Oct 282014

Changes to TDT – Spanish Digital Television – Changes to TV in Spain

TDT – Television Digital Terrestrial – is broadcast through waves, occupying a part of the frequency spectrum. This spectrum is shared by TV, radio, telephone and other communications.
So far TV has been using those between 21 and 69 channels.
However, in 2007 the European Commission agreed to allocate part of the spectrum occupied by television to mobile phones of the latest generation, known as 4G. In accordance with the European Directive, the Spanish Government stated that before January 1, 2015 channels 61 to 69, ie, the last 9 in the band used so far, will become available for the 4G.
This is what is called Digital Dividend.

So what does this mean?
All television channels broadcasting between channels 61 and 69 in Spain must leave these channels.
These channels will be moved lower in the spectrum.
As a precaution, channel 60 will also be released (Canary Islands).
From the 26th October 2014 channels will start to transmit on their new frequencies.
This means there will be a period where channels are transmitted on two frequencies.

What do I have to do?
If you live in a house with a single antenna installation a simply retune of your TDT set top box will find the channels on their new frequencies.
If you live in an apartment building or community, and use a community aerial facility, this may require old frequency single-channel amplifiers to be changed for new frequency single-channel amplifiers. Hopefully most communities use a programmable TDT amplifier unit, which may require an engineer to reprogram the unit with the new frequencies.

TDT is popular with British expats in Spain, as the majority of channels broadcast films and series in dual audio with original language.
If you require help or assistance with these changes, or require a TV aerial installation to receive TDT, please contact us on : 620 130 292 or

More information of TDT Digital TV in Spain :

Jan 142014

Astra 2E (the second new UK TV satellite) Update : 14/01/14 : According to various satellite tracking websites tonight, Astra 2E is finally on its way from its test location of 43 east, towards the UK TV location of 28 east. At the time of writing, it is at 42 east and moving slowly.

So it will take several days for it to move into location, and then it is expected a few test frequencies will be fired up, and only then can we start to work out its reception in Spain.

Aug 232013

This is an article / advertising feature that appeared in an expat “newspaper” under the heading of “Spain faces UK TV turn-off” – which is yet another example of misleading and incorrect information about UK TV in Spain and the “rumoured” UK TV Switch Off in Spain”!

RESIDENTS of Spain will find themselves without British television next month if the re-scheduled launch of the Astra 2E rocket is successful.

The rocket is due to blast-off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan on September 15, replacing the existing device and providing free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.

The new satellite, however, will not broadcast BBC television channels or radio stations to Spain, leaving residents that receive transmissions through their satellite dishes without the extensive range of British channels.

Mike Crompton, proprietor of an internet tv provider, said: “So far only the BBC has made any formal statement. Alix Pryde, the Corporation’s director of communications, said the new satellite would signal the end of BBC broadcasts in Spain as it looks to focus on the quality of service transmitted to license fee payers in the UK.

“But the signs for other channels are not good. Be prepared to lose your free to air British TV via your satellite dish setup in the not too distant future.”

ITV were unavailable to comment at the time of writing.


Those viewing via IPTV, a service which provides broadcast via your broadband connection, will not be affected by the change and concerned viewers are being advised to switch to an IPTV provider as soon as possible to avoid being left without the channels.

Crompton said: “We are preparing for a surge in demand for our IPTV service , but we urge viewers to get in touch sooner rather than later so they are not affected by the change.”

The rocket was originally scheduled for launch in July, but was postponed following the failure of the preceding Proton launch.

The Proton-M crashed seconds after take-off, exploding into a fireball and contaminating the crash site with around 500 tonnes of poisonous fuel.

An investigation into the crash found that one of the parts had been incorrectly fitted, causing the rocket to head towards the ground rather than skywards.



Our thoughts and views after someone sent us the article:

A potential scare story, as until the new satellite is launched, tested, positioned, and operational, no-one will know what reception or what sized dish you will need. And this is expected to be late October / November – so no immediate rush.

Some BBC channels are already on the first new satellite, and are accessible on an 80/90/100cm satellite dish in some areas of Spain, like the Valencia area. But yes in other areas of Spain such as Barcelona, Andalucia, and Costa del Sol, a 1.8 or 2,.4m or larger satellite dish may be required – which proved that many of these articles are very general in their information, ,yet actual satellite signal reception is very area specific, and varies a great deal around Spain.

It is all down to signal overspill, and although the “beams” will be UK focussed, there will be overspill into other areas – like there has been overspill onto other areas for the last 20+ years.

The theory is that if you can receive Channel 5, which has been on the first new satellite since December 2012, then you should, in theory, be able to receive any channels on the seconds new satellite, since the satellites are the same make model and have the same footprint. So it could be that many people will not notice any change, but until it hap[pens no-one knows for sure, and anyone saying they know is only guessing.

