Update on signal quality S.France November 2014

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  occitan-man 1 year, 7 months ago.

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    Frank Owen

    Something has clearly happened:

    1) In Opio near Grasse I am suddenly picking up BBC1 standard and was able to watch during very heavy rain without any pixelation. I am getting HD in cloudy conditions for all BBC channels and even with light rain …so the signal to noise ration has dramatically improved due to perhaps a repositioning of the satellite ready for Astra 2G on 28th November and the planned shift of channels that are on the older satellites  to Astra 2G and Astra 2E , 2F…

    2) A friend of mine has suddenly seen his BBC channels bounce back on a 80cm dish having lost signal all year (since February when the new satellite came into service)


    3) It will be interesting if the better signal quality remains next summer when we return to sand storms and sun caused noise.



    The potential for a return to Low signal during April  May June 2015 is what interests me. Once that has been observed i think we will have a ‘fair idea’ of what will ‘pan out’ each year and can then advise on Dish Size  for any given Location with some certainty.


    Frank Owen


    I agree with you IF the Astra people are not moving the 2E satellite or realigning the footprint. Separately I am aware that:

    1) The Astra 2G satellite will go up on 28th of this month and progressively other channels will move from the legacy satellites to the new 2G….The 2G has a similar footprint to the 2E and 2F which caused us all then grief with Channel5 and then BBC.

    2) At the same time as we saw a recent signal strength improvement or more properly signal to noise ratio improvement in the S.France and Milan area it is the case that Northern Germany (Flensburg) where my mother lives saw a degradation of signal. I am told that 100cm dishes were giving marginal performance on BBC and 120cm was really needed….now some people are suggesting that 150cm or even 180cm is needed for BBC reception especially with light rain in Hamburg. This suggests to me that Astra engineers have recently  pointed the footprint slightly south compared to where it was middle of this year ….that would explain N.Germmany getting poorer signals and S.France seeing an improvement.



    2f did all these swings and wobbles in the previous year, in fact more so…..but of course we will not know until  Spring 2015 comes around.

    The satellites are repositioned on a regular basis as they wander around the ‘Box’ the margins of which they have to stay within.

    It would be great (at least for us) if it was the ‘future’……….



    the problem with that theory is that north germany is getting better SNR as well. This was reported by numerous people in several forums, including me 😉

    In Hamburg you need a 180cm dish on the west side and a 230cm dish on the east side. during the winters, with not a lot of weather margin. In the summer you need at least one, better two dishsizes larger.


    Gary D

    I’m glad to hear that reception is OK in the south of France.

    I’m returning tomorrow for the weekend, so am hoping my dish is still accurately in place…

    Regarding 2G, do you think the extra capacity that this satellite brings may finally allow BBC to have their regional news variations in HD?


    Frank Owen

    It seems that Astra 2 G will have a similar footprint to the new Astra 2E and 2F so if you get BBC and Channel 5 now you should be able to receive signals from 2 G which is scheduled for end of Nov (or possibly Dec) launch and is likely to be operational in March. The plan is to move channels from 2A to 2G so ITV and Sky channels are likely to give us the kind of grief here in the S.France we have had with the BBC  changeover. I am not aware that local versions of BBC HD will go on the new satellite



    Error !



    Frank Owen

    Here in Opio (Near Valbonne, Grasse, Cannes) we continue to receive good signals since late 2014. I have friends that have started receiving good signals with even a 100cm dish although I would still believe that a good quality 120cm with a good LNB is the way to go. Currently I receive all channels including HD (which occasionally has small drop outs but mostly is OK) The exception seems to be BBC News HD which typically has such a poor signal that I do not get anything.

    The consensus here is that Astra slightly changed the footprint towards the end of 2014 and now we are receiving the stronger signals. The concern then was that by March / April we may lose the signal strength again due to the climatic conditions that prevail at this time of year (dust clouds, and sun bursts) that degrade the signal to noise ratio to a level that becomes unacceptable. Well we have had heavy pollen counts, some dust clouds, generally bad weather and even pollution warnings ..yet the signal has remained strong. Hopefully this will continue.



    Hi Frank,

    I am the other side of Grasse from you (with a 130cm dish), and like you I notice better signal during the spring. However since mid May this has progessively dropped off – no more HD and SD lost for half of BBC C4 ITV channels.  Do you still get a good signal for all SD ?.




    The Signal has been very ‘Variable’ for a few weeks. Currently up today after a difficult few days.



    A question for Mongolfière .

    I live between Montauban and Cahors . I have  a 90cm Visiosat dish with an Inverto Black Premium 0.2  which sometimes “struggles” on certain channels   . I would like to upgrade to a larger dish . The Metronic 120 doesn’t seem to be available for the time being at least . According to you would a  120 Cahors/Visiosat  dish fitted with an Opticum  x 4 Lnb  be a suitable combination ?

    Thank you  for your advice!

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