7 Feb, 2013 @ 13:06
3 mins read

Are you ready for the ‘Big TV Switch Off’ in Spain?

Internet TV specialist Michael Coard explains why and when you will be losing your British TV this year

WHEN Channel 5 disappeared in a puff of smoke before Christmas taking with it all those chestnuts such as CSI and Celebrity Big Brother, there was – perhaps understandably – little more than a minor ripple of concern

That was until the million or so British expats in Spain learnt that ITV and BBC might be next.

The horror of losing Coronation Street and Eastenders, not to mention X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, was too much to bear for some people, with one even commenting in a recent article that his wife would ‘force him to move back to Blighty if she lost her British TV’.

Action stations then for many, rushing out to find the best value solution to the upcoming problem… but do they really need to worry?

Well the short answer is ‘yes’, but it is not imminent and nobody knows exactly which parts of Spain will be affected.

What is pretty certain though is Andalucia is in for the chop. And even if you live in Gibraltar you will almost certainly lose your Freesat channels this summer.

It all stems back to the launch of the SES Astra Satellite fleet some 13 years ago since when expats on the Costa del Sol could enjoy their favourite television programs via this satellite with little interruption.

However the recent and planned improvements to the Astra Satellite fleet will change all this.

Let me explain.

Our television is provided by several individual satellites positioned in geo-stationary orbit at an approximate height of 22.000 miles above the earth at 28.2deg east of south.

The individual satellites are placed several miles apart from each other and they all help to create a strong and reliable TV signal for their clients; the TV networks, such as Canal Plus, Rai Uno and ITV.

The problem is that the life of a satellite is around 12 years and as most of the present fleet were launched around 13 years ago they need to be replaced.

This was demonstrated by the rapid decline in performance of the satellite Astra 2D.

Although launched in late 2000, its performance declined so quickly that a quick fix was required and all channels were transferred to Astra 1N, a satellite intended for the use of German and Spanish channels at a slot of 19 degrees, but moved to 28.2 to assist the failing 2D.

All of the popular British channels were moved from 2D to 1N early last year and reception throughout Spain improved especially in Gibraltar and the Balearic Islands, with Andalucia also faring well.

However this is certainly all about to change this summer when 1N will be moved back to its original slot of 19deg as originally planned and all British channels will be moved to the new ‘big birds’ called Astra 2E and 2F.

Astra 2F was put into service in December 2012 and Astra 2E has a predicted launch date at the end of May.
These two satellites are of similar build and specification and have two main broadcast beams.

These are a ‘UK spot beam’ concentrated entirely on a UK domestic client base and a pan European beam.

And that is the problem as the UK spot beam will not be received on the Costa Del Sol even with a whopping three metre dish and therefore all channels will be lost.

How do we know this?

Well it has, in fact, already been proved when Channel Five moved to the UK spot beam in December and disappeared from our screens (apart from Five HD (High Definition) which is a part of the Sky package).

The date for the major ‘switch off’, as it has come to be known, is being estimated to be at some point this summer when all the UK public service channels will move to the spot beam.

It is likely to happen around two months after the satellite has been launched, positioned in the correct place and tested properly, so at a guess I would say late July.

This is already backed up by missives from the BBC (see end) where they explain about the changes being due to the need to improve services for all UK based viewers, particularly in places like northern Scotland.

Ultimately it seems certain that there will be a loss of channels in Andalucia, as well as Portugal and the Canary Islands.

Sky channels are less likely to be affected as it is probable that they will be broadcast via the pan European beam that can be received in Southern Spain without problem.

They’ve got plenty of clients down here, after all. But nothing is certain.

Luckily there are alternatives to continue getting UK TV using your internet connection.

Some free services, such as Filmon, already exist but you view on your PC or connect a cable to your main TV, however the image quality isn’t so good, and you have to pay if you want it in HD.

Another, better alternative is to subscribe to a professional streaming service and connect an IPTV set top box to your main television.

You will need a stable internet connection of at least 2M and will be able to enjoy many advanced features such as ‘never miss a program’ catch up TV, programme-recording, up-to-date movies in English and live Premier League football.

And to boot, you will be able to use the IPTV set top box to access YouTube, Google and everything else…

My advice, don’t hang around… get prepared for the ‘big switch off’ whoever you choose.

For more information visit www.smartsat-tv.com


  1. In Gibraltar, we can access BBC iPlayer but not the ITV and Channel 4 equivalents.

    Perhaps HM Goverment of Gibraltar can negotiate a deal whereby computers with Gibraltar IP addresses would be allowed to access these ‘players’ on account of Gibraltar being sovereign British territory. This would be entirely justified on the basis of close cultural links, our schools following the UK national curriculum, etc.

  2. This is the first expert who has come out and said we will definitely lose our British TV channels, others have said lets wait and see what happens when the satellites are in position and all the channel moving has taken place, they have suggested it may be just a case of shifting your dish. I am taking the optimistic view that if SKY is going onto a pan European satellite their package includes the free to air channels (unless they are going to encrypt even those). I think I will keep my money in my pocket fr now.

  3. Bertie,

    all you need to do is set up a UK VPN or buy a VPN Router if you have more than one device and this will make it look like you have a UK ip address.

    Regs ian

  4. ‘Satelite Plus’ pretty much fits the need, as long as you remember to switch the ‘language’ button on films and serials to English. Those programs in Spanish, plus the various sport and news channels, might even become useful for other reasons…

  5. It’s been known for some time that we were going to lose these programmes. What needs to be cleared up is why have SES have managed to set their ‘new’ footprint to exclude Gibraltar but manages to cover the Canary Islands. It makes you wonder how much influence of the Spanish Government manages to exclude Gibraltar?

  6. The SES footprint diagrams show that southern Spain should receive coverage from Astra 2E and 2F, in the larger dish sizes (90-120cm). Therefore it seems SES’s own data is incorrect?

  7. People like to watch their tv abroad, what’s wrong with that?! But turn it all off for me. It turns you into an unproductive unhealthy zombie. Dog The Bounty Hunter’s ok though! actually no.. all off please!!.. oh and Masterchef…

  8. I’m in the canary islands and have always had a 2.7m dish. This size of dish was required to receive UK TV off the old satellite (2D). Then along came N1 (to temporarily replace an old and failing 2D) and everyone got a much better, stronger, signal and was able to get UK TV on smaller dishes. Now 2F is in place and some channels (like channel 5) have already moved from 1N to the new 2F (which has a very tight UK spot beam). However, I can still get channel 5 today so I also expect to get all of the other channels when they finally migrate to 2F (and the other 2 new birds later this year and next year). So, in reality, my experience in the canary islands is that things have gone back to more or less how it was when 2D was around. The real issue here is the unscrupulous satellite installers who sold small dishes to unsuspecting buyers when they new full well that 1N was a temporary solution for ASTRA and that, come the day 1N was replaced, these small dish’s would prove ineffective. Well, that day has come.

  9. I agree with Peter saying he will keep his money is his pocket for now. It is probably better to wait and see what happens rather than panic. There are other alternatives such as TV over internet provided by some phone/broadband providers who advertise in the ex-pat press, and presumably these services will be unaffected. Only thing is you need a proper land line for those. Streaming TV over your own internet connection is possible provided you have a UK IP address, which we do have via a legitimate pan-European satellite internet provider – some of you will know what company that is, otherwise you can search on the internet and you will find it easily!

    We noticed Channel 5 disappearing a while back but frankly thought ‘so what’. We rely on the BBC for things like the news and Casualty (each to their own…) and radio, but my real fear is losing ITV2/3/4 if the free to air channels were to go. We subscribe to Sky so Sky channels may be OK and the FTA ones might even be included if you subscribe, but we will need to upgrade the internet to a larger monthly quota to watch TV over internet all the time so don’t feel like paying extra for that while still paying for Sky as well.

    Re. Ray’s remarks, I wondered how recent installations managed with such a small dish even in mainland Spain, now I’m glad we stuck with a 1.35m dish which we moved when we moved house!

    To Pedro I understand your sentiment but I have no objection to Spanish people watching Spanish satellite TV in the UK and I know for a fact that most of the Eastern Europeans in Britain watch their own TV as well as UK TV, why shouldn’t they? You don’t see The Guardian slating them the way they call British ex-pats in Spain the ‘baked bean brigade’, so why shouldn’t we watch UK TV here? We have a Spanish aerial as well.

  10. If anybody is still reading this article BEWARE do not buy a box and pay for your British TV to be broadcast over the internet. The good old EU that bastion of democracy and freedom has ruled that it is illegal to re broadcast TV channels over the internet except for a very basic service. They are also discussing a pan European ban on pornography (doesn’t bother me) but what next will be banned and how long before the EU gives itself the right to shut down the internet as and when it sees fit such as a civil uprising in one of the countries gripped by austerity.

  11. I get BritishTV over the Internet. The difference with me and everyone else is, I don’t watch very much TV, so it doesn’t bother me. There will always be ways to access British TV stations. Like others have said, wait and see and then find a way round it!

  12. Another alternative satellite provider is Canal Digital Plus. Lots of English content and news (inc BBC World) can be found there. Also, it supports version original (VO) so you get English audio track on films. InternetTV is now very cheap, there are now suppliers for just 5 euros a month in Spain.

  13. you cant say were going to loose them nobody knows unless there is some inside leak from astra in valencia were still getting channel 5 and theres a lot of companys saying this and that its all speculation you just have to sit tight and wait till august september.

  14. learn spanish and stop whinning, you are in another country. The sooner they remove english language channels the better. if you do not like it, then go home.

  15. @Louise, I was referring to an Internet TV (IPTV) provider, who does not provide Internet access, just the TV. I saw a 5 euro (+IVA) a month service in one of the expat magazines. I will have a look and try to find it again.

  16. Aron,

    Miraríamos tu tele encantados su tuviera una calidad media-apta para seres inteligentes. Pero como la tele española da vergüenza y solo hacéis tele para imbéciles, no nos queda otra opción que mirar la nuestra (que por cierto es la mejor del mundo).

  17. ***Mike***. Perhaps you should improve your skills in written Spanish before offering your opinions in that language. Perhaps next, find out how to select the language on digital transmissions. You will find that the original soundtrack of English language productions is available. And it won’t cost you a cent!. What do you pay in the UK??. Well over a hundred pounds a year I would think. And for what?. repeats and telebasura.

  18. Amparo,

    Gracias por tus consejos y perdona si trato a tu idioma de forma abusiva. Sabes a lo que me refiero y sabes que tengo razón. Me ofenden comentarios de necios como el tio ese – no es mi intención ofender a los demás.

    No quiero entrar en un debate de “mi tele es mejor que la tuya” – cosa que parece más apta para un plató de ‘famosos’ aquellos que se trasmiten diariamente y durante horas en la mayoría de vuestros canales. Hay que decirlo: la tele español da auténtica pena y cualquier español(a) con medio cerebro opina exactamente lo mismo.

    ¿Lo sabe(s) o no lo sabe(s)?

  19. Un punto más Amparo: ¿no lo ves curioso que a pesar de tu excelente control del inglés has tenido que recurrir al castellano para poder definir exactamente lo que es “telebasura”? Sociolinguísticamente hablando, creo que eso lo dice todo.

  20. It’s quite possible that there is little difference between the two. However, before condemning all of Spanish tv as exclusive viewing for ‘los imbéciles’, perhaps you should explore what IS available just a little more, not only the good quality Spanish productions but also excellent imports transmitted with their original soundtrack as an option.

    Mantén tu mente abierta y puedes lograrlo si verdad estás empeñado en ello. ¡Aquí, estamos en España, no en una colonia britanica!. ¿Sabes?.

  21. Sabía que llegaría la conversación a lo de siempre Amparo. Estamos hablando de diferentes culturas televisivas, nada más. Llevo más años de mi vida viviendo en España que en Inglaterra y creo que me he integrado muy bien, gracias. Todos los paises tienen sus puntos buenos y malos y el hecho que he escogido España para vivir y tener mi família en vez de mi pais natal lo dice todo (mi mujer es de Salmanca – odia la tele española por cierto – y mi hija sevillana). Hasta cogería yo la nacionalidad española pero los mismos funcionarios me dicen que no vale la pena entrar en ese túnel particular de burocracia (pero eso ya es otra cosa).

    Si quisiera vivir en una colónia británica, tengo uno justo al lado, pero nunca me lo plantearía. Pareces una persona bastante inteligente, y él ‘Estamos en España’ no parece muy propio de tí.

  22. Some comments on here seem to suggest that there will be ‘no problem’ in maintaining access to UK TV channels as all that is required is to subscribe to a VPN provider for about a fiver a month. Not quite as simple as that, I’m afraid, as your ability to stream telly to your PC or onwards to your TV set is limited by what UPLOAD speed you are getting from your provider. A bare minimum of around 1Mb is required for even grainy standard definition, and anything halfway decent requires around 2Mb or more. At time of writing, in Portugal, where I am, the national average is only 1.2Mb, so there are a lot of people with speeds much lower than that. To access a VPN you can’t just use any old Modem/router,either.
    There are plenty of sites on which you can check your speed. I find testmy.net quite useful for that. So if you’re fortunate enough to have a cable connection or even fast ADSL, i.e. in most major cities, well lucky you, VPN ia a viable option, but still shop around. There are a number of potential providers out there who will give you the impression that all will be OK if you pay for their service, but some of them become rather coy when you start talking about slow download speeds. Beware.

  23. We have taken the plunge and purchased a internet tv box, i was recommended to them via a friend. I placed my order on Tuesday and the box arrived “opened” yesterday, I specifically requested that the box be “ready to go” so all of the channels are loaded up, the only thing i needed a hand with was connecting the box to the router at home as the router is by the door so my local spark run another cat5 cable from the router to behind the telly. I am very impressed with the box as I can use it as a satellite receiver and a iptv box, have now got channel 5 back! The Mrs is a big neighbours fan (i know, i know) so we had to find a solution. Best bit is that there is no monthly fees and I in a couple of weeks I can insert my sky card.

    I think divorce lawyers in Marbella will be rushed off there feet if we loose bbc & itv.

  24. Hi Mike, If you go on google search for mr sky tv they sent me a demo video but I cannot find it, I dealt with Jason. if you get stuck will dig out the factura. I am using the basic telefonica package, we only use it for the odd e-mail and skype, I did the speed test and we have 3GB.

  25. Re. Mr Sky TV – they are satellite TV engineers, so unless they’re moving into internet/VPN connections, they won’t be able to help if all other channels follow Channel 5 to a new satellite this Summer. Even a 3 metre dish won’t help, as the signal footprint just won’t be there in Southern Spain/Portugal. As for VPN providers, there are many out there in addition to Expattelly. TVwhenaway/Hidemynet/My privatenetwork/Britishtvanywhere/TVabroad to name but a few. But do check your UPLOAD speed before you sign up to anything, as its vital you have minimum 1Mb and ideally 2Mb, otherwise buffering will make a mess of your viewing.

  26. Hi micme,

    We tried expatv and vpn etc etc but Mrs Gold got fed up having to use a PC what we wanted was something that had a remote control like we are used to and all the BBC ITV CH5 etc that would work via the internet as it looks like we would require a 6M dish to get BBC ITV etc and our El Presidente would have a heart attack if we asked him for one that big.

    A friend of ours in Hong Kong recommended mr sky tv as they purchased a box from them 3/4 years ago. We spend 6 months a year in Spain so not having any TV would be a real issue for us. I did my homework (as with any purchase), there first iptv demo video on youtube was in 2008, so not a quick start up looking to cash in. I am just waiting to get an additional piece of software so that I can insert my card from UK to watch sports etc

    I think you will find that UPLOAD is irrelivent, it is DOWNLOAD speed that is of IMPORTANCE.

  27. Upload speed is the more critical for live streaming, particularly as its usually about a tenth of the download speed from any given ISP. You’ll need at least 0.7 to 1.0 for anything watchable, and up to 2.0 for HD. Loads of info on the net to that effect.

  28. “a 6M dish to get BBC ITV etc”

    James, a 60m dish won’t help you get the channels you desire as there is no signal in southern Spain. Mid-Spain gets a signal, but not Andalucia.

  29. Hi Mike, I have eventually found that video link on youtube, my inbox dissapear on my samsung, think I need to stick to old fashioned “green” and “red” button mobile in future ha ha i still miss my old nokia, its all touch screens and apps now.


    Good luck


  30. Hi micmc

    I think you are getting confused with “slingbox” you do not need to upload anything with this iptv box that I purchased you just “download” I have nothing to “upload”.

    What system or way are you going to use once the signals disappear in a “puff of smoke” ???

    Mrs Gold is Happy, and I am happily surfing web at same time and no picture break up.

    Hopefully BBC & ITV will come to there senses.

    God bless


  31. This box appears to merely stream filmon.com which you can do with your own laptop and a decent connection. filmon.com is unstable and channels can disappear as quickly as they appear. I think I will wait until all migration has taken place and see what I can get on the pan european satellite.

  32. Thanks very much for the the info James. When work allows I will check it out some more. I must say I’m also struggling to get my head around exactly how it works as putting your UK sky card in is all news for me and doesn’t stack up with what I know right now about IPTV. Anyway, it’s clearly working, which is not only a relief, but a challenge to find out how.

    What’s the picture like? When I’ve watched IPTV it’s been PC-style CGI graphics, which look particuarly bad on a 55″ plasma. I hope it doesn’t all completely go as Mrs. Mike isn’t going to be happy if I insist on moving back to Barcelona just to be able to watch civilised telly!

  33. My ‘last post’ on upload speed. See .ehow.com/info_12184321_upload-speed-affect-netflix-streaming.html
    The same applies to any other ‘streamer’, e.g. iplayer, itvplayer etc. I’m not making it up… honest.. The same limitation will apply to IPTV as to PC routed VPN, PS3, Xbox or anything else. It all depends on the speeds which your ISP is providing. Personally, I’m waiting to see what happens later this year before I decide which way to go.

  34. Hi Mike, in order to use card from UK I will connect the box to my dish in addition to the internet connection, so I will be able to switch between IPTV & SATELLITE. I am also confused and will put my hands up to being rather clueless on internet stuff, but I am getting a good crisp picture on my Panasonic LED TV. Once I have the card bit working will let you know as they are yet to provide the software update. At the minute I use my sky box from UK and this IPTV box, my sky box is on HDMI 1 and the IPTV is on HDMI 2 so just need to press one button to flick between both, Mrs Gold is a Animal Planet fan on SKY so that is usually on after Neighbours.

  35. It is no secret that IPTV is the way forward, especially if this is going to be the only way we will be able to get our TV here. I believe that it is therefore also just as important to carefully pick out the service because at the end of the day, this is a whole load of data that is constantly being streamed over an Internet connection. Bandwidth is key, and it needs to be fast, reliable and constant so it is therefore just as important to pick the right ISP. Make sure that your ISP will not penalise you for consuming over “X” GB/month, or that the speed is not restricted after certain limits etc.
    I believe that the relationship between the ISP and the IPTV service is crucial, because the ISP is able to set the QoS and specify preferential bandwidth to make sure that the IPTV service is not interrupted. Providers such as Direct Telecom and Europa Network have been at it for a while, but from what I have heard, DT have got a lot further by being able to even control the bandwidth prioritisation through the Router as well as the ADSL network.

    This makes sense to me, because you want to have an ADSL with an ISP that will be opening all the doors and setting no limits to the bandwidth needed for your IPTV to work well. The business is going to be in the hands of the ISP’s and only the IPTV services offered by them will work best for logical reasons. I have tried and used all of the above and was pleased with europa until I tried the dtmedia.tv service from DT. Took them ages to get it right but for me it is now spot on and would certainly recommend them,. They control their adsl network and they provide their own uktv channels, 14 days catchup, and even a Video Club kind of section with movies. I warn you that the “Movies” Video Club is not a real movies data base, they are just being smart and they have only made a video club style representation of the movies that are already in catchup but hey…makes it easier to find i must admit. For me, what does it is that it is 1. its for free if you have their ADSL, and 2. it works on ipads, smart phones and you can watch different channels on each. Their Set Top box is lacking a good remote control, but does its job once you get used to it. Yes…..i am paying an extra 10€ for the “MORE” bundle, but for me it is worth it until I find something better to test out ;-)
    here’s the link: http://dtmedia.tv

  36. (laughing) Just got call from supplier that I purchased my IPTV box from. He just read this string, appreciated me posting his link on youtube and has told me I will get the software update next week so I can also insert my sky card.
    My system is still working, have spoken to Telefonica & told them we where worried about usage as the box is on from 8am until 11pm every day, have switched to a different package 34.95 a month and been told that we will have no issues & get FREE calls to UK after 6pm. I do not pay any monthly fees for our iptv service its free, oh also there are free movies on the box via movie2k and its all free no monthly charegs.

    Mrs Gold still happy, got channel 5



  37. Got one of these Internet Boxes, get over 60 UK Channels including all the Sky & Setanta. Is a steal for €390! I pay €125 every 3 months, but hey..still half price of that what Id normally pay! Great Service!Highly Recommend this to anybody.

  38. Agree with Peter’s post on March 14th, 2013 5:53 pm

    “If anybody is still reading this article BEWARE do not buy a box and pay for your British TV to be broadcast over the internet”.

    This refers to providers of UK TV over the internet that advertise that there is no requirement for a proxy or VPN. They normally provide a set-top box, also called an IPTV box. The box connects to your TV with an HDMI cable and to your broadband, either via wireless (WiFi) or an ethernet cable.

    The problem is that those providers who re-transmit the TV streams from their own servers, possibly situated in Spain, fall foul of EU law. This internet re-transmission is now illegal (breach of copyright law) according to the European Court of Justice ruling in early March.

    The problem for customers who subsribe to re-transmitted UK TV is that those companies may be forced stop the transmission and face significant penalties.

  39. IPTV boxes seem a rather expensive solution to me. You’re still only getting streamed, internet TV via this box, just as you are with a VPN. OK, you may have a remote with your IPTV box, but you can also use a remote with a PS3 for example, which is perfectly cable of streaming programmes to your telly via a VPN or proxy server. You can get a decent VPN for around 5 Euros per month on an annual deal – so much cheaper than an expensive IPTV box plus heavy monthly charges – for essentially the same programmes. I also have reservations about the legality of some of these IPTV services, and suspect that someone may rein them in before too long. I’m spending the next few months shopping around the various VPN providers to see what quality stream I’m getting with my average download speed of about 12Mbps and upload 0.8Mbps. Great results so far with my first test provider. If I do decide to go that route, my local Telecom company will only charge me an extra 9 Euros or so per month for unlimited download, so no limits on how much I could watch. So basically, I’m still playing the waiting game, and who knows, we may end up not losing the satellite signal after all, particularly if Sky get in on the act.

  40. Totally disagree with “Jamies post”

    “A poor attempt at scaremongering”

    Just like some stories about “SKY TV being illegal to watch in Spain” if it was illegal can you imagine? Same thing scaremongering there where loads of threads on loads of forums with annoying prats suggesting that watch Animal planet is against the Law in Spain. (laughable)

    With our IPTV box we don’t pay any money as its free and as the Company that operates the streaming is based in Beverly Hills and owned by a eccentric Billionaire. (Alki David / filmon) Snoop Dog & Charlie Sheen are Directors and the guy is 45th richest in UK worth over 1’200 Million. I feel confident that there service will continue, and should it not then another supplier can be found same day.

