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Sunday, November 6, 2011

UK TV Satellites - Astra 2A, Astra 2B, Astra 2C, Astra 1N, Eurobird 1 - and reception in Spain

UK Satellite TV is provided by FIVE satellites.

Four of these satellites are operated by SES Astra of Belgium, and one, Eurobird, is operated by Eutelsat.

SES Astra operate Astra 2a, Astra 2b, Astra 2d and Astra 1N.

Eutelsat operate Eurobird 1.

These satellites provide the UK And Europe with the UK satellite TV channels, such as the BBC, ITV and those provided on the Freesat and Sky satellite platforms.

These five satellites are located at 28.2 to 28.5 degrees east of south.

Each of these satellites operate a number of "beams". Each of these beams have different reception characteristics, especially in fringe reception areas like Spain and the Costa Blanca. This is the reason why channels like Sky News can be reepived in Spain on a smller satellite dish than channels like BBC TV Channels, as these channels are distributed across these different beams.

There are a number of "siganl reception maps" or "footprints" for these beams, but they have to be treated with some caution. Many of them are the theoretical reecption, and are different to the actual reception.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Confusion About Free UK Television in Spain - Freeview Or Freesat?

Confusion About Free UK Television in Spain - Freeview Or Freesat?

Many people are confused about whether they can receive free UK television in Spain. The subject of what UK channels you can receive is something we are always being asked. Terms such as free UK television in Spain, Freeview and Freesat are always cropping up so we shall explain it to you.

Many people, including satellite installers in Spain, get confused about Freeview and Freesat. If satellite TV installers are unable to get their terminology correct, then no wonder British expats on the Costa's in Spain are getting more and more confused about how to receive UK TV in Spain.

As British expats move to the warm coastal areas of southern Spain in the Mediterranean, they find it frustrating that they are not able to watch the UK television programmes such as BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, or the other 100plus other UK TV channels, including Sports, movies and news, that are available to view for free. Although they try to watch local Spanish television channels, some feel the quality of programmes on Spanish TV is not that good as UK TV, they do not show many popular UK TV programmes like Coronation Street or Eastenders, and not all programmes are available in English, (although the switch to Digital Terrestrial Television - TDT - has meant a lot more UK and USA imported programmes are available in English.)

Receiving Freeview in Spain

Freeview is a free digital TV package that is available to people living in the UK. It is not, like many people say, available outside the UK especially Spain. You cannot receive Freeview in Spain. Freeview is a UK only digital television system that is transmitted from the land based television transmitter masts, like Emley Moor and Crystal Palace. The signals from these terrestrial transmitters are not strong enough to reach Spain.

Many UK TV channels are available on "free to air" satellite systems. British expats around Europe can watch their favourite UK TV channels for free via free to air satellite in Spain. Free to air means that there is no monthly subscription to pay, unlike the pay TV channels offered on satellite packages offered by Sky TV.


Receiving Freesat in Spain

Freesat is the name of a brand of satellite receivers designed to receive these free to air UK satellite television channels. You can also use a Sky digibox or any other digital satellite receiver to receive the free to air signals. A Sky digibox without a viewing card will still be able to receive BBC and ITV channels, and all the channels a Freesat receiver can receive.

You can receive many of the UK free to air TV channels by installing a small satellite dish and a digital satellite set top box. However, due to the frequencies used, the main UK TV channels such as BBC and ITV may not be available on these small satellite dishes, and therefore much larger satellite dishes will be required, from 1.8m to 2.4m.

It is worth noting that a Sky digibox without a Sky viewing card will receive the same channels as a standard Freesat digibox.

Both Sky digiboxes and Freesat digiboxes use the same satellite frequencies. So if you cannot receive BBC1 on a Sky box withoyour exisitng satellite dish, then you will not be able to receive BBC1 on your Freesat receiver with the same dish!

Spain does have its own version of Freeview, called Television Digital Terrestrial - TDT. Using a TDT set top box, you are able to receive around 30 digital Spanish television channels via your TV aerial on your roof. The digital aspect allows a much clearer picture than the old analogue TV system, and has the option to change the Spanish dubbing soundtrack on UK and USA imported programmes into the original version. It should also be noted that some UK "Freeview" set top boxes do not work in Spain correctly, as they are programmed for the UK TV service and not the TDT service.



