Freesat pixelated BBC News and ITV HD

shed53

Standard Member
Sometime in the past couple of months or so, the BBC News Channel on Freesat became badly pixelated. It's unwatchable and my Freesat recorder can't record programmes. The same has been the case for ITV HD for several years. I haven't checked every channel, but several other HD services work fine - BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, Channel 4, Channel 5.
Does anyone know why this might be happening?
Thanks in anticipation,
Chris
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Dish alignment / LNB skew probably. Fettling alignment might cure it.

Possibly also the well-documented DVB-S2 with 3/4 FEC (forward error correction) issue with certain older Panasonic tuners?

FYI the FEC of 3/4 allows greater data capacity at the expense of slightly more difficult to receive signals.

ITV HD implemented it first. With recent changes to add more HD regions they've got a few ITV HDs back on the 'old' 2/3 FEC and are easier to receive but will have the wrong regional news for your postcode.

BBC followed later with the change to 3/4 FEC, and all BBC HD transponders use the same settings.

11097 | V | 23000 | 3/4 | SID |
ITV Central East 21080

12168 | V | 27500 | 2/3 | SID |
ITV Central West 5109

BBC NEWS HD is on 11024 | H | 23000 | 3/4
along with BBC ONE Scotland HD, BBC ONE Wales HD, BBC Scotland HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD so those should be problematic as well?

If it's the Panasonic tuner issue the cure might be different to a simple dish realignment - but I'd have to find the older threads on the issue to be sure.
 
There might even be a problem with your LNB. I had to replace my quad a few weeks ago after months of erratic behaviour. More-so on the bedroom TV, than the lounge and dining room TV's... It was weird... But fixed now!
 

shed53

Standard Member
There might even be a problem with your LNB. I had to replace my quad a few weeks ago after months of erratic behaviour. More-so on the bedroom TV, than the lounge and dining room TV's... It was weird... But fixed now!
Thanks for the info. I'm hoping that's not the case!
 

shed53

Standard Member
Dish alignment / LNB skew probably. Fettling alignment might cure it.

Possibly also the well-documented DVB-S2 with 3/4 FEC (forward error correction) issue with certain older Panasonic tuners?

FYI the FEC of 3/4 allows greater data capacity at the expense of slightly more difficult to receive signals.

ITV HD implemented it first. With recent changes to add more HD regions they've got a few ITV HDs back on the 'old' 2/3 FEC and are easier to receive but will have the wrong regional news for your postcode.

BBC followed later with the change to 3/4 FEC, and all BBC HD transponders use the same settings.

11097 | V | 23000 | 3/4 | SID |
ITV Central East 21080

12168 | V | 27500 | 2/3 | SID |
ITV Central West 5109

BBC NEWS HD is on 11024 | H | 23000 | 3/4
along with BBC ONE Scotland HD, BBC ONE Wales HD, BBC Scotland HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD so those should be problematic as well?

If it's the Panasonic tuner issue the cure might be different to a simple dish realignment - but I'd have to find the older threads on the issue to be sure.
Thanks for this. Very useful.
First of all, I do indeed have older Panasonic tuners. My TV is TX-L32G20B and my Blu-ray HDD recorder is DMR-BS750EB - bought together 2010/2011.
I did a bit more checking on pixelation etc and found this:
102 BBC2 HD works fine on both
103 ITV HD pixelated on both
105 C5 HD fine on both
106 BBC1 HD fine on both
107 BBC4 HD pixelated on TV but fine on recorder (though it was pixelating on the recorder last week)
108 BBC Sco HD fine on TV, pixelated on recorder
167 Quest HD fine on TV; "No signal" on recorder
175 Smithsonian HD fine on both
200 BBC News HD pixelated on both, though less marked on recorder
For info, I'm in Derbyshire so my regional feed is East Midlands

What you said about ITV HD chimes with something I heard from a satellite engineer 5 years ago when my Mum moved house. He described the pixelation problem as something to do with signal strength which in turn was an implementation decision made when Sky HQ was launched - IIRC. I suspect he was giving me layperson speak.

Is there anything more I can do to diagnose?
 

logiciel

Moderator
Sky HQ?
Get an installer in to check the aerial alignment?
 

Flynch191

Well-known Member
I’d also add that when this sort of thing happened to me.. It started every soo often and slowly became worse was inference. At first when it rained and then when windy.. it was the trees in the garden .. they had grown high enough to block the signal to the dish.. worse when raining as I got no signal.
Any how after trimming everything back to normal… so have you anything that is inline with your dish?
 

shed53

Standard Member
I’d also add that when this sort of thing happened to me.. It started every soo often and slowly became worse was inference. At first when it rained and then when windy.. it was the trees in the garden .. they had grown high enough to block the signal to the dish.. worse when raining as I got no signal.
Any how after trimming everything back to normal… so have you anything that is inline with your dish?
Thanks for the suggestion - but there's nothing around the dish.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
102 BBC2 HD works fine on both (10847 V 3/4 FEC)
103 ITV HD pixelated on both 11097 V 3/4 FEC
105 C5 HD fine on both DVB-S, not -S2 10964 H 5/6 FEC
106 BBC1 HD fine on both (10847 V 3/4 FEC)
107 BBC4 HD pixelated on TV but fine on recorder (though it was pixelating on the recorder last week) (11024 H 3/4 FEC)
108 BBC Sco HD fine on TV, pixelated on recorder (11024 H 3/4 FEC)
167 Quest HD fine on TV; "No signal" on recorder = 11426 V DVB-S2, QPSK, 29500, 8/9 FEC
175 Smithsonian HD fine on both 11508 V 23000 2/3 FEC
200 BBC News HD pixelated on both, though less marked on recorder (11024 H 3/4 FEC)
For info, I'm in Derbyshire so my regional feed is East Midlands (ITV Central East = 3/4 FEC)

Technician (likely not degree level qualified Engineer) probably talked about the, then, recent ITV HD changes to FEC (in 2015/16). ITV FREESAT HD CH 119 is the thread.

Fettling of dish alignment and / or LNB signal levels might fix things. {IIRC attenuators helped some posters on here / DigitalSpy? Google should find the threads.}
Or alternative kit which is not affected by Panasonic's rubbish tuners...
Checking first for any firmware updates to your devices (not that I can recall any such that fixed the problem).
 

shed53

Standard Member
Hi Rodders53,
Thanks again for being so informative and thorough.

While I can't remember the detail of the conversation now (it being 5 years ago and me being of a certain vintage 🙂), I think you've nailed the ITV HD change.

I'll certainly follow up on the firmware angle. I think one generally needs a very good reason not to keep firmware current on devices.

Next would be fettling the dish and/or LNB, but we'll need to decide if the issue it's irritating enough to warrant the spend.

Last of all is replacing the kit. We generally like the picture quality and we're very used to the UI. The only other Freesat recorder I've seen is Humax, and I found that UI sub-optimal, to put it mildly 😉

Cheers,
Chris
 

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