Easiest portable freesat to take to europe please

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Frithy, Dec 7, 2011.

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  1. Frithy

    Frithy
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    I'm really new to this, but I would like to buy a cheap box & dish on a tripod to take on our caravan holidays in Europe.
    I have a sky box I could take with me.
    I havent got a clue what I need or the best & easy way to set up.
    I have very little knowledge of what I'm doing.
    Please can anyone advise me???
    Thank you.
    65 year old pensioner!
     
  2. Mark uk

    Mark uk
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    If you have a sky box and get a suitable inverter from 12vdc supply to 240vac you should be okay. Unless there is a suitable box/system which works on 12v.
    Its only suitable for nearby Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Western Germany and North France) using a standard dish. The dish has to be aligned quite accurately too, my friend has practised with his in the back garden first on a tripod mount.
    I cant think of any particular system that fits your need.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2011
  3. Frithy

    Frithy
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    The caravan will be a static, So I will be on normal power & holidays will be most likely Holland & Germany.
     
  4. Mark uk

    Mark uk
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    I would think a standard Freesat system would be fine. The mains voltage is the same Europe wide.
    It 'might' take a bit longer to align, I cant comment because I dont know? I think there are devices to help you align your dish but in all honesty I dont know of any to recommend to you.
     
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  5. kevkbuk

    kevkbuk
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  6. lbear

    lbear
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    You can use your existing Sky box, assuming of course you have a 230v AC power supply in your caravan or on site (the old difference between 240v in the UK and 220v on the Continent no longer applies)

    The dish you will need will depend on where in Europe you plan to go. Satellites have a 'footprint' to restrict their transmissions to certain countries or areas. A bit like a torch beam, the strongest signal is over the target country, but there is spillage where the power is less 'bright'. So the further from the UK you go, the weaker the signal and the bigger dish you will need to receive the UK channels properly. Unfortunately it is also a case that the larger the dish, the narrower the angle it receives from so setting it up becomes trickier.

    The UK satellites are in an equatorial orbit at 28.2 degrees East so you have two adjustments to make - East/West and getting the dish at the right angle up and down so you point at the satellites.

    One thing I might suggest is that you look in the well known German owned discount supermarkets as they sometimes have complete kits, including a generic satellite receiver and portable dish in a carrying case like these but often cheaper as weekly special offers. Maplins do a range of separate dishes that would likely be more suitable abroad.

    Much cheaper than the tripod version may well be to have a mounting bar put on your caravan so you can attach an ordinary dish to it. That would probably be less likely to be stolen! This is a useful site for some practical advice.

    You will also find this map useful to assess what size dish you will need. As you can see, the Netherlands and the very western part of Germany can receive the main UK services using a 60cm dish but to receive properly in the old West Germany, you may have to use a larger 80cm dish.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  7. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Welcome to the forum Frithy.
    From what we've seen so far this is isn't really about Freesat at all, but I'll leave it here for the time being, and here are all the details about Freesat if that IS what you want: http://www.freesat.co.uk/.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  8. Frithy

    Frithy
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    I think I just need to know which system I do need!
    Is it Freesat or something else please.:confused:
     
  9. Andy98765

    Andy98765
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    I could be wrong here but I would suggest you look if you can sucessfully pick up the Freesat stations. My son lived in Denmark for a year, bottom line no chance of getting Freesat without a huge dish.
     
  10. logiciel

    logiciel
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    It depends on what you want to watch!
    Begin by taking a good look at the Freesat site, to see whether the channels that it provides would be adequate for you, and then if they would go on to check out the machines for receiving them.
     
  11. lbear

    lbear
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    Just to be clear, you have three choices of satellite box, in part depending on whether you only want to watch the UK channels and how far you are travelling.

    The 'cluster' of satellites at 28.2E broadcast direct to the UK. Your Sky box, a Freesat box or a generic satellite box will all receive the SD free to air channels. The HD channels and some others need a HD box. The difference in practice is the Electronic Program guide. Your Sky box will give you the Sky one which includes all their subscription channels so you may have to plough through it. The Freesat EPG only carries about 200 radio and TV channels and, apart from the first few, the channels are numbered in a different sequence. Generic boxes do not have an EPG but only display the Now and Next information for each channel. All the channels have four digit numbers and you will have a whole series of duplicates for the various BBC and ITV regions.

    As you will, presumably, only be wanting to watch UK programmes, your Sky box will be perfectly adequate. You just need to attach a set up satellite dish. The dish has two main parts, the dish itself and the 'LNB', The latter is the receiving assembly that attaches to the dish's 'horn' A cable goes from the LNB to your set top box. If you have a basic box, you need a 'single LNB'; if it is a recorder, you have to have a 'dual LNB' and a double lead for it to fully work. The dish, LNB, cables and the fixing hardware are sold separately for home use. As you will see from the links, some places sell specialist dishes with stands or tripods for touring use as complete kits but at greater cost than buying separate components and more DIY fittings like the poles and clamps described in another link.

    If your Sky box gives you all the channels you want, use it rather than buying a Freesat box as aligning the dish needs to be slightly more accurate for Freesat (technical reasons) Other satellite clusters are available over the continent so you could, for example, keep up with the news on Sky or the BBC World Service TV by accessing one of them. To do that, you would have to have a Freesat box in a special mode or a generic box..
     
  12. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Not so the Sky epg has dozens of channels from EB1.
     
  13. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Some do.
    I didn't presume, and said "It depends on what you want to watch!";)
    Why is that?
    Which one of them carries Sky News?
     

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