[ARCHIVE] Q&A: UK TV satellite changes

The recent migration of BBC services to Astra 2E has triggered a lot of questions. Here we answer some of the questions raised:
Updated 19/02/2014
This page has been archived for reference purposes and may not reflect current circumstances in receiving satellite television from the UK.

I've lost/I've regained BBC/Only have some channels/Picture breaks up when it rains/Picture disappears at (certain times)
Various comments

(answer published 11/02/2014) Around the edge of the spotbeam viewers will smaller dishes will see the UK channels coming and going over time. Thanks to the spotbeam, the dish may not have a bad weather reserve (rain margin).

Reception of the UK spotbeam around the fringes is cyclical. There have been clear reports since the launch of sister satellite Astra 2F and its UK spotbeam that reception can change significantly over a 24 hour cycle and a seasonal cycle. Astra 2E is showing similar signs.
See also: Why do I lose my reception of UK channels in the evening?

What this means is that one day a 100cm dish may provide adequate reception, but at other times of the year, a 180cm dish may be required for constant reception. Such massive variations have been reported in Northern Germany / Hamburg area and SW France over the past 15 months.
Since Astra 1N was turned off during the early hours of 11/02/2014, and ITV and Channel 4 services transfered, some viewers have regained access to BBC services. It is assumed that this is because the stronger Astra 1N signals on adjacent frequencies is no longer drowning out Astra 2E.

Be aware that the signal could still vary. This is why a516digital's spotbeam maps [there's one lower down this page] are very conservative - because if you are going to have to spend money on a bigger dish, you want one that is likely to provide you with a signal around the clock and whatever the weather outside.
Slight adjustments to your dish or LNB may help.

Is it possible that minute dish alignment might be needed to pick up new satellite signal?
Straws are sometimes worth grasping!
Lord WriteAway 8 February 2014 11:54

A few tweaks can make a world of difference, and even the slightest misalignment in fringe areas will have dire consequences. 

The Satcure website contains a lot of information and products to help with satellite reception. 

I live in Mijas, Malaga Spain and have lost all BBC TV and radio channels, including World Service. Is there a solution?
Sheila Knight 6 February 2014 12:10

The BBC World Service continues to be available via other satellites. Via Eutelsat Hot Bird (13 degrees East orbital position), use the following parameters: frequency: 11727, V (Symbol rate 27500, FEC 3/4) Or Astra 1L (19.2 degrees East) on 11568 V (Symbol rate 22000, FEC: 5/6)

BBC World News TV is also carried on both of these satellites. BBC Entertainment, a subscription service from the BBC for international audiences is also available. Please visit the BBC Entertainment website for more details about the channel.

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? 
sharon Harvey 6 February 2014 11:41

You are at the edge of the main part of the UK spotbeam from the new Astra 2E. Up to Toulouse dishes of less than 1 metre work. Reception deteriorates rapidly south of Toulouse. You may need a dish as big a 1.8m to ensure you can enjoy UK TV channels on the UK spotbeam in all weather conditions.

You state you have lost BBC One Scotland HD, BBC One Wales HD, BBC Four HD. These channels are on Astra 2F and have not changed satellites or spotbeam, the fact these channels have gone indicates they were operating very close to the minimum threshold for your area with your current dish. There are substantial seasonal and daily fluctuations in the signal around the spotbeam.

We have lost all BBC and ITV channels although previously we were able to receive Channel 5 - so we should not have been affected. Many others in this area, including subscribers to Sky, have lost all their channels too. 1 hour north of Coimbra, Central Portugal. Would love to get them all back as our dish and freesat modems are less than a year old. 1.2 meter dish being used and good quality cabling for optimum reception.
Mandy Taylor 13 February 2014

Bad news: Most of Portugal is now out of reach for the UK satellite signal.

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?

Kevb 6 February 2014 17:36

Does anyone know if an Irish box and sky viewing card picks up BBC channels?
Taryn Bodell 19 February 2014 15:34

Sky subscription channels are on the pan-European beam. BBC/ITV/C4/C5 free-to-air channels are on the UK spotbeam, regardless how your receive them. Sky Ireland just maps the various channels onto different channel numbers. So an Irish Sky sub will not give you access to the missing main channels.
(Update) An Irish Sky subscription will provide access to the Irish version of Channel 4, which is "free-to-view" (encrypted but provided at no extra cost) and is hosted by Sky on a pan-European transponder.

