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I was looking on the BBC website today and it seems that they no longer allow  UK non-residents to view video content.  They claim that it is very expensive to stream broadband, and so are reserving it for licence payers.  Fair enough I suppose but does this mean that they will/can cut off our satellite TV reception as well [:'(]? Sorry if this is a really stupid question but I am really, really absolutely not a techie. 
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I assume, Megan, and others will correct me if I am wrong, that the satellite signal does not have a running cost per se (ie the signal is out there so the cost does not increase as the numbers of those receiving it do) so I think it would be a pretty feeble excuse if they tried to use it should they prevent us from watching from here.  Also, it's unclear how they'd do it if the signal is free to UK users - hard to stop you pointing your dish at the satellite from anywhere that can "see" it.
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They could do it using one of two methods.

Start paying SKY's huge bill for encription and run a check on card addresses versus TV licenses in UK before sending out new cards. Very expensive for them and very unlikely.

SKY could tighten the beam pattern so it was UK only but if they did there would be a huge number of UK homes who would need the alignment their dishes improved at an even bigger cost to SKY.

I think both are very unlikely


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No don't worry,  satellite is safe for a few years yet.

Rights holders are currently in a far-too-important position,  but

the reason the satellite feed of the BBC is safe is as follows:

When the BBC first went onto digital satellite they were on Astra 2 A

& B,  which had pan European coverage.   They got

Sky to scramble the signal on their behalf and the copyright people

were happy as in theory you could only get a card to watch if you had a

UK address.   Sky made a packet,  and the wise Greg Dyke

looked for a way to save money.   He found it by moving the

BBC onto Astra 2 D (which had been subsequently launched) and whose

beam is more tightly targetted on the UK.  This allowed him to end

the expensive Videoguard scrambling because the BBC could argue that

its signal was confined to the UK

Now we all know that the BBC Astra 2 D signal spills over a lot of

Europe (right down to S Spain if you use a 1.5 m dish) but the OFFICIAL

Astra 2 D map satisfies the rights holders,  who don't really want

to get into a fight with the BBC as they probably have more to lose

than Auntie.

At the time of the move there was a lot of ill informed speculation

that Astra 2 D would be tipped/moved/reduced in power etc

etc.   It won't be - it's operated by Astra and they don't

modify complex satellites for organisations as small as the BBC (!).

The slight danger in the future is that the next generation of birds

WILL have much more tightly focussed beams - but that's a few years off


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Whew!  That's a relief,  what would we talk about over breakfast if we didn't have our revered PM's latest pronouncements or the scandalous doings and feeble excuses of his cabinet to "chew over"[:D].  It has been beautifully explained,  thank you all very much, even I can get the general picture and am confident of receiving another year or two of British TV.
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