Tag Archives: Sony Bravia

Using a Sony BRAVIA TV for Freesat

Many higher end Sony TV’s have had satellite tuners for a while now, and whilst you can easily connect it to a Sky dish and it’ll pick up and tune in channels, you will find that they are randomly allocated across the guide, which makes navigating them difficult. Compare this to similar Panasonic and Samsung TV’s that have proper official support for the Freesat EPG.

I decided to modify the EPG used by the TV in order to get it as close as I can to the Freesat order, allowing for a similar experience to an actual Freesat certified TV. This doesn’t fix the issue of lack of TV listings, since Freesat and Sky do not transmit their listings in the common DVB format so you will still be left with Now & Next only, you also won’t be able to decrypt the FTV channels, only view FTA channels that Freesat receivers can decode.

Whilst many Sony TV’s sold in the UK come with DVB-S2 compatible tuners, the issue is Freesat (and Sky) don’t use standard EIT (Event Information Table), which prevent these TV’s from being able to correctly manage these channels.

What You Need

USB Memory stick – Formatted to FAT32

Supported BRAVIA TV with a satellite tuner

Sony Channel Editor (Optional)

ChanSort (Recommended)

The Software

Sony Channel Editor

Sony Channel editor

I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, this software is garbage. Complete Garbage

Whilst it’s able to just do the bare minimum, its a horrible piece of software to navigate, and has a tendency to garble the interface if you select too many channels.

Sony channel editor
WTF?

I don’t get it, why is Sony incapable of producing software that is able to function property without glitching itself? Why did they feel the need to theme it all to hell and back, a simple Win32 application would have been more then welcome, but instead it has to be skinned. Just look at the open dialog

Why not just use the default Windows open dialog?

This is a frequent occurrence, Alt/tabbing sometimes fixes it, otherwise you will need to save and close.

This is also a pain, rearranging TV channels causes the software to get confused and plonks the channels out of order, see how it goes from 77 to 92, 93 and then back to 80

Chansort

After getting fed up with Sony’s software I instead opted for an alternative

Chansort Sony

Chansort is a channel list editing application designed for various TV and satellite receivers on the market. Simply open the sdb.xml extracted from your TV and away you go. This this it was easier to manage and reorganize the channel list to the Freesat order, rather than having channel spread across the EPG.

A common issue was when reordering the channel list with the Sony editor software, it would frequently push the channel list down, rather than replacing or swapping them. With Chansort, you can tell the software if you want to swap the channels, or just insert it before or after, whilst keeping the other channel intact. This became a huge problem with the Sony software as after organizing one section of the EPG, the rest would either shuffle out of their modified positions.

Testing

After making the changes I copied the xml file back to the memory stick and plugged it in the TV to import. After importing and letting the TV reboot, the custom channel list loaded.

Unfortunately I had then hit a snag, since the TV is set to automatically update the channel list, and because I had originally deleted the encrypted Sky channels of the guide, the TV decided to add the channels back into the EPG, and then decided to merge and slot them into the existing channel list, so whilst it kept my custom channel order (mostly), you ended up with a bunch of encrypted channels in between.

One solution to this was disabling the service update option, that would stop the TV from adding channels, but that would mean any new Freesat channels wouldn’t be picked up, also if a channel had changed transponders, then the TV would not pick up the new frequency, instead that channel would display a blank screen.

A workaround to this was to hide the channels instead of deleting them, so whilst the channels would still exist to the TV, they would be ignored. In addition I also moved the channels to the 1000+ section, so that in the event the TV does not hide the channels, they are out of the way from main view.

Considerations

  • Whilst the EPG now mirrors the Freesat guide, you still don’t get the full TV listings, rather the Now and Next data
  • When Sky/Astra add new channels, your TV will detect and will automatically add them to the guide, likewise if a channel changes frequency. You will then have to hide the channel, unless it’s a FTA channel that you want to view.
  • Regional channels, the BBC have multiple feeds for different regions, as do ITV for local news. Channel 4 also has different feeds for local advertising. These are all recognized by the TV as separate channels. Whilst the BBC channels are easy to figure out, since the region is in the channel name, ITV and channel 4 are more difficult, since they all have the same label (except for STV and UTV, although there are multiple STV regions) I ended up using the main London regions that a regular Sky box used if it had no viewing card inserted. Alternatively you could change the regions themselves using the same software I had used. Regardless I placed all regional channels in the 900 section, but they are not in a particular order.
  • Some channels are duplicated twice, like Challenge. This is due to Sky running different feeds for Sky and Freesat, maybe the Freesat versions have adverts targeting to resubscribing to Sky or NOWtv?
  • Some channels are FTA but they are not on Freesat, most of the music channels and many international non English channels, to solve this I allocated the 400 section for international channels since that range is vacant (not sure why Freesat has that empty?) music channel I used the old channel numbers, since many of them were on Freesat at some point
  • The Astra UHD test channels are assigned to 1-3, since they are interesting to view and many satellite Sony TV’s are 4K, 4-99 are vacant, My assumption is should the TV find new channels, they will be added here, making it easer to manage.
  • Also, when importing the satellite channel list, it will also replace the terrestrial Freeview channel list also. So after importing the channel list you may need to do a full rescan on the Freeview side unless your on the Sutton Coldfield transmitter. I’m currently looking at a way to remedy this

