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Thursday, 6 February 2014

[ARCHIVE] BBC switches satellite services to Astra 2E

UPDATE: Most BBC TV and Radio services have switched satellite, and are now broadcasting from the new Astra 2E satellite. The changeover occurred earlier this morning.

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.

The BBC has moved to reassure UK viewers stating: "care has been taken to ensure the minimum of impact to UK viewers both during and after the change, such that no viewer actions should be required."

"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.
European reception
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.

Unaffected channels
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





Special coverage
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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New comments are not allowed, as this article is now more than 14 days old. Please see the Q&A page to continue your discussion on this topic or to see answers to some the questions raised below. 

416 comments:

  1. I would love to hear reception reports from readers in continental Europe following the changes. To comment here, you need to have a Google account (e.g. for Gmail, Google+ or YouTube). Alternatively you can tweet @a516digital. Comments made here may be entered in a moderation queue first, so may not appear immediately on the site. Please do not use this function to advertise IPTV products or websites.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Lost all BBC services in Barcelona

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    2. 110km north-east of Toulouse with an antiquated 730mm dish, we seem to have retained everything except BBC1 HD and BBC2 HD. Standard definition BBC 1 and 2 are ok, as is Radio 4 (haven't tested any other radio channels). We lost Al Jazeera in the autumn. Any explanation for why we have only lost some BBC?

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    3. I live in Assat near Pau in SW France (an hour from the Spanish border) and this morning we have lost all BBC channels including BBC One Scotland HD, BBC One Wales HD, BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD which were supposed to be unaffected by the changes. Our current dish is fairly new but quite small - what size dish should I replace it with?

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    4. I live in Mijas, Malaga Spain and have lost all BBC TV and radio channels, including World Service. Is there a solution?

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    5. I live south of alicante and I am receiving all BBC channels with a reduced signal strength and quality. I have a 1.8m dish, Invacom Quad-Output C120 LNB and Humax freesat .

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    6. Lot et Garonne 47 France - BBC1 and BBC2 lost on 60cm dish. All OK on the 90cm dish

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    7. Lost all bbc channels and channel 5 - I am devestated!!!! May have to move back to England at this rate. Will try bigger dish before packing!!!

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    8. All BBC gone - Silves, Algarve, Portugal.

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    9. Lost all BBC in Languedoc, France

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    10. Sorry if this is a stupid question but as I understand it Sky Ireland offer different packages to the rest of the UK and as part of their packages offer the BBC and ITV channels. If Sky have moved to the European beam on Astra 2e could we not get BBC and ITV by using an Irish viewing card?

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    11. Live in Liguria in north west Italy. Lost channel 5 a few weeks ago and all BBC last night. Have a 1m dish.

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    12. West coast of Norway near Alesund 300km north of Bergen. Gilbertini 135cm. Lost all BBC channels today. Boo Hoo as just bought the dish before xmas.

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    13. Have lost all BBC reception. Have a 1.8m dish in Lisbon, Portugal. Everything was fine until yesterday.

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    14. Lot et Garonne 47420 Lost HD BBC channels except for CBBC HD and BBC News HD. BBC1 is ok but had to migrate from BBC2 England to BBC2 Wales( or Scotland or NI) to get a good BBC2 reception. Everything else is OK for the moment!

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    15. Here in Hamburg lost everything yesterday (Thursday) except ITV, Channel 4, E4, More4. I have a 90cm dish which previously delivered an excellent signal. Like all other expats I'm devastated.

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    16. Hannover Germany, lost C5 a few months ago, yesterday BBC disappeared, various internet sites say ITV & C4 to follow soon, still getting all SKY channels and this afternoon BBC has come back on again - not sure if it is temporary ???

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    17. Whats with the BBC don't they want the rest of Europe to enjoy their pinko politics?.Joking aside its a damn shame as local TV is vomit making . We wouldn't even mind paying a license .

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    18. We have lost all reception in western Portugal

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  2. I live in the south of France and this morning 6th February I have woken up to find BBC has gone. I will try a bigger dish if I'm convinced this will get the BBC working again?

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    1. In the South of France (depends exactly where, as there are large regional variations within a relatively short distance), a larger dish should restore BBC TV services. As the migration is only a few hours old, there are still few reception reports to clarify who can still get the BBC channels and with what size satellite dish in each location. Hold fire with regards satellite dish sizes until a few more reception reports come in...

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  3. I live in Northern Italy and switched on the telly this morning to find no BBC - still have ITV, but it's little consolation. Is there any way to get the BBC again, apart from watching it in streaming on the PC??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless you are able to invest in a massive satellite dish, the BBC will no longer be available free-to-air via satellite in your area. Early indications show there is a massive drop off from the UK spot beam over Northern Italy, on a par with Astra 2F, which already carries Channel 5 (SD), resulting a substantial variations in dish size required over a relatively short distance.

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  4. I live in Munich, Germany and woke up this morning to no BBC channels. Anyway, of getting them back ? or do I now need to resort to Internet ?

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    1. Early indications show that viewers in SE Germany need a much larger dish size to receive BBC TV services.

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    2. I own a 1.25 dish, living in Munich and yesterday found NO BBC channels!!

      I dread to think what size is needed - I dare not place a larger dish on my balcony - even if I could fit one on - which is very doubtful!!

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  5. Keep the reception reports coming!

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    1. All BBC channels lost in Barcelona with a 140 cm dish

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    2. Oh dear... That was the kind of size I thought would work.

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    3. Sorry to say it doesn't! I was going to go for a really good LNB when I lost channel 5 but never got around to it. I might try a bigger dish but anything over 180 cm will be a problem for me. I'm just going to wait until I now what size is needed.