    I think we are going to be OK. I tested several systems & boxes before making a decision. The box I purchased is a “internet TV box IPTV” but also a “satellite receiver” so should the service be shut down we can use another provider or get a feed through our satellite dish if there is any signal there. At the moment we have been using the service for free paying no fees.

    I tested a box that was a pay per month solution and the box was only compatible with that “one provider” this iptv box we purchased can be used with any supplier. I have noticed loads popping up almost daily so no shortage of suppliers cashing in on “THE BIG TV SWITCH OFF” Our neighbours have been looking at our box as loosing UK TV completely when the changeover happens would not be good for them or there three kids so they are in the process of buying one from the same supplier.

    Any legal wrangling would take years to be dragged through the courts, as far as an ex-pat in Spain watching UK TV in there own home for private entertainment is concerned myself and Mrs Gold are very happy with what we have purchased.

    The way I see it is that I have purchased a satellite receiver that also allows us to watch TV via the internet, so in my mind I may have paid €100 more than a normal box but having channel 5 and being prepared for the switch off has given us peace of mind.

    Just seeing how happy Mrs Gold was when we got CH5 back was priceless.

    I am not fased by the scaremongering…

  41. This is a very long post. James Gold has provided a wealth of information in his posts. I have attempted to clear up any misunderstanding and have read, with interest, his internet solution based on mrsky.

    I am based in the UK and so, although I have an interest in internet TV technology, am not directly affected by the UK TV September switch off. My interest in the switch off is assisting a few friends based in Malaga. I use internet set-top boxes in the UK and have tested them in Spain. The boxes are able to stream from more than one streaming service. That flexibility is important given that companies can have problems maintaining a 24/7 internet service and, of course, the flexibility provides a safety net in the event that a streaming service closes down.

    A good combination is BBC live and catchup TV via iPlayer and FilmOn or another streaming provider for live TV. On an Android based set-top box, FilmOn is available via the Android App.

    Just to be clear, an internet set top box (STB) AKA an IPTV box is any device with an ethernet connection for broadband and audio-video output (probably HDMI) for your TV. These include the AppleTV box, the XBOX, a range of boxes based on the Android operating system and, for the budget conscious, the Raspberry Pi. Prices range from about 40€ to several hundred.

    These STBs are generally controlled with a remote and, in some cases it is possible to use your TV’s own remote.

    At least one STB is a hybrid – it is both an IPTV box and a Sky satellite box combined and is available from mrsky:

    The price is a shocking €395.

    The mrsky box streams UK TV from the FilmOn servers.

    If you already own a Sky Plus box then you already have the capability to stream catchup TV from all the major UK broadcasters and so you do not actually need a Sky satellite tuner built in to an IPTV STB. You can use your existing Sky Plus box for catchup (and any live satellite channels still available) and a modestly priced (less than 100€) IPTV box for streaming UK live TV. Both the STB and the Sky box connect via ethernet cables to a single broadband router for their internet connections.

    All this begs the question of whether your ISP’s download speed will support at least standard definition.

    Another important consideration is IP blocking. Streaming UK channels, both live and catchup, direct from the broadcasters, requires a UK internet location because the UK streams are IP blocked. My own preferred solution is the use of a UK based VPN server to provide a UK IP location.

    An alternative to using a VPN or web proxy or other similar technology is the use of a re-broadcasting service. FilmOn is perhaps the best known company. Re-broadcasting companies take the original broadcast of a UK channel and re-transmit it as an internet stream.

    ITV won a case at the European Court against a re-broadcasting company – the case I referred to in my earlier post. ITV failed in an earlier case in the UK High Court and the case was referred to the European Court of Justice.

    The ECJ’s decision in March sets the principles by which European courts will adjudicate on such cases. It seems likely that the EU ruling, against re-broadcasting using the internet, will be adopted by EU member countries. A company that re-transmits TV from an EU country could face litigation. Any TV broadcaster can now, in principle, pursue a case against the re-broadcaster.

    My view is that anyone looking at the internet TV alternatives would wish to know the about the legalities.

    I am not aware of any legal restriction on VPN and proxy service providers, whose customers may use the service to access blocked TV streams. I am not aware of any users of those services being prosecuted. There is a partial analogy here with Sky customers who view Sky satellite TV outside the UK. Maybe that is technically illegal – maybe not. If Sky discovered that you were using your account to view their encrypted broadcasts outside the UK – I guess the worst that would happen is you lose your Sky account.

    James Gold, in his recent post, seems to think it preposterous and “scaremongering” to suggest that the re-transmission of UK TV in the EU is illegal. He compared the suggestion with what he seems to think equally ludicrous – that watching Sky TV outside the UK is illegal.

    He wrote: “Just like some stories about ‘SKY TV being illegal to watch in Spain’ if it was illegal can you imagine?”

    Whereas I share his view about watching Sky TV I do not understand how he can reach a similar conclusion about re-
    broadcasting. I can only think that he has misinterpreted my view. I am not suggesting that it is illegal for customers or users of TV re-broadcasting to watch the re-transmitted internet streams, any more than I consider watching Sky to be illegal. It is the providers of those re-transmission services, meaning the companies who re-broadcast the streams, who risk prosecution.

    If I were considering using a re-transmission service in Spain, my main concern would be what do I lose if the provider closes the operation. Clearly you can no longer watch those TV streams. You may also lose a month or more of subscription costs and any initial payment such as the cost of the IPTV box from the provider.

    I prefer to know of the risks and can then decide whether I wish to take that risk.

    I prefer not to have to rely on a single source of TV streams. For example, for BBC live TV in the UK I use a set-top box that provides access to both the live iPlayer streams, FilmOn and streams from one other re-transmitter. Accessing live BBC using iPlayer outside the UK requires a VPN or proxy.

    I prefer to use a set-top box that gives a choice of stream providers rather than a customised box which, I presume, could restrict you to the re-broadcaster’s transmissions.

    Readers may be interested in the Broadband4Spain page with details of some internet TV providers:


    I am pleased to see that James Gold is “not phased by the scaremongering”, particularly given that my comments were not directed at him and the “scaremongering” was imagined – not real.

    In any case, I suspect that the mrsky STB is not tied to FilmOn – and James confirms that “this iptv box we purchased can be used with any supplier”. My concern in the earlier post was with suppliers where “the box was only compatible with that ‘one provider'”.

    I share James’s hope that FilmOn will continue their good work: “I feel confident that their service will continue” –
    although there were reports that, following the ECJ ruling, FilmOn restricted its UK re-transmissions. See:


    I do not share his optimism that: “should it (FilmOn) not continue then another supplier can be found same day.”

  42. I really dont see what your all complaining about you get free tv in spain you don’t pay a tv licence, where the money goes to sh*t tv from the bbc and show repeats its about time the bbc got closed down or they started showing adverts.
    I use a vpn service that supports streaming and with all the uk isp’s blocking movie2k and download for all you can see why. i pay my internet bill and i wont have some dogooder telling me what i cant look at or watch.

  43. Al – see earlier posts. Spanish TV is bad for your (mental) health, believe me.

    Jamie – that’s a great post and thanks for taking the time to write something so comprehensive. I’ve got Sky+ but haven’t yet connected to the Sky Anytime catch-up service as I’m worried that Sky will see a Spanish IP and cut me off (same as if say, I connected it to my phone line). Do you know if this is the case, or no need to worry, or should I only connect if behind a VPN or hidden IP? Which leads to my other doubt: do I need a UK IP to acces iPlayer and so on or can I simply hide my IP?

    Is it possible to programme the IPTV STBs to automatically hide an IP / convert it into a UK one and access online players, rather than having to go through an (illegal) re-streaming service?

    Thanks very much!!!!


  44. So many tight a***s around happy to scaremonger and get all upset, but nobody actually wants to ask the experts.

    Might I remind everybody that it’s not only arm-chair-warriors and Man-in-van-sat-installers that you can ask. There are valid (and legal/tax paying) shops that supply this kind of thing (not sure if we’re allowed to shamelessly plug in here or not).

    Do you all actually think that a properly run business is not prepared, in the know and ready and able now in fact to provide alternate options? Nope, most of you would rather panic but keep your wallets close to your chest hoping it’ll be ok in the end. Admirable, but naive as do you think when it goes off you’re going to be able to pop out and sort a replacement in a day or two?

    Stop looking for information in the wrong places and ask people who offer guaranteed work – it’s going to matter with the internet TV that will be essential soon….

  45. Just found a new plug in for free football from around the globe although my viewing did not last very long as Mrs Gold now has the remote. We are off to Granada for three days on Monday, so taking our laptop as we can connect to wifi in the Hotel and then connect to our iptv box back at home in Marbella. I have been guaranteed this will work and been given a mobile number to call if I get any hitches. Still happy with what I purchased and if it means we can access it when away from home (mainly for News & CH5) then we are happy bunnies.

    I love the post before this one, my neighbour who has been over three times asking “Is it still working? is still hanging on with hope that bbc1 and bbc2 itv etc do not disappear. He called our supplier today and was told that there is now a list “first come first served”. Our neighbour opposite just got his box this morning and his teenage son set it all up (he found the free footy add on thing)

    As I said to Jim, if we do not loose the channels then I still have an IPTV box that is also a freesat receiver with loads of extras so not really bothered that we have jumped the gun so to speak. Have now also got a 750GB hard drive attached.

  46. Reply to Mike

    Thank – much appreciated.

    Your questions are quite technical. I would appreciate clarification/correction to my answers from readers.

    You asked:

    “I’ve got Sky+ but haven’t yet connected to the Sky Anytime catch-up service as I’m worried that Sky will see a Spanish IP and cut me off (same as if say, I connected it to my phone line). Do you know if this is the case . . . ?”

    The simple answer – I don’t know. But I doubt it very much that you would be cut off and I’ve not seen any reports that it has happened – and those who have tried with a non-UK IP that I know of have not mentioned they were cut off.

    “or should I only connect if behind a VPN or hidden IP?”

    I doubt you will be able to receive Sky’s Anytime without a UK IP, i.e. without using a VPN/proxy. I’ve read a few reports that some have been able to activate Anytime on their Sky account and access it without a VPN or proxy. That does seem unlikely though.

    So, I believe you’ll need to hide your IP to access Sky’s Anytime.

    “Which leads to my other doubt: do I need a UK IP to acces iPlayer and so on or can I simply hide my IP?”

    By hiding your IP using a VPN or proxy you effectively have a UK IP.

    There are AFAIK two main ways to hide your IP – a VPN or a proxy. Both techniques work by making the request to the BBC’s iPlayer servers from a computer (a server) based in the UK. The result is that your Spanish IP is hidden because the BBC sees the IP address of the UK based VPN or proxy server. You then have a UK IP so far as the BBC server is concerned.

    We are talking about ‘hide my IP’ here in the context of streaming TV and not in the stricter sense associated with preserving your anonymity. Using a proxy can still reveal your IP but your IP is sufficiently hidden to unblock the TV stream.

    With iPlayer I use a VPN but you can also, at the present, use a proxy or one of the Smart DNS services.

    With TVCatchup (the UK’s equivalent of FilmOn – except that TVCatchup uses IP blocking) a proxy does not work and so you need a VPN. TVCatchup works for me from Spain using a VPN.

    “Is it possible to programme the IPTV STBs to automatically hide an IP / convert it into a UK one and access online players, rather than having to go through an (illegal) re-streaming service?”

    I use a second router to run the VPN client program. A second router is sometimes used with a Sky+ set top box (for Anytime) and/or an internet STB so as to avoid a long cable run from the main router/modem to the STB. One arrangement is wireless from main to second router positioned near to the TV and then ethernet cable from LAN ports on the second router to a Sky+ and/or IPTV box.

    It makes sense to set up the VPN on the second router. The TV internet stream then passes through the VPN tunnel from the VPN server in the UK, through both routers to the TV. Your other internet traffic, via the main router only, bypasses the VPN.

    However, to answer your question, yes, I believe it is possible to setup a proxy or VPN client on some STBs. Some of these boxes use the Linux OS and I have seen instructions for setting up a VPN client on these. Setting up a proxy is easier but I have not tried setting up a VPN or proxy on an STB as yet. Running a VPN client program places an extra load on the STB’s processor – I guess that could impact the processing needed for decoding the video stream on some STBs.

    “rather than having to go through an (illegal) re-streaming service”

    I would say ‘in addition to using a re-streaming service’. My approach is not to rely on just one source. On the same STB you can set up, for example, iplayer for BBC live and catchup, TVCatchup (which, despite its name streams all the main live UK channels) and FilmOn. In my previous posts I was not recommending that you avoid re-transmission. Just be aware that, given the legalities, those streams are more likely to disappear.

  47. Some excellent advice here on checking out the range and cost of possible solutions to the threatened ‘big switch off’. There are also one or two so-called ‘unbiased’ contributions which make me think of that Monty Python song. The one that goes “Spam, spam, spam, spam…”. I’ll certainly be talking to those who have particular technical expertise, but will also bear in mind hat some of them might well be trying to steer me towards their own shop window… If the cap fits..:-)

  48. Hi Jamie,

    Thanks again, and all the points are wonderfully answered and appreciated. I’m going to keep investigating and will let you know of any interesting outcomes.

    Meanwhile, enjoy your telly!


  49. As I now understand it, the Astra Satellite is launching July, and will be live, probably, in September.

    Main option for channel reception is Internet Based TV, fine if you have broadband a router and wifi. Not so fine if you don’t!

    Another option, I have just heard about, is the BROADCAST network. Based on a similar system to Sky, the channels will be beamed to masts placed at strategic high points to give areas a “line of sight”. These masts are already being erected, and it anticipated that, certainly the area from Malaga to Gibraltar, i.e. The Costa Del Sol, will be covered by July. To receive the channels you will require a set top box (ranging from €65 – €170, and an encrypted card. The system will then work in exactly the same way as sky does now, giving us the channels we are about to lose. The installation costs a heft €500!!! which includes the basic box. For communities the installation is €150 cheaper, but I am sure will depend on numbers. For those people without the Internet, this could be the only option, other than packing their bags. Just a rethought, but I would be interest to hear if anyone else has further information.

  50. Filmon News

    Lawsuits in the US against FilmOn have been ongoing for some time. Putting aside the legalities and the morality, I personally had hoped that FilmOn would continue to remain a robust option on the internet TV menu. In particular, I had hoped that FilmOn would at least provide a stop-gap in the short term given the imminent loss of satellite UK TV in large parts of Europe.

    This report from the satandPCguy of Valencia may be just a blip – but it could equally point to the endgame for national TV via FilmOn.


    The previous post (from Paul) – seems too good to be true. Can anyone confirm? These re-broadcasting services (typically by taking satellite signals from a large dish and re-transmitting using conventional antennae) have been used before. They are, of course, illegal if the re-transmission is not authorised by the original broadcaster.

  51. This is the information I have received, I do not know anything about it being a re-broadcasting service, but have to say that would make sense.

    The company I have the information from are smartsat-TV, although other companies have also mentioned it as being in the pipeline.

    You also have to ask yourself however, would companies spend (I imagine) fortunes installing receiver masts if the service is illegal?

    Picking up on comments re Filmon, are we to understand that this “service” could also disappear, in the future, whether imminent or not?

  52. The question of what channels will disappear/remain and what you will be able to get after the satellite shuffle is like one of the questions on QI, answer nobody knows. What I do know is that SKY channels and possibly the free to air will migrate to a pan european satellite, it remains to be seen if we can get this signal and in what areas. Patience is the watchword here, remember there are always plenty of people out there who will prey on your fears to take your money for a service you may or may not need.

  53. A lot of the information and comments on here are extremely technical, and sooo many “intitals” are thrown about. I will keep an eye on this fórum, and wait for someone who speaks plain english,and doesnt talk using IVP, VPN, IPTV, but tells me EXACTLY what they mean! Not all of us are tecchie minded, some of us pensioners, are totally baffled with all this, and need it laid outin plain english!

  54. Thank you Paul for that response.

    I could not find anything on the smartsat-TV web pages that does not require an internet connection. Your post refers to “another option” other than internet TV.

    Is it possible that those masts you refer to are simply a new wireless broadband installation? That may explain why the installers are prepared to invest in the project. The new broadband infrastructure would remain functional even if the TV re-broadcasting had to stop.

    Concerning Peter’s point about what channels will remain, I think there is an assumption, which I share, that Sky’s own encrypted channels will be transferred to the pan-European beam on the new satellite. Has that actually been confirmed yet?

    My view is why would Sky wish to use the UK spot beam given that Sky’s channels are encrypted?

    Concerning the “free-to-air channels”, which I presume includes BBC, ITV, 4 and 5 – those four broadcasters have not been encrypted since they stopped paying for Sky’s encryption and moved to the old 2D satellite UK spot beam. At least, that’s my understanding. Using the UK beam allowed BBC etc to restrict their sat broadcasts to the UK – so far as was possible at the time.

    Since February last year the 2D was temporarily replaced by the 1N satellite which broadcast on a pan-European beam. As a result the four unencrypted broadcasters were receivable throughout Europe on a medium sized dish – that was unavoidable until now, when the 1N is about to be replaced by the 2E satellite.

    Unless those four broadcasters resumed encryption I cannot conceive that they could now start transmitting on the pan-Europe beam.

    When the 2D was introduced a larger dish was needed in Southern Spain – typically 1.2m. One could have hoped that, when the 2D is replaced by the 2E, a 1.2m dish would still work. Sadly not. The new 2E satellite, like its twin the 2F, has a UK beam that is even more sharply focused over the UK. That is not the only factor. That alone would not explain why the Valencia region, which needed about a 3m dish with the 2D, now, with the 2F and presumably the 2E, only needs a 1.5 to 2m dish. Why is that?

    The most likely explanation is that, given that Southern Spain is strictly outside the official footprint of the 2D and now the 2E and 2F, the Physics of satellite design and interference patterns is at work. I could be wrong, but it is possible that Andalucia lies on an interference node – meaning that the waves from the the satellite’s spot-beam antenna cancel out. If anyone knows the real explanation, please let me know.

    The above concerns the spot beam. I don’t believe there is any doubt that the pan-Europe beam will be received in Southern Spain.

  55. OK, basically, this will be the score.

    There will be no getting away from it.

    The current free to air channels, even those which SKY broadcast will disappear and will disappear from the SKY menus. That is a fact, and they will have disappeared, if not by September, then certainly by the end of the year.

    Having a SKY box will not preclude anyone from losing these channels, which WILL include all the BBC channels, all the ITV channels, Channel 4 in the format still available and Channel 5, in the format still available, and a few other lesser channels. Channel 4HD and Channel 5 have already gone. SKY will for the foreseeable future continue to broadcast those channels it owns, or leases, but NOT the free to air channels mentioned above.

    That is also a fact.

    The BBC have already issued a statement to the effect that they are sorry for the effect this will have on Expats but one has to bear in mind their responsibility is to the licence payers IN THE UK, and the new narrow beam, provides a much better service all over the UK including the areas which historically have not received a good signal. They also point that anyone who wants to, can subscribe to the BBC subscription channels, available for this very purpose.

    The only ways of continuing to receive these channels, is via the internet, or Filmon type services, or if it is successful, BROADCAST Network. Whichever option you go for IT WILL COST!

    You will, with something like an Apple TV box, be able to stream Filmon for instance from your PC or MAC to your TV, but there is a noticeable loss of Quality, on the free service anyway (do not know about the subscription HD side of it)

    I hope this explains the situation in layman’s terms.

  56. Sorry Jamie, your response came just as I posted my last bit.

    I do not know the smartsat-tv company, but I do have their literature, which shows an address in Marbella.

    From what I have read, I have always assumed that the pan european beam, flat and wide, just about includes all of the south of Andalucia and the Costa del Sol in its footprint. The new narrow beam, will not , and will probably have a footprint, perhaps as far as northern Spain. This is the reason we will be losing the transmission, when the BBC and other free to air channels move to the Astra 2F satellite.

    I stand to be corrected however, but at the end of the day, it certainly will be a fact the we in Southern Spain will lose the channels and have to rest to “buying” them in one way or another.

    Oh what fun

  57. Eileen: I agree about the “techie” talk. It seems fairly obvious that Andalusia (at least) is stuffed as far as picking up non-Spanish satellite telly is concerned. No Corrie no Emmerdale, none of that good stuff. Unless you have and can pay for, a damn good internet connection. Because that is the only channel that U.K. telly can get to Spain by, when the satellite “switch-off” happens this year. Remember of course, all internet comes down the phone cables. Wonder how much traffic Spanish phone lines can carry? So do I.
    The boffins fingers will be itching to tell us about other techie methods, with acronyms and initials, but I think it’s pretty straightforward.

  58. UPDATE

    Got an e-mail from the supplier confirming that they now have a software patch so that I can use my UK SKY CARD in the IPTV box as it has a card slot and I am able to connect the box both to my satellite dish and the internet.

    I was told that SKY channels such as SKY SPORTS, SKY 1, SKY ATLANTIC etc should all be OK.

  59. Warning – the tec content of this post could seriously damage your health

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for all that input. I couldn’t agree more. In fact it was refreshing, when I first read Michael Coard’s article, that someone had explained some of the background carefully and stated the inevitability of the switch off in Andalucia. You have reinforced that and ‘then some’.

    When I first heard of the switch off back in December, from a friend in Malaga, I first thought that maybe a 2.5m to 3m satellite dish would be adequate (although even that is not practical for the majority). I then learned that Valencia actually receives a stronger signal with 2F compared with the old 2D and that Malaga receives a much weaker signal with 2F – if any. Reliable reports showed that a 1m dish receives the 2F UK spot beam in Xativa near Valencia and a 1.6m dish works in Mallorca. In Valencia after the so-called “switch-off” you will be able to receive UK sat TV where you could not previously from the 2D satellite.

    Some posts have rightly stated a reluctance to be panicked and a preference to ‘wait and see’. This is understandable. However, if you wait until the mid-September switch off and all your favourite UK channels disappear, you will then feel even more pressure to find a quick solution. That could be more expensive if you are not prepared.

    If you do not have broadband then, of course, setting up internet TV is a big step. If you have broadband and therefore use a PC – at least you can, with some effort and no additional expense, set up FilmOn on the PC. Not ideal – but it does provide some breathing space.

    I think that part of the reluctance to accept the inevitable loss of mainstream UK satellite TV in Andalucia is psychological. Part is based on the confusion between Sky TV and the Freesat channels – which leads some to think that if you have a Sky box you will still receive all the Freesat channels. But part of the problem is a failure to comprehend that reception of satellite TV in Southern Spain has always been a lucky accident of satellite design. Why should Malaga, for so long, have been able to receive a useable signal whereas, in Valencia, a much larger dish was needed? It was, AFAIK, just luck that Andalucia was able to receive Freesat TV for so long. Freesat in Andalucia will disappear.

    The fact is that, from the geometry alone, no region of Southern Europe could expect to receive a useable signal from the 2D sat – being well outside the planned footprint.

    I guess that with the 2D satellite transmissions, Valencia fell on what I called a node (in an earlier post) and Malaga on an outlying anti-node. With the new 2E and 2F satellites Malaga and Valencia appear to have reversed their positions on the peaks and troughs of signal strength. Malaga is on a trough and it appears will receive no useable signal from the 2E and 2F spot beams.

    The BBC’s statement that they have no obligation to those outside the UK is only part of the story. True, the move to a new satellite presents the opportunity to narrow the beam further and provide increased reception in low signal areas of the UK.

