Installations

Satellite Installation

Unfortunately Astra 2E UK tight satellite spot beam transferred most of the BBC and radio channels on the 6th of February 2014.  This new beam is approx. 20% weaker than the current Channel Five signal and over 40% weaker than the old BBC signals.  Menorca and the North East of Majorca BBC1,2,4,4 and BBC radio were completely wiped out.  In Palma, all channels seem to worked just about work on a 1,35M dish and the Menorca all channels worked on a 1.7M dish, the grey areas are the middle of Majorca north of Valldemossa, Alaro, Santa Maria, Llucmajor and Sa Santanyi.


Obviously one solution is a larger 1.7M dish, but in the border line areas it would be easier to change your stop box to a HD Freesat box non recordable set top box which costs only 69Euros in the Ocean TV store in Palma, the advantage is a stronger ITV1 HD and Channel 4HD using the right post code BT7 1EB while setting it up.

In the meantime if you have a sky box try using some of the stronger channels on your existing set top box. e.g sky boxes try BBC1 South (ch.964) BBC1 Oxford (ch.965) BBC2 Wales (ch.971) or on Freesat Box without changing the Post Code in setting/  BBC1 South (958), BBC1 Oxford (ch.950) BBC2 Wales (ch.971)

ITV1 regional channels and Channel 4 group of channels moved to the new weak Astra 2E satellite Tuesday 11th of February 2014.

The doomed channels were, ITV1 Wales, ITV1 West county East/ West, ITV1 border, ITV1 Tyne Tees, ITV1 Yorkshire West.
However, some of Channel 4 group and ITV1 Granada, ITV1 Anglia East, ITV1 Central West , ITV1 Scotland, ITV1 Northern Ireland , ITV,3 has become weaker but still receivable in the Astra 2E stronger signal Bermuda triangle Andratx to Estellencs (south of Deia) to Palma.

On the 5th of August 2014 there was a further reduction in signal in Calvia and Palma areas where highest density of BBC viewers lives. Xpats experienced for the first time even weaker signals on BBC1 Oxford/South and even BBC2 Northern Ireland than ever before post February 2014 switchover on, even on the normally more reliable 900´s number regions. They have now become almost as weak as Channel 4 and can be unwatchable with broken picture throughout the night which lasted well into mid-morning. Up to now the 5th of August 1.4M dishes have worked fine in Calvia but it is looking very likely that Calvia may need 1,7M dishes to allow for atmospherics such as dark cloud cover during August and mid September high temperatures and humidity. If you are starting from scratch we would recommend starting with 1,7M to avoid upsizing latter on.

On the 26th of October the BBC signal in Mallorca deteriorated far worse than when the satellites first changed back in February 2014.  This second tier drop in signal which started in the last week of October effected viewers that up to now have not been affected.  Viewers have notice a general break up and pixilation on all regions of BBC transmitted from the new Astra 2E satellite.

The good news is the other Channel Five satellite Astra 2F which has a stronger signal beam in Mallorca compared to the BBC satellite Astra 2E,  has started to broadcast much stronger regional BBC1 Wales HD channel 978/952 on Sky HD boxes and channel 976 on HD Freesat boxes.

On the 13th of December BBC standard definition on the Astra 2E satellite was virtually wiped out in the south west of Mallorca on satellite dishes smaller than 1.5Metres, Ocean TV is estimating the signal will even worsen during the Christmas festive season.

The BBC standard definition signal is expected to slightly improve after the 6th of January and return to normality by the last week in January.  BBC1 Wales HD seem to be less effected, mainly due being on a stronger Astra 2F sister satellite.  On sky HD digiboxes BBC Wales HD is channel number 978/952 and on HD Freesat boxes channel number 976 this HD regional BBC channel tends to be stronger in the evening and slightly weaker in the day time.

The stronger Astra 2F satellite where channel 5 has been in broadcasting since December 2012 is stronger in Mallorca but considered a weak signal in Menorca.  Between the 7th of December 2013 and the 4th of January 2014 Channel 5 was much weaker in Menorca compared to the rest of the year.

To summarize BBC is at its maximum weakest 21st of December and critically weak 2 weeks either side of these critical dates and its at its strongest peak 21st of June and maintains a strong signal 2 months either side of these dates ie  21st of April to 21st of August. 

If you only subscribe to the UK freeview channels a very economical solution is to upgrade your standard definition Freesat box to a HD Freesat box which only costs 69euros in store.  If you live south of Inca before upgrading your satellite dish to a larger size, we advise to at least try this option first. 

