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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Confirmed: Channels moved from Astra 2B to Astra 2F (and not to 1N!)

In we posted that some Sky Pay channels had changed satellites.

We said:

It appears that all of the affected frequencies and channels used to be on the Astra 2A satellite.
They are now on a different satellite - this could be either Astra 2F, the new UK TV satellite recently launched, or (unlikely) Astra 1N, the "temporary" UK TV satellite, which is also carrying the majority of the BBC and ITV channels.

Well it now appears that the channel moves were to clear our Astra 2B.

And the channels cleared out from Astra 2B, and some from Astra 2A, were indeed moved to Astra 2F. And not to Astra 1N.

This was confirmed in a statement today from SES:

"Astra 2B was indeed replaced by Astra 2F at 28.2 degrees East and will soon move to 19.2 degrees East to support the fleet and provide back-up capacity at this orbital position. The channel shifts should now be completed."

Update: 1/2/13 : SES Astra have now said that some channels have moved to 2F and some have moved to 1N. We are waiting for confirmation as to which frequencies / transponders are on which satellite. But could be a while especially if SES left hand does not konw what its right is doing!

Japan to start 4K "Ultra HD" TV in July 2014

Japan will start the world’s first 4K TV broadcast in July 2014, two years earlier than originally planned.

According to the Asahi Times, the Japanese ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has decided to start broadcasting in 4k during the finals of the football World Cup in Brazil in July 2014.

The first broadcasts will be transmitted via the country’s communication satellites rather than via the direct broadcast satellites. However, usage of BS satellites is planned at a later stage.

Originally, the Japanese were planning to launch 4K broadcast in 2016. The move to bring the world’s first regular 4K broadcasts” forward is intended to boast 4K television set sales. The UltraHD televisions are now on sale by Japanese makers including Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba and Sharp as well as from Korean manufacturers such as LG.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Forget 3D TV! Now 4K TVs are the latest must-have (but with a £25,000 price tag!)

It was not so long ago that we had to exchange our old box televisions for flat-screens.

And then there were the endless upgrades to high definition and screens that could show 3D images.

But it seems it could all have be in vain as the technology is already out of date through the arrival of the 4K picture.

The ultra-high quality definition is four times as sharp as standard quality high definition and is close to that viewed only in an Imax cinema.

However, for those wishing to view the latest picture in their own living room, they must have plenty of room available for the 84inch screen and plenty of spare cash.

Sony has brought out a model that is more than 7ft wide and can play the new technology. Costing £25,000, only Harrods in central London currently sells the television.

The giant screen can convert ordinary television into 3D, and comes with five pairs of glasses for viewing the pin-sharp images.

Even without 3D, the ultra-high definition images are 16 times sharper than those on a normal television.

Experts say the television's picture is so technologically advanced that few broadcasters can yet take advantage of its full potential.

It may also solve family arguments. The screen is so large that it can be split, allowing viewers to watch two movies at once - and it has voice-activated and motion controls, putting an end to fruitless searches for the remote.

Those preferring something more discreet might wish to wait for the 65-inch version or even the dinky 55-inch, which will be in the shops this summer.

The emergence of 4K comes as the BBC is preparing to film it's next meerkat natural history programme using the new technology.

The series, being made by the BBC's Natural History Unit in Bristol, will show how animals go through the same basic life stages as humans.

'We are looking at six ages of man as seen through animal lives,' Mike Gunton, creative director of the NHU, told The Independent.

'It's looking at the trials and tribulations that animals face at different stages of their lives and how different species have different solutions - from birth, to growing up, to adolescence, to finding their first home, to finding their place in the social hierarchy, to getting a mate and finally having offspring of their own.

'There's a new reality which those images give. I think it makes the images more engaging. You feel you can almost touch them and get into the heads of the animals.'


