Freesat Spain

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Are you losing your UK satellite TV signals and Sky TV signals this summer in Spain?

Many people think that the satellite signals are at their strongest in the summer.
Personally I notice little difference in the signals over the year.

However, there is an issue with the signal in the summer.

In the past few years this has affected both satellite TV and TDT TV in Spain.

One of the main reasons for losing your UK TV and Sky TV signals in Spain, is due to the heat and humidity.

The heat and humidity acts as a barrier and reduces the signals coming though the atmosphere.

Many afternoons this week, when the weather has been very hot and humid, I have noticed the weaker UK TV channels, those on the Astra 2D satellite horizontal frequencies like BBC2 England, have been pixilating much earlier than usual. This pixilation has been occurring at about 2pm.

However, on calmer cooler days, the channels have been performing as they should, with no pixilation at all.

So it may be worth noting that your big Portuguese satellite dish may well be perfectly aligned, and the LNB on it may be at the best skew setting, but even then there are some things, like the weather, that can still hamper reception of UK TV and Sky TV in Spain.

For more information please visit:

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, June 22, 2011

Confusion About Free UK Television in Spain - Freeview Or Freesat?

Confusion About Free UK Television in Spain - Freeview Or Freesat?

Many people are confused about whether they can receive free UK television in Spain. The subject of what UK channels you can receive is something we are always being asked. Terms such as free UK television in Spain, Freeview and Freesat are always cropping up so we shall explain it to you.

Many people, including satellite installers in Spain, get confused about Freeview and Freesat. If satellite TV installers are unable to get their terminology correct, then no wonder British expats on the Costa's in Spain are getting more and more confused about how to receive UK TV in Spain.

As British expats move to the warm coastal areas of southern Spain in the Mediterranean, they find it frustrating that they are not able to watch the UK television programmes such as BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, or the other 100plus other UK TV channels, including Sports, movies and news, that are available to view for free. Although they try to watch local Spanish television channels, some feel the quality of programmes on Spanish TV is not that good as UK TV, they do not show many popular UK TV programmes like Coronation Street or Eastenders, and not all programmes are available in English, (although the switch to Digital Terrestrial Television - TDT - has meant a lot more UK and USA imported programmes are available in English.)

Receiving Freeview in Spain

Freeview is a free digital TV package that is available to people living in the UK. It is not, like many people say, available outside the UK especially Spain. You cannot receive Freeview in Spain. Freeview is a UK only digital television system that is transmitted from the land based television transmitter masts, like Emley Moor and Crystal Palace. The signals from these terrestrial transmitters are not strong enough to reach Spain.

Many UK TV channels are available on "free to air" satellite systems. British expats around Europe can watch their favourite UK TV channels for free via free to air satellite in Spain. Free to air means that there is no monthly subscription to pay, unlike the pay TV channels offered on satellite packages offered by Sky TV.

Receiving Freesat in Spain

Freesat is the name of a brand of satellite receivers designed to receive these free to air UK satellite television channels. You can also use a Sky digibox or any other digital satellite receiver to receive the free to air signals. A Sky digibox without a viewing card will still be able to receive BBC and ITV channels, and all the channels a Freesat receiver can receive.

You can receive many of the UK free to air TV channels by installing a small satellite dish and a digital satellite set top box. However, due to the frequencies used, the main UK TV channels such as BBC and ITV may not be available on these small satellite dishes, and therefore much larger satellite dishes will be required, from 1.8m to 2.4m.

It is worth noting that a Sky digibox without a Sky viewing card will receive the same channels as a standard Freesat digibox.

Both Sky digiboxes and Freesat digiboxes use the same satellite frequencies. So if you cannot receive BBC1 on a Sky box withoyour exisitng satellite dish, then you will not be able to receive BBC1 on your Freesat receiver with the same dish!

