The next phase of ITV’s satellite reshuffle is taking place, as more standard definition channels are moving to a new home.
Astra 2E transponder 44 is being cleared. Standard definition (SD) versions of ITV Central West, Granada, London, Wales, ITV+1 Meridian East, plus ITV2, ITVBe and ITV4 are in the process of moving from transponder 44, and have begun to transition to their new transponders.
The affected channels are moving to transponders 53 and 54. They are taking up space which has been freed by the recent reduction in ITV SD regions and the cancellation of ITVBe+1 on satellite.
At the same time, ITV’s HD service for the Kent and East Sussex area (Meridian East) has moved to transponder 27 (12227 H). This is part of an agreement with Sky. ITV is currently leasing capacity on a number of Sky transponders to accommodate all of its regional HD services until the reshuffle is complete.
The process started last year, enabling ITV to broadcast most of its sub-regional services in HD for the first time. By doing so, it has become the first public service broadcaster to offer a fully regional service in England. However, ITV Border Scotland and ITV Channel Islands currently remain SD only.
ITV is aiming to retain just two satellite transponders for its SD channels. But ITV is currently unable to turn off SD completely. This is because the HD versions of ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 are encrypted. Freesat viewers can therefore only receive the SD versions. Additionally, all of ITV’s +1 services are SD only.
Sky UK and Freesat viewers shouldn’t be affected by the latest changes. Sky and Freesat channel listings will be automatically updated with the transponder changes. If viewers lose access to any of ITV’s services, rebooting the satellite receiver will usually restore channels.
Sky Ireland viewers who have manually tuned in these ITV services will need to manually re-add services.