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sky Sports F1 and MUTV changing channels numbers from 4th February 2013

Some Sky Sports channel number changes - 4th February 2013

On the 4th February MUTV and Sky SPorts F1 will be changing / swapping channel numbers.
This may have something to do with Sky selling its stake in MUTV to MUTV.

MUTV will be on Sky channel 418 from Monday 4th February:
Sky Sports F1 HD / SD will be on Sky Channels 406 / 439 from Monday 4th February

More information on Sky TV channels moving satellites and loss of channels in some "fringe reception" areas.

Here are more details on the channels affcted by this weeks satellite move.

Our previous post ( ) mentioned some of the channels and frequencies that had moved satellites.

It appears that all of the affected frequencies and channels used to be on the Astra 2A satellite.
They are now on a different satellite - this could be either Astra 2F, the new UK TV satellite recently launched, or (unlikely)  Astra 1N, the "temporary" UK TV satellite, which is also carrying the majority of the BBC and ITV channels.

Becasue these channels are now on a different satellite, this has meant that their reception in some areas in Spain has changed.

Channels that used to be on the Astra 2A North beam used to be hard to receive, especially mid afternoon, even on 2.4m satellite dishes, when the beam was at its weakest. Since these channels have moved to another beam, on another satellite their reception in Spain should have improved. Improved to an extent that they should be available in most areas on a 1m satellite dish.

However, Sky TV users in the extreme edges of reception, like the Canary Isands, Tenerife, will have lost these channels, as the bnew beam these channels have moved to is not available in that area. There is not a lot people in these areas can do. Their only hope of getting these channels back are if they eventually move and stay on a more "generous beam"

Sky Channels and Frequencies Affected

Sky TV Frequency 12070 H 27500 FEC 2/3 Transponder 19 Moved from Astra 2a north
Sky Sports Active

Sky TV Frequency 12090 V 29500 FEC 3/4 Transponder 20 Moved from Astra 2a north
National Geographic Channel UK HD, Comedy Central UK HD, Nickelodeon UK HD, Eden HD

Sky TV Frequency 12110 H 27500 FEC 3/4 Transponder 21 Moved from Astra 2a north
Sky Sports F1 HD, Sky 1 UK +1, Sky Sports 2 Ireland, Sky Sports 1 UK, Sky Sports 3, PBS America, Fox UK, Cartoonito UK, TCM 2, Sky Living HD Ireland, Comedy Central UK

Sky TV Frequency 12148 H 27500 FEC 2/3 Transponder 23 Moved from Astra 2a north
Sky Arts 2, Sky Atlantic Ireland HD, Sky Sports News UK, Sky Sports News Ireland, Sky Sports 1 Ireland, British Eurosport , Sky Sports 4, Fox UK +1, Comedy Central Extra UK

Sky TV Frequency 12168 V 29500 FEC 3/4 Transponder 24 Moved from Astra 2a north
Sky Movies Modern Greats HD, Sky Movies Drama & Romance HD, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror HD, Sky Movies Comedy HD

Sky TV Frequency 12188 H 29500 FEC 3/4  Transponder 25 Moved from Astra 2a south
Dave UK HD, Watch HD,, Animal Planet Europe HD, MTV UK HD

Sky TV Frequency 12207 V 29500 Transponder 26 Moved from Astra 2a south
Sky Sports 2 UK, Sky News UK, Sky News Ireland, Sky News active, Sky 1 Ireland, Sky 2 UK, Pick TV, Pick TV+1, Community Channels

Sky TV Frequency 12226 H 29500 FEC 3/4 Transponder 27 Moved from Astra 2a north
Good Food Channel HD, Cartoon Network UK HD, Disney Cinemagic UK HD, Disney Channel UK HD

Sky TV Frequency 12266 H 29500 FEC 3/4 Transponder 29 Moved from Astra 2a south
Sky Sports News HD, ESPN America UK HD Five HD

Sky TV Frequency 12324 V 29500 FEC 3/4 Transponder  32 Moved from Astra 2a north
Discovery Channel Europe HD, ESPN UK HD, Syfy UK HD, Sky Movies Box Office HD

