possible with a live programme and of course there's no guarantee that the viewer has a broadband connection to their box (more likely than it was a few years ago but still not a cert)
The way it works in Sweden is that they effectively take the picture quality hit a bit on the regional news (SD-only) inserts.
In Sweden they have SD-only regional opts on both SVT1 and SVT2 (the PID switching allows either channel to PID switch to the regional feed), with only terrestrial having HD regions. They effectively squeeze all the SD regional feeds and the two network feeds onto one transponder. This is pretty optimistic... (The regional feeds can be PID switched to either SVT1 or SVT2 regional feeds - but not simultaneously. Politically moving all the regional stuff to SVT1 would have been trickier due to the history of the two networks)
I suspect the BBC would have to split across two transponders at least for SD. For HD the cost savings from PID switching may not be worth it - as you'd have to spread across far more transponders and duplicate network feeds across each one (as retuning at the opt-out wouldn't be acceptable)
HOWEVER - a side effect of the PID switching - as implemented in Sweden - is that it would render integrated headlines and promos impossible - as the crash and the bang at the junction would make them unwatchable. There's a second or so of disruption at the opt-out on PID switched services when I've seen them.
I think the ITV or Germany model is the one the BBC will follow. They can't do a Sky-specific solution - any DSat solution needs to support Freesat. I suspect they will end up with transponders full of BBC One HD English regional variations - unless they make HD regions Freeview/Cable only.
The changes to opt-outs I mention were in the origination chain, not the emission one.
The splices woiuldn't be pretty.
Any main news would have to be completely opted-out to allow for the regional headlines insert, and announcer intro. This inflexibility would cut down the time that the regional transponder stream capacity was useful for anythin else. Presumably the opt-out would take place when both network and region were faded to black, with the muxes set to generate empty "I" frames, otherwise the timing would hav eto be perfect to a GOP boundary.
I suppose that if rather than PID switching at MPEG transport level, there was end-point-code within both the Sky and FreeSat platforms to pull (or push) between two LCNs then the situation wouldn't be an attempt at an on the fly MPEG splice. The logic would probably be
(1) Go to black
(2) Suppress the Sky blue-screen (and FreeSat?)
(3) Read the box output configuration
(4) Force the box to keep the same output configuration, even if its set to "auto" ie "use source". (Otherwise ther'd be a horrible splat as the TV/projector mode-switched)
(5) Pull LCN 101 from BBC1 ENG (HD) to the regional (SD) channel - upconverting to 1080i on the box, even if the user setting was "auto"
(6) maintain the condition for the duration of an opted-out period, even if the viewer comes in during the show.
(7) Remember to restore BBC1 ENG (HD) to LCN 101 when (immediatly) the opted-out flag drops.
Perhaps even allow a user setting to choose the region? No, go on whatever Sky set 101SD to, or whetever FreeSat region was set at install.
I doubt that ITV could play those games, as they'd be opting-out of macro-regional streams for random 30 second spots.
The whole thing assumes that there's a BBC1 sub-regianal (SD) stream to swap to. When the whole platform is HD, there wouldn't be.
Perhaps you could do come-and-go sub-regional streama with something like 720P? If you did have that type of dynamic channel streaming, would transient sub-regional streams pop-into BBC NEWS24?
Presumably the BBC is having a closed debate over whether any of this is worth investment, given that at some point the internet will become the prime distribution? Its a serious thing, because whatever the BBC decides will really demark the road-map for UK-DSAT. Seriously, it is a BBC decision that determines the next 15-year headway for broadcast sattelite in the UK/RoI, not a Sky one!
Last edited by TedJrr on 4 October 2017 3:00pm - 4 times in total