Download

SDB.xml – Contains the edit channel list that follows the Freesat line up

Download (Box)

Download (OneDrive)

Updated as of: 22nd April 2021

Importing (Export to TV)

  • Copy the sdb.xml file to a FAT32 formatted memory stick to the root of the drive (don’t place the file in any folders)
  • Insert the USB memory stick into the TV’s USB2 port
  • After a few seconds the TV should pop up with a message asking what to do with the memory stick, Select Cancel or Ignore
  • For newer models (Android 9), Press Home → Select Settings (Cog wheel) → Select Watch TV →  Select Channels  Program List Transfer →  Import
  • For older models (Android 8), Press Home → Select Settings→ Select Channel Setup →  [Digital setup] →  [Technical Set-up] →  [Program List Transfer] →  [Import]
  • The TV will then import the channel list and will then reboot

There are a few issues and inconsistences as outlined above, mostly with duplicated channels, and the auxiliary channels section being out of order (900+), hopefully the TV’s should have minimal issues with keeping the channels updated.

Channel List

NumberChannel name
1Astra UHD Demo
2SES UHD Demo
3Astra UHD Demo
101BBC One HD
102BBC Two HD
103ITV HD
104Channel 4 HD
105Channel 5 HD
106BBC Scotland
107BBC Four
108STV
109BBC ALBA
112UTV
113ITV2
114ITV2+1
115ITV3
116ITV3+1
117ITV4
118ITVBe
119ITVBe+1
120S4C HD
121Channel 4
122E4
124More4
125More4+1
1274seven
1295 USA
1305USA+1
1315STAR
132Paramount
1335SELECT
134CBS Drama
135CBS Reality
137CBS Justice
138horror channel
139horror ch+1
1415STAR+1
142Sony Channel
143Sony Channel+1
144Pick
145Pick+1
146Challenge
147Sky Arts
148Food Network
149Food Netwrk+1
150DMAX
154ITV4+1
155PBS America
157Dave
158Drama
159YESTERDAY
160Really
162BLAZE
164Together
165Forces TV
166HGTV
167QUEST
169Quest Red
170Quest Red
172YANGA!
173HGTV+1
176Smithsonian
177QUEST HD
179QUEST+1
180Drama
181Drama+1
182Dave
183Smithsonian HD
184Dave ja vu
185YESTERDAY+1
186Quest Red+1
187Vox Africa
190Hi-Impact TV
192Showcase
194c4 l
200BBC NEWS
201BBC Parliament
202Sky News
203Al Jazeera HD
205FRANCE 24 HD
206RT
207CNN HD
208Bloomberg HD
209NHK World HD
210CNBC
212BBC NEWS HD
213RT HD
214Arirang TV HD
215TRT World
217Euronews
218CNN
219CNBC HD
220SkyNewsArabia
221Arise News
222Sky News
223GEO News
224Al Jazeera Eng
225BBC NEWS
230TVC News
250SportyStuff HD
251FreeSports HD
272BET:BlackEntTv
300Film4
301Film4+1
302Sony Movies
303Sony Classic
305Sony Action
306TalkingPictures
307Sony Movies+1
308Sony Action+1
309Sony Classic+1
382Court TV
401NDTV 24×7
402Channels 24
403Dunamis TV
404ATN
405A1TV
406CHSTV
407Kanshi TV
40992 News
410Eman Channel
411Islam Channel
412AAJ TAK
413Republic Bharat
414HUM Masala
415Takbeer TV
416Iran Int’l HD
417Ahlebait TV
418Channel 7
419British Muslim
420PTC PUNJABI
421Aastha
422KTV
423MATV National
424BEN
426Noor TV
427Madani Chnl
428NTV
429Sangat
430Islam Ch Urdu
431HUM EUROPE
432PCNE Chinese
433mta-muslim tv
434Channel 44
435Hidayat TV
437GEO TV
438NTD
439PTV Global
440Travelxp
441Iran Int’l HD
450Brit Asia TV
451ARY Digital
452Sanskar
453Dunya News
454Islam TV
455IQRA BANGLA
456IQRA TV
457Deen TV
458Ahlulbayt TV
459Sikh Channel
460TV One
500Trace Hits