Sky TV Frequency 12363 V 29500 FEC 3/4 Transponder 34 Moved from Astra 2a south
Sky Sports 3 HD, Sky Sports F1 HD

Sky TV Frequency 12480 V 29500 FEC 3/4 Transponder 40 Moved from Astra 2a North
Channel 4 Ireland, E4 Ireland, More 4 Ireland, Smash Hits, Kerang, Kiss, The Box, 4Music

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some SKY TV channels move to their new European beam on Astra 2F - loss of some channels in some areas, like Canary Islands

New UK TV Satellite News:

It appears that some of the Sky PAY channels are in the process of moving from their old satellite to their new satellite.

It has been reported today some Sky PAY channels may have moved from their old satellite (Astra 2a and 2B) to their new satellite, Astra 2F.

Reports suggest that some channels have moved to the new "European beam" on 2F.

We know something is happening as people in the "extreme fringe reception areas" are reporting a loss of channels today, in areas like the Canary Islands.

Channels that are affected include:
Channel 5HD
Dave HD
Watch HD
Gold Comedy Central HD
Pick TV
Sky News SD
Discovery HD
Sky Sports 3 HD
Sky Sports News HD
Animal Planet HD
Nat Geo HD
Eden HD

So, what does this mean for Sky TV reception on the mainland of Spain

As the channels are moving from their old beams, which even 2.4m dishes may have struggled to receive 24/7, to a new "European beam" on Asta 2F, this may mean that some of the channels that were lost mid afternoon, may now be available 24/7...and maybe even available on 1m dishes here in the Costa Blanca / Valencia area.

UPDATE: This satellite move by Sky channels can be confirmed. In my service area, some of the channels affected were not available 24/7 even on the "big 2.4m satellite dishes". Today, some of them are fine and stable on my 80cm satellite dish. Thus confirming their move from Astra 2A North beam, to Astra 2F European Beam

Monday, January 21, 2013

Premier League Piracy fear forces a TV black out Albania

Albania has joined North Korea in becoming only the second country in the world where broadcasters have not been invited to tender for live Premier League games as the world's richest football competition does everything in its power to stop TV piracy. New TV deals in more than 200 overseas nations will earn Premier League clubs more than £2billion for the three-year cycle from 2013-2016 inclusive, bringing in around £5.5bn in total from TV when domestic deals with Sky and BT are included.

But the TV deals keep their value only when piracy is kept to a minimum - and imported decoders from Albania have become a major problem in Britain, where it is currently possible to watch Albanian TV's live coverage of Premier League games.

As long as the League do not offer rights for sale in Albania, that problem will cease, although Albanian fans of English football will then be faced with a blackout - unless they acquire their own imported decoders from neighbouring Greece or Macedonia.

The League's determination to protect their record-busting revenues from TV deals will be underlined this week as two British men face possible prison sentences for an audacious scheme that made them cash from pirated football footage.

Gary Goodger, a 24-year-old from Reading, and Jack Bannister, a 23-year-old from Burnley, were found guilty respectively of a copyright offence and handling the proceeds of a crime after a six-day trial last month.

Goodger had been operating a website called FreeFootyLive, which broadcast live Premier League games he picked up from foreign feeds with a massive satellite in his backyard in Reading, processed via seven computers and nine satellite decoders found in his home.

The dish, which measured two metres across, was used by Goodger to pick up Premier League games being broadcast live to audiences in the Middle East.

Bannister was hired by Goodger to process payments from his customers


Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to set your Sky+HD digibox to operate on single feed mode for one cable

A Sky+HD digibox is ideally to be used with two cable feeds from your satellite dish. This allows you to use the full potential of your Sky+HD box, and allows you to watch one channel and record another at the same time.

However, in some cases, especailly in community satellite installations, it may not be possible to have a seconds cable feeding your Sky+HD box.

