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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Spanish Digital TV Changes in 2014

During January 2014 some of the Spanish digital television channels must vacate their current frequencies.
Spanish Digital TV TDT

From the Costa Blana News - Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Digital TV re-tuning next year MORE than 300,000 communities of residents in the Valencia Region will have to pay in the region of €600 sometime over the next 12 months to have their TV antennas retuned so that they can pick up digital (TDT) transmissions. Two years after the analogue signal was switched off in Spain, the government is forcing property owners to pay to retune because it made a mistake when the TDT signal was first allocated. On January 1, 2014, the current TDT signal will be switched off - one year before the rest of the EU.

The affected frequencies have been sold to provide more frequency capacity for the 4G / LTE mobile broadband technology. It is thought that the "auctioning off" of theswe frequencies will result in an income of about 12,000 million euros (about 1% of GDP).

The frequencies of 790 megahertz (MHz) to 862 MHz are are currently used for the Spanish digital television channels, ranging from 61 to 69. With recent advances in encoding and compression techology of television signals, this will mean that there hsould be no reduction or loss of Spanish Digital Television channels.

This was one of the greatest fears of the change, as it was initially thought that there could have been a 50% reduction in the number of current channels.

Spanish Digital TV Changes in 2014 - how it can impac your viewing

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Live F1 Formula One Grand Prix Races on BBC and Sky Sports f1 HD for 2013 season


The full 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship Race Calendar is as follows:

17 March Australian Grand Prix
24 March Malaysian Grand Prix
14 April Chinese Grand Prix
21 April Bahrain Grand Prix
12 May Spanish Grand Prix
26 May Monaco Grand Prix
09 June Canadian Grand Prix
30 June British Grand Prix
7 July German Grand Prix
21 July TBA Grand Prix
28 July Hungarian Grand Prix
25 August Belgian Grand Prix
08 September Italian Grand Prix
22 September Singapore Grand Prix
06 October Korean Grand Prix
13 October Japanese Grand Prix
27 October Indian Grand Prix
03 November Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
17 November United States Grand Prix
24 November Brazilian Grand Prix  

PDC Darts 2013 World Championship Live and Free on Satellite TV

The 2013 World Darts Championship from the PDC starts on 14 December 2012 and will finish on 1 January 2013.

It it being held at the Alexandra Palace, London, England.

In the UK, the 2013 World Darts Championship will be shown live on Sky Sports, and in high definition on Sky Sports HD.

Additionally, the semi-finals and final will be broadcast in 3D on Sky Sports 3D.

Sky Sports requries a Sky Sports subscription.

However, the 2013 World Darts Championship is available to be watched for free on satellite TV.

Sport1 is showing the 2013 World Darts Championship live and for free.

Sport1 is available for free on Astra 1M satellite, located at 19.2 east.
Sport 1 frequency is 12480.00 V 27500 3/4.

Sport1 programme listing is at :

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Loss of UK TV channels in Spain - some questions and answers

With all the recent gossip, rumours, and expat bar chat, about the possible loss of UK TV in Spain, and the threat of the UK satellite TV channels “going off the air in Spain”, I hope this quick question and answer post can help with some explanations about what is happening.

Why are we losing reception of out UK TV channels?

Monday, December 17, 2012

BBC Sport to replay the best of 2012 - Red Button Schedule

BBC Sport are giving sports fans the opportunity to relive some of the most memorable moments from a tremendous year of sporting action throughout the festive period.

From Tuesday 18 December through to New Years Eve, viewers can relive the memorable moments from London 2012, Euro 2012, Wimbledon, The Six Nations and the F1 Grand Prix season on the BBC Red Button, online, via connected TV, tablet and mobile devices.

Below is the schedule so you will not miss your favourite moment from an incredible year of sport.
Olympics Super Saturday
Tuesday 18 December 15:00; Christmas Day 17:15 & 23:30
Relive the evening dubbed “Super Saturday” at the London 2012 Olympic Games when Team GB won three gold medals in a magical 45 minutes thanks to Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford. Across the city, Michael Phelps swam in his final Olympic race to round off a record-breaking career.

