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 – email@example.com 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.
I stock the FranSat box ( SD ) made by Aston, which I recommend. see FranSat review for full details