Great news for HD Fransat users, simply go to “Auto Tuning” and when its completed its scan, you will have another 6 channels to watch. HD launched in France on December 12: Chérie 25, HD1, L’Équipe 21, Numéro 23, RMC Découverte and 6Ter. The New section of the Satellite operator Eutelsat reported:
Homes already equipped with a FRANSAT HD box will automatically receive the new channels using the channel numbering fixed by France’s national broadcasting authority (the CSA). Homes with a Standard Digital FRANSAT box can upgrade to an HD box to get the full line-up of content. For the 75% of French homes equipped for terrestrial reception, access to the expanded line-up will be possible with a satellite dish and a FRANSAT HD box, available in over 8,000 retail outlets across metropolitan France.
If you can’t be in France with Family this Christmas, enjoy a few Christmas programmes on the telly with a French Satellite Installation! Watch the celebrations” Le Réveillon” mass”, le fête de lumiere”s in Lyon, “La fête des Rois ” in the new year and hope not to meet Père Fouettard !
I can install many different French tv installations, from only £280 depending on channels required and location, email me with your post code for an estimate or for a quote, go to the main website , get your coordinates and tell me your requirements – TF1 + M6 or France 2,3,5,0 Arte, TNT, Fransat or All french channels listed on the French Page
Such is the march of progress…. TNT box manufacturers have decided to stop production of the SD ( Standard Definition ) TNT receivers, to concentrate on HD only.
I have noticed that all orders for the last year have been for HD boxes , in both TNT and Fransat. The trend is also towards recording boxes, or ones which have the ability to connect a recording device directly. USB discs ( the same as can be used on a PC ) , providing they are formatted correctly for the box, can be used to record programmes. Hd channels do take up quite a few hundreds of Mb for a one hour show, so make sure you have a large drive, 500Gb seems to be ideal. The SD french boxes, with one exception did not have this option fitted.
Also , new tvs of course have a multitude of HDMI inputs and very few , usually only one now, scart connections. Scart leads give the older analogue signals, but for top quality, a HDMI lead will give the best performance, being digital, it is not so easily interfered with, can transfer data at high speed and there is no compromise, as there is with composite video , this is the normal standard for video , which has been with us for the last 30+ years, since video recorders!
The only downside, in the demise of the SD box, is that many of my customers ask if the pictures can be taken to a second room , perhaps a bedroom. Unfortunately this means via aerial cable, which requires a modulator, virtually none of the HD equipment have modulators now, so there is now more expense , for an external modulator , if watching on a second set is essential. Another possibility is of course a second HD TNT box, but that will double up the price . No doubt the manufacturers have already thought of that !
I recently installed a couple of multisatellite systems, both in Peterborough within a few weeks of each other , one done with a Technomate TM5402HD receiver and the other with a Humax TN5000HD TNT Sat receiver, here is a comparison of the results and problems, which might be of help to anyone deciding which way to go.
My customers were interested in slightly different priorities of channels one Spanish and the other French, but the comparison is useful for anyone wanting French Channels.
95% of French Channels are available free, but they are spead over different satellites, so needing quite a complex array of LNBs on the dish to get the maximum range of available channels. France4 is the only major channel missing from the free range of channels. The TNT box of course will get all the major channels from the Astra satellite alone, so how good is it when setting up for German, Spanish, Italian, Greek etc as well as its native French channels?
Firstly the Humax is designed to auto set up TNT channels from Astra1 and order them in the usual TF1, France2, France3 ,…… order, but has options for many other satellites to be included in the antenna setup menu. Our installation included Thor5, Eutelsat W3, Hotbird and Astra 1 with a 4 way diseqc switch. This was very easily accommodated on the Humax menu, simply entering the appropriate number associated with the 4 LNBs.
On exit from the Humax menus, you are prompted to Confirm, this doesnt default to ‘Yes’ so be careful when finished any sorting, or tuning, that the operation is saved. The remote keys are a little quick to repeat if held down, you can easily dismiss this dialogue when hitting the exit key.
Tuning was reasonably quick on the Humax, although much slower than the Technomate HD receiver. Turning the Network search off, helped to speed up the operation. Searches could be done on the TNT channels, A single transponder or Automatically all transponders on a satellite. Strangely the TNT search was very ponderous, taking a long time and not showing any results until the very end.
