UK Television

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Providers

  • Analogue Broadcast (BBC1,2,ITV,C4 and Channel 5) - being phased out by 2012, earlier in some areas.
  • Freeview (DVB-T) - SD content, trialling HD in areas.
  • Sky Satellite (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

tv_grab_uk_rt

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.

EIT/EPG data

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.

Transports

DVB-T

The UK Freeview/DVB-T broadcast platform consists of 6 multiplexes.

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

DVB-C

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. 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.

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.

DVB-S

Sky Digital is a satellite broadcast network ran 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, but unofficial cards have been able to emulate the workings of NDS.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Astra 2B at 28.2°E

tp 14 Zee Music UK
tp 26 Sky News UK Sky News Ireland

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 afer 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.