Satellite Installation to watch continental TV?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Wendelius, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Wendelius

    Wendelius
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    Hi,

    I'm a Belgian expat who has been living in UK for a while now. On a somewhat unrelated note, I'm also a Sky Digital customer. So I'm definitely getting my fill of English TV channels already. Still, it's starting to feel like it would be nice to add to my installation a second dish to stay a bit more in touch with what goes on in French speaking countries too (i.e. Belgium and France).

    Having said that, all I know about satellite is that the dish is connected to my digibox and that I switch channels with my remote. :D

    I've been asking myself a few questions about getting Belgian and French channels and I hope some of you can be of assistance:

    - With Sky living in its little self contained world, I'm pretty sure that the simplest and most user friendly way of achieving this is to install a second dish, directed to whatever satellite I need and to get a second box. Right?

    - Should I go for analogue or digital?

    - Are the general Belgian and French channels free to air and on the same satellite?

    - Assuming I buy all the equipment in UK and plug it into my UK bought TV too, need I worry about trouble getting picture and sound? I know there are some differences in standards between UK and the continent. Is that likely to affect me in any way?


    I did a quick search in this forum but couldn't find any information on those topics. If you know of a link that would give me all those answers, that would be helpful too.

    Thanks,
    Wendelius
     
  2. pgnl

    pgnl
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    As you quite rightly say it is probably easier to get a second satellite receiver, because the Sky Digibox does not cope very well with signals from other satellites.

    Legally you are supposed to only have one dish per house, but it is possible to integrate all requirements on to one dish if needed (see later).

    To see what is up there, have a look at www.lyngsat.com. Most channels will be on Astra at 19.2 Degrees or Hotbird at 13 Degrees.

    As for analogue or digital, go digital. Although there are still plenty of analogue channels broadcasting - with the exception of Germany - it is definitely on the wind-down.

    You'll find most channels in French are encrypted and very little is free to air. But there is one free Belgian channel RTBF Intl - I believe, plus France 5, TV5 and one or two others available in French.

    If you decide upon digital you could choose to subscribe to one of the French sat systems (Canal Digital, TPS or ABSat). You will need a Receiver with a slot that can accept a Common Access Module using the encryption standard used by the system used (Mediaguard, Conax, Seca, Via, Betacrypt etc.). Alternatively, buy a receiver with the decoder built in.

    There are many specialised sat dealers available on the 'net and there should be one local to you that could help. Here are a couple I found on the 'net for you to look at.

    http://www.sateuropa.co.uk/
    http://www.satelliteshop.co.uk/

    Don;t forget, that you might actually find it cheaper to buy the kit on the continent where there is greater demand.

    You could have a dish with two (or more - say a third for SKY digital) LNB's set up, one pointing at Hotbird and the other at Astra 1 and then buy a DiSeQC switch (which is controlled by the Receiver) to automatically switch as you change channels.

    I set up a FTA system for myself, so it is possible with a little know how, just remember the dish needs sight of the south western sky.

    As for connecting to your UK TV set, presumably you are thinking about SECAM? (As used for terrestrial TV in France). Yes, if you went analogue, SECAM is a consideration, since most UK TV's can't cope and would show a black and white picture. But with digital, all receivers output a PAL or RGB signal via SCART so no problem there.

    There are newsgroups available to Sat enthusiasts, have a look at alt.satellite.tv.europe via your Outlook NG browser. Alternatively search for an FAQ using Google.

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search

    entering the above as the NG to search.

    Hope this helps.


    Patrick
    Worcs.
     
  3. Der_Pobman

    Der_Pobman
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    I had many bad dealings with sateuro/sateuropa, which is a shame as they are local to my UK address.

    try:
    http://www.hisat.com/hisat.htm
    http://www.satelliteonline.net/

    both are VERY helpful. I bought my last reciever from Satelliteonline, and got all my motors and dish from Hisat.

    BTW you can get round some of the dish rules if its not attached to your house. Certainly you can in our area, I have a huge dish attached to a wall which is not connected to the house. Upon recieving a 'complaint' the council had a look at it. They said as it was on a wall it comes under the rules regarding fencing (dont ask) and so was OK.

    Dont quote me in court on that one though.

    BTW I use a Force1122S which has built in Conax and Viaccess, along with to CI slots. Its a great unit with only two downsides. It does not have digital out, and it is not use if you like DX'ing. If you want a system you can just install and forget then its great. The new samsung box as satelliteonline looks interesting though.

    get a motor and dont just stick to Astra and Hotbird, there is loads more up there!

    OH get a box which outputs NTSC, there are one or two things which need this. Most boxes will do this, but the first one I had (a nokia 9800s) would not. Its an awful box I highly recomend you dont get it. Humax make some nice ones, I have a FOX-VA in Russia. Its quick and has never crashed. The GBSats are OK too, can get these from Hisat.

    Regards

    Der Pobman
     
  4. Wendelius

    Wendelius
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    Many thanks for your in-depth replies Pgnl and Der Pobman.

    I'm off to check out the sites and newsgroups you mentioned.

    Cheers,
    Wendelius
     

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