What happens if Astra 2D goes kaput?

Tsiklon

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Seeing as how BBC, ITV and C4 rely on the "UK footprint" of Astra 2D to get around rights issues when transmitting FTA, what happens in the event of Astra 2D going down?

And do SES have any plans to provide redundancy for 2D in the near future?
 

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The major channels would be swapped onto one of the other birds - at the expense of the minor tiddly channels if so required.
 

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But they would then be easily receivable across continental Europe as all the other birds have Europe wide footprints - wouldn't the copyright owners start pushing for re-encryption?
 

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Tsiklon said:
But they would then be easily receivable across continental Europe as all the other birds have Europe wide footprints - wouldn't the copyright owners start pushing for re-encryption?

In the short term you may be correct but since the footprints are electronically remotely configurable it would not be long before a focussed tight beam was re-established
 

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I doubt there is much change could be made to the footprints.

Id guess there will be some sort of force majeur clause in the rights contracts somewhere - and even if there wasnt they could always just remove difficult programming from the roster for a few weeks or months - or even just black it out on satellite like they used to.
 

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BTW its about time this one came up agaian - it does the rounds at least every once year :D
 

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I don't think the footprints are that configurable either - most have a fixed footprint shape, and the entire satellite needs to be reoriented to shift the footprint around. Very few have steerable footprints AFAIK. AMC-14 had an experimental phased array antenna, but it never made it into geo orbit.

In the medium to longer term, as the UK broadcasters have now committed to Freesat, surely there is an incentive for SES to roll out a 2D MkII with more HD capacity and as backup to 2D?
 

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Tsiklon said:
I don't think the footprints are that configurable either - most have a fixed footprint shape, and the entire satellite needs to be reoriented to shift the footprint around. Very few have steerable footprints AFAIK. AMC-14 had an experimental phased array antenna, but it never made it into geo orbit.

In the medium to longer term, as the UK broadcasters have now committed to Freesat, surely there is an incentive for SES to roll out a 2D MkII with more HD capacity and as backup to 2D?


Well whoever is correct is not worth discussing since it will be a few thousand to one odds against the whole satellite failing so is IMHO very fanciful and wishful thinking to say the least and I think it is totally wrong to be making the suggestion and dredge up faint hope for thousands of ex pats as I have no doubt there is a contingency plan in place.
 

Tsiklon

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Topper, I think we might have a case of crossed wires! I wasn't asking about 2D in the context of expats or suggesting that 2D's demise was likely.

My point is that with Freesat, all of the broadcasters have their eggs in one basket, and because of copyright problems, in the case of an emergency, they can't easily move to another satellite with european footprints e.g. 2C.

Moreover, 2D is nearly 8 years old, so any replacement would have to have a 2D like footprint for it to be useful for Freesat. As a satellite takes a few years to get commissioned, built and launched, I was wondering if anyone knew of future plans by SES? Or if any other satellite could be slotted into 28 east in an emergency which has a tight footprint similar to 2D?
 

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Surely if 2D started showing symptom of failure, they'd either prepare and launch "2E" or nab a suitable satellite from another of their positions that has hardly anything on it until they can launch "2E" (or 2DR)... :)

But, unless there's a meteor shower, solar flare or an electrical failure, 2D should be fine for a good while yet... :)
 

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Unless someone is planning to shoot the old bird down :)
 

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Tsiklon said:
Topper, I think we might have a case of crossed wires! I wasn't asking about 2D in the context of expats or suggesting that 2D's demise was likely.

My point is that with Freesat, all of the broadcasters have their eggs in one basket, and because of copyright problems, in the case of an emergency, they can't easily move to another satellite with european footprints e.g. 2C.

Moreover, 2D is nearly 8 years old, so any replacement would have to have a 2D like footprint for it to be useful for Freesat. As a satellite takes a few years to get commissioned, built and launched, I was wondering if anyone knew of future plans by SES? Or if any other satellite could be slotted into 28 east in an emergency which has a tight footprint similar to 2D?

I do not see any other choice to the eggs all being in one basket at the moment until a backup is successfully launched. I am sure it has been well discussed at SES headquarters and provisioned for in their extensive future programs. As contractually there could be problems the lack of an instant fix must have also been factored in to the contractual equation.
 

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There was an article in Wotsat a few years back discussing the possibility of satellites with even tighter focused beams. So much so that not only would those in Spain (for instance) not be able to receive the UK beam with a monster dish but, worse, would have their own tight beam using the same frequencies.

The future definitely isn't bright if that occurs!
 
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