Channel 4 and 5 remain impacted from Saturday night’s incident at Red Bee Media in White City. While channels are now restored, disaster recovery mode is still in use.
As of Monday morning, continuity, subtitling, audio description and programme information updates were still not running as normal.
Channel 5 continues to run in ‘disaster recovery’ mode, signified by a black and white symbol in the top right. All of its services were quickly recovered on Saturday night, although online streams remained offline for longer.
Channel 4 and its sister channels remained the worst affected. Although satellite services were restored first, viewers with Freeview had to wait several hours. Throughout Sunday, services continued to suffer from screen freezes, drop outs and sound distortion. Accessibility services remained impacted into Monday, with subtitles and audio description failing to materialise on programmes. Live now and next programme details remained out of alignment with actual programmes.
Encoding and multiplexing of Channel 4’s Freeview services remained affected, with worse than normal picture quality reported on some services. However, the knock-on effect on S4C on Freeview in Wales was resolved by 10am on Sunday. The Box Plus Network, which includes 4Music, remained in emergency mode, with multiple channels simulcasting The Box.
Meanwhile, a report by BBC News quoting a spokesperson for S4C stating that ITV was affected has been questioned, as none of ITV’s services fell off air. ITV playout and distribution takes place at Chiswick and Leeds, rather than White City.
No statements to ‘avoid speculation’
Red Bee Media refused to be drawn on speculation over the cause of the issue following the fire on Saturday evening. Employees were safely evacuated after smoke was spotted at the site. It did however confirm that a fire suppression system had been activated. Red Bee Media declined to comment on reports of a resulting ‘sonic wave’ that closed down servers. In a statement it said it would not make further comments to avoid speculation until a full investigation is concluded.
Playout of BBC One and BBC Two were switched to Salford, so that all BBC services remained on air. UKTV, which operates services including Dave and Yesterday was unaffected – they had switched their playout and distribution from Red Bee Media to SES earlier this year.