The BBC’s services to Sky and Freesat homes are carried on six transponders on satellites operated by SES Astra located at 28.2°East.
In February 2012, one of these satellites (Astra 2D) was retired and BBC services moved to a new temporary home on Astra 1N. Astra 1N is shortly to be moved to its permanent position at 19°East, so the affected BBC services will be transferring to a new permanent home on Astra 2E (28.2°East).This will take place in the early hours of Thursday 6th February 2014. 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.
A small number of channels are unaffected by the change. These are on the multiplex “DSAT 8” which is carried on Astra 2F (also at 28.2°East). These are BBC ONE Scotland HD, BBC ONE Wales HD, BBC FOUR HD, BBC NEWS HD, CBeebies HD.
These channels are on the Astra 2F satellites UK spotbeam.
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.
The effect on coverage within Europe: 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.
This change will have no impact on UK households. Astra 1N and 2E have the same, tighter but slightly more powerful UK spot beams which means that UK households should get a slightly stronger signal. So if you happened to be on the edge of coverage, you will hopefully get more reliable reception.
The overspill of the BBC’s services will be reduced so viewers outside the UK will find it even harder to receive them. I know that this causes unhappiness to some of you living outside the UK. However, it is entirely appropriate because the BBC domestic services are for people living in the UK only.