Difference between revisions of "UK Television"

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The completion of 'digital switchover' from analogue [[PAL]] to [[DVB-T]] in October 2012 left the UK as an effectively digital-only territory. BSkyB turned off its analogue satellite signals in 2001. Since 2008, all televisions in the UK have been sold with an inbuilt DVB-T tuner or a standalone set-top box.
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Households in a small number areas formerly served by NTL, notably Milton Keynes, still have access to analogue cable signals. While [[#Virgin Media|Virgin Media Cable]] turned off analogue signals in ex-Telewest areas in January 2012, a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogue_television_in_the_United_Kingdom#Milton_Keynes decade-long access dispute] with BT has meant that Virgin Media has been unable to replace antiquated cabling unsuitable for transmission of [[DVB-C]] and other services.
  
 
==Providers==
 
==Providers==
 +
=== Free To Air ([[FTA]]) ===
 +
* [[Freeview (DVB-T and DVB-T2) in the UK|Freeview]] ([[DVB|DVB-T]] and [[DVB|DVB-T2]]) - Mostly SD content, some HD content.
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* [[#Freesat|Freesat]] ([[DVB|DVB-S]] and [[DVB|DVB-S2]]) - SD content and HD content.
  
* Analogue Broadcast (BBC1,2,ITV,C4 and Channel 5) - being phased out by 2012, earlier in some areas.
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=== Pay TV ===
* [[DVB|Freeview (DVB-T)]] - SD content, trialling HD in areas.
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* [[#Virgin Media|Virgin Media Cable]] ([[DVB|DVB-C]]) - merged NTL/Telewest, SD content, HD content provided via "on-demand" services
* [[UK Sky Satellite|Sky Satellite]] (DVB-S/S2) - Provides SD and HD content.
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* [[#Sky|Sky Satellite]] ([[DVB|DVB-S/S2]]) - Provides SD and HD content.
* Virgin Media Cable (DVB-C) - merged NTL/Telewest, SD content, HD content provided via "on-demand" services
 
  
==Listings==
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==Obtaining TV listings==
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In the UK, there are two ways to populate the TV listings used by MythTV:
  
===tv_grab_uk_rt===
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=== XMLTV ===
 
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UK listings are best served by using the tv_grab_uk_rt grabber ([[Uk_xmltv]]), which uses a dedicated xmltv feed on the [http://www.radiotimes.co.uk/ Radio Times] website. It provides a full 14 days of data with detailed programme descriptions, film reviews and ratings.
UK listings are best served by using the tv_grab_uk_rt grabber ([[Uk_xmltv]]), which uses a dedicated xmltv feed on the [http://www.radiotimes.co.uk/ Radio Times] website.
 
  
 
===EIT/EPG data===
 
===EIT/EPG data===
 +
EIT (EPG) data is available in various forms in the UK. For Freeview/DVB-T and Freesat/DVB-S services 7 days of data are provided. For Virgin Media, EPG is provided per channel for 3-4 days, and further 7 day listings are available on a channel marked only as "Home EPG", possibly for Virgin's own DVR solution "V+". Sky only broadcasts Now/Next information with advanced listings available via the OpenTV system.
  
EIT (EPG) data is available in various forms in the UK. For DVB-T/Freeview services 7 days of data are provided. For Virgin Media, EPG is provided per channel for 3-4 days, and further 7 day listings are available on a channel marked only as "Home EPG", possibly for Virgin's own DVR solution "V+". Sky only broadcasts Now/Next information with advanced listings available via the OpenTV system.
+
MythTV does not seem to pick up correct channel assignments for every channel on Freeview/Freesat from broadcasted data, i.e. via a channel scan. There is a simple database change that can be completed to update the channels quickly as using the channel editor is very slow to make many changes. [[UK Channel Assignments|UK-DVB-Channels]]
  
==Transports==
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== Digital Television Platforms ==
  
 
===DVB-T===
 
===DVB-T===
  
The UK Freeview/DVB-T broadcast platform consists of 6 multiplexes.
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====Freeview====
 +
:''Main article: [[Freeview (DVB-T and DVB-T2) in the UK]]''
 +
 
 +
The UK Freeview/DVB-T broadcast platform consists of 6 multiplexes and 1 multiplex supporting DVB-T2 for HD.
  
 
The platform is compliant to the DVB-T standard, and uses a UK specific profile of [[MHEG|MHEG-5]] to provide Interactive Services. MythTV supports both standards and can be received using a standard DVB-T capture card.
 
The platform is compliant to the DVB-T standard, and uses a UK specific profile of [[MHEG|MHEG-5]] to provide Interactive Services. MythTV supports both standards and can be received using a standard DVB-T capture card.
  
