ITV2, 3 and 4 HD go free-to-air on satellite...

ITV2, 3 and 4 HD go free-to-air on satellite...

Postby dutchman » Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:06 pm

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ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD are now available without an active pay TV subscription. The three channels originally launched as pay TV exclusive services in 2010.

Encryption was dropped by 11am on Tuesday morning, in a move that coincided with the 18th anniversary of the launch of ITV3 and the 17th anniversary of ITV4 going on air.

It comes ahead of the imminent launch of ITVX, which will also allow viewers to stream all of ITV’s services in higher quality.

Sky originally offered enticements to encourage both ITV and Channel 4 to offer their offshoot channels in HD, but stopping any possibility of the channels launching on free-to-air platforms. As a result, viewers needed to maintain a subscription with Sky to continue watching them in HD. Virgin Media later also added the channels, while Freeview and Freesat could only offer the free SD versions.

ITV Be is not available in HD on Sky satellite. Meanwhile, viewers accessing the channels on Sky Stream/Sky Glass get these in HD by default.

BT TV’s new internet based TV service already offers these channels in HD by default as part of its selection of free channels.

Channel 4 continues to offer HD versions of its offshoots including E4, More4 and Film4 exclusively on pay TV platforms including Sky.

Meanwhile, RXTV understands a number of broadcasters are planning to reduce the number of standard definition channels on satellite, in favour of making HD channels available by default. 16 years after Sky launched its HD service, we may now be on the cusp of a proper HD switchover.

What about Freesat?

Freesat uses the same satellite system as Sky to provide viewers with a free-to-air alternative, meaning that once a broadcaster makes its channel free-to-air, it could be included on Freesat’s channel list.

On the afternoon of 1st November 2022, all three HD channels gained Freesat data indicating ITV intends to make these channels available on Freesat in the near future.

And Freeview?

Since the summer, the capacity available for additional HD channels has been cut, as a result of a decision to close services to create bandwidth for more 5G services. At the present time, there is no additional capacity for any more HD channels.

While terrestrial transmission of the HD channels appears unlikely for some time, they are due to be available to viewers with connected TVs and devices in the future.

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Re: ITV2, 3 and 4 HD go free-to-air on satellite...

Postby dutchman » Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:09 pm

Freesat upgrades ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 to HD

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A week after going free-to-air on satellite, Freesat customers can now access ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 in HD. But users with series links may need to take action.

Freesat added ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD to its Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) earlier today. The HD channels replaced the SD channels on their previous channel numbers (see below).

The move comes 12 years after ITV launched its HD offshoots behind a paywall. And for viewers who miss out on the linear HD broadcasts: from next month, ITV will also offer over 10,000 hours of HD content, including catch-up from ITV2, 3 and 4, via ITVX for free.

It means Freesat users can now access additional live sport, including tonight’s La Liga fixture between Osasuna and Barcelona in HD on ITV4, plus hours of classic drama and soaps upscaled to HD on ITV3.

Unlike other channels, Freesat and ITV aren’t listing both HD and SD variants on the channel list.

So viewers who set series links or have scheduled recordings set to the now deleted SD versions of ITV2, ITV3 or ITV4 need to review them urgently.

Viewers with older, first generation Freesat receivers, including those handed out as part of the digital switchover help scheme a decade ago, will see no change for now. Here, ITV2-4 continue in SD only.

ITV2+1, ITV3+1 and ITV4+1 remain SD only on all platforms.

Most Freesat boxes and TVs will update automatically. Some older, legacy Freesat receivers update overnight. Viewers who don’t see an update to their channel list should rescan their receiver.

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