So if an installer says that they are able to install a UK Freeview television system for you in Spain, ask them a few questions. As Freeview is a service received by a TV aerial, then why are they installing a satellite dish? Will you able to receive all the UK Freeview channels, like "Dave" and Sky Sports News, for free on their system, as many channels available for free on Freeview are in fact subscription only on satellite. Remember You cannot receive Freeview in Spain!



For more information please visit:

The Sat and PC Guy - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Important changes to TDT "Spanish Freeview" frequencies - free TV in Spain

There are some important changes to some TDT "Spains Freeview" digital TV service.

These changes affect most Spanish TV reception across Spain and is part of Phase 2 of the digital switch over in Spain.

All channels on frequency / multiplex 66 have been moved and transferred over to new frequencies.

This has affected the following Spanish digital TV channels:

Teledeporte
Intereconomía
Veo7 TV

A rescan on your TDT set top box will need to be performed to make sure you can continue to receive these Spanish TV channels.

In some cases a call for a TV engineer / TV installer will be required, as your existing system may not be able to receive Teledeportes new frequency. This is especially true for community TV systems, where individual amplifier modules are installed.


Phase 2 of Spain’s digital switch over is aimed to free up the digital TV frequency spectrum between from 62 to 69. This is so these frequencies can be sold off to other telecoms companies, like mobile phone operators.

It is also worth noting that Teledeporte is now labelled as TDP.


The Sat and PC Guy - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca

or the forum

The Sat and PC Guy FORUM - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Top Gear on Telecinco on TDT

BBC's Top Gear will soon be shown on Spanish Tv.
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has signed a deal which gives Telecinco the rights to show the popular motoring show Top Gear.
The deal also includes a number of BBC produced dramas.

This follows a "British TV trend" on SPanish TV, as Antenna 3 have been showing the drama Downtown Abbey.



For more information please visit:

The Sat and PC Guy - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca


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The Sat and PC Guy FORUM - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spanish TV - We can consider ourselves the world leaders in telebasura – trash TV

In Spain, reading levels are very low, educational failure very high and public contempt for culture colossal. However, not everything is lost: we can consider ourselves the world leaders in telebasura – trash TV. Broadcasters have a complete disregard for taste or decency, airing material unsuitable for children at all ours of the day, profiting from scandal and violence, exploiting sex in true macho style, practising trial by television and disseminating mumbo-jumbo and pseudoscience. The news is partisan and sensationalist, the language vulgar and advertising floods the schedules. But as long as audience figures rise, they're allowed to get away with it.

In fact audiences are glued to the screen: the average consumption of television in Spain in 2010 was 234 minutes per person per day.

It would be unjust to say that television in Spain is merely bad. Television in Spain is appalling. The stars of the schedule are sitcoms, whose pathetic acting and bargain basement scripts bely the gusts of canned laughter over every other line. There are reality shows that alienate the contestants as much as the viewers, and political discussions that are as extreme as they are biased. The only news items worthy of the name are transmitted by TVE, a public channel that, now that it has stopped showing advertising, is stimied by financial problems.

While TVE earned 63.5m euros less in 2010 than the previous year and closed its accounts with a loss of 48m euros, the private channels are earning money like never before. The income of Telecinco rose 30.3% during 2010, to 855.1m euros. At Antena 3 they "only" made a net return last year of 109.1m euros, an increase of 79.6% on 2009.

One main channel alone, Telecinco, holds 51% of advertising thanks to a merger of channels allowed last year by the National Commission of Competition. Less plurality, more profit: Telecinco is the channel of Belén Esteban, the ex-wife of a bullfighter crowned by the Spanish audience as the "queen of the people". The people of telebasura.


Javier Pérez de Albéniz blogs on Spanish television at eldescodificador.wordpress.com. English translation by Howard Rouse

sounrce: _http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/apr/01/critics-notebook-javier-perez-de-albeniz

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