Recent changes on the VM Network

  • 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.

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  • 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.

    Ok do as you wish its your forum, I was just curious as to why the VM network is getting this much scrutiny while others aren't also how the information is obtained, if similar information was available for the other networks then it would be interesting to know how to obtain it, that's all, but if that's off topic then so be it.

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  • Ok do as you wish its your forum, I was just curious as to why the VM network is getting this much scrutiny while others aren't also how the information is obtained, if similar information was available for the other networks then it would be interesting to know how to obtain it, that's all, but if that's off topic then so be it.

    Data for other networks is available on many other sites, so there is no compelling reason for the people providing those reports to repeat it on here. VM is a little more complicated than other networks and most of the information on here is from analysis of SI data or, in simple terms, the metadata carried on the network.

  • No significant changes on Sunday's scans, the only activity being the sport+ flag playing "musical chairs" on the BT Sport channels. Sport+ changes will be excluded from future reports.

  • Does this post from a satellite forum shed any light on what VM might be doing?


    Quote from Bo98;c-94379317

    Some info on BT Sport Box Office ROI: the next BT Sport Box Office event is 7 September, the first under Sky's deal rather than eir Sport. The BT website currently states: "In the Republic of Ireland? Your ways to buy will be available soon".


    I imagine the ROI feed will launch by then but we'll see.

  • MB says that there are still some channels broadcasting in MPEG2:


    - alibi +1

    -Colors Cineplex

    -Dave ja vu

    -GOLD +1

    -Good Food +1

    -QVC Beauty

    -Home +1

    -W +1

    -Eden +1

    -YESTERDAY +1

    -COLORS

    -TCM +1

    -Star Bharat

    -Colors Rishtey

    -ITV4 +1

    -Sky Premiere 1hr

    -Sky Sports Racing

    -Television X (Channel 980)


    I'm posting this to help those who (like myself) are running short of disc space as watching/deleting any recordings from these channels first will free up more space.


    I can't understand why these haven't been moved over yet, I suppose VM will have their reasons.

  • Thank you for the update Richard. We don't have a recording device (Just a Cisco HD box) but the info will be useful for other members.:thumbup:

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  • I can't understand why these haven't been moved over yet, I suppose VM will have their reasons.

    Largely because it isn't being done for the customer but to reduce the number of transport streams and the costs of running the network.


    Many of VM's roll-outs seem to be protracted and chaotic, as we have seen with the recent removal of TSIDs 38-41. Which, in theory, could have been done in February 2018 when the regional roll-out commenced for the removal of assigned frequencies. Technically, these transport streams had already been decommissioned or reassigned to DOCSIS a long time ago. More recently, they seem to be repeating this for TSID 42 and 45, which have also been decommissioned. Although traces of TSID 35 and TSID 104 were removed quite quickly, so they can move quickly when they see fit.


    The channels you mentioned are on TSID 12, 16 and 18. Conventional wisdom being that the remaining services on TSID 12 should be converted to MPEG-4, with MPEG-4 versions of the remaining services on TSID 16 & 18 being moved into spare capacity on TSID 12.


    That said, TSID 16 also carries several BT Sport Extra red button streams which probably spend most of their existence as static video slates, so would probably be better left as MPEG-2.


    Perhaps VM knows something we don't and a schedule exists for the removal of another tranche of SD versions of channels currently using dual illumination. Maybe the remaining MPEG-2 channels are using old MPEG-2 only encoders and VM doesn't see the need to buy additional MPEG-4 capable encoders if existing MPEG-4 capable encoders are shortly to become available as further SD duplication ends. Lots of ifs, buts and maybes.


    Of course, its also possible that all equipment currently in use is MPEG-4 capable and VM simply hasn't taken the final step at this point in time.


    There are many gaps in the transport stream map after recent changes. TSIDs 15, 17 & 19 being dormant, having been cleared of SD channels. Possibly to be joined at some point by TSIDs 16 & 18 and, maybe, 12. It will be interesting to see if VM use the spare capacity for new services or if the spare capacity is also to be decommissioned.


