Future Satellites and Coverage/Reception Problems

Riverblue

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I have followed with great interest all the recent topics concerning the new satellite at Astra 2F and the problems some people are having in receiving a signal outside of the UK, it's intended target! I've only been enjoying the benefits of the "satellite world" for the past 6 months and therefore my experience is very limited when it comes to changes up in the Clarke Belt. So what are the other planned/proposed changes to arrangements up above? How will the "popular" satellites be affected, Hotbird/Astra 1/Eutelsat 16/Thor/Hispasat? especially how they affect us here in the UK. Will there be any new locations taken up? Is there any information out there, not just heresay and speculation. Also I would like to know how major changes have affected our community in the past.
 

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Most of the older satellites have been replaced in the last 2 or 3 years.

Astra 1N will replace some of the old capacity at 19E once she is released from uk duties at 28E.

Yamal 402 launched yesterday was supposed to open up 55E to the UK & NW Europe, but the Russkies botched the launch and shes stranded in the wrong orbit atm!
 

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Here's my take on things... Over the years satellite reception in most of Europe has generally got better and better and we can now easily make do with an 80cm dish and get thousands of channels. Early satellites where very weak compared to what we enjoy today and needed big dishes of well over 1m in size and would only pick up a few hundred analogue channels. As newer satellites came online they had wider more powerful footprints allowing many people to use smaller dishes. Plus with digital compression even more channels where able to broadcast using the same capacity as one analogue channel thereby freeing up a lot of extra space.

Now we're getting to the point where we are running out of space again over Europe so satellite operators are starting to look at reusing frequencies for different areas of Europe. This will limit us somewhat again and this time no matter how big your dish is it won't help.

For example, some Spanish channels could be transmitting to Spain on a tight Spanish footprint while some Eastern European channels broadcast on the same frequencies to east. This will impact those of us who want to see channels from the "wrong" region. Even worse, those of us in the middle between the two footprints might just get a garbled mess and no channels. Eutelsat are planning spot beams at 9E, Astra have been trying to get something going at 19.2E.

The UK spot beam is somewhat unique in that it is designed to limit reception abroad. We also are lucky in that we pretty much enjoy a whole orbital slot to ourselves (except for a few channels on an African beam) whereas most other broadcasters share satellites between multiple countries across Europe. Most countries will use spot beams to increase capacity (as explained above) and the limits to other areas are an unavoidable side effect.

So in conclusion, right now we are able to enjoy a wide range of channels across the whole of Europe and beyond on pretty small dishes but in the future we may lose some of the distant channels and have more region specific channels.
 

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Does this mean that we might experience problems with footprints/signal in the future here in the UK with some of the more popular satellites? Or is that just part of this hobby, you take what you can whilst it's available and just be thankful?
 

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Riverblue said:
Does this mean that we might experience problems with footprints/signal in the future here in the UK with some of the more popular satellites? Or is that just part of this hobby, you take what you can whilst it's available and just be thankful?
Anything aimed at the UK will always be easily receivable but distant channels that have no interest in broadcasting to the UK could become problematic if the satellite operator wants to share the frequencies with other channels that are closer to us.
 

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Take a look at this Eutelsat 9B brochure on how things could look in the future:
_www.eutelsat.com/news/media_library/brochures/EUTELSAT-9B.pdf
 

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timo_w2s said:
Take a look at this Eutelsat 9B brochure on how things could look in the future:
_www.eutelsat.com/news/media_library/brochures/EUTELSAT-9B.pdf
Thanks Timo, just looked at this, if this is the way forward and if the footprint coverage maps are reasonably accurate then it looks like we are going to be out of the reception area for most of the transmissions. I hope that all the future satellites are not going to go down this road. :-downt
 

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Riverblue said:
Does this mean that we might experience problems with footprints/signal in the future here in the UK with some of the more popular satellites? Or is that just part of this hobby, you take what you can whilst it's available and just be thankful?
Well with Eutel 9B the chances of getting all those beams in the UK are remote.

Sadly things are probably about at their best atm for us enthusiasts - there will be a slow decline over the next 10-15 years as multi spot beams become more regular fixtures on the birds. Most of the European beam are fairly young so wont be coming up for replacement for a few years yet.

Astra 1KR has a Polish spot which was tested a couple of years back - for some reason it was switched off and the channels on it were switched back to the widebeam.
 

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Will this be the same for C band or just Ku? I've noted that in Ireland, Saorsat is transmitted in Ka which I believe limits the area of reception due to the specifics of this waveband, will we see more of the same with other broadcasters following suit? What do you think AS and Timo?
 

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Ka-sat has 80 spots!

Things will slowly move forward into Ka band at some point, simply because it allows vastly more data to be shunted around for any given bandwidth.

Thats a few years away yet though

As for C-band thats never going to be popular in Europe because of the big dish sizes required.
 

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Analoguesat said:
Ka-sat has 80 spots!

Things will slowly move forward into Ka band at some point, simply because it allows vastly more data to be shunted around for any given bandwidth.

Thats a few years away yet though

As for C-band thats never going to be popular in Europe because of the big dish sizes required.
Sorry AS you'll have to educate me, 80 spots? As opposed to what in Ku/C band, what do the "spots" enable?
 

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Riverblue said:
Sorry AS you'll have to educate me, 80 spots? As opposed to what in Ku/C band, what do the "spots" enable?
80 little footprints! With the higher frequencies on the Ka band you can really make tight little spot beams compared to Ku band. C band is even lower frequency so is even less focused.
 

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timo_w2s said:
80 little footprints! With the higher frequencies on the Ka band you can really make tight little spot beams compared to Ku band. C band is even lower frequency so is even less focused.
Would that be the reason that you need a bigger dish to receive C band signals?
 

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Riverblue said:
Sorry AS you'll have to educate me, 80 spots? As opposed to what in Ku/C band, what do the "spots" enable?
80 little coverage areas about the size of Ireland (north & south) 4 of them approximately cover the UK with some overlap between them.

There are only 4 lots of frequencies involved so there is multiple frequency reuse across the spots
 

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I'm not so clued up on C band as I've never used it myself. Most C band satellites transmit over a very large area, eg Intelsat 10-02 can cover the whole of Africa, Europe and the Middle East in one go on it's East Hemi footprint so the received signal is very "diluted".
 

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So AS/Timo the in the not so near future you think that Ka band will become more widespread (specifically with Europe in mind) so as to limit the overspill of transmissions. Do you see providers also concentrating on web tv because that must be easier to control with respect who receives what and in what countries?
 

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I'm sure Ka band will be used for TV eventually but the primary use will probably be data, such as internet, where spot beams are useful for broadcasting a data signal to a specific area.
 

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timo_w2s said:
I'm sure Ka band will be used for TV eventually but the primary use will probably be data, such as internet, where spot beams are useful for broadcasting a data signal to a specific area.
So it could be possible that some people will be watching their tv via the internet on a spot beam from a Ka band satellite transmission???If true then that would seem strange! :confused
 

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Riverblue said:
So it could be possible that some people will be watching their tv via the internet on a spot beam from a Ka band satellite transmission???If true then that would seem strange! :confused
It could be anything, from data for businesses to home internet for users out in the sticks where ADSL/fibre is too expensive or slow.
 

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Riverblue said:
So it could be possible that some people will be watching their tv via the internet on a spot beam from a Ka band satellite transmission???If true then that would seem strange! :confused
Already are bud! - Soarsat transmitting into Ireland and the area around the north coast of Devon off 9E.
 
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