The BBC is to switch the transmission system for its satellite HD broadcasts from 28 degrees East from DVB-S to DVB-S2. It means that owners of some Freesat boxes – or those using a standard satellite receiver – may have to retune their boxes in order to continue receiving BBC One HD and the BBC HD channel.
In a blog post Alix Pryde, director, BBC Distribution explained the BBC’s principles meant the BBC was required to use the available spectrum in the most efficient way possible. Using DVB-S2 will leave the BBC with additional capacity should it choose to use it.
In August 2009 the BBC came in for criticism after a change of encoding software resulted in a series of criticisms from some viewers over the quality of its pictures. At the time the BBC’s acting controller of distribution Graham Plumb said he believed people were focusing on reduction in bandwidth, rather than the improved processing power of the codecs.
Launched in the spring of 2006, BBC HD is one of the longest-serving HD channels in Europe, and as such had continued to use the older DVB-S. When BBC One HD launched in November 2010 it also went with DVB-S.
Sky, cable and DTT viewers will be unaffected by the changes.