BBC & ITV lost in Algarve
There have been many rumors circulating for several months about changes to satellite reception outside the UK. We decided that as the true experts were being honest in saying that the real effect could not be predicted prior to the event happening we would monitor but not scaremonger.
On Wednesday night the “event” happened and BBC reception was lost and ITV will most likely follow suit soon.
Put simply the satellites which provided this service have aged and the broadcasters have moved to a new one called “Astra 2E”.
Why should this reduce service?
Channels like BBC & ITV were never meant to be broadcast to Europe, it was only because the technology could not limit the geographical coverage that we received it at all. It seems the new satellite is better at it’s job and only covers the UK as intended, and in fact the signal in the South East is weaker than it was.
By tomorrow we will know the full facts and then will research the options for you. In the meantime we strongly recommend you do not take action as there are many people claiming to have “solutions” and looking to cash in, beware!
We reproduce the timeline below from Sky In Madrid:
Updated Thursday, 6th February, 2014
BBC GONE, ITV AND C4 NEXT
ITV and Channel Four are still broadcasting from the old satellite Astra 1N. These remaining free to air services are likely to be migrated to the UK spot beam tonight. If you have already lost the BBC, you will also lose all ITV variants and regions, and the Channel Four group.
The channels which are likely to be switched tonight include: ITV ONE (all regions), CITV, ITV 2, ITV2+1, ITV 3, ITV3+1, ITV 4, Channel Four (all regions), Film Four, Film Four+1, E4, More 4.
The loss of BBC, ITV and C4 will affect Freesat and Sky boxes equally. People often ask if subscribing to Sky will bring them back. Sadly, it won’t.
BBC CHANNELS LOST OF MANY PARTS OF EUROPE
10.30AM GMT: Astra 2E Reception Reports
Very many thanks to all of you who have sent in reception reports. We hope to respond to each one individually.
Areas which have seen complete loss of BBC channels are: Costa Del Sol, Andalucia, Southern Portugal, much of Catalunya and the Canaries. Italy is badly affected as well. Many areas have seen reduced signals.
The UK spot beam pattern on Astra 2F has been almost exactly replicated on Astra 2E.
Many viewers with 3 metre dishes in the Canaries have severe BBC problems, though reports indicate that a well-tuned ChannelMaster 2.4 dish can receive the signals.
It seems that Astra 2E’s UK beam has been made deliberately weaker than Astra 2F’s. Here in the south-east of the UK, signal strength is lower than we expected.
Winners include Madrid (no change) Benidorm, Valencia, Javea, Gandia. No apparent change in Pontevedra, southern Galicia.
Avignon in France can receive BBC on a 78cm dish.
Signal in Sweden is weaker north of Stockholm. Southern Norway has seen no change.
Slovenia, Poland, Czech Republic appear to be receiving no or little BBC. A 2.5m prime focus is reportedly pulling in BBC in Slovakia.
BBC & ITV CHANNEL LOSSES BEGIN
Early reports from night owls and insomniacs across Europe indicate big losses of signal in the BBC and ITV Astra 2E narrow beam migration, which appears to have started at 1.30am GMT. One report from just west of Lisbon tells of a number of BBC & ITV channels disappearing. In Madrid and Southern Germany, signals are a fraction of what they were, probably not watchable on their owners’ current dishes.
Channel Five+24 was added to Freesat’s EPG at 3.00am GMT. Boxes should have automatically re-tuned to receive the new channel.
BBC MOVE IS TONIGHT
The planned BBC channel migration will be around 2am. (The so-called “BBC Switch-Off”)
It will, most likely, be as big an event for British expats since the move to Astra 2D.
In 2003, the BBC freed itself from Sky’s encryption contract. It began to broadcast free to air, with a much tighter Astra 2D footprint, badly affecting viewers in Spain. The removal of Sky’s encryption reportedly saved the BBC £85 million. The BBC, along with other UK broadcasters, has repeatedly stated its intention to retrict the overspill of satellite signals into mainland Europe.