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    4. It's not looking good at all. There used to be a cold spot in the Alacant/València area. It seems the cold spot has moved up north and Alacant/València is now a hot spot.

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  6. Reception in Tenerife very poor for all bbc channels and itv, it was very good before the change. I have a 3 metre dish is there anything I can do to improve the service. The signal strength shows better than before, but picture is breaking up.

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    1. Sadly Tenerife is not going to be able to receive a reliable signal from Astra 2E. 3 metres is already a very large dish size; a larger dish may provide more stable reception, but may not be practical.
      Shame the BBC's international channels aren't beefed up a bit to appeal a bit more to the obviously large expat market.

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  7. I'm in Toulouse - I woke up this morning to no BBC, all ITV etc. is OK though - what a pain, just before a big 6 Nations weekend ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happily all 3 matches are on France 2, if you have access to French TV.

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    2. You're in France, so you can watch it for free anyway!

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  8. I'm in Benalmadena, Malaga Spain - BBC all gone! (2.1 meter Dish) :-(

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  9. We live 50km south of Barcelona and this morning all the BBC channels are gone. Need to check into ways to get these channels back as I am sure a lot of the other channels will be moving over soon as well. I heard that maybe if I subscribed to SKY HD I could get the BBC HD channels but do not want to subscribe until I know that it will work. I guess last resort will be an internet connection to the SKY HD box. I am hoping that it will only be a larger dish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sky HD uses the same signal for BBC HD as your current satellite service. A larger dish may be in order. Until more reception reports with dish sizes come in, it is difficult to recommend a size - sidelobes from the UK spotbeam will provide localised hotspots in reception. Trying to ascertain where they are at the moment...

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    2. A little further south, in Cunit, 54 km from Barcelona, no BBC channels this morning. Retuned, but no new channels. I've been watching the BBC for over 13 years now, and I can't go back to Spanish TV now. I am not an expat, but British TV is part of our family.

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    3. We are in Cunit as well and I know what you mean. I am looking at a possible solution of a VPN router connected to the SKY-HD box to get the shows back. From what I have read it is not going to be live TV on these channels but the SKY Catchup. Want to find the best solutions first. So far I do not believe you get the BBC News or ITV news with catchup :-(

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  10. We're near Sitges and can confirm that all BBC channels are gone - plus we lost Channel 5 last year, as the article suggested. Any tips more than welcome!

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  11. Any idea of what size dish would be required to get the reception back in Toulouse, South West France please?

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    1. The signal drops off rapidly across France. Toulouse needs 1 metre or more for reliable reception, according to early reports. Astra 2F spotbeam has a habit of wobbling at the sides, impacting fringe reception. Too early to say if the same is true of Astra 2E spot.

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    2. Have to add the various sat receivers have different levels of sensitivity, which may also impact on reception in fringe zones.

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    3. John Walker - comment further down the page - reports 1 metre dish with BBC reception in Toulouse. You might want 1.2 metres to give a reserve in bad weather.

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  12. south west spain 100 kms north west of Seville, all BBC ITV TV and radio gone, only satellie broadband available with data cap are there any options now to get BBC Radio at least ?

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    Replies
    1. Outside of UK spot beam, the only way to get BBC Radio is via the internet (World Service excluded).

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  13. Vichy France 80 cm dish drop in signal strength and quality to around 75% on Feb 6th 08:50GMT

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  14. Cannes, France 90cm dish, sky + box.

    All bbc tv and Radio have gone. ITV remains. CH5 was lost last year as mentioned.

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  15. 20km North of Barcelona, lost all BBC with 1.10m dish

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    1. Me too, although mine is 90cm so not surprising. I wonder whether it's worth phoning local satellite-installation companies to ask them if they've carried out tests. They might be willing to test it on their premises if they think they might get business from us.

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  16. Southwest of Toulouse on the border with Spain in the Central Pyrenees. Woke up this morning all BBC channels disappeared, all other channels we had are ok at the moment.

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  17. Carcassonne s/w France 1m dish excellent signal sky plus box, no bbc

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  18. Le Luc, Provence, France. As of last night/thismorning no BBC of any description. 85cm dish, standard box. Have read elsewhere thaat a 1.2metre dish is the answer. Any further news appreciated ?

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    Replies
    1. Sounds about right. Get a professional installer to do a signal check though before committing to a dish size. Variations depending on weather and time of day may have a significant impact in fringe reception areas - better to go larger to maintain reliable reception in all conditions.

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    2. Thanks folks.. Bit of a concern that a 1 metre dish has lost the BBC in Carcasonne though. Maybe 1.2 metre won't cut the mustard. Appreciate any real time info from anyone in southern France before I decide the course of action....

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  19. Roquefort (20mins from Nice, France), FreeSat with 80cm dish. All BBC (except BBC1 Scotland and Wales) gone this morning... ITV, C4, C5 still OK (incl HD).

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  20. Lezignan Corbieres (between Carcassonne and Narbonne) lost all BBC. Used to get intermittent CH.5 but that's gone today too. 80cm dish. Hoping perhaps a 110cm dish may work but waiting to see what happens locally before spending money.

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  21. Living near Mazarron Spain, Good quality signal on all UK spot beam channels 1.85 dish and good quad lnb, but have heard 1.45 dish owners are getting break up problems, bbc2 seems the weakest.

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  22. North of Barcelona BBC gone...let us know in due course if a larger dish would work...Thanks1

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  23. Just outside Toulouse. All OK so far with 1m dish. Measured signal levels have reduced by around 6dB on BBC channels.

