E4 launched on 18 January 2001.
E4s “E” stands for entertainment, and is aimed at the 15 – 35 age group.
E4 was initially available as part of the Sky satellite subscription package. E4 became free-to-air in 2008, when it became available on Freesat.
E4 HD launched on 14 December 2009, as part of the Sky satellite HD subscription package.
Most Channel Four TV channels are are available for free on satellite, without viewing card or subscription. They are classed as “free to air” channels, and can be received on most digital satellite receivers, including Sky digiboxes and Freesat set top boxes. The channels were transmitted from the Astra 2D satellite with its “spot beam”, aimed at the UK. This tried to limit reception of Channel Four channels in Europe. To some extent this worked, as some areas of Spain, like the Costa Blanca, had to use large 1.8m satellite dishes, 1.9m satellite dishes, and 2.4m satellite dishes to watch Channel Four TV channels. Some areas of Spain were more lucky, like the Costa del Sol, where they could use the smaller “125x135cm” ( or a “1.4m” ) satellite dish.
In February 2012, the Channel Four channels moved from the Astra 2D satellite, to a temporary home on the Astra 1N satellite. The Astra 1N satellite “signal footprint” is more generous to expats in Spain, and so the Channel Four channels on Astra 1N could be received on a satellite dish as small as 90x100cm, a “1m” satellite dish.
During February 2014, the Channel 4 channels on Astra 1N moved to their new satellite,Astra 2E.
The new Astra 2G satellites UK “spot beam” or “narrow beam” signal footprint is different to the previous UK TV satellites UK beam. This has meant that reception of channels on the new Astra 2 satellites will be different to previous reception. In the areas between Valencia and Alicante, our service area, the Channel Four channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam can still be received on a small satellite dish – as small as a 110x120cm satellite dish with a 125x135cm satellite dish being the recommended size satellite dish.
However, in other areas of Spain, reception of these Channel Four channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam has become harder. For example, in areas such as Barcelona, Catalonia and Zaragoza, you need at least a 1.8m satellite dish to receive these channels on the Astra 2F UK beam, whereas previously you only needed a smaller 80cm satellite dish. It is a similar story in the south of Spain, in areas like the Costa del Sol, Malaga, Almeria, Seville, Gibraltar and even Portugal, where even the larger 2.4m satellite dishes are struggling to receive these channels on the Astra 2 satellites UK beam.
E4 on Freesat and Sky
E4 is on Freesat channel 122.
E4 is on Sky channel 136.
E4+1 on Freesat and Sky.
E4 is on Freesat channel 123.
E4 is on Sky channel 137.
E4 HD launched on the Sky satellite HD subscription package on 14 December 2009.
E4 HD is on Sky channel 136.
Irish Variations of Channel Four
Channel Four also operate Irish version of Channels 4, Channel 4+1, E4, and More4. These channels are on the “European beam” of the UK TV satellites. Their reception is easier to receive in Spain than their “UK Beam” counterparts. However, these Irish variations are encrypted and do require a Sky viewing card to view.
It is possible to add these Irish versions of these Channel Four channels to your Sky box, which is useful if you live in an area of Spain where you cannot receive the “normal” free to air versions.
Channel Four TV Channels: