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Local supplier of electrical installations including satellite services for the home, Williams Services, has just warned knowitall.ch about a potential disruption to TV services that could affect many of our clients in the near future.  If you watch Sky or Freesat TV via satellite this concerns you, and you should read on to find out what owner, Daryl Williams, has to say about it all:

Satellite changes at 28.2° East

After over a decade in service, the Astra satellites copositioned at 28.2° east are reaching the end of their intended period of service. Plans are already well underway to replace the three satellites providing television and radio services to the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic, Astra 2A, Astra 2B and Astra 2D.

Astra 1N has temporarily replaced Astra 2D until the new Astra 2F which was launched on September 21, 2012 is ready to take over.

The new Astra 2F is expected to be operational by the end of November or beginning of December 2012 although nothing is confirmed.

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.

For viewers outside the British Isles in mainland Europe, reception of certain channels currently on Astra 2A or 2B may change or be lost in certain areas after all the new satellites are operational.

How will these changes affect viewers overseas?

There have been many rumors 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 spot-beam Sky decide to use for their channels. There is no reason for Sky to opt for the UK spot-beam, 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 guarantees of future reception.

As for the main terrestrial broadcasters, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 (basically all the Freesat channels), these are going to use the UK spot-beam as their channels only have a license for the British Isles and are not encrypted meaning anyone can pick them up anywhere in Europe with the right equipment.
 
What do I need to do?

You don't need to do anything. Your Sky or Freesat decoder should do all the work for you and you shouldn't even notice the change over.

If we lose signal what can we do?

If signal is lost then your satellite dish will have to be upgraded to a bigger size to capture more signal for the Freesat channels.

We feel that for those of you that are using a fairly large satellite dish of 80cm+ then the signal may be fine after the changes.

If you are using a small satellite dish (60cm) like the zone 1 grey dish Sky TV supply in the UK then in this case you may need your dish upgrading.

For more information and to keep up to date on this and future events regarding satelliteTV Daryl invites you to follow him on Twitter.

Williams Services
Daryl Williams
www.williams-services.ch