Satellite changes at 28.2° East The Astra 2F satellite has now entered service at 28.2° East, transponders 57, 59, 61, 63 qnd 68 have already been transfered to Astra 2F.
The remaining transponders will be transfered to Astra 2E after it launches in the second quarter of 2013, the transfer of BBC services is expected to occur during the summer. No transfer date has been announced. Astra 1N will remain at 28.2° East until Astra 2E enters service.
What will all these changes entail for those currently viewing TV via Sky or Freesat? If you live within the intended reception area of the new satellites (the British Isles), then your viewing will not be affected and you will continue to receive all the services you currently have.
Viewers outside the British Isles in mainland Europe, may have to upgrade their dish to receive the new satellites, Astra 2E is expected to have identical coverage to that of Astra 2F.Astra 2F Reception Reports Map by www.astra2.org & the Astra 2 Forum
Comparing the UK Spotbeams on Astra 2F & Astra 1N
How will these changes affect viewers overseas?There have been many rumours doing their rounds on the Internet, that overseas viewers will lose all their channels once these changes are complete. For viewers in some areas of Europe, this may be true, this depends on which spotbeam Sky decide to use for their channels. There is no reason for Sky to opt for the UK spotbeam, their channels are encrypted and there are no copyright issues. There are many expats who have legal subscriptions registered to a UK address, there are many British or Irish pubs and bars that have Sky Sports, these are all income for Sky.
It seems unlikely that Sky would want to lose this income, at this time there are no answers and no guarentees of future reception.
As for the main terrestrial broadcasters, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, these are using the UK spotbeam on Astra 2F and Astra 1N (to be replaced by Astra 2E). If you can already receive signals from the Astra 2F satellite, then little is likely to change over the coming years.
Many free-to-air channels currently use Eutelsat 28A at 28.5° east, launched in 2001 it has an expected life span of twelve years, there is currently no information on whether this satellite is to be replaced. There is currently a dispute between SES and Eutelsat over the use of this satellite position. No Astra 2F reception, what options are available?If you have previously received TV and radio via satellite and have now lost reception, there are still some options available.
Firstly, more information and reception reports from Astra 2F are being gathered all the time. These reports are helping to give some idea of Astra 2F's coverage and signal strength outside the British Isles. If you receive Astra 2F, please send in your report, you will help this site help many others.
If you wish to continue viewing by satellite, then a larger dish may be required to ensure reception in the future. Astra 2E is expected to be identical in its coverage to Astra 2F.
See: Astra 2F Reception Reports Map