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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
We have now been living in Pau South West France for the last two months and decided we would like to install a tv package combining French and British. This has turned out to be far more complicated than expected.

Can anyone come up with a solution. Is there a free sat package available, if so how do you install?

Looking forward to your suggestions.

Judith
 

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As you've already found out, no doubt, there is no free French satellite tv. (German satellite tv was always the gold standard in that domain - all you needed was the satellite dish!)

And getting British tv in France usually involves some circumlocutions with a Sky box and subscription through some friendly address back in the UK. I've heard of some Internet driven access to British television, but those all seem to require a proxy to disguise the fact you're coming in from outside the UK.

We've had Canalsat now for years, and while the English language channels available are pretty much limited to the news channels (CNN, BBC World, CNBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera English, and France 24 English), the mainstream broadcast French channels (TF1, France 2 and 3 and M6) seem to be broadcasting more US and British programs in VM, where you can elect to get the original soundtrack. A few of the French satellite channels also make frequent use of VM - Canal Jimmy and Sci Fi especially.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As you've already found out, no doubt, there is no free French satellite tv. (German satellite tv was always the gold standard in that domain - all you needed was the satellite dish!)

And getting British tv in France usually involves some circumlocutions with a Sky box and subscription through some friendly address back in the UK. I've heard of some Internet driven access to British television, but those all seem to require a proxy to disguise the fact you're coming in from outside the UK.

We've had Canalsat now for years, and while the English language channels available are pretty much limited to the news channels (CNN, BBC World, CNBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera English, and France 24 English), the mainstream broadcast French channels (TF1, France 2 and 3 and M6) seem to be broadcasting more US and British programs in VM, where you can elect to get the original soundtrack. A few of the French satellite channels also make frequent use of VM - Canal Jimmy and Sci Fi especially.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev,

Thank you for this information. Will look into Canalsat. Have you heard of free sat? or had any experience of it?

Many thanks
Judith
 

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Hi Bev,

Thank you for this information. Will look into Canalsat. Have you heard of free sat? or had any experience of it?

Many thanks
Judith
Hi,
For UK TV look at "Freesat from BBC:ITV" site, you can get a standard box from about £50 (available in France also via UK sat installers (but install it yourself) more advanced boxes ,up to Sky+ standard available . There is NO subscription, NO card, NO need to activate by phone , just buy the box and plug in (it will ask you to enter your postcode-just put in your last UK code ,to get your regional channels).Sat. @ 28.5° E.
For french TV , no need to subscribe to Canalsat, you can now get a "Fransat" box + card for 99€ , NO further payments , to receive the main french channels + about 30 other free channels. See the website, or ask your local installer.
If you have to instal the dishes go for minimum 80cm, and have a go at setting them up yourself, installers charge a lot for what is a simple job. (Don't put the dishes on the chimney or roof, but within a short step ladder reach on a pole or a wall- installers always put them up high so that if the dish needs fine adjustment, you have to call them back-more excessive fees).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi,
For UK TV look at "Freesat from BBC:ITV" site, you can get a standard box from about £50 (available in France also via UK sat installers (but install it yourself) more advanced boxes ,up to Sky+ standard available . There is NO subscription, NO card, NO need to activate by phone , just buy the box and plug in (it will ask you to enter your postcode-just put in your last UK code ,to get your regional channels).Sat. @ 28.5° E.
For french TV , no need to subscribe to Canalsat, you can now get a "Fransat" box + card for 99€ , NO further payments , to receive the main french channels + about 30 other free channels. See the website, or ask your local installer.
If you have to instal the dishes go for minimum 80cm, and have a go at setting them up yourself, installers charge a lot for what is a simple job. (Don't put the dishes on the chimney or roof, but within a short step ladder reach on a pole or a wall- installers always put them up high so that if the dish needs fine adjustment, you have to call them back-more excessive fees).
Fantastic,

My husband is searching now. They are saying we need a dish of 1.5m in diam? does this sound about right? Also there are 2 sats in the sky here does it matter which one you point at?

All just so technical!!!!! I just like the plug into the back of the telly.

Many thanks

Judith
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi,
For UK TV look at "Freesat from BBC:ITV" site, you can get a standard box from about £50 (available in France also via UK sat installers (but install it yourself) more advanced boxes ,up to Sky+ standard available . There is NO subscription, NO card, NO need to activate by phone , just buy the box and plug in (it will ask you to enter your postcode-just put in your last UK code ,to get your regional channels).Sat. @ 28.5° E.
For french TV , no need to subscribe to Canalsat, you can now get a "Fransat" box + card for 99€ , NO further payments , to receive the main french channels + about 30 other free channels. See the website, or ask your local installer.
If you have to instal the dishes go for minimum 80cm, and have a go at setting them up yourself, installers charge a lot for what is a simple job. (Don't put the dishes on the chimney or roof, but within a short step ladder reach on a pole or a wall- installers always put them up high so that if the dish needs fine adjustment, you have to call them back-more excessive fees).
Where do you buy the freesat box Sky+ box from here in France?
 
