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New Astra 1N satellite to offer more UK-focused capacity - and soon

The launch of a new satellite offers the possibility for improvement and expansion of free-to-air satellite standard and high definition channels on Freesat and fSfS.

The launch of a new satellite offers the possibility for improv
published on UK Free TV

SES Astra, the Luxembourg-based company that owns and operates the Astra satellite fleet used in the UK by Sky and the free-to-air broadcasters behind Freesat, has successfully launched the 5300kg ASTRA 1N satellite from Kourou, French Guiana on 6th August 2011.

This satellite will be moved into the 28.2 degrees east orbital position above the equator, where it will join the Astra 2 satellites. This position will allow its transmissions to be received by anyone who uses Sky or Freesat.

This additional capacity will increase the number of satellite transponders by 104.

Of particular note to free-to-air TV satellite viewers, the satellite has a "UK spot beam", which mirrors that of the Astra 2D satellite.



Whilst it can be argued (see Karen Murphy scores against the Premier League and Sky) that EU Television Without Frontiers directive allows public service broadcasters to carry their services on pan-European satellite, international rights holders prefer free-to-air channels to use the tight beams to restrict the coverage to a target country.

As all the Astra 2D transponders have been full for some years, the extra capacity on Astra 1N will allow for expansion.

Speculating, this might include:



Help with Free satellite?
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau1
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In this section
Show me the 55 TV channels have moved to the new Astra 2G satellite 1
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No satellite signal? Check your dish for snow!3
New satellite footprints page4
BBC satellite changes: radio, BBC ONE HD, Red button reduction 12-15 October 2015
Changes to BBC HD transmissions on Astra satellites on 20 September 20126

Comments
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
M
Mike Dimmick
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

1:37 PM

george: Depends on the box.

Sky boxes will retune automatically whenever Sky change the EPG data. You may need a current viewing card inserted to get the right region, if and when ITV move some ITV1 regions.

Freesat-branded boxes are supposed to retune automatically, but not all do. Some need to be put in standby to do it, or you have to select a retune function. Some viewers found they had to do a factory reset when BBC HD and BBC One HD changed over to DVB-S2 on the same transponder.

Generic free-to-air receivers will need to be retuned manually. Don't do it until the channels disappear from their old location.

The Astra 1N satellite is in the cluster of satellites at 28.2°E. You don't have to move your dish at all.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Thursday, 1 December 2011
G
George Buchanan
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

5:58 PM

So it won't be my dish alignment that prevents my getting C4 HD or the other channels on Astra 1N? I've set my Passion+ as advised in various places but can't get a channel, etheer C4 HD or the ITV channels.

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George Buchanan's 43 posts GB flag
Saturday, 3 December 2011
B
Birt
8:25 PM

George Buchanan: Go to Menu/System settings/other settings and ensure that 'Power Search Mode' is on and then save.
Leave unit on standby over night and following day you should see the channels on the end of your channel list.

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Birt's 6 posts GB flag
Sunday, 4 December 2011
G
George Buchanan
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

12:50 PM

Thanks all...

I got it after a factory reset but I'll remember the power search tip for the future. The pain with so many satellite channels is deleting the ones not wanted - hundreds of them. Am I alone in believing that a large proportion of these channels shuld really just be web sites now, and that freed capacity should be allocated to enable better quality on the channels that are not just 'special interest'?

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George Buchanan's 43 posts GB flag
Sunday, 26 February 2012
J
John Barrett
10:20 AM

Advice please.
I've been receiving free Sky channels for some years now on my boat in SW France using a 700mm Maxview crank up dish. Will the change to the new satellite affect my reception e.g. tighter footprint?
Thanks
John

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John Barrett's 2 posts GB flag
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

1:59 PM

John Barrett: No, it appears the footprint is slightly looser if anything at all.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Monday, 27 February 2012
J
John Barrett
10:58 PM

Thanks for that. We have got used to waking up to South Today!
John

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John Barrett's 2 posts GB flag
Thursday, 8 March 2012
K
Keith
9:16 AM

I have heard this new satelite will enable reception of english tv on the costa blanca, using a one meter dish. Is this true ot not.

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Keith's 1 post GB flag
M
Mike Dimmick
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

4:10 PM

Keith: The UK beam from Astra 1N is *intended* to only cover the British Isles with a small dish. You *may* be able to use it outside the British Isles with a larger dish, but you won't find any official information on how large that would be: the whole point is that channels are *not* supposed to be receivable outside the licenced area.

SatBeams - Satellite Coverage Maps - Sat Footprint Intelsat 10-02 (Intelsat 1002, Intelsat Alpha-2, Intelsat X-02, IS-1002) / Thor 5 (Thor 2R) / Thor 6 (IS-1W) indicates that it may be receivable with a 90cm dish.

This is not the permanent location for this satellite. It is only providing capacity temporarily while Astra 2E, 2F and 2G are built and launched - presumably the dish providing the UK spot beam on 1N is ultimately intended for some other purpose. The UK spot beam, on whichever satellite replaces 1N, may well be different again, and require a larger dish still. 2F is due to go up this autumn, so might go into service early next year.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Monday, 12 March 2012
P
Paul McCabe
1:35 PM

Can you please tell me the size of dish I need to receive Freesat UK TV, I have a Villa in Calasparra Murcia Spain, Other owners had to have a 1.9 dish put in 4 or 5 years ago, but I am told I will not need that size of dish now.
I intend doing the set up myself as I have done it with my caravan many times.
Thanks P McCabe.

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Paul McCabe's 1 post GB flag
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