    Their responsibility is to residents of the UK. But this BBC statement completely ignores two other reasons for restricting the beam to the UK. Some of the BBC and other UK broadcast content is not licensed by the content providers for transmission across Europe. Also, the BBC and other UK broadcasters can sell their own content around the world – and so, why would they freely transmit it across Europe. There is a big incentive either to encrypt the transmissions and so restrict reception to UK residents or to restrict reception to the UK by using a small footprint centred on the UK. The move to the 2E and 2F satellites is the logical outcome of the small footprint policy.

    Let’s hope that Sky does not use the 2E UK spot beam for its own transmissions. If they do then no Sky TV either. They could use the same rationale as the BBC – to improve the UK signal strength for Sky customers who, by definition, live in the UK. However, I’ll not be alone in thinking that Sky is quietly happy for Sky account holders to receive Sky TV across Europe. It generates an income for Sky and Sky is protected from complaints by the programme content owners because the broadcasts are encrypted – so, can only be viewed legally by UK residents.

  60. Love being shot down in flames, so here goes. How mad is it to envision a T.V. service, by and for, English speaking viewers in Spain? Radio stations exist, why not extend it to T.V.?
    Eldorado “blazed” the trail. Improve it, Make a Corrie about expats. Show films. Cadge old Steptoes from the Beeb.
    Sod the satellite, make your own telly. Come on O.P. You could become O.P.T.V.

  61. @ James Gold
    The System you mentiones will not help you any as it uses a Card slot but still need the Signal from the Satellite. The card slot is only for a Sky Card or optional CS Server.

  62. To John S

    I know James Gold can speak for himself – but I think his point is that his combined IPTV plus satellite TV box has the advantage that he can tap into any remaining satellite reception and internet TV using a single set top box. Also, he, like the rest of us, hopes that Sky encrypted channels will still be available after the switch off.

  63. Hi John S

    The system I mentioned “is” helping me as follows;

    I can take my SKY card out of my SKY Box put it in to my new IPTV box and I am sat here in Granada at the Hotel able to watch SKY SPORTS on my laptop whilst having tapas looking at the Alhambra. This afternoon Mrs Gold will be able to watch Neighbours and tonight we will be settling down to watch Game of Thrones. We are already getting “help” from this box and already benefiting from several features. So very happy with this. I have shown this to several friends and they are all impressed with this facility.

    I have been told that when all of the channels move to the new satellite, this will “NOT” affect SKY SPORTS or most of the SKY premium channels as this would result in sky loosing hundreds of millions of subscription fees and unlike the BBC SKY rely on paid subscriptions.

    The other reason that this box helps “myself & Mrs gold” is the ability to watch channel 5 (now) and then BBC1, BBC2, ITV CH4 etc when they disappear from satellite.

    The other reason it helps us is;

    We are now pre-pared and will still be able to watch BBC1 & ITV etc via the internet, and also have the facility to use our card in the same box to watch sky sports sky Atlantic etc either at home in our living room, in my study on my pc on Mrs Gold’s ipad by the pool or on my laptop in my shed so product is helping us already.

    We have a Humax foxsat box in the spare room and comparing this IPTV box to the cost of that I decided that even if I could only use the IPTV side of things to received BBC1, ITV etc via the internet that it was still great value, but then when I factored in the ability to insert my sky card that was also good + the ability to stream movies from my PC to the box, and being able to access and control the box “anywhere” was also a plus. Our main requirement was having something that had a proper remote control as watching TV on a PC is just not the same and our LED TV deserves it.

    I have also been looking at purchasing a new router that has a UK ip address so that I can use my sky hd box to access on demand bbc 1 itv etc but also hundreds of catch up channels.

    As I said early we are getting the benefits as I write as it allows us to watch TV anywhere where we can get a wifi signal on our laptop. We are ready & prepared for the changeover.

    I feel that my new box “has helped me” loads and also gives us peace of mind. I think I will probably purchase one of these routers also as the sky on demand is free to us as we pay for a full sky package, still doing my homework on that though.

    It might be a good idea “JOHN S” that before telling someone that something they have purchased “will not help you ” that you take 5 minutes to read the previous posts that I have taken time and effort to post, you would then realise that your one sentenced post is rather pants.

    I am very happy with what I have and am able to expand upon this, if SKY UK follow the direction of BBC & ITV I would also be OK as I would be able to use the “on demand” service and this covers sky sports, sky documentaries (Mrs Gold is an animal planet fan) sky Atlantic etc so will still have all of our channels available.

    As far as putting the sky card in this box is concerned;

    YES – The box must be connected to my dish, and I am very confident that the sky sports signals will not disappear, if they do disappear we can then switch to SKY SPORTS on demand.

    Question to “JOHN S”

    What preparations have you made?
    What systems have you tested?
    What can you bring to the discussion?

    Anyway cheers from the Alhmabra, just having my 2nd small beer whilst watching sky sports…. bliss.

  64. Hi John S.

    I live on the Costa Brava near the French Border.

    Recently I moved my dish to avoid the Very strong winds interupting my signal. Since then I cannot get a signal for ITV 1/ 2/ AND 4., but stangely i can get a signal for these channels on + 1.

    Why is this and can I fix it?

  65. Quite agree with you Jamie.

    And Stefanjo, I love your take on life, long may it continue!!

    James Gold, you do NOT have to buy a new router to access UK IP addresses, simply subscribe to someone like WOW VPN, and job done.
    Still can’t quite figure out what it is you are using that takes both SKY cards and provides (I assume) internet TV. Do you get all the other facilities of SKY + which we get at the moment (record one, watch another, series link, catchup etc)

  66. Mr.Gold..buy a Sky Smart Router and pay the Years fee for the UK IP..

    What preparations have you made? None, because I sell Sky
    What systems have you tested? Pretty much all of them
    What can you bring to the discussion? daaa you got me there

  67. Reply to – Paul

    We have two boxes,


    BOX 2 – IPTV Box that also allows you to connect your dish, if you watch the video link I posted you can see this.

    In order to access “on demand” via my SKY+HD box I need a UK VPN router, I have spent many an evening researching this on various forums such as the AV forum and have found a supplier in Spain that can supply including 12 month fee for €245.

    In order to access our IPTV box over the internet I need only a wifi signal, no vpn required, I also had to download a piece of software to update our windows media player.

    The IPTV box i purchased is a satellite receiver and a IPTV box (ALL IN ONE) so I can connect the box to the internet and my existing dish. That link I posted takes you to a video that was done by the supplier.


    My question to JOHN S

    “Can you not be specific? Many installers I called said “we are testing IPTV boxes but nobody appeared to have the product, it was always we are still testing blah blah” “I even said to one of them that we have cash waiting for the right box.

    My 2nd question to JOHN S –

    “As someone that sells SKY TV can you not bring something more to the discussion rather than daaaaa?? there are many people looking for solutions and being a part of the sky tv trade in Spain, can you not elaborate on your experiences with various IPTV boxes?

    So far it looks like I am the only to have actually taken the plunge and purchased a box albeit after many late nights reading up and doing some homework.

    JOHN S – Are there any we should avoid? What was the best ones you tested? Would greatly appreciate any of your professional advice.

    JOHN S – Do you agree that we still be able to receive sky sports and sky atalantic?

  68. OK James Gold, je comprends. You have Sky plus and internet TV, which I suspect is the route those of us with Sky will probably take

    You should have looked at WOW VPN , a lot lot cheaper for a very reliable VPN, I have been using them for three years now.

    As things stand you will NOT lose Sky Sports, or Atlantic or any of the premium Sky channels you already subscribe to.

    There are many suppliers out there all offering “super” deals at the moment , averaging about €150.00 per box and €25.00 per month for internet TV., They ALL say buy now, as the price will double when the existing satellite ceases to function, so great salesmanship and not a lot of pressure (I don’t think!)

  69. Just to confirm that to use our SKY+HD box on the internet will mean that I will have “no choice” but to purchase a VPN router, this is so we can access SKY “on demand” and having spoken to our supplier use SKY GO. I think we have got all bases covered so to speak.

  70. You can always buy a second dish and aim it at 27.5° West. 90cm should be enough. You will get the following Channels…
    BBC 1 – 4 ,CBBC, BBC 1 HD, ITV1 HD, CH4 HD, S4C HD, STV HD, UTV HD, on 11.495V

  71. To access SKY premium channels you will NOT need a VPN, but to access Catchup, on demand, BBC iPlayer, and the other channels iPlayers, you WILL need a VPN.

    John S, Ooh, you are right, I posted a link to WOW VPN, simply because it is a good service, and it has been removed from the Post.

    Whats this about aiming a dish at 27.5 degrees west, how does that work? (From deepest southern Spain).

  72. John S’ comment is a bit of a game-changer isn’t it? Can anyone confirm??

    Does anyone go on Digital Spy? That used to be great for this kind of info. Very technical – but don’t worry non-tech bods, we will make it all clear once we know what we’re on about (which we don’t – yet!).

    James Gold – talk about covering bases. Very impressive….! : )

  73. The link to the satandpcguy in my previous post has been edited. Pity – because it explains clearly the situation with the Intelsat 907.


    Here’s the text of his web page from the source code:

    UK and BBC Channels on Intelsat 907 at 27.5 West

    Currently the BBC are leasing a Transponder on Intelsat 907 at 27.5 degrees West – a service called “BBC-Satback”.
    On this Intelsat 907 satellite there are some BBC TV channels including BBC One, BBC 2, BBC News and Parliament, CBBC and CBeebies, BBC One HD, BBC HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD.

    The reception of this Intelsat 907 satellite in Spain, is very strong, and could easily be received in most of Spain on an 80cm or 1m satellite dish.

    The channels on this satellite are used for “emergency back up feeds” for the UK Freeview system, should a mast relay lose its feed from their parent transmitter.

    A List of the UK TV and Radio Channels Currently on the Intelsat 907 BBC SAT Back Satellite at 27.5 West
    BBC One London
    BBC One Scotland
    BBC One Northern Ireland
    BBC One Wales
    BBC Two England
    BBC Three
    BBC News
    BBC Four
    BBC Parliament
    BBC One HD
    ITV 1 HD
    Channel 4 HD
    BBC Radio 1
    BBC Radio 2
    BBC Radio 3
    BBC Radio 4 FM
    BBC Radio 5 Live
    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
    BBC 6 Music
    BBC Radio 4 Extra
    BBC 1Xtra
    BBC Asian Network
    BBC World Service UK

    These channels are located on the Intelsat 907 satellite, frequency 11495 Vertical with a symbol rate of 44100.

    These Channels on Intelsat 907 at 27.5 West are encrypted using in BISS encryption. Currently, since early 2012, some satellite receivers have been able to open the encryption using “codes” from the internet.

    With the anticipated loss of UK TV with the launch of a new UK TV satellite, some satellite TV installation companies in the Costa Blanca, and in the Canary Islands / Tenerife, have been offering this system as a replacement UK TV service on a small satellite dish – a sort of “Astra 2F Reception Buster”.

    However, what these satellite TV installation companies may not be telling you is that the encryption can be changed at any time. This may be for a short time until the codes are known again. Or it can be forever, if they change the encryption system totally, to the more professional and “unhackable” Powervu encryption system.

    Powervu is a more reliable and is not able to be opened on any satellite box. In fact it is rumoured that Powervu is also used for military systems

    In fact on 26th November 2012, there were some changes made to the channels on this satellite, and now some receivers are having problems in receiving and unlocking these encrypted channels.

    On the 14th December 2012, the BISS key codes were changed, and the channels on this system are no currently available.

    In March 2013, new BISS code keys for BBC on Intelsat 27.5 West were publically available, meaning this systems can currently be accessed. Well, until the BISS Keys change again.

    This change of BISS Key for the UK channels on Intelsat 907 at 27.5 West is something which makes this system unreliable. This loss of channels is something which some retailers of this system do not mention to their clients!.

  74. John S. –
    When you talk about a second dish aimed at 27.5 W, I assume this is after the shutdown, as, obviously we are currently receiving all channels through our own satellite dish picking up Sky+ HD. I again assume you are meaning a second dish running with this one , to continue the Sky channels and the new dish picking up the missing channels., Where, as a matter of interest are they being beamed from, and if it is this simply, why is no one touting it ? As has been previously mentioned, this is a game changing statement.

    Jamie, –
    thanks for the list, thats pretty much what I have down, and for the additional explanations..

  75. I think it’s actually quite an informed post, although not much use if it refers to another service which could be cut at anytime. We’ve already got one of them!

    Could house prices on the Costa del Sol go down even further if UK TV disappears!?!

  76. “The Ex-Pat Exodus” Loss of British TV leaves Costa del Sol deserted…. keep Silver Wolf busy.

    To be fair I think Mrs Gold would of packed her bags if I hadn’t dusted off the credit card. Most evenings we enjoy staying in and watching TV, we do try and get out at weekends and are always on little trips away.

    You do have a point though,

    sorry for my short response before but you know who’s posts are always in a “self promoting way” I read with great interest another post on another forum (sorry moderator) discussing iptv boxes and a long winded post about iptv not being 1080p blah blah and unscrupulous suppliers & retailers (exactly the same tone of post) its just unhelpful mush to self promote in some kind of way.

    How about GOT last night! Did not see that coming.

  77. @ Paul

    The Transmission on 27.5 W has been going for some time and I doubt they will encrypt. Best suggestion after the switchoff is have 2 dishes. One to make up the loss of the regional proggies and the other for whatever might be left over. Should you have a Generic FTA Receiver, all you would need is a new 80-90cm Dish and a Disecq Switchbox to tell the receiver to switch between Sat A & Sat B but the Receiver needs to be programmed first (Channel scan on 27.5W and Disecq swith set appropriately..ie. Astra 28.2 – Disecq A ~ Intelsat 907 Disecq B.) Main problem is with Sky Boxes, they don’t have this switching capability so best ask your local Installer about a manual switchbox or alternative.

  78. What is James Gold ON !!!

    Thanks John S, I will certainly make more enquiries, and President of a large community I need as much information as I can for our owners.

    I agree with Mike – Lack of UK TV among the order generation here in Spain, who probably rely heavily on their daily dose of Neighbours and Games of Thrones will, I am sure create a small exodus , and property prices could be affected

  79. Time for a brief comedy break methinks :

    A doctor was addressing a large audience in Oxford …

    “The material we put into our stomachs should have killed most of us sitting here years ago. Red meat is full of steroids & dye. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High transfat diets can be disastrous & none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all & most of us have or will eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief & suffering for years after eating it?”

    After several seconds of quiet a 70-year-old man in the front row raised his hand & softly said “Wedding Cake.”

  80. To John S

    Is that correct – no encryption? Wonderful! Why did I give away my large dish – otherwise I’d test it out now in the UK.

    So it looks as though the satandpcguy may have got it wrong – or the encryption has been removed. Strange though – I’ve found his website to be objective, balanced and well informed – certainly not “self promoting”.

    Here’s an extract from lyngsat’s website that shows the Intelsat 907 27.5 west Freeview channels at frequency 11495.

    The encryption shown is BISS – as stated by satandpcguy.

    The site was last updated on 2nd June – but note that the most recent source update (for BBC2) was only 26th March. Maybe the encryption has changed since then.


    Intelsat 907 © LyngSat, last updated 2013-06-02 –

    Freq. Provider Name System Encryption
    11495 V BBC Two DVB-S2MPEG-4/HD BISS
    11495 V BBC One DVB-S2MPEG-4/HD BISS
    11495 V ITV 1 DVB-S2MPEG-4/HD BISS
    11495 V Channel 4 UK DVB-S2MPEG-4/HD BISS

  81. “Lost ITV last night on our SKY Box, switched on the IPTV box and had no issues.”

    Why would you have issues? IPTV can be installed by a child for goodness sake.

  82. Fred, how patronising you are. I am a pensioner, and I have no idea of how to install a IPTV box (whatever that is). You may be a Smart arse, but there are some us us that arent familiar with all the “jargón”. I am hoping that when and IF our current system is no longer functioning, there will be some constructive, profesional advice, not nasty comments from you.

  83. Well if the worst comes to the worst, get a terrestrial aerial and learn to live without Corrie and Eastenders. You’ll be surprised how many British programmes turn up on Spanish TV along with all the USA series, changing the language into English is just the pressing of a button, many built in tuners on modern TV’s allow you to set the default language to English in the set up menu. When I became an ex pat first in France and now in Spain I regarded getting UK TV as a bonus not a god given right. When we moved to Spain I’m sure we all had different reasons I bet watching British TV in the sun wasn’t one of the first ones.

  84. Absolutely Peter. When we first came here all we had was Gib TV (Gibraltar) and by god it was awful but it was all we had.

    People must just wait and see. Either via Internet or broadcast the problem will be solved but no longer free. There will be a price to pay.

    And By the Way mr gold, you were right, there was a drop in the ITV signal yesterday ( confirmed in other satellite blogs), perhaps the taste of things to come in the run up

  85. ‘Eileen’, part of the problem with the whole IPTV arena is that installers and other commentators, many of whom have a vested interest, often try to make out that the whole subject of Internet TV is vastly complex. It is not.

    When you say your “current system” I take it that you already have satellite TV and a set top box? Well, IPTV is basically another box, except you plug it into your Internet connection. It is just different boxes and different plugs. “Installation” is plugging it in and using a remote control to browse a menu, like you do now on a satellite box.

    Don’t forget that there is jargon in satellite systems too – just look above in the thread for BISS codes, encryption codes, transponders, and all the other terminology. You are confusing being patronising with being honest. In any event, you would have to get a professional installer would you not Eileen, so comments in a blog are irrelevant to you getting advice, and I somehow doubt you are who you say you are. lol.

  86. Oh, I am certainly who I say I am, if youare on Facebook, look up a page called Boot Sale Bargains, which I started, it is a secondhand for sale site, and there Iam running it, good old granny, pensioner, been here for 24 years, I dont know who you think I am “pretending” to be!!! I appreciate your simple explanation etc, and to be honest, I for once, actually understood what you so simply said. I am a simple person, who just wants to keep watching the TV programmes that give me pleasure, the easiest way posible, I repeat, I am not passing myself off as someone else. Come to my Facebook page, and see, I have another one called Snazadoodle Facepaint Magic, as my absolute joy is facepainting Little ones -as you will see if you look it up on Facebook. I hide behind nothing.

  87. Eileen, you seem a very clued up pensioner – you already use the Internet, so you set that up I assume? You understand blogs and websites and FaceBooks etc, so a little IPTV box should be the least of your worries. There are so many IPTV players now that you’ll find a solution I’m sure. You don’t have to understand how it works, do you, just as long as it works.

    My advice is not to read any more blog posts about IPTV lol. Good luck with it.

  88. Fred;

    Look me up on facebook also.

    Will be at Nikki Beach all day today with Mrs Gold come and say hello as I would love to give you a walm welcome.

    My IPTV box is already installed & ITV went of the other night, no idea why you are being so rude???

    Come and say hello Fred we are here all day just mention to security “Simple Fred” and they will let you in, do not wear your socks with sandals though. XXX

  89. LOVING this thread Fred! ha ha ha. Just goes to show how your stupid ways just annoy people. Hope OP realise how you put people off from commenting helpfully on this site.

  90. Just got home, switched on our new IPTV box and had a search for “new plug ins” and found a new Sports Portal, its actually called “Sports Portal 2013” only took 30 seconds to download it and now I can watch F1 Live + have a choice of what cameras I wish to use to watch the F1, no idea why SKY does not have this?

  91. Oh dear god I’m losing the will to live .

    As we seem to have exhausted the main question which was “are we ready for the big switch off”, I am now signing out.. Byeeee

  92. Att – Fred,

    What can I say apart from “We both love watching TV of an evening” some people enjoy reading, sitting in bars, knitting, or troling on forums etc we happen to enjoy TV, and I happen to also enjoy sharing my experiences with other people in Spain good or bad.

    I posted the information about the F1 because some people may find that information helpful particularly F1 fans like myself. I am sorry if you think that enjoying TV is sad, but we like many other Brits on the Coast and the UK enjoy an evening of TV with a nice wine or two. I have to admit that I do get excited when I find a new feature or plug in and this has been great as I am so happy with my purchase, If I was unhappy with my purchase I would be moaning and groaning about it so either way I would either annoy everyone with being upset and annoyed or in my case annoy people like yourself for being enthusiastic and happy. If that makes you think that myself and Mrs Gold are sad then that is your opinion and I have to respect that even if I feel it to be untrue, you have upset Mrs Gold who has just read your post.

    Fred; Can you share any thoughts on the loss of UK TV on the Costa del Sol, or IPTV etc?

    I am sure that some people have found my ramblings helpful I am not going to be put off sharing my thoughts because of one.

    Just before I got an e-mail that you had made yet another pointless post I was reading that Astra 2E is being launched on the 19th of this month and that it will start to broadcast in either August or September (ruffly) according to “robssatellitetv” website.

    Not sure why I would need any technical help??? Its all pretty straightforward my end.

    Anyway; God bless & goodnight


  93. There is so much crap on tv now especially the Murdoch Speak channels but the elites are overjoyed at how passive the proles are – the ‘spectator society’ suits them just fine.

    Remember the lines from John’s song:
    they keep you doped with religion, sex and tv
    and you think your so clever and classless and free
    but your still f#~+#^* peasants as far as I can see

    And he wrote that in 1970!

    All those beautiful Andalucian nights made for a long walk in the cool night air and to look up at star filled sky – of course none of this is possible if you have turned into a couch slob.

  94. It is all too much!! I have had three system at one place over the years. In the past I have recorded films from Sky in the UK to DVD but just took hold of my new gadget today where I can record to external hard drive / laptop etc (hopefully) and then I will have a few films to watch in the afternoon when it is too hot to go outside in the summer, again hopefully as when I went to Spain at the end of May / start of June it was not that hot until the day I left.

  95. I think Stuart’s comment does make you think for sure…..but I still love me telly! (Cricket mainly).

    Nice Lennon quote too. Murdoch has contributed so many negative things to UK culture. If it wasn’t for the cricket, there’s no way I’d pay for Sky.

    We’re going off-topic again….better get back to where we were: is Eileen real and what does Mrs. Gold look like down at Nikki beach if she spends so much time sat on a presumably expensive sofa watching Channel 5???? : )

  96. Xbox media centre XBMC is free and its available for rooted ipads, andriod devices and pc’s. Add on navi xtreem for free and you can watch almost any film or tv show …..

  97. I lost my ITV & BBC1 again between 10am-11am on the SKY Box, spoke with an Engineer who tells me that in June the sun casts a shadow on the satellite in the mornings and would be back on in an hour, apparently this affects people in Costa Blanca and Balearic Islands also in June because of the position of sun or satellite? Not 100% but its all working OK now, just watching “Chasing Classic Cars” excellent TV show.

    Roche-Bobois sofa & yes very expensive, thought this thread was about TV not what my wife looks like?

    We will be lunching Nikki Beach again Sunday with friends if you would like to say hello.. first Mojito on me! Just tell security you are joining the “Gold” party would love to enjoy your friendly banter in the real world.

  98. No problem with my Sky service today; BBC1 and ITV perfect between those times. Best call Eileen and get some tech support James.

    I’m washing the cat on Sunday, such a shame this clashes with your party. i was so looking forward to meeting the cast of TOWIE too.

  99. This Gold party invite thing sounds a bit creepy.

    If all else fails tv wise and you’re desperate, there will always be a way to watch Coronation Street as long as you’ve got the internet. No need to panic basically.

  100. The real bummer is not being able to series link forward recording while we are all partying with the “golds” ( is this a pseudonym I ask mysel) in Lucky lucky beach!!!

