With the recent changes to BBC TV channels on satellite, moving from SD to exclusively HD, some people in the Valencia / Costa Blanca North are of Spain (my service area!) are finding that their satellite dish is now too small to receive good strong and stable signals for many of the BBC HD channels.
Although nothing has changed with the signal footprints from the three Astra 2 satellite, it is how the frequencies have had to be configured for the larger amount of data needed for HD channels. And this configuration has mean the signals seem to be weaker than when the same frequencies were configured for the BBC SD channels.
And so people with the incorrect sized satellite dish are now finding that channels that they could easily receive in SD are struggling to be received now the channels are in HD.
Why are the BBC closing SD channels and moving to HD?
HD channels offer better picture quality than SD channels. All TVs sold over the last 10 or more years are HD compatible. And with such a small percentage of SD viewers, the BBC decided to close its SD channels in favour of HD channels. MAke sense when less than 1% of the UK population were using the SD channels.
But the move also follows the likes of ITV and Channel 4. ITV have already made its ITV1 ITV2 ITV3 ITV4 channels HD by default on Sky and Freesat. Channel 4 is also defaulted to HD on both of these services. Channel 5 is HD by default. So now the if the final broadcaster to make its channels HD by default.
BBC started to migrate to HD channels back in January 2023, and completed the move by March 2023. On the remaining Sd channels, on screen banners informed viewers of the SD channels, that the SD channels would be closing down. By mid 2023, the banner became more prominent. By October 2023, the banner informed viewers the date than the SD channels would be closing: 8th January 2024.
People viewing the BBC SD channels because their they are watching on old SD receivers, like the grey Sky Digibox, need to upgrade to a SKy HD digibox, a Freesat HD set top box, a “free to air ” HD satellite receiver, of a TV with a built in satellite receiver.
People viewing the BBC SD channels because their satellite dish is too small to receive the HD channels, will need to upgrade their satellite dish to the recommended size.
So what sized satellite dish do I need for BBC HD channels in the in Valencia / Costa Blanca North are of Spain
Since the current batch of Astra 2 satellites were launched and started to transmit UK TV channels in 2014, the recommended size of satellite dish has been a 125x135cm. This size satellite dish should be able to receive all the UK TV channels on Sky HD and Freesat HD, in all but the heaviests of rains (and very hot and humid days in the summer!)
The smaller 110x120cm satellite can also be used, but this really is the minimum sized satellite dish that can be used, but is operating right on the limit, so stability of satellite signals will not be as good as the recommended 125x135cm satellite dish.
With the SD closedown of BBC channels approaching, if you need your satellite dish system to be upgrade, please contact us as soon as possible should you wish to continue to receive BBC channels. We have been installing and repairing satellite TV systems since 2003, with family members installing satellite TV systems years prior to that, making us one of the most established UK TV services in the area.
The 125x135cm satellite dish needs to be installed ideally on a concrete floor, or concrete block wall. Red brick walls are not idea as they are not strong enough. The 125x135cm satellite dish also needs to be sheltered from winds as much as possible (to stop wind wobble and loss of channels), and with a clear line of sight to the UK TV satellites (no trees or buildings!), roughly the direction where the sun is at 1130 – 1200 (October).
With Freesat TV you have the best free UK TV service there is – with 150 subscription free UK TV channels, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, Dave and many more. And over 20 channels available in crystal clear high definition.
With Freesat :
you can watch free UK TV,
you can watch UK TV legally in Spain,
you can record UK TV for free,
you can watch UK TV live and direct from the broadcasters,
you can watch UK TV in full 1080 HD, with Dolby Digital Audio channels,
you can watch UK TV knowing that the service will not be closed down by the authorities for being illegal.