What you need
Choosing a Digibox The satellite we are looking for is Astra 2D which is positioned at 28.2° east, has a footprint concentered tightly on the British Isles, making reception difficult in big areas of mainland Europe. So the choice of box is important.
The best place to buy a Sky Digibox is from ebay.co.uk. At the moment most humans are upgrading to Sky+ and Sky aren’t bothering to gather their old boxes, so persons are retail them on ebay, where they are going cheap.
Ideally a Grundig GRD310/2 or Panasonic TU-DSB30 (not a 31) box is the best choice or look for old Pace and Grundig boxes which work superbly with low signals.
Buying a observing card Once again ebay.co.uk is the best place to get a card if you did not get one with the box. There is no divergence in the channels you may get on Freeview card equated to an expired Sky looking at card. If you want to watch subscription channels like Sky One then you will need a Sky contract, this requires a UK address and a UK bank account. One very easy way to do this is to get a friend, who has a Sky contract, to order a second box for ‘use in their caravan’ and then recompense them your subscription.
Personally I have never felt the urge to have any Sky channels. Freeview gives you all the BBC TV and radio channels, plus all ITV channels, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Choosing a satellite dish The only important thing in regards to a dish is the size, other than that, just pop down your local DIY store and you must find a suitable dish. Note that rather often, the shop will assume that you want to watch satellite TV from that country where a little 60/70cm dish will do, this is not the case here.
Look at the Astra 2D footprint map on astra2d.com and determine the size of dish you need. The larger the better, but as a guide you will need at least an 85cm dish for central France, 1.8m for Southern Spain, 3m for Mainland Greece and 3.5m for Turkey and Cyprus. I use an 85cm dish in the Southern French Alps and it does struggle on the digital only channels like ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4.
The detector is called a Low noise block downconverter ( LNB ) It is the device on the front of a satellite dish that receives the very low level microwave signal from the satellite, amplifies it, changes the signals to a lower frequency band and sends them down the cable to the indoor receiver.
There is not one thing particular regarding these and the one that comes with the dish must be fine.
It is possible to buy multi headed LNBs, the popular one being the Quad LNB which has four output cables that may independently feed 4 boxes.
Setting it all up There are normally local companies who will set up your scheme for you, in particular in the ‘ex pat hotspots’ such as The French Riviera, but with a little forbearance and a compass you may do it yourself, I’ll cover this in a later article.