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New Astra1N satellite provides narrow UK footprint


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The new Astra1N satellite to be launched in July will support an interim mission at 28.2°E, where it will provide coverage for the United Kingdom and Ireland. The preliminary footprint has just been published by SES-Astra and does not look promising for most of France: click

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It also says "ASTRA 1N will deliver direct-to-home (DTH) services, particularly

digital and high definition television to serve mainly the German,

French and Spanish markets."

So I assume the interim mission will be for HDTV for the UK?

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Don't know.

Astra2c is currently at 19.2 and 1N will first be deployed at 28.2  Both satellites are set to switch places later on.

One might speculate there is a technical  issue forcing SES-Astra to move the 2c to the 19.2 location before the launchdate of the 1N to solve this hypothetical problem sooner.

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The problem (amongst others) is that Britain is desperate for more capacity focused primarily on the British Isles.   Astra 2C can't provide that (it was designed with near pan-european coverage in mind),   and so it was sent off to do other jobs on Astra's behalf as there was - for a while - sufficient transmission capacity at 28 deg E.   Astra 1N will eventually be used at 19 deg E,  but in the meantime SES can solve their "British" problem temporarily by putting it at 28 deg E,  whilst working on the design of 2E and 2F and 2G.

I wouldn't worry too much about the footprint map that's been published,  it's not that different to the 2D one that SES used to show.    It's very unlikely that many of us will have the slightest problem,   and mostly in the unlikely event of a difficulty it'll be solved by a dish tweak (by which I mean a very minor adjustment,   1N will be co-located with 2A and 2B and 2D and to a lesser extent with Eurobird).    Bear in mind that that map only shows the contours applicable for 45 and 60 cms dishes.    The white area doesn't mean there's no signal,   just that you need a bigger dish than 60 cms.   In any case SES maps tend to be pessimistic,   which works well to quieten those oh-so-precious rights holders.

The real problem is in the future (although still some way off) when a different wave band (called Ka) is used in addition to Ku (what we use at present).    If Ka is deployed it will give the sat operators the chance to really tighten the beams,   and also to reuse frequencies more intensively.    This could be a real problem as it could be that even if one gets a weak signal that one wants it might be drowned out by another service from the same satellite on the same frequency,  but beamed to a different bit of Europe.

By that time the new foreigner tax on second homes will have driven me back to England permanently,  so it won't be much for me to worry about.   And that is still some way off,  Sky would have to replace all their boxes if Ka came into use.

http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1491429

Sorry,  I can't get the useless linking system to work.   If you want to look you'll have to sort it out for yourselves!

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Very grateful for that link Frank. 

This thread isn't the time or place to rehearse our personal situation but the proposed new tax really was the final straw for us.   So if it's being shelved it's incredibly good news for us.

Might not have seen the news if you hadn't posted it here.

Je suis tres reconnaissant!

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