Features » Technology
YOUR TV OPTIONS
Contributor / 2009-01-30 14:42:53
Following the widely publicised Telemicro switch-off, many people have been understandably confused by the array of alternatives available to them. Many people have changed to another system, with no monthly subscriptions, only to lose this a few weeks later, or find out that this new system is pirating the signal from a rebroadcasting company, which is due to be switched off soon.
Here we try to explain your TV Options in an easy way.
Basically, there are two choices: a) a package from a rebroadcasting company, or b) direct from the satellite.
All the rebroadcasting companies have been forced to change their channel line up. They cannot now show Sky Sports or UK Gold for example. However, they can legally rebroadcast European Free to Air channels, which occasionally will be shown in a language other than English. All seem to promise the main channels, such as BBC1, BBC2, ITV1 and Channel 4. However, Channel 5 is not available, nor is RTI 1 and 2.
There are a number of companies which offer rebroadcasting packages. Most ask for a payment to change over to them, or a lump sum up front. The new Simulsat company is transmitting its package of 36 channels and 10 radio stations on the same frequency as the old Telemicro channels, so anyone with the old Telemicro equipment can now tune into Simulsat. The monthly fee is normally 20 euros with all rebroadcasting companies. One tip, if you do decide to go down this road, ensure the company you are going with gives you a contract, with an office address on, and preferably contact telephone numbers which include a landline, not just a mobile.
To receive BBC1 and ITV1 Free to Air on the Costa Blanca you will require a satellite dish of at least 1.4m. Anything smaller is a con. It will be picking up a pirated signal, not the signal from the general satellite system. Dish sizes go up to 2.4m, and reception is also dependent on your location. Size is not the only factor though. The quality, make and type of the dish are all very important. Some 2.4m dishes only perform as well as good 1.4m dishes. It is also important to have the right combination of LNB and satellite receiver. When purchasing a satellite dish you are recommended to invest in it. Any dish installed over 1.9m requires a works license, which costs about 50€. However, to obtain this you must submit architectural drawings, which may cost another 100€. Your local Town Hall will be able to advise you on this.
There are two main satellite systems: Freesat or Sky Free to Air. Your installer should listen to what you want, then advise you on which system is more suitable. Both are broadcast from the same satellite, Astra 2.
FREESAT offers over 150 channels of top entertainment totally free, including the BBC channels and ITV high definition channels, (which will only appear in high definition if your TV and cable are HD). Channel 5's signal is very week in the Costa Blanca, and only available for a few hours a day on this service.
SKY FTV offers BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, plus over 250 free to air channels, including Setanta Sports, Sky 3 and Five Us. ITV HD is not available on this service. Sky FTV is probably a better choice for the Costa Blanca, but BBC2,3 and 4 are not available 24 hours a day on this service. It also enables you to add the Sky subscription packages, (you must supply a UK address to do this). If you are a holiday maker and subscribe to Sky in the UK you can just bring your viewing card with you and see the same programmes here as in the UK.
For further information contact Kevin Smith of TV Solutions on 620797132 or 966192470. Kevin has been running this well known company in the Orihuela Costa for the last 5 years, and can be trusted to give you some good, honest advice. Over this time he has learnt which systems work best in the area and which don't.
Whichever system you choose he will tailor it to fit your exact requirements. TV Solutions use the best quality dishes, which are covered by a two year, no quibble guarantee.
For further information see their main ad on page .