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End of Sky dish installations coming soon ?



  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    Not a chance they’ll go ahead until the stand-alone Puck is launched and in the market, so this won’t be happening tomorrow. Even then I suspect they’ll be slower to do it in Ireland where rural broadband is more of a problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭galtee boy

    I reckon there will be a crossover period of a number of years where Sky via broadband and via satellite will co exist, but I can see Sky via broadband being the only option on the next five years maximum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,205 ✭✭✭swoofer

    Not a hope.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    It will be at least that. I reckon some form of it will last as long as Freesat does, even if there is a gradual move of channels away. It may be little more than the “Sky Q essentials” in the end but while the channels are still on Astra they might as well keep it going for those they can only serve that way.

    After satellite goes, Sky are just another cable tv company, and that will have consequences in that the market in open access to their EPG / CAS services will be gone. Only channels that are part of a Sky package will be on the EPG. Witness with Sky Stream, Premier Sports is on the Irish EPG, where it’s part of a Sky package, but not on the U.K. EPG, where it pays for EPG and CAS services on satellite but this service doesn’t exist on Stream.

  • Registered Users Posts: 356 ✭✭fman

    And to point out, the original article posted has been updated with a denial from sky.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,757 ✭✭✭Gusser09

    Obviously prices will be lower as skys overheads with installing sats etc will be reduced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,205 ✭✭✭swoofer

    yes probably half price 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Aidan McCarthy

    Sky said no more Sky dish to be installed but they will installed them off course and more money for them to be made so don't be a fool just wait and see

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Aidan McCarthy

    And you believe them. They only say that so to get your money out of you so don't be a fool and you should not believe them anyway sky is very expensive anyway

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,165 ✭✭✭zg3409

    There is a massive legacy of existing users that would need help upgrading. Dishes only last 10 or 15 years particularly in coastal areas but they are now cheap and don't require a really good internet connection.

    Sky can't really give out free hardware to all existing customers and they want to lock customers into 12+ month contracts or provide hardware that only works with a subscription. I expect dishes will still be used by sky in 10 years.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 837 ✭✭✭crossmolinalad

    Read on the English sky site they will end sat dishes around 2023 and they will service existing sky dish consumers for another couple of years

    For sure in Ireland it will happen also soon

  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 45,280 Mod ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Click on the link in post no 1 and you will see where Sky have denied this.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    It will happen some day but not today or tomorrow.

    To reiterate they haven’t even launched a stand-alone version of Sky Stream yet in either the U.K. or Ireland. They aren’t going to stop dish installations until that is in the market for months and proven to work and there is customer acceptance. Even when they make that the default or even only option for new customers there will be years of dual running for existing customers. This won’t be like the digital changeover in that there won’t be a big incentive for existing customers to change and it’s likely there’ll be some resistance to the restrictions Sky Stream places on recording (if catch up exists you can’t record) and in the ROI market the lack of a real satellite turner (and consequent disappearance of the manual tuning facility) will be a concern for some.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,165 ✭✭✭zg3409

    That brings up an interesting point related to nation security etc. Part of the reason for Saorview is to ensure Irish people have access to Irish TV in case of security/ political reasons.

    In other countries the likes of netflix were forced to carry local TV channels so no user would not have access to in country created content and news.

    Assuming everything is going online and I know some RTE content is online, I wonder will we get some sort of Irish streaming box or even a UK/Irish free or low pay streaming box. The financials may not be there but there is a big trend to many under thirties not having or watching any Irish TV content. A beefed up rte player type streaming dongle with live TV might help, but ideally it would need UK channels to be a success.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    Been mentioned elsewhere but very relevant to this thread - Sky have finally got the stand-alone Puck ready for launch and it will be launched in the U.K. on 18th October - obviously a very necessary step to eventually doing away with the satellite option.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭galtee boy

    From little acorns, or in this case, a little puck !!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭rogue-entity

    Just in case you're not posting that in jest, it would actually increase Sky's overheads even when shifting a portion of these onto the customer.

    The more prosaic point is that streaming models are unsustainable replacements for broadcasting infrastructure. If I transmit a channel, then the cost to me as a broadcaster is fixed and reception by viewers is relatively cheap, making it very cost-effective to reach a wide audience. Streaming models do not achieve that, a broadcaster is going to pay per-viewer and the viewer also has to pay not inclusive of additional subscription costs.

    I don't see Sky dropping satellite transmission in the short term, but in the long term it may go away as Sky moves away from being a provider of linear television and towards being another Netflix. The leverage for them is in having exclusive rights to certain content for the UK/IE markets.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    The thing is that by launching Sky Stream, they’ve already started to incur the IP distribution overheads while still having to maintain the satellite overheads. Really they will want one delivery method in the long term. Satellite still has its advantage (commercial customers) and moreover a huge installed base. It will take years to shift that over and they will need to do deals to convince satellite customers to move over because they are losing the recording feature and access to some FTA channels. Not sure if “satellite snobbery” is still a thing in the U.K. now but I don’t think it was ever a thing here, if they think that will be the primary driver to get people to move.

    But really, this is where Sky have always been going. They were the carriage play that convinced everyone they were primarily a content play. Now they will be a closed system just like Virgin, Vodafone etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭rogue-entity

    It could be another raw deal, like the insult of being told to pay for a SkyTV subscription to be able to watch public service broadcasts (before Saorsat), for customers but time will tell.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭shoegirl

    Agreed - part of their issue at the moment is that the equipment is non propetiary so no vendor lock in AND their basic kit can be used to view free to view channels.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭shoegirl

    That is more related to decisions made here by broadcasters than Sky per se. UK & other countries have had extensive free-to-view feeds unscrambled on standard bands and satellites for a long, long time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭dublinman1990

    I would echo Gerry Wicklow's post in saying that I don't think Satellite TV will go out of date within the next 10 or 20 years. Once you have that perfect signal; It is still the most reliable method to get TV stations beamed into your house in the 21st Century.

    Having everything handed to you over the Internet is still plagued with so many issues like having to maintain multiple data centres in each country and the consequences to the environment when you are combining streaming services with doing everything else at work or at home online.

    Environmental media scholars from Universities around the world are still very concerned with how the impact of video streaming has a very negative effect on the environment.

    If you use linear TV including Satellite TV; it is still the most energy efficient way to actually watch TV at home which is also good for the planet.

    A new Satellite launch had only taken place at NASA's base in Cape Canaveral recently to provide existing Satellite TV & radio services to users who live in Central Europe. It is expected that this satellite will go live for anyone who uses the Astra 13.2. feed and for other uses within the next year or two.

  • Posts: 266 [Deleted User]

    Can’t see this being a rush, particularly with the uk being a relative laggard with fibre rollout at the moment. They’d lose a lot of customers.

    I would expect it will be a phase out and more of a hybrid service. It’s been similar with CANAL+ in France, and they are way ahead of the UK on fibre to home.

    Ireland’s actually also significantly ahead of the UK on that at present, and particularly in rural coverage. The rollout here has been quite rapid.

    Running Sky over VDSL is less than an ideal scenario.

    I could see the IPTV version becoming progressively more popular though with customers in apartments and areas that have tight planning issues around placement of dishes.

    Also for new customers, if they have adequate broadband, it’s effectively self install, plug and play. That’ll save sky a lot of installation overheads.

    With the existing Sky Q boxes half the time you’d have no idea if you’re watching from sat or steaming, it’s all very well mixed together.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,418 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    As dublinman1990 mentioned, Eutelsat recently launched new replacement satellites Hotbird 13F & 13G for the European market. Intelsat also recently launched Galaxy 31 & 32 for the US market. With a life expectancy of ~15 years that's an awful lot of expensive hardware for a "dying" market.

  • Registered Users Posts: 527 ✭✭✭TAFKAlawhec

    FTTH rollout in the UK has been pulling its finger out of its backside in the last 18-24 months or so - according to, who monitor the state of broadband technologies in the UK, the amount of properties in the UK that can now (October 2022) avail of at least a gigabit speed FTTH connection is close to 42%. Once you include all technologies capable of providing gigabit speeds (largely helped here by Virgin Media's Docsis network) that figure hits nearly 72%. Overall, the amount of UK properties that have at least a 30Gb downspeed connection is over 97% - while 4K video streaming does require a good amount of head room in terms of bitrate, 1080p streaming video using HEVC or VP9 video codecs are able to easily deliver excellent picture quality over 3-6Mb/s bitrates (even ADSL would do here in the majority of cases if carrying just one or two such streams).

    At current rates of progress, the percentage of premises in the UK getting a gigabit capable FTTH connection is increasing by about 1% per month (that's 1% of the overall premises where all premises = 100%, not just a 1% increase from the previous month). It's a little more than 1% most months, some moths it's slightly less than 1%.

