Freesat and Sky viewers in the UK have been assured by the BBC that "no viewer actions should be required".
Astra 2E was officially brought into service on the 1st February 2014 by its operator SES. The new satellite is taking over carrying BBC channels from Astra 1N, which is scheduled to move position to serve Central Europe.
Short breaks in transmission were observed from around 0330 GMT this morning as SES Astra switched transponders of channels over to the new satellite.
"Generally the new transponder will improve reception in the South East of England, the north eastern coast of East Anglia, the North East of Scotland and the Shetland Isles."
"Northern France and Belgium may see an improvement, outside of this area there may be a slight reduction in coverage with the need for a larger receive antenna."
BBC TV and radio for the UK is broadcast from satellites located the 28 degrees East orbital position. BBC channels were moved to Astra 1N in 2012 when the Astra 2D satellite was put into retirement. Astra 2D was the first satellite to have a UK spot beam, which enabled the free-to-air public service broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to unencrypt their services without incurring broadcast rights issues from broadcasting across the whole of Europe.
Most UK households will be able benefit from a slightly stronger satellite signal, meaning better reception is possible in stormy weather, when thick clouds obscure the line of sight to the satellite.
|The official SES coverage map for mini-dish users.|
Viewers in southern, parts of central and eastern Europe are expected to lose reception as a result of the new Astra 2E "UK spot beam" being more tightly focussed on the UK than that of its predecessor, Astra 1N. They lost access to some UK services that moved to Astra 2F during late 2012 and early 2013, which has a similar UK spot beam.
Early indications show that European viewers who lost Channel 5 (standard definition) when Astra 2F went live have now lost all BBC TV and radio services.
Reception around the edge of the spotbeam can vary from hour-to-hour and from season-to-season, so some viewers may not realise that there has been a change for several weeks.
Commercial channels will commence migration shortly.
BBC One Scotland HD, BBC One Wales HD, BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD are unaffected by the changes - these channels launched on Astra 2F last year, and will remain on that satellite. These channels have since launch been difficult to receive in Europe.
This is an update to the article first published on 04/02/2014 at 15:22 GMT.
BBC services on satellite: Reference Guide ►
|Since February 2014, all of the main UK free-to-air broadcasters now broadcast their service via either the Astra 2E or 2F satellites, which have a considerably reduced footprint or spotbeam aimed at the British Isles. Additionally reception around the edges of the spotbeam can vary dramatically over the course of a year. Find out more...|
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