Google map shows how lucky we really are, much further north of Majorca such as Barcelona they are struggling with 2.4Meter + dishes and also Potenza in the deep South of Italy just barely works on 3.4M dish despite being much further north than Majorca. There seems to be a black hole with almost no signal between Barcelona and the North East coast of Menorca. 

 
It goes to show how lucky we really are receiving a side lobe signal, off one of the reflectors plates which is designed to focus slightly more signal in Ireland and the South West tip England.

There is some good news, some of the ITV channels have been transmitting since December 2012 on signal slightly stronger than even Channel 5 (Astra 2F), and this should remain until 2027.

LOST ITV1?  Certain ITV1 channels are stronger than Channel Five even on East Coast of Mallorca

STANDARD DEFINITION SKY BOX   (approx. 1998- 2010)

 

On standard sky boxes press services button, then number 4 (setup), then the number 4 again (add channels ), change frequency to 10994 (numerical keys) then move down to polarisation and change Vertical (V)  to horizontal (H), then move down to Symbol rate and change it from 27,500 to 22,000 using the arrow keys , then move down to FEC and press arrow keys twice until its 5/6 , then press find (select button) and finally store ITV by going down to ITV with arrow down key so its highlighted all over in yellow the press store (yellow button), you will get a conformation tick we advise then moving down to the ITV channels lower in the list, again press yellow button  and wait for tick conformation, then press select twice and then sky to escape. To view stronger ITV1 channels even on east coast without changing your dish press services 7 select (other channels) each time. See our step by step video on our home page.

SKY PLUS STANDARD DEFINITION (approx. 2006 – 2009)

Press services button, then number 4 (setup), then the number 4 again (add channels ), change frequency to 10994 (numerical keys) then move down to polarisation and change Vertical (V)  to horizontal (H), then move down to Symbol rate and change it from 27,500 to 22,000 using the arrow keys , then move down to FEC and press arrow keys twice until its 5/6 , then press find (select button)  and finally store ITV by going down to ITV with arrow down key so its highlighted all over in yellow the press store (yellow button), you will get a conformation tick we advise then moving down to the ITV channels lower in the list, again press yellow button  and wait for tick conformation, then press select twice and then sky to escape. To view stronger ITV1 channels even on east coast without changing your dish press services 0 select (other channels) each time. It’s not possible to record on this channel only the weaker channels on ch.103 or ch.112  See our step by step video on our home page.

Sky HD (2009 onwards)

Press services, then press arrow down to sky+Setup, then arrow right add Ch (add  channels) change frequency to 10994 (numerical keys) then move down to polarisation and change Vertical (V)  to horizontal (H), then move down to Symbol rate and change it from 27,500 to 22,000 using the arrow keys , then move down to FEC and press arrow keys twice until its 5/6 , then press find (select button)  and finally store ITV by going down to ITV with arrow down key so its highlighted all over in yellow the press store (yellow button), you will get a conformation tick we advise then moving down to the ITV channels lower in the list, again press yellow button  and wait for tick conformation, then press select twice and then sky to escape. To view stronger ITV1 channels even on east coast without changing your dish.  Press services then press arrow down to sky+Setup, then arrow right other Ch (other channels) put in your sky pin number (same pin number to access sky movies) then press select then find ITV or UTV HD and press select each time. It’s not possible to record on this channel only the weaker channel 103 or 131.  If you want to record Northern Ireland ITV on channel 103 Ocean can provide you a sky HD box and card from Northern Ireland and by default it will be on channel 103. See our step by step video on our home page.

HD FREESAT

On a HD freesat box is possible to have ITV1 HD (Northern Ireland version of ITV1 HD UTV) which as the same programming as ITV Carlton except half an hour of regional news after 6 O Clock London ITN news) if your box has recording facilities, it will even record ITV1 HD. The best post code is a Northern Ireland one BT7 1EB  when complete ITV1 HD is on channel 119 and should work even on the East Coast of Mallorca since its stronger than channel Five.  BBC1 Oxford (Channel 958)and BBC1 Wales HD (channel 976) are also stronger than most regions. A non-recordable HD Freesat box cost only 69Euros in store in Palma.  Channel Four HD is stronger on HD Freesat on channel 126 together with BBC4 HD compared to the weaker BBC4 standard Def. See our step by step video how to change the postcode and BBC regions on our home page.

STANDARD FREESAT

You could try ITV1+1 on channel 112, but if you have lost Channel Four on channel 104 there is no point , its fixable by upgrading to a HD Freesat box because Channel Four HD is strong on HD Freesat boxes and you solve the ITV standard definition problem on channel 103 by having ITV1 Northern Ireland on channel 119 on HD boxes.

