UK TV Spain / Costa Blanca Satellite TV Installations / Sky TV Spain / Freesat Spain Spain . Sat and PC Guy Blog. Freesat in Spain. Internet TV / IPTV in Spain. UK TV in Spain. Freesat TV in Spain.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

What UK TV Channels are available on small satellite dish on the Costa Blanca Spain

Here is a full channel list (correct as at December 2009) of the UK TV channels that you should be able to receive on the Costa Blanca area of Spain on a small satellite dish.

These are all the free to air (FTA) channels that can be received without a Sky viewing card, on a Sky digibox, a Freesat satellite receiver, or a generic satellite receiver.

This is due to the fact that these channels are on the Astra 2A south beam frequencies, the Astra 2B south beam frequencies and the pan European Eurobird 1 beam frequencies.

You will not be able to receive any of the FTA UK TV channels from Astra 2D, such as BBC or ITV, as these require the big 1.8m or 2.4m satellite dishes.

When I say small, I managed to receive all of these on a 80cm satellite dish. Some of these are able to be received even on a 60cm satellite dish. But as we are in a fringe reception area, the channels may not be available during periods of heavy cloud cover or rain.

Popular Channels
CBS Reality
CBS Reality +1
CBS Action
CBS Drama
Information TV
BBC Alba
Travel Channel
Travel Channel+1
Food Network
Food Network+1

Movie Channels
Zone Horror
Zone Horror+1
True Movies
True Movies 2
Movies 4 Men
Movies 4 Men+1
Movies 4 Men2
Movies 4 Men2+1

Music Channels
Chart Show TV
The Vault
OMusic TV
Channel AKA
Starz TV

News Channels
Sky News
BBC News
BBC Parliament
Russia Today
France 24
Al Jazeera
Press TV
NHK World TV

Children's Channels
Tiny POP
Tiny POP+1

Other Channels
Luxe TV
Body in Balance
Rural TV
Horse and Country
Fitness TV
My Channel
AIT International
True Ent
Controversial TV
Unexplained TV
Channel M
Sumo TV
Fashion TV
wedding tv
wedding tv asia
Renault TV

Religion Channels
God Channel
GOD Europe
TBN Europe
Loveworld TV
Gospel Channel

Radio Station Channels
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 4
Classic FM
Planet Rock
Choice FM
BBC World Service
BBC Radio Scotland
BBC Radio Wales
BBC Radio Ulster
BBC Radio Asian
BBC Radio 6 Music
BBC Radio 7
BBC Radio 1Xtra
RTE Radoi 1Xtra
Absolute 80's
Jazz FM

BBC Sports Interactive Service Streams

To watch the BBC Sports Interactive service stream on Sky boxes

BBC News (Sky channel 503)
Red Button


BBC News (Sky Channel 503)
Red Button
Sports Multiscreen

To watch the BBC Sports Interactive service stream on Non Sky Boxes

Select from the channel lists

These streams are available on frequency 12441 polarisation v symbol rate 27500

For more information please visit:

UK TV Channels small satellite dish Costa Blanca Spain

The Sat and PC Guy - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca

or the forum

The Sat and PC Guy FORUM - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Will my UK TV work in Spain?

Will my UK TV work in Spain?

The simple answer is yes.

In many cases, most TVs bought in the UK will work in Spain.

They will work with most audio visual equipment, such as satellite receivers and DVD players that are connected to the TV via a SCART or HDMI cable.

However, if you try to connect a UK TV directly into the Spanish analogue terrestrial (ie via an aerial), you may be able to receive a perfect picture, but no sound. This is because many older UK TV sets are made to the PAL I standard, and not the PAL BG standard used by Spain.

Most modern TV sets are PAL multi standard and work on all broadcasts.

Of course, this should not be an issue in a few months time anyway when the Spanish analogue TV signals are switched off, and replaced with digital signals and channels.

Many of the new modern TV set come with a built in digital tuner, and should be compatible with the Spanish digital TV service, Television Digital Terrestrial (TDT).

However, UK TV sets with "Freeview" built in may not work 100% correctly.

Firstly, and most obviously, as Freeview is not available in Spain, then you will not be able to use your Freeview TV in Spain to receive BBC and ITV and other UK TV channels, via a TV aerial (you will have to rely on a satellite dish and receiver for this!).

Secondly, many Freeview receivers may not be able to recognise all the frequencies used by TDT. Spain TDT used a frequency / channel number of 69, for Antenne 3, Neox, Nova, but as this frequency / channel is not allocated for use in the UK, and so some Freeview tuners may not be able to scan for this particular TDT frequency.

Thirdly, many Freeview tuners are configured for the UK. This means that they will normally be able to look for programme soundtracks offering in English, Gaelic or Welsh. This can be a problem in Spain, as the Spanish broadcasters use a variety of audio flag, which allow you to view certain imported films and programmes in their original language - like English. Unfortunately many of these flags, such as DOS, MUL, VO, are not able to be selected on the Freeview receivers, and so you may not be able to view these programmes on TDT in their original (English) audio.

TVs with generic ie non Freeview, tuners, should be compatiable with the Spains TDT system.
For more information visit

UK Digital Satellite TV (BBC Sky Freesat) and Digital Terrestrial (TDT ie Freeview) Installations for the Costa Blanca and Costa Azahar and Valencia area of Spain

Will Freesat work in Spain?

Will Freesat work in Spain? Can you receive Freesat on the Costa Blanca?

Yes Freesat will work in Spain.

To an extent.

Essentially, UK Freesat is an EPG on a Freesat receiver / digibox (like the Freesat Humax receiver), that allows you to access the UK free to air satellite TV channels. These are the same channels, and transponder frequencies, that are used for the UK free to air satellite TV channels that can be received on a Sky Digibox.

The UK free to air channels, such as BBC and ITV, that can be received by Freesat receivers are provided by the SAME satellites and frequencies that provide Sky receivers with the same channels.

So if, in your area of Spain, you require a 2.4m Portuguese satellite dish to receive BBC on a Sky receiver, you will still need a 2.4m satellite dish to receive BBC on a Freesat receiver.

Freesat receivers do not have the ability to read a Sky Viewing card. This can be a nuisance, especially if you want to watch FIVE.

