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BBC satellite changes: radio, BBC ONE HD, Red button reduction 12-15 October 201

After the recent cut in the funding for the BBC, the Delivering Quality First review decided that BBC Red Button would be cut to one screen on all platforms. This will cause a few changes in the use of the BBC satellite transponders.

After the recent cut in the funding for the BBC, the Delivering
published on UK Free TV

During the coming months, BBC ONE HD will launch separate services for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. At the moment BBC ONE HD is a UK-wide service, showing the England schedule, with a caption shown during the regional news slots. The BBC ONE services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have both local presentation and different schedules.

To provide these changes on Freeview is reasonably trivial, in terms of costs and capacity. However, on satellite each of these versions requires a separate transmission.

To provide this the BBC is taking on a new transponder on the Astra 1N satellite, transponder 61. This transponder will run in DVB-S2 8PSK 2/3 mode, as transponder 50 (10847MHz Vertical) has since Changes to BBC HD transmissions on Astra satellites on 20 September. To provide for this new transponder on the UK-focused satellite, the European-wide (and Sky owned) transponder 13 on Astra 2A will close.

Red Button

The Delivering Quality First required that the BBC Red Button video stream on all services should be reduced to a single stream. The first stream (which is 301 on Freeview) will move from transponder 13 on Astra 2A to Astra 1N transponder 45 (10773MHz Horizontal) on Friday 12th October 2012. All the other video streams will close, but the text services will remain.

Also moving on Friday 12th October 2012, BBC ALBA and BBC One North East & Cumbria will move to transponder 47 (10803MHz Horizontal), to be replaced on transponder 48 (10818MHz Vertical) by BBC three/CBBC from transponder 45 and BBC News from transponder 47. Also moving from 47, but to 45 is BBC Four / CBeebies.


On Monday October 15th, the radio services will move. This means sharing the stations between transponders 46 (10788MHz Vertical) and 47. This will means that BBC radio will no longer be receivable over the whole of Europe with a small dish.

You may need to retune your equipment on 15th October 2012 -- see below.

Closure of Astra 2A transponders 13

Following the radio moves on Monday October 15th, the BBC will no longer use Astra 2A.

Launch of BBC ONE HD in the Nations, and BBC TWO HD

The BBC ONE services will start later in 2012, with BBC HD becoming BBC TWO HD in 2013.


Freeview users will not see any changes, and cable uses will not have to take any action, but will be reduced to a single red button.

If you use Sky or Freesat-from-Sky your box should not require any action. If you are unable to watch the changed channels on that date, turn the Sky box off at the mains, wait 30 seconds and turn the power back on. After a few minutes the box should be able to show the channels again.

If you use Freesat, you may have to "soft reset" the box on 12th or 15th October 2012. To do this, put the Freesat HD box or Freesat HD TV into standby for 30 seconds and then switch it back on again. In some rare cases, this will not work and you will need to do a "first time install" on the receiver.

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Thursday, 4 October 2012
Arthur Morley
7:55 AM

Hello Brian
Do you have a coverage map for those parts of Europe that will still be able to receive BBC Radio after the 15th October 2012 changes of transponder? Or do you know where we can find one?

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Arthur Morley's 6 posts FR

9:51 AM

Arthur Morley: From

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Arthur Morley
11:28 AM

Thank you very much Brain.

Kind regards


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Arthur Morley's 6 posts FR
Mike Dimmick

1:52 PM

Arthur Morley: There are suggestions that the true coverage is substantially wider than that footprint plot suggests. However, I wouldn't depend on that. SES have just launched the Astra 2F satellite, which is designed to operate at 28.2°E, unlike 1N whose permanent home is at 19.2°E. This carries a rather tighter UK spot beam:…4500 . Also, SES have published the footprints straight away, whereas for 1N the footprint was only published months after it went up, after a lot of testing and calibration.

They haven't said so explicitly, but my expectation is that 2F will take over from 1N some time early next year, just as 1F took services from 2D. The press release about 2F's launch says:

'It is the first of a three satellite investment programme (ASTRA 2E, 2F and 2G), that provides replacement and growth capacity for the UK and Ireland at the 28.2/28.5 degrees East neighbourhood.

'"ASTRA 2F will provide seamless replacement capacity for our UK customers like BSkyB, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and will allow us to operate additional capacity at 28.2/28.5 degrees East on SES satellites. [...]"'

News -

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
Friday, 5 October 2012
Arthur Morley
5:48 AM

Thank you Miike

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Arthur Morley's 6 posts FR

3:06 PM

I think the digital space would be better utilised by having BBC 3 & 4 in HD.

As for the RED button service we see the continuing decline in the BBC.

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trevorjharris's 367 posts GB
Arthur Morley
3:44 PM

The footprints that they supply are far less detailed than I seem to remember they used to provide. I guess that is deliberate!

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Arthur Morley's 6 posts GB
Monday, 5 November 2012
Anne Priece
11:32 AM

What size dish would I need to receive BBC Radio 4 near Hamburg Germany? At the moment I have an 80cm dish. On contacting the BBC today (5th Nov. 2012) I was informed that range is much tighter. Would be grateful for an answer.

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Anne Priece's 1 post DE
Thursday, 22 November 2012
Doug Revell
2:50 PM

IF you are only interested in receiving UK radio, you might do better with an internet radio than changing your dish etc.

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Doug Revell's 1 post FR
Thursday, 13 December 2012
8:35 AM

What has happened to Channel 5 and 5 US. They both have dropped off. I am near Cadiz and retuning does not seem to help.

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Pete's 2 posts ES
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