Recent changes on the VM Network

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  • The overnight scan showed linkage changes in the NIT root (data for set top box use) for networks which get such updates. No other changes were noted.

  • Overnight changes:


    The Sky Cinema "Sky Megahits" rebrand reverts to "Sky Hits".


    Normally, I would just refer members to the Sky Community Forum: https://helpforum.sky.com/t5/W…-August-2019/ba-p/3040626


    In this case, however, it is useful to report the actual changes.


    TSID 18 SID 1812 changed from Sky Megahits to Sky Hits.

    TSID 24 SID 2404 changed from Sky Megahits HD to Sky Hits HD.


    Yes, Virgin Media are updating the service names of the former Sky Cinema SD channels, even though they have been removed from the EPG.


    Hmmm!

  • One of our scanners has detected SID 10127 has now been added to TSID 101on a raw frequency scan. So the service is now being added beyond the Manchester / Wrexham regions.


    It can now be confirmed that this is NOT a regional version of BBC One HD but is BBC One HD - England. Local news programmes being replaced with the "This is BBC One" filler content, which seems to have replaced the red screen of death across BBC One HD.


    It does seem, therefore, that this is simply a migration of BBC One HD - England from TSID 104 to TSID 101. BBC One HD national variations have already migrated to TSID 101 in the Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.


    The scanner pointed out that the regional SD version of BBC One was still operating in MPEG-2 in the region concerned. (Unlike Manchester / Wrexham which have been upgraded to MPEG-4.)

  • Further to the above, the scanners have noted SID 10271 as an addition to TSID 102. Not yet added to the SDT or NIT. The content was noted as being ITV HD - Granada. This was outside the Granada region, so it appears that the existing ITV HD regions carried on VM are in the process of being migrated from TSID 104 to TSID 102. Transferring BBC HD - England and the macro regional version of ITV HD out of TSID 104 will effectively clear TSID 104.


    It seems that VM isn't taking the opportunity to add the additional ITV HD regions now available on Sky with this update. Hardly surprising, VM still has fewer regional versions of ITV +1 than Sky or Freeview, so par for the course.


    A point to note here is that, in the Manchester / Wrexham regions, there won't be enough room to transfer both ITV Wales HD and ITV HD - Granada if the regions also continue to carry the SD versions. (Manchester/Wrexham also carry 2 versions of Channel 4 HD.) There could also be problems, eventually, in regions carrying multiple ITV regional variations e.g. networks on the Basildon headend which carry 3 different versions of ITV SD. If they eventually carry the relevant versions of ITV HD and ITV +1, it will take some thought to get everything onto a single transport stream. It will be interesting, for now, to see how the TSID 102 capacity issue is handled in the Manchester / Wrexham regions. They could possibly hold onto one of the frequencies currently used for the dual TSID 104's or, maybe, close the ITV SD regional versions to make everything fit. Assuming ITV agrees to that.



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


    (The only ex-C&W network still awaiting a frequency change to relocate the former STB DOCSIS channel into the cleared frequency cluster is Ashford).

  • Yes, Virgin Media are updating the service names of the former Sky Cinema SD channels, even though they have been removed from the EPG.


    Hmmm!

    Bizarre. Why would they bother? Do they have someone on a YTS scheme working for them or something?

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  • Bizarre. Why would they bother? Do they have someone on a YTS scheme working for them or something?

    Maybe they are automated changes simply working to a diary which hasn't been updated. Either that or VM are allowing channels that were using temporary service names at the time of the closures to revert to their regular names. I guess we will find out when the next promotional rebrand takes place. If the closed channels then take on the temporary service names, I guess it will be down to the YTS scheme.. ^^

  • Overnight changes:


    A frequency change on the Ashford regional network, completing the relocation of the former STB DOCSIS channel into the cleared frequency cluster across all ex-C&W networks.


    A new service on TSID 9: SID 910 SptsETVmain added to the SDT and the NIT of a limited number of VM internal networks. This is in addition to the SptsETV services already added to TSID 9 (but not yet added to the SDT/NIT), ghosting services already carried on TSID 45.


