The BBC has now terminated broadcasts of its channels in standard definition on satellite and is currently migrating its radio stations across to new capacity.
- Switch-off occurred at 11:00.
- Sky telling users they need to upgrade to continue watching BBC channels.
- Radio stations no longer available on older satellite receivers.
A year after beginning an upgrade of its services to HD, the BBC has now concluded its standard definition switch-off.
Between now and late March, viewers tuning in to the former SD channels will see an on-screen message advising that the channel is now closed. The channel closed message is also currently visible on Sky+HD and Sky Q boxes on channels 801, 802 and other slots previously occupied by BBC SD channels.
Affected Sky users with a current subscription are invited to call Sky on 0333 759 5121 for a free upgrade. That’s a different number to the one shown on-screen by the BBC. The on-screen phone number published by the BBC applies to viewers who use a Sky SD box without a current subscription and for Freesat SD users.
Freesat viewers are warned that there is now only “limited availability” for support through its Help Scheme. Viewers are encouraged to act now by visiting www.hdsatelliteupgrade.co.uk.
Older SD-only Freesat receivers can no longer receive BBC Radio services following the changes. This is because older receivers don’t support the newer DVB-S2 broadcast standard. Older Sky boxes will soon suffer the same fate.
Sky will cease support for SD boxes going forward. It plans to migrate more services either to HD-only or to switch remaining SD services to the DVB-S2 broadcast standard.
As of 11:00am today, Freeview is the only remaining broadcast platform where the BBC channels continue to be broadcast in standard definition.
Upgrading? You may lose BBC Red Button Text
Viewers switching from an older Freesat or Sky SD box to Sky Q or the latest Freesat receivers will lose access to BBC Red Button Text. The text service was saved from closure, but because newer receivers don’t support the text service, its days are still numbered.
Viewers wanting access to BBC Red Button text may wish to switch to a basic Freesat HD box. The Manhattan Freesat HD box is one of few receivers still available to support the text service. Sky+HD boxes also still support Red Button text, but are no longer offered by Sky to upgraders.