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.

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  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. ‘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…

  4. 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?

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. @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.

  13. 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).

  14. ***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.

  15. 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)?

  16. 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.

  17. 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?.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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


  26. 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


  27. This box appears to merely stream which you can do with your own laptop and a decent connection. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. My ‘last post’ on upload speed. See
    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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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 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:

  32. (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



  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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…

  37. 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.”

  38. 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.

  39. 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!!!!


  40. 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….

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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..:-)

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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?

  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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?

  59. 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)

  60. 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

  61. 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?

  62. 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!)

  63. 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.

  64. 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).

  65. 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….! : )

  66. 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!.

  67. 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..

  68. 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!?!

  69. “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.

  70. @ 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 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.

  71. 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

  72. 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.”

  73. 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

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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

  77. ‘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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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

  81. 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?

  82. 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


  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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???? : )

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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?

  90. 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

  91. 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 “” 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

  92. @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.

  93. 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.

  94. 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

    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.

  95. @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.

  96. 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.

  97. “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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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!

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.


  104. 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 .

  105. 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.

  106. 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)

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

  109. 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.

  110. 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

  111. 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 “”

  112. 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!

  113. Still researching!

    I’ve found a service that hides your IP address for just 5 euros a month, 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 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?

  114. @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 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.

  115. 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 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. 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!

  116. 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.

  117. 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.

  118. 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.

  119. 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!

  120. 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.

  121. 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 ;)

  122. 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…

  123. 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.

  124. “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.)

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

  135. 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?

  136. “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…

  137. 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!

  138. 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??

  139. 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!

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. 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.

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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.

  149. 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

  150. 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.

  151. 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

  152. 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.