UK Satellite Broadband Advice

chrisloudon

Active Member
Hi all,

If anyone has any experience with UK Satellite broadband services, I would welcome your thoughts, comments and experiences.

Having recently moved to a small village in southern Scotland, I am around 4kms from my nearest cabinet and while it is FTTC enabled, the signal drop-off levels result it me being better off with a box standard DSL connection rather than going for fibre.

My current connection speeds are 11Mbit down and 1Mbit up which is really struggling to serve the rather excessive list of PCs, phones, smart TVs and consoles that I have in the household.

This has left me in a position of looking at alternatives and since even my 4G reception is woeful it leaves a satellite service as my only option.

I have done a little digging and can see a few providers advertising speeds of up to 50 down and 6 up and although it looks like Satellite services don’t offer an unlimited data allowance, they do give you a chunk of data that is classed as priority with anything exceeding this allowance throttled. While this isn’t ideal, it is much better that I currently have and from what I have read, even the throttled data speeds are no worse than my current rates.

I am not an online gamer so poor latency is not an issue.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Chris
 

chrisloudon

Active Member
Hi there, thanks for replying.

Unfortunately, Lothian Broadband don't service my village. I give them a poke once every 6 months for an update but their service relies on line of sight and my village is surrounded by obscuring tree lines.
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
Whats your mobile signal like.

@Ed Selley and @Steve Withers have had mobile network solutions fitted for their home broadband and early days, but both have said they are well happy.
 

chrisloudon

Active Member
Pretty rubbish is the short answer.

Vodafone is the only operator that can provide any connection and even then it's pretty bad. In the house I can get an H or occasionally H+ and if I'm lucky i can get a 4G signal at the bottom of the garden but up and download rates rarely exceed my 11Mbit DSL
 

Essoman

Well-known Member
If you have sky q it will not work with satellite broadband, I tried but the latency is really bad and the speed is awful.

11mbs you have is great, I’m 2k from my fibre box and get 1.5mbs!
 

chrisloudon

Active Member
If you have sky q it will not work with satellite broadband, I tried but the latency is really bad and the speed is awful.

11mbs you have is great, I’m 2k from my fibre box and get 1.5mbs!

That sucks as I do have SkyQ.

Who did you go with and did they offer an accurate estimate of the service quality / speed before you placed an order was it just suck it and see?
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
Pretty rubbish is the short answer.

Vodafone is the only operator that can provide any connection and even then it's pretty bad. In the house I can get an H or occasionally H+ and if I'm lucky i can get a 4G signal at the bottom of the garden but up and download rates rarely exceed my 11Mbit DSL
Bugger.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Satellite broadband is not great as a primary source. Latency can be 100ms, which is significant. You tend to find that while browsing you get a huge pause, then everything arrives at once. Streaming is just about impossible and the speed fluctuates so much that the quality level changes all the time. Just about acceptable for email and browsing, but that's about it.

I would suggest you get one of these: UK Broadband 4G Router | Unlocked Cat 4 Wireless Mobile LTE Router with a few different sims and find out which one works best. I find that 3 and EE usually give me the best signal, but you can use the signal strength checkers to confirm. As EE are soon to be providing the police with their new radio system, their network is steadily improving coverage.

You might be surprised the signal strength that these routers will achieve. Play with the positioning of it within the house until you get the best signal. The wifi is also excellent and will cover most average houses with ease.
 

Essoman

Well-known Member
That sucks as I do have SkyQ.

Who did you go with and did they offer an accurate estimate of the service quality / speed before you placed an order was it just suck it and see?

Avonline, it was suck it and see, it did not work with Sky Q, so I had it removed, don’t bother with it its useless
 

sraper

Well-known Member

chrisloudon

Active Member
Thanks for all the tips guys.

After some more digging and review reading yesterday, I'll be putting the satellite idea to bed.

I would suggest you get one of these: UK Broadband 4G Router | Unlocked Cat 4 Wireless Mobile LTE Router with a few different sims and find out which one works best.

I like this idea, definitely worth further investigation.

Is there a way of reliably checking coverage and speeds? I suppose I could just order a few pay as you go sims from various providers and see how things go using my Ipad.

C
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the tips guys.

After some more digging and review reading yesterday, I'll be putting the satellite idea to bed.



I like this idea, definitely worth further investigation.

Is there a way of reliably checking coverage and speeds? I suppose I could just order a few pay as you go sims from various providers and see how things go using my Ipad.

