After reading a number of questions, inaccurate answers and “scaremongering” on the internet and social media over the last few days, I hope this will help understand what changes are going to happen when watching UK TV in Spain post Brexit.
UK Streaming Services in Spain post Brexit
Since 2018, UK residents travelling within the EU were able to keep watching their UK streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, SkyGo, NOW TV , Britbox UK and ITV Hub without the need for a VPN or Smart DNS service as part of the EUs “Digital Single Market” and “portability” rules.
Over the last week or so a number of posts on satellite forums have reported weaker signals from the Astra 2E satellites UK spot beam.
This UK beam carries the majority of the BBC and ITV channels.
Reception in the UK is not affected, but in some areas of Europe, some people have noticed a lot more “pixilation” or loss of some of the BBC and ITV channels recently.
Some of these people are living in areas where the satellite dish they have is “on the edge” and so any changes in signal would be more noticeable. Just one of the problems of going for the smallest dish possible and not a larger dish that allows for that little bit more leeway if the signals change.
Various theories about this recent change in signals have been banded around.
Satellites do have a tendency to “move” around in space – they are not always in the exact same place. So every so often the satellites have to fire up their positioning thrusters to perform some “station keeping”, moving the satellite back into its correct place. This will have an effect on the signal footprint back on earth.
We are moving into summer. Heat and humidity can cause problems for satellite signals. IN areas where the signals is already weak, loss of more signals due to heat and humidity can cause a loss of channels.
I got a phone call this evening from a “IPTV” retailer, trying to “recruit” me, by saying all of Spain will only get UK TV via the internet by this week…as no satellite signals would be available in Spain….
There followed a few moments of silence after I mentioned I was getting UK TV fine on my 80cm satellite dish where I was!
“That’s not possible” he said…”all the signals have gone and switched off in Spain…no-one can receive anything”.
…as i turned up the volume enough for him to hear the TV – and then changed over to several channels to prove I was still getting signals.
“That’s not possible. That’s not possible. There are no Sky TV signals in Spain any more.”…he kept on saying…
as I started to watch the BBC Inside Out exposure on internet TV piracy….about providing pay tv channels without the correct subscription and viewing cards….
Reposting this as some people are unaware of this :
It is coming to the time of year, when the sun moves directly behind the satellites, and can mean that for a brief period of time (about 10 mins) you can lose some satellite Tv signals in the morning – between about 1030 and 11 30.
This is basically because the suns energy swamps the weaker signals (eg BBC itv) causing a brief period of channel loss.
The channels should return by themselves once the sun moves out of the way
Smaller dishes will be affected more than larger dishes.
On “big” prime focus satellite dishes you can tell when this is happening, as the shadow of the LNB is right in the centre of the dish – indicating the dish is pointing directly towards the sun and satellites. And it is a good time to see if there is any shrubbery that is covering the “line of sight” to the dish which can affect reception.
One such incorrect rumour that has been doing the rounds, and even spread on a Expat Radio Stations here in Spain, is that:
“All BBC, ITV, Ch4 and Ch5 TV channels etc. will disappear from the SKY platform at end of October beginning November. None of these channels will physically reach Europe mainland via Satellite.”
No. This is incorrect.
a) BBC, ITV, Ch4 and Ch5 TV channels etc will not disappear from Sky – or Freesat. These UKTV channels will still be on those Digital Satellite systems. Why would these channels be removed from the most popular Digital TV services ?
b) “None of these channels will physically reach Europe mainland via Satellite.”
No. This is incorrect. They will reach Europe mainland via Satellite. The beams may be more focused on the UK, but there will be satellite signal overspill into other areas, just like there has been signal overspill into Europe for the last 20 plus years
In fact, in some areas of Spain you can and should still be able to receive these UK TV channels (BBC1HD, ITV1HD, C4HD, Channel Five) on a 1m satellite dish from the first new satellite, Astra 2F, that has been operating since December 2012.
The map shows SES Astra’s prediction of their new satellites UK beam for users with a 45cm satellite dish and 60cm satellite dish. As you can see the Astra 2E satellites UK beam should be available to more than half of France if you are using a 60cm satellite dish.
However, some IPTV / Internet TV sellers are using this as a basis for their misrepresentations by saying anyone outside that “60cm satellite dish” contour will not be able to receive ANY signals at all. This is incorrect. Just because the map does not show data outside that 60cm dish contour, does not mean that no signals will be available in those areas.
The map shows no data for people in other areas using larger dishes, simply because either Astra do not know themselves, or they simply have decided not to publish that information. There will be signal overspill into areas not covered by the contours on the map.
In fact, this Astra 2E map is exactly the same map used for Astra 2F. And like I said before, many areas of Spain can receive this Astra 2F signal on a minimum 1m satellite dish – in areas where these IPTV / Internet TV / Smart TV sellers say it is impossible.