As with most of my installations, I will put the main channels from each country into a different favourite group, for ease of use. The Technomate has a really easy to use grouping method, grouping can be done in any order, the lists can be shown in number or alphabetical order or CAS or transponder order. By comparison, although not too bad by many standards, the method on the Humax was a little awkward. First you create a new group and name it. Then once in list mode, you can mark required channels using the pause key, then press ‘OPT’ to save channels to your new group . Make sure you confirm on exit from this procedure.
One disappointment is that the Humax will not group channels from different satellites, so for example the Turkish channels of which one is on Astra, the rest of Eutelsat, couldnt all be put into the same group. The Technomate achieved this easily.
The Technomate 5402HD is a great value HD receiver, popular with satellite enthusiasts because of its price and facilities. Its menu system allows all the usual tuning, grouping of channels and other communications setups like the USB memory stick/HDD etc. Once you have the receiver set up as you like, the settings can be stored simply and quickly on a USB memory stick. Go to Menu/system/USB/data transfer and the channels and favourite groups are stored by pressing (red) on the remote. The opposite function, restoring channels etc. is achieved by highlighting the saved .chdf file and pressing ‘OK’ to restore it. After rebooting the operation is complete. The Technomate Software website is full of useful addons which enable more functions on the 54o2 and other models to do streaming to tv and more.
The transponders listed on several satellites on the Humax were unfortunately out of date, although the options were there to enter details and scan for channels on new transponders, this process was tedious and slow. On the Technomate, there is ‘BLIND Search’ which will tune any new transponders quickly and automatically. I wish manufacturers would include the facilities to save settings via USB, use a channel editor to include quickly any missing / changed transponders and create a backup file, which can be quickly restored , should the worse happen! Speaking of which… during the installation, I made the mistake of entering the ‘first time’ setup menu, during tuning and ordering of channels, which wiped out all my work! So beware, there is no confirm dialogue on this menu.
The installation for French channels done on the 5402 had to include the satellites Eutelsat 5w, Hotbird, Astra1 and Eutelsat 9a, to get all the channels which are enabled simply with the viewing card on the Humax TNT box. So the Humax scores well here as the other 3 LNbs can be set up on a range of different satellites. But at nearly twice the price of the Technomate, is it really a better deal? Certainly the pictures are good on both receivers, no complaints there, each one will tune in most of the same channels , from France and elsewhere, both handling the HD channels well. My experience of the Technomates shows that the tuners are the best on the current market, several times when installing weak satellites ( Czech channels on Astra 3, Nilesat and BADR4) other receivers have shown picture break up or in one case no channels at all, the TM displaying perfect rock steady pictures. I know if I had to choose when installing for French AND say Nilesat, it would have to be the Technomate receiver.
Adding a HDD ( Hard Drive) for recording. Both receivers have USB connections for use with portable PC drives to record programmes. As long as you use the drives recommended by TM technical, no problems with recordings have ever come up. In the case of the Humax TNT box, I used my usual Western Digital HDD, a 500Gb size drive. Recordings were good, very smooth in playback. Pressing the play key, brought up the list of recordings on screen. Titles, dates and channel were all stored making selection and sorting of recordings very easy. Setting up the drive was easy and automatic, once it was prepared correctly. As with the Technomate receivers , the best method is to use my GUI software, download it here http://www.satellitetveurope.co.uk/HDD.html it certainly worked with both the installations above. Plug in your new drive to the pc or laptop USB, note the drive letter assigned to it, Download Gui software, and run it to properly prepare the HDD for the use with a satellite receiver. I found out recently that 500Gb is realistically the largest size that will work properly in the TM receivers, as the 1 TB size drives slow down the operations too much to work correctly, so best to stick to this size with the Humax as well. With the 5402 receiver dont expect to be able to record from a Guide menu, not all foreign broadcasters have the same format, or even any Guide! ( Spain ) . Germany at least on their main channels has a fully implemented 7 day Guide broadcast.
This gets around the problem of having to purchase a new receiver just for the main French channels
Update July 2016.
This cam has now been replaced, the current cams do not work in set top boxes
BIS has just added a sports package – the ” Be In ” at a low price you can now keep up to date with the best of French Sports. This is available to existing viewers having the Fransat package and BIS viewers on the Hotbird satellite.
This year the following will be covered by be IN sports
- FA cup
- Ligue 1
- Euro 2012
- UAFA Europa League
- Champions League
- Lega Calcio
Contact me with your requirements for a quote ( email@example.com )
For my customers, purchasing a replacement TNT card after its 4 year period has expired just became a whole lot easier. I can now supply the replacements, at £ 25 incl all charges and postage, simply quote the serial number when emailing me to purchase it.