Olympics Super Sunday
Tuesday 18 December 17:30; Christmas Day 19:45; Boxing Day 02:00
Another chance to see Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and compatriot Yohan Blake battle for the title of world’s fastest man on the ninth evening of the London Olympic Games, racing in the final of the men’s 100m sprint. On the same night, Team GB’s Christine Ohuruogu fell just short in her quest to retain her 400m title, claiming silver behind Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States.

Wimbledon Men’s Final
Wednesday 19 December 11:00 & 19:30; Wednesday 28 December 00:30
Roger Federer broke British hearts by defeating Andy Murray in the Wimbledon men’s singles final. Murray had become the first British man to make the final since Bunny Austin in 1938, but the 25-year-old could not overcome Federer, losing in four sets as the Swiss claimed a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title.

Wimbledon Ladies’ Final
Wednesday 19 December 22:30; Thursday 20 December 11:00
Serena Williams won her fifth Wimbledon singles title by overcoming a determined effort from Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska. Williams later followed up her singles success to also claim the ladies’ doubles title with big sister Venus.

Olympic Cycling
Friday 21 December 14:00; Christmas Day 21:45; Boxing Day 04:00
Team GB took their track cycling medal haul to seven on the final night of action at the Olympic Velodrome, matching their tally from Beijing 2008. Sir Chris Hoy won gold in the keirin to become Britain’s most decorated Olympian, while Victoria Pendleton retired with a silver medal and Laura Trott claimed her second gold in her first Olympic Games.

Olympic Boxing
Friday 21 December 15:45; Sunday 30 December 1900; New Year’s Eve 17:45
Another chance to see the historic session in London’s ExCeL where Nicola Adams became the first female boxer to win a gold medal, closely followed by Ireland’s Katie Taylor amid a raucous atmosphere.

Six Nations – England v Wales
Friday 21 December 17:15; Boxing Day 20:00; Thursday 27 December 02:15
Wales won the Triple Crown with nail-biting victory over England at Twickenham in front of a crowd of 81,598. England had an opportunity to win the game in the dying seconds, only for David Strettle’s try to be ruled out by the video referee.

Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix
Sunday 23 December 13:00; Christmas Eve 03:00; Boxing Day 21:45
A chance to relive the dramatic climax to the 2012 Formula 1 season as Sebastian Vettel fought his way through the field to claim the World Championship after a first-lap collision left him in last place. The Red Bull driver made his way up to sixth to claim a third successive title, beating Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by just three points.

Olympic tennis men’s singles final
Sunday 23 December 15:30; Christmas Eve 00:30; Friday 28 December 20:30
Britain’s Andy Murray avenged his Wimbledon singles final defeat to Roger Federer with an emphatic straight-sets victory to claim Olympic gold. Murray became the first British man to win the Olympic singles since Josiah Ritchie in 1908, with the emotional win spurring him on to claim a first Grand Slam title at the US Open the following month.

Euro 2012 final – Italy v Spain
Boxing Day 18:00; Thursday 27 December 00:15; Sunday 30 December 16:00
Reigning champions and favourites Spain comfortably beat Italy 4-0 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. Spain became the first team to win two consecutive European Championships, and the first international team to win three straight major tournament titles.

Olympic diving
Thursday 27 December 19:00; New Year’s Eve 16:00
Tom Daley’s 10-metre men’s platform diving final began in dramatic fashion when a large number of camera flashes caused him to dive poorly and lead to a protest over the situation to the referee. Daley then made a successful re-dive and thrilled the nation by winning the bronze medal in a hotly contested final.

Samsung's Smart TV : hackers claim they can access its hard drive and seize control of built-in cameras

Samsung's Smart TV : hackers claim they can access its hard drive and seize control of built-in cameras

Samsung's Smart TV could used by hackers to watch everything that happens in your living room by gaining access to the device's built-in camera and microphones, it has been claimed.
Malta-based security firm ReVuln posted a video showing how its researchers had learned to crack the television to access its settings - including any personal information stored on it.
'We can install malicious software to gain complete root access to the TV,' they claim in the video.

With such malware installed, hackers could use the Smart TV's built-in microphones and camera to hear and see everything in front of it.
Samsung's Smart TV can be used to browse the internet, use social networks, watch net-based commercial film streaming services and play online games, among other things, from the comfort of your sofa.
The devices can also be controlled by voice commands and gestures, using their microphones and cameras to detect what is happening in front of them.

