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Old 01.12.2009, 22:25
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Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

Hi,

I just read some bad news about Freesat probably moving to some Spot Beams between 2012 and 2015. If I understand correctly, reception in CH will become nigh on impossible.

Here's the story that I found here. http://www.satdudez.org/forum/showthread.php?p=676981

The Luxembourg satellite operator SES invests over half billion in the purchase of four new satellites. They should all go to strengthen the ASTRA fleet and in particular to 28.2E.

The new satellites were ordered from the aerospace company EADS Astrium to complement the orbital position 28.2E and 31.5E. The new satellites with a lifetime of 15 years, will be likely Astra 2E, 2F and 2G at 28.2E and Astra 5B at 31.5E to be installed in stages between 2012 and 2015.

Astra emphasizes the fact that the Ku-band satellites for the British market can be directed to either Europe or the British Isles. The Astra 2D currently with a beam spot at 28.2E transmits a large number of domestic and commercial stations to the British public and are in the major part of Europe difficult to obtain and that is exactly the intention. HD channels like BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are part of the Freesat package transmitted to the British viewer. Copyrights are officially only covered the British Isles.

It is expected that while the new generation of satellites Spot Beam are even sharper. The 2D spot beam can be picked up to the north of Spain. With the Spotbeams, and that technology progresses more and more, reception will be limited to British Isles and immediately surrounding countries (including the Benelux). There is already at 19.2E one spot beam for Poland that gets no reception further then Berlin.

The new Astra 2 satellites provides primarily HDTV but also VSAT (Internet) services via Astra2Connect to expand in both Europe and Africa through the Ka band. The Astra 5B will mainly get a greater range in the eastern parts of the European continent to. This, together with the current Astra 2C (which was forced to move the 28E) to enhance the 31.5E position and provide cable and DVB-T networks.

Piv
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Old 01.12.2009, 22:33
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

Hi,

really it is not Freesat as that is really just using existing free to air channels and providing an EPG for them. However, if a channel could no longer be received in Switzerland it might also mean that they would disappear from Cablecom and Bluewin tv.

If they do go for a tighter beam it might mean the end of seeing uk tv in Switzerland as all Cablecom and Bluewin are doing is retransmitting a signal that is freely available to anyone else with a satellite dish.

Not a good prospect

Have fun

Martin
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Old 03.12.2009, 10:47
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

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Hi,

really it is not Freesat as that is really just using existing free to air channels and providing an EPG for them. However, if a channel could no longer be received in Switzerland it might also mean that they would disappear from Cablecom and Bluewin tv.

If they do go for a tighter beam it might mean the end of seeing uk tv in Switzerland as all Cablecom and Bluewin are doing is retransmitting a signal that is freely available to anyone else with a satellite dish.

Not a good prospect

Have fun

Martin
So are Cablecom and Bluewin doing this without any agreement with the BBC / ITV et al? If there was some kind of contract or deal in place, I would have thought this would have to be factored into any the decisions about changes. And if no such deal exists, does this mean that the current Cablecom / Bluewin offerings are actually illegal?
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Old 03.12.2009, 11:05
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

I wouldn`t worry about it, we will be all streaming television in the future.


The UK is an odd shape, so to focus a beam on the UK only is difficult. In Northern Switzerland we are 500 miles from the UK, so in real terms not that far away, ie from the South of England to the tip of Scotland. We can increase the sish size a bit, add an amplifier and voila, the chances are pretty good that we will get all programmes.

Streaming is the second option, already do it through my Slingbox and via tvcatchup.com on my iphone with a VPN. Picture quality is excellent.
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Old 03.12.2009, 18:28
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

Hi,

what happens is that swiss law says that if something is free to air and can be received by anyone in Switzerland then it is possible for it to be supplied by the cable companies.

They must however, pay based on the number of viewers, into a pot.

The money collected should then be given to the tv stations.

However, you will find the uk channels are always part of the basic packages of cablecom/bluewin and so are essentially "free" as all you are paying for is the rental of the box.

Have fun

Martin
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  #6  
Old 03.12.2009, 18:42
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

Interesting. So they're paying money back to the British broadcasters through the pot, but obviously don't have a say if or when the FTA transmissions can no longer be received.

I wonder if the possibility of no longer being able to offer these channels would make a big enough impact on the value of their service for them to try and have a dialogue with the broadcasters. Or if indeed there would be any point...
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Old 14.03.2010, 14:46
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

If this is the case (Cablecom etc offering what is essentially overspill of the signal for the UK) then I suppose the net effect is more encouragement and presure on the BBC and others to focus the beam more tightly.

My understanding is they pay royalties etc for transmitting to UK, so the more that are publicly offering/receiving BBC etc in Europe will mean those receiving the royalties would want more if they are plainly wider than UK.

So long as it is just a few expats etc I think there wouldnt be much pressure but it seems like it's more mainstream, so that is to the detriment of us.