I live in Warsaw, Poland, and use a freesat box with a 2.7m dia. dish. I used to receive most UK free satelite channels until the recent switchover. Now I can't get anything except Sky news, Euronews, France24 and Al Jazeera. Is there anything I can do to regain reception?

Adam 19 February 2014 15:20

You are now out of range of the UK spotbeam, meaning you will no longer be able to access the main UK channels. The Astra 2E European beam has a spot on Poland, so you should continue to be able to access the international channels you mention - but you can do this with a dish of 80cm...
In Poland, the BBC operates BBC World News, BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies with programmes from the BBC, ITV Studios and Channel 4 in the schedules and a choice of English or Polish soundtracks on digital platforms. See www.bbcpolska.com for more information.

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 ???

Unknown 7 February 2014 15:08

ITV and Channel 4 follow this week. Sky channels are broadcast using the pan-European beam, the free-to-air channels are on the UK spotbeam (which is tighter on the new satellites). In Hannover, you will experience daily variations in the signal strength. In the evenings, the signal drops off rapidly, as the spotbeam appears to do a wobble - only people in fringe areas notice this. You need to have at least 120cm or bigger dish for more stable reception. In Braunschweig, to the East of Hannover, 150cm is the absolute minimum. If you have a garden with space for a dish, go as big as you can!

Nice one BBC!
BBC gone from Northern Germany, Will have to get out my BFBS box. BBC still works with British Forces Germany network
explorer 7 February 2014 12:44

Staying in Germany for this comment: Explorer will be needing to access ITV via the same method when it switches satellite, ending access via the Astra satellite system.
In Bergen-Hohne, military personnel have been told in no uncertain terms to desist from installing 1.2 metre or larger satellite dishes for Astra 2E.

However, the BFBS TV service in 2014 is better than it used to be before the BBC and ITV were available free-to-air on satellite. The current BFBS service (which is undergoing technical changes on Tuesday 11th February), delivered via Eutelsat, contains full access to BBC One, Two and ITV, plus legal access to Sky Sports 1,2 and BT Sport 1. (The service is exclusive to the military; giving access to this service to civilians is an offence.)

Contrast that to the 1980s and 1990s, when BFBS (SSVC Television) consisted of just one analogue TV channel delivered via low-powered terrestrial TV transmitters located at military bases with a hybrid of programmes from the UK, and mostly from BBC One and ITV, with no option of receiving the main UK channels via satellite.

A couple of years back, before all the UK terrestrial channels miraculously reappeared, it was possible to access some channels via the Sky platform by using "other channels" and keying in the relevant coordinates. It worked for most ITV channels and Channel 5 (although no BBC channels). Is this option still available? 

Graham 7 February 2014 20:24

All free-to-air channels are moving to the new, tighter UK spotbeam on Astra 2E and F. There is a possibility that you can still pick up a weak signal containing alternative regional variations on one or two of the Astra 2E transponders, but in most cases it's unlikely.

I'm in Benalmadena, Malaga Spain - BBC all gone! (2.1 meter Dish) :-(
nick 6 February 2014 08:35

The Costa Del Sol is in a reception blackspot. Some viewers are even struggling with 3 metre dishes. It's back to the 1990s here and back to the BBC's international TV channels via satellite (BBC World News and BBC Entertainment [was BBC Prime])

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.
Sitges Area Happenings 6 February 2014 08:39

No it won't work. The BBC channels come from the same source (same satellite and same UK spotbeam) regardless of whether you are with Sky HD or not. Where it does work is on Channel 5 HD and ITV2, 3, 4 HD. These services are on the pan-European beam, so are receivable with Sky HD whilst their free-to-air counterparts in standard definition are not. The European Union is currently looking in to the legalities of allowing viewers to watch pay TV channels in a different country from which they are intended (e.g. legally subscribing to  Sky with Spanish address, despite the channels being intended for UK and Ireland consumption).

What I'd like to know is if the beeb wants our custom or not. We've been viewers in Pyrenees area of France for 10 yrs and in the UK for very many years. We are missing all our fave progs and why? We'd like an answer please.
Christine Guard 8 February 2014 15:43

Technically, the BBC UK channels were never intended for your area.  Until the late 1990s, European viewers had to make do with BBC World and BBC Prime (now BBC World News and BBC Entertainment), which are still available for European viewers.  Astra 2D - the first UK spotbeam satellite - was the best they could do with regards a UK spotbeam at the time, and even then the signal spilled out over much of western Europe. Astra 1N (2012-2014) was a stopgap, with a very loose UK spotbeam, until Astra 2E came on the scene with an 'improved', tighter UK spotbeam.