The article also references someone from the BBC which something she did not say – “Alix Pryde, the Corporation’s director of communications, said the new satellite would signal the end of BBC broadcasts in Spain as it looks to focus on the quality of service transmitted to license fee payers in the UK.”
Here is the article used for this “quote” –
where she says : “The overspill of the BBC’s services will be reduced so viewers outside the UK will find it even harder to receive them”
“Harder” – not “the end of”.

Is it weird or coincidence that many of these stories / articles come form people selling IPTV services. (someone phoned me recently asking if it was true that everyone would lose ALL UK TV, including all Sky channels in August 2013 – surprise surprise this came from someone living in their village selling “IPTV” android boxes that stream UK TV via the internet). IPTV / internet is fine if you find you are in an area that will have no satellite signal, but:

– why buy an IPTV / Internet TV streaming system now when it may not actually be needed

– how do these IPTV sellers know what the signal will be like when the satellite has yet to be launched – I dare say the satellite owners and engineers do not actually know what the actual reception will be like in Spain!

– although changes will affect Spain, in some areas it could be for the better, others for the worse – as we have found from the first new satellite.

– no matter what you will not lose ALL UK TV channels, as some channels are on a “European” beam, designed for European coverage, and some channels are on satellites not affected by the change over.

– most of these IPTV systems / android boxes simply use the free uktv streams from filmon, or the free XBMC software – so no need to buy anything anyway, as they are available for free on a PC or android tablet!

– if you can get a satellite signal you can benefit from full HD live TV (BBC1HD, BBC2HD, ITV1HD, C4HD, C5HD – and soon more HD from the BBC), something which these IPTV services cannot yet offer – with many live TV streams less than standard definition resolution. Why have a nice 50″ HDTV and supply it with a sub standard definition internet signal ? That’s like having a Ferrari and putting in an engine from a 2CV!


And here are a few comments from other readers of the article:

“I do wish the O***e P***s would stop giving space to these expensive IPTV providers when nobody knows which parts of Spain are going to be affected by the satellite switch or whether a larger dish will solve the problem. Until the switch over is complete nobody can say for sure what is going to be lost or gained.”

“I remember similar concerns when the BBC changed to Astra 2D ten years ago, and only the Costa Blanca was affected.”




Jul 012013

Many people living on the Costas in Spain are currently worrying a little about the coming changes satellite TV reception, which may, or may not, affect Freesat TV, UK TV and Sky TV reception in Spain later this year.

This is all down to some of the current UK TV satellites being replaced with new satellites.

The first new satellites, Astra 2F, is already in operation. In some areas of Spain, there have been no changes in reception to channels that are on this new satellite. However, in other areas of Spain, particularly the Costa del Sol, reception of channels on Astra 2F, as been affected, especially the loss of Channel Five when it switched satellites.

The second new satellites, Astra 2F, is schedule for launch on the 20th July 2013, and expected to be in operation sometime in September 2013.

For all the latest news about the new UK TV Astra satellites, and more information about “the big switch off” of UK TV in Spain, please see :

Dec 112012

If you were listening to talkradioeurope this afternoon, you will have heard their satellite tv expert say the following:


15.28: apparently “more 4” moved satellites last week with the “fives, C4HD and 4seven”, and “all bbc itvs c4 and subsidiary channels will be lost in Spain on the 16th December.”

More4 did not move. There is no evidence from anyone about this loss of all BBC ITV C4s on the 16th December – see


1533 : expert says “Barcelona is getting the new 2F signal on a 1m dish” and “the further south you need now need a bigger dish”.

This is totally contradictory to all the reception reports!


15:41 : “all sky pay channels will not be affected by these changes”

Wrong. Over the course of the next two year, and two further new satellites, most free and Sky channels will be affected.


15:43 : “The 2F sky signal is effectively cut off at Madrid for BBC ITV”.

This is totally contradictory to all the reception reports!


15:46 : “The loss of BBC ITV Fives signals in south Spain are all down to the publandlady showing football in her pub.”, “karen murphy did start the problem”

Nothing to do with her at all.


15:46 “hopefully Murdoch will see there is money to be made by getting these signals back to Spain on subscription!”

Loss of BBC ITV C4 and Five channels is nothing to do with Sky / Murdoch at all.


15:50: “The BBC are trying to save money, and pay a premium to be on the EPG, so by moving satellites they dont have to pay this!”

Nope. Wrong. They will still have to pay to be on the Sky and Freesat EPG.


And he mentined that changes would be made to Astra 1F, which has not and does not even carry UK TV channels!

Apart from saying “things are changing” most of what was said was incorrect, or pure speculation.

I dont know whether to laugh or cry