501Trace Vault
510Clubland TV
512NOW 90s
513NOW 80s
514NOW 70s
516Spotlight TV
518KISS
519The Box
521Box Hits
523Magic
524Kerrang!
600CBBC HD
601CBeebies HD
602CBBC
603POP
604POP Max
605Tiny Pop
606POP+1
607CBBC
608CBeebies
609Tiny Pop+1
610CBBC
611CBBC HD
612CITV
613CBeebies HD
614POP Max+1
615CITV
616CBeebies
617CBBC
642Cruise1st.tv
650Venus TV
672KICC TV
673Good News TV
674TBN UK
675Faith UK
676LoveWorld HD
677Celebration TV
678LoveWorld HD
679Faith World TV
680EWTN Catholic
681Inspiration TV
682DAYSTAR HD
684revelation
686GOD Channel
687Hillsong
688SonLife
700BBC R1
701BBC R1X
702BBC R2
703BBC R3
704BBC R4 FM
705BBC R5L
706BBC R5SX
707BBC 6 Music
708BBC R4 Ex
709BBC Asian
710BBC R4 LW
711BBC WS
712BBC R Scot.
713BBC R n Gael
714BBC R Wales
715BBC R Cymru
716BBC R Ulster
717BBC R Foyle
718BBC RLondon
719Capital
720Capital XTRA
721Classic FM
722Gold
723Radio X
724Absolute
726Absolute 80s
727BBC R Cymru 2
730Planet Rock
731talkSPORT
732Smooth
733Heart
734LBC
736Virgin Radio
745Hits Radio
750RTÉ Radio 1
751RTÉ 2FM
752RTÉ Lyric fm
753RTÉ R na G
754EWTN Catholic
755Newstalk
757Heart 80s
758Kiss
759Magic
760Absolute 90s
761WRN Europe
762Heart 90s
763LBC News
764Desi Radio
765Heart Dance
766Panjab Radio
767Khushkhabri
768TWR
769Jazz FM
770Scala Radio
771Sukh Sagar
772Classic Rock
786BFBS Radio
800QVC
801QVC Beauty
802QVC Extra
803QVC Style
805Gems TV
806Create&CraftHD
807JewelleryMaker
809TJC
810TJC HD
811High Street TV 5
812Ideal World HD
814JML Direct
815ROK
816High Street TV 1
817Hochanda
818Studio 66 3
819High Street TV 3
820New Vision TV
821Ideal Extra
822HGTV
823Best Direct
825Xpanded TV2
826Craft Extra
827High Street TV 2
828High Street TV 4
830Babenation
831Live 360
832Psychic Today
833Get Lucky TV
834TV Warehouse
835Thane
842Xpanded TV
844
870Channel 4
871Channel 5
872BBCScotlandHD
873E4+1
874e4
875S4C
876Channel 5+1
877CBS Drama
878CBS Reality
879CBS Reality+1
880CBS Justice
881Pick
882Really
883Food Network
884Challenge
885BBC One NI HD
886BBC Two HD
900ITV HD
901ITV
902ITV
903STV
904ITV
905ITV
906ITV
907ITV
908ITV
909ITV Wales
910ITV HD
911ITV
912STV HD
913STV
914STV
915STV
916STV
917UTV
918ITV+1
919UTV+1
920ITV+1
921ITV+1
922ITV+1
923BBC One ScotHD
924BBC One Wal HD
925BBC Four HD
926BBC Two
927BBC Two Wal HD
928BBC Two Wales
929BBC One East W
930STV
931ITV
932ITV HD
933ITV
934ITV HD
935ITV
936ITV HD
937ITV
938ITV HD
939ITV HD
940ITV HD
941ITV
942ITV HD
943ITV+1
944ITV HD
945UTV+1
946BBC One HD
947BBC One Lon
948ITV HD
949STV
950BBC One Lon
951BBC One CI
952BBC One Oxford
953BBC One East E
954BBC One E Mid
955BBC One N West
956BBC One S West
957BBC One NI
958BBC One Oxford
959BBC One S East
960BBC One Scot
961ITV HD
962BBC One S West
963BBC One W Mid
964BBC One Wales
965BBC One West
966BBC One Yorks
967BBC One South
968BBC One South
969BBC Two NI
970BBC One NI
971BBC Two NI
972BBC Two NI
974Channel 4
975Channel 4
976Channel 4
977Channel 4
978BBC One NI
979BBC One NE&C
980BBC One NI
981ITV
982ITV Wales HD
983UTV HD
984BBC Four HD
985Channel 4+1
986Channel 4+1
987Channel 4+1
988Channel 4+1
989ITV
990BBC One Yk&Li
991BBC Two NI
992ITV HD
993ITV+1
994ITV HD
995BBC Four
996BBC RB 1
997BBC Two
998BBC ALBA
999BBC One NI HD