    There were other minor changes which have been submitted for analysis. Further details to follow.

  • Update:


    The new SptsETVmain is running (testing) on TTA Knowsley DMC (Hayes_RHE), NGRHEE Knowsley & NGRHEE Bromley internal networks.


    TSID 7 SID 711 Babes & Brazzers has changed service type from 1 (digital television service) to 5 (NVOD time-shifted service) with various other flag changes relating to this change. As a pay per night service, it should have been service type 5 from launch, so just internal housekeeping by VM.


    In the NIT root, 2 changes were made to linkage records (Tivo download services) for TTA Knowsley DMC (Hayes_RHE), which is an internal network, so won't affect customers.


    Looking at the sequence of VM's internal service serial numbers, the number issued to SptsETVmain is out of sequence, suggesting another new service is about to launch but has not yet been added to the SDT. Bearing in mind that the previous 4 serial numbers issued were for the "Channel Update Slate" and additional "Channel Update" placeholders, the new service might not be a major launch. One to watch!


    Update (further analysis):


    Closer inspection revealed 3 vacant slots in the internal service serial numbers so actually three to watch!!

  • IIRC, on Sky, channels labelled ETV are usually interactive services for either channels are adverts.

    It has already been established in an earlier post the services duplicated on TSID 9 are the same as those on TSID 45 and part of the assumed clearance of TSID 45. So, yes the "red button" Sky Sports Xtra services. VM also uses the service name ETVS10 for the legacy interactive version of BBC Red Button 1.

  • Further update:


    According to the scanners, SptsETVmain appears to be some sort of interactive selection service for the individual "SptsETV" services 1-9. In other words multiple video and audio streams already mapped to SIDs 901 - 909 are mapped to SID 910 SptsETVmain.


    An interesting, if unusual, arrangement.

  • This also confirms that it's a Red Button service:


    http://digitalbitrate.com/dtv.…10&live=209&sec=0&lang=en

    Indeed, I had seen the EPG data from the EIT file sent by the scanners.


    These services have always been somewhat mysterious. There are multiple video streams and also multiple audio streams. Looking at the original TSID 45 services, each service has been mapped to a unique video stream but to all audio streams.


    The audio streams are flagged as English and 2 streams each for Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian & Chinese. There isn't a unique English stream for each service, so I've always assumed they are mis-flagged and actually in English. I don't think any of the scanners have sampled the audio streams when the services have been running "in the clear", so it has always been a mystery.


    Checking DBR, on the link you provided, I note that they did manage to take audio samples when the services were added to TSID 9. Unfortunately, not very helpful as the non-english streams are either test tones or silent.

  • Summary of overnight changes:


    The multiple "Channel Update" placeholders for the former Sky Cinema SD channels have been removed from the EPG and dumped on the placeholder EPG slot 28 with the "hidden" flag.


    On TSID 18:


    The former Sky Cinema SD channel placeholders have migrated from SIDs 1801-1809 & 1811-1812 to SIDs 1850-1860.

    A new channel has been added to SDT 1815: BT Sport 1 HD. The existing BT Sport 1 HD on TSID 26 SID 2606 remains in place. So it remains to be seen what is happening here.


    On TSID 24:


    New Channel E! HD has been added as SID 2407. Indications are that this channel will use EPG slot 229 and has subscription flags for the XL aka Full House aka Maxim packs (for both legacy and new versions).


    The additional BT Sport 1 HD and E! HD take up the first two of the three vacant slots discovered yesterday.


    The scans have been submitted for analysis - more details to follow.

  • Thanks for all the updates JJ20x. :) It really does give us a insight into what maybe coming or leaving VM, although as for E! HD, VM can keep that one for themselves!;)


    Just noticed the removal of the placeholders for the SD sky films channels, they got removed quick. I wonder what's next, the sports SD channels for the chop??

