In a national bulletin to dealers, Bell Satellite TV has announced that, beginning later this month, it will be replace all of the MPEG-2 HD satellite receivers currently in use with MPEG 4 HD receivers.
Once the swap is complete, it will allow Bell to make the migration of all HD programming to MPEG-4, which offers greater video compression than MPEG-2.
By using MPEG-4 compression, Bell will be able to free up capacity in order that it can comply with a recent CRTC ruling in May that requires Bell to add 43 local standard definition channels to its line-up by August 31, 2012. The same ruling is requiring Shaw Direct, Canada's second largest DTH broadcaster to distribute an additional 80 standard definition channels to its line-up by January 1, 2013.
Related: CRTC demands will cost satellite TV subscribers millions of dollars
The receivers being replaced are the Bell 6100 and Bell 9200 receivers. Customers with the 6100 receiver will receive a model 6131 receiver. Customers with a 9200 will receive either a model 9241 or 9242 receivers. Once the 9242 stock is exhausted, a 9241 + 5900 will be shipped to customers with a 9200 two room solution.
Bell expects to replace an estimated 240,000 receivers in 193,000 homes.
Standard definition receivers such as the Model 3100 and 4100 will not be replaced.
The swap is expected to begin on October 23rd and is expected to be completed by the end of July 2012.
Discuss the Satellite receiver swap in Digital Home's Bell TV HD PVR and HD Receivers discussion forum.