Switch to digital

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Sally
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Switch to digital

Post by Sally » Mon 24 Oct 2011 21:11

I own a flat in Rousillon and a satellite dish has been installed on the roof ready for the switch over at the end of November.

The local electrician says that it's 50 euros for a "decodeur" that presumably gives the equivalent of freeview in the UK, and 139 euros for more channels.

Any thoughts on whether the more expensive option is worth going for? I'm interested mainly in news channels, documentaries and arts programmes.

Or is there another way of doing all this? I've got a PC and the equivalent of Broadband through Orange/France Telecom.

Thanks! :?

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Helen
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Post by Helen » Tue 25 Oct 2011 00:47

Sally, I'm not a techie - but faced a similar situation to yours. My flat's in an apartment block in Amelie and there had been some discussion at the last Syndic meeting about how we'd all fare with the switch to digital. Maybe we'd need a satellite dish.

As it turned out, when I was out in Amelie earlier this month I asked the neighbours if there was any news on the upcoming 'switch' in November. Only to be told that the digital transmission was now well under way - all I had to do was retune from analogue to digital. And they were right. I'd bought a TNT-ready TV set five years ago, and it was a cinch to retune. No decoder needed.

So now, instead of about 6 channels, I think it jumped to about 15. All of them French. For now, that'll do me. I'm not out full-time and tend to use the TV channels as much for language practice as entertainment.

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Tue 25 Oct 2011 10:56

Yes, there seems to be general confusion over this switch.

You don't need a satellite dish. You just need a digital arial. These look very similar to old analog arials. Then you either need a TNT-ready TV or you can by a TNT decoder for about 20€ from Leroy Merlin and many other places.

The alternative of course is to buy an internet package that gives you broadband TV. If you already have Livebox you should be able to upgrade the service to include TV but I'm not sure how good it is.
Domaine Treloar - Vineyard and Winery - www.domainetreloar.com - 04 68 95 02 29

montgolfiere
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Post by montgolfiere » Tue 25 Oct 2011 11:42

a TNT / Fransat Sat box for 50 euros is a bargain. they are 100 euros + in all the shops and 75 euros for a recon box on ebay.fr!!
some areas cannot receive the new digital terrestial signal and maybe this is why you have had a dish installed?
TNT Terrestial boxes are 30 euros so where possible this is the cheaper option.
TV via the internet seems to be restricted to the towns and reception in outlying villages isn't possible. (Orange 'sell' you a satellite decodeur leaving you to supply the dish and have it aligned to Hotbird!!!) other internet providers dont seem to offer this possibility.

the Skyman
www.british-tv-in-france.co.uk

Sally
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Switch to digital

Post by Sally » Tue 25 Oct 2011 20:58

Dear Helen, Santiago and montgolfiere

Thanks for your detailed replies and interest!

Sally :)

gianni
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digital decoder

Post by gianni » Mon 12 Mar 2012 14:27

Hello
i would like to know if i can use a british digital decoder in france, if not what would be the decoder to buy for a french tv?
Thank you
Gianni
gianni

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russell
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Post by russell » Mon 12 Mar 2012 17:59

Depends if you're refering to DVB-T (terrestrial) or DVB-S (satellite).

The UK satellite boxes won't work on the French satellite signals.

Not tried the UK terrestrial decoders here, I suspect that they will work as the digital TV in our camping-car works both here and in the UK. If not you can get a decoder at most supermarkets for about 20 Euro.

Russell.

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Post by Owens88 » Sat 17 Mar 2012 00:31

Sorry Russell

A satellite decoder bought in UK will work in France as well as the UK. (Mine is a technomate TM-5200 for reference).

John
John
www.Goodviews.co.uk

Vernet Les Bains and East Midlands

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Sat 17 Mar 2012 10:33

What I think Russel is saying John is that a UK satellite decoder won't work for the French satellite signals, it will work for the Sky satellite, which can be received in France, even if the signal is a bit weak.
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Post by Owens88 » Sat 17 Mar 2012 14:54

I think the decodeur will work with any freesat signals, you can add a 'paid-for' card that will unscramble the signal for which you pay.

The one I bought will even work with a motorised dish to point at different satellites.

John
John
www.Goodviews.co.uk

Vernet Les Bains and East Midlands

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Sat 17 Mar 2012 15:06

Could I just plug my cable from my satellite dish into my TNT decoder or Smart TV?

I thought I'd tried that and it couldn't detect the signals.

I t would save a lot of hassle and cables if it works.
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Post by montgolfiere » Sat 17 Mar 2012 16:21

TNT ( Television Numerique TERRESTIAL) Decodeurs requires a signal from an Aerial not a Sat Dish.
TNTSAT Decodeurs require a signal from a Satellite Dish pointed at Astra 1 (19e) NOT an Aerial.

French FTV Domestic channels are only available via with either a TNTSAT Receiver +FTV Card or Fransat Receiver + Card. they are not available on a Generic Satellite Receiver that can pick up all theUK and European FTA Channels.

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Post by Owens88 » Sat 17 Mar 2012 21:12

Thanks Montgolfiere

I will sit corrected.