ITV player

If you attempt to watch catch up ITV player on a PC it will ask you for a UK postcode and even with the UK post code it will block viewing abroad on Spanish IP addresses. For some reason ITV iPlayer will still work via a HD freesat box even though you are connected to a Spanish IP address which cost only 69Euros in store in Palma Also 7 days catch you will work on ITV YouView even if you are not receiving an ITV satellite signal on Humax Freesat plus boxes. This could be a life saver for ITV fans on the East Coast of Majorca and Minorca as it will even record Coronation Street via internet streaming even with one satellite cable while despite you watch another satellite channel live.

BBC iPlayer launches in Europe ... and costs approx half the price of the licence fee

BBC's iPlayer service launched in Europe for less than half the price of the British TV licence fee.The European version of the iPlayer costs just 5.99euros per month from Apple Apps/Apple store for viewing  Iphones and Ipads - which equates to 71.88euros per year. The annual licence fee for British viewers is £145.50 (180euros) per year. While the global iPlayer app will not provide all of the BBC's content to overseas subscribers, the catch-up service is expected to allow those abroad access to full series of shows.

DOES BBC iPLAYER REQUIRE A TV LICENCE IN BRITAIN?

Yes and no is the strange answer to that seemingly simple question.According to the TV Licencing authority, if you use iPlayer to watch TV programmes at the same time as they are being shown on TV - such as live sporting events - then you need to be covered by a valid TV licence.  However, if you use the service to watch programmes after they have been broadcast, either as downloads or via streaming on-demand, then you do not need a licence. However, the BBC said that the international iPlayer app will help to provide more funding for services for people in Britain; a view was echoed by industry experts.  'There are two ways of looking at this,' Ian Maude, head of internet at Enders Analysis, said recently.  'One way is that people overseas should pay more for BBC content than those in the UK who are forced to pay the licence fee, whether they like or not, as it is imposed as a flat tax.  'However, the other way to view it is that any more money the BBC can generate overseas is good for UK licence fee payers because the extra money will help keep the fee down.' Mark Thompson, the BBC's director general, said the iPlayer app will allow the BBC to 'sell directly to consumers' without the need to rebrand them for broadcast internationally, which would seem to bring it into conflict with the business model of the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.

Sky Multiroom

Starting Sunday 26th of October 2014 new Spanish digital terrestrial transponders which potentially will reap havoc with existing sky multirooms systems in Mallorca. If you sky box is connected with a scart or HDMI cable you will not be affected on the main TV, however TV extensions to the kitchen or bedrooms which connect back to the main sky box me cease to work from this Sunday 26th of October 2014.  If you sky box RF output is on UHF channel 28,29,30,31,32 or 40,41,40,41,42 or 49,50,51,52,53 and you have Spanish is fed around the house through the same cables  as Sky you will need to move it to a new UHF frequency, the fastest and easiest solution is simply disconnect the Spanish cable at the wall socket.  If you want to keep your Spanish and have a picture perfect sky piped around your house Ocean can change the output sky RF frequency and then re tune all your TVs.  A new product Ocean TV exclusively sell is the Ocean IP multiroom box it sends the same pay sky channels as the main sky box through your existing Wi Fi network so you can see it anywhere in closed Wi Fi network   e.g watch sky sports at the pool on your Ipad, you do not need a fast internet connection because you are streaming it directly from you sky box in the living room and not downloading it from the internet

Why the fuss about receiving Sky abroad?

Sky have negotiated the broadcast rights for their programs outside of the UK, therefore they are not officially allowed to sell subscriptions to those outside the UK. In practice, however, Sky are well aware that approximately 4% of their customers live in mainland Europe. Therefore use us, or your family in the UK, as a contact point with Sky customer’s services from Mallorca.  Under EU legislation, BBC and ITV channels are legal to watch anywhere the signal can be received. 

 

Sky Pay channels signal at risk from March 2015

70% of Sky pays channels are expected migrate over to a weaker satellite end of February/March. The new Astra 2G satellite was launched on the 28th of December, it will need to undergo extensive tests before starting BskyB pay channel broadcasting. It was first thought it would start broadcasting in August 2015, but it’s looking likely an earlier broadcast date due to getting out of a Luxemburg TV contract. The pay sky HD channels should still work in Calvia on an oval/ offset 1,7M dish aluminum and in Alcudia and Menorca on a oval/offset 2,4M fiberglass or a 3M prime focus/true round dish.

 

What do I need?

