The following has appeared this week in one of the Free English Newspapers on the Costa Blanca.
There is nothing new in this newspaper report that has not already been published on this website for the last few months. This includes the “short term” reception gain of BBC ITV on a small 1m satellite dish in Spain.
BRITISH TV viewers on the Costa Blanca face a big switch-off of their favourite channels from next month following a new satellite launch.
One-metre satellite dishes have mushroomed locally since February when reception of BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 programmes became easy.
It was all a big contrast to using large dishes or re-broadcasting companies like Torresat or Simulsat – and it happened because the major UK channels were shifted to a satellite that offered better coverage in this area.
But the move was only a temporary one, a fact that many satellite installers chose not to mention as customers flocked to buy new equipment.
Last Friday, a new satellite was launched which will replace the current one – with key services expected to move onto it from November.
And although there are no official service maps of the coverage area of the new Astra 2F satellite, it is widely believed that reception of the major free-to-air UK channels will be impossible on the smaller dishes.
It is also borderline as to whether 1.9 metre dishes will be able to pick up those services. And that could also impact on many community installations around the area, especially on the urbanisations.
After seeing private and public maps of the service area of the new UK beam, the webmaster of specialist Satellite TV reception site Rob’s Satellite World told The Courier:
“Signals are always received further than the reception maps from the Astra satellites suggest, but I think that owners of 1.9 metre dishes may be all right. However, we will not know for certain until the satellite starts testing in the next fortnight”.
Owners of smaller dishes will still be able to receive programmes from other channels, but they’’ not be able to watch the main UK channels.
And while those who have subscriptions to SKY, along with the appropriate equipment, will have access to a wide range of premium channels, Britain’s five most popular channels won’t be available to them.
If the signal strength of the UK beam from the new satellite is very low, the re-broadcasters – with their very big dishes – could be the main beneficiaries of the changes
They are likely to be the only people with the means to pick up the basic channels – though there is an outside chance that the footprint of the new satellite may even be too difficult for them to receive.
The only other alternative would be to either watch the missing channels live through unofficial websites, or to access sites like the BBC iPlayer, though you’d need to use an internet proxy to indicate that your computer is in the UK.