Behind the scenes work by Sky engineers has resulted in the Irish feed of Sky News enjoying higher than usual bitrates on satellite.
Work is ongoing to clear Astra 2E transponder 26 (12207 V). This week, that work has resulted in the standard definition versions of Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature moving to other transponders.
As these services have moved off, remaining SD channels, including the free-to-air Sky News (Ireland SD) have seen their bitrates increase. By the end of the week Sky News (Ireland SD) was broadcasting with variable bitrates between 5 and 8Mpbs. In comparison Sky News (UK SD) ranged between 1.5 and 4.5 Mbps.
The temporary boost in picture quality is likely to be temporary until further changes are made to Sky’s services.
Most changes affect standard definition channels currently found in the 800s channel range on Sky+HD and Sky Q receivers. As a consequence, the majority of Sky subscribers won’t notice any changes. Users still using an old first gen Sky (SD) receiver who have recently lost any of the above listed channels should reset their box.
Sky is currently re-organising how it broadcasts standard definition simulcasts. This will reduce the overall amount of satellite capacity devoted to broadcasting in SD. Some of the available capacity has come from the recent closure of three Sky Cinema SD channels, plus the closure of Pick+1 and Syfy+1.
- Sky Sports Action will temporarily rebrand to Sky Sports NFL on Monday 25th April.