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Astra 2E Update


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For the folks who are, or are thinking of going, south for the winter and were concerned that they would no longer be able to get the Free to Air channels, the following may be of interest to you:


Astra 2E, which is due to take a lot more of the UK tv stations, has completed test (last week) at 43.5 degrees. Normally on completion of testing the satellite is moved into the broadcasting position fairly quickly but since last week it hasn't set off for the broadcast position of 28.2 degrees. That is most unusual - particularly as this satellite is many months behind schedule.


SES (The owners) have now said that the move to 28.2 degrees will take place "over several weeks beginning in early February"


After the move it would normally be re tested before broadcasters are migrated to it.


The bottom line is that if you are currently receiving the channels you want in Spain / Portugal you should be ok for reception until (probably) the end of March.

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From face book


"As part of SES' ongoing fleet renewal programme, we will be transferring all the UK Spot Beam transponders currently operating on ASTRA 1N across to ASTRA 2E.

This move at the 28.2/28.5ºEast orbital location will take place over several weeks beginning early February 2014.

The transfer will have no adverse implications for viewers in the UK and Ireland as the affected channels will continue to operate on the same frequencies and will be broadcast at the same, or slightly improved power levels, across the UK and Ireland.

TV viewers outside the UK and Ireland may see an impact and may not be able to receive channels from ASTRA 2E UK Spot Beam, which has a smaller footprint than ASTRA 1N. The new footprint on SES' replacement fleet has been designed to meet the requirements of UK and Irish broadcasters who target their channels for distribution in the UK and/or Ireland. UK and Irish broadcasters hold broadcasting rights only for the UK and/or Ireland but not for other countries."



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  • 2 weeks later...

Something else to bear in mind is that SES have turned off the horizontal search beam. You need to modify some settings in your Tuner before you'll find the satellite you need.


We didn't know about this when we arrived on the Costa Blanca about 3 weeks ago*. We've got an 80 cm Oyster auto skew and wheras in previous years I have been able at least to get Radio 4, this time I couldn't find anything. My neighbours on the camping poo poohed the idea of getting BBC with my paltry kit. What I needed was one of these ... (see attached pix) and specifically the 2 cwt angle iron base it sits on.


It is certainly Christmas for the local Spanish satellite installer who is having a field day selling 1 meter + dishes to Brits, telling them it's the only way to get BBC &ITV. But he may be a little economical with the truth.


I toyed with buying a 1m monster but couldn't justify binning it when we headed for home, after all where do you store one of these things in a motorcaravan? and what about the weight?


On the offcahnce I called Oyster and they could not have been more helpful, particulalry Anthony Read, Senior Technical Advisor. He sent me instructions that I hadn't found on the website detailling how to swap the search beam from H to V


You can view the instructions here:



The instructions mention 4 beam options. My tuner only had 3 but the one I chose has worked.


Much to the amazement of my neighbours I can now watch BBC & ITV and listen to R4. Except in HEAVY rain like we had 2 nights ago.


I found it was important to centre the skew before searching and to select a strong channel like CNN. Once locked on to Astra, I can select any of the BBC / ITV channels that I've tuned previously.


I initially confused myself over the oyster satellite Menu options (but these haven't been updated since 2008 when I installed the kit). e.g. ASTRA 1, (as my box refers to it ) is at 19.2 E and it is not ASTRA 1 N - which is part of the Astra 2 cluster at 28.2 E (and which my tuner refers to not as Astra 2 but as "Astra") Hmmmmmmmm. BUT I understand that if I update my box via satellite, all the new info will come flooding in, but my wife has insisted that any more games have to wait till after the strictly finals tonight.


* In case your thinking "when did he start NOT getting TV", the answer is we ferried to Santander and found ourselves under trees on the campsites we stayed in on the way across. As a result we didn't bother putting the dish up, so the answer is..I don't know. Last summer we were in the Medoc and had no problems whatsoever.. perhaps we were tuned to another beam? (It's a black art to me.. I'm sure someone can explain)


Anyway time for some pistachios a few olives and a glass of fino. Then come on Sir Bruce!



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johnnerontheroad - 2013-12-12 10:12 AM


The new footprint on SES' replacement fleet has been designed to meet the requirements of UK and Irish broadcasters who target their channels for distribution in the UK and/or Ireland. UK and Irish broadcasters hold broadcasting rights only for the UK and/or Ireland but not for other countries."




As Sky have found out, there is no limit to where any broadcaster can transmit across europe, other countries broadcasters have no problems with transmitting on wide beams, this is how I watch the F1 races that the BBC don't transmit live.

At present have been told we will have to align our i-sat manually until the new sat comes on line.

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Yes Hughmer - Anthony at Oyster is a great guy - very helpful.


At the moment you should (after updating any default transponders as you have) be able to get most 0f the BBC stuff as it is still coming from Astra 1N which is still temporarily at 28 degrees (once 2E is in operation it should disappear over to the 19 degree slot).


The 2 new satellites 2E and F have much smaller footprints and the BBC and ITV will be moving to 2E when it gets into position in February. 2F is already there and many people have reported that they have lost Ch5 (broadcasting on the 2F UK Spot beam) from about 2 thirds of the way down France (depending on dish size).


It is too early to make decisions about dish sizes in southern Spain as many ex pats are considering they may require dishes of 3 meters plus to get the new UK spot beams - Best wait and see or buy a 3 meter dish and use it as a sail to save on diesel! :-D

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Bernie, what's the position on Sky premium channels like Sports and Movies? Are they not staying on a pan-euro beam? When we talk about 'UK channels' being harder to pick up as in the move to a tighter spot beam, we are teal king about the free to air BBC/ITV type channels, aren't we?
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Hi Chris


Yes - The main losers will be those who don't subscribe as the broadcasters we think of as the national one's - BBC, ITV, Ch4 and 5 will all be on the UK spot beams. Ch5 and the other 5 group channels are already on the Astra 2F spot and they are already showing problems any further south than southern France (depending on dish size).


For the time being most of the subscription channels will be on the new "Pan European" beams of the new satellites - The advertised footprint of the "Pan European" beams for the new satellites looks to be better than the old "Pan European" beams with more of Italy and former Eastern Block countries being covered.


Once the Astra 2G satellite is launched in the second quarter of 2014 there will be more spare capacity on "Spot Beams" and I would expect that more of the FTA (Free To Air) channels will migrate to spot beams.


The footprint maps shown on www.lyngsat.com, I think, are a bit pessimistic and with a decent dish like the Oyster 85cm I should think that the UK spots should be still receivable down to the middled of France and across to the middle of Germany. The main thing though is that I certainly wouldn't expect the sort of coverage that we have been used to on FTA whilst Astra 2D and 1N have been broadcasting those channels.


Anyone wanting to have some programming on holiday say in Spain and Portugal may have to learn a bit more about their systems in order to use other satellite broadcasters. e.g when we are in Portugal (where in some places reception can be patchy) I often use the BADR satellites at 26 degrees and watch some of the MBC and Bahrain TV which is broadcast in English with Arabic sub titles.

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