Sky Digitial Reception in Germany - Darmstadt




I know there are lots of postings on this site, and probably my many questions have already been answered, but I would appreciate some help.

I have a Sky Digi box, which I bought about 4 years ago. I had it installed and running when I lived in Munich (south Germany), without any problems. I was only receiving the Free to air channels, which I had set up using a UK postal address, bank account, and fully paid up TV License. The dish is the original Eliptical Mesh dish!

The equipment has been sitting in my cellar for the last two years, and I am now contemplating taking it out of storage and setting up. I have heard numerous rumours about the satellite footprint getting smaller and smaller, and that people living outside of the UK needing larger dishes.

I am now living in Darmstadt which is just south of Frankfurt in Germany.

What I would therefor like to know is:

a) Does anyone have experience or knowledge of whether I would be able to receive SKY on the Eliptical/Mesh dish that I have (in Darmstadt)?

:cool: As my free to air card is now about 3 years old, would I need to request a new card from SKY or should my old one still work?

c) How easy/difficult is it to get the satellits dish pointing in the correct location. (I have no neighbours receiving sky, to use as a reference position). Do I need a signal meter, or will the signal meter in my sky box be enough?

Thanks very much in advance for the answers.




Believe it when I see it Admin.
Staff member
My Satellite Setup
Technomate 5402 HD M2 Ci, DM7000s, Transparent 80cm Dish, Moteck SG2100 DiseqC motor, lots of legacy gear. Meters: Satlook Digital NIT, Promax HD Ranger+ spectrum analyser.
My Location
Not being very good at German geography, I can only point you in the direction of a fairly comprehensive reception map Don't know what size your dish is, but if it is tha standard 50cm or so minidish it will not be suitable.

To actually find the satellite can be time consuming, but is not impossible, a small signal meter will certainly make life easier.

Your old card will be of no use now, but you will get all of the BBC channels providing your dish is big enough.


Regular Member
My Location
Munich, Germany
Hi LairyLarry,

Do you really mean "Free to Air" - or "Free to View"?

You don't need any sort of card at all for "Free to Air", but you do for "Free to View".

"Free to Air" includes the BBC channels, Sky News, 4 music channels, and a whole load of bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, like the direct selling channels.

"Free to View" includes ITV, Channel 4, and Five.

These days, if you want the "Free to View" channels, you're going to have to subscribe to SKY - no way round it.

The good news is you should be able to pick up the Sky channels with your mini-dish, with a new card, with no problem in Darmstadt.

The bad news? I'd think you stand no chance at all of picking up the BBC and the "Free to View" channels with your minidish and LNB.

The problem is these all transmit from Astra 2D with a very weak signal to a "tight footprint" centered on the UK. To receive them in Darmstadt you're going to have to replace you're mini-dish with a bigger one - probably about 80cms, and your LNB with a sensitive, low noise one.

How easy is it to do? Well, spurred on by the likes of RolfW last year when the BBC switched to Astra 2D I did it all myself. Much easier than I was expecting. Bought everything I needed from, and actually managed to sell my mini-dish and LNB to someone down in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (in the deep south). Didn't cost that much - about 90 Euros I think - much cheaper than having it done "professionally".

If you need more details, I can let you have them.



My Location
Hi Lairy Larry,

I have a friend who had used to Live down in Herrsching, and moved up to Heidelberg, which is near you, and he's using the 60cm mesh dish and he gets BBC on it. However, if you go for a bigger dish, as Xerxes recommends, you'll get a stronger signal, and be less likely to loose it when it rains.

I'm getting a sky+ box next time I go back to the UK, so I checked out getting the quad LNB fitted and the dish realigned by a local german satellite dealer hear in Munich, and I was quoted ?40, so it's not too expensive if you don't want to do it yourself.



Regular Member
My Location
Located just west of Frankfurt and getting BBC1-4, ITV, Channel4 and Channel5 just fine on a 90 cm dish. You might want to consider a bigger dish.



Regular Member
Also in Frankfurt but to the east (so closer to Darmstadt). I would agree a bigger dish is needed - suggest at minimum 85cm.

We get everything.....