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  24. Live between Narbonne and Carcassonne, (Hi Leanne!), have 80cm dish, lost BBC 2 and BBC HD channels, BBC 1 and BBC news OK, so sounds like 80cm here is on fringes and a 1m or 1.2m may be OK. I'm also worried about poster in Carcassonne with 1m dish losing everything..

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    1. One expat is still receiving BBC channels in Southern Spain with a 1.8m dish.... Therefore a bigger dish here in south of France should work

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  25. Lost BBC TV in Germany, near Leipzig. Using a 1.2 metre dish. Will post agin if I find it on another satellite. David

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    1. The BBC's UK services are only broadcast free-to-air via Astra 2E/F for domestic use.

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  26. Having lived in France and Switzerland since 1958 and living in a multilingual family I had at one time both Sky and CanalSat subscriptions; The increasing offer by Canal of original language programmes caused me to drop Sky, especially as BBC, ITV etcoffered additional shows. I have no doubt that the decision to change to Astra 1E and deprive expats from receiving free viewing is due to an agreement with Sky in order to increase their subscription base.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's a case of rights for sports coverage. In Spain, for instance, you need Canal+ for the World Cup. If Canal+ has paid lots of money for exclusive coverage they don't want another broadcaster providing it for free.

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    2. I watch EPL and will be able to watch the World Cup on bein Sports here in Spain. Bein Sports formerly Al Jazeera Sports.

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  27. In Cannes area, France. Our 80cm not working and have heard of at least one 1m dish not working either. Have confirmation of two 1.25m dishes working fine though. Hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now hearing of 1m dishes working in some areas here. So it seems 1m is hit and miss, 1.25m definitely works, in between to be confirmed.

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  28. Lost all BBC channel with sky (non hd) box and 1 metre dish. Badalona (Barcelona) Spain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NE Spain in a dead spot, just like Astra 2F (home of Channel 5 SD). You'll be needing a much bigger dish in Catalonia. 1.5 m and more.

      From early reception reports, it appears Astra 2E has the same sidelobe over Valencia, giving a very, very localised hotspot. So whereas you might think Valencia, being further out of the spot needs a bigger dish than in Catalonia, that's not the case - 1.2 metres and over normally suffice.

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    2. Interesting..thanks for that. If you get a specific size report please post...thank you

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  29. All BBC channels have gone here in Linz, Austria. Not sure any sized dish is going to bring it back here. Have to rely on the proxy server from now on. Channel 4 is still here...for the being.

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    1. All BBC here in Niedernsill Salzburgerland lost, using 1.5 meter dish. looks like a 2.4 meter dish needed

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  30. Lost all BBC in Gothenburg Sweden with a 90cm dish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly Astra 2E doesn't favour much of Scandinavia - I hear some northern areas even having trouble with pan Europe beam as well...

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  31. Lost all BBC today in Salzburg region- thought it would still work through sky box from Uk, but that and also just using a free view box both have given up.

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  32. Julie Taylor Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Lost channel 5 last year, now all BBC gone :-( ITV still there. Retune no use. We have 1.2m dish - amazed we are affected - do we need a bigger dish or am I too stupid to understand how to retune to new satellite? All help will save sanity xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A larger dish may help... the drop off over Germany is massive - it also depends which side of Schleswig-Holstein you live in - North Sea or Baltic (Ost) Sea side. 1.5 metres may change things for you - but do get a professional to do a signal test for you.

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    2. I´m in Hamburg and the same has happened to me...lost channel 5 last year and now all of the BBC channels..will it be permanent?? should I also buy a bigger dish? Will this really make a difference? Am devastated

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  33. Lost all BBC near Barcelona, with Freeview. Channel 5 went last year. Any other channels that might be going?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ITV regions and Channel 4 will be moving to Astra 2E. ITV(1) HD moves to Astra 2F's UK spotbeam - Astra 2F is where C5 is at the moment.

      Sky subscribers may still get C5HD, because this is hosted by Sky on the pan-Europe beam.

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  34. Lost all BBC near Figueres, Spain ( 90cm dish)

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  35. lost all BBC SW France situated bet Biarritz and Pau will a 1.2 dish get me back on or will I need even bigger Channel 5 lost last year also

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    Replies
    1. In South West France, the spotbeam falls off a cliff within a very short distance. In fact NE Spain is a known blackspot. If you can go upto 1.5 metres in order to ensure a more reliable experience, even in bad weather. The UK spotbeam also has differences in reception depending on time of day, so you need to have sufficient reserve to keep watching TV when signal levels drop.
      Do speak to a professional satellite installer before committing to a new dish size.

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    2. Thank you for advice will let you know what happens as soon as I get new dish installed

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  36. South of Munich, 90cm dish, all BBC gone! What dish size is required!!
    What happened to the EU Law that each member state must provide its TV for the other EU members!

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    Replies
    1. That isn't a law - you are allowed to receive other countries' free-to-air broadcasts (the status of pay TV for domestic users is being looked at) - but a broadcaster does not have to make its channels available across the whole of the EU.

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    2. Sadly there's no such law. What happened is that a pub in the UK was allowed to show some matches that they received legally from a foreign platform, but platforms are discouraged from selling to foreign countries. I have no sympathy for digital rights holders organizations, it's so sad, as DVDzones again , and again .... as if internet doesn't exist. Afterwards they cry if things go bad for them when they're the first that promote piracy by abusing the consumer.

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  37. Living in Avignon South of France
    I lost all The BBC Channels
    Which size of dish is recommended- I have 2 dishes 65 & 85cm
    Shall I need a 120/130cm dish?