A full channel list can be found on the Digital TV Group's [http://www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/dtt_channels.html website]
+
A full channel list can be found on the Digital TV Group's [http://www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/dtt_channels.html website]. It is oft reported that channel ordering is incorrect with MythTV and Freeview; [[UK Channel Assignments]] covers rearranging channels.
  
 
===DVB-C===
 
===DVB-C===
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 +
==== Virgin Media ====
  
 
{{Warning box|Accessing Virgin Media services via a DVB-C card '''is''' a breach of their Terms & Conditions.}}
 
{{Warning box|Accessing Virgin Media services via a DVB-C card '''is''' a breach of their Terms & Conditions.}}
  
Virgin Media broadcasts standard DVB-C over their network. Most of the channels are encrypted with Nagravision and could be decoded with a standard CI and Nagravision [[CAM]]. Unfortunatly, Virgin Media lock their Nagra cards to only work with the built-in CAMs in their STBs. Theres no way to (legally) access encrypted channels from the Virgin Media network using this method, Capturing these channels via the STB with a analog card (PVR150 and it's ilk) is legal.
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Virgin Media broadcasts standard DVB-C over their network. Most of the channels are encrypted with Nagravision and could be decoded with a standard CI and Nagravision CAM. Unfortunately, Virgin Media lock their Nagra cards to only work with the built-in CAMs in their STBs. There's no way to legally access encrypted channels from the Virgin Media network using this method; therefore, MythTV users must capture these channels via the STB with a analogue card (PVR-150/PVR-500 or HD-PVR).
  
Virgin Media do broadcast a number of channels which are unencrypted, via DVB-C and in some areas analogue, all the BBC channels (1,2,3,4), ITV and Channel 4. Using MythTV with these channels is legal, however VM terms and conditions do not allow any equipment other than that they supply to be connected to their cable network so by doing this you will be breaking their terms and conditions.
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Virgin Media do broadcast a number of channels which are unencrypted, via DVB-C and in some areas analogue, all the BBC channels, ITV and Channel 4. Using MythTV with these channels is legal, however Virgin Media terms and conditions do not allow any equipment other than that they supply to be connected to their cable network so by doing this you will be breaking their terms and conditions.
  
 
===DVB-S===
 
===DVB-S===
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==== Freesat ====
 +
Freesat was launched on the 6th May 2008. It is a Free to View service operated by companies including the BBC and ITV as an alternative to Sky and a sister service to Freeview. Freesat promises more HD material and channels than Freeview. There is no subscription or viewing card required, all channels are broadcast without encryption and can be received with a standard DVB-S card.
  
[http://www.sky.com Sky Digital] is a satellite broadcast network ran by [http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=104016&p=irol-corphome British Sky Broadcasting] which in turn is owned by [http://www.newscorp.com/ News Corp.]. Sky broadcasts on the [http://www.ses-astra.com/landingPage/uk/index.php SES Astrasatellite system via DVB-S and DVB-S2 standards.
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Most channels available OTA in the UK are available via Freesat on the Astra satellite constellation unencrypted.
  
Sky Digital encrypts most broadcasts with [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VideoGuard VideoGuard], which is developed by NDS Ltd, a company also owned by News Corp. NDS have not allowed any licensed CAM modules for VideoGuard, but unofficial cards have been able to emulate the workings of NDS.
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Five HD channels are made available at this time BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD, STV HD and Channel 4 HD. A DVB-S2 card is required for the BBC and Channel 4 HD channels.
  
Due to the questionable nature of CAMs available for NDS, capturing encrypted channels using this method would be questionable at best. The only legal way to capture encrypted Sky broadcasts is via a STB and valid subscription.
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==== Sky ====
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[http://www.sky.com Sky Digital] is a subscription satellite broadcast network run by [http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=104016&p=irol-corphome British Sky Broadcasting] which in turn is owned by [http://www.newscorp.com/ News Corp.]. Sky broadcasts on the [http://www.ses-astra.com/landingPage/uk/index.php SES Astra]  satellite system via DVB-S and DVB-S2 standards.
  
Channels available OTA in the UK are available via Astra unencrypted, with a few notable exceptions; Channel 4 and Channel 5 have been encrypted due to agreements with Sky.  
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Sky Digital encrypts most broadcasts with [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VideoGuard VideoGuard], which is developed by NDS Ltd, a company also owned by News Corp. NDS have not allowed any licensed CAM modules for VideoGuard, preventing use in MythTV with DVB-S tuners. The only way to capture encrypted Sky broadcasts is via a STB, a valid subscription and an analogue capture card e.g. Hauppauge PVR-150.
  
