Sky will be making several changes to way channels are listed on the EPG this month:
“During the summer we’ll be changing the way we list the channels currently included in the Lifestyle genre. As the Sky TV Guide on your Sky box is updated, the Entertainment and Lifestyle genres will be merged and channels that were a part of the Lifestyle genre will now be listed in the Entertainment tab”.
Changes will be coming on Tuesday 19th August with channel numbers changing in the entertainment, lifestyle, religion, shopping and international sections.
Sky explain the Lifestyle section will be removed from your Sky Guide “over the summer as your TV Guide is updated” and “for viewers with a standard definition Sky box or an older Sky+HD box, the Lifestyle genre will remain but channels will be removed from the Lifestyle genre and listed in the Entertainment genre at a later date, likely to be in September”.
Speaking of the channel number changes, Sky say:
“The genres affected are full or getting close to full, so we’re changing the listings to ensure that channels are placed within the correct genre, so you can find the channels you love more easily”.
The following changes will take place:
Click here for more details.
Sky Sports News will undergo a rebrand on the 12th August to become Sky Sports News HQ it has been announced.
“Launched for the new football season, Sky Sports News HQ will put the viewer at the heart of sports news with a new schedule, upgraded studio and improved digital services including redesigned apps and integrated social media coverage.
Sky Sports News HQ will launch on Sky channel 401, providing viewers with an unrivalled sports news service plus a showcase of other content on the Sky Sports channels. Other Sky Sports channels will move one slot up the Sky digital EPG”.
In addition to the new channel name and number, Sky Sports News HQ will have a new schedule, new studio and other improvements.
The new channel numbers on Sky will be:
Sky Sports News HQ – 401
Sky Sports 1 – 402
Sky Sports 2 – 403
Sky Sports 3 – 404
Sky Sports 4 – 405
Sky Sports 5 – 406
Sky Sports F1 – 407
It’s been announced that Channel 4 +1 HD and 4seven HD will launch on Freeview on the 1st July.
Arqiva say “the channels are available to over 70% of the UK population from our newly launched Freeview HD multiplex. These new channels are additional HD Freeview services on the new ‘COM7’ multiplex and will join the HD channels we already offer including BBC News HD and Al Jazeera English HD”.
It’s been confirmed Channel 4 +1 HD will be on Freeview channel 110 and 4seven HD on Freeview channel 111.
As per the other HD offerings on Freeview, you must have a Freeview HD box to receive these new channels.
It’s not yet known whether Channel 4 +1 HD and 4seven HD will be available on other platforms, but at the moment it seems these launches will be exclusive to Freeview.
It’s possible the two new HD channel launches are placeholders for forthcoming Freeview HD services from Channel 4, such as possible launches of E4 HD and Film4 HD on Freeview.
A brand new Sky Sports channel will launch on the 12th August. Sky Sports 5 is dubbed as “your new home of European football”.
“Sky Sports 5 launches August 12 and will screen over 600 live European football matches next season featuring some of the best players, the best teams and the best competitions. Sky Sports 5 will be the seventh channel from Sky Sports and will be the home of European Qualifiers, UEFA Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey for Sky Sports viewers, plus a host of other European football programming including Revista De La Liga and Champions League Weekly”
As a promotion to mark the launch of Sky Sports 5, Sky are giving customers free Sky Broadband Unlimited for two years when they register & activate the new channel.
A placeholder for Sky Sports 5 can currently be found on Sky channel 407.
ITV Encore launches tomorrow, Monday 9th June.
The new channel from ITV launches as a Sky exclusive channel.
ITV Encore will showcase the best of ITV drama.
123 – ITV Encore HD is on channel 123, ITV Encore +1 on 193 and the non-HD version of ITV Encore appears on channel 298.
There have also been a couple of other channel number changes to accommodate ITV Encore – Sky Living +1 is now on channel 122, Sky Living It is on channel 222 with its +1 variant on 223. The non-HD version of Sky Arts 2 can be found on channel 297.
The BBC have now retracted some of the changes they outlined on their website last week, with regards to BBC One HD swapping EPG positions on Sky we reported yesterday.
The revised information on the BBC website now says that, as of today, BBC One HD has moved to Sky channel 101 only in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England channel 101 remains the standard definition (regionalised) version of BBC One.