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  38. No signal in Copenhagen, Denmark anymore using a 80 cm dish w/ amplifier. What a shame.

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    Replies
    1. Amplifier? Plese explain - maybe it would boost my 1.25 in Munich!!

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    2. Hearing Munich needs 2 metres to be able to cope with the daily fluctuations of the signal that is being experienced round the edge of the spotbeam.

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    3. Fangs for the info - David

      Steve

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  39. Lost all BBC channels in Tarentaise, Rhone alpes with a 70cm dish, whatabout the Olympics? and how much bigger should I go?

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    Replies
    1. In Val D'Isere, BBC Channels still intact, 60cm dish, cheap sensitive Comag box.

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  40. Hi Niall - Cannes - I am also in Cannes, and have Sky on 80 cm dish - looking forward to any confirmation that 1.25m dish will be OK here for lost channels - David

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  41. 1.4 dish algarve no service. What sized dish is it likely I will need?

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    Replies
    1. I've heard reports that not even a 4 metre dish in the Algarve will pick up the spotbeam. If you are a domestic user, I would strongly recommend that you seek expert advice.

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  42. Lost all BBC in Ronda, Malaga.......1.2m dish. Still seeing ITV and all other channels but have heard it go tonight! Can watch it on the internet, but not quite the same

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  43. is it worth waiting for things to settle before getting larger dishes ?

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    Replies
    1. From a broadcast point of view, there's nothing to settle down - the change has happened and that's the final situation.

      However for viewers outside of the official Astra 2E spotbeam footprint, satellite installers need to find out where the hotspots and blackspots are and to see how different times of the day/year and weather conditions affect reception. Astra 2F's spotbeam has had a noticeable habit of wobbling a bit around the edges, and Astra 2E might be the same.

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  44. Carcassonne 1.2m dish, will need bigger, no bbc or ch5.

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  45. Same in Palau Saverdera, only been using a 60cm dish though. We have huge winds here so need a VERY LARGE MESH DISH, will fit one and report

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  46. We have a new 1m20 dish. We live about 60 km south west of Toulouse. Although we had all channels this morning we lost all BBC reception this afternoon around 3 pm. How big a dish will we need?

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    Replies
    1. As mentioned further up the page, the reception in SW France drops off rapidly - so dish sizes need to increase dramatically over a relatively short distance. 1.5 metre is what you need to be aiming for. NE Spain - from which you are not that far from (relatively speaking) is a dead spot for the UK spotbeam, where big dish sizes are needed.

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  47. We have lost all BBC TV and Radio this morning. We live in Agen is SW France

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  48. Lost all BBC channels in Teresa de Cofrentes, Ayora Valley, Valencia region.

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    Replies
    1. There's a hotspot around Valencia, where some people are getting the BBC channels with 1.2 metres - it's very localised, otherwise consult a local sat installer (although they will be busy assessing the situation and conducting signal tests at the moment).

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  49. lost all BBC in the Tarn dept 81 near Castres

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  50. Les in Plzen Czech Republic, I have a 1.8m and lost all BBC, is there any way to get other English programs?

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    Replies
    1. Outside of the UK spot beam - even with a 1.8m dish, your satellite alternatives are BBC World News and BBC Entertainment (subscription) in the Czech Republic. Pro7 Maxx from Germany occasionally shows UK/US shows with English soundtrack. Sky News is also available on Astra 1 across Europe.

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  51. West of the Aveyron department, SW France, near Villefranche de Rouergue. 80cm dish - no BBC anything!

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  52. Just 40 miles South East of Hamburg Germany, all gone this morning.

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    1. 1.2-1.5 metres I'm hearing for your area, for stable all day reception - you are right on the edge where the signal drops rapidly every mile you move away from the spotbeam - complicated by the fact that the spotbeam does appear to wobble slightly, meaning reception is better during the day than in the evening.

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    2. Thanks!
      So call the sat installer, get him to measure the signal then decide on the size??!

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    3. Yes, a professional satellite dish installer with experience in installing satellite dishes for non-German TV should be able to offer you an expert opinion as to what is appropriate for your area and have the relevant signal measuring equipment. German language sites such as the forums at digitalfernsehen.de are also a good place to compare reception reports within Germany.

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  53. I live 10 kms North of Gaillac, France - 55 kms North East of Toulouse. As with everyone else, lost all BBC overnight! I am hoping that a 1m or a 1.2m dish is going to work. Grateful for any updates/advice. Please don't mention the 6 Nations and the Olympics!!!

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    Replies
    1. A 1-1.2m dish north of Toulouse should provide reception.

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  54. Not sure if its relevant, but we are still getting a broken up picture and broken sound on the BBC 1 and BBC 2 channels, all on a 60 cms dish.

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  55. All bbc itermitent untiill 7pm .now allback to Normal how long for is a guess.on 1 .9 dish.see how it goes.on freesat box tune to 12050 v 27500 will get you etv which is bbc london

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  56. Forgot to say am in sax 45 kms north of Alicante to ward Madrid.

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  57. Estepona, Costa Del Sol. All BBC channels gone. 1.2 meter dish. Does anybody know if it is possible to get a signal with a larger dish here is southern Spain?

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  58. 40km SE of Toulouse near Revel. Just hanging on to SD BBC channels but HD channels too intermittent to be watchable. Triax 110cm dish, quattro lnb & switch, Foxsat HD box.

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  59. Lost all BBC channels this morning with a 60 cm dish - Albi, Tarn. Borrowed an 80 cm dish and managed to get good BBC 1 signal, but none of the others. Would like to know what size dish I need before buying.

