May 282015

There have been reports that one of the old UK TV satellites, Eutelsat 28A, is operating on very low power levels.

This low power has affected reception of some Sky and Freesat channels on the Eutelsat 28A satellite.

Over the past week, reception problems occurred on some Sky and Freesat channels, including ESPN HD, CBS Reality, Bonanza Bonanza and Bloomberg.

Eutelsat 28A was launched in 2001, and is about 2 years past it “sell by date”. It carries a number channels, mainly the “cheap” and less popular channels.

It is expected that when the new Astra 2G satellite is in position, sometime early June 2015, this will enable Eutelsat 28A to be removed from service. TV, radio and data feeds currently on Eutelsat 28A are expected to move off the satellite early in June. The channel move from Eutelsat 28A to Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G will be done in batches, and are expected to be completed by the end of June 2015.

According to one source the transponders will be moved as follows:
Transponder C1 will move to Astra 2G on the 19th June
Transponders C3 & C4 will move to Astra 2F on 1st June
Transponders C5 & C6 will move to Astra 2E on the 29th June
Transponder C2 move is currently unknown.

This would also mean that the Freesat EPG transponder will also be moving from Eutelsat 28A to an Astra satellite. It is unknown if this will stay or change frequency. If the Freest EPG frequency does change, then hopefully software in the Freesat receivers will be able to accommodate this.

Some channels that used to be on Eutelsat 28A have already been moved to the new Astra 2E and 2F satellites. The changes are usually done at night, at around 2-4am, to minimise the impact to viewers. Sky and Freesat boxes should update to any new frequencies automatically. If you are watching a channel at the time of its move, you may experience a 10-15 minute loss of the channel whilst the swap is taking place.


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  10 Responses to “UK Satellite TV reception problems”

  1. There might be some change as they migrate transponders from Eutelsat-28A (previously Eurobird-1) at 28.5⁰ east to the newer Astra-2G , but this would only impact “BT Sport HD” and the fringe networks, such as shopping and religion TV at first.
    In the long term it is likely that the more commercially sensitive services will become UK only, however the Astra-2G satellite itself is equipped with a UK spot capability for only 16 transponders. Which means the remaining transponders must be on the European footprint .
    It’s a case of wait and see, but if you’re a fan of BT Sport HD it is likely that they will be affected first.

    • Still receiving BT Sport in HD out here in Turkey on a 3m dish. Will really miis it when it goes. I fear the worst for 2G. It may be well out of my range.

      • It will all depend on if BT Sports move to the Uk or European beam.
        I assume you can still receive channels on the European beam – eg Sky News?
        In which case, you should still be able to receive BT Sports if it moves to the Euro beam.

        • Yes I was receiving Sky inc the sports but ever since we had the eclipse I never managed to recover any Euro Beam channels. Only a limited Eutelsat list now. Stiff getting BT today though.

  2. Hello
    We live in SW France and have a Sky digi box. About the middle of last week we started to lose our free-to-air channels. We have tried many things that we have seen on the Internet to rectify the problem, but nothing works. Do you have any idea what might be causing this and how we can solve the problem? All our other Sky channels are working ok.

    • It sounds like your dish was on the limits of reception, and if there is a small drop in power you have lost the FTA channels. So you need a larger dish.
      Or maybe your current dish needs simply to be realigned.

  3. On my Sky+ box, one input shows high strength and high quality, but no channel reception on CBS Reality and a couple of othe channels which have ‘gone’.
    Is this normal?

    • Reception depends where you are and what size dish you have.
      And your missing channels may now be on a beam that your dish is now too small to receive.
      Your Sky+ box signal test screen may not necessarily be showing the signal for the frequency for the channel you want.
      Hence why it shows “full signal” for one frequency, but you still cannot receive the signals for CBS channel.

  4. ITV; BBC1 and BBC4 on Astra 2G daytimes with medium signal level but undisturbed reception; completly vanished every night. Why this night/day-dipendance? (bavaria, 180 cm centre)

    • Because the satellites have a daily cycle… and mid evening to night is their time of lower power.
      The satellites are in a geostationary orbit, but as the earth is not 100% circular, it appears as if the satellites beams “move” in relation to the earth – and so there is a variation in signal levels during the day

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