Astra 2E is the second of three new satellites designed to supply the UK with satellite TV. Astra 2E was launched in September, and has been testing at 43 degrees east since then.
So when will it be moved and start transmitting at 28 degrees east, the UK TV slot?
It will take about 10-14 days to move from 43 to 28 east, so even if it started to move today, that would place it in location mid December.
But then how long will it be before UK TV channels on the temporary satellite, Astra 1N, are moved over to Astra 2E?
This transfer of channels may also be complicated by the fact that Sky tend to close out any changes to their Sky Guide EPG ensuring no disruption to services during the Christmas period. This year’s close out is said to start on the 16th December.
But will this EPG closeout stop channels being moved from 1N to 2E, as hopefully no Sky EPG really needs to be changed, as it is simply a transfer of channels from one satellite to another, hopefully using the same frequencies as they are today.
Suffice to say, any delay in the movement of channels from 1N to 2E may be of benefit to expats, especially those in southern areas of Europe (Portugal and Costa del Sol), who may have a stay of execution for their Xmas TV. As it is rumoured that as Astra 2E is the same specification and reception as Astra 2F, there may be changes in reception of these channels, resulting in a loss of some channel on existing satellite dishes.
But until Astra 2E starts to move, it is a waiting game for all….
The BBC are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, with a special episode on Saturday 23rd November.
This episode will be available on BBC1, and BBC1HD.
And also available for users with a 3D TV…but, currently, not all digital satellite system users.
The 3D programme will be shown on the BBC Red Button HD channel.
This channel is available on Freeview, Freesat and Virgin.
Virgin Media: 994
But at the moment not on Sky, due to some contractual issues as to how the BBC Red Button HD should be included on the Sky Guide.
The BBC say “We’re working hard to try to bring the 3D episode to Sky viewers via the Red Button; we hope to have more information for you soon.”
Maybe if the problem cannot be sorted out for the BBC Red Button HD channel, maybe (though unlikely!) Sky will open up the Sky 3D channel for all viewers for the programme?
Channel Five are launching their “catch up” channels.
Live Channel Fours “4seven”, 5 Later will offer another chance to watch the best of Channel Fives programming from the last 24 hours, just in case you missed it on Channel Five or Channel Five+1,and do not have their catch up service 5 On Demand.
5 Later will launch on Freesat , Freeeview Youview and Sky.
ITV have launched “ITVessentials”, a soap catch up service for expats and holiday makers.
This means that you can watch the latest episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale if you are out of the UK.
The service costs about €5.50 per month.
And is available in 12 European countries.
I would have thought that a bit more content could be made available rather than simply two soaps. This would make it a bit more attractive to people, allowing people to watch their favourite ITV shows directly from ITV rather than from a third party “rebroadcaster” or “IPTV / internet stream”, especially if there is a threat of ITV being lost to some areas of Europe with coming introduction of the new Astra 2E satellite.
Sky have, without any warning, closed down their teletext service.
The service was closed on the 30th October 2013.
Some “red button” video streams are still available on Sky new channels, as are the usual “Sky Sports interactive services”, but the loss of Sky text has angered many who used the service for reports on various sports, especially horse racing results.
This leaves the BBC the only provider of a decent teletext service.
I suppose one reason why Sky have done this is due to the popularity of mobile phones and tablets and Sky have moved to provide news apps for these devices, and have access to the Sky news website.
Since its launch, Channel 5 HD has been available on satellite subscription free.
It was, however, encrypted so did need a Sky card, either a “free to view / freesat from sky” card or a subscription card to view.
However, from noon yesterday (29th October) C5HD has moved to the Sky Entertainment Extra + channel package.
Maybe costs meant either no C5HD at all, or some with the assistance of Sky and some small revenue from their subscription service.
Perhaps there is a deal in place to also provide other channels, like 5USA HD and 5*HD later on?
This weekend, 25th – 27th October, BT Sports will be available to Sky and Virgin Media subscribers for free.
BT Sports will also be available for free on Freeview, on channel 57.
This means Freeview, BT, Sky and Virgin viewers will be able watch live rugby from the Aviva Premiership, including Bath v Gloucester, Northampton v Saracens and Wasps v Leicester, plus the Barclays Premier League Saturday lunchtime clash between Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Another attempt to try and bolster subscriber numbers with a free offering, which will be fine if you are a rugby union fan this weekend.
Posted by: Jon in Freesat, Sky TV
Earlier this month (October 2013) there was a large number of channels that changed satellites and frequencies.
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Last night, Sunday 29th September, finally saw the launch of the much delayed new UK TV satellite, Astra 2E.
The launch took place at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, using a Proton rocket.
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It is coming around to that bi-annual time of year again, when the Suns energy can swamp out satellite signals.
This occurs two times a year, March and October.
And for a few minutes in the morning, viewers can lose reception of the weaker signals for a few minutes.
All of this is down to the position of the sun in relation to the satellites. At this time of year, the suns location is directly behind the Astra 2 group of satellites that provide UK TV. Basically the suns energy “swamps” out the weaker signals, and reception is temporarily lost.
This “phenomenon” may cause more panic this year, as when it occurs, people may simply think that their reception has been lost due to the launch of the new Astra 2E satellite, and its new UK beam….when in fact it is simply a temporary signal loss.