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Inspector Sands11,435 posts since 25 Aug 2004
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)
Steve in Pudsey8,579 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Do the sky adverts go via broadband? I thought they worked like Sky Anytime being cached via satellite overnight?

Not that that would help for news.

The benefit of a PID switching set up might be that opt outs could go into any BBC channel which might be better for say the SuperLeague Show and some one off documentaries which would be a better fit in BBC Two schedule.

The additional bandwidth could be used for other things like Red Button streams.

I don't think there is any real need for the regional inserts to be HD the key requirement is the viewer not having to switch channels; if there was a block of bandwidth that can be reconfigured (like the national BBC DAB mux is) your could have say 4 HD streams most of the time on the red button then switch to 12 SD streams for the regional stuff which gets switched to the relevant LPG numbers when required. (Numbers from top of my head)
Write that down in your copybook now.
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noggin12,682 posts since 26 Jun 2001
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.
noggin12,682 posts since 26 Jun 2001

Well when they first moved in to BH, to what became Studio V, it was SD.

I didn't realise that. Their original setup was always going ti be temporary though, until they could move in with the other news operations in BH


Only the studio moved though. The gallery didn't, as it is near their newsroom. BBC London are still using the same gallery location as they did when they were in their temporary studio in what was destined to be the BBC Shop, but instead became home to The One Show (as by then the BBC had decided it wasn't a retailer).

Because BBC London moved into Peel Wing quite a bit before the network news teams moved over from TVC, they were equipped with technology similar to their Marylebone High Street set-up. When they moved into their permanent W1A studio, they also upgraded their gallery to be HD and moved to the same automation as Network News/BBC World News use in NBH. (Allowing their studio to be used by other outlets, or their teams to use other studios without any training or familiarity issues)

The current Studio V operation works into a gallery built for what was then BBC Vision (which became BBC Television before it opened) and uses traditional, non-News production techniques and largely uses industry-standard equipment that is more suitable for the freelance crews who use it.
Last edited by noggin on 4 October 2017 10:33am - 3 times in total
a516490 posts since 29 Jan 2010
Central (East) East Midlands Today
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)

That's a good point.

ORF rent out spare capacity on their transponders to other broadcasters. The result? At 18:55 CET until 19:22 CET, channels that use that capacity, including gotv, RiC, R9 and oe24 go blank as the capacity is needed for all the ORF regional streams for the duration of the regional news and weather.
In the run up to Christmas, ORF do a Charity Day called "Licht ins Dunkel". Like the BBC's Children in Need, the programme has numerous regional opt-outs at times when there aren't normally any. The result? The aforementioned channels are off, on, off, on all day!

This is clearly not a solution for the BBC. As has already been mentioned, PID switching would stop the BBC from implementing integrated regional headlines.

If anyone wants to see PID switching in action, check out ORF2E and the aforementioned stations on Astra 19.2 at 17:55 and 18:21 UK time.
TedJrr148 posts since 11 Sep 2005
Anglia (East) Look East
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.
(Cool 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
Markymark5,037 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
You don't have to separate the regional news from the national if you switch PIDs before the national news starts and show that in SD also.

Does the news really have to be in HD anyway? I'd argue it adds less value than it does to sport or drama.



It's not really about having the news in HD per se, but rather not having gaps during the regional opt slots on BBC 1 HD.
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TedJrr148 posts since 11 Sep 2005
Anglia (East) Look East
You don't have to separate the regional news from the national if you switch PIDs before the national news starts and show that in SD also.

Does the news really have to be in HD anyway? I'd argue it adds less value than it does to sport or drama.



It's not really about having the news in HD per se, but rather not having gaps during the regional opt slots on BBC 1 HD.


The gaps ars so retro 50s. They might ass well proclaim "Intermission".