C
Yep, we use these - or at least something similar at work to provide temporary internet for events etc. We just get some pay as you go data sims - Amazon is a good source for these and see which one has the best service.

I would not rely on the iPad to tell you which is the best, as the 4G on them tends not to be the best. Maybe order a router from Amazon - these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-Un...rds=4g+router&qid=1562573047&s=gateway&sr=8-3 are pretty good, and see how you get on. If it works OK, happy days, or go for the more robust version that gives better wifi coverage if that side is struggling.

One of these will be joining us in the Lake District in a couple of weeks, as our kids rate wifi just above oxygen in terms of life support...
 

55LGC9

Member
Thanks Chris Louden for starting this thread as I am about to upgrade to 4K UHD from HD and a bit concerned about the increase in data needed. I am 4.7 km away from the Toddington Telephone Exchange and only seem to have one sensible option - Virgin.

I previously had Broadband from BT it was about 2mbs. I changed to using EE 4g data SIM in a Netgear Nighthawk M1 Router with a speed of 15 to 50mbs depending on time of day.

Then I listened to the latest Nov Podcast and Phil Hinton said he had just ordered a Sky Package and the 4K UHD box and said it was Satellite fed. The chat is 3:58 of 1:39:45 to help you find it. Then I groaned when I read your thread above as this recording box may not work. Surely Phil would up to speed?

Could someone please look at Toddington Exchange in Bedfordshire and tell if I have a viable alternative to Virgin media fibre or EE's 4G data solution? I don't understand if BT IP Stream is a solution.

I don't game but it would be nice to stream 4K UHD material. I will of course get the improvement of HDR and upscaling on HD
 

chrisloudon

Active Member
Hi 55LGC9

I can confirm the UHD (Live) signals on SkyQ are from the satellite feed so you are not affected by poor broadband speeds however, any UHD content (on-demend) will take some time to download and rarely becomes playable until the entire program or film has finished downloading.

With regards to your broadband and the 2Mbits you had with BT. Did you have fibre or regular vanilla DSL? A fairly recent Openreach engineer visit to my property showed 5.5Km of cable between my house and the exchange which on regular DSL which doesn't degrade over distance as much as fibre gives me around 11mbit.

I had a similar conversation with a new member to the village who signed up to a fibre service and is only getting 4mbits.

I am due to have a 4G Mimo external antenna fitted to my chimney stack tomorrow so i will report back on how it performs but I suspect it will only be a possible solution to others depending on signal strength.

C
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Could someone please look at Toddington Exchange in Bedfordshire and tell if I have a viable alternative to Virgin media fibre or EE's 4G data solution? I don't understand if BT IP Stream is a solution.

IP Stream is an ADSL package, possibly what you previously had from BT (it may also have been FTTC depending on package).

Local FWA ISPs may be an option. I'll let you look through the list to see which are in your area but scanning the first page Bitstreme may work

Worth checking through the fibre list too in case there are any local networks nearby but I couldn't see any in a quick glance:
 

55LGC9

Member
Hi 55LGC9

I can confirm the UHD (Live) signals on SkyQ are from the satellite feed so you are not affected by poor broadband speeds however, any UHD content (on-demend) will take some time to download and rarely becomes playable until the entire program or film has finished downloading.

With regards to your broadband and the 2Mbits you had with BT. Did you have fibre or regular vanilla DSL? A fairly recent Openreach engineer visit to my property showed 5.5Km of cable between my house and the exchange which on regular DSL which doesn't degrade over distance as much as fibre gives me around 11mbit.

I had a similar conversation with a new member to the village who signed up to a fibre service and is only getting 4mbits.

I am due to have a 4G Mimo external antenna fitted to my chimney stack tomorrow so i will report back on how it performs but I suspect it will only be a possible solution to others depending on signal strength.

C
Thanks "Chrislouden" and "EndlessWaves"

Yes you are differentiating between " live" and "on demand"so that means Satellite in theory is viable for my needs so I added Sky into my possible ISP's. Unfortunately when I spoke to them they were unable to supply me with Broadband which they deliver on the BT wires which are still only capable of supplying 2mbs. At least Sky were honest and refused to supply me something which they felt was unfit for purpose due to BT lines.

Yes the BT service I used to have was plain ADSL.

The Bitsteme suggestion from "EndlessWaves" was something I never considered however they never bothered to reply to my enquiry perhaps because I am a distance from their transmitter. They are more expensive than EE's 4G who give me a 25% discount on my data SIM because I have 2 Phone SIMs from them as well.

My concern is I have a data cap from EE however I can get up to 4 times my current 50GB so I might upgrade to 100GB see how that does and then go up to 200GB if and when any UHD programs ever get shown on terrestial TV.

I am happy to keep up my existing practice of going through my "TV choice" and choosing from my Humax HDR - 1800T EPG. Of course I don't have catch up and the Humax has a very small HD (320GB). I was thinking of a bigger recorder and perhaps the FVP 5000T 2TB would meet 4K demands. I seem to be used to the Humax clunky interface! Apparently Panasonic is even clunkier.

My concern is that CatchUp TV quality seems to be SD rather than HD and the sound quality seems poor and I want to feed my ONKYO TX-NR with a good signal for surround sound.

I also wondered if CatchUp covers all Freeview channels or is it limited to the majors?

Ah you are saying I need to get into streaming and yes I think my new smart TV viewing could do with a subscription to Netflix so I better do that as well to get some 4K content.

Any suggestions I have overlooked to my "no fibre system design" greatly appreciated.
 

55LGC9

Member
IP Stream is an ADSL package, possibly what you previously had from BT (it may also have been FTTC depending on package).

Local FWA ISPs may be an option. I'll let you look through the list to see which are in your area but scanning the first page Bitstreme may work

Worth checking through the fibre list too in case there are any local networks nearby but I couldn't see any in a quick glance:
Thanks for thinking of solutions that I had not thought about. Hoping you give me some pointers on my "Non fibre system design" and I added the other elements in my reply to Chrislouden.

There was also the option to go with Virgin media however prefer not to go back to them.

Bitsteme never replied and were expensive
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
My concern is that CatchUp TV quality seems to be SD rather than HD and the sound quality seems poor and I want to feed my ONKYO TX-NR with a good signal for surround sound.

I also wondered if CatchUp covers all Freeview channels or is it limited to the majors?

Catch-up is a general term for streaming services from providers who also broadcast channels on TV rather than a service itself.

In terms of which channels have catch-up services running alongside it does include all of the channels of the major broadcasters, and some but not all of the other channels. Although it's fairly comprehensive nowadays.

Although just because the service is available doesn't mean there's an app for it on your particular devices so some you may need to play via a laptop or phone.

The quality of the video on the catch-up services does vary but it's generally pretty good nowadays with all of the major ones being in HD. I've no idea how common surround sound support is though.

The Bitsteme suggestion from "EndlessWaves" was something I never considered however they never bothered to reply to my enquiry perhaps because I am a distance from their transmitter. They are more expensive than EE's 4G who give me a 25% discount on my data SIM because I have 2 Phone SIMs from them as well.

I have no experience with them as I'm not in that area but it's odd they never replied. Did you phone them or e-mail?

There was nobody else on those lists covering your area?

I thought EE were offering unlimited data these days rather than the old 100/200/500GB packages?
 

55LGC9

Member
Hi EndlessWaves,

Thanks for your very interesting input and I am reflecting again on the viewing system.

In particular your positive comments on Catchup quality. Much to my delight a bit of research shows BBC iplayer has some 4K nature programs shot with very expensive Canon lenses so the HDR will be stunning as well.

I am also aware that Canon 's "broadcast" lenses at the Olympics can cost up to £2m each so this could spill over eventually perhaps to F1 on Channel 4.

Being a photographer I suspect that HDR will give more people enjoyment than increasing picture resolution. I certainly use HDR processing whenever it is appropriate

Apparently Liberty are furious that Sky have world exclusive TV rights to live F1 so hardly anyone in the world sees F1 live which is stupid. Not one of Bernie's smartest deals!

I studied the recorder resolution issue and only Panasonic and Manhattan T3-R are compatible with UHD (4K) and the later do a 1TB model which might do the job nicely. They say it will record streamed data which is interesting.

There are some Freeview programs which have Dolby + sound which can be 5.1 or 7.1 and most are films obviously. It sounds impressive and you just cycle tho the decoding options on the remote until you find what sound's best.

I need to study the various options from EE for SIM cards and 2 offers do have unlimited Data however most don't. I might add some swappable data passes to my SIM so that I can watch unlimited BBC i player and if I take out a Netflix subscription then their Data comes free.
 

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