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80cm and 90cm dishes are common.

You might want to check if a 1.5metre dish ( ex Jodrell Bank I think?) needs local planning permission.
 

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Also there are 2 sats in the sky here does it matter which one you point at?
Parsnips will no doubt have more info, but as I understand it there is a sort of dual-head thingee (obviously, I'm not a technical person either) you install on the dish that allows you to receive signals from two different satellites. We had to get one for our dish back when we first installed it because we were making use of two satellites.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Parsnips will no doubt have more info, but as I understand it there is a sort of dual-head thingee (obviously, I'm not a technical person either) you install on the dish that allows you to receive signals from two different satellites. We had to get one for our dish back when we first installed it because we were making use of two satellites.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi,
I'm afraid that to get BBC etc.via Freesat + French TV via Fransat you will need 2 dishes as the UK sat is at 28.5° E and Fransat is (I think) at 5° or 8° W, too far apart for a combined dish.
1.5m seems a bit big to me , who suggested it? Have a word with neighbours who have Sky and see what they use --the Freesat box receives the same signals as Sky. I would think 80cm + a HIGH PERFORMANCE LNB would be sufficient, but do check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi,
I'm afraid that to get BBC etc.via Freesat + French TV via Fransat you will need 2 dishes as the UK sat is at 28.5° E and Fransat is (I think) at 5° or 8° W, too far apart for a combined dish.
1.5m seems a bit big to me , who suggested it? Have a word with neighbours who have Sky and see what they use --the Freesat box receives the same signals as Sky. I would think 80cm + a HIGH PERFORMANCE LNB would be sufficient, but do check.
Ok,

Where would I be able to purchase a freesat box here in France? and a sat dish?

Judith
 
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Pt there is a sort of dual-head thingee (obviously, I'm not a technical person either) you install on the dish that allows you to receive signals from two different satellites.
Cheers,
Bev
The 'thingy' is called the LNB ( I don't know what it stands for), they come in 1-channel, 2 channel, 4-channel and possibly 8-channel.

They are relatively expensive here but the UK ones are identical.

You will need at least 2 channels if if you want to record (eg Sky+), so get a 4-way jobbie to begin with.

Oh, Ive just spent a couple of minutes googling and it would appear that 90cm IS the max you'll get away with, without PP.
 

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Ok,

Where would I be able to purchase a freesat box here in France? and a sat dish?

Judith
Hi,
Google UK satellite dealers in France for box, Dish etc. you can buy in large french suoermarkets and DIY.
If you know anybody coming over from UK you could get them to buy and bring Freesat box and (at least) 2 outlet LNB they will be cheaper there (dish may be too bulky).
 

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TV France

Hi,
We have now been living in Pau South West France for the last two months and decided we would like to install a tv package combining French and British. This has turned out to be far more complicated than expected.

Can anyone come up with a solution. Is there a free sat package available, if so how do you install?

Looking forward to your suggestions.

Judith
Hello Judith

I live in Provence, we have installed a Sky satalite, we use sky free view cards in a sky box for UK TV and we have a normal ariel for French TV. Replacement cards cost £20 from the UK. It is ilegal for sky to sell their system in France, you will have to import it.

You can buy the correct satalite dish here, you need to make sure that you have the right size dish for the reception in your area. It is also possible to buy your card here, but it is expensive.

The best option for you, if you have friends or family in the UK, get them to buy you a sky box. I bought 4 boxes on e bay, they came complete with cards, they cost me £45.00 each. (You can buy a sky system in Comet and other electrical stores in the UK, cost around £100.00.) My daughter brought them out for me. We have 4 TVs in the house, they all come off one dish, having 4 decoders means that we can watch different channels. If you only have one decoder to 2 or 3 TVs, you will only be able to view the same channel on each TV.

We just switch between UK TV and French at the touch of a remote control, the reception is perfect, we have friends in Spain and Italy, they have done exactly the same as we have, they all receive perfect reception.

Regards Amelia.
 

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Hello Judith

I live in Provence, we have installed a Sky satalite, we use sky free view cards in a sky box for UK TV and we have a normal ariel for French TV. Replacement cards cost £20 from the UK. It is ilegal for sky to sell their system in France, you will have to import it.

