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nooranismith

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#1
Not sure where the right place to post this query is so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong spot now (kind of my problem regarding satellite as well).

Thing is, I'm north of Rome and there seems to be little in English language channels I can get without buying a dish the size of the moon. I know I'm not the only one in this boat and I wondered if anyone could make any suggestions as to their favourite English language channels. I used to be able to get ch5 on analogue for example. Is that still on the go? BBC Prime? Anything else. I don't really care about news as we seem to get CNN and Sky news on any package you care to name - but I'd like some general programming (please Beeb come back to us - I'd even be delighted to pay for it!!), kids programmes, comedies, etc.

Bigdish was helpful pointing me to a list of sats and what they carry, but it is still unclear what is where (I couldn't find Prime, for example, or the unattainable ITV, CH4, CH5 on them. Maybe I missed them). Recommendations from those that like English channels and get them please!

Ron
 
psats

psats

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#2
hi what sat have you got the dish(size) on at the moment plus what sat receiver you got
 
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nooranismith

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#3
Ah well...

At the moment nothing! We are buying a house (this is our second time round in Italy) about an hour N of Rome. When we were here before, close to Ostia, we had a Sky Digibox with a free to air card, and a 'Philips Gold Box' not sure of the model number - it's was tied to an Italian Package. I have two dishes, one a standard 1m, the other smaller (70cm) with a second facing reflecting dish. The blurb I was given said the second dish essentially made the dish perform as a 1-1.5m dish. I've since found this is nonsense, but the real benefit of it is the tray can hold up to 6 or so lnbs if I could only find 6 or so satellietes I'd want to point it at. At the time, I happily recieved the BBC and probably much of Sky if I'd subscribed

In summary, I have to get the equipment installed afresh in any case, so I'm happy to consider buying new stuff if I think it is worth it. Sorry I can't give more details but my equipment has all been stuck in storage in Edinburgh for the last year or so

Ron
 
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BIGDISH

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#4
Hello Ron,

This is going to be a bit long but I'm in the mood - It's Friday and Rolfw, I know it's all been said in bits and pieces elsewhere already but I hope this kind of pulls it together for Ron?
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Ron,

To begin with: 4, 5 and ITV are only broadcast on 28.2, as for Prime it used to be part of the BBC package on 28.2 but I can't see it anywhere now.

Regarding your general set-up and equipment: I would recommend that you first test your present dishes to see which beams you can get. This wouldn't cost anything (just a little time) and will help to determine the performance of your gear in the new location. You can complement the results of that by checking what types and sizes of dish, LNB, etc. others are using in your area to get value from Sky. You could start by searching this forum and looking at the reports for Italy on THIS site.

A multi-lnb dish can be easily set up to get several satellites in sequence. For example: 28.2, 19.2 and 13 is a typical spread. Use your digital receiver to switch between them and see what free channels you can get. To do this with a Sky digibox requires some extra (not expensive) equipment to get the box to switch from one LNB to another. Also a Sky digibox will only allow you to programme in a max of 50 'Other Channels', i.e. the digibox is set to automatically allow only the Sky bouquet. Stuff outside this has to be put manually in 'Other Channels'.

Yes, those Lyngsat tables can be confusing, perhaps this will help to understand them better:

Firstly, there are actually several satellites in a group at 28.2E and they each have different beams or 'footprints' onto Eruope. In particular 2D has tight footprint which is intended to give good reception on standard size dishes and minidishes to the British Isles.

The BBC switched their transmissions to this particular satellite last year and hence the chaos in Europe and all the discussions on how best to get reception outside the formal 2D footprint. At the same time they stopped using Sky Encryption which added to the confusion but which essentially means that one no longer needs a Sky digibox to receive the BBC, i.e. one can get the BBC on a regular digital receiver provided one can pick up the transmission. Note that C4, C5 and ITV remain on Sky encryption and therefore one needs a Sky sub card or the new version 'solus' card to see them and of course this can only be done on a Sky digibox. And..., to add to the confusion ITV always was and still is transmitted from 2D and that's why only those with big dishes can get it in Europe.

The following may help to understand the lyngsat tables themselves better:

First, if the 'Video Encryption' column says 'PAL' then skip it because one cannot get that on a digital receiver.

