Nov 252013

Sky has advised all broadcasters of planned maintenance on 28th Nov, between 0100 and 0300, which will result in a “brief outage of between 10-20 seconds” when the PID values change. About 80 channels are affected, on 6 Outstreams.

What does this mean.

Well firstly, it may affect any planned Sky+ recording scheduled for that time.

It certainly does not mean a move of channels to the new Astra 2E satellite, as that is still at the test location of 43 east, and simply cannot make it to 28 east in time for this outage.

It sounds like it is nothing to do with BBC ITV C4 or Five channels and the so called “Big Switch Off of UK TV”, as this is message from Sky, not the other broadcasters. Nothing has been mentioned by, for example, the BBC, who are getting good as notifying viewers of changes to satellites frequencies and settings these days.

Some people are speculating that these changes are part of the satellite replacement programme that is currently going on. It is thought that the remaining channels on Astra 2A, may well be moved to Astra 2F, in preparation for a final move to the new Astra 2E satellite later. This move would allow Astra 2A, an old and deteriorating satellite, to be moved out of the way, before Astra 2E is located there.

This may be of benefit to many expat TV viewers in Spain, because some of the channels currently on Astra 2A, such as Sky Movies, can be hard to receive, particularly around mid to late evening. This is because of the reception nature of the Astra 2As north beam, where even 2.4m satellite dishes can struggle to keep these channels in 24/7!

This would also mean Sky box users in Spain no more having to change the default transponder frequency setting from 11778 (2a north beam) to another, as 11778 will be on a beam much easier to receive…and would also ensure that the full 7 day Sky guide data is available 24/7.

However, this is speculation, and may simply be, as Sky say, a change of some channel settings, and Sky digiboxes should automatically update to any new frequency and channel settings.
Users of other types of satellite receivers being used for reception of Sky TV in Spain, may have to perform a channel rescan.

We shall have to wait and see…