    HD services moved from TSID 35 to the, recently cleared, TSID 20 to allow TSID 35 to be decommissioned. It's possible that something similar will eventually happen with, say, services on TSID 30-34 being transferred to TSID 15-19 as the remaining transport streams are cleared. Even the services on TSID 29 could be migrated to TSID 12 if VM decide to clear that transport stream. It would be sensible for VM to retain some of the cleared transport streams for overspill/pop-up services such as the BBC Summer Red Button services and one-off UHD events, such as those from BT & Eurosport (although TSID 14 currently seems to be reserved for BT UHD events).


    On another note:


    No updates noted on this weeks scans. The overnight scans are only showing a change to the TDT (which is the time / date stamp and updates constantly). Any post-6am scans only showing the updated table version numbers with no change to the content other than the TDT. An extended break for VM techs perhaps... ^^

  • Very interesting. Thanks JJ20X.


    TSID 9 seems to be Sky Sports Red Button channels on DigitalBitRate. Why do you think they seemingly converted one them (SptsETV01) to MPEG4 a while ago, and then just halted?

  • Well, at this moment in time, lots of Viacom channels look set to be removed from midnight tomorrow:


    New Virgin Media carriage dispute- 30 channels due to be removed from midnight tomorrow.


    Maybe the scanners will find a 'channels removed' slate for the Viacom channels as they did for the UKTV channels.

  • Well, at this moment in time, lots of Viacom channels look set to be removed from midnight tomorrow:


    New Virgin Media carriage dispute- 30 channels due to be removed from midnight tomorrow.


    Maybe the scanners will find a 'channels removed' slate for the Viacom channels as they did for the UKTV channels.

    Not as far as I know. The only changes on the overnight scan were the sport+ flags on BT Sport channels and 4 changes to NIT linkage (Tivo downloads) on internal network: TTA Knowsley DMC (Hayes_RHE).


    I don't know for sure if the individual transport streams were scanned last night, so they could be there. I'll ask them to check tonight.


    At least VM has a bunch of dormant transport streams still around if they want to repeat the UKTV dispute farce and add loads of low budget "FTA" replacement services.

  • Very interesting. Thanks JJ20X.


    TSID 9 seems to be Sky Sports Red Button channels on DigitalBitRate. Why do you think they seemingly converted one them (SptsETV01) to MPEG4 a while ago, and then just halted?

    It is the Sky Sports Xtra streams, but the MPEG-4 period indicated on DBR is between mid June & mid July. Before the Sky Sports streams migrated from TSID 45. At that point in time, TSID 9 was being used for the temporary BBC RB pop-ups and the MPEG-4 usage was probably BBC Red Button HD. The ex-TSID 45 services didn't appear on TSID 9 until circa 24th July (the first time it showed up on raw scan data).


    So basically, it's just DBR data being a bit misleading...

  • Not as far as I know. The only changes on the overnight scan were the sport+ flags on BT Sport channels and 4 changes to NIT linkage (Tivo downloads) on internal network: TTA Knowsley DMC (Hayes_RHE).


    I don't know for sure if the individual transport streams were scanned last night, so they could be there. I'll ask them to check tonight.


    At least VM has a bunch of dormant transport streams still around if they want to repeat the UKTV dispute farce and add loads of low budget "FTA" replacement services.

    Do you know if they can set the 'hidden' flags to change in advance and, if so, whether the scans would show if this had been done?


    I ask because, when the UKTV channels were initially removed from public view, it happened at precisely midnight. I wouldn't have thought that VM would pay someone to be at work just to do this over a weekend, but they would have to be removed immediately upon expiration of the carriage agreement.

  • I suppose they could set up a new table with the hidden flags and schedule it to be activated at midnight but that's unlikely to "disconnect" anyone viewing at the time. They would have to force some sort of refresh.

  • I suppose they could set up a new table with the hidden flags and schedule it to be activated at midnight but that's unlikely to "disconnect" anyone viewing at the time. They would have to force some sort of refresh.

    They mustn't have done that for the UKTV channels as they disconnected straight away. From what I remember, I think that the EPG number disappeared and you were thrown to the channel below. Upon returning to the former UKTV channel number, the replacement/duplicate channel was broadcasting.

  • As I remember the channels continued for a short while but "info" showed they were on new double digit channel numbers (the hidden range on the EPG). Eventually they were cut off, presumably as VM forced the boxes to reload the channel, possibly as further table refreshes took place. As I recall, the changes were made in several steps.