On Freesat channel FIVE is on the same transponder frequency as BBC2, and this frequency may not be available 24/7 even on the big 2.4m satellite dishes. In the Valencia region of the Costa Blanca this may mean that you lose BBC2 and FIVE on a Freesat receiver from mid to late afternoon.

With a Sky receiver and a Sky viewing card you can access the encrypted versions of channel FIVE, that you are able to receive even on a small (80cm) satellite dish.

Reception of free to air satellite TV channels from other countries than you reside in is totally legal. Although the broadcasters may not like you watching their channels outside of their "country zone", there is little, other than either encrypting or reducing the strength of the signal (hence the big satellite dishes!), they can do to prevent you from doing so.

And remember, you cannot receive the UK FREEVIEW digital television service in Spain, its siganls are just not available here (the nearest Freeview transmitter is in Cornwall!) and you should really avoid any installer that says they can install a Freeview system in Spain - it is impossible!

For more information visit

UK Digital Satellite TV (BBC Sky Freesat) and Digital Terrestrial (TDT ie Freeview) Installations for the Costa Blanca and Costa Azahar and Valencia area of Spain

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spanish TV Analogue Switch off - 31 December 2009

Phase 2 of Spains analogue TV Services switchoff will happen on the 31st December 2009.

Most of Spain is covered by Phase 2, with some areas alrdady being a digital only area from earlier this year, and the remaining areas having their analogue services switched off by April 2010.

If you wish to continue receiving Spanish TV, then you will need to go DIGITAL.

The Spanish Digital Terrestrial TV System is TDT - Television Digital Terrestre.

You can receive around 20 to 30 Spanish channels, all in digital, all in digital quality (no snowey effects like the old analogue system), and on many of the channels, you can switch the programmes audio into the programmes original versions - in many cases this is English. Some more local stations wil remain on analogue for the foreseeable future, until there is enough frequency space for them.

TDT is the equivilent of the UKs Freeview service - ie digital TV via a TV aerial.

You will require an TV aerial / antennae configured for digital tv signal, an amplifer and power supply, and a digital terrestrial tuner (either a set top box or a TV with a digital tuner built in).

Most apartment and communties have already made the switch, however many are still yet to be converted....and some Spanish installers are expecting to be busy at the end of December and beginning of January, as people are left with no TV over the Festive period.

The switch off is part of the European Wide switch from old inefficient and poor quality analogue systems. (1 analogue frequency can carry only 1 digital frequency can carry about 6 high quality digital channels!)

So to ensure your continous viewing of Spanish TV.....Go Digital....

For more information visit
Digital Satellite (BBC Sky Freesat) and Digital Terrestrial (TDT ie Freeview) Installations for the COsta Blanca and Costa Azahar and Valencia area of Spain

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Will a UK Freeview digibox work in spain?

Will a UK Freeview digibox work in spain?

Many UK Freeview boxes do work in Spain, but there are a few issues and they may not work 100%

Obviously the first thing is that a UK Freeview box will not be able to receive the UK Freeview channels whewn used in Spain, as the nearest transmitter of Freeview is based on Cornwall! It will be able to be used to receive the Spansih Digital television service - TDT.

Secondly, you must ensure the box can scan frequency 69 – a frequency that is not used in the UK but it is in Spain for a few channels, including GOLTV.

Thirdly one of the benefits of the TDT Spain system is the ability to change the audio of many UK and USA programmes from Spanish into their original English soundtrack. Some UK boxes may not be able to change programmes into their original language as some UK boxes are programmed to look for English, Welsh and Gaelic language “tags”. In Spain they use different language tags like “Dos” or “VO” (Version Original), or “Multi” or “Und”, tags that UK Freeview boxes may not be able to recognise or use.

Two TDT channels, SET and Disney do use the tags "English", which will be recognised by UK Freeview receivers.

These points refer to Freeview digiboxes, but the same will also apply to TVs with builtin Freeview receviers.

Ideally a generic digital television receiver would be preferable.

For more information visit

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sky TV In Spain

Sky TV in Spain

The UKs main pay / subscription satellite TV service, Sky, operates on the satellites at 28 degrees east of south. These Sky channels are broadcast with encryption, and can only be viewed by the use of a Sky subscription card. The amount of channels that are “unblocked” will depend on the subscription charge you pay.

As far as I know, it is NOT illegal to use a Sky viewing cards or watch Sky subscription TV channels outside of the UK. However, you are breaking the terms and conditions of you Sky contract, which states that the Sky viewing card is only for use within the UK only. This is Sky’s method of ensuring that their contracts with the film, sports and other TV program makers is satisfied, as a Sky card can only be issued to a UK address.

Sometimes best to ask a family member or a friend in the UK to order a Sky card at their address on your behalf. The Sky contract that is received will need to be signed by the name of the person you have used. Once the contract has been received by Sky they will then issue the Sky card to the UK address. The card will need to be put in its Digibox, and then you and your UK contact will have to contact Sky to get the card activated, they will require the information from the sky receiver on the system details screen (Services, 4, 6)

The minimum term of a Sky contract is 12 months.

The Sky contact also states that the Sky card and Sky decoder must be connected to a UK telephone line. However, this is only true if you have had your card and decoder supplied by Sky. In the UK Sky heavily discount the installation cost. All equipment is their property for 12 months, and to ensure that it stays where is should they require the decoder to call back to the Sky computers every so often. After 12 months the equipment (dish and decoder) is yours and you can disconnect them from the telephone system. With installations in Spain, you are personally buying the decoders and dish so the equipment is yours from the start and although, as you did not get the equipment direct from a Sky you do not need to connect to the telephone system.

Note that’s this does not apply to the Sky Multiroom service. This service provides two cards with the same subscriptions for the cost of one card plus £10. However, the contact for this service states that both decoders and cards must be connected to the telephone system. If the boxes fail to contact the Sky computer then you will be charged full price for both cards. This stops people from bringing their second decoder and card to Spain.

Note that there are no "Authorised Sky Card Agents" or "Official Sky Card Dealers" or "Official Sky Authorised Agents" outside the UK. Sky do not authorise anyone outside the UK and ROI to sell or distribute their viewng cards. Any company claiming this should be avoided.

Also note that if you have a UK Address that you can register your sky card at, then do so. Should you do this via an company or agent in Spain then you should not have to pay a Yearly Fee. Some companies or agents charge a Yearly Fee for the client to "borrow" a UK address, but why should you pay a Yearly Fee if you provide your own!