So you can see, even though the maps do not show any data about reception in Spain, it does not mean there will be no signals from the new satellite in Spain, as proven by the reception of the first new satellite, despite what some of the IPTV / Internet TV / Smart TV sellers are saying is fact.
Yes, some areas will be affected more than other areas. Some may find that they can still use smaller 1m and 1.25m and 1.4m satellite dishes in Spain for reception of their UK TV . Yes, some areas, like the Costa del Sol, may have to increase the size of their satellite dishes, and use 1.8m or 2.4m satellite dishes, just like the Costa Blanca has had to use for the last 10plus years.
Until the new Astra 2E satellite has been launched, expected around the 30th September 2013 ( http://www.satandpcguy.com/Site/astra_2e_satellite_reception_testing_news_updates.php ) , tested (which will take place at another location in the skies), positioned at 28 east along with the other UK TV satellites, and is transmitting signals from that location, no-one will know for sure what reception will be like in Spain, and Europe, or what sized satellite dishes you will need to receive these signals in Spain and Europe.
And it is this uncertainty that some Smart TV / IPTV / Internet TV “sellers” are trying to confuse and scaremonger people into buying system which they either
a) may not need as their existing satellite equipment may work perfectly well.
b) need to upgrade to a larger sized satellite dish that they currently have.
At least if you are in a good satellite signal area, then you will be able to watch your favourite BBC1, ITV1 C4 channels in full HD , subscription free, with no buffering, something which internet tv / iptv / Smart tv systems simply cannot handle at the moment.
There seem to be more confusion about the future of UK Satellite TV on the Costa Blanca and Spain, so I hope the following helps to calm nerves and help with some of the truths, lies, facts and rumours that are going around at the moment about “loss of UK TV in Spain!” and the “UK TV Switch off”.
Yes there are changes happening to UK TV via satellite.
No you will not lose ALL UK TV, and changes are NOT happening in July 2013!
Basically some of the previous satellites used for UK TV are old and need replacing.
The first new satellite, Astra 2F, is already up and working. Since December 2012 it has been transmitting some UK TV channels on its “UK beam” such as C4HD, 4seven and Channel 5.
The second new satellite, Astra 2E, was expected to be launched on the 20th July 2013, and be operational and transmitting channels from September. However a failed launch of another rocket at the launch site in Kazakhstan on the 2nd July will mean that the launch will inevitably be delayed, for about two to three months.
When the channels moved to the first new satellite, Astra 2F, some areas such as the Costa del Sol lost reception of these channels on their current satellite dishes. In other areas, such as between Valencia and Alicante there has been no noticeable change in reception. This proves that reception characteristics vary a lot in Spain, making it hard to generalize on reception across Spain.
No-one will know what reception of the second new satellite, Astra 2E, will be like in Spain, and the size of satellite dish required to receive those TV channels on its “UK beam” until the satellite is actually launched, tested, positioned, operational and transmitting channels. It may be that reception of Astra 2E may be similar to Astra 2F. It may be that you simply need a larger satellite dish to the one you are currently using. It has been said that if you can currently receive Channel Five from the first new satellite, then you should be able to receive the channels from the second new satellite, but no-one can actually say until it happens.
However, you should not lose ALL UK TV and all Sky TV channels when the satellite change over happens.
Firstly, some of the UK TV channels are on a satellite that is not part of the change over, and so their reception should not be affected.
Secondly, many of the Sky Pay channels may be transmitted from the new satellites “European beams”, just as they are today, and have been in the past. These European beams tend to be more easily available in most areas of mainland Spain, and so again, their reception should not be affected.
There are some people suggesting that if you subscribe to Sky HD pay package, you will not be affected by these changes and you will not lose your BBC and ITVs. This is incorrect, as channels Like BBC, ITV and C4 are all “free to air”, available subscription free, even without a viewing card.
It does seem that a lot of these “you will lose all UK TV IN Spain” scaremongering tends to come from companies and individuals who are selling IPTV / internet TV. Yes, for some people in Spain IPTV / internet TV may be the only solution. However, if you are in area where you can still receive the UK TV channels direct from the satellite, then you will benefit from having the main UK TV channels available subscription free and in high definition. Live UK TV streaming from the internet tends to have a much lower resolution than standard and high definition TV from satellites. And this is more noticeable when used on larger screen TVs, where the image is not as sharps as it should be.
The Sat and PC Guy has been installing and maintaining satellite and television systems for the Costa Blanca North since 2003. We cover between Calpe to Valencia and inland areas including Alcoy and Ontinyent. We are able to supply and install a range of dishes, from 80cm to 2.4 meter satellite dishes, and digital satellite receivers, including Freesat, and Sky HD digiboxes. We also supply and install TV aerials for the reception of Spanish digital TV.
Whether you require a satellite or Spanish TV system installing, your existing system upgraded or serviced, or more information contact The Sat and PC Guy on 96 281 9796 / 620 130 292 or see our website: www.satandpcguy.com or our blog : www.satandpcguy.com/blog or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/satandpcguy