Having only a single cable to your Sky+HD box can cause some problems, such as the "No satellite signal is being received" on screen error message, if you do not tell your Sky+HD box that you are only using a single cable.

This can only be done on a Sky+HD Digibox.

This is the process to set your Sky+HD box into single feed / cable mode using the latest Sky HD EPG.

More information at:

Sky Go Extra download service to launch this week

Sky has confirmed that it will launch a new download service to allow subscribers to watch content offline on their smartphones and tablets.

The Sky Go Extra platform builds on the massively-successful Sky Go live streaming app and will offer unlimited downloads of popular movies and TV shows on to portable devices.

For £5 extra a month, existing Sky subscribers can download as much as their device will hold and each download will last for a month before expiring.

Up to four users per subscription will be able to make use of the service.

The broadcaster is also offering a two-month free trial to all subscribers in the hope of luring them away from the on-demand Netflix and Lovefilm platforms.

Sky's almighty array of new movies, which far outstrips any other UK provider's, will make Sky Go Extra an enticing prospect for subscribers who don't get much time to sit down in front of their TV sets.

Sky's Brand Director for TV products Luke Bradley-Jones said: "The way customers are thinking about the whole TV experience is changing again and it's ultimately all about the content - however people want to watch it."

The launch will make the complete Sky Go package much more iPlayer-like, with the ability to both stream live and download content for viewing at a later time on mobile devices.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Racing Legends: Colin McRae on BBC Two Sunday 27 January

BBC Two will screen the third part of the Racing Legends series featuring the story of Britain’s first ever World Rally Champion, Colin McRae on Sunday 27 January at 10pm. 

The episode had originally been scheduled for broadcast over the festive period alongside profiles of Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart – both of which scored over 2m viewers in official ratings.

Racing Legends: Colin McRae features Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy who tells the story of Britain’s first World Rally Champion. Along with Colin’s father, Jimmy, himself a five-time British Rally Champion, Sir Chris visits the scenes of Colin’s greatest rally driving triumphs.

From exploring Colin’s roots as a Scottish trials bikes champ to driving the route of the Dakar rally over the dunes of the Sahara desert, Sir Chris will re-live McRae’s career and be trained to drive sideways by another big fan – American Rally Superstar Ken Block. Sir Hoy’s final challenge will be to swap his push bike for a monster Subaru Impreza world rally car on a rough and ready stage of the RAC Rally, the home of Colin’s famous 1995 victory.

Racing Legends: Colin McRae is on BBC Two and BBC HD at 10pm on Sunday 27 January. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Top sporting dates in 2013

There are many key sporting moments in 2013, all live and availabel to watch on TV. there is the World Athletics Championships, Rugby League World Cup, the women's Cricket World Cup, the Ashes and ICC Champions Trophy and in football the Africa Cup of Nations and women's European Championships all to look forward to.

14-27: Australian Open tennis
World number ones Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka will defend their titles as the tennis year gets under way in Melbourne.

19 January-10 February: Africa Cup of Nations
The 29th Africa Cup of Nations  is being held in South Africa. The Final will be played at Soccer City on Sunday, 10 February 10. The other host cities are Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Rustenburg.

31 January-17 February: Women's Cricket ICC World Cup
Hosts India will open the ICC Women's World Cup  at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

2 February-16 March: Rugby Union Six Nations
Wales are defending champions, but England will fancy their chances when the 2013 Six Nations kicks off.

3 February The Superbowl
Super Bowl XLVII - will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

6 February : England v Brazil
The first of three special England home football friendlies to mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary,  with matches against the Republic of Ireland (29 May) and Scotland (14 August) also lined up.

20-24 February : World Track Cycling Championships

24: Capital One Cup final
Wembley will host the 54th final of the League Cup.

12-15: Cheltenham Festival
The great horse racing festival

31: Boat Race
The 2013 contest between Oxford and Cambridge Universities will be the 159th running of the race.