For more information visit

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sky Cards to stop working on Non Sky (eg Darkbox and other multicam) receivers?

A few months ago I posted about this issue on some other forums and got shot down, however, recent reports say that Sky Italia, who use the same NDS encryption as Sky UK, have recently changed their encryption algorithm.

This has been done in an attempt to try restrict the use of their Sky subscription viewing cards in non sky boxes, and, more importantly, to try stop the card sharing networks using their viewing cards.

Many card sharing networks are reporting having problems in the last few days, just after it was noticed the change in the encryption algorithm.

It is speculated that this change in encryption algorithm will also cause issues with using the Sky Italia viewing cards cards in non Sky Italia boxes.

A few years ago card sharing was more of a hobbiest thing, with people just playing around with their receivers to see what can be received. However, in the last few years card sharing has become more popular, and it can be said that the satellite broadcasters are starting to lose a large amount of subscription revenue and so it has become more financially viable for them to spend money on counteracting card sharing.

Theere have also been reports that Sky UK have had a few tests with the new encryption, and this has caused the back out of some channels on non sky receivers, but also due to their age, it also affected some older sky receivers!

It could well be that the days for using your Sky subscription viewing card in non Sky receivers are numbered.

If you are offered an installation with a non Sky receiver for using your Sky card in it may be worth asking your installer / supplier about the swapping the non Sky box for a Sky box if and when this becomes a reality.

For more information visit

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My installer says I need a Sky viewing card or else I will lose my BBC.

"My installer says I need a Sky viewing card or else I will loose my BBC."

I have been hearing this a few times in the last few weeks, sparked by the new White sky card that are being issued, and many people wondering what channels they will and will not be able to received if they do not have new white sky viewing card.

Many people are stil under the impression thatthey need a sky card, or even subscribe to sky with a monthly subscription payment, to be able to receive BBC channels.

BBC channels have been available for the last 6 years without a Sky viewing card.

You do not need a new white sky viewing card to view the BBC channels.

You do not even need a viewing card for many ITV1 regions, ITV2,3,4, or the Channels 4 channels.

You do need a viewing card for
ITV1 (in these regions only: Anglia W, Central SW, Mer N, Mer SE, TT S, Yorks E)
Channel 4 channels on frequency 12480
Channel 4 HD
Sky 3

And whilst I am here talking about viewing cards, someone emailed me saying they asked an installer if they could buy a new white freesatfromsky viewing card, and told Yes, but they will only work in our digiboxes, so you will also need to buy the digibox!!!!!

To say I was shocked was an understatement!!!
Many sky cards are interchangeable (at the moment anyway!) for many channels (except the Sky Sports and Movies channels) and so all that needed to be done was the card dealer just calls sky and gets the new card "paired" to the clients existing sky box!!
You do not need a new sky box unless your existing box is not working, not because you need a new white viewing card.

And one caller wanted me to confirm what thier installer had said to them She would need to buy a new sky box when Spain swicthes off their analogue TV signals and transfers to digital as the sky box will not work when these signals are switched off!!!!!!
Sky has been Digital for over 10 years now, and as Spanish TV is received via the TV aerial, the two systems are totally independant of each other.
You do not need to buy a new sky digibox because Spains TV system is changing!!

Some of the crap spouted by some "installers" or "companies" is totally unbeliveable.

Famaval Portuguese Dishes (1.8 1.9 2.4m) in Spain

A number of clients I have installed big 2.4m dishes for have commented that "I am not installing the Famaval Portuguese dish" I promised and quoted them. After assuring them I was (they are unique in the fact they have 24 holes around the rim for extention panels!") I asked them what triggered their question.

Apparently all Famaval dishes have the Famaval logo painted on them, to try and discourage installers from claiming dishes are Famavals when they are not.

All I can say is not all Famaval dishes have the Famaval logo painted on them! None of the Famaval 2.4m dishes I have installed this year have had the Famaval logo on them.

In fact you are able to identify that the 2.4m satellite dish you have is a Famaval 2.4m satellite dish, as it has a future proof option. You are able to extend a 2.4m satellite dish to 3.1m with panels.

This dish is easily distinguishable by the 24 small holes drilled round its perimeter for these panels to be fitted if need be in the future.

Monday, August 31, 2009

TDT and Pay TDT (Freeview) TV in Spain

Television in Spain is changing.
No longer do you have to put up with six or seven grainy, unwatchable TV channels.
Digital Terrestrial Television (TDT) is here, or rather has been here for a few years now.
Yu can received around 30 digital Spanish television channels for free - all the main Spanish channels and a load more - including a dedicated sports channel.

But also, there is a Pay TDT channel - GOLTV - a dedicated football channel, showing league and cup football from around the world, including UK Premiership football, La Liga and Champions League.
To access this pay TDT channels, you will require a viewing card from the broadcsaters, and a digital terrestrial receiver capable of reading the vewing card. The monthly subscription is 15€.

For more information visit

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sky TV in Spain

Sky TV in Costa Blanca Spain

Sky Satellite TV Channels are transmitted from four satellites, all located in the same "constellation". These are Astra 2a, 2b, 2d and Eurobird 1. Each of these satellites has a unique "beam" and so reception of channels on each of these satellites will vary. Many Sky subscription TV channels are able to be received on an 80cm dish across most of Europe. The channels on the stronger signal satellite include Channel Five, Fiver, Fiver+1, Five USA and Five USA+1, Sky News and BBC News.

Some Sky subscription TV channels are on a satellite whose signal tends to be weak during the afternoon. These channels include the majority of the Sky Movies channels, and many of the "+1" channels offered by the UKTV group.

There are also some Sky TV channels on the weaker satellite, Astra 2D. These include the Disney channels which are on the weakest of the two "beams", the horizontal frequencies. Reception of the frequencies on Astra 2D are the ones that require a "big dish", just as you would require for the BBC and ITV channels.
Sky TV channels are Pay / Subscription TV channels and require a Sky viewing card to view. It is, however, against the terms and conditions of your Sky viewing card contract to use the viewing card outside of the UK and ROI. Should Sky find out that you are using your sky viewing card in Spain, then they can deactivate the viewing card.

