Changes to Freeview (with a techie edge)

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  • Since the Recent Changes On The VM Network thread is going off topic (partially my fault) I'm starting this Freeview Transmission Changes thread. This is with the intention that it will/might be a little bit more technology/geeky than Freeview Change threads elsewhere, a Digital Terrestrial version of the aforementioned Virgin Media Network thread.

  • PBS America is taking the timeshare space recently vacated by CBS Drama moving to a 24hr slot. It's old space will be used for a 24hr +1 channel.

    https://www.rxtvlog.com/2019/1…pands-freeview-reach.html


    PBS America will be on a permanent multiplex from 20th November, rather than the temporary multiplex with limited coverage it is currently.


    E4+1 moved to a PSB multiplex with maximum availability today (14th November) so its old slot will be available.


    Oddly Wales has E4+1 on a PSB multiplex but not the main channel, so maybe S4C will take the spare space on the BBC PSB SD multiplex (used by BBC Scotland channel up here) and main E4 channel will arrive eventually on the widest coverage commercial SD in Wales like it is elsewhere in UK.

    https://www.rxtvlog.com/2019/1…hange-triggers-welsh.html

  • I wonder if PBS America are just burning off the remainder of their contract on the temporary mux before closing it, or if the +1 is a serious long term thing to boost viewers and ad revenue.


    If the former it'll probably only be on Freeview, if the latter we might see it appear on Sky, Freesat & Virgin Media.


    It's the first time i've seen a 24/7 +1 timeshift channel where the parent channel is only part time!

  • Maybe if it was 2014. DTT has been fairly difficult to track since we lost telemetry data for the regions. At the moment, it's relatively easy to extract a lot of the information (SIDs) etc as most of that information is carried on COM 7 & COM 8. (They have to carry national information as they operate as an SFN.) As they are gradually withdrawn, things will be very difficult. Data for Cumbria and the South West has already been removed as the multiplexes have been removed from those regions. Data for minor Freeview Light regions, such as the Channel Islands and South Lakeland has never been included - they were beyond the COM7/8 footprint.


    A lot of the information we had back in 2014 no longer exists. They use different systems now but I don't know how they can keep everything up to date without some of the systems we used to have. I'll be covering Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands regions until the end of November, then I'll make my escape. Maybe I'll try to kickstart some of the old systems while I'm involved, assuming that it won't take too much time.

    The old DTT Timeshare and Multiplex Modules will be looked at over the weekend with a view to resurrecting and updating the database. I don't see how the DTT scanners know when to scan without that information. That said, I think that much of the DTT info now comes from "the industry", so we'll see how that goes.


    The Multiplex Module was probably too ambitious in its original form. The basic idea was to carry data for each multiplex in individual data tables and pull the relevant data into a report based on individual transmitters. The transmitter interface was a nightmare and was never completed and, eventually, the multiplex data tables became out of date as users lost interest and stopped inputting the data. I think the transmitter module is a no go, but maybe the module could use a SIP/SI frontend instead.

  • I wonder if PBS America are just burning off the remainder of their contract on the temporary mux before closing it, or if the +1 is a serious long term thing to boost viewers and ad revenue.


    If the former it'll probably only be on Freeview, if the latter we might see it appear on Sky, Freesat & Virgin Media.


    It's the first time i've seen a 24/7 +1 timeshift channel where the parent channel is only part time!

    I think the former is a possibility, I'm fairly certain it's not a serious long term thing on Freeview as that's a temporary multiplex a coming to an end in the next few years. If they launch it on other platforms I agree, I think that'll answer it.


    I've seen a +1 have longer hours before, and Freeview coverage was involved. I can't remember what channel(s) though.


    You mentioned not knowing ratings on the other thread. Here is what I look at. https://www.barb.co.uk/viewing-data/monthly-viewing-summary/

    They do do weekly but I find monthly better.

  • I agree, doing it monthly gives a more accurate representation of their viewing figures.


