English TV in France (Important to note that in 2014 things are constantly changing therefore until things settle down some information may not be correct)

English TV in France!

Most people bring their UK TV with them when they move to France, this is ideal for most uses and as the first priority is often to receive UK TV it will enable you to that with a Free-to-Air (FTA) digital receiver and Satellite Dish.
However, if you intend to purchase a new TV and bring it over to France then you should take certain issues into consideration. Firstly, that French TV's, unlike most UK TV's are compatible with most European systems, Secondly, if you purchase the TV in France and something goes wrong then it is covered by guarantee. If you choose the right make it can be up to 5 years onsite. I personally recommend considering using local supplier who will normally install it for free, he is also available if something goes wrong as part of the service.
France uses a transmission system known as SECAM L, the UK uses PAL-I, if you wish to receive French terrestrial TV which has six stations broadcasting throughout the country: TF1, France 2, France 3, Canal Plus, M6 and Arte then it may not be possible with your UK TV through an an Ariel, however, it is not problem as there are other options to view French TV see options "French TV" below. Click Here for link

Use SKY Digibox, Freesat or Free-to-Air (FTA) box!

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UK TV in France is available using a SKY Digibox, Freesat or Free-to-Air (FTA) box via the ASTRA 2 Satellite. The ASTRA 2 Satellite's broadcasts all the (FTA) channels, which are open for anyone to receive, this includes all the free SKY and Freesat channels. Therefore receiving BBC and ITV in France is no problem also all English Radio stations. Channel 4 & 5 are now available on most receivers, it may be necessary to re tune the box, you will then be able to get these channel free of charge.
UK TV WITH SKY DIGIBOX: All the (FTA) Channels are available without a card Channel 5 is available with a Freeview card. This is not a subscription card but a one-off payment card. (It is now possible to get Channel 5 without a card by tuning the SKY Box manually see details below). If you wish to subscribe to Sky then there are many companies that offer this facility or alternatively you can subscribe via an English address. A lot of people continue their UK subscription to SKY and bring the card and SKY Box with them when they move to France. People often ask why they can I not purchase a card in France? The principle reason is that SKY does not have a license to operate in France, therefore it is effectively illegal to have a SKY subscription package in France and if SKY find out that you are using a subscription package in France they have an obligation to switch it off immediately canceling the contract.
How to view CH5 for free on a SKYBOX: To get ch5 it needs to be programmed into your receiver as an “other channel”, which is quite easy using Frequency =10.773, Polarity = H and Rate = 22000. Click here for full explanation.
UK TV WITH FTA BOX: The FTA Box's are available in France from Electrical Retail outlets, the price is usually in the region of 150.00€(Aquitaine Computers can supply FTA Box's), FTA Box's are often confused with the Freeview Box's that are available in the UK and France The French ones are easily identified as they have TNT on the packaging and only cost about 40.00€ they use standard TV Ariel FTA Box's are connected to a Satellite Dish. (See below for details on TNT)
UK TV WITH FREESAT BOX: The Freesat Box has been set up by the BBC and ITV as an alternative to SKY. When you purchase the box it includes a one off subscription to the service. They work of the same satellite as the other services therefore if your dish is tuned in correctly you will be able to plug it in and away you go. The advantage of the Freesat Box is because of the one off subscription more channels are available. These Boxes are easily available in the UK, prices vary so shop around for the best deal.
If you are purchasing a house in France and it was previously owned by English people then the Satellite will probably be aimed at Astra 2, if it was previously owned by French people then the Satellite will probably need to be realigned to the Astra 2 Satellite. This is not a big job for a competent person, and should not cost a lot of money.
What's on TV: One of the best ways is to visit the Yahoo website TV section it has full listing of UK TV programs and a lot of news about your favorite TV programs.

Why is the signal not a 100%?

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This is because the signal comes from three Satellites which are aimed at the UK, in France it is necessary to get a balance of all three to get all the Freeview stations. Therefore if you have a 100% signal it will be just aimed at one Satellite, and you will be limited to just a few stations, if you get a balance it is usually about 60 to 80% signal on the top line (Signal Strength) and 50 to 70% on the bottom line (Signal Quality)
The image above shows the signal test on a SKY Box which would normally be 60% to 70%. There are similar signal indicators on Freeview Box's.

UK Radio in France

English speaking Radio in France!

For those with SKY, Freesat or FTA you are able to get a whole range of Radio Stations. There is an alternative for those with Broadband (ADSL) Internet, it is possible to have Radio on your Computer the best options are the gadgets that come with the VISTA Gadget Bar and the Google Gadget Bar. These can be down loaded from the Internet, and installed on your Computer.
Another option is for those with ADSL is a WiFi Radio, it is a small box that picks up the WiFi signal from your Modem Router, it will work independently where ever there is a signal. I have also seen people using wireless speakers plugged into the Sky or FTA box that is tuned into the Radio, you just take the speaker with you and 'have music where ever you go'

French TV

French TV Analogue & Digital Systems !

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I am often asked about the best way of getting French TV. Basic French TV can be received in four ways; one, through a standard TV Ariel which will require a TV that is compatible with the french system (See Intro top of page) secondly through an analogue satellite system with an analogue box in your home connected to a satellite dish to receive the signal. Options one and two will receive the 6 basic French TV channels. The third option though a digital system such as TNT the forth option is to subscribe to one of the French Services, for example CANAL+ click for details.
To receive through a TV Ariel you will also need a booster to increase the ariel strength, as most areas the the signal is very weak.

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What is TNT TV

TNT in France is the same as the Digital service that is being introduced in the UK because the analogue TV is to be phased out. In France analogue TV will finish 2011. In France you can get TNT either through a standard TV ariel or from the Astra 1 Satellite at 19.2. To get TNT you need to purchase a decoder which are very cheap to encourage people to switch over. If want to know if TNT is available to you, go to the following website: www.matnt.tdf.fr/sources/mapview.php?rnd=946821
One of the advantages of TNT are that you will be able to receive multiple French TV stations.

Internet TV

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What is Internet TV: It is only applicable to those that have broadband ADSL internet and even then it is not available to everyone. For those people that have broadband you may be offered French TV Internet as part of the package. For example if you are with Orange ADSL you are often offered French TV as part of the package, what they do not tell you is that you need to purchase or rent a decoder from Orange to enable it to work.
The system works by plugging the the decoder into the TV socket on your 'livebox' in the case of Orange, other service providers will have a socket their Modem Router for you to plug the decoder into.