Recent changes on the VM Network

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  • Sports channels? Maybe if they drop the supplementary HD fee. At the moment, the HD fee is an incentive to carry on with dual illumination.

  • Overnight changes:


    NIT Linkage (TiVo downloads) updated for TTA Knowsley DMC (Hayes_RHE), which is an internal VM network, so no significant changes overnight.

  • The overnight scan showed linkage changes in the NIT root (data for set top box use) and changes to sport+ flags in the EPG section of the SDT. For those looking for update patterns, pretty much the same as last Saturday.

  • Sports channels? Maybe if they drop the supplementary HD fee. At the moment, the HD fee is an incentive to carry on with dual illumination.

    Is there no extra HD fee for the film channels? I've not had Sky's premium channels for ages, so I don't know how they do things now.


    Thanks for all the updates.:thumbup:

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  • Is there no extra HD fee for the film channels? I've not had Sky's premium channels for ages, so I don't know how they do things now.


    Thanks for all the updates.:thumbup:

    Just a £7 fee for Sky Sport HD and a hidden HD fee for the Comcast basic HD channels (hidden by making them exclusive to Full House / XL / Maxim or whatever they are calling it these days).


    Sky Cinema subscription pack codes are still split into 3 sub groups with separate codes for SD & HD, so there may be some legacy products around. However, it is only marketed as a single Sky Cinema add-on or within various bundles and that has been the case for quite some time.

  • The overnight scan showed a frequency change on the Wearside regional network (ex-C&W).


    (The ex-C&W networks still awaiting the frequency change to relocate the former STB DOCSIS channel into the cleared frequency cluster are: Ashford, Southampton, Stoke & Watford).


    Other changes were additional "Channel Update" slate placeholders and some "Channel Moved" placeholders renamed "Channel Update". Presumably housekeeping changes in preparation for the Sky Cinema SD channel closures etc.

  • What do you reckon, tomorrow the last day for the SD film channels?? It seems VM are ready to remove them.

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  • It seems quite likely, many of the overnight changes involved channel substitution, so the existing SD channels will probably all point to the "Channel Update Slate" (which has now been added to the SDT).


    Just a couple of unknowns at the moment. Will the Sky Cinema Premier +1 timeshift get an HD version? and what about the other 2 services dumped on TSID 18: Sky Sports Racing & Television X. Are they about to get HD versions at the same time as the Sky Cinema SD channel closures. I'm told there was no sign of any of these channels testing overnight.


    Other changes last night, the NIT root "linkage" tables were updated for the Preston 2 region (Tivo downloads) - apparently just data, this was NOT a firmware upgrade.


    The SDT changes from last night have not been fully analysed, it's in the job queue behind the local radio frequency update but that one is beyond the scope of this thread. If the SDT analysis shows anything interesting, I'll add a comment later. The preliminary signs are that it only involves channel substitution tables.

  • I'm told there was no sign of any of these channels testing overnight.

    I think that answers your own question there. I've never had the film channels in many years but I'd imagine for those that do, the +1 is handy and will piss some off when it's gone.

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  • Assuming it goes, it could simply remain in SD. It's not too late for additional HD services to show up. Time will tell.

  • Well, regardless of what happens, you saw it first.:thumbup:8)

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  • The redirection SIDs are:


    On TSID 1: SID 107

    On TSID 12: SIDs 1209, 1212, 1218, 1220, 1221 & 1222

    On TSID 18: SIDs 1821, 1822, 1823 & 1824

    All named "Channel Update" and all redirecting to TSID 18 SID 1820 "Channel Update Slate" - which is the "Heads Up!" information slate shown earlier in the thread.


    Somewhat unusual using redirection to display the same slate on multiple channel (the same method as that used to redirect channels to the "Off Air" slate outside of normal broadcasting hours). It seems so much easier to point the existing Program Map Table (PMT) for the existing channels to the SID 1820 video stream. But... VM do things their own way.

  • The overnight scan showed a frequency change on the Stoke regional network (ex-C&W).


    (The ex-C&W networks still awaiting the frequency change to relocate the former STB DOCSIS channel into the cleared frequency cluster are: Ashford, Southampton & Watford).


    Stoke still has remnants of the former TSIDs 38 to 41 in the NIT and VM didn't take the opportunity to remove these with this update.

  • It does make you wonder whether these slip ups are by design or whether they're just slack.

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  • It does make you wonder whether these slip ups are by design or whether they're just slack.


    They probably don't see it as being very important. Occasionally, they pick up on it, such as when Manchester 1, 2 & 3 & Wrexham kicked off the C&W frequency changes (July 2nd) and they also removed the remnants of TSID 38-41 in those regions with the NIT refresh. For C&W updates after that, the removal of TSID 38-41 seems to have fallen by the wayside.