    Overall their ratings don't seem to be that good, but they are when only compared to other minority interest channels.

  • I agree, doing it monthly gives a more accurate representation of their viewing figures.


    Overall their ratings don't seem to be that good, but they are when only compared to other minority interest channels.

    What I think is interesting is that Smithsonian have matched them ratings-wise over many months and they've only just arrived in UK. No reflection on the programming quality.

  • I wonder if PBS America are just burning off the remainder of their contract on the temporary mux before closing it, or if the +1 is a serious long term thing to boost viewers and ad revenue.


    If the former it'll probably only be on Freeview, if the latter we might see it appear on Sky, Freesat & Virgin Media.


    It's the first time i've seen a 24/7 +1 timeshift channel where the parent channel is only part time!

    It's quite bizarre and it's not as if PBS has a family of channels over in America which they could launch here, because they don't. Essentially, they've been a vehicle to showcase lots of UK shows over the years to American viewers before BBC America got launched there.

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  • It's quite bizarre and it's not as if PBS has a family of channels over in America which they could launch here, because they don't. Essentially, they've been a vehicle to showcase lots of UK shows over the years to American viewers before BBC America got launched there.

    And ITV shows in recent years *cough Downton*.


    They are the closest the US has to the Beeb though.

  • Service 0x4fc0 (whatever that is) has been removed from PSB3 according to a tweet from UK Terrestrial TV.

    That's just More4+1's old home. Everyone (inc me) is speculating that they've found how to put another HD stream in, so More4+1 needed to move. It'll probably be CBeebiesHD/BBC4 HD, which is currently on temporary multiplex COM8.

  • That's just More4+1's old home. Everyone (inc me) is speculating that they've found how to put another HD stream in, so More4+1 needed to move. It'll probably be CBeebiesHD/BBC4 HD, which is currently on temporary multiplex COM8.

    I wonder why they didn't just say More4 +1?? Does this code actually mean anything or do you think it's just an error?

  • I wonder why they didn't just say More4 +1?? Does this code actually mean anything or do you think it's just an error?

    They did say More4+1, the week before.


    As soon as the channel started transmission on its new multiplex they transmit it in two locations for a week, the old and the new. The old location has its name removed, the boxes that haven't retuned can still decode it without the name for the week that follows.


    I haven't looked, but right now E4+1 will likely be broadcast in both places, and the old location will have a similar label for probably the next week.


    They don't want people rescanning the old location and removing the normal name probably helps with this.

  • The old DTT Timeshare and Multiplex Modules will be looked at over the weekend with a view to resurrecting and updating the database. I don't see how the DTT scanners know when to scan without that information. That said, I think that much of the DTT info now comes from "the industry", so we'll see how that goes.


    The Multiplex Module was probably too ambitious in its original form. The basic idea was to carry data for each multiplex in individual data tables and pull the relevant data into a report based on individual transmitters. The transmitter interface was a nightmare and was never completed and, eventually, the multiplex data tables became out of date as users lost interest and stopped inputting the data. I think the transmitter module is a no go, but maybe the module could use a SIP/SI frontend instead.

    Just to let you know, this isn't going well. There has been resistance from the industry to rebooting the timeshare module. Basically, they don't want it, it puts pressure on them to take scans at times when they prefer to be doing other things. They have removed all recent timeshare data from the database, giving the reason as they no longer have a software licence for the 3D reports. They did leave some of the older data, which is great if anyone wants to update data from the TUTV era. I have found a 2017 copy of the 3D data on one of my backups so, I'll use that instead. The module will be back, with or without their support.


    The Multiplex Module is still on the system but hasn't been updated for a few years, so is totally out of date. It will be difficult to get it up to date if the scanners are unwilling to take scans at unsocial hours. I suppose I could fill in the gaps but that will take some time. Also, a basic SIPSI frontend won't work so it would need to be modified SIPSI, with dummy regions such as South - South & South - South East and West Borders - England & West Borders - Scotland as these SIPSI regions have dual TSID regions. Oh, there's slightly more than 1300 services on DTT based on TSID+SID from the latest data and that's before adding any data for invisible regions such as the Channel Islands & South Lakes. This should be interesting...