A satellite receiver: Freesat receivers will receive only free channels such as the BBC´s, ITV´s, and a number of others such as CNN… www.freesat.co.uk   All other channels on the Sky system are encoded, and need an active subscription www.sky.com  both systems have a comprehensive 7 day TV Guide, listing programming up to one week ahead, and making it possible to pre-set recordings, series links (to recorded your favourite series every time it’s on), or on screen reminders of when a program is starting . 

Types of satellite receiver 

Freesat HD. This is a full 1080 HD receiver that has over a hundred U.K. channels with no subscription and no monthly costs just a one off purchase, it includes a 7 day TV guide to see what´s on. Ocean in store price 69Euros

Humax freesat+ with  Digital TV Recorder1TB model HDR-1000S-1TB     

  • Freetime seamless on screen TV Guide browse backwards and forwards in time on ITV1 catchup TV even works on Spanish IP addresse
  • Record, pause and rewind live TV
  • Contents Sharing via Home Networking
  • Humax TV Portal for Additional Apps and content
  • 329Euros in store

Free To Air (FTA) A free to air (FTA) receiver, commonly sold in supermarkets and DIY centres in Spain, will receive free channels but will not have the Freesat guide, nor receive automatic updates like Sky and Freesat receivers. They are difficult to use, have only 'now and next' programme information, and are not recommended. They are sometimes wrongly advertised as 'Freesat'. Genuine Freesat receivers have the Freesat logo printed on the front.

Sky digibox This receiver can work with or without a sky subscription card giving you all the channels you would get with sky in the UK or just the free to air channels like a freesat box

Sky HD+ digibox This receiver with a sky subscription card gives you all the channels you would get with sky in the UK and lots of HD channels also, it also lets you record one program whilst watching a different program i.e. record BBC1 and watch Sky sports or record 2 programs at the same time. It has a 7day guide to make recording your favourite programs simple, and stores all your recordings on its own hard drive. It can pause live TV and rewind viewed TV if you missed out on something. When you have an HD subscription with sky certain standard definition programs become high definition programs, this benefits us as the broadcast transponders of most HD channels is stronger in Mallorca compared to the same channel in SD (standard definition)  i.e. sky sports 4, sky sports news, ITV2,3,4 can give signal issues at certain times of the day/night but the same channels in HD are on a stronger to receive frequency on the satellite and work all day/ night

Subscription to Sky channels starts at 35 € per month, rising to 75 € per month for a Subscription including Sky Sports and Sky Movies in HD.

What type of dish

Better signal doesn’t always mean a larger dish.

There are many different types of satellite dishes from extra flimsy iron dishes that will buckle, fold, or simply fall down in strong winds, to extremely large 2 meter dishes that just don´t receive a decent signal down to poor quality design.

Many satellite dishes are just not suitable for Mallorca’s climate and changing weather. Having an inadequate satellite dish will create all kinds of problems, from channels breaking up or simply not working at certain times of the day, to costly realignments every time there is a slight wind, or even falling down damaging your property.

Our recommended and widely used 1.7 meter high quality aluminium satellite dishes are an improvement over a regular iron because of several reasons:

  •  Aluminium has proved to give a 20% better signal than the same satellite dish made of iron
  •  No rusting
  •  Signal dropping dramatically on iron dishes after only a couple of years in Mallorca’s environment
  •  1.8 meter high gain fibre glass satellite dish also imported from the USA.

Despite receiving a better signal than previously mentioned satellite dishes we can only recommend this dish for large properties or community installations, as a solid concrete base is required for its installation and cannot be wall mounted due to its size and weight

 Will it move when there are strong winds

Our wall brackets are installed with high load 2 component chemical resins making it possible to install dishes on weaker walls or where dishes have no shelter from constant wind. This component resin is used usually for attaching much larger building structures together such as structural concrete beams

 I live in an apartment block. Do I need permission to put a dish on the roof?

If there are a number of dishes already installed, usually no, but if there are no dishes on the roof, or only one large one, then it is possible that you may need permission, even if just verbal. Usually, if you ask for written permission, the President will be reluctant to give this to you, as; if it has to be removed he/she would be liable.  Hence, verbal permission in Mallorca is the norm.  Possibly there are a number of people interested in the service, in which case we can organise a shared facility for the community.

 When I had my box installed in the UK, a phone line was attached. What do I need in Spain?

A phone line is not needed. You should not bring to Spain a Sky box that was installed by Sky in the UK less than one year ago, as you will have agreed a contract to have the line attached for twelve months.  If you disconnect the box before this time, Sky will charge you extra. This also applies to the special offers on the Sky website