Recent changes on the VM Network

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  • Overnight changes:


    TSID 18 SID 1854 (graveyard) Sky Animation reverted to Sky Family. - Hmmm!

    TSID 34 SID 3402 Sky Animation HD reverted to Sky Family HD.


    TSID 24 SID 2407 E! HD - added to extra internal/test network: Code Download Test (Portsmouth).

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



    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.

    I wonder if VM Ireland still uses MPEG2. If so, maybe this is a further indicator that this is a feed for Ireland (perhaps they are allowed to show 3pm kickoffs?) and that they intend to further unify the network. Apart from a couple of minor channels, channels in the UK and Ireland now have parity (but, as you say, many have different EPG slots that would be a contractual nightmare to align).

  • I wonder if VM Ireland still uses MPEG2. If so, maybe this is a further indicator that this is a feed for Ireland (perhaps they are allowed to show 3pm kickoffs?) and that they intend to further unify the network. Apart from a couple of minor channels, channels in the UK and Ireland now have parity (but, as you say, many have different EPG slots that would be a contractual nightmare to align).

    MPEG2 is still used for static video slates, so it could even be a case of replacing normal programmes with an information slate if, say, Eir Sport or RTE own rights for the whole of the island of Ireland. At the moment, it doesn't seem to be "active" anywhere, so it isn't offering any clues...

  • Some relatively complex changes overnight related to the migration of services from TSID 104 to TSID 101 and TSID 102 (as predicted in earlier posts).


    BBC ONE HD completing the migration from TSID 104 SID 10407 to TSID 101 SID 10127 across networks in England - other national versions having already migrated.


    The "Old Channel 4 London" (placeholder) moves from SID 10272 to SID 10297 clearing the way for ITV HD services migrating to TSID 102.


    ITV HD services migrated from TSID 104 SIDs 10403, 10404 & 10405 to SIDs 10272, 10273 & 10274. * see update


    UTV HD migrated from TSID 104 SID 10406 to TSID 102 SID 10275.


    That covers all versions of ITV HD other than Granada and Wales. I mentioned in an earlier post that there isn't room to transfer both HD versions (Granada & Wales) onto a single version of TSID 102 on the Manchester / Wrexham networks. It appears that, for the moment, VM hasn't migrated ITV HD to TSID 102 on any of the regional networks carrying ITV HD (Granada) or ITV Wales HD. It will be interesting to see how VM resolve this problem, maybe 2 versions of TSID 104 in the Manchester/Wrexham region as they currently have for TSID 104...


    TSID 104 has been completely removed from service on all networks not carrying ITV HD (Granada) or ITV Wales HD, becoming part of the cleared frequency cluster.


    This update is based on a very basic scan comparison from the scanners, because of the complexity of the changes they haven't completed the initial analysis stage. The scan data will now be submitted for initial analysis and subsequently for detailed analysis. A further update will follow when more information is available.


    Update: * Central, London & Meridian versions of ITV HD respectively.

  • MPEG2 is still used for static video slates, so it could even be a case of replacing normal programmes with an information slate if, say, Eir Sport or RTE own rights for the whole of the island of Ireland. At the moment, it doesn't seem to be "active" anywhere, so it isn't offering any clues...

    I didn't know that, you could well be right then and it may simply be for an information slate for the ROI to blackout programming when required.


    They might not even bother to upgrade the information slates to MPEG4 (especially if this costs them money). They won't use much capacity and nobody is likely to record them (in fact, IIRC, I don't think that the STB allows you to).

  • I didn't know that, you could well be right then and it may simply be for an information slate for the ROI to blackout programming when required.


    They might not even bother to upgrade the information slates to MPEG4 (especially if this costs them money). They won't use much capacity and nobody is likely to record them (in fact, IIRC, I don't think that the STB allows you to).

    On VM, slates are just static video images, there won't be any significant changes in the GOP sequence, so compression isn't a major factor. (Put simply, the whole picture is only broadcast every few frames and intermediate frames only record movement. Obviously with a still image there won't be any movement.)


    I'm not sure why VM still use MPEG-2 for slates, maybe MPEG-2 works better with still images than MPEG-4. Fewer artefacts perhaps, I don't know, just a guess. :)

  • The initial summary of the overnight scan shows the migration of services from TSID 45 to TSID 9 has been completed.


    SIDs 4501-4509 migrating to SIDs 901-909 (SptsETV01-SptsETV09 respectively). - Sky Sports Extra red button streams.


    A new placeholder has been added to SID 4501 "TS45 Dummy".


    The scans were submitted for detailed analysis overnight, so if any further details are revealed I will update the post later in the day.


    Update:


    All of the Sky Sports standard definition channels (other than News & Mix) were given additional flags in the EPG section of the SDT. The extra flags are "hide" and "unhide+" (the names allocated in our analysis database not VM official terms). These flags are already present on Sky Sports HD channels.


    Presumably this flag / descriptor combination "hides" the channels from the EPG of certain set top boxes but leaves them in the EPG of Tivo / V6 boxes.


    The unhide+ flag was also added to BT Sport 1 HD but not to the other BT Sport HD channels, so it's a little unclear what is happening with this.

  • Further updates from Wednesday's scan:


    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.


    In NIT services:


    TSID 18 SID 1815 was added to all NITs. I guess that indicates that this additional version of BT Sport 1 HD isn't meant as a placeholder service to replace Irish sports rights in Northern Ireland. So there goes that theory. So now there are 2 versions of BT Sport 1 HD, both mapped to EPG slot 527 and both added to the NIT of all VM networks. Strange! One to watch.


    A slight adjustment to ITV HD (London) which VM had apparently (erroneously) added to the NIT of NGRHEE Knowsley rather than Haringey. This has now been corrected.


    I think that concludes the scan detail for Wednesday. There were several changes to the SDT, largely relating to the relocation of the SptsETV services. Some of the changes relating to the subscription pack codes etc will possibly be rolled back shortly as these red button services normally use a different set of descriptors. I won't go into detail as it is somewhat beyond the scope of this thread.

  • Having just completed the post for the detail of Wednesday's scan, the scanners have forwarded an early scan summary for Thursday:


    The migration of services from TSID 104 has been completed.


    ITV HD (Granada) moves from TSID 104 SID 10402 to TSID 102 SID 10271.

    ITV Wales HD moves from TSID 104 SID 10411 to TSID 102 SID 10276.


    A new placeholder has been added to TSID 104 SID 10411 "TS104 Dummy".


    All frequency data has been removed from the NIT CDS for networks in Wales and in the North, North West, North East and Carlisle regions of England. Completing the removal of TSID 104 from all regions of the VM national network. Ghost data may be carried on the old frequencies for a while until the transport streams are decommissioned.


    In the Manchester/Wrexham regions TSID 102 has been split into 2 versions. The pre-existing version of TSID 102 should now carry only commercial regional services (ITV/Channel 4) for North West England for customers on the Manchester networks. A new version of TSID 102 has been created for Wrexham. It should now carry the commercial regional services for Wales for customers on the Wrexham network. A complication of Wrexham taking its feed from Manchester.


    The Wrexham version of TSID 102 has taken the frequency previously used by the, now defunct, Wrexham version of TSID 104.


    TSID 24 SID 2407 E! HD has been added to the NITs of the remaining regional & internal networks and is now live on EPG slot / channel 229.


    The scanners will probably take a further scan later tonight, which they will then submit for detailed analysis. I will post any further details as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I won't be around for most of the day, so I may not be able to post the details until Friday.

  • Thanks JJ20x.:)


    Like you, I've no idea what VM are doing with those two BT Sport versions either, so yes one to watch there.

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • Update:


    There wasn't a great deal of additional information on the detailed analysis.


    The NIT services analysis revealed that TSID 102 SID 10271 ITV HD (Granada) was added to the NIT of internal network "Code Download Test (Portsmouth)" in addition to VM regions in the Granada, Border, Yorkshire & Tyne Tees ITV catchment areas.


    Code Download Test (Portsmouth) already carries SID 10274 ITV HD (Meridian) - this is possibly for load testing, or maybe some VM tech in Portsmouth wants to watch Granada Reports. ;)


    The SDT analysis revealed the active hours for SID 2306 CBeebies HD changed from 04:57:00-17:59:00 UTC to 04:57:00-17:58:00 UTC. (Add one hour for British Summer Time). Active hours for SID 2305 BBC Four HD remained unchanged at 17:59:00-04:30:00 UTC.


    (The Channel Off Air Slate (SID 2101) replaces these channels outside normal active hours through SDT Linkage.)


    Note:


    The SDT/EPG serial numbers issued to TS45 Dummy & TS104 Dummy are not taken from the sequence of numbers used for normal channels. So no clues given in the sequence to any further additions waiting in the wings. There is still a gap in the sequence of numbers issued between "Channel Update Slate" and "SptsETVmain".

  • E! HD is now on channel 229, surprisingly, the SD version is still on ch 156!

    A bit like Universal HD being on 164 and SD on 137, or Alibi HD being on 226 and SD on 126, or W HD on 211 and SD on 125, or Dave HD on 227 and SD on 127, or... the list goes on.


    VM's weird concept of EPG priority.

  • A bit like Universal HD being on 164 and SD on 137, or Alibi HD being on 226 and SD on 126, or W HD on 211 and SD on 125, or Dave HD on 227 and SD on 127, or... the list goes on.


    VM's weird concept of EPG priority.

    These days, when HD channels launch on Virgin Media, the SD channel (if there is one) usually gets removed and is replaced with the HD version.


    It looks like Comcast are reluctant to let people on the lower packs view their HD channels in the same way that UKTV, Viacom etc have.


    Do you know if the radio stations are still in MPEG2? The reason I ask is that I was running short of disc space, so deleted some recordings from the radio and I was surprised by how much space this created. I'm beginning to think that the V6 might record the black screen as well as the audio when recording radio stations.




    Not sure what happened here!


    [HY Mod edit] Just tidied it for you Richard.

    Edited once, last by Heero Yuy: Post tidied ().

  • These days, when HD channels launch on Virgin Media, the SD channel (if there is one) usually gets removed and is replaced with the HD version.


    It looks like Comcast are reluctant to let people on the lower packs view their HD channels in the same way that UKTV, Viacom etc have.


    Indeed, but I didn't expect the SD channel to be removed. The Comcast HD channels and BT Sports channels are the USP of the Full House pack. For non sport lovers, the Comcast HD channels are the only attraction as, otherwise, customers may opt for the basic tier plus add-on packs. VM are probably as much to blame for this as Comcast, if customers migrate away from the Full House pack, the current arrangement for BT Sport wouldn't be viable.


    Do you know if the radio stations are still in MPEG2? The reason I ask is that I was running short of disc space, so deleted some recordings from the radio and I was surprised by how much space this created. I'm beginning to think that the V6 might record the black screen as well as the audio when recording radio stations.


    There isn't a video stream, so no actual black screen for the V6 to record. VM use MPEG (original flavour) and MPEG2 for audio channels or some version of AC3 for higher quality audio for TV channels, presumably the format provided by the broadcaster.


    I doubt that anything will change with the audio streams, they take up very little broadcast capacity. Recordings will probably include other garbage such as lots of SI data, possibly the entire EPG. This data can be stripped out but usually by third party apps after the recording is made, so this option isn't available to the Tivo / V6.


    Common audio formats used for streaming are MP3, AAC, ASF & DASH. The BBC tending to prefer DASH. Most of these are "container formats" with the audio packaged within the container format, possibly incompatible with VM's broadcasting formats. It wouldn't matter anyway as, even with the more efficient audio format, the STB would also record tons of SI data and inflate the size of the recording. A basic problem of recording audio only streams with DVRs unfortunately.

  • Well, i'm not bothered about BT Sport or the Sky channels in HD and would happily downgrade to a lower package, but i'd lose my discounts and end up paying a similar price for less channels!


    In time I would think that all SD variants will be scrapped where an HD version exists.


    Thanks for explaining how the recording of the radio stations works.

  • Well, i'm not bothered about BT Sport or the Sky channels in HD and would happily downgrade to a lower package, but i'd lose my discounts and end up paying a similar price for less channels!


    In time I would think that all SD variants will be scrapped where an HD version exists.


    Thanks for explaining how the recording of the radio stations works.

    No doubt VM will have referred to the data they collect on viewing habits to establish what should be included in the Full House pack. Data they are unlikely to reveal to the public.


    I tend to agree with you about SD variants being scrapped eventually but wouldn't like to predict a timescale for this.

  • Overnight changes:


    The following placeholders for former channels were removed from the NIT & the SDT:

    TSID 19 SID 1954 Vintage TV

    TSID 22 SID 2257 Worldbox

    TSID 101 SID 10140 STV2 (although SID 10151 ex Edinburgh STV2 remains as a placeholder, even though this service has been inactive for longer than SID 10140. The mind boggles!)


    TSID 32 SID 3202 Sky Select HD was renamed Sky DC Heroes HD (a temporary rebrand). Fortunately, on this occasion, VM haven't also renamed the placeholder for the defunct SD channel.


    The "sport+" flags changed for BT Sport 2 HD and the original version of BT Sport 1 HD but not for the additional "duplicate" of BT Sport 1 HD on TSID 18. Not something that normally gets into the report, but I mention it because it indicates that SI data for the 2 versions of BT Sport 1 HD isn't being kept in sync.


    In the NIT root, there were 52 changes to NIT Linkage (data for set top box use) for networks which get such updates.


    Data has been compiled from the summary analysis provided by the scanners. This data has now been submitted for detailed analysis but the summary appears to be conclusive, for the SDT at least. There is a possibility of some further, minor, changes to the NIT Services data. If the detailed analysis reveals further changes I will post an update later in the day.


    Update: No further changes were noted in the detailed analysis.

  • Have you come across anything related to Adsmart since VM started using it?

    No, unlike the random test streams carried a few years ago, which were thought to be associated with Adsmart tests, there has been nothing similar recently. That said, Adsmart is V6 only, it is quite possible that targeted ads are being "downloaded" rather than "broadcast".


