We're soon to head south to Spain and Portugal etc from La Rochelle and would like to know if there's any way we can continue to get Radio 4 once we lose LW reception. We can live without the telly, but would greatly miss Radio 4! Thanks
You'll need WIFI which is sometimes PAYG and sometimes free see WIFI. Although you can only get this in port many radio 4 programs are archived and are on demand ...
Worldspace are planning to add a European transmitter sometime so its just possible radio 4 might be added in the future so you could get your Archers fix anywhere in Europe, see Worldspace Satellite Radio (N.B. Worldspace have stopped doing weather forecasts /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif)
I was in touch with the BBC a few years ago about putting all their terrestial programmes on to their spare bit of the Afristar WorldSpace satellite. They consistently declined on the grounds that 1] they are commited to provide a service for the UK only. The have no mandate to spend licence money to serve anyone who chooses to leave our shores. And 2] The contacts for broadcasters did not allow it.
I asked that they consider a subscription service as I for one would be willing to pay for Radio 4 and Five Live.
I also asked that they change their contracts to allow for them to expand. They replied but not positively.
I also asked Virgin why they charge for their WorldSpace service. It is because ex pats don't provide revenue for the advertisers. Judgeing by some of the regulars on Scuttlebutt, I guess they are not far off the mark.
International digital broadcasting is underway using shortwave signals I think. I asked if they were planning to put their terrestial programmes on it and again their reply was negative for the same reasons. It is planned that it will broadcast their world service only.
Dont know the answer to your question (sorry!) but can highly reccommend Worldspace Sat Radio. Crystal clear World Service, National Public Radio etc hundreds of miles offshore 24 hours a day. Great company on night watches.
If you have a decent (SSB) receiver with a good longwire or dipole antenna, then it is possible to pick up Radio 4 LW throughout most of Spain and Portugal. Reception is readable by day, but in the south gets drowned out at night by African stations.
You can get Radio 4 and 5 Live near Gibraltar, because they're relayed by Brit Forces Broadcasting - FM 99.5. When we got down here (currently Marbella) the first voice we heard was Charlotte Greed . . wonderful!!! (and so you don't think I'm being sexist, it was brilliant to hear Eddie Mair again as well).
But I do mean near, because the coastal mountains on the Spanish eastern side block reception beyond Estepona-Marbella. Don't know about the Atlantic side.
There are a number of English radio stations dotted along the Spanish Med coast many of which seem to relay Radio 4 news (without paying for it, so I hear), but inbetweentimes they're all of the brainless music, brainless phone-in, brainless adverts repeated endlessly, brainless 'presenter' variety. :-(
Presumably other BFBS stations in the Med also relay R4 and R5?
Umm, satellite carries all the BBC radio channels and there are lots of ex-pats using the Astra satellites at 28.2deg E in Spain. The nice thing is that BBC is Free-To-Air so you don't need to fiddle around with a Sky card, and you can buy a cheaper Sat: box as sold by Lidl.
So you might need a bigger dish but you didn't specify and restrictions in your post so this is still valid advice. It all depends on how desperate you are for your "fix".
Since sound channels require less "bandwidth" than TV, you may be able to get away with a near-normal sized dish, and their are lots of boaters using satellite (at least in UK waters), so it's technically possible.