  101. Hi, I have just read all the previous posts and am no wiser! We spend half the year in Puerto Banus and like being able to keep up with UK tv. We have Internet access but are only able to achieve a download speed of less than 1MB with Telefonica. We pay for up to 10 but they say the max speed attainable in our area is between 1 and 3, so guess we are one of the unlucky ones. If our Internet is not fast enough for IPTV, where does that leave us?

  102. Broadcast network if you have a line of sight to the aerial. However u thought Banus had at least 2-4 Mbps in which case you would be ok . Check the local papers and get a demo in you place and that will let you know if it works for you

  103. Hi Ann

    It is a relief to see a new post that is relevant to the original topic.

    You are correct, of course. An internet solution to the loss of UK channels requires a minimum broadband speed that is not dependent on broadband use. By that I mean unlimited broadband with no downgrading of the speed as a result of sustained use.

    It sounds as though you have done the homework and used a speed test website at intervals to determine the speed. If your speed is 1Mbits per second or less then the best that you can hope for is standard definition for 1Mb/s falling to low def between about 0.5 to 1Mb/s.

    One alternative is wireless broadband which could just push you into the 1 to 3mb/s range. But check that out with the
    provider. Typical cost is 30€ per month and if the 6 months is continuous you can normally cancel the remaining 6 months with no charge. I am sure there are readers of this thread who have details of providers in your area.

    Just found this old post (2009) on the “andalucia.com” called Broadband in Puerto Banus

    but not clear if it’s capped or unlimited downloads.

    Re: Broadband in Puerto Banus

    Post by AndyT on Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:17 pm
    I’ve just moved over to Vodafones ADSL offering

    No line rental, no Telefonica, free landline, free calls to Spanish landlines, 12MB ADSL connection with 3G backup and all for 39€ a month

  104. @Ann
    I’m Staggered that in such a cosmopolitan area such as yours that you can only get 1Mb download, I live in the sticks inland and Telefonica/Movistar has just upped my download (unlimited) to 8.5 Mb. I know Telefonica has had bad press in the past but they have really upped their game. My package with them has just been changed to Fusion Cero €42 a month for fixed land line (free calls in Spain) up to 10 Mbs download (I get 8.5 totally unlimited) plus SIM card for mobile (calls from mobile 15 cents per call up to 120 minutes). I have been with Telefonica since I moved to Spain 7 years ago and apart from language issues in the past (much improved) I have had a reliable service. There are always companies saying they can give a better cheaper service but they rarely stand up to careful scrutiny. I’m not a sales rep for Telefonica just on the whole a satisfied customer.

  105. Hi, thanks for the comments. We are using wireless broadband through Telefonica but are still struggling to get to 1mb on several tests at different times of day. The information on the area speeds from the Telefonica Engineer is very recent and when I asked about 20 or 30mb when ordering I was told this was just not possible. If we cannot get IPTV service and don’t have a line of sight to a Broadcast aerial, I have no idea where to go from there. Was really hoping that IPTV would be the solution for us but it appears this is not going to be the case.

  106. To Ann

    By “wireless broadband through Telefonica” I presume you mean that you have Telefonica/Movistar broadband through your telephone landline (called ADSL) and that you have a wireless modem/router providing WiFi in the house. Or do you mean that you really do have broadband arriving at your house through a wireless internet connection and not a telephone line?

    In my previous post “wireless broadband” refers to the latter – and is provided, as Paul describes, through a line of sight transmission from an aerial.

    It is surprising, given your location, that you cannot receive greater than 1MB/s through either a telephone line or through a wireless link.

    Could you try testing your broadband download or streaming speed at well off peak times – possibly very early morning. If you’re using a wifi connection to your PC, are you able to connect using cable instead, using the cat5 ethernet cable that was supplied with the Movistar router?

    If the speed improves then any loss of speed at peak times is a contention issue – too many users competing for bandwidth.

    Given that you will be streaming TV from the UK, you could try the BBC speed test from bbc.co.uk

    The location is bbcDOTcoDOTuk/iplayer/diagnostics

    The last time I tried the test from Spain it was not blocked by the non-uk location.

    This test is tailored to provide streaming speeds given that the test is for streaming TV and not downloading.

    The test results show the speed in kbps and not Mbps.

    The speed 3000kbps is equivalent to 3Mbps.

    The table on the results screen gives an analysis of the video definition you can expect from your internet speed. For watching BBC live TV at high def, the recommendation is a minimum 3500kbps or 3.5Mbps.

    1.5Mbps is the recommended minimum for standard definition.

    If you stream UK live TV from TVCatchup, you should get standard def with 1Mbps.

  107. @Ann
    You are not going to get the download speed you want with wireless, you need a fixed line broadband connection for stable download speeds. Think of your old wireless radio subject to interference wireless broadband is no different.

  108. I have heard of this service – Fusion – from Telefonica and my brother also has it it in Fuengirola and gives the same sort of praise you are giving it Peter. I suspect I will be calling Telefonica any day now to switch back to them from BT Telecom, who, whilst they WERE cheaper (not so) sure now), have not been any good really.

    I am still tied into the Vodafone mobile contract for a year or more, so would not need the SIM side of the deal, (I assume they tailor packages now to suit)

    Thanks for the update.

  109. “I’m Staggered that in such a cosmopolitan area such as yours that you can only get 1Mb download”

    Actually, this is totally expected. It’s called contention ratio and Puerto Banus does have low speeds as it has a lot more people using the same ‘pipe’. Many people I talk to in Banus say the same thing. In the sticks the contentention ratio is much less, of course. One piece of consolation is that fibre is coming to some parts of Banus this year, so everyone can watch TOWIE without problem soon lol.

  110. The latest launch date for the Astra 2E satellite is 19th July. Based on previous experience, it will take at least a month to fine tune/position for optimum performance. On that basis, we’re not going to know how satellite signal reception has been affected in Southern Spain and Portugal until late August or even early September. There may even be commercially driven intervention from Sky in particular, who could lose significant public accessibility (and potential revenue) if no compromise solution is found. Bottom line – wait and see.

  111. Hi micmc47

    You say:

    “we’re not going to know how satellite signal reception has been affected in Southern Spain and Portugal until late August or even early September”

    Correct – in fact probably later. It takes about 2 months from initial launch, testing, moving into final position before the TV transmissions start. So it’ll be about mid-September before we have the hard facts on UK TV Free to Air channel reception from Astra 2E.

    A related point. Even when the Astra 2F started transmitting in late November – the final signal strength was not clear. Astra has continued to make further adjustments to Astra 2F through to about March this year, with the aim of reducing the footprint further. The same process is likely with Astra 2E. Maybe you will be able to receive transmissions on a 3m dish for a few months – only to find that even that dish size is useless. Of course, we cannot be sure – but what we can be virtually certain about is that a 1.5m to 2m dish, and almost certainly even bigger, will not receive FTA transmissions in Malaga.

    Of course, most of us will still cling to that tiny possibility that FTA will not disappear. There will be small differences between the 2E and the 2F satellites. The most obvious is that they are not exactly the same position over the equator at 28East. Will a separation of, say, 100km make a difference. Perhaps if the 2E is 100km west of the 2F that could increase the signal. The footprint will fall that bit further west – a slight nudge towards Spain. Without attempting a precise calculation, I guess given Spain’s position, the footprint could shift about 10km to 20km. That would be, on the geographic scale, of no significance in Malaga.

    micmc47 said

    “There may even be commercially driven intervention from Sky in particular, who could lose significant public accessibility (and potential revenue).”

    I wonder what micmc47 means and bases that statement on. In any case, I imagine that, given a choice, more people will be concerned by the loss of the UK FTA channels than by the loss of Sky subscription channels.

    Several contributors have already explained that:

    a) it is likely that Sky subscription channels, because they are encrypted, will transfer to the 2E pan-Europe beam and NOT the UK spot beam. In other words, Sky will still be received.

    b) all the available evidence points to no receivable signal from the 2E UK spot beam in Malaga and hence no FTA TV channels.

    Is micmc47 advising that we wait and see if there is a “commercially driven intervention” and if so, what does he have in mind? Surely he is not suggesting that Sky is planning to encrypt and transmit the BBC and ITV FTA channels. I wonder if the BBC and ITV have been told.

    This quote may be of interest – from the Astra forum at

    “I’m an Italian professional satellite engineer and I deal with people from SES-ASTRA , both commercial and technical guys.

    They were asked to cut out as many as possible English speaking countries owing to broadcasting rights which is a very delicate topic.

    When Astra 2F was moving footprint up/down – east/west after having been launched (and operational), they were testing true reception as theoretical footprint is not always the needed one.

    The result : In Lucca (Central-Northern Italy) you need a 3M professional dish for a 1 db margin reception.

    In Denmark not less than 1.8 M or a little larger dish, for a similar small margin.

    I’m afraid that people from SES ASTRA got what they were looking for.

    From Northern Italy to Central Italy in 230 Km (moving South), signal is dropping down 1 db every 30 km.
    It’s a very sharp edge.

    I hope Astra 2E won’t be worse.”

    The reference to “cut out as many as possible English speaking countries” refers to the policy of reducing the spot beam to the UK – so that English speakers outside the UK were less likely to receive FTA.

    “When Astra 2F was moving footprint up / down – east / west after having been launched (and operational)”

    refers to adjustments to the operational satellite that have succeeded in reducing the beam further – I guess by pointing it a little further to the west to reduce the signal further East across large populations of northern Europe. That type of adjustment could just possibly improve reception a little in the east of Spain.

    One other, very slight, glimmer of hope is what will happen when the strong transmissions from the 1N satellite are switched off. Maybe they could be masking the weaker 2F.

    Here’s the quote – the same Astra forum:

    “What do you say about the theories that for some of us the relatively strong Transponders of 1N negatively affect the much weaker 2F transponders?”

    Hey, now even I am clutching at straws!

  112. Hi Jamie, Lots of interesting background in your submission, thanks, but my bottom line still remains ‘wait and see’. As I’m only in Portugal from May to October, it will most likely be a case of seeing what is on offer here in May 2014. Even if we lose signal from this September, I’m certainly not shelling out on IPTV or anything else for a matter of just a few weeks. I’ve already tested two VPN providers on a one month trial,and can receive good quality pictures here from BBC iplayer, ITV player, Virgin Media, Channel 4 and Channel 5. I’m lucky to have access to an average 13.8 Mbps download speed here on the Algarve, but realise that broadband may not be a solution for everyone. One thing is for sure, if there’s a commercial opportunity someone (or more likely many companies)will step in with a solution – at a cost of course. I certainly won’t be jumping on the first bandwagon that comes along. Time will tell.

  113. Well, I have to say I basically agree with these two gents. It really is a question of wait and see, and this is exactly what our (reliable) satellite engineers are telling us. The more money minded ones are trying to sell the world and his wife a set-top box with the lure of half price now but full price when the satellite shuts down.

    WAIT AND SEE. I think that’s all we can do. I have the responsibility of 232 owners to consider, as up to now we have supplied 14 UK channels Free to my Community, and I am really not about to rush in where angels fear to tread.

    I am keeping them abreast with such developments that appear (e.g Broadcast Network), but am advising caution at the moment.

    I suggest you do the same.

  114. Hi micmc47 and Paul

    First to Paul

    I can see that your position vis-à-vis UK TV reception is very different from the individual, who can customise a solution and use a step-by-step approach. Maybe start with TV on a laptop or desktop or some other PC, then incorporate a dedicated set top box as the need arises or the confidence grows.

    From what you describe, your customers, some of whom will take their own decisions, en-bloc may expect a ready-made solution. Not an easy situation.

    Hi Paul, thanks for your reply.

    Far from waiting and seeing, it is clear to me that you are already “Internet TV Ready”. You already have the essential components in place and functioning. You have embraced IPTV without having to “shell out”.

    Putting it simply, there is essentially only one IPTV solution, although it may appear in different guises. The main components have been described already in this discussion:

    • high speed broadband.
    • a VPN £5 per month.
    • a Windows/Apple/Android/Linux or similar box or a Sky+ digibox for Anytime TV.
    • a display, preferably a TV.
    • a choice of TV streams – free or optional subscription

    Of course, you already know that – but some readers may want to see them listed.

    The VPN could be regarded as optional – but I think it is essential because it provides access to a number of TV streams rather than being restricted to maybe just FilmOn.

    Unless you use a laptop or desktop then, of course, you need a separate monitor or a TV. Even if you do use a laptop as the set top box you would probably hook up to large monitor or a TV.

    It is not necessary to buy into a package – I certainly have not seen any commercial package that I would prefer to use. It may be worth pointing out that those advertising packages, that include a streaming service and a set top box, and who are operating legally are providing exactly the same solution.

    There is a parallel here with satellite TV. You can either go to the installer who provides the whole package, the digibox and installs the dish – or you can buy and install the system yourself. The only slightly tricky bit is the dish installation. One advantage for the DIYer of internet TV is that there is no dish installation.

    The package may cost you 20€ per month and that may include the set top box. If not then the additional charge for the box could be about 150€ to 200€ – and the box could be no better than the 100€ box if you DIY.

    The downside for the DIYer is you will need to set up the STB – this could involve installing a program and then using plug-ins for the streams you wish to access – example: iPlayer. You can buy some STBs that are pre-programmed and then you just have to add the plug-ins.

    Note that you will be able to set up the same TV streams that are provided with the commercial packages. One of the contributors on this forum explained that his commercial box from the solution provider is pre-configured with Film-on but that plug-ins or add-ons can be installed for other streams.

    What you pay for with the commercial package, assuming it is legal, is the initial set-up and the support. You do not pay for the streams because they are publicly available. Most individuals will need assistance to select and set up the set-top box themselves. PCs are easier to set up. I am currently using a generic box based on a customised Android operating system dual-core processor. Cost about £80. It comes with a remote control. It works well with TVCatchup for all the live FTA channels. It includes a programme guide (an EPG). It is versatile – you can add plug-in programs, example iPlayer for live BBC and FilmOn.

    Worth noting that new, Android based, STBs are starting to appear – with faster, quad-core processors, more like a full PC but small, low energy and no noisy fan.

    Other costs:

    VPN Server rental £5/month
    Router for the VPN £40 to £150

    The router is necessary only if you use a VPN – even then it is not essential. You can pay well over £100 for a router that operates a VPN client. If you buy a basic router (£40) suitable for a VPN you still have to install the firmware and the VPN client. That can be a nightmare – I do not recommend a DIY job. You may find someone who can set it up for maybe £30 to £40 or you can buy a router with the firmware pre-installed (maybe about £80 on ebay – and then you have to set up the VPN on the router).

    The VPN client program can be installed easily on a PC such as laptop, desktop, some Android tablets, if you use a PC for the set-top box. Then, no need for the router. Some are happy to use a wireless mouse to control the PC, instead of a remote. However, I would prefer a PC wireless remote control, similar to TV remotes, from about £12 to £25.

    I imagine that community self-help groups will soon get to grips with the technology.

    The micmc47 approach is the model I subscribe to and would recommend. It builds on what you may have already, broadband and a PC. It does not require much additional expenditure. An alternative to a VPN is to pay the FilmOn subscription for high definition – but do that only if your broadband can deliver the necessary speed.

    It seems to me that discussion on this topic has experienced a paradigm shift. The initial ‘wait and see’ philosophy epitomised a reluctance to accept the loss of satellite FTA channels. The prevalent view seemed to be to wait and see if the channels did indeed vanish. What I now realise is that ‘wait and see’, illustrated by Paul and micmc47, does not deny that distinct possibility verging on certainty. On the contrary, wait and see accepts that possibility but prefers to wait and see what alternative solutions may emerge in the coming months before committing to buy. Very sensible but maybe not entirely realistic. Internet TV is not new and neither is the problem of accessing satellite and terrestrial TV. Valencia has been there and done it all – since they effectively lost sat TV with the 2D satellite. I cannot imagine what legal alternatives may now emerge. Just variations on a theme. However, it does take time to assimilate the new technology and so why not take advantage of the delayed satellite launch and go for a basic solution as stop gap. Also, as mentioned, set-top box technology is changing and, by the autumn I, for one, hope to have a proven quad-core set top box that delivers true HD.

    In his article, Michael Coard states that “another, better alternative is to subscribe to a professional streaming service and connect an IPTV set top box to your main television.”

    I assume he is referring to streaming the UK national TV channels. I am at a loss to know which streaming services he is referring to. Any ideas? Does he mean FilmOn – that’s the only one I know that provides the UK channels via internet and charges a subscription – and only for their HD streams?

    The approach I advocate is suitable for an individual but not for a whole community as in Paul’s case, where I guess the whole community will want a ready-made solution.

  115. Hi Everyone

    Some great advice and points here.

    I thought I might share my experiences with using VPN.

    After my sky hd box didn’t function anymore after a thunder storm here in Spain, I started to use a VPN service so I could carry on watching UK TV which was costing me around £10 a month, with a 10mb download speed I was having buffering issues and many times a frozen picture, I had this for about a year until I came across Unotelly where you just change the DNS which allows you not to lose download speed.

    I am now watching UK TV on my pc, smart tv , iPad and iPhone with no buffering issues and no frozen picture.

    For those of you not wanting a IPTV try out unotelly they Even give you a weeks trial.

    I hope this helps.


  116. Thankyou micmc37, lot of new info there to assimilate. You are right inasmuch as personally I am set up with VPN Apple TV from Mac to TV and all the bells and whistles. My concern as you rightly say is my community of which I am president. We have a lot of elderly people who have never touched a computer and would not know one end of an Ethernet cable from the other!! They spend a lot of the day in their 4th floor flats watching BBC and ITV and they are the people I am worried about. They will probably want to go back to the UK but can’t because of property equity and are therefore stuffed. And I am equally sure they are not Ar alll ok and therefore I have taken it upon myself To find the solution if indeed there is one to be found. Can you perhaps explain this “other satellite ” up there in the western skys which apparently is still and will be still broadcasting these necessary channels – the position 97.5w rings a bell .

  117. Hi Paul,

    I think you mistook me for micmc37. No matter – I started it by typing Paul when I meant micmc37.

    My first reaction, when I first heard of the switch off, was what impact will this have on all those quite elderly Brits? In that context, comments on this and other sites about learning Spanish and watching Spanish TV are devoid of human feeling, callous and thoughtless.

    I imagine, if it were possible, that the alternative 27.5 W satellite solution, being closest to what you have now, would be the ideal. Even then, a new satellite box is needed to unlock the encryption. I already checked that earlier and discovered that the removal of the encryption is temporary – it just happens occasionally. Normally those transmissions are encrypted. If the encryption were suddenly strengthened then you’d have over 200 very disgruntled owners with 200 redundant sat boxes.

    How about just four new satellite boxes for starters, each recording a channel. Those recordings could, I suppose, then be routed to individual Smart TVs (i.e. TV plus IPTV box) over a local area network (LAN) – almost live TV.

    Probably too high tech. The design of the LAN would require a professional – and the first reaction may be it will not work.

    If and when the satellite fails the same network could be used – except this time you would record the channels direct from the internet streams.

    I am guessing that there is nothing illegal in this arrangement. Depends on whether it could be interpreted as rebroadcasting.

  118. Actually James, this is something similar to that we have already. I have 14 set top satellite receivers in at TV room, each tuned to a separate channel, plus one sky box and card picking up sky sports. These are then fed via analogue cable to every apartment in the community, so effectively all our owners receive 14 UK channels. of these 14, 11 I suspect will be lost. But, and this is the big BUT, our owners do NOT each have a set top box, they simply plug the aerial cable into the TV sets to receive the channels.

    When you talk about satellite boxes can I have 14, each feeding our existing analogue system, sounds weird I know.

    But if, as you suggest, the encryptions could be changed at any time, that rather buggers things up as well.

    The “Golds” have risen. Must have been a good weekend on lucky lucky beach!

    Keep watching this space, as the eternal optimist in me tells me something good will happen (maybe via SKY)

  119. My Community president, I have a place down in Estepona, had been searching for possible solutions to this.
    We got a visit from a quite professional and enhlish speaking company oriented to Internet and they gave us a report that I thought could share with you.
    Basically it proposes alternatives through the Internet, but obviously requires a quite significant speed to work. They have installed a 30 MB Internet into our Community and we are sharing it. I have a SlingBox myself. Hope it’s brings some hope.

  120. Yes – “Lucky Lucky” Beach was great! Mrs Gold loves it down there…

    I received my “special” router today and am currently downloading free box sets using SKY ON DEMAND. Half way through Sopranos all 6 Series are available for free, this router disguises my true location (Mr Bond) so I can access all the SKY ON DEMAND stuff, still playing around so will come back with more details if anyone is interested?

    I can also connect my ipad to the router by wifi.

    Paul; I understand now.

  121. To Paul

    Hi, that’s a lot clearer.

    First off, I am not a network specialist – far from it. Having said that, neither are the millions around the world who have set up quite sophisticated LANs in their own homes for routing media, including TV, to different rooms. The big difference is that in the home environment you do not have to operate on a commercial timescale and on the physical scale of a whole community. You can be very flexible with the teething problems – not the case with 200 customers.

    You say “But, and this is the big BUT, our owners do NOT each have a set top box”

    OK – but in one respect, that’s a plus. They haven’t had to invest in a box and so will not have the irritation of a box becoming surplus to requirements.

    Whichever way one views it – they are fortunate not to have to deal with this as individuals in their own houses.

    I can see that you would prefer not to part with the existing cable infrastructure – on the other hand, it seems that you have the ducting in place for running ethernet – what a bonus!

    “When you talk about satellite boxes can I have 14, each feeding our existing analogue system, sounds weird I know.”

    Your existing “set top satellite receivers” are satellite set top boxes. There is no difference in principle between your existing satellite receivers and the replacement satellite receivers (boxes) needed to unlock the BISS encryption, except, of course, that I suspect your existing boxes cannot unlock the encryption. That said – yes, you should be able replace the 11 FTA receivers with the new box – and, of course, retain the others.

    “But if, as you suggest, the encryptions could be changed at any time, that rather buggers things up as well.”

    Well, you already knew that from two of my earlier posts that highlighted the problem. But, to clarify, occasional changes to the encryption key is not the problem. The new key is soon published on the web. The real problem occurs if the encryption is strengthened. That is why you need the alternative fall back option – a ‘straightforward’ swap to internet TV, using the same or similar basic infrastructure that you have now, as far as possible.

    With streamed internet TV you would need 11 IP boxes (for the 11 channels) and maybe 4 to 6 landlines – depending on bandwidth. That’s a lot more efficient in terms of bandwidth compared with 200 landlines streaming simultaneously.

    I imagine that you would prefer to retain the “cable to every apartment in the community”. That way the users would not need their own iptv set top box.

    I am guessing that you currently use the RF output of the sat boxes and combine those to provide the co-axial feed (the analogue). With IPTV boxes you would therefore have to convert the AV output from each box to RF using an Audio/Video To RF Coax converter. From then on you use your existing set-up.

    If you, instead, record the 11 channels you would need at least one large drive – maybe partitioned with one partition for each channel. I am sure I have vastly oversimplified the technology. Managing the recordings could be a problem. They’d have to be routinely deleted by an administrator. You would replace the co-axial cabling with an ethernet LAN. To view the recordings each user will need a set top box running a media centre (£40 to £80), something like XBMC (the Xbox Media Centre). No problem there – many commercial IPTV STBs use XBMC for streaming internet TV. Your customers would, of course, have to learn how to locate the recorded program files using the STB remote – but that’s no more of a problem than using the STB to select streamed internet TV channels.

    My view and I am sure yours too would be to stick with the anologue/co-axial set-up.