The Free TV channels that can be received with a [[DVB]]-S card (ie no Sky box required) note that the [[EIT]] data for these channels only appears to contain now and next.
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Sky broadcast a number of [[High-definition television|High Definition]] channels, but their image quality is frequently described as poor compared to HD offerings from other Broadcasters such as the BBC. Sky HD compares more equally to high bitrate Standard Definition channels on Freeview. [[High-definition television|HD]] capture is not currently possible so recording of [[High-definition television|HD]] sources from Satellite is currently limited to Freesat.
  
 
[http://www.lyngsat.com/28east.html Eurobird 1 & Astra 2A/2B/2C/2D at 28.2°E]
 
[http://www.lyngsat.com/28east.html Eurobird 1 & Astra 2A/2B/2C/2D at 28.2°E]
 
[http://www.lyngsat.com/astra2d.html Astra 2D at 28.2°E]
 
[http://www.lyngsat.com/astra2d.html Astra 2D at 28.2°E]
 
{| border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=5
 
| '''tp 41'''
 
| ITV 2+1
 
| ITV 1
 
|-
 
| '''tp 42'''
 
| FILM4
 
| FILM4+1
 
|-
 
| '''tp 44'''
 
| ITV 1
 
| ITV 2
 
| CITV
 
| ITV 4
 
| Men & Motors
 
|-
 
| '''tp 45'''
 
| BBC One
 
| BBC Two
 
| BBC News24
 
| BBC Four
 
| CBBC
 
| CBeebies
 
| BBC Three
 
|-
 
| '''tp 47'''
 
| BBC One
 
| BBC Two
 
| BBC Radio
 
|-
 
| '''tp 50'''
 
| BBC One
 
| BBC HD
 
|-
 
| '''tp 54'''
 
| Channel TV
 
| STV
 
| ITV 3
 
|}
 
 
 
[http://www.lyngsat.com/astra2b.html Astra 2B at 28.2°E]
 
[http://www.lyngsat.com/astra2b.html Astra 2B at 28.2°E]
 
{| border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=5
 
| '''tp 14'''
 
| Zee Music UK
 
|-
 
| '''tp 26'''
 
| Sky News UK
 
| Sky News Ireland
 
|}
 
  
 
==Hardware==
 
==Hardware==
 
 
===Sky/Sky+ Box===
 
===Sky/Sky+ Box===
  
 
For remote controlling a Sky or Sky+ box - the first two are a wired solution so do not have the usual unreliably/fiddly setup issues associated using infrared to control the STB:
 
For remote controlling a Sky or Sky+ box - the first two are a wired solution so do not have the usual unreliably/fiddly setup issues associated using infrared to control the STB:
  
* [http://www.byteme.org.uk/howtos/lirc-sky-rflink-howto.shtml D-I-Y Sky rflink lirc mini howto]
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* [http://www.byteme.org.uk/howtos/lirc-sky-rflink-howto.html D-I-Y Sky rflink lirc mini howto]
* [http://www.heenan.me.uk/control-sky-from-pc/ prebuilt USB Sky rflink hardware / software]
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* [http://www.dusky-control.com/serial.shtml prebuilt RS232 Sky rflink hardware / software - requires no drivers, no LIRC changes]
 
* [http://www.redremote.co.uk/serial/ prebuilt infrared option]
 
* [http://www.redremote.co.uk/serial/ prebuilt infrared option]
  
There is also a script to update the [[sky frequency numbers]] afer the recent (28th Jan 2006) change.
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There is also a script to update the [[sky frequency numbers]] after the recent (28th Jan 2006) change.
  
 
===Virgin Media STB===
 
===Virgin Media STB===
 
 
This page for the cable box control:
 
This page for the cable box control:
 
[http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/mythtv-info/MythTV_DISH_IR_LED_TX_via_Modified_LIRC.html]
 
[http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/mythtv-info/MythTV_DISH_IR_LED_TX_via_Modified_LIRC.html]
  
 
Configuration for Virgin Media box control can be found in the [http://www.lirc.org/remotes/ LIRC remotes archive], The DI4000N config file will work for Samsung boxes, the older black Pace boxes have a seperate configuration.
 
Configuration for Virgin Media box control can be found in the [http://www.lirc.org/remotes/ LIRC remotes archive], The DI4000N config file will work for Samsung boxes, the older black Pace boxes have a seperate configuration.
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 +
[[Category:United Kingdom]]

Latest revision as of 13:47, 9 October 2014

The completion of 'digital switchover' from analogue PAL to DVB-T in October 2012 left the UK as an effectively digital-only territory. BSkyB turned off its analogue satellite signals in 2001. Since 2008, all televisions in the UK have been sold with an inbuilt DVB-T tuner or a standalone set-top box.

Households in a small number areas formerly served by NTL, notably Milton Keynes, still have access to analogue cable signals. While Virgin Media Cable turned off analogue signals in ex-Telewest areas in January 2012, a decade-long access dispute with BT has meant that Virgin Media has been unable to replace antiquated cabling unsuitable for transmission of DVB-C and other services.