    I can't check, the database for that period has been archived.

  • According to the scanners, 51 further changes were detected for NIT linkage (Tivo downloads) on various networks on an unscheduled scan taken sometime during the evening.

  • Couple of things to watch for:


    From 13/9/19 Good Food, alongside it's HD variant and +1, is listed as 'channel no longer available' on Virgin Media.


    Also, Zee is planning to close the linear channels of Zee TV & Zee Cinema in the UK as it moves to OTT distribution only.

  • I guess Friday the 13th is not going to be a lucky day for the Good Food channel. Yes, that had been picked up from the EIT data. It will be interesting to see if anything new pops up to replace it.


    The remaining Zee channels are perhaps not a big surprise following the recent closure of Zing, &TV and Living Foodz HD. Significantly weakening VM's already lightweight Asian Mela packs.


    No reportable changes were logged on Sunday's scans.


    We did get a lot of frequency and PAT/PMT SI scans from a third party scanner which are useful wrt the Viacom situation. Unfortunately not a great deal of use other than that. Frequency scans of individual transport streams are normally taken over a few minutes, to allow data for each individual stream to be captured. The scans received had been taken over a few seconds. The PAT/PMT scans were not in the format currently used in the analysis database, so can be read but not processed.

  • Thanks for all the updates JJ. May the force be with you.8)


    Couple of things to watch for:


    From 13/9/19 Good Food, alongside it's HD variant and +1, is listed as 'channel no longer available' on Virgin Media.


    Also, Zee is planning to close the linear channels of Zee TV & Zee Cinema in the UK as it moves to OTT distribution only.

    Just about to mention that in other threads, but lets see how VM handle the network changes of the Good Food switch off.

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  • Thanks for all the updates JJ. May the force be with you.8)


    Just about to mention that in other threads, but lets see how VM handle the network changes of the Good Food switch off.

    Another forum member has noticed that, according to the September Channel Guide, Amazon Prime Video (228) and Virgin TV Ultra HD (205) are swapping EPG positions.


    Amazon Prime Video: 228 > 205

    Virgin TV Ultra HD: 205 > 228


    The other Virgin TV Ultra HD on 999 is no longer listed so may be getting removed.


    Desktop: https://www.virginmedia.com/co…elGuide_September2019.pdf


    Mobile: https://www.virginmedia.com/co…_Mobile_September2019.pdf


    I'm not sure if these will show up on the scans.


    Should I be posting things like this in a different thread?

  • It's okay to post it here. That said, the VM PDF guides aren't known for their accuracy, time will tell.


    I've been out for most of the day and returned home to a laptop insisting it wanted to run an automatic repair and then turning itself off a couple of seconds into the "repair". A quick blast with compressed butane cooled things down enough for me to convince it that it didn't actually need to do a repair at all. (Don't try that at home kids...). Next job.. check if there were any changes last night. Fun times!!

  • It's okay to post it here. That said, the VM PDF guides aren't known for their accuracy, time will tell.


    I've been out for most of the day and returned home to a laptop insisting it wanted to run an automatic repair and then turning itself off a couple of seconds into the "repair". A quick blast with compressed butane cooled things down enough for me to convince it that it didn't actually need to do a repair at all. (Don't try that at home kids...). Next job.. check if there were any changes last night. Fun times!!

    :D:D:D


    Do you know which uses up more disc space between an Mpeg2 SD channel and an MPEG4 HD channel? I ask because i'm running short of disc space, so am recording things in SD wherever I can, so record from GOLD +1 as it's in SD, but this channel is still on Mpeg2. If there's no difference (or if Mpeg4 HD uses less space), I might as well record in HD

  • In theory MPEG-2 SD will use less space but it really depends on the MPEG / stat-muxing config set by VM. It could even change from time to time. If VM give preferential weighting to, say, Premier Sport 1 HD & Freesports HD at the time you are recording, that would force GOLD HD to use less space. It isn't set in concrete.

  • Reportable overnight changes were NIT Linkage / Tivo downloads on the NGRHEE Knowsley internal network.


    As there have been no significant Tivo firmware updates since the one which crippled viewing / buffering of the extra tuners, it has probably reached the end of active support. So unless there is a significant firmware update in the coming weeks, I think it is better to drop NIT linkage updates from the reports

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