Advice on Sat set up in France


James B

I am looking for advice on what to buy to receive both UK and French TV in northern France. I have the house, but as yet no equipment so I can start from scratch. I have a second Sky digibox and card in the UK that I can take to France during extended stays. I want to be able to watch TV in up to three rooms, but not necessarily at the same time. These rooms have each been wired for two statellite points. At the time the thinking was that I would need two dishes.

I don't particularly want a motorised dish because it will have to be wall mounted in a difficult location (for subsequent access). I believe I could have a single dish with two LNBs (?). If I bought multistandard TV's with a built in decoder for free to view stuff would I be able to switch between UK and French broadcasts, and then plug in my Sky didbox as and when?
I'm keen to incorporate future proofing to a sensible degree, and my budget is open to suggestions!! I'm more interested in getting a good reliable system, than saving a few pennies.

I'm sorry if this is a bit of a ramble but I am in no way technical. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks



Dazed and Confused Admin
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It depends what you mean by French TV. Obviously if it's just the terrestrial TV then a normal TV aerial and TV should get these for you. If you can't then the post above gives some answers for the reception of French terrestrial TV on analogue satellite.

If you mean subscription French TV then look in the Viaccess section for some clues. From reading other posts on the site there appears to have been a code change which is giving some problems. The 3 pay TV operators are in digital on 19E and 13E. These can be received using an 80cm dish with 2 LNBs but without the correct codes (or a legitimate subscription!) will be just a blank screen.

UK TV can be received using a standard region 1 minidish coupled to a digibox in northern France. This is broadcast from 28E. You could have a 3rd LNB on your 80cm dish pointing at 19E if you want to limit the number of dishes.

Most TVs in France are multistandard so that they can show both PAL and SECAM transmissions in colour. You will most probably have to use a scart (peritel) connection between the digibox and TV as the UK PAL differs from continental PAL. Anyway this will give superior quality sound and picture. It does cause a problem if you want to pipe the UK pictures and souns around the house though.

I don't know what you mean by a TV with built in decoder. If you are thinking of a UK IDTV (integrated digital TV) then this ONLY for UK terrestrial reception - and anyway it isn't a decoder, just a digital reveiver.

I'm sure I've missed loads of answers out but please feel free to ask more.


Just for your information. In the south of France I use a digibox plugged into a French dual standard video recorder and then a dual standard French TV - all with scarts.

Sometimes I also have a Nokia 9800S connected with scarts for other satellites.


I would not recommend using a Sky box for french sat TV. Unless channels are on Sky's epg, getting to them is a real pain, as you have to tune each TP individually, and then when you want to watch it, you have to go through the services menu. A real pain.
With any FTA or CI box you can watch all BBC channels and radio. Also, you can (currently) recieve ITV3. ITV is also discussing the future of using the Sky access system and it looks reasonably likely they will leave the Sky encryption system and follow BBC's path.

Watch this space!