TV or not TV that is the question

Dear Editor,

I have been reading over the last nine months or so with some interest, and a little concern, articles and letters relating to the upgraded BBC TV satellite, originally due to become operational in early July.As news on this has gone a little quiet recently, I thought I would turn to the internet (normally the font of all knowledge) to get an update.But for once information gleaned from the net seemed a little sketchy and inconsistent on the subject.

As we already know, a new satellite the Astra2E is to replace the old Astra1N.It was originally to have been launched this summer, and become fully operation during August. However it appears the launch has been postponed due to a serious malfunction of the Russian Proton-M rocket on a previous launch (basically the rocket blew-up just after take-off).

It now seems unlikely that anything will be launched until September at the earliest, and that is subject to the technical issues being assessed and overcome.But no-one seems to be really certain on this.

I have also looked at various images of the ‘footprint’ from the Astra2E.Unfortunately these are complex and seem to vary in detail.So it is impossible to be sure if we will continue to receive an acceptable TV signal in the Algarve for BBC and other UK channels, or whether we will need to upgrade to bigger dishes, perhaps as large as 1.5m diameter?

Therefore I would be extremely interested whether anyone would have any more accurate or up-to-date information on this very important topic.

Mark Jackman

By email