    The alternative to recording and co-axial cable would be to route the live streams across the LAN. Given the ease of installing cable I presume you would use ethernet and not wireless. At ethernet speeds, 1000Mbps, and standard definition – you could in theory simultaneously handle 400 users. You can use the same IPTV set top box running XBMC. Of course, streaming those 200+ live streams direct from the internet, you then run into the bandwidth problem.

    “Keep watching this space, as the eternal optimist in me tells me something good will happen”

    Do you know something that we do not? Would you care to eleborate? I have reflected on hints from others that maybe Sky will do this . . . and maybe the BBC will do that …

    My conclusion is that if the Freeview cartel were planning some alternative satellite subscription channels for their own copyright broadcasts, broadcast at the same time as their scheduled FTA transmissions – we’d know by now. If there is money to be made the last thing they would want is, by maintaining a silence, for potential customers to seek out a competing internet solution.

    The alternative conclusion is that, whatever else is in the pipeline – it’s illegal or will not provide the Freeview channels and/or not at the FTA scheduled times.

  122. Wow, thanks Jamie, there is light at the end of the tunnel methinks.

    You are of course right, while the eternal optimist in me tells me something will happen , the pessimist says, don’t be stupid, if it was going to be done, it would have been done by now!

    I will have to start talking to people about your ideas.

    Thank you

  123. This weeks edition of Computer Active has a 6 page article on how to watch web TV and films wherever you are, it is explained in plain English and how to get it free…..with a minimum 2Mpbs speed connection. Otherwise you are limited to downloading first rather than live streaming.
    You can test your internet connection speed at “www.speedtest.net”

  124. Wow! I’ve read all the posts and am now completely befuddled! I have limited understanding of all this technical stuff so please bear with me.

    We bought our house in Marbella in 1987 and all we had was Gibraltar TV which was dire, so we used to watch lots of videos. Then came Sky, it was marvellous! For many years we subscribed until I realised that we only really watched the Freeview channels and so I cancelled the subscription, especially as we only used the house for 3 months of the year. There are those who scoff at ex-pats wanting to watch TV whilst abroad but I don’t understand why they have a problem with it. Is it not natural to want to keep a connection with ‘home’ and TV certainly provides that. I love being able to watch the local news on ITV and I like to keep up with the soaps etc.

    I understand that we have just been fortunate to be able to receive UK Freeview Channels and Sky Channels (should you subscribe) all this time as Sky aren’t legally able to broadcast outside of the UK. What I don’t understand is why they aren’t allowed to broadcast. We live in a small world these days. Everyone travels and moves around a lot and the internet has made the world even smaller, enabling us to keep in contact with people all over the world on a personal or business level. I don’t understand why every country all over the world isn’t able to broadcast their live TV worldwide. I listen to radio stations from all over the world via the internet, surely a natural progression would be to extend that to TV?

    I’m sure Sky is going to lose a lot of revenue if all the expats around Europe end up cancelling their subscriptions. If they were legally able to broadcast all the UK Channels, not just the subscribed channels, I’m sure everyone would happily pay a subscription. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any progress in that direction. I also wonder about Gibraltar TV. I’ve just had a look online at their schedule and it doesn’t look like they’ve improved much, I can’t help feeling they’re missing a trick. Are they not allowed to broadcast UK Freeview Channels? I would happily pay a subscription if they were. With regard to the BBC, I understand that there are a lot of people who don’t pay a licence fee yet receive BBC channels. However, I am a licence payer, why isn’t there some system where if you enter your licence number you can watch BBC iPlayer no matter where you are located?

    Anyway… whatever the legalities it seems we are now in a position where we are going to have to pay to receive UK TV. For me it’s all about cost. At the moment I have a standard TV and receive Free View Channels. I don’t have a landline, I only use a Pay As You Go Mobile, I don’t have the internet, I use free internet provided by the many cafes and restaurants. From the research I have done so far it seems I am going to have to buy a Smart TV, the installation of some kind of system to be able to receive streaming TV over the internet, pay a monthly subscription and also install a land line and pay monthly line rental and monthly broadband costs. It all adds up! It’s also going to be important to have an internet connection that is high speed to be able to cope with all the data from streaming TV, and also a broadband service that doesn’t have any limits. I imagine, as in the UK, a supposedly ‘no limit’ broadband will be subject to a fair use policy meaning that the speed will slow down if you have gone over what is considered to be fair use. Streaming TV will then just buffer constantly. I now rent my house to holiday-makers and so it will be impossible to regulate how much they use the internet and I don’t want to be faced with big bills for data usage.

    I’ve had some quotes from local businesses who specialise in this and it has totted up to about 70 euros a month, on top of all the installation and equipment costs. So I think, like many, I’m going to wait and see what happens to the Sky signal over the summer but in the meantime I’m going to look at getting broadband so at least I have some options and it’s probably about time I had the internet installed anyway. I understand that to watch any live streaming services like TV Catch Up or use BBC iPlayer, ITV player etc I will have to have some way of hiding the fact that the IP address of the broadband service is based in Spain. So I would appreciate any advice!

    1) Who is the best broadband provider on the Costa del Sol?
    2) Are there any providers that include the cost of the line rental in their package?
    3) Are there any broadband packages that are truly unlimited?
    4) Are there any providers that allow you to have just 6 month packages?
    5) What is the best way of hiding the Spanish IP address?

    I have an internet connection in England, and an Apple Time Capsule that my router is connected to. Is there any way of bouncing the internet connection in Spain off my internet connection in England. It occurs to me that if that was possible that would be safer as I understand that using proxy servers can be a security issue.

    Now onto other options…
    1) Are there any services that are catch up, rather than Live that you can access in Spain without problem? From what I understand the issue is with broadcasting LIVE TV.
    2) Has anyone subscribed to the BBC Worldwide Service… how do you get it and what does it cost?
    3) Can you use Netflix in Spain?
    4) If you subscribe to SKY, will you be able to use the Catch up service to access BBC iPlayer, ITV player etc through a broadband connection if your IP address is hidden. Obviously the Sky subscription would be registered to my UK address, will they know if I don’t use my home internet connection?

    Thanks to this forum I’ve discovered FilmOn which I had never heard of before. I’ve just tried it and there’s all the UK TV channels there. I didn’t allow it to know my location and the UK channels were still available. I’m trying it from the UK though. Are you able to access it from Spain without hiding your internet connection? I know TVCatchUp doesn’t work when you’re in Spain.

    Spanish TV
    I’ve also read on here that there’s the option to have a lot of programmes on Spanish TV in English and I wouldn’t mind getting Spanish TV, it might help me to improve my grasp of the language! I am unable to receive Spanish TV at the moment and so have absolutely no knowledge… again I have some questions.
    1) Is there an equivalent of Freeview in Spain?
    2) If there is, is it those channels that you have the option of putting some programmes into English?
    3) What do I need to be able to receive Spanish TV. Is it an aerial, a set top box, a satellite dish?

    In summary it seems that just getting Spanish Freeview TV and the internet would be a good start. That way there would be something available to watch and the possibility of Catch Up or streaming TV over the internet via my laptop, unless I buy a Smart TV. Or another option would be to have a Sky subscription that along with a hidden internet connection would give me access to BBC, ITV player.. if I have understood everything correctly!

    Would appreciate any advice on all the questions I have raised.. in plain English please!

  125. Still researching!

    I’ve found a service that hides your IP address for just 5 euros a month, iportal.me anyone got any experience of them.

    Also found that I don’t need to buy a new smart TV, that I can connect my iPad to my existing TV through Apple TV which is £99. Anyone done that?

    Also it seems that you can watch all the UK channels without hiding your IP address through filmon.com for free! Is that right? If it is then seems that’s a good option and when combined with Apple TV you can watch on your TV.

    Only thing left to do is find the best broadband provider.. recommendations anyone?

  126. @Rubio4321
    My suggestion Fusion Zero from telefonica, 42.50 inc IVA for up to 10 MBPS download (I get 8.5 out in the sticks) unlimited download, it’s only the UK that is anally retentive with this fair use policy garbage, includes land line rental and a mobile sim card (in Spain 15 cents connection charge no further charge until you have been speaking for 120 minutes if you are on the mobile for that long you need to get out more). As for filmon.com in Spain best used without a proxy and download the ap for your PC, Mac etc. My suggestion stick with this set up until the satellite has been launched and we know where the channels are going and what sort of signal we are going t get in various parts of Spain Hope this helps.

  127. Thanks Peter. That sounds quite good and it includes mobile sim too. I think I am going to wait and see what happens and no doubt all sorts of other solutions will crop up too. With film.com a friend uses it through the iPad app and Apple TV, no proxy, says it works fine. Alan Sugar has tweeted about this box too which records automatically, isn’t expensive and you can suspend or cancel the service at any time. Said it worked well on a poor connection in Spain. uktveverywhere.com That would work well for me as the house is closed up for 6 months.. could just do with a broadband service that I could suspend too!

  128. I do not need to pay any monthly fees to watch UK catch up TV using the sat/iptv box that we got from mrskytv, just downloaded a new plug in called TSmedia so many free IPTV channels and thousands of movies etc all for free. I have noticed that there are new plug ins available every week or so, they are all free. Being able to also watch & control this box through the internet on our laptop is also fantstic as we spent the weekend in Seville so took the laptop and was able to watch some TV before turning in for the evening, I purchased a lead that goes from our laptop to the TV.

  129. Russian Proton Rocket

    Following the failed launch of the three Russian navigation satellites today – what knock-on effect, if any, will this have on the Proton launch of the Astra 2 satellite?

    Both today’s launch and the Astra launch use Proton rockets.

    Quote: “There will be no launches from Baikonur for about two-three months, a source in Russia’s space industry told RIA Novosti news agency.”


    That suggests that the Astra 2 program will be equally delayed by two or more months. If that is the case then the switch-off is now likely to be November-December.

  130. Re. inevitable changes to the Astra 2E launch date (was 20 July 13)because of the recent Proton rocket catastrophic failure at Baikonur – I can see significant delays here to introduction of the new satellite. Quite apart from the protracted technical investigation which will now take place, Baikonur is also the launch site for Soyuz rockets which both re-supply and re-man the International space station. There are at least 3 Soyuz launches already programmed between now and December. Soyuz will certainly take precedence over Proton, so Proton could be on the back burner for some time. On that basis, I wouldn’t be surprised if Astra 2E was now not launched this year.

  131. Unfortunately most “friendly local tv guys” will already have sold half the population boxes they may or may not need this year, and in the delays which will inevitably occur (thank the lord as far a my community is concerned), someone could still come up with an alternative situation.

    So Edward, wrap yourself up, keep warm, and sign off the thread.

    In the meantime any of you guys out there who have a handle on this latest news, PLEASE keep up posted!

  132. Looks like the “loss of UK TV on the Costa del Sol” may be delayed as a Russian spacecraft exploded shortly after take off yesterday at the same launch site that the new Astra 2E satellite is supposed to be launched from. Reading the reports this may affect the launch dates for some time. The rocket was a Proton 2 as used by Astra.

  133. Hi Paul

    In that link about the Proton rocket in my post yesterday, it clearly states that:

    “The next Proton-M launch” . . from the same Baikonur cosmodrome that the accident occured yesterday . . “was scheduled for July 21. It was supposed to deliver a commercial ASTRA 2E broadcast satellite for Europe into orbit.”

    The Astra 2E launch was the next in line after yesterday’s failed launch. All launches from that cosmodrome are likely to be delayed for two to three months. Given that it is still almost three weeks to the 21st July scheduled launch, the message is that the Astra 2E will not be launched for at least two to three months less the three weeks. It follows that the minimum delay to the Astra 2E launch will be about 2 months.

    The report also stated:

    “The rocket exploded on impact close to another launch pad used for Proton commercial launches.”

    That launch pad, that was nearly destroyed, is the pad scheduled for the Astra 2E commercial launch. Had that been destroyed – fortunately for Astra and the cosmodrome it was not – the delay in the launch would be even greater. It’ll be interesting to see how Astra responds given that they are using the 2E to replace the 1N, that has been ‘on loan’ since early 2012 – and is needed to join the rest of the Astra 1 fleet.

    Maybe Astra will re-activate the old 2D satellite to replace the 1N. So, hang on to that 1.3m dish in Andalucia – you may need it for longer than you thought ;)

  134. Just wait guys, I have an IP box with everything I wanted, even the BT Sports was added as soon as the test channel came out, I cancelled my Sky Sub anyway and am saving money…Just depends if you get a fast enough Downspeed from your provider. You have time till late November due to Inquiries from the Rocket Crash last month in Kasachstan before even a new Satellite will be launched again from the Astra Pad……could be late December even before the tests are completed. Read it on Rob’s site…

  135. The “Big Switch Off”
    is now scheduled for late October or early November, according to the latest report (4 August) from Russia’s Roscosmos space agency.
    See the report at:

    Proton rocket satellite launches will resume from Baikonur early September, following the Proton crash in early July – and the first launch is expected to be the Astra 2E satellite that will be transmitting the new UK TV small footprint within two months of the launch.

    A realistic date for the switch off of Astra 1N and the switch on of Astra 2E is early November rather than late October.

  136. “The ILS Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) concluded its review on August 13, concurring with the conclusions of the Russian State Inter-agency Commission on the root cause and the associated corrective action plan of the July 2, 2013 Proton M/Block DM mission failure with three GLONASS navigational satellites for the Russian Federal Government.

    The members of the FROB agreed with the findings of the Russian investigation that the root cause of the failure was due to the improper installation of the three yaw angular rate sensors located on the Proton launch vehicle, which caused the vehicle to deviate from its flight path shortly after lift-off.

    “We very much appreciate the time, effort and participation of our customers, the insurance underwriters and technical experts in the FROB process. They worked tirelessly with us to ensure that the review was conducted thoroughly. As we work towards the return to flight of the Proton vehicle, we thank all of our customers for their continued support,” said ILS Vice President of Programs and Operations, John Palmé.

    The ILS Proton return to flight mission will be the Astra 2E satellite for SES on September 15, 2013. The scheduling of the remainder of the ILS Proton near term manifest for 2013 is currently being determined”


    Reston, VA, September 12, 2013 – The launch of an ILS Proton launch vehicle with the ASTRA 2E satellite was postponed today for technical reasons associated with the launch vehicle. The satellite is being launched for SES of Luxembourg and was built by Astrium. The launch date will be determined at a later time.

    On September 11, Khrunichev engineers at the launch site received an out of tolerance reading in the first stage of the vehicle. It was determined that further investigation is necessary, requiring the launch vehicle be returned to the processing hall for additional testing. The vehicle and satellite remain in a safe configuration at the launch site.


    (A couple of Russian news agencies have speculated about a new launch date of 30 September.)

  138. The Return to Flight Mission of the Proton-M rocket has been delayed from its September 17 launch slot due to technical problems with the launch vehicle. Also, the Interfax news service reported that a launch delay was also requested by Kazakhstan due to unfinished decontamination work at the crash site of the July 2 Proton failure. A new launch date will be determined when repair work its complete; the current target is September 30, 2013.

  139. Channels will probably be lost on or around Christmas Eve to cause even more heartache to British Families on the Costa del Sol as the BBC clearly couldn’t give a XXXX.

  140. James, you just do not have a grasp of the situation. The BBC have a duty of care towards the United Kingdom, as they are the people who pay the fees, not the funny beach aklies. Who who just want free TV. And having that duty of care towards the UK, they are increasing signal strength to ALL parts of the UK including those areas which historically have not been able to received good coverage. In order to do this they have and to narrow the beam to concentrate it, and unfortunately, this means that any area from about Burgos down in Spain will no longer received free to air TV from the UK. The BBC have even issued a statement explaining this, and are sorry that the expats in Europe will lose their tv but have pointed. Out that the BBC is in the Business of supplying the best pictures to their fee paying public.

    If you want to ensure that you have TV over Christmas, and obviously have no family with which to spend the time better served than being glued to the box, I suggest you rush out and buy an Internet box post haste and ensure you are adequately prepared.

  141. Paul,

    I know it is going off topic slightly, but the point is that I am a UK citizen, and would happily pay the licence fee in order to receive UK TV here in Spain, be it via the internet or satellite.

    In these days of a (supposedly, but at times laughably) free EU market, I think I should have the right to do that – but this right is denied me.

    But then again, I haven’t even got the right to vote, neither here in Spain nor the UK, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by being denied the right to pay the BBC to watch my national TV.

  142. Aimed at – Paul Biddulph (I think I know who you are)

    Hi Paul

    I am sick of the UK having a “duty of care” not just TV related but also a social security system that gives “anyone” that has just arrived; housing, clothing, cash in pocket from day 1, and access to medical care.

    As far as the BBC is concerned;

    1. Why is BBC1 available in Australia?
    2. Why is ITV available in Thailand?

    Your comments make “no sense” and obviously you have not read my earlier comments, and or read the press release by Alix Pryde, so perhaps you should do some homework before posting complete and utter drivvle.

    This is what ALIX PRYDE from the BBC said –


    Your comment “If you want to ensure that you have TV over Christmas, and obviously have no family with which to spend the time better served than being glued to the box”

    How rude is that?? Is it me or is that not rude?

    I already have a IPTV box thank you!

    My “opinion” is that it will be Xmas or Januray 2014 before anything happens.

  143. MR (I think I know who you are – my how we laughed) Gold, I would suggest that ozland TV get the BBC via fox, which as you are aware is owned by Murdoch.. I have read some of your of your previous and consider the rudeness in your comments back there is extreme, don’t give what you can’t take back.

    The BBC have made it clear time and again that they are in business to serve the uk ( the clue is in the title), and as I said if every ex pat expected to receive their nations TV channels anywhere in the world, it would be chaotic. When we first came to Spain 30 years ago, we did not have uk tv and did not expect it. It was only really when sky appeared that the whole of Europe could pick up the TV services. Again the BBC have made it clear that their channel , entertainment worldwide is out there for the very purpose of keeping the ex pats happy by providing UK entertainment. Subscription – yes

  144. First to Amanda Johnson

    You asked:

    “Do you think that we will still get Sky with the BBC and ITV? Someone mentioned the Pan European satellite”

    The assumption is that the current Sky encrypted channels will still be available to those with the necessary Sky subscriptions, via the pan-European beam on Astra 2E. I believe that currently includes some of the HD channels such as ITV2 HD.

    I have seen nothing to suggest that BBC channels and ITV1 (SD or HD) will be included in a Sky subscription pack. Why would they be given that they are already available in the UK free-to-air? The ITV2, 3 and 4 HD channels are included in the Sky HD pack because they are not currently available FTA.

    The point once again is that all these channels are intended for reception within the UK only. The move to the 2E UK beam, that is more focused on the UK, is intended to reduce reception outside of the UK of the FTA channels. The use of Sky encryption for ITV2, 3 and 4 HD similarly restricts reception of those channels to the UK. Of course, it is possible to use a Sky account, intended for reception in the UK only, to view those encrypted ITV HD channels outside the UK. However, you cannot conclude that viewing those channels outside the UK is condoned and similarly cannot conclude that a similar provision could be made available to watch BBC and ITV1 via Sky subscription.

    Regarding Paul Biddulph’s point about the supposed rationale for the BBC’s more focused UK beam, summarised as “duty of care towards the United Kingdom”. Does anyone really believe that statement from the BBC? The reason for the more highly focused UK beams on 2E and 2F is to restrict UK TV reception to the UK. UK TV programming arrangements with the copyright owners requires that transmission to mainland Europe should be minimised. A side effect of a tighter beam is an increase in signal strength in the UK. The BBC, in that statement from Alix Pride, overemphasised the ‘duty of care’ at the expense of the main aim of restricting broadcasts outside of the UK. Ironically, the 2E/2F UK beams are so strong around the UK that you can use a 45cm mini dish in the Faroes and you’ll get perfect reception in Iceland with a 60cm dish.

  145. Let’s all go live in Iceland then! Only joking Jamie – thanks for such an informative post.

    Again, apologies for digressing but in the days of the supposedly single market and fair competition the entire European TV policy is totally ridiculous and hypocritical. Living in Spain denying me the opportunity to PAY for UKTV (I mean BBC, not just Sky) goes against everything Brussels says it stands for.

    So…clearly this is a copyright issue. Money, money and it’s in the TV companies’ interests, be they publically, semi-publically, privately, or dare I say it, Murdoch-ly owned to keep things as they are. This way they get more cash, totally avoid having to enter into real competition, and thus keep subsciption fees artifically sky high for us all.

    Again, apologies for those who would rather not digress from what has become a post for technical information, but EU contradiction likes this, as and when they feel like it, really p@#~es me off.

  146. This very day after nearly 25 years of making exorbitant payments to Sky for complete rubbish (the wife’s fault-I would have dumped them years ago) I have cancelled my Sky subscription completely and gone over to a BB based system. I have roughly worked it out that despite some one off initial extra capital costs I will be saving about 500 POUNDS+ a year.

  147. I’m currently trying out the Hola extension for google chrome, this is only for tech savvy people as you need to add individual scripts for different UK channels. I player works fine with it as does ITV player, channel 4 has issues but I did get channel 5. If this is stable and continues to work it should be a dream with a smart TV. I’m still hoping that once all the satellites are in place and the channel switching complete we will still get UK free to air with either a dish alignment or larger dish. I’ll keep you posted on how Hola works.

  148. You’re dead right Victor. It’s totally scandalous that they are allowed to get away with it. Basically, we are in large part financing the ridiculous wages paid to (many non-descript) football players.

    I will also be kicking mine into touch, but am waiting to see what happens after the satellite change before I do so.

    What’s BB?

  149. “If you want to ensure that you have TV over Christmas, and obviously have no family with which to spend the time better served than being glued to the box”

    That is just rude. Paul you should be ashamed.(again)

    “Duty of care” Piff Paff…

  150. I am not interested in the pettiness going on but just wanted to know which way to go in the future. It seems that wait and see is the best advice.

    Thank you to Jamie for your info.

  151. You can’t get Sky legally in Spain. If you’re paying for a card it’s a forgery and you’re being ripped off by someone who’s just copying cards.

    Sky don’t see a penny of it.

    Don’t believe me? Ring Sky and ask for a card to be sent to you and set up an account.

    You just can’t complain if you’re getting something for nothing that others pay for and it’s going to be taken away. You’d moan like hell if I came and borrowed stuff without asking!

  152. What are you going on about Richard? Fake cards? Copying cards? 10 years ago perhaps… you are totally “WRONG” They are an old wives tale and do not exist.

    Richard said “If you’re paying for a card it’s a forgery and you’re being ripped off by someone who’s just copying cards”

    This is complete nonsense.

    No idea what your post is about??

  153. I have to agree with James here. The cards are not forged – they do however gave to be registered to a UK address and that is where they all go. Sky if course are aware that there is a huge market in Spain and they mean a fortune from it – especially the bars. But they are NOT forged. Your criteria about asking sky to send a card to Spain is not valid – sky will not post to Spain because officially sky cannot recognize a system in Spain but sky execs holiday over here and cannot fail to see the hoarding a outside bars declaring sky sports!

  154. Richard: NOT true. The only law Sky are breaking is their contract with the film producers. With the sort of cheapo. rubbish they put out as ‘films’ they have some liberty with that cr*p- Nothing to do with sport or anything else.

  155. I have been looking at Sky Cards eu (you can find them on the net)and they say that they can get UK TV in Spain? But they don’t know what will happen when the switch over happens.