However, while the Smart TV's are connected to the internet they are vulnerable to hackers who can access the device and access files stored on them.

Luigi Auriemma, co-founder of ReVuln, says he has found a way to track down the IP address of the device and gain access to seize control and scour any drives connected to it.

The video appears to show he is able to access remote files and information like the viewing history, as well as siphon data from USB drives attached to a compromised set.

Mr Auriemma told Ars Technica: 'At this point the attacker has complete control over the device.

'So we are talking about applying custom firmwares, spying on the victim if camera and microphone are available, stealing any credential and account stored... on the device, using his own certificates when accessing https websites, and tracking any activity of the victim (movies, photos, music, and websites seen) and so on.
'You become the TV.'

The research raises the possibility that owners of consumer devices connected to the Internet are exposing themselves to similar kinds of security threats that faced by users of personal computers, Ars Technica notes.
Devices from lighting systems to air conditioners to computer games consoles now rely on online functionality, but their operating systems often do not have the same kinds of security measures now commonly deployed on Microsoft and Apple powered devices.

At the moment, ReVuln's exploit only works once hackers have managed to breach the network which the television is connected to. As such, Mr Auriemma told NBC News, he expects the main danger is of hackers targeting specific companies or individuals.

'In our opinion, it’s more interesting and realistic to think about attacks [against] specific targets reached via open/weak/hacked Wi-Fi or compromised computers of a network, instead of mass-exploiting via the Internet,' he said.

'That’s interesting due to the effects of the vulnerability (retrieving information and the possibility of monitoring) which are perfect for targeted attacks, from a specific person with a TV at home to a company with TVs in its offices.'

Revuln plans to sell information on the vulnerabilities to the highest bidder, the Register reported, claiming this will 'speed up' fixes faster than merely reporting them to the manufacturer.

The company would not go into details about the flaws it has discovered.
The possibilities of such vulnerabilities are worrying with increasing numbers of consumer electronics devices being equipped with sensors, cameras and microphones to detect what is happening around them.

Earlier this month it emerged that U.S. cable provider Verizon has applied to patent a set-top box technology that can observe what's going on in the room and show viewers adverts based on what it detects.

In U.S. Patent Application 20120304206 the company suggests it could detect when people are 'cuddling' then show 'a commercial for a romantic getaway vacation, a commercial for a contraceptive, a commercial for flowers [...] etc.'.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said of that device: 'Smart TVs with in-built cameras and microphones are a privacy nightmare waiting around the corner.

'It is only a matter of time before technology using facial recognition, audio analysis and monitoring what you watch is common place.

'What is essential is that consumers know exactly what they are buying and where the data is going.'

A spokesman for Samsung said: 'We have discovered that only in extremely unusual circumstances a connectivity issue arises between Samsung Smart TV’s released in 2011 and other connected devices. We assure our customers that our Smart TVs are safe to use.

'We will release a previously scheduled software patch in January 2013 to further strengthen Smart TV security. We recommend our customers to use encrypted wireless access points, when using connected devices.'


Thursday, December 13, 2012

BBC Channels to move from 1N to 2E in "summer 2013"

According to the BBC, BBC services will move from Astra 1N satellite to Astra 2E in the second half of 2013.

"SES expects Astra 2E to launch in Q2 2013, so we currently expect to transition BBC services to it during summer 2013." - say the BBC.

So no BBC channel or reception changes until then - so much for all the rumours about loss of BBC on the 16th and 18th December!!

However, it remains to be seen what Astra 2Es reception in Spain will be like, and this may not be 100% known until operational

The full text

I’m conscious that there is currently some speculation about the timing of forthcoming moves of BBC services between satellites and the reason for these changes. So I thought you would appreciate it if I set the record straight. The quick answer is that, as a result of SES’s fleet replacement programme, BBC services will move in the second half of 2013.

Regular readers will recall that in February 2012, SES retired Astra 2D and BBC services moved to a new temporary home on Astra 1N. Astra 1N is due to take up its permanent position in 2013 (19°East), so the BBC’s services will move to their new permanent home on Astra 2E (28.2°East) when that becomes operational. SES expects Astra 2E to launch in Q2 2013, so we currently expect to transition BBC services to it during summer 2013.

