If you are thinking of setting up, or replacing your English satellite television system in France, don’t make the mistake I nearly made of thinking it has to be SKY in France.
On the 6th of May 2008 a new, FREE, English satellite TV service was launched by BBC / ITV FREESAT. This joint venture is to provide FREE English satellite television coverage to all of the UK, via existing satellites, when the terrestrial signals are switched off. THE NEW FREESAT ENGLISH SATELLITE TV IN FRANCE IS ALREADY IN OPERATION. OK, it is intended for only UK viewers (Just the same as SKY) but who feels guilty about watching that?
It operates from the same ASTRA satellite TV fleet as the existing SKY satellite TV service does, which means your existing satellite dish, and LNB, work without having to be re-aligned. If you have a twin or quad LNB, then you can still keep your SKY satellite television service, as well as using the same dish setup to provide a BBC / ITV FREESAT signal to the FREESAT box. It is too soon to know the “exact signal footprint” but if you or your neighbours can already get SKY satellite television in France, it is believed you will be able to pickup the BBC/ITV FREESAT satellite television signal in France too.
You can already buy the standard definition English satellite television decoder box from around £40-50 and the HIGH DEFINITION satellite TV decoder box from around £120. Recorder models are due out shortly. There are also TV sets now available with built in satellite TV decoders for the new service. There is no subscription and the HD programmes are also FREE.
The English satellite TV equipment is already on sale via, Currys, Argos, John Lewis and other large retailers, in the UK. The Freesat boxes will I'm sure be available from various sources in France. There are already numerous English satellite TV installers in France specialising in fitting SKY satellite TV systems.
My own guess, is that the Murdoch empire were unable to reach a satisfactory agreement on providing free digital satellite television coverage of the UK, with H.M. Government, (as they negotiated in Spain) and so BBC / ITV are going to provide it. Ironic that they will use the same satellites.
I have changed my plans away from a SKY + box to the BBC / ITV FREESAT (with recorder) one which I am now waiting to be delivered to France.
This is not a commercial, just my own thoughts on the subject and I disclaim all responsibility if you fall off the roof, interfere with migrating birds, or cause any damage whatsoever.
See the following websites for more info on Freesat free satellite TV in France: