Recent changes on the VM Network

Please treat other members in a constructive and friendly manner: Our Community Guidelines.
  • You are correct in saying that those pseudo transport streams are for the legacy VOD system. They are dynamic, so streams only appear in them when someone in the local area is actually watching on demand content. The local area is more the local neighbourhood for these streams, not the entire region as would be the case for transport streams 1-34 or 101-102. If nobody in the local neighbourhood is watching on demand content at the time of the scan, nothing will show up. The scan would probably register signal strength / quality data but that's about it, and DBR doesn't track that data.


    I note that the latest DBR scans are showing data for a couple of these pseudo transport streams, which indicates that someone in the neighbourhood local to the DBR scan site was viewing VOD content at the time of those scans.


    It's worth noting that scan data for these is hyper-local and distribution is more closely related to DOCSIS than to regular DVB-C. These streams don't show up at all on SI data scans.

  • 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.

    Have to say I don't like that change. I don't subscribe to the film channels at the moment, but it made sense having the +1 next to the main channel. It doesn't look like there will ever be a HD version of it, so I think it should've just been left where it was.

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

  • Have to say I don't like that change. I don't subscribe to the film channels at the moment, but it made sense having the +1 next to the main channel. It doesn't look like there will ever be a HD version of it, so I think it should've just been left where it was.

    No doubt pressure from Sky the give Select a better EPG slot to better publicise the ridiculous amount of rebrands that will now be primarily focussed on Select rather than Hits.


    A HD version will possibly arrive when Sky axe the SD versions on their platform but that could take a while.*


    *Famous last words. I said something similar about the removal of TSID 104 not too long ago...

  • NIT CDS changes overnight:


    Frequency data has finally been removed for TSID 38-41 on the following networks:

    Basildon 1, Basildon 2, Basildon 3, Basildon 4, Birmingham 750, Bristol 1 (Aztec), Bristol 2 (Aztec), Derby, Gateshead, Portsmouth, Code Download Test (Portsmouth), Portsmouth TRIALS, Seven Kings, Southampton & Stoke.

    And from TSID 40 & 41 in Poole (frequency data for TSID 38 & 40 had already been removed.)


    That completes the removal of frequency data for TSID 38-41 across ex-Telewest & ex-C&W regions.


    Current data isn't available for ex-NTL Langley networks but it is assumed that any remaining frequency data for TSID 38-41 will also have been removed for these networks.


    The removal process started on a region by region basis in early 2018, so has taken quite some time...

  • Analysis of the overnight scan revealed that the placeholder flag has been added to TSID 14 SID 1402 "BTSport 4K UHD Finals". The scanners have reported that this is currently linked to an MPEG2 video stream, so probably an information slate.


    The scanners also reported that TSIDs 35, 42, 45 & 104 have been decommissioned and the former frequencies now have no signal.


    TSID 38-41, which have now been removed from the NIT CDS (frequency data) still have data left in the SDT and NIT Services sections. So still some work required before they are completely removed from the SI tables.


    With the decommissioning of TSID 42 & 45, it's only a matter of time before these are also removed from the SI tables. (TSID 35 & 104 have already been removed). As for the timescale, the removal of TSIDs 38-41 started in February 2018 and still isn't complete so, who knows?...

  • .... who knows indeed, they sure do take their time. Thanks for all the updates jj20z and my area's headend of Seven Kings was mentioned in your earlier update too.:)

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

  • TSID 38-41, which have now been removed from the NIT CDS (frequency data) still have data left in the SDT and NIT Services sections. So still some work required before they are completely removed from the SI tables.

    Data for TSID 38-41 has now been completely removed from the SDT & NIT Services sections. Phew!


    SI data remains for TSID 42 & 45. Also for some of the decommissioned "FreqTest" transport streams TSID 301-304. TSID 389 data for the old 4KTV tests, which is no longer associated with any remaining networks and... a few loose ends in the SDT.

  • The actual services removed overnight were:


    TSID 38 SID 3811 Hidden 38

    TSID 39 SID 3911 Hidden 39

    TSID 40 SID 4011 Hidden 40

    TSID 41 SID 4111 Hidden 41


    There were also changes to the sport+ flag on BT Sport HD channels.


    The raw frequency scan showed 7 consecutive channels in the additional DOCSIS frequency cluster. That figure used to be 4 consecutive channels. Clear frequencies / DOCSIS frequencies aren't monitored on a regular basis, so I can't say when that change happened but probably fairly recently. 7 consecutive channels is a strange number, I would have thought 8 but maybe this is an ongoing update at VM.


    I asked if the guy currently doing the scans can schedule a spectrum usage scan but, unfortunately, that is going to have to wait until the regular scanner is back from holiday.

  • And you take a rest too! Thanks for all the updates.:)

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

  • And you take a rest too! Thanks for all the updates.:)

    Hear, hear!


    Though if you are bored JJ20X, I have a question, or rather I'm curious about your opinion if there isn't an answer.


    Regarding the two versions of TSid102, one for each region, that you've previously posted about. Now that the TSid104 thing has been "sorted" and those two have been created, where TSid102 previously had one version that carried versions of the ITV/C4 services for two regions.


    I was wondering if the two BBC regions on TSid101 cover the same areas and therefore, if this is the case, whether you think that the Welsh BBC services on TSid101 will be moved to the Welsh version of TSid102 and the North West BBC services on TSid101 to the Manchester version of TSid102? And any Local TV if there is any to their relevant version.


    Obviously DigitalBitRate tables can be misinterpreted, but to me, looking at them, for VM, this could mean TSid101 could be "cleared" if the BBC and ITV/C4 regions in this part of the country on VM's network happen to be the same. There seems space for the BBC services on the two versions of Tsid102.


    I'm wondering what you think JJ20X? Is it possible? Are VM going to do that if it is?

  • I doubt they would do that, for many reasons. It's more likely that Wrexham will get its own feed of both TSID 101 and TSID 102 at some point, if they repeat the trend set by Stoke. (Before the Manchester TRIALS network was reconfigured as Wrexham for the Project Lightning extension, North West and West Midlands services were carried on Manchester fed versions of TSIDs 101 & 102 carried separate North West & West Midlands versions of TSID 104. Wrexham feeds replaced the old West Mids (Stoke) feeds).


    TSID 101 & 102 were initially the transport streams for regional SD services, with TSID 104 being for the regional HD services. The conversion of services from MPEG2 to MPEG4 has released enough capacity to fit the HD services onto the transport streams initially reserved for SD services.


    VM will want to keep the existing structure for uniformity across their regional networks. Some regions carry multiple versions of BBC One and ITV (such as BBC One London & BBC One South East together with the ITV London, Anglia & Meridian versions carried across Basildon regions). The VM regions are not an exact fit for the broadcast regions so capacity has to be reserved and available for these additional services, this is going to get significantly worse if all of the regions eventually convert to HD.


    Looking at DBR for a moment, TSID 102 appears to have around 21 Mb/s of unused capacity, or null packets. Video for TSID 101 services are running at 9 Mb/s for HD services and 2 Mb/s for SD services, so adding BBC One HD, BBC Two HD a regional version of BBC SD and a local channel is going to take up 22 Mb/s, so already over capacity for the transport stream before taking account of audio, subtitle and additional data requirements. In short, it won't fit, even in areas covering only one broadcast region.


    Then bear in mind that other services such as ITV AD may migrate to these streams at some point, as C4 AD already has.


    As I said, many reasons not to do this.

  • Will these extra regions be on the EPG for those areas with overlapping broadcast regions? If not, i'm just wondering if this would enable people to pick up extra regions by bypassing the VM STB.

  • Will these extra regions be on the EPG for those areas with overlapping broadcast regions? If not, i'm just wondering if this would enable people to pick up extra regions by bypassing the VM STB.

    On VM networks overlapping several editorial regions, additional BBC One regions are on channel 858, with additional ITV regions on channels 870 and 871.

  • On a similar theme to my last question, would their be any logic to putting BBC Local Radio onto TSid101 with the other BBC services that have regional variations? For all I know the BBC English Local Radio regions aren't the same as the TV ones, I certainly wouldn't be surprised, so there may be no point

  • On a similar theme to my last question, would their be any logic to putting BBC Local Radio onto TSid101 with the other BBC services that have regional variations? For all I know the BBC English Local Radio regions aren't the same as the TV ones, I certainly wouldn't be surprised, so there may be no point

    I don't know the answer to your question Angus, but when VM moved over to NGTV, all the local BBC radio channels were removed and everyone then got BBC London.


    When someone complained about this on the VM Community Forum, they were advised that all the BBC local stations were available on the radio app that they provide.

  • The legacy cable networks each had their own approach for carrying local radio stations, both BBC & commercial. For those carrying local radio, usually the feed was sourced at the local headends. As Richard has stated, the local stations were removed with the introduction of NGTV. NGTV being a unified platform for national distribution of channels from a single headend, replacing the legacy headends at Knowsley (Telewest), Bromley (C&W) & Langley (NTL). VM also took the opportunity to distribute the regional channels over the NGTV network and to stop sourcing services at local headends, local radio stations being dropped in the process. Basically, it was a policy decision for the unified distribution system and a common approach to local radio, replacing the individual policies of the legacy networks.


    There's very little point in local distribution of commercial local radio in this day and age. Other than brief local news bulletins and an ever dwindling number of local opt out shows most programmes are networked. The handful of local stations remaining with a decent coverage area will be targets for takeover by Bauer or by the Global / Communicorp networks.


    BBC LR could be distributed over NGTV with all stations available nationally or split out to, say, TSID 101 on the regional networks. I guess VM decided it wasn't worth the effort to distribute the 40 or so local stations.


    BBC nations and BBC Radio London being carried over the network and the absence of other areas demonstrates that there isn't a common approach to local / regional radio. Ultimately, we don't know if the final decision was with VM or the BBC, so there's not much more to say about this.


    As Richard has pointed out, VM will now point out that these stations are available on the radio app. Useful to V6 customers but of little use to anyone using the legacy boxes.

  • No customer facing changes showed up on the overnight scan. Just a couple of NIT linkage (Tivo data) updates for an internal network - TTA Knowsley DMC (Hayes_RHE).

  • Thanks for the responses Richard and JJ20X.


    It appears from your answers that I clearly forgot how Local can be interpreted. I personally class the regional and nations stations as Local, my definition being anything that isn't targeted at the whole UK.


    So oops, sorry about that! :(


    I'd forgotten about the BBC definition of the word.


    So, JJ20X, what I was actually asking, though doing so badly, was would it be practical or desirable to VM to put say, BBC Radio Scotland on the same multiplex as BBC1 Scotland HD?


    I'm assuming, given the tiny amount of space radio stations use, they'll just leave it as it is and let everyone get all the BBC regional/nations stations as it isn't worth the hassle.

  • ...what I was actually asking, though doing so badly, was would it be practical or desirable to VM to put say, BBC Radio Scotland on the same multiplex as BBC1 Scotland HD?


    I'm assuming, given the tiny amount of space radio stations use, they'll just leave it as it is and let everyone get all the BBC regional/nations stations as it isn't worth the hassle.

    As far as I know, the logic behind national carriage is that BBC Radio Scotland will also be of interest to Scots living in England, Wales etc. Sure, the 6 VM networks in Scotland could extract the BBC Radio Scotland (adding it to TSID 101) but there would be additional infrastructure and local monitoring needed to do that. No real advantage to doing it as Scots living in other nations would lose access to to the channel.


    Strictly speaking, as all BBC LR is funded from the licence fee, the same logic should apply to the English stations. Unfortunately, although carriage of the handful of stations currently carried takes up a small amount of space, an additional 40 would start to eat into capacity. 40 x 128 kbps audio streams collectively needing around the same capacity as a couple of SD TV channels.

  • Thanks JJ20X. Much appreciated. :)


    40 radio stations in the space of 2 SD channels? I thought it was much less stations than that, I tried to roughly work it out a couple months ago based on the Freeview PSB1 multiplex. Obviously those have Red Button data aspects that aren't on other platforms, but I wouldn't have thought that takes up a huge amount.


    This isn't my area of expertise though 8o...if I even have one :D

  • 40x128kb/s=5128kb/s - lets say 5 Mb/s for 40 128 kbps radio stations plus some extra clutter for the PMTs.


    On TSID 101 BBC One North West is using 2 Mb/s for video, 192 kb/s for audio, around 40 kb/s for subtitles and an unspecified of additional data - so let's say just short of 2.5 Mb/s for an SD channel. TSID 101 is quirky in that it doesn't use stat-muxing.


    Freeview uses a lower bitrate for local radio to fit everything in (80kb/s) - but if everything is reduced to mono, why bother?


    Freeview in Scotland uses variable rates to fit in additional services.


    It's just maths. :D

  • PMT's?

  • Changes logged in the overnight scan were similar to last Saturday:


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


    The scanner has issued an alert that the "manufacturer" names included in the NIT Linkage service names (DL_Cisco_TiVoPF_10069, DL_Sam_TiVoPF_10071 etc) should be ignored as the services are still being used to carry data for both Cisco & Samsung models of Tivo. VM had previously changed the format of the service names to remove manufacturer names, using service names such as DL1_TiVo_10069. The migration from TSID 42 to TSID 1 has reintroduced the misleading service names.


    A further scan sometime this morning revealed further changes to the sport+ flag on BT Sport services and also a Sky Cinema rebrand with TSID 30 SID 3004 changing from Sky Greats HD to Sky Westerns HD.

  • Am I missing something as I really don't have a clue what any of this actually means or more to the point why I need to actually know any of it.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Am I missing something as I really don't have a clue what any of this actually means or more to the point why I need to actually know any of it.

    It's a thread about technical changes on VM's network, Ron. If the thread is of no interest to you, then we have hundreds of other threads to choose from. The thread is useful because it can highlight upcoming new services before they actually launch, or at least give us a flavour of what's going on behind the scenes on Virgin Media's network.


    PS: I will delete your post and this post in the next 24 hours to keep the thread on topic.

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