For more information visit

Monday, August 24, 2009

Freesat from Sky Cards - Important

Freesat from Sky Cards - Important

It looks like these typs of Sky viewing cards will be changing also soon......

Messages have been appearing on screens this weekend with a message along the lines of "Your viewing card is about to expire - you may lose channels after September 2009"

Unlike the new cards for Sky subscribers, Freesat replacement cards will not be sent out automatically, but via an onscreen message saying the card is due to expire and to contact Sky.

If you do nothing then you will loose access to any FTV channels:
ITV1 (in these regions only: Anglia W, Central SW, Mer N, Mer SE, TT S, Yorks E) Channel 4 HD FIVE FIVE USA, FIVE USA +1, FIVER, FIVER +1 Sky 3

If you purchased a Sky FTV card after 1st May 2006 you are entitled to a free replacement card. Either call Sky or apply for a new card online before the end of September 2009. You can apply online at: Just enter your viewing card number and it will tell you if you are eligible for a replacement.

Please note that this may be different if you bought your card from an agent or installer in Spain who may charge for a replacement! Similarly there is no mention if the new cards you will get are preactivated or you may also have to contact sky to get the cards activated.

For more information visit

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Five is MOVING from Astra 2a to 2d

Have you LOST Channel Five? No Signal Being Recived for Channel Five in Spain?

If you have a Sky card registered at a UK address in the Wales or West of England areas, then you may be experiencing difficulties in the reception of Channel FIVE. You may be getting the "No Satellite Signal Being Received" message.

This is because the version of Channel FIVE that serves this area has now stopped being transmitted from its "nice and easy Sky card" frequency of 12422H 27.5 2/3 and has been allocated the Freesat versions of Channel FIVE - on 10773 H 22 5/6.

This means that this version of Channel FIVE is only available as the same time as BBC2.

For more information visit


You can always programme into your "other channels" the other version of Channel FIVE - 12422H 27.5 2/3 where there are still 3 other UK version of Channel Five - North East and South.

Could this be the first stage of Channel FIVE becoming totally Free to Air (as I have mentioned a few times before)in conjunction with the UKs Digital Switch over process??

Will try to keep you posted as soon as I know...

Which Satellite receiver do you use for UK TV In Spain?

It just to see what sort of receivers people are using in the Costa Blanca and Spain...

and if there is a particular make that is dominant,
is HD really making an impact,
are PVRs (eg Sky+) popular,
are Freesat receivers as popular as it was thought it would be.

I understand that they all have their advantages and disadvantages

Vote via the link below (you will have to be a registered user to vote)

For more information visit

Monday, August 17, 2009

TDT / Freeview in Spain / GOL TV /Premier League Football

TDT (Television Digital Terrestrial) is the Spanish version of the UK's Freeview digital TV service.
With TDT you can get around 30 free digital TV channels, all depending on your location on the Costa Blanca.
All you need are a good TV aerial, a good amplifer system, and a TDT receiver - either a set top box of a TDT intergrated digital TV.

And this last week the Spanish Government have given the go-ahead for PAY TDT - pay channels on TDT

And in light of this one channel has recently been launched.
GOLTV is currently free, and is a dedicated football channel. In fact this wekend there were 3 live Premier League games shown...for free.
However reports suggest that GOLTV will become a full subscription service by the end of August - just in time to take advantage of the Spanish football season!

With the next analogue swicth off approaching (December 31st!) make sure you are not one who leaves the installation of digital TV until the last minute. Many programmes on the TDT system can be changed from Spanish into English!

The Sat and PC Guy can install these systems for you.

For more information visit

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

UK TV on a small 60cm Dish in Spain!

UKTV Direct from satellite / UK TV Channels on a small 60cm dish

There is a "new" type of rebroadcasting currently being pushed on a number of EXPAT forums for most of Europe, which claims that you can receive UK TV channels on an 60cm dish and the signals are from the satellite.. They claim (again!) that this is perfectly legal.

Its true, they are from a satellite - but not the main UK TV channels satellites - they are using a totally different satellite to rebroadcast channels to Spain. In fact, in essence, all that they are doing is rebroadcasting free to air channels via a satellite and not via a land based mast - like the current rebroadcasters.

Some "distributors" of this system are saying that it is all in HD...which is about 1% of the sense. They are using HD technology to compress 24 channels onto one frequency. Non of the channels are in HD, although you do need a HD receiver to decode these channels.

They are also stop people stealing their "stolen" signals.

Again, be wary of people offering this system. It comes with all the risks of a normal rebroadcaster, transmitting channels without the channel permission. Although many laws in the EU state that you can freely rebroadcast channels that are available free on satellite, many of these companies are overlooking all the national, EU and international copyright laws, that state that you can only broadcast copyrighted material (i.e. channels) "with the owners permission".

The BBC have reiterated the point that they do not licence any company in any EU country (apart from in Holland and in Switzerland) to rebroadcast their channels or copyrighted material, and those that would wish to do so would have to seek permission from them.

The kit is at least 500 euros and will require a annual subscription - I have see this to be around 200 to 300 euros a year. Bear in mind that some of the channels offered can be easily received in Spain FOR FREE on an 80cm dish!!

Discussion of this service has been removed from many satellite and expat forums due to questions over its legality, and so far investigations have not revealed the company who is operating these signals...something I am sure their clients would like to see before spending a large amount of money on this service.

I have heard that the UK broadcasters are pursuing legal options with the satellite operator. These "new" rebroadcasters are using Intelsat - a satellite which is also used for distributing Freeview to the UK, and for links and feeds (i.e. used by news channels), and this satellite operating company has close business ties with many official broadcasters.

I have never endorse or installed rebroadcast systems, and will never do so, until a true legal rebroadcast system that has all the required permissions from UK TV hcannels is available. Unfortunatly tthis could be a very long time in coming.

For more information visit

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

UK TV in Spain gets more complicated....

The National Police have arrested 60 people in connection with an investigation against the piracy of pay-TV channels. Among those arrested include hotel managers and presidents of neighboring communities that have defrauded a total of several million euros.

