French tv: the choices
There are now quite a few ways to get French Tv, firstly the free channels , broadcast from 3 satellites , the subscription channels broadcasting on 2 satellites and now TNT, the french ‘freeview’ system broadcasting on Astra 1.
For anyone previously on TPS, the easiest way to update is to purchase the BIS card, the dish can remain in its current position and your current receiver with Viaccess slot should take the new viewing card
New viewers to french tv should have a look at the free channels available on the main satellite web sites
The channels from the BIS card, which is a 12 month subscription are to be found on the same page in a pink background.
Best of all ( in your humble reviewers opinion ) is the TNT and FranSat packages, for a one-off payment, you have most of the same channels as the BIS card but no yearly renewal, TNT are saying the card will be valid for 4 years – quite a bargain! On the downside a special receiver is required, no CAM has yet been made to allow other receivers to be used. There are receivers from Strong, Visiosat and Sagem for normal SD use.
Even better, go for an HD receiver like the Aston and you benefit from the recently introduced HD channels Arte, France2, TF1 and M6.
Now up and running is the new FranSat service. It carries exactly the same channel line up as TNT. Because historically France has had 2 satellites delivering the programming, this second ‘free’ digital broadcast service has been put into operation for the many viewers already having a dish set up for 5 degrees West. Not yet established fully into the commercial centres you may get a few blank looks when you ask for a Fransat set top box! But it will soon be available everywhere in France. Here in the Uk they are still quite expensive compared with the TNT offerings. It would be a good choice for anyone with an obstruction in the way of the TNT 19 degree satellite, as it comes from 5 degrees west.
The last option is to buy a Canal sat ( Canal+) card, lots of subscription channels on this card and quite a price ( approx £850 ) for the year. Also a receiver with CAM slot is required and a Seca3/Nagra3 CAM at about £90 . To add to the complexity of ordering an Official French address is needed before you can subscribe.
If you wish to order or to discuss installation please ring me 07756 482 669 or preferrably email me at firstname.lastname@example.org