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BBC satellite changes get underway

updated Changes to BBC services on satellite announced earlier this month have got underway.

In preparation for the clearance of the BBC's Europe-beam transponder on the Astra 2A satellite by the end of this month, BBC TV services on Astra 1N were reshuffled earlier this morning to accommodate services migrating from Astra 2A, whilst ensuring that not too many identical channels (e.g. the BBC One regions) share the same bandwidth pool. More changes take place over the next few days.

So far,
  • BBC Alba and BBC One North East & Cumbria have moved transponders to Astra 1N 10803.00 H
  • BBC Three/CBBC and BBC NEWS have moved to Astra 1N 10818.00V
  • BBC Four/CBeebies and BBC Red Button 1 have moved to Astra 1N 10773.00H.

The changes herald the end of the multiple red button stream, as previously reported here. From Monday 15th October, only one BBC Red Button stream will remain on all digital platforms, with multiple streams in the future delivered via the internet.

According to the BBC's Alix Pryde, further changes will take place on Monday:
"On 15 October 2012 we will move our radio services on the Sky platform. On the 16 October 2012 these changes will take effect on Freesat and Virgin Media. As each of the radio services moves there will be a small outage of a couple of minutes."

The changes involve adding BBC Radio to the BBC's existing satellite transponders, currently mostly used for TV. Once this is done, Sky and Freesat TV guides will be "repointed" so that receivers are redirected to the new frequencies. Virgin Media, who receive a feed via satellite, will adjust its feed on the 16th.

Following the changes, BBC Radio will be withdrawn from Astra 2A and will no longer be available across Europe, with the exception of countries in Western Europe around the edges of the UK spotbeam transmitted by Astra 1N.

Once the Astra 2F satellite is ready to go live, BBC services will switch once again from Astra 1N to Astra 2F. However, no frequency changes are expected at that point in time.

Sky viewers should see all changes take place automatically. Should any Sky viewers have problems, they are advised to contact Sky.

Freesat receivers should update themselves - either when in standby, or overnight. Listeners to BBC Radio stations during the time when the service is being switched may temporarily lose services until the receiver's Freesat guide is updated.

Non Sky or Freesat viewers will be required to conduct a rescan of their satellite equipment to ensure that existing services can continue to be received. Radio listeners in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe may no longer be able to tune into BBC Radio from Astra. The BBC World Service continues to be available in these areas via the Eutelsat "Hotbird" satellite at 13 degrees East.

   Details of where the BBC Radio stations can be found for manual tuning purposes (added 15/10/2012)

ASTRA 1N -- 10.788 V, 22.000, 5/6.
10380/BBC Radio 3
10381/BBC Radio 4 FM
10382/BBC Radio 4 LW
10383/BBC Radio 6 Music
10384/BBC Radio 4 Extra
10385/BBC World Service
10386/BBC Radio Scotland
10387/BBC Radio R n Gaidhael
10388/BBC Radio Wales
10389/BBC Radio Cymru
10390/BBC Radio Ulster

ASTRA 1N -- 10.803 H, 22.000, 5/6.
6450/BBC Radio 1
6452/BBC Radio 2
6460/BBC Asian Network
6466/BBC Radio 1 Xtra


  1. This page was updated at 17:59 15/10/2012 with details of new satellite frequencies for BBC National Radio, which is being moved off Astra 2A.


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