It appears that not only were these systems providing pay tv channels via "web streaming", but as a result of this investigation it was discovered that several local cable networks in Tenerife, Malaga, Cadiz, Cordoba and Granada, were 'rebroadacsting' specific channels and content to its subscribers, without the required authorizations.

and there is more....from a local news site

The one common denominator of all these rebroadcasting companies is that
they rebroadcast Free To Air (FTA) television signals however; none of them seem
to be able to provide legal paperwork stating that they have paid for the rights from each and every one of the FTA channels to do so
. BBC and ITV have stated that they do not have the rights to sell on their own channel rebroadcasting rights as they themselves negotiate rates with hundreds of individual production companies for the UK rights and these do not cover Europe. Confused? No wonder it’s taking so long to come to the Spanish Court system!
The first nail in the rebroadcasting coffin may be that the Spanish Secretary of
Telecommunications is now aware of the rebroadcasting of the Torresat Group
amongst others and that the distributor Filmax is considering taking action
against those using their content without the correct licences in place.
I would not be surprised if there are more police action over the coming months, and those rebroadcsat systems that are still showing Pay TV channels like Sky Sports may well have a visit in the near future.....
For more information visit

Monday, June 8, 2009

Default Transponder Frequency Settings for Sky Spain and Costa Blanca


When a Sky receiver / digibox / box is turned on the first time the first thing the box tries to do is, amongst other things, to download approximately 6 hours of EPG information from a specific default frequency from the satellite. The digibox must have this information to start to work.
Unfortunately, the default transponder frequency that the decoder is initially set on (11778) is one of the weaker signals in Spain and the Costa Blanca, especially during the afternoons. So should you experience one of Spain frequent power cuts during this period, your digibox may be unable to boot up.

Therefore, to assist the digibox to receive the bare minimum information it requires boot up the default frequency must be changed to another frequency to enable the initial information download.

The best / most popular default transponder frequency for the Costa Blanca Spain is 12.129, although you can use any of the many frequencies that you can actually receive at the time. Yes ANY frequency will work, as long as you can receive the particular frequency!

In most cases, after a successful download the default transponder frequency will return to 11778. This is normal, and you should not really expect the digibox to keep the default transponder you have manually input.

Changing this default transponder frequency on a Sky box does not increase how long channels are available, no matter what people tell you. It is only used to “assist” the receiver to boot up. For example if you change the default transponder frequency setting to another frequency setting, say 12129, then when you ask the receiver to change to Sky News the receivers will look for Sky News on 12207, and as a basic Sky receiver can only look at one frequency at a time, the default transponder setting of 12129 is not used and overridden. So this is why changing the default transponder does not increase the time a channel is available and why changing this frequency does not keep BBC or ITV One, Two, Three Four for longer.

You do not have to do this process for Freesat or Generic receivers, just Sky receiver.
If you want to see how this process works, you can watch a video of the operation

For more information visit

Thursday, May 21, 2009

British UK English TV In Costa Blanca Spain (Freeview Freesat TV Freesatfromsky Sky TV UKTV)

English / British / UK Television in Costa Blanca Spain

This page gives a summary of all the details within my main website ( with respect to receiving UK Television within Spain, and the various other services available, such as TDT - Spain's version of Freeview.

"Freeview" is the brand name of a UK Digital TV service ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE UK. It is available via TV aerials on the houses, and is only transmitted from TV transmitters in the UK. You will need either a Freeview "set top box" or a TV with Freeview built in. Again, Freeview is not available in Spain.
There are channels on the Freeview system that you have to pay for on via satellite - like Dave, UK History.

Spain has its own version of "Freeview" called Television Digital Terrestrial (TDT). There are approximately 30 digital Spanish TV channels via a TV aerial...many channels / programmes you can change the programmes into their original audio...not always English as a few German programmes have cropped will need a TDT "set top box" or a TV with TDT built in. Your existing television aerial may be ok for this but it may need to be reconfigured, and you may also require some signal amplifiers.
You can use a UK Freeview set top box to get TDT, but there are some limitations - language change options may be limited to English, Welsh and Gaelic, TDT uses frequency 69, UK Freeview set top boxes ma not be able to scan this frequency.
see or for more information

Freesat, a satellite version of Freeview, was launched in May 2008. Using an official Freesat receiver, you can watch the about 100 free satellite TV channels. All BBC channels, ITV1,2,3,4, C4, E4, More4, Film4 and FIVE are all free to watch on satellite. But some free channels the availability is limited due to signal strengths - so for example Five on Freesat will only be available at the same times as BBC2 as they share a frequency. FIVE with a Sky card (see below) is available 24/7 as this Sky FIVE is transmitted on a different frequency.
Official "Freesat" receivers currently only have about 100 TV channels on their EPG at the moment - but on some Freesat receivers you can manually add other channels not on the EPG using a "non-Freesat mode". They can only receive "free to air" channels. Freesat receivers will have the Freesat logo on them.
Some Freesat boxes have two modes. In Freesat mode the Freesat channels are in the Freesat EPG - the ones that have been officially added to the EPG and where new channels are updated automatically. In nonfreesatmode you can manually add other free channels into an other channel list - the nonfreesatmode channels list- by manually scanning the individual frequencies. To scan for channels, go to the menu and select Setup > Manual Tune. To switch back to Freesat mode after playing with the other channels, go to: Menu > STB Mode > Freesat It's handy being able to switch between Freesat and Non-Freesat channels, for situations where a channel is not yet part of Freesat, or is a Freesat-only channel. Note that when scanning for non-Freesat channels, the numbering sequence will be a bit odd, and also they can't be accessed via the Freesat Electronic Programme Guide.
There are basic Freesat receivers - Grundigs, Bush and Humax have had good reports for reception on the Costa Blanca.
HD Freesat receivers - the best being the Humax Foxsat Freesat HD receiver Freesat+ - Humax Foxsat HDR+ with inbuilt hard disk Freesat HD receivers will get you BBC HD channel and ITV HD Red button service. C4HD has not yet confirmed if or when it will be available on Freesat. Most come with a HDMI cable so that you can connect it directly to your HD TV - as long as it has a HDMI connection - and start watching HD TV straight away.
The Humax Freesat+ receiver is available December 2008 for around £300 It will have a 320GB hard drive that can store up to 80 hours of HD programming, or up to 200 hours of standard definition shows.

Freesatfromsky uses official Sky receivers and allows the viewing of many more free channels than Freesat. With a "Freesatfromsky" viewing card you can receive the FTA channels and Five, Five US and Fiver, Sky Three, Setanta Sports News.
The "Freesatfromsky" viewing cards are available in the UK for £20 (and some dealers may still be supplying them), and are subject to the same terms and conditions as a Sky subscription contract - including the "must not be used outside the uk". your viewing card can be disabled if Sky find out that you are using it outside the UK but if they don't know you are using one here in Spain....

