Changes to Freeview (with a techie edge)

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  • Never heard of this company either, it's certainly not a mainstream media co, so either it's a Asian service or religious (or both) I reckon.

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

  • Companies House info states it has two directors, seemingly with British / American dual nationality. One based in the UK, the other based in the US. Also the address used is that of a multinational firm of lawyers. So...

  • back to square one then. I've absolutely no idea what it is.

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  • RXTVlog is reporting on Twitter that Smithsonian Channel is

    a) moving to 57 on Freeview

    b) moving to a more widely available slot

    c) it's happening on 7th January




    They don't say which of the 3 slots available as of 7th it will be occupying, though it will probably be 5Spike's. (E4+1 and TBN's old slots are the other two.)

  • Futher RXTVlog and Freeview Status articles on changes

    https://www.rxtvlog.com/2020/01/smit...-boost-in.html

    https://www.freeview.co.uk/7-jan-202...anges-freeview


    Interesting additional mentions.

    -CBS Justice +1 is arriving on Ch 69 , no word on how wide coverage is.

    -Jewellery Maker is getting wider coverage, no word on which slot it is using, but probably Sewing Quarter's slot as they were owned by same company until recently and SQ is moving to JM's Temp Multiplex position on COM7.

    -TJC is apparently going HD-only, so Ch49 number is freeing up


    If TJC is coming off 49 and going HD-only on Freeview, that means another permanent slot has been freed up, this time on ARQA.

  • I'll ask the DTT scanners to check the MHEG carousels for information slates, if they don't help, I'll check myself but it's complicated.

  • I'm pleased that one of the better quality channels has found a permanent home.


    I've just been reading that the required two year notice was given to the channels on coms 7 & 8 in 2018. So, sometime this year, the licences will be replaced by licences with a single month notice and various conditions about what could trigger that termination notice.


    Oddly, Freeview now has a detailed reception checker that says 'Final 2025' that's still listing Coms 7 & 8 as still there. Maybe this is an error??

  • As long as they don't cause interference to mobile services around the centre gap and if Arqiva still wants them to continue, they could be extended until the centre gap is actually needed for mobile data. So the actual termination date is uncertain.

  • Update on TJC.


    RXTVlog updated their article. Apparently Freeview wrongly reported TJC SD on 49 was closing at the same time the similar PBS America mistake happened.

    I was about to tell RXTVlog the TJC on-screen message suggested it was moving rather than closing on Ch49 when I noticed they had changed that bit of the article.

    So, the question now is, which multiplex is it moving to? The available spaces with the same coverage are all on the multiplex it is already on.

  • Unexpectedly TJC SD has moved to COM4. Unexpected because there was no known space on this multiplex!

    It has already moved. I got the initial news from @ukdtt on Twitter and have confirmed it myself using my own TV.

    There is apparently a 17th video stream on COM4 now.

    It is likely encoder upgrades have enabled this. So I'd imagine we can expect some of the other multiplexes will follow eventually. COM5 and COM6 have 16 video streams normally these days.

  • I doubt there is much left to upgrade as far as legacy codec encoders go and little incentive to develop better encoders as services are migrated to more efficient codecs. So probably sharing the same total video bitrate across more channels. That should do wonders for the PQ.


    I'll check it out later.

  • I doubt there is much left to upgrade as far as legacy codec encoders go and little incentive to develop better encoders as services are migrated to more efficient codecs. So probably sharing the same total video bitrate across more channels. That should do wonders for the PQ.


    I'll check it out later.

    @ukdtt on Twitter found on their scan readings (they showed me a graph) that the change was implemented around about 5th December. The total bitrate remains the same I believe.


    I didn't see anything hideous re: picture quality when I looked (based on 32" with Full HD) at a few channels on the multiplex after the retune.

  • Well, there's certainly a wide span of video bitrates on there. The heaviest user being Blaze running at around twice the bitrate of 5 USA. A lot of the bitrates falling below 1 Mbps, which is not a lot for MPEG-2.


    The most interesting observation being that null packets are running at around the same rate as Blaze. Maybe they are planning to squeeze in another 2 services at sub 1 Mbps bitrates.=O

  • Twice 5USA! That's surprising. Can't think how Blaze would be so different, it's not like comparing a shopping channel with a sports channel.


    Totally unrelated, I was looking at the graph for a Local TV mux (on DigitalBitRate) and the odd thing to me was how the bit representing the local channel (London Live in this case) was a solid rectangle on the graph, but the Sony channels that make up the rest of the mux were variable. Any insight?

  • At a guess, Comux stat-muxes the additional channels at their national distribution centre and then time-mux that with the fixed bitrate city channel at the local distribution site. Not very efficient but it possibly reduces the number of encoders needed.

  • If they're starting to do this, maybe there will be room for all the channels on the temporary muxes to continue after all.

  • If they're starting to do this, maybe there will be room for all the channels on the temporary muxes to continue after all.

    I doubt it, there's too many. And the HD ones won't, there's space for absolute most 2 on PSB3 no the 8(?) HD streams there are between the pair of them. So absolute best you'll probably get CbeebiesHD/BBC4HD timeshare and BBC News HD. But it will probably be just the former.


    If we assume the changes remain with 17 streams now being the max on the commercial multiplexes then we can add an extra two slots to what we previously thought was available, one more each for COM5 and COM6 respectively.


    We'll see what today's changes bring, they never said where CBS Justice+1 was going, just its channel number (which I'm not sure how they got).

  • If we assume the changes remain with 17 streams now being the max on the commercial multiplexes then we can add an extra two slots to what we previously thought was available...

    We can't really assume that, with the very significant bitrate padded out with null packets. I've randomly watched a few programmes from channels carried on SDN, they appear to lack detail with a soft focus appearance. Not very good on the whole, hopefully they will decide not to squeeze even more video streams onto the multiplex and release the null packet capacity back to the stat-muxed video allocation.

  • We can't really assume that, with the very significant bitrate padded out with null packets. I've randomly watched a few programmes from channels carried on SDN, they appear to lack detail with a soft focus appearance. Not very good on the whole, hopefully they will decide not to squeeze even more video streams onto the multiplex and release the null packet capacity back to the stat-muxed video allocation.

    I just meant "assume" as in setting a hypothetical situation for discussion. Some were suggesting an 18th stream and I was capping the hypothetical at 17 streams as 18 was pushing it and much less likely. I too hope they don't add a 17th to the other two, even though I didn't notice a problem with the SDN channels.

  • Some answers and confirmations...


  • Some answers and confirmations...


    Hmmm the forum software is hiding your links. Eventually, I'll get around to looking at the DTT changes, it's been a busy day.


    Reposted links:


    https://twitter.com/ukdtt/status/1214500846966317057


    https://twitter.com/ukdtt/status/1214500843019476994

  • Odd, I can see the tweets embedded in my post. Yet for your links all I see is links.

    All I could see on the original post is the text up to the 3 dots then nothing. I've been wondering when you were going to post the rest. :D

  • Odd, I can see the tweets embedded in my post. Yet for your links all I see is links.

    Actually, "tweets embedded in my post" was the problem, they were triggering social media tracker protection in my browser.

  • Actually, "tweets embedded in my post" was the problem, they were triggering social media tracker protection in my browser.

    Well I actually pasted the link, I didn't know for sure it would try to show the tweet, as this has been hit and miss lately. It looked like your post before I pressed Reply.

  • I think it's one of the new features in the forum software. I used the "link" option from the header bar as copy and paste just embedded the link.