  156. Can we all please remember that Sky and its associated channels make a fortune from all the ex-pats living abroad and I am sure that, although they have no control over satellite positioning, the multi million pound company will find some solution in the near future to enable us to watch our favourite programs and put money back into their pocket! My advice……….don’t panic and wait.

  157. Your naivety is breathtaking.

    If a criminal can fake a credit card or £50 note he can fake a poxy Sky card.

    The point I make is simply that there are TV installers in Spain happily taking monthly subscriptions for ripped off services that they are getting for relatively nothing. Just be careful who you give your hard earned cash to.

    Yes you can take a multi room box to Spain and it’ll work. Don’t tell Sky tho or your contract will be ended quick-sharp!

    If you’re getting away with getting something from Murdoch ‘for free’ good luck to you, I would.

  158. Hi Louise Smith,

    You did not make clear what you had in mind by “watch our favourite programs”. Maybe you are referring to programmes broadcast by Sky and not the BBC, ITV etc Freesat programmes.

    No one is suggesting that those “favourite programs”, such as the Sky encrypted channels, will be unavailable after the “switch off”. The assumption is that those channels will continue to be broadcast and be available on the pan-European beam. I am also assuming that Sky News will still be available.

    If, on the other hand, you are referring to the free-to-air BBC, ITV etc, then Sky make no money from those – not since BBC and ITV etc stopped paying Sky for the Sky encryption service and went FTA. It follows that they will not, as you appear to think, lose a fortune.

    Provided all those Sky encrypted channels are still receivable and provided that Sky customers outside the UK continue to subscribe to those Sky packages, then Sky’s profits will not be affected. But Sky may have a problem. As a result of all the uncertainty about satellite reception, a significant number of Sky customers have realised that they can live without Sky and use internet TV instead – regardless of whether Sky is still receivable outside the UK. Indeed, some Sky customers, including those in the UK, are only just realising that they do not need a Sky account in order to receive the non-Sky broadcasts. For those reasons Sky will take a hit on their profits. They certainly cannot make good any loss by illegally broadcasting the “Freesat” channels as a subscription service – those channels are intended for the UK only.

  159. You Guys are so knowledgeable, Thank you for all your thoughts. Louise, I will wait to see how it all pans out but I think that you are right to wait and see what happens. We are in Conil (Cadiz) so it will be worse for us. I think that Sky Card etc. will find a way through but again it is wait and see. Pan European is still an unknown quantity. Sky will want to continue to make money from us expats.

  160. Amanda, Do yourself a favour and dump mega expensive Sky you are only paying footballers’ obscene wages. I have (they have very little worthwhile to offer and are expensive)
    You need a decent B/B connection and you are off and running today if you want.

  161. Amanda Johnson wrote:

    “Sky will want to continue to make money from us expats”

    Of course they will – and it is precisely for that reason that it is assumed that Sky will broadcast its channels on the 2E pan-European beam. There is nothing new in what you say. By encrypting their transmissions Sky can comply with the requirement that their broadcasts are for UK consumption and thus avoid disputes about copyright. By using Sky accounts set up with a UK address, ex-pats can continue to watch those broadcasts across mainland Spain. Everyone is happy – assuming anyone can be happy with Sky’s subscription rates.

    It is difficult to follow the remainder of your post. What does “I think that Sky Card etc. will find a way through” actually mean and on what do you base that belief – or is it simply an act of faith? Possession of a functioning Sky card will clearly not allow you to receive the Freesat channels broadcast on the 2E UK beam. It will not allow you to receive any Sky-encrypted equivalent of those Freesat channels on the pan-European beam because there aren’t any – and that will remain the case with the new 2E satellite. Putting it simply, the standard UK TV transmissions including BBC, ITV1 and Channel4 will not be transmitted on the pan-European beam – encrypted or otherwise.

    Maybe you think that Sky will start broadcasting encrypted versions of the Freesat channels to satisfy a market in Southern Spain. Well, first of all the finances do not add up. The cost of leasing the transponders on the Astra 2E and 2F satellites and maintaining that service are too high. Second – it would be illegal. There would have to be a financial agreement with the BBC etc and how could Sky justify that those transmissions were only for UK consumption when those UK national TV channels are already freely available across the UK via the UK spot beam and a 45cm dish? Even the lawyers would find it difficult to argue that Sky was providing a paid-for service just for the UK as an alternative to the free service already provided by Freesat! Even if Sky could circumvent the illegalities the cost would still be too high.

  162. It is apparently possible to get Global Iplayer from the bbc, perfectly legally, for roughly £50 a year. You can download what you want. They have been trying it out ever so quietly; no idea how good it is but a friend here in Cordoba province has it and says it works well. Assuming it does only cover the BBC channels though. I am going to have a look at it next week.

  163. Pedrro you idiot – there are as many Spanish people in the U.K. looking for TVEi and other Spanish channels too !! Stupid comment. I write this in English to a fellow Spaniard as I do not support his ridiculous view or comment.

  164. Hi all,

    I have read most of this post.
    Wow loads of information here.

    I have recently moved to a new home in Malaga.
    I have to reconnect SKY box, and I did not know about this loss of channels due to the move of the satellites.
    It did not affect me in July!! Or we just did not notice!

    So, does SKY not resend the free channels? or just there channels? My wife watches mostly the free channels and I the pay ones from the SKY packages.

    So its an awful waist of money to reconnect sky if I will only get the package channels and not all the free ones.

    Is the above assumption correct? Or have I got it totally wrong?

    All, I need is a box that will record my wifes programs from the UK so she can watch it at her leasure.
    This is the only main feature I need in Spain.

    Does anyone know thats a failsafe option for me?



    DAvid F

  165. Hi, David F

    The changeover from the 1N satellite to the 2E satellite has not happened yet and so you would not notice in July. The changeover to the 2F satellite that has already happened only affects a few Freesat channels.

    “So, does SKY not resend the free channels? or just there channels?”

    If you mean the Freesat channels or just their own channels then Sky has nothing to do with Freesat – it just happens that they are receivable on a Sky box. It is the Freesat channels that will transfer to the focused UK beam on the 2E and 2F that will not be received in Southern Spain – st least not in Andalucia.

    “So its an awful waist of money to reconnect sky if I will only get the package channels and not all the free ones.”

    Yes, if you have paid for a dish installation with the expectation of receiving all the Freesat channels then it may be a waste of your money and you have possibly been misled.

    The Freesat channels transmitted from the Eutelsat 28A satellite at 28.5° east should still be receivable using your current set up – I am sure children will be very pleased to continue to receive Pop from the Eutelsat sat. However there is an ongoing dispute between SES Astra and Eutelsat about who is licensed to use that satellite position.

    “All, I need is a box that will record my wifes programs from the UK so she can watch it at her leasure.”

    I imagine you have a Sky+ box. With broadband and a broadband speed of 2Mbps to 3Mbps you can use that box to download (Sky calls it ‘record’) all the main catchup services in the UK, such as iPlayer. Sky calls their version of this On Demand. I have tested this in Andalucia with a slow broadband speed – about 1.5Mbps and it works well. I was expecting to receive a low resolution picture, standard definition at best. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Sky+ box, instead of playing the programme “real time” at the low resolution as it downloaded, downloaded the iplayer stream without playing and saved it. One nice feature was that the Sky box calls this a recording and so the user, already familiar with recording a programme as it is broadcast live, should feel comfortable with the process. The main benefit, though, is that the download was a high def stream and so you end up with a HD ‘recording’.

    I used a VPN tunnel to get round the IP blocking. There is more detail on this throughout this thread. The best arrangement is to set the VPN up on a router.

    The resulting recording is available for about 30days – but, of course, you have to download before the catchup period expires – typically 7 days.

    I imagine that with a higher BB speed, maybe 3 to 4 Mbps, the Sky box determines that the speed is OK for HD and so plays the On Demand stream while it records – just as it would if you are recording live TV via satellite. Maybe there is an option on the box to view the download as it downloads with slower bband, but at a lower definition. There is, surprisingly, very little info about this online.

    Hope that’s answered your main questions.

    One point, if you don’t have broadband, is the possibility of using wireless instead of landline broadband. There is one provider based in the East of Malaga province, Axarquia, who almost guarantees a high speed with an absolute minimum 4Mbps and with no monthly limit. I am told that the UK IP address that they provide, at no extra charge, for geolocation unblocking, works with the Sky+ box. There must be similar services in other localities. If you are happy to watch and record catchup and already have a Sky+ box, then the above is maybe the solution for you.

  166. With SKY+HD and SKY ON DEMAND coupled with VPN router you can watch SKY TV premium channels, and BBC1, ITV on demand with popular TV shows such as Eastenders and Emmerdale always having the last 6 episodes available to watch immediately.

    Very unlikely that SKY will want to see over 5 million European subscribers cancelling the monthly payments to SKY that must total billions of pounds each year.

    Looks like new launch date is now 30th September

  167. I think that we have now, finally, established that Sky does not wish to lose its subscription customers. There are 10 million BskyB TV customers and 4.8 million have Sky+HD (figures from June 2013). Given that all Sky’s BskyB customers, by definition, are based in the UK then the 10 million must include those non-UK customers who actually live outside the UK.

    How many of the 10 million actually live in the UK. Only half at the most if you subtract the over 5 million figure for European customers from the previous post. In short, one of those figures is wrong.

    One estimate is that 4% of BskyB customers live in mainland Europe. 4% of the total 10 million is just 400,000 in Europe – about half a million. I suspect the real figure is higher, but not much higher.

    The above refers to subscription customers and not the larger number who have a Sky box but without a Sky account.

    How many of the half million European Sky customers live in Spain? The proportion of the Spanish population to the rest of mainland EU countries is about one in ten and so the number of Sky account holders living in Spain is about one-tenth of one half million – about 50,000. I suspect
    that is an underestimate because there is likely a concentration of BSkyB accounts in Spain compared with the rest of mainland EU countries.

    The number in Spain is likely more like twice 50,000 and so more like 100,000.

    Of course, that is the number for the whole of Spain and I have overlooked Portugal.

    The major part of mainland Europe and the largest population is concentrated in the North and East – where the UK spot beams from the new Astra 2 sats can still be received. It is really only the south-western area of Europe (the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula and Italy south of Rome) that falls outside the UK footprint. So, finally we have to estimate the fraction of the Iberian based Sky account holders who live in the south, particularly in Andalucia and Southerm Portugal. I guess no more than half.

    It follows that the 100,00 estimate above is likely an overestimate of the number of BskyB account holders who will be most affected by the “switch off”. The actual figure could be as low as 50,000. Let’s assume it’s 100,000. That figure is not so high as some have imagined. That is the likely maximum estimate of BskyB customers in Spain (possibly in the EU) who will no longer receive the Freesat transmissions, even with a 1.5m dish – and if BskyB were to use the UK spot beams, those BskyB subscription channels would be lost to them as well.

  168. Succinct as always Jamie. A relatively small market being chased by a lot of suppliers.

    Has anyone got any additional information on the network mast system being pursued a while ago as an alternative to the Internet TV route?

  169. Looks like the planned 30th September Astra 2E launch will actually take place on 29th September at 21:38 GMT or 23:38 Spanish time.

    See “spaceflightnowDOTcom/tracking/”

    Hi Paul

    “A relatively small market being chased by a lot of suppliers.”

    Local providers of wireless internet TV, similar to the one I described earlier, are very happy to attract just a small % of the approx 50,000 existing Sky customers in Andalucia. For those local IPTV operators, just 1% of that market would provide them with more new customers than they could handle.

    The reason I focused on Andalucia is that north and east of Andalucia reception should be possible with a 1.5m dish or smaller and I guess the majority would not consider a dish larger than 1.5m

    Large satellite TV companies are less flexible than the local internet providers. Sky will wish to retain their customers – and the only way is to use pan-European beams. But that may not be enough because those customers will still loose Freesat, will mostly wish to access the ‘Freesat’ programme content and, for most, that will require internet TV. The Pandoras box of internet TV has been opened and there is no going back. There will be an inevitable drift away from satellite in favour of the more flexible internet as more people embrace internet TV.

    Neither Sky nor any other satellite TV business is in a position to provide a paid-for ‘Freesat’ alternative – just on the basis of net income those 50 to 100k customers are too few. It is difficult to estimate the likely market including the non-Sky UK ex-pats. The estimate of the total population throughout Spain back in 2007 is about 700,000 and the number in Andalucia maybe 250,00.

    That may appear to be a sufficient number but, given a choice between internet and the prospect of a long delay (maybe a year) for a possible satellite alternative – I cannot imagine many choosing a satellite service.

    The long-term is impossible to predict. Logically, you would expect the Freesat group, perhaps with Sky, to provide a similar package of channels but with the contentious copyright material removed. The BBC already do something similar. On iPlayer live TV you often see the
    message, in late evening, that the content can only be watched on your TV – meaning via Freeview or Freesat. Presumably the BBC agreement with the content provider prohibits access through the internet. Without the restriction of copyright content perhaps a Freesat type content could then be broadcast beyond the UK and beyond Europe and available through subscription. Of course, it could be that this imagined, future scenario, would only be available via internet TV.

  170. Thanks you Jamie. What about this “Network Broadcast system, being bandied around. This is the mast system which apparently does not require internet but works in the same was as sky inasmuch as it is all around us in the ether and to pick it you need an encrypted card and a box. Rental are the same as Internet TV but I understand one off costs are higher.

    As the president of a relatively large community I really need to try to keep abreast of what is happening t is happening in order to advise my owners of their options, so it is good that within the molasses of comments that this blog has attracted, some good and some not so good it is good to know that your comments have a common sense approach to the problems we are probably about to encounter.

  171. “Network Broadcasting” is also known as “RE-BROADCASTING” and is illegal and the picture is poor. Telmicro is a prime example, they had 50’000+ subscribers on Costa Blanca and where raided by Guardia Civil and shut down, all of the massive satellite dishes had the cables cut. It is a shame that BBC and ITV will not grant a licence for Spain.

    I still believe that 1.9 satellite dishes will solve the problem on the Costa del Sol, we will be taking a 1.9 dish with us when we make our first round of deliveries of IPTV boxes, whilst most people will be happy with IPTV many people want to keep SKY+HD box.

    Astra 2E News Update on Proton rocket launch

    Provisional launch date – 30/09/2013

    News from Paris — After the unfortunate accident on July 2nd that resulted in a proton rocket and $220 Million pay load going up in smoke, both Russian and Kazakh Governments have decided that after carrying out discussions and a review of safety and launch procedures with Proton’s executives have given the go ahead to launch on the 30th September.

    Officials from Khrunichev Space Centre in Moscow have confirmed this new launch date, this news has been welcomed by Directors of SES Astra who are under pressure to bring Astra 2E in to service.

    Residents on the Spanish Costa del Sol such as Albert & Diane from Mijas said “This is not good News for us! When the last rocket exploded we took a sigh of relief as we are told that the new signal is not going to be strong enough, we are hoping that BBC1HD and ITVHD will be strong enough but this is all guess work we have got a IPTV box reserved with MRSKYTV who have guaranteed delivery within 3 days of the change over so whilst not worried we would rather avoid the expense.

    BBC spokesperson and unsympathetic Alix Pryde is probably rubbing her hands at the thought of cutting off half a million British Ex Pats from their daily fix of Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and the children’s CBeebies.

    A resident in Torrevieja said “I think it is disgusting that you can legaly watch BBC1 and ITV in Australia but not in Spain when Spain is in the EU, the UK is in the EU so why can we not watch BBC1 or ITV?” he went on to say “I have been told that Alix Pryde had a big fallout with someone that has a Holiday Villa in Marbella who she does not like so has used her powers to orchestrate this, thankfully it looks like the Costa Blanca will not be affected” Whilst there are various conspiracies, whispers and guess work nobody really knows what will happen until it happens.

    One thing is for sure, the past 12 months have been tough for many satellite installers after warnings of “DO NOT BUY A SATELLITE DISH” appeared several websites back in December 2012 advising people to “wait and see”

    Jason Harding of mrskytv said “Only the Costa del Sol will be affected in Spain, parts of Portugal, France and Germany will be affected, Cyprus lost everything” He went on to say “The World is changing all of the time, we have been providing internet based TV solutions since 2008 to overseas workers as far away as Singapore and Thailand” with 500’000 Families expected to be affected by the new satellite changeover in November / December 2013 many new start up businesses have sprung up offering IPTV solutions including FREE and pay per month services that range in price from €9.99 to €29.99 a month.

    The latest IPTV box that is available includes a massive TV channel line up that includes Sports, Movies and many Documentary and Entertainment channels, the box is €395 delivery from Nerja to Cadiz.

    This is the official statement;

    “The Astra 2E mission team is preparing for the launch on September 30. While ILS and Khrunichev did address a technical issue during this delay, the primary purpose of the delay was to accommodate a joint review by the Russian and Kazakhstan government to address environmental and safety concerns. We agree that undertaking this review is a prudent precautionary measure. While this review will have a short delay impact to the Astra 2E and Sirius FM6 missions, it will not impact the number of Proton missions we anticipated launching before year end 2013.”

  172. “I still believe that 1.9 satellite dishes will solve the problem on the Costa del Sol”

    MrSkyTV says he thinks that, on the Costa del Sol, a 1.9m dish will receive channels on the Astra 2E UK spot beam. Do any readers know of any reliable reception reports to confirm that a 2.5m dish or less can consistently receive the Astra 2F spot beam along the Costa?

  173. At present we have a 1.9 metre dish consistently feeding a good signal to 14 receivers transferring the fourteen UK Channels including all BBC and ITV channels and a couple of Sky channels and film4 to 223 apartments

  174. That Telmicro story was an interesting one yes. 50,000 subscribers a month paying 15 euros = 750,000 euros income each MONTH!! In came the Guardia Civil and smashed up everything, dismantling the whole thing saying it was illegal.

    A month later a new company cropped up offering the same service. The owner? The newly-retired head of the Guardia Civil in the area. Only in Spain.

    Being forced to pay pirates when you’d rather pay the official broadcaster sums it up. It’s totally absurd.

  175. Paul, Thanks for that. I presume that your 1.9m dish is receiving transmissions from the Astra 1N UK spot. My question is about UK channels that have been transferred from 1N to the new Astra 2F UK beam.

    Mike, a sobering thought, if the copyright owners can’t get you through conventional legal channels, then the GS will.

    I understand that those convictions between 2008 and 2013 resulted, in the main, from either fraud (in the case of Telmicro), tax fraud or no planning permission. Now that the European court has ruled in favour of the content/copyright owners against the re-broadcasters, we may see more actions for breach of copyright.

  176. Lots of speculation on this thread. We won’t actually know anything definitive until the new satellite is in place and is broadcasting its new footprint – probably during early October. Still very much a ‘wait and see’ for me, with IPTV looking favourite. I’ve also tested a couple of VPN providers and got excellent results on both BBC iplayer and ITV player.

  177. Movistar dawdling on putting fibre optic connections where we are. Plus, they’re asking for 40 euros for the fibre optic internet connection, plus 15 for the phone line. Add IVA and that’s 67 euros. It ain’t cheap!

    Another concern with IPTV is picture quality (presuming you can get a fast enough connection). I detest that CGI (computer-style) type picture you get via IPTV and hope this can be sorted out and a decent HD picture achieved.

    Until the switchover does happen, I’m not doing anything.

  178. The launch of the Astra 2E satellite is scheduled for 23:38 Spanish summer time this Sunday 29th September. That is 01:38 on Monday morning (30th September) Moscow time.

    The 3 hour live video of the Baikonur launch will be broadcast on the internet, starting at 21:40 in Spain and ending at 00:40

    The website is:


    You should replace the DOT with a dot

    I have never watched one of these live TsENKI broadcasts – apologies if it does not work.

    Hi micmc47

    So far as the footprint of the new 2E satellite goes, it is worth remembering that a lot is known already.

    The three satellites, the 2E, 2F and next years 2G have been built to the same specification.

    The UK spot beam on 2E/F/G was designed to meet the requirements of a narrow beam over the UK. If anything, tweaks to the Astra 2E dish following experience gained from Astra 2F will mean an even weaker signal than 2F in fringe areas.

    There have been many 2F reception reports from around Europe including Spain, particularly the Costa Blanca. The Malaga region, however has remained ominously silent. Of course, on the Costa Blanca, larger 2m dishes are the norm – and so no problem providing the reception data there. Also, on the Costa Blanca, they are very happy to report that reception from 2F is now possible on a modest sized dish.

    Could it be that around Malaga there is a conspiracy of silence amongst the UK TV satellite installers? Maybe there is nothing good to report because only a huge dish will work. They, the installers, are best placed to test reception. The only report I’ve seen is that 2F reception near Malaga city is possible on a 3m dish – but that report has never been confirmed.

    If there is no signal from the 2F UK beam around Malaga on a less than 3m dish – it is a virtual certainty that there will be no reception, either, from the new Astra 2E UK beam on a smaller than 3m dish. In response to Mike, I would suggest that it doesn’t come much more definitive than that.

    Mike, although you say that “Until the switchover does happen, I’m not doing anything”, in fact you have done quite a lot already, including testing internet TV reception on your 55″ plasma screen. Come the switch over you can, if needed, use that as a temporary solution and perhaps that is what you intend. Also, I recall that you have explored the use of the On Demand feature of your Sky+ box to access catchup TV of the Freesat channels after the switch over. By using a VPN and only a 1.5Mbps broadband you can download and save on the Skybox what, to me at least, appeared to be high def catchup content.

    The point about downloading is that it is not real-time. For example, suppose a real-time stream of high def live or catchup TV requires, say, 4Mbps download speed. Assume that the programme length is 1hour. If your broadband speed is only 2Mbps (one half that required) then the same programme will take 2hours to download. Clearly, you cannot watch that real-time as it downloads but the downloaded programme is saved as a file (essentially it is a recording). It can then be watched later in high definition – without the typical video glitches that result when streaming as opposed to downloading.

    Concerning broadband speed and picture quality for live TV, with a 4Mbps speed you should get high def. You do not need fibre. What set top box are you using and are you using a HDMI cable from the STB to your TV?

  179. I also use WOW VPN and have to say I get excellent results also. Of course your Download speeds are a little critical and you need at least 3 really to be sure of no breakup in picture. We are getting 8mbps here which is fine.

  180. Latest News on Astra 2E launch date.

    SES has announced that the Astra 2E satellite is set to launch on board an ILS Proton vehicle from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, this coming Monday (September 30).

    Lift off has been set for 03.38 local time (23.38 CET and 17.38 EDT on September 29).
    Astra 2E was built by France’s Astrium and will employ the reliable Eurostar E3000 platform.

    It carries 60 Ku-band and 4 Ka-band transponders and will allow for the delivery of next generation broadcast and broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from the orbital arc of 28.2/28.5 degrees East.

    It will have a launch mass of 6 tonnes, wingspan of 40m once deployed and a spacecraft power of 13kW at the end of its 15-year design life cycle.

    Astra 2E will be the seventh Eurostar satellite in the SES fleet, following the successful launch of SES-6 in June this year and Astra 2F in September 2012.

    A live broadcast of the launch in HD will be available via Astra at 19.2 degrees East channel 1.037, downlink frequency 11023.25 MHz, horizontal polarization, Symbol rate 22.00 MSym/s, FEC 5/6, service ID 5221, service name Astra 2E Launch.

    A webcast will also be available via ilslaunch(dot)com this is a reliable feed that we have used many times to watch launches.