Mind you my technomate only has instructions in 2 languages - french and english. It also has a card slot.

I notice you are in Rennes les Bains. Nice place, nearly bought there.
Jihn
John
www.Goodviews.co.uk

Vernet Les Bains and East Midlands

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russell
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Post by russell » Mon 19 Mar 2012 11:33

Just one more minor correction to an earlier post:
You do not need to change your old "analogue aerial" for a digital one. It is just a marketing ploy to persuade people to spend more money! All aerials pick up radio frequency signals whether they are analogue or digital. The frequency band is the same.

There was a time when aerials for digital signals had to be more carefully designed (to reduce group delay problems) but modern decoders have overcome that problem.

PS. Here's one I designed earlier: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/7 ... A1500_.jpg

Russell.

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Mon 19 Mar 2012 14:24

Thanks for clarifying that Russel. I had often wondered if that was the case.
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montgolfiere
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Post by montgolfiere » Mon 19 Mar 2012 19:01

russell wrote:Just one more minor correction to an earlier post:
You do not need to change your old "analogue aerial" for a digital one. It is just a marketing ploy to persuade people to spend more money! All aerials pick up radio frequency signals whether they are analogue or digital. The frequency band is the same.

There was a time when aerials for digital signals had to be more carefully designed (to reduce group delay problems) but modern decoders have overcome that problem.

PS. Here's one I designed earlier: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/7 ... A1500_.jpg

Russell.
agreed, BUT some 'old' aerials are possibly falling apart etc.... so may well need replacing. ALSO, areas where the signal is weak may need more 'Powerful' Aerials.....

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russell
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Post by russell » Tue 20 Mar 2012 11:48

montgolfiere wrote: agreed, BUT some 'old' aerials are possibly falling apart etc.... so may well need replacing.

Agreed
ALSO, areas where the signal is weak may need more 'Powerful' Aerials....
By more powerful I presume you mean higher gain. Unfortunately the gain depends on the physical size of the aerial and there is a case of diminishing returns as the size (and cost) increases. A more effective solution in a poor signal area is to buy a longer pole so that the aerial can be mounted higher up where the signal is stronger.

Russell.

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Post by Sue » Tue 20 Mar 2012 12:37

and possibly more susceptible to the Tramontane.
Dylan

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russell
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Post by russell » Tue 20 Mar 2012 17:00

Sue wrote:and possibly more susceptible to the Tramontane.
Of course but a decent installation will take that into account.

As a rule of thumb you should make sure that the aerial is no less than five wavelengths above the roof level (or the level of other obstructions that may be in the way. Below that the signal strength varies approximately with the square of the height above the roof. Aerials are rarely installed sufficiently high, five wavelengths at the bottom of the UHF band being about 3 metres.

For example if your aerial is 1 m above the roof level raising it by 1 m will quadruple the received signal. Going from a cheap aerial (about 10 dBA gain) to a top of the range one (about 15 dBA gain) will not even double the signal. Of course it will have some other benefits which will be less noticeable on digital signals than the old analogue ones.

Russell

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Post by rhys » Sat 24 Mar 2012 10:45

Such technical knowledge !!


##the square of the ......# - have you been overdosing on The Big Bang Theory ?


So.......... if I bring down a UK TV which has both Freeview and Freesat reception built in.......... will either or both work without additional decoder/s ?

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Post by gianni » Sat 24 Mar 2012 11:58

...thanks for your help.
gianni

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Post by Allan » Sun 25 Mar 2012 12:19

russell wrote: As a rule of thumb you should make sure that the aerial is no less than five wavelengths above the roof level (or the level of other obstructions that may be in the way. Below that the signal strength varies approximately with the square of the height above the roof. Aerials are rarely installed sufficiently high, five wavelengths at the bottom of the UHF band being about 3 metres.

For example if your aerial is 1 m above the roof level raising it by 1 m will quadruple the received signal. Going from a cheap aerial (about 10 dBA gain) to a top of the range one (about 15 dBA gain) will not even double the signal. Of course it will have some other benefits which will be less noticeable on digital signals than the old analogue ones.

Russell
Russell, I'm intrigued by this, how does the distance below your aerial to the roof have an impact on the signal received? Most transmitters are in high places so how does the roof interfere?

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Post by russell » Tue 27 Mar 2012 22:33

Allan wrote: Russell, I'm intrigued by this, how does the distance below your aerial to the roof have an impact on the signal received? Most transmitters are in high places so how does the roof interfere?
O.K. very simple explanation - as far as radio signals are concerned your roof is a lossy material that can absorb some of the signal and reflect the rest. Aerials are directional but only to a certain extent so they will pick up signals reflected from the roof and other roofs nearby. These reflected signals will add to the signal at some frequencies and subtract at others.

Think about an aerial lying on the roof itself. The roof will absorb signals from the aerial. Lift it up and there will be less absorbtion and thus more signal received.

Add to these effects the fact that there is not usually a line of sight between your aerial and the transmitter and the signal received is the result of both diffraction and refraction and things really start to get complicated!

Russell

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Post by Allan » Tue 27 Mar 2012 22:40

Thanks, a good explanation

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