Spain does have its own version of Freeview, called Television Digital Terrestrial - TDT. Using a TDT set top box, you are able to receive around 30 digital Spanish television channels via your TV aerial on your roof. The digital aspect allows a much clearer picture than the old analogue TV system, and has the option to change the Spanish dubbing soundtrack on UK and USA imported programmes into the original version. It should also be noted that some UK "Freeview" set top boxes do not work in Spain correctly, as they are programmed for the UK TV service and not the TDT service.

So if an installer says that they are able to install a UK Freeview television system for you in Spain, ask them a few questions. As Freeview is a service received by a TV aerial, then why are they installing a satellite dish? Will you able to receive all the UK Freeview channels, like "Dave" and Sky Sports News, for free on their system, as many channels available for free on Freeview are in fact subscription only on satellite. Remember You cannot receive Freeview in Spain!

For more information please visit:

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, June 8, 2011

What do I need to get Freesat in Spain?

What do I need to get Freesat TV in Spain?

freesat in costa blanca

You will require two things to get Freesat TV in Spain:
A satellite dish
A Freesat receiver

Satellite Dishes for Freesat in Spain

The size of satellite dish you need for Freesat in Spain depends on where you are located in Spain and what channels you want to be able to watch in Spain.

In many areas a 1.8m satellite dish or a 2.4m satellite dish is required to receive the main UK TV channels along the Costa Blanca.

You can go for a smaller satellite dish, but your reception of the main UK TV channels, like BBC and ITV, will be limited.

Freesat Receivers in Spain

Freesat is only available on Freesat branded receivers.
Freesat is not available on Sky receivers.
Freesat receivers and Sky receivers use their own software.

The channels that you receive on Freesat receivers are "free to air" channels, ie channels you can receive for free with no viewing card or subscription.

A Sky box without a sky card gets the same free to air channels as a Freesat receiver does.

The best types of Freesat receivers to use in Spain are the Humax Foxsat Freesat range. These come in HD, and HD+ versions, the difference being the latter has a hard drive to allow recording of programmes.


To confuse things, Freesat is actually the name of the EPG Programme Guide used on Freesat receivers. This EPG can actually be received on a small satellite dish, like an 80cm or 1m dish. I have even got the Freesat on a old Sky minidish here in Valencia!

But when I ask the Freesat EPG to go to a channel like BBC, then the BBC signal is on a different frequency (and satellite) to the EPG, which is not available on an 80cm dish.

So actually you can say that Freesat is available on a small 80cm dish in Spain, but the channels on Freesat still need a "big Portuguese" satellite dish to be able to receive those channels.

This simple confusion about what Freesat actually was and would provide in Spain, was even made by some "cowboy" satellite installers, jumping on the "bandwagon" for the launch of Freesat. They advertise that Freesat and UK TV would be available on a small 80cm satellite dish for most of Spain. Well as you can see, and as they found out, they were wrong, its just the Freesat EPG that is available on a small 80cm satellite dish, not the main UK channels.

I went to a number of people who had a "Freesat TV" satellite system installed, who were diappointed not to receive all the main UK TV hcannels on their small 80cm satellite dish, and who could no longer contact thier "satellite installer" as they had "done a runner" knowing that they had not got their facts straight about Freesat.

Freesat vs Freeview

Freesat allows access to the UK free to air channels via satellite.
Freeview is a TV system in the UK that provides free to air UK TV channels via a TV aerial.
Freeview is a UK ONLY service.
Freeview is not available in Spain - dispite some comapnies saying Freeview is available in Spain, adn even using the word "freeview" in their company name or in their advertising.

Many of these same companies also say you can get Freeview channels on Freesat. Which is incorrect. Some of the channels on Freeview in the UK are PAY channesl on satellite, and require a Sky satellite monthly subscription to watch them.

Similarly, a UK Freeview box, connected to a TV aerial in SPain will receive the SPanish Digital TV channels, and not the UK digital channels. Simplyy becasue we are in Spain, and the UK TV channels are not available via the terrestrial broadcasts system (ie TV aetrial on the roof) in Spain.

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

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