As Ibiza is located in a more southerly area in terms of satellites, this information is not very relevant to mainland Spain.
Due to the nature of satellites, properties even a few hundred metres apart may be able to receive different channels, so you cannot always rely on what size dish your neighbour has installed. Whilst one house may be able to receive most channels with a smaller dish, another one in the same area may require a much larger dish, due to the way that satellite signals travel through space.
As you are attempting to receive UK signals in Ibiza, the correct configuration of your dish is of much greater importance. There are a number of websites explaining how to specifically set up a dish if you feel capable of doing it yourself. The cost of equipment, including a 1.1m dish, can be purchased for around L130 online, but requires a basic technical understanding of electronics.
You will obviously need to bring your Sky box and viewing card from the UK to use in Ibiza. Sky will not know you are abroad so your subscription with them will not change. However, if your Sky subscription is less than one year old, you will be contractually obliged for your box to be permanently connected to a UK landline –a point for consideration.
In recent months most British Terrestrial Television has become FREE to view. This means NO subscription for the following channels: All ITV channels, ITV1, 2, 3, 4 & All BBC channels, BBC1, 2, 3 ,4
To receive these channels it is NOT necessary to have a Sky digital receiver, nor a card, nor pay any subscription. This is a real case of “free TV” without the asterisk!
So far, the only way to get British Terrestrial Television in Spain is from Astra 2. Generally speaking, you will need a professional to install your satellite dish correctly. And for those DIY fans who are not fazed by technology, this satellite can be found at 28.2oE of South. But then you already knew that, didn’t you?
For the not so technical, there are installers in Ibiza that advertise Sky TV services and will come to your property to configure a satellite dish. Many of them ex-pat installers from the UK. Expect to pay L700 upwards for the dish and labour costs.
Channel 4 Channel 5 and SKY 3
To watch these three channels you WILL need a Sky digital receiver (or similar), and a card. But still there is no need to pay any subscription. In Spain, Pace 430N / 440N / 445N receivers have had good reports.
One of the problems in Spain is the weak signal strength, which means that if you intend to watch British Terrestrial Television in Spain you will have to choose your receiving equipment carefully. Some areas give better reception than others. What you will need to check are the following:-
- The dish size
- The LNB (low noise blockdown converter) Actually, it means the bit in the middle that actually receives the signal that bounces off the dish.
- The receiver.
Weaker signal means you need a larger dish. Sky TV channels are transmitted by several satellites, all of which are easily recognized and received by a standard Sky dish in the UK. Some satellite signals are stronger than others however. This means that in Ibiza your standard Sky dish will not pick up the weaker satellites - hence you will not receive the full range of channels as you would in the UK.
Ideally, you will require at least an 80cm diameter dish in order to receive a basic number of channels - excluding all BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky Movie channels. If you wish to receive a wider range of channels you will require a larger dish - 1.8m as a minimum, with a recommendation of 2.4m. It is advisable to choose as large a dish as possible. The most difficult programmes to locate are the Freeview terrestrial channels – such as ITV, which is transmitted from the weakest satellite and therefore is extremely difficult to receive, even with a large dish.
The best LNB for Spain is the Invacom TWIN. But get expert advice.
The first thing to note is that A BRITISH DIGITAL FREE VIEW RECEIVER WILL NOT WORK IN SPAIN! You need a good quality receiver made to Spanish specs. BBC & ITV channels now only require a European Free to Air Digital Receiver. These can be purchased from most electro-domestic(os) stores in Spain. They generally cost around 95 €, although I have seen them in Carrefour priced as little as 65 €.
You will not be able to watch Channel 4 / 5 and SKY 3 with these receivers; although these TV channels are Free to Air. You will need a SKY Digital Decoder, with a Free View Card. If you want to watch pay channels you will need to obtain a Package Viewing Card.
One final point, these channels tend to drop out, anything from late evening (around 22.30 till 01.00) and returning in the early morning, (around 06.00).
BBC Prime is available on a number of satellites. Not just Astra 2.
Intelsat 904 – Katelco Plus
Hellas Sat 2
Eurobird 2 Orbit Network
Astra 3A Kabel Deutschland
Astra 1KR UPC Direct, Canal Digitaal Satelliet
Eutelsat W2 Toal TV
Hotbird 6, 7A, 8 TPS, Cyfra +, SKY Italia
Eutelsat W3A Diti Turk
Thor 2 Canal Digital
Atlantic Bird 2 Orbit Network
Hispasat 1C TV Cabo