If you have a Sky receiver and want to pay monthly used for Free to air, free to view and subscription channels...Again the viewing cards are subject to the same terms and conditions as a Sky subscription contract - including the "must not be used outside the uk". your viewing card can be disabled if Sky find out that you are using it outside the UK but if they don't know you are using one here in Spain.....
The best Sky receivers for Spain is the Pace 2600, followed by the Pace 430N. These ceased production about 5 years ago, and can only be bought as "reconditioned" units - or from Ebay. The best of the latest batch of Sky receivers is the Thomson, followed by the Amstrad. Avoid the Pace 440 and 445 - I have found these to be very poor performers.

Sky's award winning PVR. Pause Live TV, recording with no tapes, watch one channel whilst recording another channel, series linking. Available with ANY sky TV subscription package (from £17per month), or with no Sky TV subscription package for £10 per month - for the extra 7 quid best get at least 1 sky mix!

A Sky HD receiver will incorporate all the recording functions of the Sky+, but with the added ability to watch HD channels. BBC HD and C4 HD are available to watch without any subscription. For the other 30ish HD channels, you will need to pay an extra £10 per month for Skys HD Channels. Sky HD does not, at the moment, have access to ITV HD.
On any HD box you will get BBCHD
On a Freesat HD box you will get BBCHD and ITVHD
On a sky hd box you will get BBCHD and, with a freesatfromskycard, C4HD
On a sky hd box you will get BBCHD and, with a sky card with hd sub, C4HD and the other subscription HD channels depending on what sky mix you are on.

Note that many installers are using generic receivers (sometimes called Free To Air receivers) and calling them Freesat or Freeview receivers which may be confusing people. Official Freesat and sky receivers have a full 7 day programme guide...generic FTA receivers only have now and next programme information. Some generic receivers can also be modified with software to read Sky cards.

D+ is the Spanish satellite service. It is broadcast from two satellites - Astra 19E and Hispasat 30W. There is a variety of channels, from entertainment, movies and Sports. Many channels and programmes on the UK Sky system are also available on D+, and in most cases the language of the programmes can be changed into English. D+ can be received on a small satellite dish, approx 80cm. You will need an official D+ viewing card to watch these channels. Some, not all, TDT channels are also on D+.

BBC Prime
BBC Prime is a BBC pay channels for expats. It does not show movies or sport, but just home-grown programmes. It does show eastenders, and a variety of BBC and C4 programmes. The standalone version of BBC Prime that was on Hotbird will, by March 2009, only be available on Eurobird at 9 degrees east - so you may need your dish realigning. You will need an official BBC Prime subscription card available from BBC Prime is also available as part of some subscription packages. Some generic receivers have been able to access BBC Prime by software that removes the encryption. It now appears that BBC Prime has moved to version Viaccess 2.6. Therefore for those who were watching BBC Prime without paying for it, your screen will have gone blank.

MBC / Dubai One / Fox Movies / Arabic
You could always point a dish to badr / Arabsat at 26 degrees and look at the MBC 2,4,Action channels, the Fox Movie Channel, the Fox Series channel and Dubai One. These channels show various movies dramas and action series such as Once upon a time in Mexico, One Hour Photo ,The Rookie ,TRAINING DAY ,Taxi, Ghost Whisperer , Smallville , Grey's Anatomy , Hustle, Knight Rider, and older series of TOP GEAR!!! The channels and programmes are all mainly in English but with Arabic subtitles. All these channels are currently free to air, requiring a generic digital satellite receiver and at least an 80cm dish

The main BBC, ITV and C4 channels are free and do not require any Sky card or form of subscription (note some ITV regions do require a freesatfromsky or sky card) to view these channels.
All channels on Freesat (apart from ITV HD) are available on a sky receiver, and were also available for free before the launch of Freesat using a sky or generic receiver. Five, Five US, Five US+1, Fiver, Fiver+1 are all only available with a freesatfromsky or sky card at the moment. No monthly payments are required.

EU Television Without Frontiers
In 1989 the EU created the TVwF, as directive as to how it would like to see TV reception between member states. Various amendments have subsequently deemed the original proposals as unworkable (especially with PAY TV operations) but the directive is still alive and well and in use to level the playing field with broadcasters with rules on advertising, racial content, violence and protection of minors. One area that people quote me on is Article 2a 1. "Member States shall ensure freedom of reception and shall not restrict retransmissions on their territory of television broadcasts from other Member States for reasons which fall within the fields coordinated by this Directive." I refer them to Article 7 Member States shall ensure that broadcasters under their jurisdiction do not broadcast cinematographic works outside periods agreed with the rights holders.
Its all about copyright holders and the contracts signed between broadcasters and programme makers. So for example Sky cannot sign a deal with D+ in Spain to show Sky Sports without consulting all of the providers of their sport programmes (almost all are from third party programme makers) or the Governing bodies (like the FA), as these providers may have already signed deals with broadcasters in Spain who may object to the programmes they have paid for to be made available on another service (like TVE and the FA for Premier League TV rights)
The Freedom of Information Act (Various EU Directives) is covered by channels like BBC World News, the BBC World Service and Sky News - the UK Foreign Office partially fund the World Service and BBC World! These allow UK expats access to UK news and events and covers the requirements of the directive - it does not mean you should be allowed to receiver all the national channels!! Similarly all other European countries have at least one channels in their own language that offers similar services. For example TVEi is the international version of TVE for Spain which is available for free on various satellites.

UK TV channels are mainly broadcast from the Astra 2,a,b,c,and d and Eurobird 1 satellites located at 28.2 to 28.5 degrees east of south. There are other Astra satellites around also - which tend to do more European channels (Spain D+ is on Astra's at 19.2). Many channels are available with a small 80cm dish, but to get the BBC and ITV and C4's, which are on the weaker Astra 2D satellite you will require a "big dish". Note that reception of channels depends on your location and dish size.
As a rough guide: 80cm will get you some channels - approx 50% of what is available 1.4m will get more channels (including bbc1 and itv1,2,3,4) 1.8/2.4 will get even more channels (including bbc2 and c4) not all channels will be available all day.

