ON May 30, the BBC will be switching its digital tv and radio programming to a new satellite as it ends its deal with Sky Digital. At present BBC channels are free on Sky Digital with viewers receiving them either as part of other paid-for services or with a viewing card which unscrambles the digital signal. From May 30, the BBC's services will be broadcast without encryption so viewers without a Sky card will be able to watch, the only problem is that the BBC is switching to the ASTRA 2D satellite which has a much more restricted beam and will be more difficult for viewers in the Balearics and other parts of Europe to receive. At present, the BBC services are broadcast on the Sky Digital satellite which has a wide south beam, the reach of the ASTRA 2D beam is much more restricted. A spokesperson at the BBC press office said yesterday that the BBC's concern, in accordance with its charter, is to provide programming for the United Kingdom and that the technology has become available now for the BBC to save £85 million over the next five years by switching to the new satellite which also transmits ITV. BBC radio will be able to be listened to on the internet.

IF your satellite system presently meets the following requirements you should be able to continue to receive BBC television and radio. However, we must stress that this is an overall picture and may not take into account some individual cases. The Majorca-based satellite company, Ocean, has provided the necessary technical support for these articles.

1. The BBC will be broadcasting on the same satellite system as ITV from May 30. If you can receive ITV between the crucial hours of 6p.m. to 11p.m. (when the signal often breaks-up) then you shouldn't have any problem receiving the BBC.

2. As we know to receive ITV you need one of the bigger dishes. If you have one of the newer larger dishes you should be alright.
3. Please also take into account that due to climatic conditions the signal is at its strongest in the summer months so you may not notice problems with your reception of BBC until the late summer or early autumn.


THE information we obtained yesterday stated that those people with the following systems or locations may experience problems receiving the BBC.
1. If they have one of the smaller dishes (the older models) which were designed only to receive the BBC and are not big enough to receive ITV.
2. The location of your dish and the place where you live could also mean that you experience problems.
3. Some people who are only allowed the smaller dishes in apartment complexes and are not allowed to install the bigger dishes will also have problems.

4. There are a variety of other technical factors which also come into play.
5. As a final reminder new Sky viewing cards have recently been introduced and are being distributed at the moment.


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