    VM traditionally uses a number of streams which aren't mapped to specific services (they show up as ghost streams on DBR) and are not standard DVB streams. Traditionally, these were used for legacy red button services and support data for legacy boxes. I don't think any of these have been looked at recently, so maybe there are new ones or re-purposed ones used for ad signalling.


    I'll put it on the list of things to be checked out. It could take a while, getting this sort of analysis done during the summer holiday season will be tricky, it's difficult enough maintaining a basic SI scan/analysis schedule at this time of year.

  • The overnight scan showed no meaningful data.


    The 2 versions of BT Sport 1 HD changed the "sport+" flag, one version changing to 0 (off) the other changing to 1 (on), so still out of sync.


    That was the only change.


    Over the coming weeks the 6am scan will probably be dropped from the cable scan schedule as the scanners take their summer breaks. 6am is the regular table refresh for the new "broadcast day", so is often used, by broadcasters, to update data for "rebrands" etc. but for very little else. Be aware that rebrands etc may not show up until the following night's scan during this period.

  • No, unlike the random test streams carried a few years ago, which were thought to be associated with Adsmart tests, there has been nothing similar recently. That said, Adsmart is V6 only, it is quite possible that targeted ads are being "downloaded" rather than "broadcast".


    VM traditionally uses a number of streams which aren't mapped to specific services (they show up as ghost streams on DBR) and are not standard DVB streams. Traditionally, these were used for legacy red button services and support data for legacy boxes. I don't think any of these have been looked at recently, so maybe there are new ones or re-purposed ones used for ad signalling.


    I'll put it on the list of things to be checked out. It could take a while, getting this sort of analysis done during the summer holiday season will be tricky, it's difficult enough maintaining a basic SI scan/analysis schedule at this time of year.

    Thanks, I remember when a load of new streams were added and we were all trying to work out what they were for :D


    Re: The BT Sport stream, MB has posted this in another forum:


    Quote from Media Boy;36006481

    Maybe nothing but the first channel on CO52 (BT Sport 4K Hidden) the EPG is saying "Channel coming soon"


    http://digitalbitrate.com/dtv.…01&live=209&sec=0&lang=en


    I wonder if it's a new channel from BT, or if it might also be related to these tests on Freesat which also involve BT (BT Sport PPV, which I wouldn't think would be joining Freesat):


  • Thanks Heero :)

  • That's a 4K stream. TSID 14 was used for BTSport 4K UHD Finals back in May. I wouldn't be surprised to see it used again at some point, possibly for BT Sport PPV, as you suggest.

  • Completing the removal of TSID 104 from all regions of the VM national network. Ghost data may be carried on the old frequencies for a while until the transport streams are decommissioned.

    I've been alerted to comments made about the current status of TSID 104 made on another forum. It is, therefore, worthwhile to highlight the comment I made about this at the time. "Ghost data may be carried on the old frequencies for a while until the transport streams are decommissioned."


    VM don't seem in a rush to remove redundant transport streams. Their track record is that it can take weeks, maybe even months before everything is fully decommissioned.


    TSIDs 35, 42, 45 & 104 have all had their content transferred out to other transport streams, as predicted in post #2 of this thread. TSIDs 35 & 104 have been removed from the SI tables (NIT & SDT), for now SI data remains for TSID 42 & 45. Reminiscent of the initial clearance of transport streams some time back, when TSIDs 36-41, 43 & 45 were cleared of services. TSIDs 36, 37, 43 & 45 were removed from the SI data fairly quickly, but SI data for TSID 38-41 has been removed on a piecemeal basis and much of it remains to this day. Whether they still exist in the SI tables or not, the frequencies formerly used by TSIDs 38-41 are now inactive or redeployed to DOCSIS.


    So, expect the frequencies formerly used by TSIDs 35, 42, 45 & 104 to be cleared of remaining streams and switched off in the coming weeks.

  • As SID 3202 Sky Select HD (currently Sky DC Heroes HD) takes over the role of Sky Cinema's primary channel for rebrands, it moves up the EPG from channel 412 to channel 402, following a similar move on Sky's EPG a few days ago.


    Sky Cinema's only remaining SD channel, the timeshift SID 1810 Sky Premiere 1hr is shunted from EPG channel 402 to channel 412. It is now placed after Sky Cinema's HD slots on the EPG.

  • Howdee everyone!


    For my first post on here I'll just copy'n' paste what I put on a certain other other forum this morning as it'll be easier in this instance.


    Since you know much more about these things maybe you can explain what I saw JJ20X please. :)


    Now this may be nothing, it could be DigitalBitRate not working, or simply me misinterpreting it....but all 4 versions of the multiplex that dealt with what I believed to be the Legacy VOD system may have been switched off or removed or something, overnight. There have been four versions of TSid 22113 on CO48, CO49, CO50 and CO51 and all of them haven't been updated on DBR this morning.