    Many British families on the Spanish Costa del Sol are worried sick about possibly loosing the UK Freesat TV channels such as BB1, ITV etc. We receive many e-mails from concerned residents that have been reading misleading crap in the Ex-Pat Newspapers, Euroweekly run a story that was absolute lies that was designed to scare people in to purchasing IPTV boxes.

    Whilst we may supply IPTV boxes and IPTV services in Spain, we are reluctant to sell a client something that they may not require, and until Astra 2E is up and running nobody knows for sure what the best options will be.

    It is our “opinion” and our “hunch” that a 1.9 or 2.4 dish such as the Portuguese Famaval dish with a top quality LNB “may” be enough to receive signals from Astra 2E. When channels start to move over we will be testing a 1.9 dish on the Costa del Sol, other options include the 2.4 dish that can be extended to 3.1, until the satellite is up and running it is difficult to know exactly what size dish will be required, also taking in too account that HD channels are stronger than standard definition and this may see BBC1 HD and ITV HD etc able to be received using a 1.9 dish. Until channels actually start to be broadcast this is all guess work and until we have tested a 1.9 dish it is difficult to be 100%.

    This is our opinion after looking at the footprint and discussions with other engineers and members of the European Satellite Engineers Association. This association was created by MRSKYTV to help to promote satellite TV services in Spain, France, Slovakia and Portugal and obviously & importantly to us, to help promote MRSKYTV and other satellite related websites that are owned by us.

    It is our opinion that nothing will happen until November – December 2013.

    We have written to Alix Pryde 8 times now and have not received any response, we have complained to the BBC and got no response. How can they say that BBC is for UK residents only when they supply BBC1 TV shows to Australia? And likewise ITV supply a Thai satellite company with ITV TV shows and is even called ITV Choice?? This lucrative deal was made by ITV Granada.

    ITV is available in many Countries, and below are dates etc and info. TV Choice broadcasts on the following platforms: in Hong Kong on now TV channel 517, in Indonesia on Skynindo channel 27 and TelkomVision channel 503, in Malaysia on Astro channel 735, in Malta on GO (Malta) Channel 305 and Melita Cable channel 309, in the Middle East on Star TV’s Star Select service, as well as on Orbit Showtime Network OSN channel 47 and Arab Digital Distribution in the Middle East, in Singapore on StarHub channel 523 and Mio TV channel 23, in Taiwan on Chunghwa Telecom channel 82 and in Thailand through Cable Thai Holding to thousands of homes. It is also available on satellite ABS 1 across Asia and Middle East.[2] The channel broadcasts on Star TV’s Star Select service and Arab Digital Distribution in the Middle East, on Melita Cable and GO in Malta, and now on a range of cable platforms across Asia.
    On 15 July 2009, the channel became available in Singapore on the mio TV IPTV service,[3] and became available on StarHub’s cable TV service on 1 December 2009.[4]
    In addition, on 21 December 2009, a deal was reached with Astro All Asia Networks in Malaysia, allowing Astro to add its channel to its basic subscription pack[5] on channel 735.
    ITV Granada launched in Hong Kong on 7 September 2010 on PCCW’s Now TV platform, Channel 517.

    On 1 November 2010, Granada TV was re-branded as ITV Granada. On 6 December 2010, ITV Granada launched its service in Taiwan on Chunghwa Telecom’s MOD (or TV over IP) platform, Channel 82. It recently launched in India on 5 January 2012 by the leading

    DTH Broadcaster Airtel digital TV.
    The channel was rebranded as ITV Choice on 25 March 2013,[6] and ceased to be carried on SingTel’s mio TV IPTV service in Singapore.

    So when Alix Pryde said “BBC channels are for UK viewers only” how comes BBC TV shows such as Eastenders is being watched in Australia?

    Alix Pryde was inundated with letters as she never accepts phone calls and her e-mail address cannot be found anywhere. Andrew Turner an MP on the Isle of White had a meeting with Alix Pryde in April 2012 as many residents on the Island are struggling to receive BBC channels. What is wrong with the BBC, why are they so protective?

    Why is it that whenever you check in a Hotel anywhere in the world you can always watch German TV channels and the only English channel is usually CNN.

    One thing that is for sure is that when Alix Pryde posted some comments on the BBC blog about the new changeover and tighter beam on UK that the blog was closed with a few days as every single post was posted by very angry people. She did not answer any questions and did not offer any reason other than “BBC TV shows are for UK residents only” If that is the case then why have the BBC signed deals with Australian Broadcasters?

    The Foxtel-BBC deal: implications for Australian television and content

    The ABC will be left with significant holes in their schedule after the BBC signed a deal to share their content with Foxtel last week – will they fill it with more local content? EPA/Andy Rain

    The ABC’s 50-year TV partnership with the BBC is at breaking point after a landmark deal between the British broadcaster and pay TV provider Foxtel was announced last week.

    Under the new deal Foxtel will host a new BBC channel that will screen first-run, “fast-tracked” British programming, meaning ABC viewers will no longer have free-to-air access to popular shows such as Silent Witness and The Thick of It.

    The deal between Foxtel and the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has major implications not only for the two partners, but also for the ABC and potentially for Australian screen content.

    What does the deal mean for the ABC?

    The ABC appears to be the biggest loser from the deal, although it may not be all bad news. The ABC’s current three year deal with BBC Worldwide has just over a year to run, meaning the BBC-Foxtel arrangement will not come into place until July 2014.

    Negotiations to extend the long-term partnership between the public service broadcasters were on the horizon. But in the words of ABC1 Controller Brendan Dahill, Auntie was “completely blindsided” by the Foxtel announcement. “We had not been told that it was happening, and we were not invited to counter,” Dahill told ABC Sydney radio last week.

    British programming has long been a core part of the schedule of a broadcaster once dubbed “Anything British Considered”. A brief glance at current listings reveals the holes that the Foxtel deal could blow in the ABC’s offerings, particularly on Saturday nights.

    But at the same time it should be noted that much of the ABC’s most popular British programming is not affected by the Foxtel deal. Dr Who is covered by a separate “run of series” deal, and will continue to be available on the ABC, as ABC managing director Mark Scott was quick to tweet last week.

    Shows like Midsomer Murders and Grand Designs (which is consistently one of the highest rating shows on Foxtel) are not produced by or for the BBC. And the Foxtel deal does not cover children’s, arts, natural history or news and current affairs content.

    What does the deal mean for Australian content?

    As some commentators have observed, the ABC could fill the holes in its schedule with new Australian content. This ignores to some extent the massive discrepancy in the cost of local production versus acquired programs. Even if the ABC spends all the money it will save when its BBC Worldwide deal ends on Australian production (thought to be around $15 million), it is highly unlikely that it will be able to substitute the lost programs with like-for-like local content.

    Hopefully, ABC managers and schedulers will look on the new settlement as a challenge and an opportunity. We all know that television is changing as new viewing habits take hold. The ABC has long been a leading innovator in both programming and technology. Now it has a chance to concentrate its energies on locally-derived content, and to cement its place as a major force in the new multi-platform landscape.

    The Foxtel deal may also provide another boost to local production. As a channel that screens mainly drama, the new BBC channel will be subject to the subscription television expenditure quota. This regulation requires subscription drama channels to devote at least 10% of their revenue to local production. Should the new BBC channel prove to be a runaway success, then more money will need to be made available for local programs, such as Top of the Lake.

    Earlier this year, Australian actor David Wenham expressed his disappointment that the ABC had withdrawn from an agreement to fund this Jane Campion-directed international co-production. Top of the Lake was produced by the BBC, the US-based Sundance Channel, and UKTV, which stepped in when the ABC pulled out because it objected to the production employing a US lead (Elisabeth Moss, who plays an Australian detective).

    Implications for Foxtel and BBC Worldwide

    Foxtel subscribers can expect to pay an additional fee for the premium, first-run BBC drama, comedy and lifestyle productions that will screen on a new, BBC-branded Foxtel channel. In return, they are promised “fast-tracked” programs, available within hours of their first screening in the UK. Free-to-air viewers will have to wait for at least a year to see the same programs.

    The deal marks a major expansion of a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership. In June 2008, Foxtel and BBC Worldwide announced that a new channel, BBC HD, would screen in Australia. It was the first high definition BBC channel broadcast outside the UK.

    The following month, BBC Worldwide assumed full ownership of UKTV, a channel that screens a mixture of BBC, ITV and independently produced British programs. The following year, the documentary channel BBC Knowledge and the children’s channel CBeebies were launched in Australia.

  181. Here is what Alix Pryde said exactly…

    “That said, the new transponders do have a slightly different footprint,” she added.
    The impact for viewers in the British Isles will be nil, but to expats watching from abroad the footprint of the BBC’s services from the new satellite will be reduced so viewers outside the UK will find it even harder to receive them.

    “I know that this causes unhappiness to some of you living outside the UK. However, it is entirely appropriate because the BBC domestic services are for people living in the UK only,” said Alix Pryde.

  182. Thank you “MrSkyTV” for the alternative video sources for the launch of the Astra 2E. I’ve no idea why you included all the technical detail on the rocket – a direct copy from the SES Astra New website at sesDOTcom/4233325/news/2013/16078905

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts that possibly a 2.4m or a 3.1m dish on the Costa del Sol may work with the Freesat channels on the 2E satellite UK beam.

    Do you at MrSkyTV, or any of your colleagues in the European Satellite Engineers Association, have any reports of Astra 2F UK spot beam reception of channels on the Costa del Sol? In particular, what about HD from the 2F, such as Channel4 HD, given that HD signals are stronger. If so, could you please post the detail including the dish size? If there have been no reliable reception reports that you are aware of, then please say so.

    I am sure that such detail would be of greater interest to readers of the Olive Press than all the info you provided on the many contracts that BBC and ITV have arranged with Asian and and Australian networks.

    I, for one, am hoping that today’s 2E launch is successful despite misgivings about the loss of UK TV – so, good luck Baikonur!

  183. Following my previous post, I was interested to read one snippet from the MrSkyTV post:

    ‘In return, they are promised “fast-tracked” programs, available within hours of their first screening in the UK’

    That is, of course, of interest to those affected by the loss of Freesat – the possibility that, at some point, there may be timely, subscription broadcasts of some UK live Freesat TV, within hours of the original UK screening.

  184. Hi Jamie

    So pleased you enjoyed our post, we will post any information as and when it happens, rather than re-write official statements in to our own words we always use the official statements particularly when it is made by SES.

    We included all the technical data of the rocket because it was included in the official press release. I actually have no idea why you need to question us on that as some people particularly those of us that have been monitoring satellite launches for many years like to know all the facts.

    Not for me to alter any press release from SES who I am sure know far more about the forthcoming launch than anyone as it is their satellite.

    We could easily take new information and re-write it to make it look like our own work but we would only be kidding ourselves so any info we post is always FACTS.

    I only have opinions on dish sizes on Costa del Sol, we as a Company that has been trading 12 years in Spain have to be careful what we say. My opinion is that a 1.9 dish with a HD SKY box may do the trick, this is only an opinion as we are yet to test a 1.9 dish on the Costa del Sol ourselves only then will we be able to confirm this, as we are unable to rely on what other people say.

    I hope that today’s launch is postponed until January 2014 and something goes wrong so that we can all get away at Christmas and spend time with family as at present we reckon we will be flat out until February, March.

    My previous post provided all my research relating to why I feel that Alix Pryde told a “pack of lies” in the press release she made via the BBC Blog that was live for a very short period and now says “no new posts allowed” if I make a comment like this I need to back up what I am saying.

    The BBC are saying one thing and doing another!

    We are prepared for whatever the outcome is.

  185. I can’t believe all this verbal garbage. It’s worse than reading the english Daily Wail. What is so magnetic about the likes of “Corrie”, Eastenders and Emmerdale.? And there is sport in abundance on Spanish TV.

  186. Astra 2E will be launching just after midnight tonight countdown is saying four hours and twenty minutes to go.

    If you want to watch the launch – ilslaunch(dot)com

  187. It’s now just after 11:40pm CET

    The SES Astra 2E has launched and so far according to plan. The second stage rockets have ignited.

    Thank you to MrSkyTV for the reply. I wasn’t querying why you had included the technical data verbatim but why you would wish to include it in any format. Given that it was a direct extract from a website it is more appropriate to provide the url – then the readers can decide whether to open the page.

    I now understand why you felt compelled to present the examples of UK TV licensing in Asia and appreciate your detailed research. However, I believe that the main point is missing. I do not agree with the emphasis in the BBC blogg – it was, at best a half truth. I do accept however that the BBC would wish to restrict access to UK Freesat to the UK so far as is possible and to, conversely, retain the option of selling that content, where possible, outside the UK. It is a pity that they haven’t managed to synchronise the loss of Freesat channels in southern Europe with the option to watch a subscription version of those channels within Europe.

    My main question in my most recent posts concerned Astra 2F reception on the Costa del Sol. Do you really have no reception reports to share on this thread? With all your contacts I am surprised. One must conclude that there is zero 2F reception on the Costa.

  188. Hi Jamie

    If you read your post above you said and I quote;

    Jamie said;

    “I’ve no idea why you included all the technical detail on the rocket”

    We gave you our reasons why we included all of the technical details and this was your response;

    Jamie then Said;

    “I wasn’t querying why you had included the technical data verbatim but why you would wish to include it in any format”

    I think you need to focus on what YOU have to say rather than worrying about what we are saying.

    Many thanks


  189. And, I suspect, the same can be said of you “MrSkyTV”

    So far I have little argument with what Jamie says, and actually agree with him. We only need the link and not the substance.

    However, we also need to focus on what is happening now. The satellite is launched and presumably all going well in that direction, as far as the BBC and free to view are concerned. The BBC is keeping its commitment to its UK viewers and licence payers, not I hasten to add, the ex pats who pick it up down in Southern Spain, probably without paying the UK licence fee.

    We need to know definitively what out next steps are, and we need to know when we should be now seriously considering our options.

  190. That said: MrSkyTV (who I must say seems to be getting a lot of free publicity out of this) and Jamie – both of your postings on here have been very helpful and informative. So no need to have a go at each other.

    I suppose we’ve all got a bout of PLD: post-launch disorder and PMS: pre-meltdown stress……!

  191. @ Mike. I am as entitled to express my opinions as anyone else. Whilst you may regard them as “ignorant”, there are those that consider the Brit’s obsession with the likes of the aforementioned programmes (not to mention Cowell’s garbage) as equally ignorant.

  192. Hi Amparo

    “I can’t believe all this verbal garbage”

    I wouldn’t blame you if you included my offerings in that category :-)

    Far too much technical detail for most readers.

    I am sure that several readers of this thread have appreciated your advice to watch Spanish TV – and I thought your last comment amusing and probably true.

    To MrSkyTV, you are correct in one respect – it is, of course, up to you what you include in a post. However, when reading that post the first time, it was difficult to follow. It was not easy to distinguish your own comments from the quotes. Also, there was so much detail that, on my first reading, I missed the ‘snippet’ about “fast-tracked” programs.

    I am sure that we can all learn, including me, from the advice and feedback of other readers.

    ps: it looks as though you’ll have a busy Christmas ;-)

  193. Amparo – get a life. Although I do totally agree with you about Cowell etc, and abhor (look it up) the Daily Wail (like that one).

    Question – sky anytime is via the internet, so won’t we still be able to get iPlayer and all the catchup services via the same Sky boxes we have now as long as we use a VPN on our router? Live will depend on our internet speed, but will catchup be ok?

    If that’s the case, and it’s HD, then there isn’t as much need to panic. Or is it similar to Sky+, in that if you can’t get the signal via satellite, it doesn’t let you use the service?

  194. Hi Mike

    I don’t know if that question was directed at me. I’ll have a go at an answer.

    First, in my most recent post about Sky+ and On Demand, I used a friend’s Sky+HD box in Spain. The test I described on downloading from iPlayer catchup was based on that.

    From this link:


    I understand that the Sky+ box also provides On Demand.


    “Now with built in Wi-Fi capability – making it even easier to connect your Sky+ box to any broadband router to enjoy TV on demand, now including the UK’s biggest Catch Up TV service with BBC iPlayer, ITV on demand and 4oD”

    “Live will depend on our internet speed”

    Correct, but I am not sure what set top box you plan to use. I presume you are not referring to the Sky box.

    “but will catchup be ok?”

    I thought I had covered that in my earlier post. When I did the test I had assumed that the Sky+ HD box Iplayer catchup would behave in the same familiar way that I’m used to. I thought it would stream the catchup real-time at standard definition or lower – and possibly with some buffering. To my very pleasant surprise the Sky box downloaded a file and saved it on the internal drive. The quality of this “recording” was better than I anticipated given his slowish broadband. Full marks to Sky.

    “via the same Sky boxes we have now”

    I’ve no idea which Sky box that would be.

    “If that’s the case, and it’s HD, then there isn’t as much need to panic”

    Even if it isn’t HD, why panic? SD is perfectly adequate unless you sit close up to the screen.

    One advantage of downloading is that you can download overnight or at a time of day when your BB speed is faster.

    “Or is it similar to Sky+, in that if you can’t get the signal via satellite, it doesn’t let you use the service?”

    Which service are you talking about? Do you mean catchup? Surely the IPTV function of the Sky box is not reliant on a satellite signal. That would mean you could not use On Demand (or whatever it’s called) catchup in heavy rain. Clearly I have misunderstood your question.

  195. @ Mike. I have a life thank you, and it isn’t dominated by such irrelevancies as to whether I can or cannot receive mind numbing ‘telebasura’ (look it up). And I might add, as I understand it, emissions to which you (plural) are not entitled to receive.

  196. Please, please ,please can we have a simple answer without all the technical info, – what will be the solution to the problem , all we mortals need is a system where we can watch all the programmes we are currently watching.
    Thank you to the person I trust will provide us with a simply worded reply

  197. Hi Steve,

    You want a simple answer to a quite complicated and technical problem? For starters, there is more than one solution.

    It would help if you explained:

    your location.
    what system you currently use.
    if you have broadband.
    your budget.

    Depending on your location you may be able to watch UK satellite TV with the same or, more likely, a larger dish.

    If you are in the south of Andalucia and west of Almeria (for example the Costa del Sol) then it is highly likely that you will need a 3m dish or larger. I suspect that would not be a practical alternative for you.

    It seems that at least one company is setting up re-broadcasting masts in the Marbella area – and, no doubt in other areas. Re-broadcasting is illegal and so you may not wish to use a solution that could be closed down.

    My view is that most in places like the Costa del Sol will focus on the internet TV solution for UK TV and may continue to watch those BskyB and other satellite broadcasts that are still available on the pan-European beams from the 28 east satellites.

    It is not clear whether broadband providers will cope with the extra massive demand. Particularly at peak viewing times broadband speeds could suffer. For example, with a maximum speed of 10Mbps you could find that the speed drops to below 1Mbps – too low for SD television.

    OK – it’s already getting technical, so time to end.

  198. Hi Amparo

    “and it isn’t dominated by such irrelevancies as to whether I can or cannot receive mind numbing ‘telebasura’”

    Keep posting. I am sure your message is getting through. I watch “Corrie” and most of the time I sit there wondering why I watch such drivel.

    “emissions to which you (plural) are not entitled to receive”

    That is not strictly correct. Those satellite transmissions are intended for the UK. Once they enter Spanish ‘airspace’, however, we are entitled to receive and watch them. So far as I know, that is a right embodied in European law. If the transmissions were encrypted then decrypting them would be illegal – but the Freesat transmissions from BBC and ITV are not encrypted.

    It is true that most of the viewers outside the UK do not have a BBC licence – but that is irrelevant outside the UK.

  199. Jamie = presuming Sky go on the pan european, then I will still be able to get Sky via my Sky+HD box and all the free channels on demand service via the same box, and my internet connection, if I configure my router to go through a broadband connnection?

    Actually, even if we did also lose Sky, we could still get it all via the Sky catchup service (limitations on live streaming possibly and download times depending on internet speed and reliability).

    So, if you’re paying for sky now – whatever happens you will not lose the service, it will just go through your Sky box by IP, correct?

    Amaparo – what’s sadder: writing about something we are actually bothered about or coming on here to make a point about something you say you have no interest in? I know what kind of ’emissions’ (Spanglish, my dear) your pitiful trolling reminds me of. Ask your teacher/pobre marido…

    Peter – oh it does, it does. I even posted about it earlier. Not sure if it was moderated out though. Now that is scandalous.

  200. Hi Mike,

    “presuming Sky go on the pan european, then I will still be able to get Sky via my Sky+HD box and all the free channels on demand service via the same box, and my internet connection, if I configure my router to go through a broadband connnection?”

    Correct – if you configure the router to connect via a UK VPN.

    “Actually, even if we did also lose Sky, we could still get it all via the Sky catchup service (limitations on live streaming possibly and download times depending on internet speed and reliability)”

    Correct – and the limitation is on real-time streaming. I use “live streaming” to mean streaming live TV. You will understand I have little experience of a Sky box and so do not know what happens if the bband speed is fast enough to view the catchup as it downloads. I guess and would hope that the stream is still “recorded”.

    “whatever happens you will not lose the service, it will just go through your Sky box by IP, correct?”

    Correct – AFAIK you will still be able to use the box for catchup of the ‘Freesat’ and the Sky channels. Of course, not all programmes are available through catchup.

  201. @ Mike. Expressing an opinion is not the same as expressing any (dis)interest. The only reason I picked up this thread (as opposed to “trolling” is the utter disbelief that so much verbosity embraces the almost pathetic clinging on to such nostalgic old-blightishness. (evolved Anglicism, “my dear”). Now that really IS sad.

    @Jamie. I am indebted to your clarification. But I would say that ‘legal entitlement’ is not the same as ‘moral entitlement’. Morally, if you watch the BBC then you should contribute to the licence fee which the UK residents are forced to pay.

  202. I think I’ll subscribe to a VPN – reconfigure my router and try the on-demand service through the Sky box with a pretty poor 2MB connection. I’ll report back and let people know how it goes. Might be a week or so as I have to travel round Spain the next few days.

  203. I have to say Amparo, that, whilst I do not agree with all your comments I do agree with the last one to Jamie. it is effectively what I have been saying and why the BBC have NO obligation, much as it will be missed, to supply the rest of Europe with free TV.

    But this blog is ,or was, about finding solutions to “The Big Switchoff”, not arguing.

  204. And I am inclined to agree with you Mike, it may be the best option, if it works. we are getting 8-10 mbps now, so should be OK. You may also need to do this via a VPN, which may or may not cost. I use WOW VPN, at €50 pa.

  205. Paul wrote:

    “And I am inclined to agree with you Mike, it may be the best option, if it works”

    I think, Paul, you are referring to the use of the Sky+ box On Demand catchup of the UK Freesat channels. Yes, it does work and it works for slower broadband. See my post on 21st September. The use of a VPN for hiding the IP is the norm. Setting up the VPN client on a router is not so straightforward as you may think. If Mike was referring to his primary broadband modem/router then the chances are that an existing router will not support VPN. An arrangement using a secondary router for the VPN program is described in my post on 1st June.

    Here’s a quote from my post on 12th June.

    “The router is necessary only if you use a VPN – even then it may not be essential. You can pay well over £100 for a router that operates a VPN client. If you buy a basic router (£40) suitable for a VPN you still have to install the firmware and the VPN client. That can be a nightmare – I do not recommend a DIY job. You may find someone who can set it up for maybe £30 to £40 or you can buy a router with the firmware pre-installed (maybe about £80 on ebay – and then you have to set up the VPN on the router).”