  • ...there's slightly more than 1300 services on DTT based on TSID+SID from the latest data and that's before adding any data for invisible regions such as the Channel Islands & South Lakes.

    Now running at over 1400 services although some are marked for removal. Still no up to date information for Channel Islands & South Lakes. I checked on the current version of what used to be telemetry data and it had no data for Channel Islands users. Data for South Lakes districts shows either North East & Cumbria TSIDs or North West TSIDs depending on whether the services are from D3&4 or the BBC. I don't know whether the TSIDs, supposedly, issued for South Lakes were ever used or if it is just ghost data. That said, it's also unclear how South Lakes is handled at the SIPSI level. A little more research is needed for those regions, so if anyone has scan data for the Channel Islands or for Kendal and related transmitters, feel free to let me know.

  • Freeview channel changes today 20/11/2019

    Channel 68 (in Scotland only) is now BBC Four, previously channel 75 (confirming that change that showed up on my box prematurely a wee while back)

    Channel 72 is now Quest Red+1, previously channel 78

    Channel 83 was NOW 80s and has changed to NOW Xmas temporarily

    Channel 88 is now Together TV, previously channel 89

    Channel 89 is now Together TV+1, previously channel 93

    Channel 91 is still PBS America but it has moved from (temporary) COM8 to (permanent and wider coverage) COM6. Broadcast hours now 1pm-11pm.

    Channel 93 is now PBS America+1 which has launched on COM8 to replace main channel

  • Freeview channel changes today 20/11/2019

    Bloody hell, it's only Freeview, yet all those changes! Thanks for detailing them here.:):thumbup:


    Why on earth would there be a Together +1, unless whoever owns the channels plans on using the slot for a new channel.

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  • Bloody hell, it's only Freeview, yet all those changes! Thanks for detailing them here.:):thumbup:


    Why on earth would there be a Together +1, unless whoever owns the channels plans on using the slot for a new channel.

    It is the Freeview LCN policy. As channels stop broadcasting, channels lower down the EPG are promoted to higher slots based on a complex set of rules. So, whenever a channel is removed, quite a few other channels are shuffled up the EPG.


    Together has traditionally used capacity gifted by Arqiva, so possibly a lack of demand for capacity from other broadcasters.

  • Bloody hell, it's only Freeview, yet all those changes! Thanks for detailing them here.:):thumbup:


    Why on earth would there be a Together +1, unless whoever owns the channels plans on using the slot for a new channel.

    I suspect that the contract still had time to run, so they thought they may as well use it. There might be a break fee if they didn't, so it may make financial sense.


    Same goes for PBS America+1.


    Being on a temporary multiplex with limited coverage the cost of transmission will be cheaper, and a fraction of that on the main multiplexes.

  • It is the Freeview LCN policy. As channels stop broadcasting, channels lower down the EPG are promoted to higher slots based on a complex set of rules. So, whenever a channel is removed, quite a few other channels are shuffled up the EPG.


    Together has traditionally used capacity gifted by Arqiva, so possibly a lack of demand for capacity from other broadcasters.

    I don't think that Coms 7 & 8 were ever fully utilised, even less so now that channels are moving off them due to their imminent closure.

  • I don't think that Coms 7 & 8 were ever fully utilised, even less so now that channels are moving off them due to their imminent closure.

    There is less room on them now they are operating as a SFN. I would have thought that the only time they got close to full capacity would have been when they were being used for BBC Red Button streams. As far as closure goes, Arqiva will probably want to hang onto them as long as possible, they don't seem over keen on converting their main multiplexes to DVB-T2.

  • I suspect that the contract still had time to run, so they thought they may as well use it. There might be a break fee if they didn't, so it may make financial sense.

    Yep, could be that.

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