Some of you have also noticed that we commissioned a new transponder (which we call DSat8) in the autumn. It moved from its temporary home on Astra 1N to its permanent position on Astra 2F at the end of November 2012. DSat8 is still in a testing phase but in the coming months it will be used to broadcast BBC One Scotland HD and BBC One Wales HD as we complete the programme of providing all Nations programming in glorious HD. We’ll be publishing the details of DSat8 on our satellite reception advice page when the services launch.

I hope that clarifies the timings of moves and also that the moves relate to the SES fleet replacement programme, rather than any BBC strategy to change its footprint. That said, the new transponders do have a slightly different footprint, so I’ll explain a bit about that, and why the changes are no cause for concern for the BBC in our requirement to ensure that the BBC’s domestic services are readily accessible to people living in the UK.

What impact will all this have for the viewer?

In all likelihood the move of BBC services from 1N to their new permanent homes will have no impact on UK households. Astra 2E and 2F have the same, tighter but slightly more powerful UK spot beams which means that UK households should get a slightly stronger signal. So if you happened to be on the edge of coverage, you will hopefully get more reliable reception.

The overspill of the BBC’s services will be reduced so viewers outside the UK will find it even harder to receive them. I know that this causes unhappiness to some of you living outside the UK. However, it is entirely appropriate because the BBC domestic services are for people living in the UK only.

For viewers outside the UK, BBC Worldwide offers a number of channels which are available in various territories. These include BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies along with BBC World News throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

I hope the detail above helps you to understand a bit more about the changes coming in the second half of 2013 and the reason for them. Finally, thank you to SES for the lovely pictures of Astra 2F.


One would also assume that the other ITV C4 channels on 1N would move to 2E at the same time then...

And perhaps Astra 2F will have the same reception as Astra 2E...thei reception maps from Astra are very similar - Astra 2E Recetpion Maps Astra 2F Reception maps

And that the changes rumoured to be happening on the 16th and 18th December is actually the transfer of some Sky channels from another satellite (astra 2B) to Astra 2F.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New HD channel coming in December : RT HD

RT HD (Russia Today HD), the Russia-based news channel, is set to launch 16th December 2012.

A looped trailer has been playing to state that the service is "starting 16th December".

It is currently unknown if the service will appear on both Sky and Freesat EPGs replacing the current standard definition version for owners of HD receivers.

RT originally launched under the brand "Russia Today" in 2005. The channel reportedly has an annual budget of around $300 million.

Satellite: Manual tuning details:
Eutelsat 28A
Frequency: 11223.67, Vertical polarisation,
FEC:  2/3
Symbol Rate:  27500

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Astra 2F: UK TV satellite update - loss of channels in Spain?

Astra 2F Update 07/12/2012 :

According to to the phone calls and email from worried people, Spain will lose all BBC and ITVs on the 16th December...but no-one can provide any evidence of this....or where this date of the 16th December has come from.
My view: it is probably nothing to do with BBC and ITVs.
a) It could be the date where some of the Sky channels move from their satellite (Astra 2B) onto the new Astra 2F satellite. Reception will vary as these channels may go onto the UK beam, or European beam...if Sky really want to keep expats paying and the revenue coming in, they will be on the European beam
b) It could be the date that Sky close changes to their system, so there is no disruption to TV over Xmas.
c). SES, who own and operate the satellites, specifically said that on the 4th only 5 frequencies would move from Astra 1N to the new Astra 2F, and that would complete this stage of migration. So maybe the remaining frequencies on Astra 1N that carry BBC and ITV will not move to 2F, but to the next new satellite, 2E, after it is launched Q1 2013...
d) No mention from anywhere by SES about the 16th...
No-one outside Astra and the broadcasters will know until it happens.

Still more UK TV satellite changes to come...

Despite what you may have already heard the long awaited satellite change has not happened - well not completely.

Only a handful of channels have moved satellites (Fives, C4HD, 4seven, and a few ITV1 regions).
Hence why some people may have lost reception of these channels on smaller satellite dishes.

We are still awaiting for the majority of the channels from BBC ITV C4 to move. At the moment we do not know when this will be. It could be this month, it may even be as late as April/May next year.

Danish police shut cardsharing website

Police in Denmark has closed down the website, for the first time confiscating the domain itself.