    The router referred to above is the secondary router. The primary router is the modem/router at the point of entry of the broadband cable. You may be able to use just a single (the primary)router with the VPN and either wi-fi (on the set-top box or the Sky box) or cat5 Ethernet cable to connect the box to the router. With the VPN set up on the primary router, all your internet traffic will pass through the VPN.

    In the arrangement I tested in Spain, the primary modem/router (that was connected to the telephone landline) connected wirelessly to the second router in the room above. That router ran the VPN program and connected through a short length of cat5 cable to the Sky box. In this arrangement only the TV streams and catchup “downloads” pass through the VPN.

    The above sounds – and can be – complicated to set up initially. There is at least one alternative to downloading and saving catchup videos without using a Sky box. I use a program on a Windows PC to download high definition iPlayer catchup to the PC. As with the Sky box, you do not need fast broadband. These video files can, if you wish, be transferred to a USB flash pen drive or a USB hard drive and played directly on your TV. One advantage is there is no “shelf-life” restriction whereas, using On Demand catchup, the “recording’ is available for 30 days.

  206. Ooh, thanks for that Jamie. I must have missed that. I use my VPN in conjunction with the main router (WOW supply aW supply a convenient “virtual” switch on the desktop). However, I do have a spare Netgear Dual Band Wireless N Modem Router which I assume could be used as a secondary, and also a “man who can” in Marbella. I think I will give him a call and show him your blog. Thanks! Also from what you are saying, only the catchup goes through the secondary so presumably all the other normal sky channels are as was.

  207. Hi Paul,

    I’ve checked on the WOW website and see that they provide client VPN software to run on PCs such as Windows, Apple, iPod and Android devices. I assume, therefore, that you are using WOW on your desktop PC or similar. From that I deduce that you are using that desktop to watch UK TV.

    I have just checked previous posts and note that on 3rd June you wrote:

    “James Gold, you do NOT have to buy a new router to access UK IP addresses, simply subscribe to someone like WOW VPN, and job done”

    and so now your setup is becoming clearer.

    You replied to James on the 3rd:

    “You should have looked at WOW VPN , a lot lot cheaper for a very reliable VPN, I have been using them for three years now.”

    I probably thought at the time and now I see that you did not pick up on the relevance of James’s use of a VPN router.

    The reason for VPN on the router instead of a PC is that:

    1) You do not need a PC for your UK IP blocked TV
    2) With the VPN on a router you can connect your Sky+ box to the router to hide your IP
    3) Similarly you can connect an internet set top box to the router
    4) You can connect two or more devices, such as the Sky+ box and the internet STB

    Any devices connected through the VPN router will connect through the VPN and so the IP address is hidden for each of those devices. You cannot do that with the VPN client on the PC.

    I recall that you Use an AppleTV box – so I guess that you could connect that to a VPN router.

    Your comment:

    “from what you are saying, only the catchup goes through the secondary so presumably all the other normal sky channels are as was.”

    Any internet connections that pass through the VPN router go through the VPN tunnel to the VPN server in the UK. By your reference to the “normal SKy channels” I presume you mean the satellite TV channels. Any satellite channels arrive through your satellite dish and via the tuner in the Sky box – nothing to do with the internet.

    “I do have a spare Netgear Dual Band Wireless N router”

    What’s the model number?

  208. Thanks for that Jamie, all becoming a tad clearer. Of course ytou are right, I just got very confused. All SKY channels will continue to be received via my dish. It will be the catchup services through the router. The model number of the Netgear is DGND3300 V2.

    I have to say I do not use the VPN all the time, only when I need to hide the address via the Mac, normally I am connected through the normal Movistar router, with the Apple time machine acting as my wifi.

    Any information obviously helps, thanks.

    My main worry still is my owners in the community who are going, it would seem, to have to invest in broadband in order to continue watching the “terrestrial” channels, unless of course by some miracle our own community 1.9 metre dish, picks up any signals!

  209. Hi Paul

    That Netgear router is not suitable as a secondary router for the VPN. After a few online checks it seems that it cannot run the firmware needed to support the VPN.

    On a related point it appears that a combined modem/router in general will not support the firmware. Given that the chances are that one’s primary router is combined with a modem, it is unlikely that the VPN client can be installed on the primary router. The exception is if you have a modem separate from the primary router and provided that primary router supports the firmware. This a bit academic because the recommendation is to use a secondary router and, unless one has the skills, it is advisable to buy a router that is already set up with suitable firmware – about £80. If you have the skill then you can buy a suitable used router starting at about £10 – but those with the skill will know that already.

    “to have to invest in broadband”

    Are you saying that they will each have to have their own broadband account with their own landline or equivalent? Why is that?

    “unless of course by some miracle our . . . 1.9 metre dish, picks up any signals”

    You are right – it would be a miracle. I belief you are on the Costa del Sol. I am sure you, like everyone else, have lost the reception of Channel 4 HD and Channel 5, that are now on the Astra 2F satellite.

    There will always be a few who are still hoping that the Astra 2E UK spot will be receivable on the Costa. Maybe, with the room and a budget of 2000€ plus for the dish – but even that seems unlikely.

  210. We have a temporary solution for BT Sport.

    The following also applies to ESPN, Racing UK, Motors TV UK and

    You are going to have to add the channels manually on your Sky Box.

    The information you have to add is

    Frequency 12515
    Polarisation H
    Symbol Rate 22.0
    FEC 5/6

    Once you have added the channels you have to locate ‘Other

  211. Jamie:

    Thanks for this. My setup (and I do use the WOW VPN through the Modem or the Apple Time Machine) is a router modem (recently installed by Movistar – hence the spare net gear) for ADSL, and an Apple Time Machine as the Wifi router. This was the best suggested setup by my colleague in Marbella some time ago, and works very well. I have SKY HD+ and the Community TV (See below).

    My concerns are for the people in my community who do not have broadband and thus, when we lose the channels at present being supplied to every apartment free, via a 1.9 metre dish, and 14 separate receivers (thus 14 channels), a setup I was instrumental in installing 28 years ago, they will have nothing apart from the few SKY channels we receive through individual cards. They do not have a computer let alone broadband, and they are extremely concerned by the thought of losing their UK TV. I know there are people out there who say get a life, but these are elderly people who retired here years ago, and live for the UK TV. These are the people I fear for.

  212. We believe that the HD channels such as BBCHD and ITVHD will still be OK on a 1.9 dish when these channels are moved to Astra 2E.

    This is only an “opinion” at this stage.

    What make of 1.9 dish do you have?

    Any chance you could e-mail a pic to info@mrskytv.com

  213. Hi Paul

    Understood. You have WOW set up on a Time Machine – and so your arrangement is a Movistar router connected to the Time Machine which is, in effect, a secondary router.

    Concerning your community, did you follow up my suggestion for internet TV in the 13th June post? The owners would not need a computer or broadband. Could you determine from the owners their priority channels and narrow it to 4 or 5. Then you would need just 4 or 5 IPTV set top boxes. I just happen to have three such boxes running at the moment in different rooms of a small house – on a BT landline (not fibre). The boxes are just 40€ each.

    If you buy a single “Audio/Video To RF Coax converter” you could test the system for yourself on your personal Apple setup. Does your Apple TV box have AV ports? Plug that into the RF converter and connect that to a TV.

  214. Yes I am sure I could persuade them to accept 4 or 5 channels!. Having just re-read your 13JUN13 post and to none honest is a tad beyond me. However I will discuss with a couple of technicians I know and if it can be done – wonderful !!

  215. I note the blog article by Alix Pryde has had the comments cleansed, they all appear to be congratulating here on “sorting out” the distribution in the UK.

    Amazing !

  216. Concerning “reception reports in Andalucia”

    I don’t think there will be anything new now until the Astra 2E is in its final geostationary orbit and starts transmitting. Following the switch to the 2E, in November/December, no doubt SES Astra will continue small adjustments to the direction of the 2E UK beam for a few months. They did the same with the 2F. The final footprint in the outlying regions may not be known for many months.

    If, Adrian, you were referring to the 2F then I’ve seen nothing new reported since those small adjustments were completed in about March/April this year.

    At this stage one can only predict the likely 2E reception based on the 2F reception. As you know, there is no reliable indication that, on the Costa del Sol, 2F UK reception is possible on a 3m dish or less. Further east towards Almeria the reception improves, with relatively good reception even further East and North where reception peaks in Valencia (a side lobe) and falls again towards Barcelona.

    So, Valencia falls on a maximum (called an ‘anti-node’) in the reception pattern with ‘nulls’ or ‘nodes’ either side in Malaga and Barcelona.

    One interesting feature of the ‘footprint’ is the reception in the Canaries. Reports show reception of the spot beam on a 3m and even a 2.7m dish. You would expect that side-lobe on the pan-European beam. That pan-European beam is designed to include those islands. What surprises me, although others can maybe provide an explanation, is that there is this side-lobe over the Canaries on the UK spot beam. Some will say that it is an accident of dish design or even that it results from an imperfect manufacturing process or damage to the dish. However, the reception over the Canaries seems too consistent for that.

    One theory is that, although the 2E and 2F dishes are designed to be identical, small differences, as mentioned above, could result in the poor 2F UK reception in South Andalucia and a slightly improved reception from the 2E UK beam. My view is that is overly-optimistic. My reason is that the position of the 2F reception pattern from Barcelona, down the coast towards Malaga and beyond is as predicted by the physics of satellite design. You do not need to resort to additional theories about imperfections or damage to explain that pattern.

    The 2F spot dish patten does not result from damage. From the physics, you would expect that for the larger 2E and 2F UK dishes (compared with the smaller 2D UK dish) the pattern of nodes and antinodes would fall in precisely those positions that are measured on the ground, with a maximum over Valencia and minima over Barcelona and Malaga. For the smaller 2D dish, the same type of pattern exists, but the pattern is positioned further out from the centre of the beam over the UK.

    What does this mean in practice. The 2F dish does not suffer from any significant imperfection and provided that the 2E UK dish is deployed without damage to the surface curvature, then its reception will follow the same pattern.

    THe precise position of this pattern depends on the frequency of the microwaves and so there will be small variations in the pattern position, depending on the channel you watch. It could be that in some areas, maybe Granada, you will be able to receive some channels and not others – but you will still need a large dish.

    It has been suggested that the strong 1N pan-European beam, that currently provides UK TV, could interfere with reception of the much weaker and thus unreceivable 2F UK beam. When the 1N is switched off, there is speculation that the 2F (and thus the 2E) will just be receivable with a very large dish.

    We’ll see.

  217. Did you see this map with reception reports?


    Take a look, southern italy someone with a 3.4mtr dish has it and by the look of things, large dishes in Hungary and Finland work.

    So perhaps a larger dish might work in andalucia?

  218. someone here on this thread stating…

    ====== quote ======
    Jen says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
    don’t rush out to get a bigger dish, my Sky guy in Malaga has tried a 3m dish and it didn’t work!! the only way forward is either wait and hope, or go through ADSL and an IPTV box

    ====== unquote ======

    Nothing like a bit of hearsay, but perhaps not 3m? Any higher bidders? :D

  219. Hey Amparo, Im in Gib, we have UK TV via “Gibsat”, which I guess is UK satelite TV rebroadcast locally as terrestrial digital or cable.

    Im just wondering if Gibsat are going to lose their channels, and if they can hoof up a large antenna I guess they should be able to stay in business, unless were talking Jodrell Bank size — however, they could stick it on the rock, its not doing much else…

  220. Hi Adrian

    Agree with Amparo but I take your point. Very large dishes may work and may be appropriate for a community – so good luck with that in Gib.

    Concerning that 2F reception map – yes, very familiar with that. Worth noting that in those three reports from S. Italy the signal was intermittent – only OK in fine weather with the 3.4m Prodelin. Also, the date of the reports was December. The 2F UK dish has been tweaked since then – the result is that the signal strength now drops very rapidly when moving south through Italy. See the quote from my earlier post, June 11th, 2013:

    “From Northern Italy to Central Italy in 230 Km (moving South), signal is dropping down 1 db every 30 km. It’s a very sharp edge.”

  221. Hi Jamie, thanks for the info, your posts are easy to read and clearly you are knowledgeable on the subject, thanks for sharing your expertise.

    Its interesting they have managed to design the beam in a very bamish nature with such steep roll-off. But whats the point really, when so many other countries will get a great signal from the UK beam, just that those on the periphery will suffer in an exponential manner.

    Seems a bit pointless.

  222. The reception patterns I described earlier are difficult to visualise. See the graph (fig 6.1)in this reference:


    It shows the signal strength in different directions within the beam of microwaves transmitted by a circular dish. In this example, imagine that the satellite is vertically above the UK and the dish points its beam directly at the UK. In practice the dish is situated way to the south-east, over the equator – but it still points towards the UK.

    On the graph, the top of the central peak is the signal strength received in the UK – the centre of the footprint. As you move further away from the UK, west or east or north or south, the signal decreases until it is zero, the first null point. The signal strength is labelled Power on the vertical axis.

    For the Astra 2F UK beam, Barcelona is just one place that falls on the first null. Barcelona and the whole of Spain is to the west of the direct line from satellite to the UK. It may help if you look to the left (the West) of the central peak, so that the first null on the left is Barcelona. Move further to the left and you have a small side peak (a side lobe). Valencia lies at the highest point of that first lobe. Further west still and you reach the Costa del Sol at the next (second) null or zero signal. Further west and you reach the next, the second lobe. I guess that the Canaries lie somewhere on one of the outer lobes, way to the south west of the UK.

  223. Thanks Adrian

    “Seems a bit pointless”

    I agree that is does.

    If you take the Pryer blog at face value, then the main reason for the new footprint is to increase the signal strength around the UK. One way to do that is to increase the total power of the transmitted beam – a brighter microwave torch. That requires more energy and so that may be undesirable. Also, that would mean that the UK TV would be more easily available over a larger area of Europe.

    One can see that the copyright owners would be unhappy with that outcome – given that some of the content is not licensed for reception outside the UK. In addition, you can see that the BBC itself would, at some point, wish to capitalise on their own copyright material. Why give it away if you can sell it.

    An alternative is to increase the size of the dish – the result is that the central peak over the UK is higher and the whole width of the graph is less spread out. If you double the diameter of the satellite’s UK dish, the width of the pattern, all the peaks and the troughs, is halved and more energy is concentrated into the central peak over the UK. That is essentially what has happened. The 2E and 2F dishes are larger than the 2D dish and so the footprint width is smaller. One effect is that the first null has moved closer to the big, central peak. The first null for 2D corresponded to Valencia, but it has moved in to Barcelona with the 2E. The first side peak has moved from Malaga to Valencia – and so now Malaga is on the second null.

    Maybe the Freesat providers are now in a better position to tap into the European market.

  224. The 2E satellite is slowly approaching its fixed position for testing, above the coast of Somalia, at 43.5degrees East. The testing should start today or tomorrow and last for at least three weeks.

    The satellite will then move west along the equator to its operational position at 28.2 degrees East.

  225. The 2E satellite has woken. Test transmissions have started on the UK spot beam. First reported from Tel Aviv at 7:30pm UK time and confirmed from Germany at 7:41 (the first link below).




  226. I gave up on my Satellite for UK TV channels in the end, is getting too problematic. To be honest if you have fast enough WIFI at home you are best off just watching it all via the Internet now. I registered with Laptop Telly and got the BBC & ITV working fine again now.

  227. Hi Fergus,

    Given that you haven’t even said where you live, that isn’t the most helpful advice. There are large areas of Spain that will continue to receive the UK Freesat channels – although most will need a larger dish.

    If you live in Andalucia however, particularly the south and west, then most will need to go the internet route and say goodbye to Freesat TV.

    The most likely time for the switchover is the first half of December. That does not leave much time to install internet TV before Christmas.

    John S,the n2yo.com website is not exactly live tracking, despite its name. It is quite often a few days behind in updating the true satellite position. However, at the moment that site is correctly reporting the position as 43.5 East, the position of the 2E for the last six days. But, what is the relevance of that to Fergus’s post?

  228. We seem to be coming to crunch time. I have read all your comments with interest as one who holidays regularly in Tenerife in our apartment. I didn’t understand a word of anything anyone said though it seemed funny. Being without tv isn’t funny. It’s a part of life now and being without it would be like going back a century. Let’s hope it gets sorted out as I for one would not be a happy bunny. Keep your solutions coming. We are out in the Canaries in November so hope you will all have got it sorted by then. (Otherwise I’m staying at home!).

  229. Hi Old Bill

    Couldn’t agree more.

    That said, with all those channels you’ll be watching – don’t think you’ll get out much.

    Hi Diane

    At least there’s more chance of UK satellite TV in the Canaries than in the Costa del Sol. If you have your own satellite dish and had it installed before February 2012, then it is probably a large dish for the old Astra 2D satellite UK TV broadcasts. If so, you may still be able to receive UK TV after the switchover.

  230. @ Mike……Bet you were Basil’s star pupil at the Fawlty charm school. Ignorant of what??, who’s screwing who on those endless British soap’s??. Oh, how I bow to such stimulating intellect.

  231. Oh for gods sake Amparo- give it a rest. Your inane comments do nothing to help anyone interested in the loss of UK TV. I accept that the in the uk itself SPANISH channelsare not readily available but you can get them via satellite and that it all the UK ex pats want, the ability to watch TV in their language. I dare say we will now get the normal verbal diarrhea about learning the language but for the older ex pats it is beyond them. So everyone either use this forum for its proper purpose or leave it.

  232. Some excellent information, thank you.

    As to making a choice of providers, MediaStreamz uses Filmon, it would be interesting to know how other providers stream their programmes.

  233. 2E Transmission Reports

    The guys on “http://www.satellites.co.uk/forums/”, who are busy listening to the new Astra 2E test transmissions, have already started to compare those with the 2F test transmissions from last year. The 2F satellite was launched at the same time last year and was tested at the same 43.5 degrees East position as the new 2E.

    One contributor has already predicted that the switchover from the 1N to 2E could be during the night on 10th/11th November:

    “Maybe switch-over during Sunday night 2013-11-10”


    Quote from “joddle” in Valencia

    “Its all very interesting and so far it seems like 2E is going to be pretty like 2F. However, the main issue I am waiting to see answered is if 2E will still deliver the same blank spot over North East Spain as 2F . . .”

    Quote from “mickwig” in Germany

    “Astra 2E will be exactly like Astra 2F . . .”

    So, even though it’s early days, the signs are that the 2E will have the same footprint as the 2F.

    If you are wondering how can anyone predict the footprint when the 2E is not in its final position, that’s a fair question. The 2E is currently at 43.5 East, that is 15 degrees east of its final position at 28.2 East.

    Firstly, you can compare the signal of these 2E tests with the 2F test results from the same 43.5 East position last year. Similar results around Europe suggest similar UK spot footprints.

    Secondly, the current 2E footprint is presumably shifted about 15 degrees to the east of the final footprint. So, instead of the centre of the beam pointing at the north of England at about 54 North and 1.5 West – it points 15 degrees further east at eastern Germany – about 13.5 East. That’s roughly due north of Berlin. The conclusion is that the UK spot beam is currently forming a footprint centred in NE Germany. Of course, that assumes that the UK satellite dish is aligned at the same orientation, north and west, as it will be when it arrives at 28.5 West.

    One guy in Germany has confirmed this, saying that he has received very strong UK spot signals, which places him somewhere in the current main 2E “UK spot” beam – so concludes that the UK spot is currently pointing at the eastern side of Germany. It is therefore possible to determine where the Spanish nulls on the 2F UK spot (south west Andalucia and Barcelona) fall on this 15 degree shifted footprint of the UK spot – and to get reception reports from the watchers for those places.

    For example, Barcelona at 41 North and 2 West lies on a 2F null. Translate that 15 degrees further East to 17 degrees East – the heel of Italy. There should only be reports of weak UK spot beam signal reception in SE Italy from the 2E satellite. If that is the case then the new satellite will have poor reception in Barcelona when in its final position – similar to the 2F satellite.

    But hey! Forget the theory – within a month we’ll know the real situation.

  234. @ James Gold…..You are quite right, I AM entitled to express an opinion, as I have done frequently on many other topics.

    And you will note that, excepting where I have responded to personal insults and condescending sexist remarks, I HAVE contributed by, not only expressing utter amazement at the lengths and expense your co-posters seem to be willing to go in order to cling on to British TV, but also, albeit perhaps rather too succinctly for some, by suggesting giving our TV (gratis, I might add) a try.

    And I don’t “troll”, it’s called ‘reading the foreign press’. An exploratory process of discovery which may well benefit a good many.

  235. Amparo DOES have a point about obsession with Brit telly.
    Three hundred and sixteen hits and counting on this thread so far.
    But hey, I love some of the soaps too. And who makes better telly than the B.B.C.? Times are grim, we need distraction and amusement. Come on Amparo. Spanish telly? Even if you are fluent in the language, bet you don’t even watch it.
    Own up, Spain is about as good at T.V. as they are about popular music. When was the last international Spanish hit, in T.V. or Pop?

  236. @ Stefanjo….Hit Nº317. I have never claimed the our TV is superior or even equal to the BBC (for example). I only express astonishment at, as you agree, “the obsession” with receiving Britsh TV for those having decided to live in Spain.

    And yes, I DO watch it our TV, though my well-being doesn’t hang on every episode of the soap’s. And, for those who can’t (or won’t) follow the language, the original soundtrack of films/series/documentaries/discovery et al, is (freely) available. Now, try asking for THAT in the UK!.

    And hey!, what we lack in pop music we more than make up in football and tennis eh?.

  237. Amparo,


    To the others on here wishing to talk about something which is important to us (and we may or may not even watch soap operas), I am going to try to re-programme my Jazztel router via a VPN this week. Will report back on how possible or not, or easy or difficult this is.

    Failing that, I will use a second VPN router bought off the internet once the signal goes (presuming it does). With regards to my Sky subscription, the switch-off can’t come quick enough, as I’m through with paying 57.50 quid a month, and regardless of what happens, will get Sky from switch-off onwards via other methods – some of which I woudn’t even like to mention on here but that are out there. Whether this is IPTV ov via my dish depends on what goes and what stays.

  238. Mike, to re-iterate, you will NOT lose any of the SKY channels when and if the switch off happens. What you will lose via the sky box are the free to air channels (BBC, ITV, ch4 and 5 and a few others). All SKY channels ( living, Atlantic, news , sports, movies etc will still be received on the sky box.

    But you are right, Internet TV will be cheaper but if you only have a slow speed, then with the massive expected additional traffic, pixelation and freezing could occur. Just a thought.

    Now sky have introduced the wifi built in sky +HD box (I gave just brought mine over). I am wondering whether using a VPN will allow mr to Pick up the sky catchup service . Will let you know.

  239. Could somebody please recommend a tried and tested a dongle or streaming box that would convert my Standard Sony Bravia HD TV into a “smart tv”.

    This could be for me a short term fix to access Filmon direct to my tv via the internet, thus allowing breathing space to see what happens.

    I can easily get one brought from the UK if nescessary.

  240. To Jamie:

    Jamie in view of your October 19 post, am I reading this right. ? Are you saying that there is now a possibility of the spot beam covering the same area as the old satellite, and we in Andalucia may (being the operative word) not have anything to worry about?

  241. Paul,

    The way I read it means the signal will be the same as the satellite that C5 etc moved onto and that we all lost. This means we will lose any that go onto the UK beam on the new one.

    Also Paul, we won’t lose Sky you’re right, but providing the go onto the pan-European beam on the new one – the most likely outcome for motives well-discussed on here, but not 100% sure until it actually happens.