The new arrangement makes updating simple for customers in the Uk, previously only customers having a French address, could update online, on the TNT website.
As has been reported in the national papers, people refused permission to install satellite dishes because they live in flats or similar accommodation, have new hope now because of the human rights declaration in the EU. In a new document “Human Rights at Home” published by the ECHR European Court of Human Rights, the judgement states that there will be grounds to sue Landlords if they try to stop tenants erecting satellite dishes.
Read the full document here
The Major French channels TF1, M6 W9 and M6HD are broadcast to Switzerland on the Eurobird9 satellite FREE! FTA (Free to Air) viewers can contact me for dish modifications and receiver re programming to be able to add these channels to the current list of free channels from Astra 1 and Hotbird. Viewers using the Atlantic bird satellite for the other main French channels France2, 3, 5 and o can also have modifications to include the TF1 etc from Eurobird
The model currently supplied for FranSat tv, is the Wisi OR03. Putting the card in the slot, in the lower half of the box, unlike previous models the card is visible, as it does not have a cover. It should be placed in the slot with the bar-code and word “FRANSAT” upwards. Don’t forget to only insert the card after checking that the dish is correctly aligned and after checking on a free channel like TV5 monde.
The only disappointing feature is the favourites list , despite the instructions saying that multiple lists can be created, I could not find the onscreen ICON to do this, which is probably an oversight in the user book, maybe an alternative model has this feature. Anyway with careful choice when storing your favourite channels, a satisfactory arrangement of channels can be made in the single available favourite list.
When in standby the Wisi displays the time and the channel number when switched on and working.
The one feature missing from the previous Fransat offerings ,which is a great boost for those wanting to see these channels in another room, as well as where the box is installed, is that the Wisi has an on-board modulator. It can put the picture signal on an aerial cable link to the second room, where the signal can be tuned into an analogue channel. Any tv should work, even the most recent of tvs still retain the old analogue standard tuners. After installation and tuning of the box, the modulator should be adjusted to Uk tv standards “PAL I” otherwise there will be no sound.
If you want the Wisi receiver cabling to an existing aerial distribution amplifier, this can be arranged, but dont forget to ask me before the day of installation as there is a fair amount of work involved.
The Wisi OR03 receiver was well made, the remote was quite responsive and the picture quality very good via both scart lead and modulator.
If you purchase the TNT receiver and installation, there is an introduction leaflet explaining how to go about applying for the Canal+ card. Also details of the channels on offer from Canal+
Download the Canal plus leaflet
From the main Canal+ website:-So the CanalPlus channels +Cinema, +Sport, +Family and +Decale ARE available using a Canal Plus card in place of your TNT card , in your TNT receiver BUT signing up for Canal+ is very restricted, you must sign up in France, with a French address.
The Canal Plus channels do show up when tuning in the TNT box ( or any FTA satellite receiver ) so are receiveable anywhere in the Uk.
Viewing the set top box suppliers websites it is not immediately clear how long the encryption cards supplied with TNT and FranSat boxes will last. So I took a look at the TNTsat and FranSat websites to get to the facts:
The FranSat cards do not have a limit. Simple!
The TNT cards are initially guaranteed for 4 years. The broadcaster will turn on a reminder screen about 3 months before the card expires. French residents can update their cards for 15Euro on the TNTsat.tv website , for Uk residents I can provide the update or new card for £25. Email with your current card number – firstname.lastname@example.org The new cards will be valid for a further 4 years.
The reason given for the approach that TNT have taken is that the programmes broadcasters only have rights within French territory , wheras the satellites used to broadcast the programmes, can be received throughout Europe.
Number one tip:- at the very least change the LNB, the old one will be well past its sell by date! The old LNB will have a signal to noise ratio well in excess of any new LNB, even the cheapest available now are just a fraction of the noise figure of the ones from a few years ago. Trying to use an old type, can cause problems when you install your new receiver, with high or low frequencies, drifting or even no channels at all. Ideally change the dish too, modern high accuracy dishes need not be as big as the old analogue dishes. This is true of TNT, FranSat and free channels from France, all over the Uk.
Old analogue LNB
Complete installation service
of your new Fransat or TNT box with new dish and LNB available .
At present there are free programmes on Canal +, which is normally scrambled. You can receive this with a TNT receiver
Canal Plus programs are broadcasted ‘en clair’ in the clear at the following times (GMT+1)
06:55 – 08:45.
12:30 – 13:45
18:10 – 20:50