You can buy the correct satalite dish here, you need to make sure that you have the right size dish for the reception in your area. It is also possible to buy your card here, but it is expensive.

The best option for you, if you have friends or family in the UK, get them to buy you a sky box. I bought 4 boxes on e bay, they came complete with cards, they cost me £45.00 each. (You can buy a sky system in Comet and other electrical stores in the UK, cost around £100.00.) My daughter brought them out for me. We have 4 TVs in the house, they all come off one dish, having 4 decoders means that we can watch different channels. If you only have one decoder to 2 or 3 TVs, you will only be able to view the same channel on each TV.

We just switch between UK TV and French at the touch of a remote control, the reception is perfect, we have friends in Spain and Italy, they have done exactly the same as we have, they all receive perfect reception.

Regards Amelia.
Just be aware when you install SKY that viewing cards are sporadically (once every few years?) replaced. To get the new cards, you have to have a UK address to which cards can be sent (SKY won't post them abroad). If a friend or family bought the set-top box and registered it in UK before bringing it out to you, no problems - they can just send it out to you when they get it. But if you bought it off eBay etc, you may have trouble getting the new card (each card is matched to each box). This is the case with subscription service from SKY and may not affect freesatfromsky, but it may.
You can avoid all these potential problems by getting a box called Freesat (nothing to do with freesatfromsky). It costs from around £50 in standard definition, £70 for HD (but spend around £120 for a good make like Humax) and doesn't require a viewing card and can be used in France with a dish, pointed at the same location as SKY.
freesat - Home - freesat brilliant TV for everyone
You won't be able to subscribe to premium channels like Sky Sports, Movies etc, but otherwise you get a very similar range of stations as freesatfromsky. SKY also provide free view card (for viewing free-to-view channels) for something like £20, but they only send it out to an address with UK TV licence.
 

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Just be aware when you install SKY that viewing cards are sporadically (once every few years?) replaced. To get the new cards, you have to have a UK address to which cards can be sent (SKY won't post them abroad). If a friend or family bought the set-top box and registered it in UK before bringing it out to you, no problems - they can just send it out to you when they get it. But if you bought it off eBay etc, you may have trouble getting the new card (each card is matched to each box). This is the case with subscription service from SKY and may not affect freesatfromsky, but it may.
You can avoid all these potential problems by getting a box called Freesat (nothing to do with freesatfromsky). It costs from around £50 in standard definition, £70 for HD (but spend around £120 for a good make like Humax) and doesn't require a viewing card and can be used in France with a dish, pointed at the same location as SKY.
freesat - Home - freesat brilliant TV for everyone
You won't be able to subscribe to premium channels like Sky Sports, Movies etc, but otherwise you get a very similar range of stations as freesatfromsky. SKY also provide free view card (for viewing free-to-view channels) for something like £20, but they only send it out to an address with UK TV licence.

Hi,

Having used both Sky and Freesat (and pre-sky systems when first in France) I fully endorse what joppa says.
 

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hi,

having used both sky and freesat (and pre-sky systems when first in france) i fully endorse what joppa says.
i have had sky for 6 years, the card for sky free view is not matched to the box! You can buy them here in france around €80 a card, but in the uk you can get a card for £20 direct from sky. I have a number of friends who have sky system, it is very good, better than what we had before sky. Some of our friends have sky packages, very expensive, but they do not have a problem getting their card registered with friends or family in the uk.

You get ripped off with some people supplying sky here in france, i know they need to make a living but prices quoted for sky here in france are far too high. At least if you register a card in the uk you will not have a problem. You can buy a new system with card in the uk for free view sky, for around £100.

With digital switch over there are no worries with sky, it is done for you.

I do not know anyone of our friends who have had a problem with sky. I prefer sky to other options.
 

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I know free-to-view cards from SKY can be used on any box, and that they seem to have unlimited life.
While SKY box with free-to-view card is good, it still doesn't beat Freesat, which gives you, for extra one-off £20 or so for HD box and no ongoing cost, HD channels from ITV and BBC. It doesn't use viewing card, so it simplifies things. Even a visitor to UK can pop into any TV shop and buy a Freesat box, take it to France and hook it up to a dish (easily bought and intalled in France). SKY in my view is only necessary for those who want premium packages like Sports and Movies. To do that requires a proper UK residential address (not PO Box etc), and preferably a friend or relative who can deal with SKY on your behalf. If you don't have anyone, your choice is to buy an expensive package in France, or buy from a dealer in UK who specialises in this field.
 
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