Providers

Free To Air (FTA)

Pay TV

Obtaining TV listings

In the UK, there are two ways to populate the TV listings used by MythTV:

XMLTV

UK listings are best served by using the tv_grab_uk_rt grabber (Uk_xmltv), which uses a dedicated xmltv feed on the Radio Times website. It provides a full 14 days of data with detailed programme descriptions, film reviews and ratings.

EIT/EPG data

EIT (EPG) data is available in various forms in the UK. For Freeview/DVB-T and Freesat/DVB-S services 7 days of data are provided. For Virgin Media, EPG is provided per channel for 3-4 days, and further 7 day listings are available on a channel marked only as "Home EPG", possibly for Virgin's own DVR solution "V+". Sky only broadcasts Now/Next information with advanced listings available via the OpenTV system.

MythTV does not seem to pick up correct channel assignments for every channel on Freeview/Freesat from broadcasted data, i.e. via a channel scan. There is a simple database change that can be completed to update the channels quickly as using the channel editor is very slow to make many changes. UK-DVB-Channels

Digital Television Platforms

DVB-T

Freeview

Main article: Freeview (DVB-T and DVB-T2) in the UK

The UK Freeview/DVB-T broadcast platform consists of 6 multiplexes and 1 multiplex supporting DVB-T2 for HD.

The platform is compliant to the DVB-T standard, and uses a UK specific profile of MHEG-5 to provide Interactive Services. MythTV supports both standards and can be received using a standard DVB-T capture card.

A full channel list can be found on the Digital TV Group's website. It is oft reported that channel ordering is incorrect with MythTV and Freeview; UK Channel Assignments covers rearranging channels.

DVB-C

Virgin Media

Warning.png Warning: Accessing Virgin Media services via a DVB-C card is a breach of their Terms & Conditions.

Virgin Media broadcasts standard DVB-C over their network. Most of the channels are encrypted with Nagravision and could be decoded with a standard CI and Nagravision CAM. Unfortunately, Virgin Media lock their Nagra cards to only work with the built-in CAMs in their STBs. There's no way to legally access encrypted channels from the Virgin Media network using this method; therefore, MythTV users must capture these channels via the STB with a analogue card (PVR-150/PVR-500 or HD-PVR).

Virgin Media do broadcast a number of channels which are unencrypted, via DVB-C and in some areas analogue, all the BBC channels, ITV and Channel 4. Using MythTV with these channels is legal, however Virgin Media terms and conditions do not allow any equipment other than that they supply to be connected to their cable network so by doing this you will be breaking their terms and conditions.

DVB-S

Freesat

Freesat was launched on the 6th May 2008. It is a Free to View service operated by companies including the BBC and ITV as an alternative to Sky and a sister service to Freeview. Freesat promises more HD material and channels than Freeview. There is no subscription or viewing card required, all channels are broadcast without encryption and can be received with a standard DVB-S card.

Most channels available OTA in the UK are available via Freesat on the Astra satellite constellation unencrypted.

Five HD channels are made available at this time BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD, STV HD and Channel 4 HD. A DVB-S2 card is required for the BBC and Channel 4 HD channels.

Sky

Sky Digital is a subscription satellite broadcast network run by British Sky Broadcasting which in turn is owned by News Corp.. Sky broadcasts on the SES Astra satellite system via DVB-S and DVB-S2 standards.

Sky Digital encrypts most broadcasts with VideoGuard, which is developed by NDS Ltd, a company also owned by News Corp. NDS have not allowed any licensed CAM modules for VideoGuard, preventing use in MythTV with DVB-S tuners. The only way to capture encrypted Sky broadcasts is via a STB, a valid subscription and an analogue capture card e.g. Hauppauge PVR-150.

Sky broadcast a number of High Definition channels, but their image quality is frequently described as poor compared to HD offerings from other Broadcasters such as the BBC. Sky HD compares more equally to high bitrate Standard Definition channels on Freeview. HD capture is not currently possible so recording of HD sources from Satellite is currently limited to Freesat.

Eurobird 1 & Astra 2A/2B/2C/2D at 28.2°E Astra 2D at 28.2°E Astra 2B at 28.2°E

Hardware

Sky/Sky+ Box

For remote controlling a Sky or Sky+ box - the first two are a wired solution so do not have the usual unreliably/fiddly setup issues associated using infrared to control the STB:

There is also a script to update the sky frequency numbers after the recent (28th Jan 2006) change.

Virgin Media STB

This page for the cable box control: [1]

Configuration for Virgin Media box control can be found in the LIRC remotes archive, The DI4000N config file will work for Samsung boxes, the older black Pace boxes have a seperate configuration.