There are two companies, both from Portugal, which produce what are regarded as the best quality and performing (for their price) satellite dishes for the Costa Blanca. Personally I have found that there is very little difference in the performance of both the Portuguese made 1.8m dishes (despite the propaganda!)
Famaval produce a 2.4m prime focus dishes which is identifiable with the holes around the rim of the dish, allowing extension panels to be added if required, to make the dish a 3.1m! For whatever reason I have found this Famaval 2.4m dish not to be as prone to rusting as the Famaval 1,8m counterpart!
Other 1.8 and 2.4m prime focus dishes are available and can be cheaper, like the Fortecstar Petal Dishes. Myself and some other installers do not recommend these "petal" dishes, as we have found them not to perform as good as their equivalent Famaval dishes. I have found that dishes made in Turkey generally perform poorer than those made in Portugal. They are made from spun steel, and can be identified by the "spin circles" on the back of the dish.
Some models of big dishes area actually two parts welded together - you can sometimes see the join along the dish!
Some other makes of dish, like Channel Masters, do perform much better than the Portuguese dishes, and their cost reflects this (around 2000euros).
For reference Famaval dish sizes are
1.4 prime focus Outside diameter: 1440mm x 1440mm Reflector diameter: 1330mm x 1330mm
1.8 prime focus Outside diameter: 1940mm x 1940mm Reflector diameter: 1790mm x 1790mm
2.4 prime focus Outside diameter: 2470mm x 2470mm Reflector diameter: 2290mm x 2290mm

Community Installs
It is possible for one dish to serve a number of receivers at different houses. If less than 4 connections are required then a 4 output LNB should be OK, with a cable from the dish to each location. If more than 4 connections are required, then the system will require a special signal distribution unit - called multiswitches.
These multiswicthes are strategically placed around the community to serve, and individual connections are made from these points. I personally run new cable in these systems, as you cannot rely on the condition of the existing cable. Ideally, the community will pay for the infrastructure required (dish, LNB, cables from LNB to multiswicthes, multiswicthes and amplifiers) and individuals will pay for the connection from the multiswitch to their house, and any receivers they require.
Permission must be sought for dishes to be installed on community areas, including apartment blocks. In privately owned houses, dish rules are fairly relaxed, but generally make sure it is installed in an area that wont upset your neighbours. You may also be required to ask your local town hall for permission to install a big dish.

Under the Rome Convention broadcasters have the right to authorize or prohibit the re-broadcasting of their broadcasts. "Re-broadcasting" is defined under the Rome Convention as the simultaneous broadcasting by one broadcasting organization of the broadcast of another broadcast organization. Broadcasters also have the right to authorize or prohibit the fixation of their broadcasts; the reproduction of unauthorized original fixations of their broadcasts; the reproduction for purposes other than those authorized fixations of their broadcasts.
Basically it says you need authorisation from the "Broadcasting organisations" like BBC and ITV to rebroadcast their transmission in the EU.
You may be using a rebroadcaster if your TV company:
is offering bbc and itv on a small dish or mesh aerial - these channels can only be legitimately received for free via a minimum of 1.4mdish (some areas 1.8m)
offers bbc and itv for a monthly subscription - bbc and itv are free on satellite and do not need a subscription
offers "freesat" with only 20 or 64 channels - by satellite you will receive over 100 free tv channels, not 20 or 64. the bbc have over 15 regional variations on satellite alone.
offers sky sports for less than £36 per month or setanta sports for less than £14 per month - the costs of legitimate subscriptions to these channels.
offers channels from other countries - channels like Showtime Sports for example.
says they get BBC and ITV from a satellite other than Astra 2, like Hotbird - bbc and itv are only broadcast on one "satellite constellation (those satellites at 28.3 to 28.5 degrees)
as these companies will more than likely be a rebroadcasting services who's signal may be terminated just like Telemicro.

Advantages of Satellite
With a sky or freesat receiver you can get bbc interactive, sky active and a full 7 day programme guide. you may need a big dish, you may pay more for the installation, but at least the signal is pretty much guaranteed as it it direct from the satellite and is not reliant on a third party. pure digital broadcasting (with some channels in full Dolby Digital sound), not reliant on second or third or fourth generation signals as the signals gets past from one rebroadcast transmitter to another.
Many ex rebroadcasting clients have commented on how good the signal direct from the satellite is compared to that of a rebroadcasted signal.
if you are in doubt as to whether or not it is OK to view free satellite tv channels (like BBC and ITV) in Spain via satellite see which says that "it may be possible outside the UK to use a satellite receiver to pick up channels available on freesat" - nothing about it being illegal - the technical term is "satellite signal overspill".
A final thought on this: if it was illegal to watch TV channels that were broadcasted for free, then all shops selling free to air receivers would be in trouble, as would Canal Digital + (the Spanish satellite service) as their receivers can also pick up free tv satellite channels from other countries.

Default Transponder Settings for Spain or Resetting your Sky Receiver after powercut
When a Sky receiver is first booted up, like after a power cut, then the first thing it requires to function is at least 6 hours of EPG information. It looks for this data on the Default transponder frequency of 11778. this frequency can be poor in Spain, and therefore the receiver will not be able to find the information is required and therefore will not work - giving the message "No satellite Signal is Being Received". Changing the default transponder to another frequency (i use 12129) allow the receiver to get the information it requires to function. No matter what people tell you changing this default transponder does not increase how long channels are available. It is only used to “assist” the receiver to boot up. It is normal for the Default Transponder to revert back to 11778 once the receiver is functioning.
See the link in the menu on the left hand side of the screen to help reset your sky digibox.

Auto Standby
Sky has been deploying new receiver software, and incorporated in to this is a new feature designed to help save energy when the Sky receiver is not being used. If the box hasn't been used for a period of two hours after 11pm, or for four hours during the day time, an ‘Auto Standby' message will pop up on screen for three minutes. If there's no further use the box will go into Standby mode automatically, until the user turns it back on. This can be an issue if you are using a VCR to record things from the Sky receivers as when the receiver goes into Autostandby mode you will record a blank (or blue!) screen if the box has shut down.... You can turn it off by using the option in Services (Sky+ Setup for + and HD users!)

