Freeview multiplex SDN is back to full capacity for the first time in over two years following changes this morning on the digital terrestrial TV platform.
SDN is the fourth national Freeview multiplex, or bundle of channels, which is available to around 90% of the UK population.
HorrorXtra has taken over channel 69 from placeholder channel RealityXtra 2, and gone full-time.
Meanwhile, QVC Style and QVC Beauty are transferring from Arqiva-owned multiplex COM6 to SDN, which means viewers need to retune or lose access to the channel when the temporary simulcast ends.
This means SDN now has 18 concurrent streams, something that was last achieved from 26th February 2020, when the arrival of Create & Craft lifted the number of channels to break a new record.
But since then, the number of channels dropped: 5Select moved to BBC multiplex capacity. Hochanda and Create & Craft merged, Quest transferred to Arqiva capacity. ITVBe moved over to the PSB2 (D3&4) multiplex. TalkTV and Together TV have been added, leaving two empty slots until today.
RealityXtra 2 launched last October, taking two hours of Together TV’s overnight time to act as a placeholder for HorrorXtra, a channel that launched last year on satellite and cable, to complement Legend (the former Horror Channel).
It is the only Freeview multiplex currently configured to carry 18 concurrent streams. Arqiva’s two multiplexes – COM5 and COM6 – currently only carry a maximum of 16 streams.
The filling of a Freeview multiplex is no mean feat in this era when broadcasters are considering turning off their free-to-air channels in favour of streaming.
NOTE: SDN is a subsidiary of a subsidiary of ITV, via the broadcaster’s Cayman Islands business, ITV Holdings (Cayman) Limited.
PICTURED: Freeview logo. COPYRIGHT: Freeview.