Home Sky TV reception in Europe
Pace DS430 Digibox
This page provides approximate satellite dish sizes for good reception of Sky TV in Europe by British Ex-pats. Dish size recommendations for Sky TV reception are based on the Astra 2D 28.2E satellite footprint and reliable digital TV reception cannot be guaranteed. Information is provided in good faith and is accurate to the best of our ability.
SES's new satellite Astra 1N came into service at 28.2E in October 2011 and has 52 KU Band transponders. Astra 1N footprint includes spot beam transponders at the UK and two pan-European beams 1L and 2L. It is expected that some Freesat and Sky TV channels will move to Astra 1N over the next few months, but it is unclear how many will use the Astra 1N UK spot beam transponders which require a large dish in southern Europe.
New: On 22nd November 2011 Channel 4 HD moved to Astra 1N transponder (11.126 V 22000 FEC 2/3) which has solved the Ch4HD UK reception problems on the previous Eurobird 28.5E transponder.
Good reception of BBC and ITV channels on Sky digital TV is possible in northern parts of Europe, however all ITV and BBC channels except the BBC News Channel and BBC Parliament are transmitted on Astra 2D at 28.2E which has a reduced coverage and footprint than other Sky TV channels. This is because Astra 2D transponders provide "spot beam" coverage with a footprint specifically aimed at the UK and Ireland, giving a weak signal in southern and eastern Europe.
View the Astra 2D footprint information at the official Astra SES site.
Approximate satellite dish size requirements for reception of Sky TV in Europe are given below. For the best Sky TV reception buy a Digibox which offers the best performance in weak signal areas of Southern Europe. Compliment this with a quality, high gain satellite dish and a matching low noise LNB. A lower LNB noise figure of around 0.6dB will give best results, improving reception reliability. Digibox recommendations for weak signal Sky TV reception are given below:-
We recommend the following Sky Digibox types for Sky TV reception in areas of southern and Eastern Europe with a weak signal from the Astra 28.2E satellite footprint:-
The Sky TV footprint should provide good reception in France and Benelux countries with just a Zone 2 Sky dish required - even for BBC and ITV.
Reliable eception of Astra 2D in Germany (which carries BBC programmes) is possible with a 80cm dish in north and west Germany (including Munster, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Hamburg).
The northern city of Bremen requires a 100cm (1m) dish as does Munich (Munchen) and Stuttgart in the south of Germany. In the east of Germany, cities like Berlin and Dresden require a 1.8m dish for reasonable reception of Astra 2D services. For more information and a dish size map of Sky reception in Germany if your city is not listed above, visit http://sat.beitinger.de/astra_2d_english.html.
For northern Spain, dish size requirements for Sky TV are 1.2m, but a 1.8m - 2.4m dish (minimum) may be needed for reliable Sky TV reception in Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga. For Portugal a 1.8m dish is the recommended dish. The island of Madeira requires a large dish of approximately 3m for reliable reception of all Sky TV channels.
The most suitable satellite dish size for an area centred on Alicante in a radius of 150KM inland would be a 1.8M for reasonable reception, with a 2.4m being optimum for channels such as ITV BBC1 etc, BBC 2/3/4 is difficult but obtainable on a 2.4M dish during the afternoons and evenings, Ch4 since the satellite change now follows the same reception pattern as BBC2, but can be obtained consistently by using the 'add channels' function in the installer menu and adding TTon4 on Frequency 12480 (12.480GHZ) with all other settings as default.
Fortec Star or similar type petal dishes do not offer the same levels of reception as the one piece dishes and should be avoided for use in this area. Southern Murcia has good reception on 1.8m dishes, usually providing the complete channel range.
The best Sky Digibox's for good reception in the Costa Blanca area are the Thomson 4214 or Pace DS430N, the Goodmans Freesat box also works very well, as does the Darkbox.
There has been a batch of the Pace DS440 which appears to have an intermittent fault or tuner problem which causes what appears to be channel crosstalk, on CH4, Ch5, Sky Three and a few Sky TV UK channels. The problem appears related to large dish reception in fringe areas and is probably due to tuner sensitivity or selectivity issues. Pace SKY+ and HD Boxes all seem to work well.
"I'm getting good results with 1.8m except in rain although I never lose channel 5 or fiver US, in the summer I seem to lose channel 4. All other channels seem OK." Information provided by Mathew Breeze (N.B. the recommended dish size for Madeira is usually a 3.0Mtr dish).
My thanks to Mike Edwards of http://www.solar-sky.com for providing reception and dish advice information for Spain.
Sky TV reception in Austria requires a 2.4m - 3m dish. In Switzerland our recommendation is to try a 1.3m satellite dish, which should provide good reception of most Astra 28.2E channels. Reliable reception of Astra 2D is possible in the Salzburg area with a 1.8m dish. Further east the city of Linz requires a larger 2.4m dish.
To receive Sky TV in Prague a 1.5 - 1.8m dish is required (approximately). Eastern parts of the Czech Republic require large dishes of around 3m.
Sky TV reception is possible in Scandinavia but for BBC channels a satellite dish size of 1.2m - 1.8m is recommended in Oslo, Norway and 1.5m - 1.8m in Stockholm, Sweden. Northern Sweden and Norway will need a large dish size of 2.4m. For Denmark, the recommended satellite dish size for Sky TV reception is ~ 1.3m.
A 3.5m satellite dish may provide reception of Sky Digital, although results are uncertain and unpredictable given that Greece is on the edge of the Astra 28.2E satellite footprint.
Reception of Sky digital TV in Northern Italy should be possible on a 1.2m - 1.5m dish, but further south very large dish sizes are required. For Sky TV reception in Rome, satellite dish requirements may be 3m or larger. Reception in central and southern Italy may be poor or non existent in extreme cases. Dish size recommendations vary wildly depending on location, so some trial and error may be needed to get reliable Sky TV reception, especially in poor weather. We have read that an 1m dish works in Milan.
Good reception of BBC and ITV channels on Astra 2D requires a dish size of 4m in many parts of Cyprus. However, smaller dishes of 2m - 2.4m will receive some of the other Sky TV channels.
View the footprint of the Astra 2D satellite. We have reports of reception problems with horizontal (H) polarisation Astra 2D transponders in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia including Poland and Hungary. Other problems relate to weak signal dropout of Astra 2D channels at various times of day or night in fringe reception areas. More information concerning Sky TV reception predictions across Europe can be found at satellites.co.uk. Large dish sizes are required to receive Sky Digital in Southern Europe.