    There are also some regional differences with these figures. For example a higher percentage of properties in Northern Ireland can avail of a gigabit connection (88.5%, 87.6% via FTTH/B) compared to the London region (82.6%, 47.5% via FTTH/B), a fairly startling figure when you consider the metropolis of London compared to NI where the urban/rural population divide is much more similar to that of the Republic than that of GB.

    (Source from Thinkbroadband - )

    As it is when it comes down to DTH satellite platforms - the method of watching linear channels being broadcast in pretty much all developed countries is on a downward trend and will inevitably continue to do so. Many minor channels (especially niche area & timeshift channels) are either closing or have already moved to online distribution only. However, "core" channels that have a long heritage of decades in their countries (state broadcasters, public broadcasters & major commercial stations) should still be fine for some time to come - the only question is just what how long "some time to come" means, and what linear channels they may refer to.

    Footprints for the new Hotbird 13F & 13G satellites aren't publicly available right now, but I suspect that they both have at least a widebeam very similar to the current birds at 13E - namely one that extends from the Azores in the west to the western Chinese border in the east, and from Svalbard & eastern Greenland in the north to the UAE in the south. It's been for several decades now a very popular hotspot for channels to reach their diaspora in the EMEA regions alongside more localised platforms for Italy, Poland & Switzerland. It's able to cover a relatively large area for such interested broadcasters at a position that has millions of dishes aimed at it. SES have also announced replacements for some of the older birds at 19.2E themselves. However it is currently clear that at least in the short to mid term DTH satellite platforms remain a viable market in Europe, but beyond that is uncertain. While the Hot Bird & Astra 1 satellites are intended for DTH broadcasting, should needs allow they can always be used for other data based uses in the future, Eutelsat & SES being able to shift around satellites in the Clarke Belt etc.

    Another thing to think about is that at 28E the current Astra 2E/2F/2G satellites are expected to reach their end-of-life by the end of this decade, given that these tend to have 15 year "missions" lifetimes these days (although satellites that don't suffer from notable malfunctions & aren't driven hard most of the time can extend this life by up to approx. a handful of years (especially if MEV vehicles become more common) before eventually succumbing to going into inclined orbits, and eventually a graveyard one) and I'd be pretty sure both SES and the major broadcasters on 28E (Sky, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc.) are having to think hard about future plans for the position - especially for channels that are currently on UK/Ireland beams from the current constellation, easy enough with broadcasts on a "Euro" beam but any potential satellites that are already in-orbit brought in to take over the current three going dark will likely need a capable/similar spot beam - and off the top of my head SES don't have too many of them outside of 28E above European skies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,418 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    FWIW Eutelsat 10B was due to go up tonight too but will probably be delayed by weather at The Cape. 28E spot beams are an interesting question and a seemingly shrinking market long term. I don't know if there are plans to upgrade them, let them retire gracefully at EoL or as you say, relocate to another orbit. I've been trying to remember was it one of the 19's that was kept in service years past it's prime at reduced output. They're tough old birds. (more resilient than my memory anyway 😁)

  • Posts: 266 [Deleted User]

    On a side issue, with regard to the French use of satellite, I have a feeling that Canal+ use of Astra 1 isn’t going to last much longer, and will probably mean the end of TNT-SAT, which they operate, at some point in the not too distant future. Whatever rural / camping aimed domestic satellite services are maintained will probably be just FranSat on Eutelsat 5° West B.

    The only thing I would hate to see is Sky imposing a Sky Broadband only lock in. I never found their broadband services all that great - same FTTH on OpenEir or Siro, but always found their back haul and international connectivity noticeably laggy compared the better Irish ISPs. They wouldn’t be my first choice of broadband provider.

    I could see a lot of the niche channels disappearing entirely, not just of satellite. The competition from over the top streaming services is absolutely huge, and growing fast. They can’t realistically have that much market potential, and then when you couple that with that looks like at least a UK recession in 2023, it’s not really boding well if you’re a niche broadcaster on old tech. Your ad revenue can really only go down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭Glaceon

    Astra 1B probably. Should have been replaced by 1K but soldiered on for few more years.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭mcburns07

    How does this work from the perspective of the delay in transmission you get on live sports? Is there any plans to reduce this as more and more people rely solely on streaming for their tv?