Rights and royalty issues mean the BBC can't be openly available across Europe. Pan-European English language rights to movies and series tend to cost more than the equivalent rights for shows dubbed into other languages - one of the reasons why German broadcasters avoided "Zweikanalton" (Two channel sound, with German and English options) on satellite broadcasts.

From next week you will also lose access to ITV and Channel 4 services. You may be able to get round this with a larger dish, up to 1.8m?

Searched channels again after all gone lost here in Hamburg Germany (80 cm). And surprise surprise, BBC Scotland, Wales, East, Midlands are all back! Still missing my BBC South though.....

Ulli Freudenberger 9 February 2014 11:15

With 80cms in Hamburg, your signal will vary from day-to-day and even hour-by-hour, and you will only be able to receive some transponders of channels. UPDATE: Summer is providing to be very harsh for this area, with the signal dropping off amazingly rapidly. A larger dish may provide more constant reception - the larger the dish, the longer in the year and throughout the day into the evening you'll be able to watch UK TV. The size required depends on propagation factors which vary from season to season. I fear at its worst 180cm might be required to gain something, before conditions improve, making reception possible with smaller sizes (but not under 120cm).

Rainy day in Madrid however BBC1 and 2 are watchable in SD same channels in HD are lost. The quality decreased what means that with heavy rain or wind BBCs will be affected
Location Las Rozas de Madrid Northwest of the region with a dish 1 m
I don't understand why people living in the north of Spain 
Emilio Martin 9 February 2014 18:41

The last sentence was cut off, Emilio, but I guess you are referring to why people living in the north of Spain are having problems with reception.

The main spotbeam edge is around Toulouse, after which reception deteriorates rapidly. There is a reception blackspot, known as a "null" circulating the spotbeam. Northern Spain is under this null. Move further south (and west) and you come under the influence of a "sidelobe", where smaller dish sizes are needed - you appear to be under a sidelobe.

All satellite transmitting antenna have a main beam. But, due to the laws of physics, they also send off smaller beams of power to the sides - the sidelobes. On earth, the bit between the main beam and the sidelobe is the null.

The edges of the main spotbeam and lobes may vary slightly from hour-to-hour - reports suggest the spotbeam moves a little bit throughout a 24 hour cycle - you only notice this in fringe areas where the dish size is around the minimum size needed in a particular location.

There is more on this subject here on a516digital. Click here

Lost all BBC channels here in Fredrikstad, Norway.
Paul Machin 9 February 2014 18:49

Much of Norway now falls under the "null" refered to in the previous answer, that circles around the main spotbeam. Some users are getting reception with large dishes, but you should seek local advice before committing to an upgrade to see if it is viable at all.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, offers BBC World News, BBC Entertainment (Nordic), BBC Lifestyle (Nordic), BBC Knowledge (Nordic) and BBC HD (Nordic) via local pay TV operators throughout Scandinavia.

In south of sweden , reception works fine , after adjusting the satellite dish.
However , lover snr, and db strenght , but a clear picture, even yesterday when ir rained and snowed here. BBC , ITV , Channel4 , Channel5 and also rte works fine.

Have a toroidal t 90 dish here.
Watching the Olympics here today.
Mattias Stymne 8 February 2014 10:50

Mattias is benefiting from a sidelobe around the main spotbeam. Reception drops off over northern Germany and Denmark with a "null" of difficult or impossible reception around the outer side of the main spotbeam. Just on the other side, into southern Sweden and down into parts of West Poland, reception prospects improve - but it's extremely localised.  You are very lucky, Mattias.

Reggio Emilia northern Italy, between Bologna and Milan. Lost all BBC channels with 1.2m dish
mike 9 February 2014 17:53

The edge of the main UK spotbeam (where reception is possible with dishes of 1.2 m or less) just clips the NW corner of Italy, and just about gets Turin. Beyond that, you sink in the previously mentioned "null" that surrounds the spotbeam.  You could seek local, professional advise to see if a larger dish could provide you with the services you want to watch. It might not be a practical dish size though...

any idea why in Switzerland you can see all UK channels on cable?
therider 8 February 2014 17:37

Swiss law allows cable operators to grab any free-to-air TV channels they can receive and insert them into the cable networks. It's safe to say that rights holders aren't too happy about this. The UK spotbeam just gets Switzerland. If Switzerland and Austria swapped places (!!!), then matters would be different.

