Astra 2e has been launched successfully.
It is expected that it will go into service by the end of November at which point most, if not all, UK FTA Channels will be affected.
British TV in France has been thinking long and hard about how to resolve the variety of problems we will all face when 2e goes into service.
The signal varies from the North to the South of the region. eg. at Montpellier the installation of a larger dish +/- 100cm will probably offer good reception.
At the Narbonne – Carcassonne level, a 120cm dish will probably be required. South of this line the size of dish required, perhaps a 150cm./180cm, may suggest going down the IPTV route is a better idea.
Please note that Dishes size 90cm., 100cm, 110cm. can ONLY be wall or ground mounted and dishes over this size require ground mounting.
To guarantee 100% reception in the area between Perpignan and Beziers a combination of a 120cm dish and an IPTV Box might be the cheapest solution instead of the costs involved with installing a 125/150 Dish. This system does not only give you the main UK Channels, but also allows access to the main 5 French Channels, and a selection of other TV channels from around the world. It also carries ‘Free’ access to a huge range of movies !
As a guide; the costs involved for this would be in the region of 575€ using your existing bracket, cabling etc. Should an ethernet home plug network and any new Brackets etc be required please allow an additional +/- 60€. This should enable reception from the Satellite for around 80% of the time and when the signal is ‘off’ you can switch to the IPTV System for continued viewing.
The advantage of this idea is that you will have the flexibility of satellite, with its top quality output, most of the time.
I am unfortunately still not convinced that a 150cm Dish will actually resolve the issues in the Southern area of our region and am still recommending going down the IPTV Route (adsl is required for these systems) for at least the short term.
UK ExPAT TV have introduced a IPTV System that will work on the low internet speed of 0.5mb. The quality isn’t as good as the ‘standard service’, but when there are no other options this could be useful. It however is best viewed on an HD TV via HDMi. See below for all details
I can now offer various solutions that will ensure that no one will have to lose their UK TV when 2e come into service. These are:
1. I may be able to replace your existing dish with a larger model – subject to your location, planning issues and the allowances for by the high winds which this region has to deal with.
2 If larger dish is not feasible then there is the option of an internet based IPTV Service. For this a broadband/ADSL connection is required of a minimum 0,5mb. I offer a ‘use friendly’, high quality system with 14 or 7 day ‘catch up’. This can connect to your router via Wi-Fi or ethernet cable/home plug’ and provides the main UK TV/radio FTA channels.
There is a Monthly Subscription but there are PAYG possibilities for people with ’Second Residences’ or Gites that are only working some months of the Year.
3. There are also ‘subscription free’ IPTV alternatives. They are slightly less ‘user friendly’, and require a faster internet connection (+/-2m). The picture quality is very good if you have a fast enough connection to allow streaming in HD.
They offer a good number of UK TV channels, some French channels, and loads more from around the world.
As well as ‘FTA access’ to huge libraries of movies, as well as YouTube it is ideal for anyone ‘on a budget’. Again these connect to your router via Wi-Fi or Ethernet Cable or Home Plug Network.
They are however dependent on the internet and maybe are better suited as either a back up system for a dish or as a second system. This Technology is recent and hasn’t quite been ‘tamed’ yet.
However I have had a system that has been functioning for three months although there has been some changes to the system to get used to.
Both these IPTV systems will work on CRT TV’s via A/V or scart connections, as well as on HD TV’s via HDMi. The image is of a higher quality on an HD TV via HDMi.
4. If none of the above is feasible, then there is a limited satellite alternative which uses dishes of 80cm./90cm and could even use your existing dish. The dish would however require realigning to 27.5’ West of South. It only offers a limited number of channels and has NO long term guarantees but may well be a good option to investigate for anyone who cannot go with any of the above.
Dave Smith, the ‘Skyman’ Contact for further details