Originally they posted that BBC One HD would move to Sky channel 101 in England but this is no longer the case. BBC One HD England stays on channel 141 and still isn’t regionalised (so no regional news on BBC One HD England).
They say “This week, we are undertaking HD/SD swapping on Sky and Freesat in Scotland and Wales… this means that all viewers in the Nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) who subscribe to a Sky HD package will now see their version of BBC One HD at 101 and BBC One SD at 141. Freesat viewers in the Nations will also now see their correct version of BBC One HD at 101 (and BBC One SD at 108)”.
The BBC One HD national variants can be found on Sky channels 976-979.
There have also been some changes on Freesat with BBC Two HD moving to channel 102 in England only (this changes happened on Sky a few months ago too) and BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies & BBC News swap places with their standard definition counterparts (the same as what happened on Sky a few months ago) to give the HD channels a more prominent position on the Freesat EPG.
Click here to see all of the changes but the basics can be seen below:
Some of these changes have now been retracted & revised – click here for an update.
There will be several changes to the way BBC One HD is delivered on Sky (and Freesat) from Monday (24th March).
On Sky, if you have an HD subscription, BBC One HD will move to channel 101 to replace your regional standard definition channel. The version of BBC One HD on channel 101 will depend on your nation – there will be England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland variants depending on your location.
This will match up with channel 102, where national variants of BBC Two HD exist depending on your location, if you are a Sky HD subscriber.
If you still want to watch the standard definition versions of BBC One and BBC Two (particularly for the regional news on BBC One) you will find your local version on channels 141 & 142. The placeholder for BBC One HD for those without an HD subscription will appear on channel 141, with the standard definition versions still being on channels 101 & 102 respectively.
You will also be able to tune to other BBC One HD regions even if you don’t live there – channel 976 plays host to BBC One HD in all areas apart from England, 977 will be home to BBC One Scotland HD in all areas apart from Scotland, 978 will have BBC One Wales everywhere apart from in Wales and channel 979 will see BBC One Northern Ireland for all places apart from Northern Ireland.
It’s been announced BBC Three will be axed as a TV channel and become an online-only entity from next year, subject to the approval of the BBC Trust.
BBC Director General Tony Hall confirmed BBC Three will close on all TV platforms “from autumn 2015” to make £50 million a year in savings with £30 million of that going to BBC One drama.
The BBC have stressed however this isn’t the end for BBC Three and that it will be “reinvented as a new and innovative online service”.
In addition the space freed up on TV platforms after the closure will be used “to extend CBBC by an hour a night and to provide a BBC One +1 service”.
In an email to BBC staff, BBC Director General Tony Hall said:
“I’m convinced that the BBC as a creative organisation will be able to reinvent a space for young people on the iPlayer that will be bold, innovative and distinctive. It will not just be a TV channel distributed online – it will be an opportunity to look at new forms, formats, different durations, and more individualised and interactive content. It will play to BBC Three’s strengths, offer something distinctive and new, and enhance the BBC’s reputation with young audiences. And I will challenge everyone in the BBC to spend much more time focusing on programming for young audiences. We will lead the way”.
Click here to read the press release in full.
BBC News HD launched just before Christmas along with BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBBC HD and CBeebies HD.
However, when it launched it was added on Sky channel 570 instead of directly replacing the SD version which usually happens.
The decision was made by the BBC to launch it on channel 570 just in case there were any issues with the launch just before Christmas throwing BBC News off-air during a breaking news story.
Now it’s January the HD swap has been made – BBC News HD is now on Sky channel 503 and the SD version is now on Sky channel 570.
This is only the case for HD customers of course – non-HD customers will still have the SD channel on Sky 503 and the placeholder for the HD channel on Sky 570.
MGM HD will cease broadcasting from next week – the evening of Thursday 16th January – it has been confirmed on their official Facebook page. The channel is currently available on Sky channel 313.
In the Facebook announcement, they say “It goes without saying that we at MGM HD are very sad to confirm this news, and we would like to send out our heartfelt thanks to all of our (very passionate!) fans for all your comments, praise, and support over these last four years – we hope you’ve enjoyed watching our channel as much as we’ve loved programming it for you!”.
MGM HD launched in December 2009 in joint partnership with British Sky Broadcasting, and was somewhat unique in that it launched only in high definition with no standard definition channel available.