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  60. we live in almeria spain and the same as all the above no bbc or hd channels as one person as already said it is a shame for all us expats surely there is something to be done

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    1. Until the late 1990s, it wasn't possible to receive the BBC's UK channels on satellite, back then the Spanish versions of the UK newspapers replaced BBC One, Two etc listings with BBC World and BBC Prime, which did simulcast BBC One programmes.
      Now, BBC wise, if you can't get the BBC's UK channels, it's BBC World News (Free to air) and BBC Entertainment (subscription), although BBC Entertainment would do well to make a few adjustments to its schedule to welcome back Expats to its channel, after most deserted it (when it was BBC Prime) once BBC One/Two became receivable in Spain.

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    2. "something to be done". While I'll miss UK TV, we have no "right" to it. We were just getting spillover, in the same way that you can listen to Five Live or Radio 4 LW in much of France. And if I were Canal+ Spain, having paid lots of money for exclusive rights to World Cup matches, I wouldn't have been very happy about people getting those games for free in Spain. I'm surprised we got UK TV for so long.

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    3. I wouldn't mind paying a yearly subscription for the BBC channels. I am aware you pay your TV licence over in the UK. I'd gladly pay my share.

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  61. saw on Twitter that someone with 110cm dish near Cannes still gets BBC channels, albeit with a 15% loss in signal strength...
    I am 4 miles away and no signal with an 80cm dish...

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  62. I am situated near Voiron 20km north of Grenoble. Signal quality down to 40-50% on BBC channels with 60cm dish. SIgnal unchanged on Channel 4HD etc (Astra 2E) at around 75%.

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  63. I live in Alsace, Eastern France and we lost all bbc although dish is only 60 cm.......one thing that I'm confused about is that we were on Astra 28 E.......is there a better alternative for my position?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 80-90cms will likely fix it for you. No other satellite offers BBC UK channels free to air.

      Delete
  64. Living near Nürnberg, Germany and all BBC channels have gone. We have an 80 cm dish. Any idea of what size of dish we'll need now ?

    Many thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something around 1.2m likely to be needed to be sure of good reception. The fringe of the spot beam wobbles across Germany though:

      Some UK services moved to sister satellite Astra 2F at the end of 2013. Viewers have observed how the area in which a certain dish size is required moves backwards and forwards across Germany in a 24 hour period - indicating how sharp the drop off is. Astra 2E's spotbeam, according to reception reports, is practically identical. If you can go 1.4m, for example, then you have a reserve for the times of the day/year when signal levels drop or when there is bad weather.

      Delete
  65. No BBC this morning 60Km south of Toulouse (1.2M dish). As a temporary measure, pending clarification of options, I can now watch the BBC channels via iPlayer by subscribing to PureVPN. For $49.95 per year it routes your internet access via a UK server. This fools iPlayer into thinking you are in the UK My internet connection is about 1.75-2 Mb/sec and it works OK with only occasional freezing whilst buffering. If you have fast broadband I'm sure it would be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Having spoken to several Satellite installation companies and specialist equipment providers in the marine satellite sector in the UK - I have been advised not to invest in bigger/better equipment just yet.

    Apparently what we are seeing now is phase 2 of a 3 phase project - once the 3rd new/upgraded satellite is launched - around april and with testing etc - a switch over date expected to be around sept/oct - even with larger dishes we will struggle to receive the free to air channels......Ive been told to sit tight and wait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is some fact in that statement, but not enough to hold back from upgrading your dish:

      Satellite operator SES has been replacing its aging satellites at 28 degrees East.

      The first generation of satellites, originally brought in service at the dawn of Sky Digital are or have ended their service life.

      Astra 1N was put in service to cover until more Astra 2 satellites were ready to enter service:

      And this is where the three phases come in:

      The new satellites are Astra 2E, 2F and 2G.

      Astra 2F was launched first (out of alphabetic order). Channel 5 and some BBC HD channels went on its UK spotbeam, meaning viewers in parts of Europe lost access to these channels. Because C5 HD on Sky was unaffected, and viewers could still access BBC One HD versions on Astra 1N, not many noticed.

      Astra 2E is now being put into service. The remaining BBC, ITV (not ITV2,3,4HD), Channel 4 services are/have been moved to this satellite. As key services are being moved, it is now being noticed by viewers in Spain and other parts of Europe.

      Astra 2G will follow later this year. It will have the potential to carry more channels on a UK spot beam. It will also have back-up capacity, if one of the other satellites fails.


      This means that the opposite to what you are saying is the case:

      those viewers who reacted when the first services (e.g. C5 standard def) moved to the new UK spotbeam on Astra 2F and upgraded their dish size last year are now sitting pretty with reception of the BBC TV and radio services that migrated to Astra 2E last night. This is because reception reports seem to strongly suggest that the spotbeams are similar.

      The launch of Astra 2G will not suddenly make reception of the channels that have moved to Astra 2E and F any worse. All it will do is give the satellite operator more capacity for services to use UK spot beam, and act as a back up for Astra 2E/F. Astra 2G's spotbeam is scheduled to be the same as Astra 2E/F, so that viewers who have upgraded will continue to enjoy services, while viewers who sit back and wait will just see another lot of channels disappear.

      Around the outer fringes of the spotbeam - and that includes southern Spain, Portugal and Canaries, reception will be very difficult or impossible: the disappearance of Channel 5 (standard def) when Astra 2F went live was a warning signal of what was to come.

      It should be noted that some viewers may be OK with Astra 2F and not with Astra 2E around the fringes: this may be down to a number of factors, including the fact that Astra 2E's spotbeam channels are on a lower frequency, and some transponders may be suffering interference from the Badr satellite, depending on the dish set-up.