    For the ex-Telewest / ex-C&W segment of the network, there are remnants of TSID 38-41 in the NIT for:


    Ex-Telewest: Basildon 1-4, Birmingham 750, Bristol 1&2 (Aztec) & Gateshead (8 out of 41 regions).


    Ex-C&W: Derby, Poole, Portsmouth headend networks (Portsmouth, Portsmouth Trials & Code Download Test), Seven Kings, Southampton & Stoke. (8 out of 27 regions).


    (No up to date details available for ex-NTL Langley.)


    Other anomalies:


    Non-standard frequency assignments on the ex-Eurobell SW (Exeter & Plymouth), ex-Eurobell SE (Croydon) and ex-Smallworld regions of the ex-Telewest segment - probably due to the design and construction of these networks.


    A restricted frequency range on the TDN networks (Liverpool, Preston & Birmingham) - again, differences in design & construction.


    TSIDs 35/42/45/104 have been moved into specific frequency bands adjacent to the cleared frequency clusters for most regions, although that has not yet happened in the Birmingham 750 or Crawley regions.


    Manchester 1/2/3 & Wrexham each carry 2 versions of TSID 104 (for North West England and for North Wales) - so have an additional frequency allocated to broadcast transport streams. It will be interesting to see what happens here when TSID 104 is cleared. That said, it will be interesting to see how VM will accommodate HD channels on TSID 101/102 on other headends carrying multiple TV regions.


    Scottish regions have already migrated regional HD services from TSID 104 to TSID 101/102, so TSID 104 has been taken out of use in Scotland.

  • The Sky Cinema SD channels 431-442 are all carrying a familiar looking slate with the EPG visually redirecting viewers to the relevant HD channel. Premiere +1 continues on 402 in SD. It will be interesting to see what VM will do with any channels remaining in the TSID 18 dumping ground. Clearly a new location will be needed for the continuing Premiere +1.


    The overnight scan should be interesting...

  • Angus is reporting that on TSID 101, the SD version of BBC1 North West has moved over to the more efficient MPEG4.


    However, on the same multiplex, there is a New Sans Nom with HD resolution. It appears to be the same channel so, on the face of it, BBC1 North West appears to be going HD (on Virgin Media at least).


    Has anyone heard anything that would confirm this interpretation? If it is going HD on Virgin Media, I would assume that it would also be made available on the other platforms.

  • Don't know Richard, but it would be nice if we all get the local news without having to keep switching channels all the time.

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  • The overnight scan was, indeed, interesting. VM adding so much extra data to the NIT to add the multiple "Channel Update" across each individual region exceeded the current database limits and memory allocation. An early morning notification from the scanners indicating that they couldn't do the initial analysis on the system. It's odd that VM have opened up so many additional services to display temporary slates when the pre-existing services could have been used, especially as they have used redirection to point all of the new services to a single video source.


    I increased the database range this morning so analysis can now go ahead. An extra 1238 lines of PSI data to process bringing the current size to almost 200000 lines of data.


    The scan summary showed a frequency change on the Southampton regional network (ex-C&W).


    (The ex-C&W networks still awaiting the frequency change to relocate the former STB DOCSIS channel into the cleared frequency cluster are: Ashford & Watford).


    Southampton still has remnants of the former TSIDs 38 to 41 in the NIT and VM didn't take the opportunity to remove these with this update.


    Also, Sky Sport temporary rebrands with the Sky Sports Cricket channels, becoming Sky Sports The Ashes.


    The SDT segments have been submitted for full analysis (indications are that, other than the Sky rebrands, remaining changes were to the EPG section - moving the old Sky Cinema SD channel data out of the visible EPG range and moving the "Channel Update" SIDs into the EPG 431-442 range). The NIT-Services analysis will take some time as the range and memory allocation needs to be adjusted for this segment.

  • Angus is reporting that on TSID 101, the SD version of BBC1 North West has moved over to the more efficient MPEG4.


    However, on the same multiplex, there is a New Sans Nom with HD resolution. It appears to be the same channel so, on the face of it, BBC1 North West appears to be going HD (on Virgin Media at least).


    Has anyone heard anything that would confirm this interpretation? If it is going HD on Virgin Media, I would assume that it would also be made available on the other platforms.


    I doubt that BBC One North West is switching to HD.


    I'll see what I can find out about the MPEG-4 change but, as far as TSID 101 & TSID 102 are concerned, those changes will probably be scheduled region by region (as with the frequency updates).


    Actually, thinking about the additional HD service, this could be the start of VM migrating the HD services from TSID 104 over to TSIDs 101 & 102 - but, I guess, it will be BBC One HD - England until the BBC gets around to regionalising BBC One in England. - TSID 101 in the region you mentioned already carries BBC One Wales HD.