Some internet streaming services use the Swiss legal loophole to relay UK channels. It all gets into a legal minefield, which we can't really discuss here in more detail.

The BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide has official deals in the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland with cable operators for the official, paid-for insertion of BBC UK channels into the cable networks. These countries are within the core Astra 2E spotbeam, and broadcast rights would have to be cleared for these areas anyway, so the BBC gets a little extra income from the cable operators here.

Astra 2E spotbeam map: based on your reports:
NOTE: dish sizes are designed to be conservative. Some users will have very professional set-ups with satellite receivers containing sensitive tuners. Any slight anomalies or shortcomings in satellite set-ups will have a major affect in fringe areas.

Some smaller dish sizes might be able to pick up some, but not all channels on the UK spotbeam. Early reception reports suggest the "nulls" are slightly further away from the spotbeam on lower frequencies: so some regional variations of channels may be available, but not others.

In addition, the spotbeam appears to 'wobble' a bit. As the drop-off around the spotbeam is so sharp, it means reception can vary greatly from hour to hour. Some user reports show that they have lost BBC channels, before regaining them for a while. A larger dish size will normally provide some reserve when that happens, and also for when the weather is bad.


Special coverage
On Thursday 6th February, the BBC’s services on Astra 1N moved to their permanent home on Astra 2E.

a516digital investigates and compiles a coverage map with dish sizes.

European viewers lose more UK channels as ITV organises its HD channels on satellite.

NEW Why do I lose my reception in the evenings?
A special Q&A looking at why reception of UK channels abroad goes downhill in the evenings.

NEW What are the legal alternatives to get UK TV abroad?


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  1. We are near Padova Italy how big do we have to go? My Autistic child was demanding Cbeebies today and life without Mr Tumble (which is helping him learn to speak) seems unthinkable. His twin brother has CP and was using it to start signing... :( We were getting excellent signal on a 80cm dish way outside the probable area so I would think we have a good position will this help us in any way finding the new sat? Claire

    1. I'm not optimistic about your location. You've previously benefited from a so-called sidelobe (the technicalities of that are explained elsewhere on the site), which enables reception outside of the main spotbeam area. Basically, a satellite's transmitting antenna does send power out around the sides of the main beam. Sidelobes are very localised, and can allow viewers to receive out-of-area services with surprisingly small dishes, such as your 80cm dish.

      The new Astra 2E satellite is one of three new satellites with a spotbeam specifically designed to be sharply focused on the UK and Ireland. Reception drops off over France, and in NW Italy (Turin) a 120-140cm dish is generally required. Beyond that reception drops off even further.

      Running around the spotbeam is a sharp "null" where reception is impossible or extremely difficult. Moving further away from the spotbeam, you get sidelobes, where reception becomes possible in some locations, before another null kicks in further away.

      Looking at the reception reports, I'd have to say that Padova (Padua) is sitting under the "null". Very similar to parts of Catalonia, NE Spain, which was in reception hotspot when Astra 2D was in service, but is now facing a complete blackout.

      I would consult a local satellite installer. If you are right under the null, a 3 metre dish or more might be required.

      CBeebies is available every morning on the BBC Entertainment channel, which is operated by the commercial arm of the BBC (BBC Worldwide) for viewers in Europe. Details about the channel can be found at: http://europe.bbcentertainment.com/get-the-channel/

  2. We live in Sonderborg Denmark. We lost all BBC last Thursday and this morning ITV has gone as well. We were briefly able to pick up the sound from BBC1 yesterday. We have a 120cm dish.
    What size do we need to upgrade to?

  3. All Q & A's read with interest so thanks. I live approximately 20 km's east of Kiel, Northern Germany. Up to 6. Feb had excellent reception on all channels ,apart from 5 which I also lost last year, using a 60cm dish. Now all BBC gone & this morning ITV & CH 4. Can you please tell me if by using a bigger dish I'll get reception back or am I .maybe in a "null" zone?. Looking at the footprint I seem to be in the outskirts of the main beam. Thanks for any help.

    1. I would put points East of Kiel outside of the main lobe, this is confirmed by some reports where people are struggling with 1.50m dishes at certain times of the day.

  4. piacenza..70 km south of milan.. bbc and itv still watchable on the ch 950 ecc.. ecc..channell 5 also reappeared ...still early for a conclusion..dish 80 cm

  5. Further to earlier post. Tweaking dish has restored missing channels - at least at midday - signal strength/quality around 50% of previous value so still pretty marginal and close to the null. Possible improvement by increasing to 1.8m dish

  6. Here in Appenzell (near St. Gallen) in East Switzerland, just get BBC Northern Ireland (why not the others) on HotBird with a 90cm dish. No BBC on Sky, but get all of ITV! Looking at larger dish!

