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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do we know this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information visit


  1. 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…

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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!!!!


  5. 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….

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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..:-)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

  24. 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)

  25. 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

  26. 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?

  27. 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!)

  28. 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.

  29. 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).

  30. 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….! : )

  31. 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!.

  32. 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..

  33. 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!?!

  34. “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.

  35. @ 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.

  36. 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

  37. 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.”

  38. 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.