      If you are in Germany, Denmark or France and have lost channels - it is quite safe to upgrade dish sizes and be ready for whatever Astra 2G may bring in the future.

      Delete
  67. We are just north of Beziers, southern France. Lost all BBC channels today, not sure what size dish we have.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I live near Bezier in Southern France...I installed a 1.1meter dish...I am unable to check whether it is working as I am currently in the UK...I would say however that people need to check their LNB's (Low Noise Blocks) at the end of the arm of the satellite. Many of these may be four or five years old and they do degrade, also buy one which has the lowest noise block figure (say 0.1 or 0.2). When you look around Brico depot or Castorama they are generally selling 0.5's, these may be OK but are not fine enough..it could be a matter of just upgrading at least on a 90cm dish..try it and report on this site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a good comment.
      Narbonne has lost its signal on the old std solid oval dish - which dimension is quoted I don't know.
      I do know that some boxes are better receivers.
      Mine currently is the freeview german technisat HD.
      All BBC lost.

      Does anybody have knowledge of good low loss LNB's?

      Delete
    2. Yes, several companies sell very good LNB's with 0.1- 0.2 noise. Try sellers of Sharp, Inverto, Icecrypt and Titanium (Amazon and all the usual sat sites). These all come recommended and i have used the Titanium (got damaged I suspect in the bad thunder/lightning storms we have in the Mountain Noire) these type of LNB's come in single/twin and 4/6 capable outputs (depending how many sat boxes you have). The Icecrypt I have fitted and as I stated earlier i am not able to judge as to whether my dish is working. It is also quite possible that your cable, line of sight and fine tuning of the dish are also important as any small increase in signal strength will achieve what you are looking for. Dish size is important, it would seem that sizes above one meter may achieve a better signal (watch local planning law's as to the size of the dish. I know that over 80cm you have to 'apply' for permission). However if you have a large secluded garden and don't have much to do with the Marie...then fine!

      Delete
    3. Regarding your comment on various boxes then an upgrade may be overdue. This one is a little trickier. I have looked at several boxes and the more technically they are built, then the better they may be. I have had boxes from Hisat and currently use a Humax Hi-def recording box, Echostar and Manhattan seem to be the best 'technical' boxes but i do not know anyone who has one, as they have generally gone down the Humax Freesat rout (like so many others I suspect). Putting in a standard 80cm box last year near Pezenas did achieve something...I suspect i will get a call to help resolve this one once the season re-commences

      Delete
    4. Andy, we bought a Manhattan box last year to replace an old Sky box. We have found that it works well, but lost BBC TV and Radio yesterday. However, our dish is small and very old +10 years. We live about 60kms north of Toulouse, some people haven't been affected, but I guess they have bigger and new dishes, so we are going to upgrade asap. I've noted your comments about the LNBs.

      Delete
    5. Hi Andy

      We seem to be near neighbours.. Anyway we can keep in touch regarding this problem...? Cheers

      Delete
    6. Hello Marion, as I said i have a Humax Freesat box (fan has gone down and cannot be fixed, so I will have to by a new one). As to the dish i bought many years ago a 1.1meter (as the Astra footprint was a little shaky for 80cm...and I always follow the Victorian Principle of over-building anything. New 1.1++mtr dishes can be obtained from a variety of sources (once again Amazon, Hisat etc etc, try Triax, Maxx and several others) starting at £90'ish plus delivery...but they go up very quickly. And I suspect as pointed out in earlier comments that there will be plenty of Satellite 'companies' willing to fit a new larger one (which will need upgraded fittings etc).
      bonne chance

      Delete
  69. Graham In Prague, Czech Republic. All BBC TV channels have disappeared today. Very disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  70. 800cm dish in the eastern Var/South of France.
    43.27.22 N
    6.45.11 E
    High quality Quad LNB offset a very few degrees clockwise. Set up with my mini Signal meter and elevation/azimuth calculator. Freesat receiver.
    Lost a couple of HD Channels.
    Everything else seems fine - for now!
    Good luck all. A friend only a couple of km distant, lost all channels - even with a 120cm dish :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just shows how sharp the drop off is around the spot beam!!

      Delete
    2. Maybe. But I see reports that Cannes - further S & E has reception. I'm hoping that a check for branches, and perfect alignment might be enough for my friend(s).
      Others in close proximity are reporting loss of reception.
      I'm suspecting poor LNB's, alignment, and maybe less sensitive tuners (than mine) in their decoders.
      I'm no expert - but to lose 20 or 30dB in a couple of km, then "find" them again a few km further from the spot beam centre, suggests there's more than drop off involved.
      Thank you by the way. This is the best info-stream I have found so far. Bravo!

      Delete
    3. Yes, equipment set-up becomes more and more relevant the further into the fringes you get, which makes some reception reports difficult to compare.

      However, do also bear in mind that there are some "side lobes", local hotspots outside of the core beam where for whatever reason there's areas where the signal is just that bit stronger meaning smaller dish sizes can get the services whereas all around larger sizes are needed.

      Delete
  71. Receiving BBC channels via internet services is a grey area legally, and legislation varies from country to country. There are only official deals with cable operators in countries within the core UK spot beam (e.g. Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland), this is done via the BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide, who receive money from the distribution arrangements to plough back into BBC programme-making.

    May I ask that readers refrain from mentioning or advertising commercial internet services that profiteer from distributing/relaying UK television services without the consent of the relevant copyright holder (broadcaster) and without compensating the broadcaster/rights holders.