  • I doubt that BBC One North West is switching to HD.


    I'll see what I can find out about the MPEG-4 change but, as far as TSID 101 & TSID 102 are concerned, those changes will probably be scheduled region by region (as with the frequency updates).


    Actually, thinking about the additional HD service, this could be the start of VM migrating the HD services from TSID 104 over to TSIDs 101 & 102 - but, I guess, it will be BBC One HD - England until the BBC gets around to regionalising BBC One in England. - TSID 101 in the region you mentioned already carries BBC One Wales HD.

    Thanks. As the BBC News channel Breakfast programme comes from the same place as BBC1 NW, the building is obviously equipped for HD.


    I'm wondering if VM intend to or have installed a line to take the HD feed for their own use? I think that the BBC platform neutrality policy must have been scrapped as BBC2 NI HD isn't on satellite (the BBC have no more capacity left without leasing any more), but is on VM and other platforms.

  • Thanks. As the BBC News channel Breakfast programme comes from the same place as BBC1 NW, the building is obviously equipped for HD.


    I'm wondering if VM intend to or have installed a line to take the HD feed for their own use? I think that the BBC platform neutrality policy must have been scrapped as BBC2 NI HD isn't on satellite (the BBC have no more capacity left without leasing any more), but is on VM and other platforms.

    I doubt it. This looks more like VM's arrangements to clear out TSID 104. Manchester & Wrexham networks being the most sensible place to start in England & Wales as existing arrangements have made it necessary to operate 2 versions of TSID 104 (North West England and North Wales).

  • I requested a copy of the EIT from the scanners. Unfortunately, it doesn't include any EPG details for SID 10127, so no clues as to any "local" content at this stage. It's probably better to wait for a service name for this to appear in the SDT rather than speculate about it being BBC One HD - North West.


    I looked at the services carried on the 2 versions of TSID 104 carried in the Manchester / Wrexham regions. The North Wales Version only carries ITV Wales HD, The North West version carries ITV HD (Granada) and BBC One HD (England). All of these would easily fit onto a single transport stream, so I can't see why VM are still running 2 versions.

  • Detailed changes for the 31/7 - 1/8 overnight scan.


    SDT changes:


    "Placeholder" and "hidden" flags were added to the old Sky Cinema SD channels SID 1801-1812 and the services were all dumped at EPG slot 28 (not visible on the EPG due to the "hidden" flag). Oddly, the "end of service" flags were not added - the e-o-s and placeholder flags are usually added to former services as they go into the retention period, giving VM customers an extended period to watch any recordings, which would not be viewable if the services were completely removed.


    The elementary streams (video, audio etc) for these services were removed with the update, unusual for VM as ES can often be left in place for days or even weeks after this type of update.


    As for the "Channel Update" services:


    SIDs 107, 1209, 1212, 1218, 1220, 1221 & 1222 moved to EPG slots 431, 433, 435, 434, 436, 437 & 438 respectively.

    SIDs 1821, 1822, 1823 & 1824 moved to EPG slots 440, 442, 441 & 439 respectively.


    The former "Sky Cinema" channels were given flag code combinations which hadn't previously been encountered, so the binary "lookups" had to be updated on the analysis database. Largely because VM left deprecated flags such as "PIN access" in place alongside the "placeholder" and "hidden" flags, combinations that, theoretically, shouldn't exist.


    The NIT-services update was easier than expected as the analysis database already had enough capacity to process the changes. That said, the database limits were increased slightly as it was getting close to the maximum allocation.


    As far as NIT-services are concerned, TSID 12 SID 1209 "Channel Update", TSID 18: SID 1820 "Channel Update Slate" and SIDs 1821-1824 (all named "Channel Update") were added to all customer facing and internal NITs. These services will only be required for a short period whilst VM displays the information slate on the old EPG channel numbers. It will be interesting to see if VM removes the clutter from the NIT after the notification period.


    This has been an odd approach by VM. Why set up so many additional services in the NIT? The logical solution would have been to reuse SID 1801-1812, the SIDs of the former Sky Cinema SD Channels (which were already in the NIT and have to be retained for a while to preserve recordings).


    After all that technical information, it is, no doubt, a relief to note that no changes were recorded in the August 2nd overnight scan.

  • So does this, unusually, mean that those with Sky Cinema SD recordings won't be able to view them?

  • So does this, unusually, mean that those with Sky Cinema SD recordings won't be able to view them?

    The retention of the old SID numbers with the placeholder flags should be enough to preserve recordings. It's just unusual that VM didn't also use the old SID numbers for the information slates. It seems a very long winded way of doing something relatively simple.