The swiss offer viewing cards etc for Swiss abroad for their encrypted sat transmissions programs - shame it isnt that way also in UK - I would rather have a legit service (and pay licence fee) than depend on overspill that might be withdrawn in a couple of years.
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Old 16.03.2010, 10:34
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

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The swiss offer viewing cards etc for Swiss abroad for their encrypted sat transmissions programs - shame it isnt that way also in UK - I would rather have a legit service (and pay licence fee) than depend on overspill that might be withdrawn in a couple of years.
I agree - they should encrypt their programs and hand out cards to those who are entitled, rather than making it impossible for British citizens to receive the stations outside of Britain. Might also be (a crapload) cheaper than switching satellites every other year :-/
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Old 16.03.2010, 10:41
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

I've said for years I'd be happy to pay the full licence fee in return for full access to the services you get for it.

Until they give me that option, I'll be sticking to satellites and torrents for as long as they're available.
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Old 16.03.2010, 10:44
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

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I've said for years I'd be happy to pay the full licence fee in return for full access to the services you get for it.

Until they give me that option, I'll be sticking to satellites and torrents for as long as they're available.
The freesat providers will also get themselves into a legal quagmire should they actually follow up on their plans to restrict the satellite beam to the UK. The EU has already made it clear that they want TV stations to be accessible from anywhere in the EU. A bill demanding just that should be on the table by this summer.
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Old 12.06.2010, 09:40
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

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I wouldn`t worry about it, we will be all streaming television in the future.


The UK is an odd shape, so to focus a beam on the UK only is difficult. In Northern Switzerland we are 500 miles from the UK, so in real terms not that far away, ie from the South of England to the tip of Scotland. We can increase the sish size a bit, add an amplifier and voila, the chances are pretty good that we will get all programmes.

Streaming is the second option, already do it through my Slingbox and via tvcatchup.com on my iphone with a VPN. Picture quality is excellent.

SES Astra could indeed focus the beam better.

An increased dish size could potentially recapture the signal - depending on the reduction in received signal power. Once the signal strength drops below a critical level, then the laws of physics dictate it can not be demodulated/decoded.


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So are Cablecom and Bluewin doing this without any agreement with the BBC / ITV et al? If there was some kind of contract or deal in place, I would have thought this would have to be factored into any the decisions about changes. And if no such deal exists, does this mean that the current Cablecom / Bluewin offerings are actually illegal?
My understanding of EU law is that subscriptions may NOT be sold across borders. Sky UK do not sell, or make available, Sky UK subscriptions to people living in other EU countries - because they are not allowed to. [I'm sorry that I can not quote a source for this - so it should remain as an anecdotal submission]

As we all know, CH is not in the EU. We also know that, if the UK content providers really wanted to, they could buy space segment to send freeview transmissions across the whole of Europe.

I'm pretty sure that there would be a business case and interest for Sky UK to do so, if allowed.
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Old 12.06.2010, 09:57
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

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An increased dish size could potentially recapture the signal - depending on the reduction in received signal power. Once the signal strength drops below a critical level, then the laws of physics dictate it can not be demodulated/decoded.
Err, yes, sort of, but no. One of the key points of spot beams is that they will transmit different signals on the same frequency to different geographical areas, hence the "spot" bit, i.e. very highly directional transmissions on the same freqs from the same satellite to potentially adjacent bits of Europe.
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Old 12.06.2010, 15:03
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

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Err, yes, sort of, but no. One of the key points of spot beams is that they will transmit different signals on the same frequency to different geographical areas, hence the "spot" bit, i.e. very highly directional transmissions on the same freqs from the same satellite to potentially adjacent bits of Europe.
So if I understand correctly - one satellite, one frequency, two non-correlated transmissions. The ""spot" bit" refers to the earth's surface illuminated by the beams - because it coarsely resembles a spot.

But I don't understand your point - can you explain/clarify?

/GD
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Old 13.06.2010, 06:22
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

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Err, yes, sort of, but no. One of the key points of spot beams is that they will transmit different signals on the same frequency to different geographical areas, hence the "spot" bit, i.e. very highly directional transmissions on the same freqs from the same satellite to potentially adjacent bits of Europe.
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So if I understand correctly - one satellite, one frequency, two non-correlated transmissions. The ""spot" bit" refers to the earth's surface illuminated by the beams - because it coarsely resembles a spot.

But I don't understand your point - can you explain/clarify?

/GD
They might, for example, replace transmission of a channel that's currently broadcast as a single "wide-angle" transmission (and that therefore hits quite a bit of mainland Europe at present) with a number of tighter "spot" transmissions that only just cover the UK, with minimal overlap to adjacent areas.

Since the satellites are over the equator and (iirc) usually anything from 5 to 20-something deg east, the geometry required to cover the UK from a single transmitter can blast significant parts of the rest of Europe.

The spot beam approach could potentially mean that the BBC1 Scotland transmission might not even be available in the south of Engerland, never mind Europe...



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Old 07.07.2010, 10:11
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Re: Freesat future looking bleak in CH !

Looks like my Slingbox i have setup in the uk will get more use then if it goes that way, allows me to watch UK tv anywhere in the World, worth every penny! In Moscow now watching BBC breakfast tv. Now if i could just work out how to download from bbc I player when outside the uk?
RH
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