The website has long been a thorn in the side of local pay-TV operators Canal Digital and Viasat. The site had offered ‘pirate’ subscriptions to the platforms through so-called card sharing over the internet.

The public prosecutor for serious economic crime said this was the first time that police had taken over a domain in connection with a criminal case.

In order to carry it out it was necessary for the attorney general to ask a court for approval in transferring the domain.

The case came to the attention of the authorities following the intervention of the pan-Nordic anti-piracy organization STOP.

Separately, the Swedish culture minister Lena Adelsohn Roth says the government there intends to introduce legislation making it illegal to watch pay-TV without paying the fee.

It intends to make devices for unpaid reception of pay-TV channels illegal.

Card sharing networks are already illegal in Sweden.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 2012 Update : Channel Movement From Astra 1N to Astra 2F

December 2012 Update : Channel Movement From Astra 1N to Astra 2F

On Tuesday 4th December 2012, a number of channels and frequencies moved from their temporary satellite home Astra 1N, to their new home on Astra 2F.

The channels and frequencies affected are :
10.964 H SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (CH5/5USA/5*/Channel 5+1),
10.994 H SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (ITV 1 Granada HD/ITV 1 Central South West SD/ITV 1 Anglia West SD/ITV 1 Meridian North SD/ITV 1 Yorkshire East SD/ITV 1+1 Yorkshire SD),
11.052 H SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (ITV 1 Central South SD/ITV 1 Central East SD/ITV 1+1 Wales SD/ITV 1+1 Westcountry SD/ITV 1+1 Tyne Tees SD)
11.126 V SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (Channel 4 HD/4Seven SD)

There have been many reception reports for Astra 2F in Spain.

The initial indication are that there are areas of Spain that are now experiencing "no satellite signal" messages for these channels are the southern areas of Spain, like AndalucĂ­a, Malaga, Marbella and the Costa Del Sol.

Previously these areas benefitted from "bonus" reception due to a "side lobe" on Astra 2D, meaning they could receive most of the main UK TV channels on a "medium" sized satellite dish - such as a 1.25m satellite dish.

However, with the change of these channels from Astra 1N to Astra 2F, these dishes are now simply too small to receive Channel Five and Channel 4HD.

A larger satellite dish will be required to be able to receive these channels again. What sized satellite dish to be able to receive these channels is currently debateable, as there are numerous conflicting reports for these areas.

However, it may be best to wait until the main bulk of the UK TV channels, like BBC and ITV move to their new satellite, whenever this may be. Only then can you be sure what sized satellite dish you will need to be able to receive these channels. There is no point in buying a 1.4m satellite dish today, if it is unknown and not guaranteed to receive the BBC channels when they move to their new satellite!

And at the moment, no-one knows what that will be.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Astra 2F UK Satellite changes last night - potentially some loss of UK TV channels in some areas of Spain

Astra 2F UK Satellite changes last night - potentially some loss of UK TV channels in some areas of Spain

A few (not all!) channels and frequencies moved from their old satellite to the new Astra 2F satellite last night.

The channels and frequencies affected are :
10.964 H SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (CH5/5USA/5*/Channel 5+1),
10.994 H SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (ITV 1 Granada HD/ITV 1 Central South West SD/ITV 1 Anglia West SD/ITV 1 Meridian North SD/ITV 1 Yorkshire East SD/ITV 1+1 Yorkshire SD),
11.052 H SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (ITV 1 Central South SD/ITV 1 Central East SD/ITV 1+1 Wales SD/ITV 1+1 Westcountry SD/ITV 1+1 Tyne Tees SD)
11.126 V SR 22.000 FEC 5/6 (Channel 4 HD/4Seven SD)

People in some areas may notice loss of these channels on smaller 80cm or 1m dishes (especially if they are not aligned properly!)

But this does not mean the other channels (BBC ITV C4s) will not be moving - it is simply a question of when!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New channels coming to Freesat - Pick, Challenge and Sky News

Challange, Pick TV and Sky News will be launching on Freesat Monday 3rd December.

They are expected to be on the following Freesat channel numbers.

144 - Pick TV
145 - Challenge
202 - Sky News

Pick and Challenge have only this year been "free to air" and not requiring a Sky card to view.

All three channels have been available to Freesat users in "non freesat mode".

But it now looks like these three channels will now be avilable in Freesat mode.