Second, look at the 'Beam' column. If you click on the link in that column it will show you the official footprint and you will be able to see quickly if your dish size can pick up the signal.

Third, look for a red 'F' in the 'Video Encryption' Column which mean that the channel is Free, (keeping in mind that ITV, C4 and 5 are exceptions, see below).

When looking at the list for 28.2 keep in mind that the Sky Digital package is spread accross several transponders in the 28.2 group and that's why you will see multiple entries for it on the main list. For example, just because there is one listed against 11895 V - 2A South Beam, it doesn't mean that you can get all the channels. You have to go into the package details to see how the individual channels are broken down accross the group. When you do this you will see that some are on the 2D satellite and thus on the small British Isles footprint, some are on the 2A North beam which can only be got in certain parts of Europe using a big dish, and so on.

Another thing to note is that the BBC broadcasts are shown seperately on the main list because they are now outside the Sky pack.

To explore the full contents of the blue Sky Digital package click on the red 'P' to it's right which will take you here.

About two thirds way down that list one can see Channel 4. It's on the 2A North beam which I've heard is a tricky one to get in Rome and you would need to check the dish size needed for that. I think that if you see the Sky Welcome channel which is 'F' (free) on 2A-North that means your'e getting that beam.

Finally, note that channels 4, 5 and ITV are shown in the 'Enc. System' column as using Videogard encryption. So, although they are free one needs to have either a Sky subscription card or the new Solus card in the receiver to view them.

I hope this helps. In conclusion it's difficult to say what's the best thing to do. Personally, I have decided not to bother with satellites other than 28.2 anymore and have moved to a 1m dish with a Sky+ box and a Family pack + movies 1,3,5,7,9 subscription. With this I can get everything except 2D which gives me enough value from my Sky subscription.

Good luck with your setup.
 
PaulR

PaulR

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#5
Bigdish

Wow! That's a comprehensive answer you've given there and I'm sure everyone will be grateful for you collecting it all together.

There's only one thing I would quibble with and I'm sure it was just a slip of the keyboard. As far as I know BBC Prime has never been broadcast on 28.2E. BBC Prime is specifically designed for markets outside of the UK and is available on many satellites, often several times per satellite, but in different encryptions and part of various packages. It is not, however, available anywhere in Videoguard as used on the digibox.

BBC Prime can be likened to UK Gold but without the Thames sourced programmes. If you can get the 28.2E package you probably can do without it. On the other hand if you get interested in other satellites (eg 13E) then you will undoubtedly find it eventually.

PaulR
 
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BIGDISH

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#6
Thanks for pointing that out PaulR.

I racked my brain over that Prime thing before I decided to write it in. I could have sworn that we had it along with BBC 3 an 4 but I must have been wrong.
 
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nooranismith

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#7
Thank you Bigdish once again. You are a mine of information. I agree with the 28.2 even without BBC & co. My plan (once we're settled) is to get Sky installed back in the UK on a full package (would anyone recommend Sky+ for this?) and once operational shift the decoder & card out here. I would leave behind my current digibox so that the people in my address there can benefit from the free channels at least (they are in a poor terrestrial reception area).

Next Brain picker: if I take advantage of the Sky subsidies, will it be enough that my current digibox is connected to the phone line and the one they install taken away? Is the set up smart enough to know which digibox is being interrogated over the telephone line. Should I just buy a decoder, bear the extra cost and avoid being tied to the subsidies?

Mor recommendations please

Ron
 
PaulR

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#8
Subsidies.

I've never had a box by this method but my understanding is that $ly are now doing more checking up that boxes are connected to the telephone line.

They do this by sending a signal to the box to telephone an 0800 number and report in. I f the box doesn't phone immediately then they don't worry immediately as there could be many valid reasons for this but after a certain number of failed attempts (2 weeks? a month??) they will make contact to check that all is ok (has the baby pulled the phone lead out etc) and make sure that the box is connected to the line.

So, you won't be able to get away with it forever before they send a big fat bill to for the subsidy that they have given you.

Incidentally they target the box by the card's serial number so leaving your old box behind won't satisfy them. It phones them not the other way round.

PaulR
 
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nooranismith

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#9
Cheers Paul

I guess I'll just skip the subsidy, then. In the end it's a lesser part of the cost in any case.

Ron
 
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