06/22/2012 - 16:52

I KNOW WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE...........Is anybody getting UK TV (and maybe SKY) here in central Italy OTHER THAN via the Internet ?If so............please let me know howThanks in advance,S


I have recently fiddled with my setup and can now receive BBC, ITV and Ch4 with various regional variations. Apparently the reason is that all the channels have been switched from Astra 2D to Astra 1N. My dish wasn't adjusted properly and I had to make some adjustments (you probably don't need to do this if you were already getting UK channels before the change). However I went on the internet and found a list of transponders for Astra 1N, then used this info to scan for channels using the "other channels" option on my Sky box and found all the channels described above. Let me know if this helps. You can also try looking at the Astra 2D forum, which has lots of info. Regards Roddy

In reply to by Roddyb

OK, I admit I am awful at anything technical, so this is probably a really stupid question - but please bear with me... You say you scan for channels...on other channels. I have Italian sky...and DO know where the other channels option do I literally just click on that option and then "search" or something, or does the satellite dish have to be moved too? Any idiot proof advice very welcome. Thanks!

I'm no expert, but I believe for Sky Italia that the dish is pointing at another satellite somewhere around 13 degrees east. If that is correct then it's not going to find any channels from Astra 1N. As for adjusting the dish, I don't know if that would help as I don't know whether a Sky Italia box can decode the Astra signals. Sorry I can't be of more help. Maybe you can go on one of the internet forums for satellite matters and get more info. Regards Roddy

Further to my previous message I realised later that you may not actually have a dish and receiver. If not then my apologies for any confusion caused by my message. I am using a Pace 2600 box (Freesat card required) bought on ebay, with a 1.8 m Channelmaster dish (I believe others are using much smaller dishes in central Italy). The dish is pointing to 28.2 degrees east. Regards Roddy

You need a 1.8m dish + secondhand pace/sky digi box (£20-£30) on ebay A 1.8 dish is not cheap and here in Italy will cost you a fortune, we have a petal dish which comes in 6 sections and can be bought online in UK for £120 approx' People do say there a load of rubbish but you just need to assemble properly. We get all the BBC & ITV + plus the free sky ones Enjoy

In reply to by Brianm

I managed to find a 1.8 m channelmaster for about 450 euros through a company called Diemme in Genoa, of course I then had to arrange transportation which was another 130 euros. Quite pricey but the ones I found from UK suppliers were extortionate. If I recollect correctly Satellite Superstore is in excess of £750!

We live in central Abruzzo near Teramo. A couple of months ago, I posted on Abruzzolutely about my experience in setting up a 2.4 metre dish: For more than two years, we subscribed to UK Sky while using a 90 cm dish. Although we were getting quite a few channels, we didn't get all the Sky channels we were paying for and we never received any BBC channels. Now, we have got rid of the Sky subscription fee and we receive the same channels as anyone in Britain using the Freesat service. I was interested to see that Roddyb is able to get the same channels as us using a 1.8 metre dish. If his profile information is correct, he's at about the same latitude as our house, but around 120 km to the west. That might make signals a tiny bit easier to receive at his place, but I suspect the difference is minimal. I think it will be interesting to see if either or both of us continue to be able to receive the BBC when their transmissions are taken off the Astra 1N satellite at the end of this year or beginning of next. I agree with what Brianm says about "petalised" dishes. I did read some negative comments about them in the expat satellite TV forums I glanced at before buying our dish, and I can easily see how our dish could have ended up a distorted, useless mess if put together by someone with little manual dexterity and less common sense. Our dish did require some care to assemble correctly so that each of the petals aligned neatly with its neighbours, but it really wasn't all that difficult or time consuming. I don't have the equipment necessary to properly measure the difference in the signals we got with our old dish compared to the new, but it's definitely a fact that we now have a full channel list whereas before we just had a few. Our Freesat box is showing the BBC, ITV, C4 and 5 channels all at about 75% signal strength and 95% signal quality. The minor channels seem to be normally about 80% strength and quality. Unfortunately, it seems that buying a dish like ours - a FortecStar 2.4 metre - is very difficult at the moment. Someone we know was inspired by our experience to get his own big dish, but he has had major difficulties doing so. Apparently, the Italian retailers he has contracted have given him grossly over-priced quotes, nobody in Britain is selling the dish any more and the only options he has discovered involve paying a lot more than the £250 which we did and then paying even more than that for shipping from Spain or Germany. Oh, and while I'm also far from expert on this, I'm pretty certain that Roddyb is right when he says that you can't get UK Sky on a Sky Italia box. It is very definitely the case that the satellite used by Sky Italia is not in the same spot in the sky as UK Sky, so you won't find UK channels just be fiddling around with the settings on a Sky Italia box which is attached to a dish pointing at Sky Italia's satellite. Al

Hi Allan, You do indeed have a HUGE dish ! An installer locally here is providing 1.2mtr dishes and (I THINK) pointing to Astra 1N (or it maybe Astra 1S ??), which provides access to BBC etc. Your comment "I think it will be interesting to see if either or both of us continue to be able to receive the BBC when their transmissions are taken off the Astra 1N satellite at the end of this year or beginning of next." ..........I wonder what impact that will have ? Is this a definite ? S

My understanding is that the satellite currently being used by the traditional British broadcasters (Astra 1N) is a temporary replacement for one of the Astra 2 satellites which started to fail earlier than expected. I believe there were also commercial considerations at play since, if I recall correctly, the BBC wanted to get away from paying Sky to transmit it's channels via satellite and some sort of deal with Astra was done. Astra 1N was never intended to be at 28°E and was never designed to transmit signals tightly-focused on the British Isles. This means that BBC, ITV, C4 and 5 signals are currently being transmitted in a wider pattern than normal and this makes them more easily received in southern and eastern Europe. I understand that Astra is planning to launch a replacement satellite which has transmitters that are tightly focused on Britain at the end of 2012 or early in 2013. However, building satellites is a process which has lots of scope for delay, satellite launches are never-risk free and I understand it is never known for certain how well a focused transmitting array will work until the satellite is in position and operating. Frankly, I am not certain that our dish will work once the BBC etc. transfer over to the new satellite. I think that the worst that could happen is that we loose all the traditional broadcasters and end up having to start paying that lovely Mr Murdoch again. Even if this should occur, I hope it might be the case that we'd at least be able to get more Sky channels by using the big dish. Al