In December 2014, expats experienced a very poor satellite signal over the Christmas festive season, which lasted from 10 December to 6 January. In the last week of November 2015, there was a poor BBC signal for eight days, so it was a shock for there to be a sudden severe loss of BBC last Saturday in Minorca and in the north of Majorca, followed by the south of Majorca on Sunday.
Sean Connolly from Ocean TV said he has been inundated with calls, asking him if the signal will remain poor from now on or will it recover before falling back again in four to six week cycles? Connolly understands their concerns over future poor signal patterns, especially as the current problem has not mirrored the Christmas 2014 signal pattern.
This time it has failed at completely different times of the year, so it makes it harder to look in to a crystal ball and actually predict for sure if the signal will actually regain its strength and if so when.
Connolly says there is a complex trigonometric equation that takes into consideration mathematical coefficients such as the movement of the BBC Astra 2E satellite from the old 28.23 east orbit location and its old higher 37.0 degree elevation to its new location since August 2015 to 28.49 east and shallower elevation 36.9 degree, and it also takes into account that we are three degrees east of Greenwich.
According to Connolly’s calculations, on 18 January the south of Majorca will get back BBC One (West Midlands, East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, East Midlands, South, South West, Oxford), BBC One and Two Northern Ireland, BBC One and BBC Two Wales, BBC Radio 3 and 4. On 20 January, BBC One London, BBC Two England, BBC Four and BBC1 and 2 HD and BBC Radio 1 and 2 will follow. Minorca and the north of Majorca will also see a return of signal, similar to the south but up to two days later in the week.
Is there room for error in the calculations? Connolly says there could be, but up to now his predictions have been accurate. One week before Christmas 2014, Connolly said the signal would return on 6 January 2015 and it actually returned on the evening of 5 January.
To safeguard against future signal problems, Ocean TV is currently building a UK satellite IPTV streamer using just four transponders to provide Majorca with eleven subscription free channels (better known as Ocean’s Eleven). The initial lineup will be just BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5, Channel 5 +1, 5USA, 5*, ITV3, Film 4, More4+1 BBC Radio, Gold, Radio One Mallorca, Spectrum FM, Sunshine Radio, Big Band Radio (fifties big band), Swedish radio. It will be ready some time in February. It has the ability to connect to your existing TV with a IPTV black box with no need for a satellite dish, just internet if your TV is under five years old and Samsung or LG brand. It can even work with just a smart TV app called Smart IPTV without the need for an external box. Sean Connolly doubts he will make any money out of streaming UK TV for free to expats in Majorca. He says he is doing it for the laugh. The last time he built something so complex was in 1982 when he was 14 years old, and it was a red LED electronic scoreboard for a Young Scientist competition.
After next week, Connolly says the signal will gain strength and will not drop significantly until the last week in November.