6: Grand National
All eyes will be on Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool for the Grand National.

11-14: The Masters
In the first major of the golfing year, Augusta will again play host to this historic tournament.

20 April-6 May: Snooker World Championship
Snooker's biggest tournament  is held at the Crucible in Sheffield.

21: London Marathon
More than 30,000 runners will hit 26 miles of London's streets in the 33rd London Marathon.

11: FA Cup Final

23 & 25: Champions League Finals
The fourth Uefa Women's Champions League final  will be played at Chelsea's ground, Stamford Bridge, on 23 May, with the men's at Wembley on 25 May.

26: Scottish Cup Final
The Scottish Cup Final  will move from its traditional Saturday kick-off to Sunday so as not to clash with the Champions League final at Wembley.

26 May-9 June: French Open Tennis

1: Epsom Derby
The 234th Epsom Derby  is the pinnacle of the Flat racing season.

1 June-6 July: British and Irish Lions tour
The British and Irish Lions  will play nine matches, including three Tests, during their tour of Australia plus a game against Barbarians in Hong Kong en route.

6-23: ICC Champions Trophy
England and Wales will host the three-week 50-over tournament featuring the top eight one-day sides in world cricket.

13-16: US Open golf
Golf's second major of the year, the US Open  , takes place at Merion in Pennsylvania.

18-22: Royal Ascot
Top racing action mixes with high fashion at the five-day meeting which features some of the top equine stars from around the world.

24 June-7 July: Wimbledon
The 127th Championships.

29 June-21 July: Tour de France
The 100th Tour de France  will be made up of 21 stages, covering a total distance of 2,088 miles.

30 June: British Grand Prix
The 2013 race has been brought forward from its traditional July date to the last weekend of June.

10-29: Women's 2013 European Championships
The BBC will show all of England's European Women's Championship  games next summer.

10 July-25 August: The Ashes
England will host Australia in the Ashes series in July and August.

18-21: The Open
Ernie Els will defend his Open title at Muirfield in East Lothian, Scotland.

20-28: IPC Athletics World Championships

10-18: Athletics World Championships
Russian capital Moscow will host the 14th Athletics World Championships.

26 August-8 September: US Open
Andy Murray achieved the seemingly impossible at Flushing Meadows in New York  in 2012, when he won his first major title.

1: British MotoGP
The 2013 British MotoGP moves from its traditional summer slot in June to September to host round 13 of the World Championship.

26 October-30 November: Rugby League World Cup
The final will be at Old Trafford on 30 November.

4: ATP World Tour Finals

28 November-January 2014: The Ashes
England will travel to Australia for the return Ashes series between November 2013 and January 2014.

Australian Open 2013 live on British Eurosport and BBC Sport

British Eurosport will be the only place to see extensive live daily coverage of the 2013 Australian Open as the BBC scales back its coverage further.

After limiting their live coverage of the Australian Open to the semi-finals and final in 2012, the BBC have reduced their TV coverage further this year with only the men’s & women’s finals scheduled for live broadcast on BBC Two.  The reduction in the BBC’s coverage of the event sparked angry reaction from fans last year.

British Eurosport’s unrivalled coverage will start on Monday 14 January and include over 300 hours across both channels with live action on British Eurosport HD and British Eurosport 2 HD. Tennis fans can also catch up on the day’s play with daily and evening highlights while online viewers can access live streams from up to seven courts and comprehensive video on demand via Eurosport Player.

BBC Two’s live coverage of the men’s and women’s final will be presented by Sue Barker with Andrew Castle and John Lloyd on Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 January.

Australian Open 2013 (14 – 27 January)

British Eurosport coverage

- Daily live coverage (14-27 January) throughout the tournament on British Eurosport HD, British Eurosport 2 HD & Eurosport Player from midnight daily.