  7. Based in Hannover. Confirm loss of signal to terrestrial channels in the venings (all of them including itv/ch4. Currently have 120cm dish. Will do an lnb tweak / minor directional adjustment tomorrow but even if that does work I doubt I'll have any bad weather eserve. hence it looks like a gibertini 150 cm for me if I can bloody find one around here. I think ther eis one on amazon though. Id go 180cm if I can find one for under € 600. If all fails it's back to iplayer streaming off a vpn :-\

  8. I would recommend to realign your dish antenna with an appropriated equipment - so not with a satfinder of 15 Euro, but something more precise. And do not forget to adjust the tilt of the LNB

  9. New dish installed today (98 cm) in Port de Lanne (40300). All channels back 74% signal. Not bad weather today, so we'll see how it works during next days/weeks.

  10. Further to my comment above... (125 cm dish in hannover, Germany). I tweaked the elevation (up by about two inches) and lo and behold... everything back including Channel 5 and full reception also in the evenings :-D

    However, being the impatient panicky kind of guy I am; I'd already gone online and bought a Gibertini 150 cm :-\ It took minutes before I got all channels back and although it may be an unnecessary € 350 purchase.. At least I know I have a healthy bad weather reserve.

    A couple of tips which helped me...
    Tip 1: First thing to try is tip your dish up a bit (elevation). (left / right changes (azimuth) shouldn't be necessary).
    Tip 2: Adjust your sat in the evening when signal is weakest (from around 7:30 pm)...Use your receiver signal test to lock on and get a reasonable strength and quality... but then change to channel 5 and minor adjust until recepetion is fine (without any break ups). If you get channel 5 you're most likely to have BBC1, BBC2 etc. back as well. I did this all with someone else and a walkie talkie. DO NOT base your adjustments solely on a sat finder or receiver strength/quality. Go to the dodgy channels themselves.

    Hope that helps.

    1. Thank you for your feedback, and I hope other users will find the information useful.

  11. I live in Warsaw, Poland. I have a 2.7m dish dish and was recieving most UK channels via Freesat until the switchover started. Now I recieve nothing, but my decoder recognises the channels are there and provides the listing for them. I will try to tweak my dish arrangement by raising it slightly at the weeekend like Webby has done with his. I recognise I am about 800km further East, but who knows? May be I can get some channels at least back. I will report back if successful.

  12. Hello,

    Thank you, I have found this thread very informative. I live in Scleswig-holstein Germany, and can no longer receive any BBC / ITV channels, so I am considering getting a larger dish as you suggested.

    I am wondering whether paying for some kind of Sky subscription would mean that I would be able to keep the dish I currently have, and receive the channels through Sky? or is this pointless, should I just get a bigger dish?

    1. The Sky service relies on the same satellite signal - so if you're missing out on BBC TV without Sky, you won't get them with a Sky subscription. A larger dish may well be your solution, but seek local, professional advice.

  13. Malcolm Cross
    70km North of Hannover getting all channels apart from channel 5 all day untill about 7pm
    loosing every Signal untill about midnight then ok again using a 120cm dish waiting for delivery of a 150cm dish hopt that will solve the drop off in the evenings.

  14. Still lost all BBC, C4 & ITV here in Verona, Italy (1.2m dish), although what is puzzling is that EPG shows all programs with full details and retuning picks up the full menu, but all UK channels (except the useless shopping channels) give the message "no or bad signal". Am I in a dead zone or do I need to realign/buy a bigger dish?. Thanks

    1. The EPG is supplied on a pan-Europe transponder, so you'll see programme information for all channels despite not being able to receive them all.

      Recently viewers outside of the intended service area have seen their signal levels drop, as a result of normal variations which are amplified by the sharp drop off around the edge of the spotbeam, which doesn't sit over exactly the same locations all the time.

      These has resulted in viewers who thought their dish was adequate being proved wrong.

      It's because of these variations that a516digital put Verona outside of the 150cm zone on the map above. 120cm OK at certain times, but you need a bigger dish to ride out the various annual and daily fluctuations in signal as well as to provide a rain margin.