    Comments may be deleted if it could be deemed as promoting an illegal service in one or more countries where this website is available.

    This also includes any comments promoting methods of accessing the BBC's encrypted relay feed via another satellite (which acts as a back for the UK's Freeview terrestrial transmitter network), as the promotion of ways to access encrypted channels is illegal.

    Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

    ReplyDelete
  72. We have lost BBC 1 and 2 in Coburg Germany. Hoping a dish size of 180 will work but am rather pessimistic. I have never understood why the BBC has not tried to sell the huge ex-pat community good reception throughtout central Europe. Has anyone a good quality computer solution? Its all very depressing! Any suggestions for Northern Bavaria welcome!
    Liam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What size do you have now?
      The BBC used to offer BBC Europe/BBC WS TV/BBC Prime with a variety of programmes and simulcasts from BBC One. BBC Entertainment is the current version of the channel, but it may not instantly appeal to expats, who ditched their BBC Prime subscriptions when BBC One/Two became available, and since then BBC Prime/BBC Entertainment has focused away from the expat market (e.g. putting EastEnders out of peak time and ditching Holby City.). If BBC Worldwide have sense, they should revisit their presence in Europe.

      Delete
    2. I'm not at home right now but I think we put up an 80 cm. I'll have to check. It's definitely no bigger than 90. The problem with the likes of BBC Prime/Entertainment is that it will never be the real thing and is currently a dreadful mix. I've seen it in Budapest. I'd gladly subscribe but only for more or less what I had up until this morning. Do you think Astra 2G offers any hope of getting reception back in Bavaria?

      Delete
    3. No Astra 2G is set-up to be exactly the same as Astra 2E and 2F. The trio of satellites will then serve the UK and Ireland with the same TV/radio set-up, although they also have either Middle East/West Africa or Europe internet beams that make them different for different markets.

      As far I can see from reception reports, North West Bavaria 1.5m dish size, South East Bavaria 2m dish size. With signal strength dropping in the evening, smaller dish sizes may get a signal during the morning when signal levels are higher.

      Delete
  73. NE Spain (Huesca), all BBC channels are gone with 80 cm dish. Any chance of success with a bigger dish?
    Just can´t believe this is happening!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plenty of warning when C5 standard definition disappeared late 2012!

      You are in the dead spot, and you should be looking at moving up towards 1.5-2m dish size from what I can gather from early reception reports.

      Delete
  74. BE ALERT FRIENDS. The crooks are already cashing in. "50 Euros to fix your dish, Sir/Madam."
    Translation = "I will come to see you, fail to fix your problem, but I will have a good look around your house to check your security and to see what's worth stealing. Then I'll come back in a couple of months ... And you paid me to do it!!"

    ReplyDelete
  75. A friend in Capellades (Catalonia) has no Astra 2e channels with 150cm dish.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Lost all BBC services. 2 Mtr. dish in Corfu, Greece.

    ReplyDelete
  77. A stay of execution for ITV/Channel 4 services for the time being. Working on an article summarising the situation based on your reception reports to be published over the next few days. Thanks for your input.

    Not had your say? Keep the comments coming. Open for comments until 20th February. A reminder: Please do not use this function to promote internet services, due to it being a legal grey area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Lor! I didn't know that ITV/Channel 4 are going the same way.

      Delete
    2. Astra 2E is part of a three phase process replacing existing satellites. All channels on the old Astra 1N UK spot beam are moving in stages. C5/some BBC HD nations started late 2012, this year it's the BBC, ITV regions and C4.

      Delete
  78. Hi We live on Andalucian - Murcian border and lost all BBC channels for several hours yesterday evening despite 1.6 dish. Panic! However came back later in the evening about 9pm. Assuming this is going to be stable.

    ReplyDelete
  79. My quad LNB is 5 years old - can someone recommend a quality low noise replacement please?

    ReplyDelete
  80. We pay for Sky (Skyplus and Sky HD box), have lost BBC channels and are in Lot-et-Garonne SW France. Will we lose ITV etc as well? 60cm dish, thinking of getting 100cm dish, do you think this will fix situation or should we just reset both boxes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ITV will soon change satellites; a larger dish size is required. 120cm should be OK, except near Spain, where dish sizes need to be 150cm or more for stable all day round reception.
      Seek advice from a local installer.

      Delete
  81. In Chalabre in SW France, about 45 mins south of Carcassonne. All BBC gone.

    ReplyDelete
  82. in marseille, all BBC channels gone with a 80cm dish

    ReplyDelete
  83. All in Gard / Herault in France ...

    Skype and phone lines are busy with this hot topic.

