How to get European Satellite TV

If you would like to receive European Satellite TV, from the UK or anywhere in Europe. Hopefully this page will give you some useful info on the various satellites you can receive. Also we will give you some information on what satellite equipment you need to be able to tune in to these satellites and receive the TV station broadcasts that they send.
For the time being, please read the page about receiving UK satellite TV, as this goes in to more depth about how to align your dish and explains many other important aspects of receiving satellite TV.
There are used to be more ways to watch European TV in the UK, but things have changed, europe is going digital , soon the last analogue satellite signals will be were turned off (5"west late 2011 / 19"east mid 2012.) Many of us remember the early days of Sky (analogue) when we could get German TV from the same satellite as Sky TV, but when digital came along, everything changed. European tv is still available in the UK , but the first thing to remember is that it is not broadcast from the same satellite as the uk channels anymore, so if you already have a sky dish and are hoping to get euro tv off the same dish , you are not going to. Astra 2 positioned at 28 degrees east is the satellite that broadcasts the UK channels, European tv comes from different satellites now which are in a different position than the satellite that broadcasts UK channels. For free to air European tv channels there are three main satellites of interest. The good news is that these three satellites are receivable in the uk with a medium sized satellite dish and a digital receiver. 1 astra 1 positioned at 19 degrees east   2 eutelsat hotbird positioned at 13 degrees east 3 atlantic bird 3 positioned at 5 degrees west   I will tell you about each different satellite and what type of channels they broadcast , this will help you decide on which satellite you want to receive.
Astra 1 at 19 degrees east
This is the main satellite of choice for most people wanting free european tv . Mostly german channels on here including the german public broadcasters but also some french and spanish channels too , lots of sports on the german channels , here too the german language version of eurosport for free , also available is the bbc world service tv channel, i have listed the free to air digital channels available on this satellite on a separate page . (see the list on the left hand side of this page)
Eutelsat hotbird at 13 degrees east
This satellite has lots of free to air tv from almost everywhere in the world Lots of italian stations including the rai channels , but also polish , french , thai , chinese , arabic , russian , e.t.c even a couple of english channels including the bbc world service tv , again you will find a list of the available channels in a separate page on this site . (see the list on the left of this page)
Atlantic bird 3 at 5 degrees west
This satellite has only french free to air channels on it , but the channels on here are different to the french channels on astra 1 and hotbird , these include the french public broadcasters france 2 , 3 and 5 , again a channel list for the digital channels on this satellite is provided in a separate page .   If you require analogue channel lists for 19 degrees east or 5 degrees west contact me and i will mail them to you.     So what equipment do you need?     Firstly you will need a free to air digital receiver , a sky or freesat receiver wont do as they are not user friendly with reception of other satellites , you need a non sky, non freesat free to air receiver , look on ebay there are plenty of firms who will have what you require , standard definition or high definition it's up to you, high definition are more expensive but you are sort of future proofing .     Now to the dish and lnb (the lnb is the little white thing on the end of the dish), i am not going to confuse you now about multi satellite reception ,you have picked the satellite you want from the information i gave above , now i will tell you how to get it.     Astra 1 positioned at 19 degrees east     This satellite has stong signals into the uk , receivable in most of the uk with a 60 cm dish but 80cm is better look at the coverage map here , there are several coverage maps for this position , i have uploaded one of the harder to get beams in the uk
astra satellite 19 degrees east
Eutelsat hotbird positioned at 13 degrees east
This satellites' signals are slightly weaker than the astra 1 satellite into the uk but can be received with a 60 cm dish in most of the uk, but some channels will suffer with the rain , so again 80 cm is better. Look at the coverage map here , again there are several coverage maps ,
here is one of the harder to get beams in the uk
astra satellite 13 degrees east
Atlantic bird 3 positioned at 5 degrees west
Strong signals into most of the uk on a 70 cm dish but 80 cm is better
Look at the coverage map here , only the one beam on this satellite
Where to point my dish i hear you ask?
If you look at the links section at the top of this page you will find two very useful sites called dishpointer and satbeams. With dishpointer you simply put your location in , tell it which satellite you want to receive , and with the aid of google maps and google earth it will show you exactly where to put your dish and which way to point it, with satbeams, again you put your location in, pick the satellite you would like to receive, it will then show you the satellite's footprint and whether it is receivable at your location.
Good luck with your installation.
In the near future i will be talking about reception of other satellites in the uk
I would also advise you to read the "multi satellite reception page" on this site for further options
copyright rob's satellite tv 2011

 

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