  15. Is it possible with the right box, to get BFBS TV in Southern Spain?

    1. Yes, it is possible. However, access to BFBS TV for non-military personnel is forbidden.

  16. I live in Bordighera (Italy), 30 kilometres to the East of Monte Carlo. We have a 80cm dish and a HUMAX decoder with Freesat. Everything was fine until recently. Then we lost BBC1 and BBC2, and some ITV stuff, and Radio 4. Strangely we still have some (unwatchable) bits and bobs.
    The question is - will a 1m20 dish solve the problem? or should we give up on Freesat and go straight to pay-tv with SKY?

    1. BBC, ITV, C4 supply their services via the Astra 2E and 2F satellites. Sky and Freesat use the same source satellite. Therefore switching from one supplier to another won't help. A larger dish may help.

  17. ok - thanks very much - I'll give it and go and tell you what happens

  18. Hello, I'm very new to blogs and don't really know this works!
    I've read all the comments and have experienced something of the same but only very recently.
    I live in the suburbs of Turin(north west Italy) and until approx 3 weeks ago, I was getting pretty well all the channels. Now the reception has become very sensitive and I am able to get BBC 1 on 966 and BB2 on 102 at certain times of the day. I've lost BBC3 and ITV 2,3 and 4 completely. I am using a 85cm dish on my balcony and Smart 0,1dB lnb. Do you think if I got a slightly bigger dish or changed the lnb things could improve? Reading other people's comments, I realise that I'm lucky to be getting any picture at all, but if you could give me some advice, I'd be really grateful.

  19. Hi.

    You will need a larger dish.

    See this link from another page of a516digital:


    Copy and paste URL into your browser, scroll down to Italy.

    Some thought the dish sizes quoted in this article were too big, when the article was first published - but there are annual and daily variations and you need a larger dish to "survive" as many dips in the signal strength as you can...


  20. Thank you for replying so quickly. I’ll try and get as big a dish as will fiyt on my balcony!
    I read however, in one of your reports, that the receiver can also effect the reception. I am using a VERY elderly (1999) Pace BSKYB2200 – do you think changing it could improve things? (mind you, I don’t know how to go about changing it!!) Thanks again for any advice you are able to pass on. ☺
    - pinofsky

  21. Thank you for replying so quickly. I’ll try and get as big a dish as will fiyt on my balcony!
    I read however, in one of your reports, that the receiver can also effect the reception. I am using a VERY elderly (1999) Pace BSKYB2200 – do you think changing it could improve things? (mind you, I don’t know how to go about changing it!!) Thanks again for any advice you are able to pass on. ☺
    - pinofsky

    1. For the main UK channels, a Freesat box (available from Amazon) will do. For a Sky box, best to check specialist websites. Both Sky and Freesat rely on the same satellites.

  22. Thanks for your very useful information. I am trying to tune manually to the new Astra E and have so far discovered how to change the azimuth left / right degrees of pointing and the degrees of elevation / inclination / tilt. Please tell me what degrees to point the dish at and also what angle of elevation I need. I am currently on the Canal du Midi near Beziers and am heading towards Burgundy.
    PS I have a gmail address

  23. Paul,

    http://www.dishpointer.com/ suggests the following for Beziers for the Astra 2 satellite position (28.2-5 degrees East)

    Elevation: 34.0°
    Azimuth (true): 145.8°
    Azimuth (magn.): 145.3°
    LNB Skew [?]: -16.6°
    Turn counter-clockwise standing behind the dish

  24. I finally got my 190 cm dish setup in Hamburg. It has extended the amount of time that I get a signal but I still lose it at about 7pm until 8am

  25. Thank you for your comment, Simon.

    There are currently unfavourable propagation factors affecting reception around the edges, and the drop off in signal between Bremen and Hamburg is remarkable.

    Later in the year, you are likely to find reception dramatically improve, with 24/7 reception resuming.

  26. "Later in the year, you are likely to find reception dramatically improve, with 24/7 reception resuming."

    Sounds promising, can you elaborate please?

    1. Annual propagation cycles, when reception with a 120cm dish will become possible again. Will be updating the info up the page shortly to reflect information gathered about Astra 2E reception cycles so far. There are some parts of the year (generally the winter half) when various factors come together to improve the signal around the edge of the spotbeam. However, the signal will at some point fade away again. A bit like trying to listen to UK radio on AM in northern Germany!

  27. reply from Jeff - see above

    I have given up for the time being on the satellite dish (1.5m) which was going to be a diabolical eyesore.

    Pinning hopes on iplayer via a proxy site.

    Will keep you posted.


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