Electronic Programme Guide (EPGs)
Sky's Electronic Programme Guide is used on Sky receivers. Although all the frequencies used by Sky transmit limited EPG information, the main EPG data is transmitted on one frequency - 11778. You may notice that this frequency is also the main Default Transponder - and the same frequency that is measured in the Sky receivers Signal Test screen. This frequency's reception varies greatly during the day and may not be available 24/7 - especially during the afternoon, and also certain Sky receivers really do not like this frequency. Hence why you may only get a limited (6 hours or so, EPG information in the EPG.
The Freesat EPG is transmitted from a different frequency to Sky (in fact it is on a different satellite!), whose reception is widely available over Europe - hence why you do not have to change the Freesat receiver "default transponder". It was the fact that the Freesat EPG would be easily available over Europe on a small dish that lead many, including installers, into thinking that all channels on Freesat would be available all over Europe in a small dish. Where as in fact both Sky and Freesat EPGs point to the same frequencies for the channels they use (apart from FIVE!)
For more information visit

UK Freeview In Spain

How can I view / watch Freeview in Spain?

A question I get asked many times!

You cannot receive UK Freeview in Spain, but you can watch some of the channels that are on the Freeview by satellite.


Let me explain.

"Freeview" is the brand name of a UK Digital TV service ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE UK. Freeview is transmitted in the UK only by the local TV transmitters, like Emley Moor. It is received by TV aerials, and a Freeview receiver (either a set top box or intergrated Freeview TV.)

Freeview is not the same as Freesat – a common misconception - even by some satellite installers here in Spain who do not know the difference!!!

Freesat is transmitted from satellites and only receivable via a satellite dish.

However, many of the channel available on Freeview are also available for free on satellite, either via a Sky receiver or a Freesat receiver. There are channels on Freeview that you have to pay for on Sky - like Dave, UK History.

The Spanish version of Freeview is TDT. With TDT you can receive around 30 Spanish digital TV channels. Many of these TDT channels have programmes and films made in the USA and English, and in many cases, you are able to change the audio soundtrack of these into English.

For more information visit

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BBC Satellite Television Channel Reception Costa Blanca Spain

BBC Satellite Television Channels are transmitted from two satellites in the same "constellation". On both satellites they are available for free, with no Sky viewing card required. They are classed as free to air channels.
The BBC channels are split between two satellites, one has a vey strong signal for the Costa Blanca, and the other has a weak signal.
The channels on the stronger signal satellite include BBC News, BBC Parliament, the BBC Sports Interactive streams, BBC Radio 1,2,3,4 and many other radio stations. This signal can be easily received on an 80cm satellite dish around the majority of Europe., and why you can receive them even when you have lost the main BBC1 channels.
On the weaker satellite, Astra 2D, there are two "beams", vertical and horizontal. The channels on the vertical frequencies tend to be much stronger than those on the horizontal frequencies . Most of the BBC1 regions (apart from BBC1 London) tend to be on the stronger vertical frequencies . BBC2, Cbeebies, CBBC, BBC Three and BBC Four are all on the weaker horizontal frequencies. Hence why you can get BBC1 Channel Islands for more hours during the day than BBC2!
Reception of the frequencies on Astra 2D are the ones that require a "big dish".

The BBC channels are located on several frequencies.

10773 H 22000 5/6
BBC One LondonBBC Two EnglandBBC Four (20-04)CBBC (08-20)CBeebies UK (07-20)BBC Three (20-05)BBC One Northern Ireland

10778 V 22000 5/6
BBC One West MidlandsBBC One North WestBBC One East Yorkshire & LincolnshireBBC One Yorkshire & North MidlandsBBC One East MidlandsBBC One East

10803 H 22000 5/6
BBC One WalesBBC Two WalesBBC One ScotlandBBC Two ScotlandBBC Two Northern IrelandBBC Radio 5 LiveBBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

10818 V 22000 5/6
BBC One WestBBC One South EastBBC One SouthBBC One South WestBBC One North East & CumbriaBBC One Oxford

10847 V 22000 5/6
BBC One CambridgeBBC One Channel IslandsBBC HD UK

11954 H 27500 2/3
BBC NewsBBC ParliamentBBC AlbaBBC Radio 1BBC Radio 2BBC Radio 3BBC Radio 4BBC Radio 4 LWBBC Radio ScotlandBBC Radio WalesBBC Radio UlsterBBC Asian NetworkBBC World Service UKBBC Radio CymruBBC 1XtraBBC 6 MusicBBC Radio 7BBC Radio nan GaidhealBBC London 94.9 FM

12441 V 27500 2/3
BBC Interactive Streams


for more information visit

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What size satellite dish do I need to receive BBC ITV Sky TV on the Costa Blanca, Spain

It is important to ensure that you are using the correct size satellite dish to receive the channels you want to watch. A Sky minidish, used in the UK, is pretty much useless for reception on the Costa Blanca. Many channels can be received on an 80cm dish, but if you want to watch the main UK television channels, like BBC ITV C4, then a much bigger dish will be required.

Generally to receive the main UK television channels, like BBC ITV C4 , for the area that I cover, either a 1.8 or 2,4m satellite dish is required. In some areas around Oliva for example a 1.8m satellite dish will suffice, but in areas where the signal can be obstructed (areas with trees, mountains) a 2.4m satellite dish is recommended.

Of course the size of satellite dish is dependant on a few things such as what channels you want to watch, what is your budget and where are you site the satellite dish.

In general, with a 1.8m or 2.4m satellite dish, you should receive BBC1, ITV1. ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 for 24 hours a day. You may find that even on a 2.4m satellite dish you may loose bbc1 and the ITV channels late at night, when the signal is weakest.

In some northern areas of the Costa Blanca BBC2 and Channel 4 should be available until around 6pm. The Freesat version of FIVE will also be available for the same times as BBC2.

In some southern areas of the Costa Blanca BBC2 and Channel 4 should be available from around 6pm. The Freesat version of FIVE will also be available for the same times as BBC2.

The majority of the Sky subscription package is available 24 hours a day.

Some channels, particularly the Sky Movies channels, may fade out during the late afternoon. These channels are on the notoriously tricky North beams.

Don't forget the the weather can affect the reception of channels - heavy cloud or rain can weaken the already weak signals - it is not always sunny in Spain. Summer haze around the coast can also weaken the signals.

for more information have a look at

Jon Worby - May 2009