Part of the Freeview service for the Tyne Tees region has gone live on satellite to service areas cut-off by the Bilsdale transmitter fire.
Broadcast infrastructure company Arqiva has activated capacity on Astra 2F to carry a copy of the D3&4 PSB2 multiplex, which carries services from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
The signal also includes a full seven day TV guide, plus Freeview’s Accessible TV Guide. It can currently be received using generic free-to-air satellite receivers, although parameters may change.
Satellite viewers living in the affected areas can already receive these channels through Sky or Freesat. The feed is not intended for domestic viewers.
Hundreds of thousands of viewers centred around North Yorkshire and Teesside have been without a terrestrial TV signal since 1:26pm on Tuesday 10th August. The affected area reaches the Harrogate area to the south and some homes in Bishop’s Auckland to the north.
The satellite feed will allow equipment at relays to convert the DVB-S signal to DVB-T and assemble a digital terrestrial TV multiplex that can be passed on to households within the relay’s range. Once live, viewers will be able to watch all main channels on their usual frequencies and channel numbers.
It comes after Arqiva confirmed it would be building an 80 metre high temporary mast. It will be dwarfed by the remains of the 314.6 metre high original mast. Consequently, it will not be high enough to reach all areas and all relays.
BBC satellite back-up
The BBC already has a permanent satellite back up for some relay transmitters. This was triggered at Whitby and Limber Hill relays when Bilsdale went down. The BBC feed contains data required to assemble the BBC’s standard and HD services, plus a number of third-party HD channels, including ITV HD.
However, it does not include regional services. In contrast, the Arqiva back-up of ITV is carrying ITV Tyne Tees.
D3&4 satellite back-up
Astra 2F (28.2E): Frequency: 11306; Polarisation: Horizontal; Symbol Rate 27500 FEC: 2/3 MODE: QPSK.
Parameters subject to change. Not intended for domestic viewing. All linear channels are already available on Sky or Freesat.
Channels broadcast: ITV Tyne Tees, ITV+1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, Channel 4, Channel 4+1, E4, More 4, Film 4, Channel 5, Freeview Accessible TV Guide [HbbTV 2.0].