- The only place to follow Andy Murray’s progress through the tournament

- Daily Eurosport Tennis Magazine ‘Game, Set & Mats’

- Daily and evening highlights

BBC TV coverage

- Live coverage of women’s and men’s single final only

- Saturday 26 January – Women’s singles final, 8:25am live on BBC Two

- Sunday 27 January- Men’s singles final, 8:15am live on BBC Two

Saturday, January 12, 2013

BBC One Scotland HD to launch soon, with BBC One Wales HD later in January 2013

Late in 2012, the BBC launched the first national variants of BBC One HD starting with Northern Ireland on 24 October 2012

This is the first rgional variation available after the BBC One England HD.

Now two more BBC One HD regional variations will be launched soon.

BBC One Scotland HD will launch on Monday 14 January 2013 on Freeview HD, Sky HD, Virgin Media, Freesat HD and YouView

BBC One Wales HD will launch on Tuesday 29 January on Freeview HD, Sky HD, Virgin Media, Freesat HD and YouView.

BBC One Scotland HD and BBC One Wales HD will take over from BBC One HD in the electronic programme guide (EPG) for viewers in Scotland and Wales on the date of launch so these are the channel numbers where you will find them:

BBC One England HD / BBC One Scotland HD / BBC One Wales HD / BBC One Northern Ireland HD

Freeview HD /YouView  101

Sky HD 143

Virgin Media 108

Freesat HD 108

Users shouldn’t have to do anything to start receiving the new services. If you live in Scotland or Wales you should just see your new version of BBC One HD appear on the current BBC One HD channel number.

And BBC HD will become BBC Two HD, "a few months' time."

Friday, January 4, 2013

LG's next generation 55ins TV that's just FOUR MILLIMETRES thick

LG's next generation 55ins TV that's just FOUR MILLIMETRES thick

LG has launched its eagerly awaited 55ins television which, thanks to OLED technology, promise startlingly clear images on screens just 4mm thick.

The set - the first big screen OLED on the market - heralds the arrival of a new technology which is set to take over our living rooms.

The South Korean company said the TVs have a price tag of 11million won (£6,363), and will be delivered to buyers in its home market next month.

They will be available in North America, Europe and the rest of Asia before the end of March.

While LG becomes the world's first company to bring a big-screen next-generation TV to market, it's far from clear whether the bet will pay off.

Manufacturing the sets is difficult and expensive, while incremental increases in image quality offer diminishing returns to consumers and the company is beset by cut-throat competition from rivals.

TVs using OLEDs - organic light-emitting diodes - offer images with enhanced clarity, deeper colour saturation and sharper contrast than standard liquid crystal display TVs.

The advanced, energy-efficient display technology makes it possible to manufacture thinner televisions, with LG's model measuring up at just 4mm thick.

LG's announcement is the culmination of a race by electronics makers to be the first to deliver the next-generation sets.

Sony showed up the world's first 11in OLED TV set in 2007, but the Japanese company failed to follow up with a bigger display.

While OLED panels are more widely used in mobile screens, mass producing large panels is still tough because of technological challenges.

Jang Moon-ik, director of LG's TV business, said in an interview last year that only two companies in the world have a capacity to mass produce large screen OLED TVs: LG and rival South Korean company Samsung Electronics.

Even though LG and Samsung touted OLEDs as the future of television, both failed to deliver them to the market as promised in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to manufacturing challenges.

Samsung declined to comment on the availability of its OLED TVs, saying making perfect products is more important than the launch schedule.

Grabbing the title of the first OLED TV maker is much more symbolic than practical because initial production numbers will likely be small.

Manufacturing big-screen new TVs requires billions in investments to upgrade factories. South Korean TV makers nevertheless hope their cutting-edge display technology can help offset falling prices and make their products stand out from those of their fast-growing Chinese rivals.

Japanese companies, which previously dominated the global TV market, are struggling to come up with their own next-generation TV sets to avoid falling further behind but don't have enough cash to invest in new technology.