How to fix your TV and broadband reception issues in the South of France
We spoke to local expert, Andy Sutton from Astrasat.tv about the recent developments in satellite reception affecting residents in southern Europe, and the alternatives for Anglophones living in, or planning to move to the Languedoc when it comes to TV and broadband internet...
What are the options available for Brits moving down to the Languedoc in the way of TV?
For British expats moving into the Languedoc-Roussillon region, the options for TV are either French freeview TV provided via television receiver, set top box and satellite dish which provides 5 channels, all in France including TF1, France 2, 3, 5 and M6. For more options you can subscribe to Canal Satellite or TPS, which are similar to SkyTV and provide a wider range of programming including Eurosport, MTV and the History channel with a small amount of programming in English.
Alternatively, if you want UK programming, the options available include a subscription to SkyTV or live streaming online.
The recent change in satellite reception.. what has caused the change? How has the affected TV reception here?
Previously, British expats were able to receive BBC1 & 2, ITV 3 & 4, Channel 5 and Sky News via Freeview using a set top box and satellite dish. However, more and more expats are reporting on the loss of freeview, especially those living in the south of France, following the replacement of the Astra satellite 2F earlier this year.
Expats living or holidaying along the French coastline and around the Haute Alps have reported losing Channels 4 and 5 and this is likely to worsen when satellite provider, SES based in Luxembourg, launches another new satellite, 2E over the summer. This second replacement satellite is likely to affect a much larger area of France and a wider range of channels including ITV and BBC.
The replacement satellite spot beams are more focussed on the UK, improving the signal in UK households and reducing the overspill to viewers outside of the UK. If you currently have Freeview TV but have lost Channel 5 or SkyTV, it is very likely you will lose all channels in the coming months with the switch over to 2E expected in October.
Why is satellite broadband and Sky TV a good way to fix these reception issues?
Many satellite providers suggest installation of a larger satellite dish to help capture the weakened signal, however, there is no guarantee this will work long term and customers are faced with the prospect of having a large satellite dish attached to their property and planning issues if the dish exceeds 1m.
Therefore, the best option is to subscribe to UK SkyTV in France via a registered supplier, such as www.astrasat.tv.
Whilst it is possible to continue using SkyTV via your subscription registered to a UK address, you are likely to run in to problems when you need a new card or change the details of your subscription. Purchasing a sky subscription from a reputable supplier ensures your equipment is guaranteed against defect and you have someone on hand 24/7 to provide support and advice should you encounter any problems with your subscription. While you may pay a bit more for your subscription card, package prices are the same as you would get in the UK.
Another option is watch UK programming online over the internet.
Internet streaming - the next step in terms of TV in the home. How is it better? Why is it worth investing in good broadband speed?
An increasing number of British expats are choosing to watch their favourite programs over the internet using paid services such as www.watchbritishtv.com and www.expattelly.com or through your TV with companies such as Net Dreams Systems which provides a set top box that connects your internet to your television. However, both systems require a reliable internet connection and for British expats living in areas poorly serviced by traditional broadband networks this is not a viable option as slow connection speeds makes viewing nearly impossible.
Satellite broadband is quickly becoming the most viable and reliable option for British expats wanting to not only watch UK programming, but also access other online content typically blocked from viewing outside of the UK such as BBC iplayer, Netflix and Lovefilm. Whilst some IP blockers provide free access to UK sites, the signal is often interrupted and unreliable whereas UK satellite broadband provides users with a UK IP address, enabling viewers to watch all their favourite UK programming online any time.
What plans are available to Languedoc residents?
UK SkyTV and Satellite Broadband packages are available via self-installation from Astrasat.tv or via recommended installer to residents in Languedoc and range from monthly pay as you go for infrequent or light users, right through to an unlimited package option for heavy internet users.
What kind of price are people looking at for installation?
Installation starts from €250
AN IMPORANT NOTE:
From September 30th unlimited satellite broadband internet packages will no longer be available and will be capped at 50GB/month, however, any customers signed up to this package prior to 30th September will continue to receive this service uninterrupted.
In addition, if you live in an apartment block or close to your neighbours, it is possible to share a satellite dish without decreasing signal strength or affecting download speed so its worth considering joining with your neighbours and splitting the cost of installation across a number of properties.
For more details and pricing and packages visit www.astrasat.tv or contact Andrew Sutton on 0624681728
CLICK HERE to read the latest concerining the situation with TV reception in the Languedoc.