    So,

    Castelnau le Lez : 80cm All BBC channels lost

    Saussines : 80cm BBC1 NI, South and Oxford BBC2 NI with some pixelation

    Combas : 90 cm BBC1 NI, South and Oxford BBC2 NI with no pixelation

    Salinelles : 100cm All channels still working

    ReplyDelete
  84. Couple of questions for eamonn315 in the Var. Firstly, where abouts are you Eamon ? I'm in Le Luc and have an 85cm dish. Have never had Ch 5 in the two years the system has been up and running, but the signal intensity has always been 100% and the strength wanders between 65 and 71% most days, unless of bad weather, interesting that your still receiving with an 80cm dish ? Secondly, what constitutes a 'good' LNB ? In laymans terms ?? Is it simply the lower the Dnb number ? I've tried to research this online but sadly most 'experts' seem to be more interested in showing how clever they are rather than passing on clear concise info. Thanks in advance, hope to hear from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex, (I only saw this by accident. Best to "Reply" to this and other posts. So that the addressee gets a message.)
      I'm in Callian. The figures I gave are my approximate Latitude & Longitude.
      As you may have gathered, we are slightly puzzled that we still have good reception, when all about have lost theirs. (I'm relying on my wife, as I am away from home today.)
      LNB: Sitting in the UK, clear line of sight between dish and satellite and no interference - an LNB with a Signal to Noise figure of around 0.9 to 0.7dB would be "Good" enough. Where we are, I would get the best I could find. Then "Good" = 0.1/0.2 maybe 0.3dB.
      So "Yes", is the simple answer to your final question :-)
      But - and there's always a but isn't there? There's so much else going on between the surface of your dish and output from your decoder that there are several other places where a bit of marginal technology could let you down.
      Good luck Alex!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the feedback Eamon. I have a friend over in Villeneuve Loubet near Nice who switched to a 1.3M dish last year, and is still receiving everything, though I have no idea if his signal strength has dropped any at all, mine hasn't on the channels I still get so I presume his hasn't either. I think I'm going to start with a good LNB and see what if any differences that makes first, I could get lucky like yourself and get stuff back, we'll see. If not then it looks like a bigger dish is on the cards, at least I know where to get one from for reasonable money (around €100 for a 1.3M dish only). Thanks Eamon you've been very helpfull.....

      Delete
  85. anyone in Czech/Prague lost bbc?

    ReplyDelete
  86. All my bbc channels have disappeared within last 12 hours. Last night it was there, I changed station and came back later to find it was not working. I rescanned and on the sat box I have that displays 50+BBC channels all disappeared! Channel 5 I have not had for 2/3 years. I have small regular dish you have commonly with Sky tv if in UK. I do not pay for any service just FTA channels is sufficient for me but loosing BBC with the summer world cup football is disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Nice one BBC!
    BBC gone from Northern Germany, Will have to get out my BFBS box. BBC still works with British Forces Germany network

    ReplyDelete
  88. A516 digital - Any idea on dish size needed for South France just west of Marseille in Eyguieres? Currently on a 90cm and its lost the BBC, but post above suggests a 100cm may work that area is just west of me by 110km. I only want to change dish once so would a 1.2 be best long term?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in La Fare Les Oliviers, just near you, I'm going to opt for the 130cm dish....I hope it works....fingers crossed :-)

      Delete
  89. Great to see a site like this!
    I, and everyone I know with 90 - 120 cm dishes here in Munich, lost all BBC (and RTE) channels last night, and I am expecting ITV and C4/Film 4 to go this weekend (I can still get Newstalk radio). It would be great to hear what size of dish would yield a reliable signal.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Benidorm Spain good signal better quality on 2.9 metre dish on all available channels using a Humax PVR from the day they were first sold. People with 1 metre dishes lost all programs even ITV?.

    ReplyDelete
  91. LA TURBIE SE France (near Nice).......BBC gone - 90cm dish! However......BBC RB2 on Freesat channel 982 is at full strength and quality! Great for watching the Olympics. Which satellite is transmitting BBC RB2?
    Any others in my area who have success with a larger dish?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hi,

    I'm just north of Marseille in the south of France, I have lost all BBC channels. Does anybody know what size dish I will need? My 85cm dish obviously needs replacing :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats the 64 thousand dollar question everyone wants the answer to Christopher. Read thru the comments from the top, then you'll have as much idea as everyone else... ;)

      Delete
    2. So I will try a bigger dish! I have no choice, my son wants CBeebies :-)

      Delete
    3. I feel your pain !! My lad is in a CITV phase at the minute which is a blessing I suppose.. Looks like you'll need a 1.2 M to 1.3 M dish if you read thru the above. If you go for it, keep us posted Christopher....

      Delete
    4. Yes, I think I'll opt for a 1.3m dish.....err on the side of caution. I will try and do it as soon as possible and post a reply. Thanks for your help

      Delete
    5. Please let us know how it works as I live just outside marseille and the kids are also asking for Cbeebies...

      Delete
  93. Guess size matters. I have a 2.4m dish on the Costa Blanca (Moraira) with an Invacom quad LNB feeding a Humax box and I pleased to say that I have not lost a single channel.
    Full channel list at: http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/freesat-channels/

    ReplyDelete
  94. All BBC gone south of Munich (Starnberg) except 978 BBC RB for your winter olympic needs! Possibly a stupid question but are free channels available through cable?

    ReplyDelete
  95. I've lost everything in Barcelona city no way I can put a dish larger than my 90cm one on the top of the apartment building. My kids are already desperate for cbeebies. what a bummer! will have to wait and see how the whole story pans out I suppose. I guess most ex pats in Barcelona who live in flats are b**gered!

    ReplyDelete
  96. Lost our too. Small dish, never had signal for BBC when it rained but just put up with it but this is A NIGHTMARE because we can't even change our dish for a bigger one cos it's on a wall where the roof's been taken off by our neighbours and their gates are unscaleable and padlocked so we can't get access to it with a ladder even if a bigger dish would do the job. Merde!! Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne, 47500. What can we do, if anything??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shd I start looking websites for a 1.5m dish anyway or what do the experts advise, please - my son's desperate for Top Gear and me The Voice - the rest I couldn't care less!! PLEASE ADVISE ASAP!

      Delete
  97. No BBC in Madeira with 1.8m dish. Reading other people's reports its no surprise, just wondering what size dish I need now within reason. The local top satellite chaps have confirmed that their 2.3m dish won't pick up BBC either. There must be loads of us in the same boat and frankly I'd pay the license fee to have it back, but that would be too logical to work. Stuffed..... for now

    ReplyDelete
 
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