Following recent announcements by the BBC, ITV and the closure of Sky Mix in SD, two further broadcasters are withdrawing standard definition broadcasts next week.
- Shopping channel Hobby Maker launches a new 24 hour HD feed that will replace the standard definition channel
- Business channel CNBC, owned by Sky’s parent company, is going HD-only in the UK.
The removal of standard definition (SD) channels on satellite gathers pace as broadcasters struggle to justify continuing SD services when over 98% of satellite viewers have access to HD.
The closure of SD doesn’t just affect major broadcasters including the BBC. Two niche broadcasters are following suite.
Shopping channel Hobby Maker is launching a new HD feed of the channel on Monday 30th October. Hobby Maker HD will replace the current SD feed on channel 670.
Meanwhile, on Thursday 2nd November, business channel CNBC will discontinue its SD service to satellite viewers in the UK and Ireland. The channel, which is owned by Sky’s parent company Comcast, already switched to HD only on Freesat earlier this month in preparation for the SD closure.
During the past two weeks, the BBC has confirmed it is closing SD channels on 8th January. ITV says it is closing four regional SD versions of its main channel in favour of HD. Sky has pulled the plug on the SD version of Sky Mix on satellite. While the SD closure will force a small minority to upgrade, the push to HD means more channels become available with improved picture quality.
What does this mean for Sky satellite viewers?
- CNBC: The HD version of the channel becomes the only version of the channel on Sky satellite. Viewers who already see CNBC HD on channel 505 will see no change. Viewers with older Sky receivers will lose the channel. The SD simulcast on Sky HD, Sky+HD and Sky Q channel 883 closes.
- Hobby Maker: Viewers using a Sky HD, Sky+HD or a Sky Q receiver will automatically switch across to the HD feed when it goes live. The old SD version of the channel is due to be delisted completely, according to Sky. This means that users of older boxes will lose the channel.
Viewers using an old first generation Sky digital satellite receiver are being offered an upgrade to a Sky Q at no extra cost. Call 0333 759 5121 to take up the option.
CNBC is already HD only on Freesat, so there will be no changes. Viewers who have manually added the SD channel on their satellite receiver will lose the channel in November.
Hobby Maker is currently not available on Freesat. It is however available in SD on Freeview channel 73.