Archive for February, 2014

Lost your signal? Satellite issues, your questions answered

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Satellite Astra 2E has now reached its final position with all UK channels making the change early last week. It’s taken a week for everything to settle properly, but we can now report on the following:

The confirmed footprint for Astra 2E features below with the numbers 45 and 60 referring to the satellite dish size required to obtain the signal.  This is not guaranteed 100% for those living in France, but for the most part seems to be correct.

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So what are the options for those who have lost signal throughout the rest of the country?

The first and potentially easiest fix is to check the quality and potentially replace your low-noise block downconverter (LBN).  For more information on what an LBN is, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-noise_block_downconverter

If this doesn’t help, then the next step is to increase your satellite dish size.  The map below highlights the size of dish used with success in various parts of France.  For the most part, all channels are fully recoverable and with good reception by installing a 80-150cm dish.  The exact size is very much dependent on your location.

Key – Yellow – 85cm dish, Red – 100cm dish, Green – 120cm dish

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As with Astra 2F, Astra 2E is likely to change seasonally, decreasing from April to September, meaning the dishes that work now, may not work then.

Other alternatives to installing  a larger dish:

  • Get UK SKYTV installed by a registered provider in France, such as www.astrasat.tv.  Monthly plans cost the same as in the UK, with an additional £120 + vat per year for the viewing card and installation costs.  This is a guaranteed fix and provides you with all the UK programming permanently with no loss of signal.
  • Use a proxy or VPN server to obtain a UK IP address and watch UK programming on demand via BBC iPlayer, ITV player, 4 on demand etc
  • Watch via internet tv using sites such as http://www.filmon.com – signal is not great via the free service but is significantly improved through subscription.
The last two options require a reliable, high speed internet connection which unfortunately, is not available in many areas of France.  If ADSL is not available or unreliable in your area, we recommend looking at getting satellite broadband installed (http://www.astrasat.tv/satellite-broadband/) and selecting a package with a 20mb/s download speed and minimum data limit of 10GB – this will ensure a fast, reliable internet connection enabling you to watch all your favourite programming online in HD.
You can also watch through your television by connecting with via a set top box or HDMI cable.  For more information, contact us today on connected@astrasat.tv.

Loss of Freesat in France – latest update

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As of midday today, ASTRA 2E has reached its final position and all UK channels have been switched over, enabling ASTRA 1N to relocate to its new position.  There have been mixed reports of varied signal strength but for the most part, unless you live in North France or Belgium you will no longer be able to receive UK channels with a standard 60cm satellite dish.

It is possible many will be able to regain the signal with a larger satellite dish and we have had reports of good (not perfect) signal as far as Antibes with satellite dishes in excess of 110cm. However, remember that in France, planning permission must be sought from the local Mairie for mounted dishes exceeding 1m.

Failing success with a larger dish, the remaining options include watching via the internet or subscribing to UK SkyTV or Satellite Broadband in France via a registered provider, such as http://www.astrasat.tv. 

Loss of BBC, ITV and Channel4 in Europe….permanent or temporary?

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On February 1st, ASTRA 2E, the replacement satellite for the soon to be recommissioned ASTRA 1N, reached its final destination in the orbital arc of 28.5/28.5 degrees East with the switchover occurring in the early hours of Thursday morning. Extensive in-orbit tests have confirmed that the satellite is now fully operational and performing to specifications, however, it is expected that fine tuning will not be complete until Feb 12th so at this stage, its best to wait and see what happens.

If, by Feb 12th, signal has not returned, then a larger satellite dish (circa 90cm-110cm) will most likely regain signal (although not guaranteed). If not, then you can subscribe to SkyTV and get them back.

coverage map

No one knows the exact answer right now because final tuning and changeover is not complete, but if you want more information contact Andy at www.astrasat.tv on +33 6 24 68 17 28.

Or check out official sources:

http://www.satellite-calculations.com/Satellite/Catalog/catalogID.php?39285

http://www.ses.com/4628866/astra-2e

http://linkis.com/buff.ly/TirX0

http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/news/news_item25.html