Recent changes on the VM Network

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  • There are still a few issues to be resolved before I can post this information. I had hoped that I could have started by now, unfortunately, it hasn't been that simple.

    It would be useful to know what sort of information people want to see. The threads previously posted on other sites seemed to attract praise and criticism in equal measure, with some people expecting the threads to be full of predictions. Occasionally, predictions can be made from the nature of any changes but the thread isn't meant to be a virtual crystal ball. There are many sources of speculative, usually inaccurate, predictions of what may be "coming soon" on other sites. This thread is about changes taking place in the background and, possibly, not yet visible to VM customers, not about speculation.

    Historically, this thread has listed changes considered to be operational, such as Sky channel rebrands and the frequently changing flag which we have classified as "sport+". These changes make up the bulk of regular changes to the network data tables, but aren't very useful for the end user. Would forum members like to see this information included in the reports or prefer that it is omitted?

    Previously, the thread listed changes to the download streams responsible for TiVo software updates. This information is becoming less important as VM customers replace their TiVo boxes with V6 boxes, which update over the internet and not over "broadcast streams". Would forum members like TiVo software updates to be included in the reports?

    A criticism of the old threads was that they referred to channels by TSID (Transport Stream ID) and SID (Service ID) numbers, which some users considered to be too complicated. Nevertheless, it is the best method of referring to individual channels. The NIT (Network Information Table) does not contain EPG channel numbers or VM's unique EPG service numbers (not visible to end users and also not visible on raw data scans such as those on the DigitalBitRate website). Going forward, the NIT analysis will have access to a limited amount of data from the SDT (Service Description Table), so future reports may be able to include EPG channel numbers etc. There are limitations in that the NIT analysis already processes a large amount of data and adding extra data from the SDT increases the processing load. This is a work in progress.

    Over the next few days I will be looking at significant network changes that have taken place over the last few months and regular updates should start shortly after that. In the meantime, some feedback would be appreciated.

    Information posted on this thread may not be posted elsewhere without crediting jj20x and Forum Box and supplying a link to this thread.

  • TSID 35 became the latest transport stream on Virgin Media to be removed from broadcast use. The HD services carried on this transport stream were all relocated to TSID 20 (one of the transport streams cleared by the conversion of SD services to MPEG-4).

    SID 3501 Sky Thriller HD moving to SID 2001

    SID 3502 Sky Action HD moving to SID 2002

    SID 3503 Sky Sports FootballHD moving to SID 2003

    SID 3504 Animal Planet HD moving to SID 2004

    SID 3505 More 4 HD moving to SID 2005

    SID 3506 ZooMoo HD moving to SID 2006

    SID 3507 SONY MAX HD moving to SID 2007

    TSID 35 has now been removed from the NIT (Network Information Table).

    This forms part of a cluster of transport streams which have progressively moved to frequencies adjacent to the batch of frequencies already removed from broadcast use. Other transport streams in this cluster are:

    TSID 42 (carries TiVo firmware updates etc) - these services have been duplicated on TSID 1 but are not yet active in the SDT. Presumably, when the transfer of these services to TSID 1 is complete, TSID 42 will also be taken out of service.

    TSID 45 (carries Red Button sports channels (Sky Sports Extra)) - These services will presumably be moved elsewhere, similar to the method used to clear TSID 35.

    TSID 104 (carries regional HD channels) - The VM services carried on this transport stream have been spread across various transport streams, sharing capacity with SD broadcast channels. As SD regional services are withdrawn, the HD regional channels are being moved to TSID 101 (BBC 1 & 2, RTE & Local TV channels) or TSID 102 (ITV regions & Channel 4 advertising regions). TSID 104 has already been cleared in Scotland and could potentially be cleared in Wales, Northern Ireland and London by relocating the HD services - most SD regions have been removed in these locations. As for the rest of the country.. only time will tell what VM has in mind.

  • only time will tell what VM has in mind.

    Could this be preparation for the move to DOCSIS 3.1 and gigabit broadband?

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  • Thanks for info jj20x.

    I agree heero, looks like it as JJ said adjacent streams have already gone and it's adjacent streams that's what's needed for broadband.

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  • Could this be preparation for the move to DOCSIS 3.1 and gigabit broadband?

    Thanks for info jj20x.

    I agree heero, looks like it as JJ said adjacent streams have already gone and it's adjacent streams that's what's needed for broadband.

    The DOCSIS 3.1 spec is limited to a bandwidth 192 MHz, which, for VM's 8MHz spacing is 24 bonded channels. VM are already using 24 bonded channels for DOCSIS 3.0. Even the bandwidth limited TDN's had sufficient spectrum for 24 bonded channels with the capacity freed from HD channels converting to MPEG-4.

    It appears that VM is taking advantage of the increased efficiency of MPEG-4 to reduce the number of transport streams used for broadcast channels, reducing infrastructure costs.

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