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  • I would guess that once most of the non-MPEG4 boxes are off the network that most of the MPEG2 streams will close. Fortunately we have the Cisco VHD box and that supports the MPEG4 standard. Don't really want a V6 as it has no SCART output which we use for our DVD HDD recorder and the modulator to feed the rest of the house.

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  • Thanks for all the updates JJ20x. :) It really does give us a insight into what maybe coming or leaving VM, although as for E! HD, VM can keep that one for themselves!;)


    Just noticed the removal of the placeholders for the SD sky films channels, they got removed quick. I wonder what's next, the sports SD channels for the chop??

    Yes, I can't say I'll notice the addition of E! HD. Definitely not the type of content I watch.


    The trouble with the Sky placeholders is that it has created a lot of junk entries in the SI tables. I wonder if the Sky Sport HD fee will be removed in the near future...

  • I would guess that once most of the non-MPEG4 boxes are off the network that most of the MPEG2 streams will close. Fortunately we have the Cisco VHD box and that supports the MPEG4 standard. Don't really want a V6 as it has no SCART output which we use for our DVD HDD recorder and the modulator to feed the rest of the house.

    They should be off the network by now, there's very little left in MPEG2.

  • I wonder if the Sky Sport HD fee will be removed in the near future...

    Hope so, but its a money earner for VM, but really now HD is the standard definition of today.

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  • Update:


    Further to the above. E! HD will complete the HD versions of Comcast channels exclusively available in the Full House packages.

    It is currently testing on 4 internal VM networks - TTA Knowsley DMC (Hayes_RHE), TTA Bromley DMC (Bromley RHE), NGRHEE Knowsley & NGRHEE Bromley.


    The duplicate version of BT Sport 1 HD has been assigned the same EPG slot as the original channel, is missing several flags in the SDT and doesn't appear to be in the NIT at all, so not yet added to (testing on) VM's internal networks. Perhaps this will be an alternative version, maybe if sports rights are not available in one of the nations? A mystery for the moment, at least until VM add more flags / add it to the NIT. TSID 18 is a strange location for this channel given its former and current/interim use.


    I could list the transition of the former Sky Cinema SD placeholders from original to "graveyard" placeholder SIDs, but as the channels are closed it seems pointless. If anyone wishes to see the detail, leave a comment and I'll list the changes.

  • Thanks jj20x.


    No idea about the BT Sport duplicate either. As far as I'm aware, sports rights are held on a UK wide basis, so unless they're going for different advertising regions, in which case they'd be more channels, I don't know why this exists.

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  • Thanks jj20x.


    No idea about the BT Sport duplicate either. As far as I'm aware, sports rights are held on a UK wide basis, so unless they're going for different advertising regions, in which case they'd be more channels, I don't know why this exists.

    All I can think of would be rights to Irish sporting events across the island of Ireland. As ex-NTL Langley NITs aren't currently included in the scan data, I don't get to see what is happening in Northern Ireland. That said, the service is flagged as hidden in the SDT, so that is confirmation that it isn't active anywhere at this stage. Initial records indicated that the service is using MPEG-2, which seems odd at a time when VM is migrating to MPEG-4.


    As far as I know, there are no internal/test networks on the ex-NTL Langley part of the network.

  • You might be right there jj. Do you know if VM's Republic of Ireland network is still separate from the UK one or are they running things from a UK super headend now??

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  • No changes were recorded on the overnight scan. A quiet weekend for VM.



    You might be right there jj. Do you know if VM's Republic of Ireland network is still separate from the UK one or are they running things from a UK super headend now??

    Still separate as far as I know. Combining it into UK networks would be fairly complicated as channels, EPG slots etc are completely different to the UK. They could probably use additional equipment at the UK headends for backup purposes.

  • Reading the other day that LG is intending to invest in VM further and expand its network, so these changes may all be part of a housekeeping exercise to prepare for that. Better to clear out all the old tat now than later.

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  • I don't know about clearing out the old tat. With them adding multiple "Channel Update" SIDs and only using them for a week, rather than using the existing Sky Cinema SIDs, it seems they are creating more tat.

  • That's true! It is VM, leopards don't change their spots.:)

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