French Satellite TV
Official French Satellite Receivers and Viewing Cards
A complete Guide on How to View French TV in the UK
French TV is very easy to view in the UK and although it is not possible to receive French TV channels via a conventional TV aerial it is possible to watch all of your favourite channels via a simple satellite dish and set top box. What’s more the National French Channels are subscription free, although you do have to upgrade a viewing card whether it be Fransat of TNTSat every 4 Years.
The two main and most popular French Satellite Providers are Fransat and TNTSat, both of which contain very similar channels but importantly contain the French National Channels such as TF1 France2 France3 TV5 M6 ect. The difference between the two providers is that they transmit from two different satellites. Fransat from Eutelsat 5 and TNTSat from Astra 1. This can be useful as if you are unable to receive a signal from one satellite due to an obstruction such as trees or buildings then you may be able to gain line of sight and a signal from the other.
As well as Fransat and TNTSat it is possible to receive extra channels such as Sports and Movies from subscription based pay packages such as BiS TV and Canal+ France.
In some circumstances it is not possible to install a satellite dish or receive a satellite signal. The only option then is an IPTV receiver that will allow you to stream and view the channels through a set top box via the internet. Although this option is becoming more popular I prefer and always recommend were possible the tradition satellite method of receiving channels.
Below we will look at the different options and packages available.
Fransat is the French service transmitting from the EutelSat 5 Satellite located at 5º West. Many years ago in the analogue days this was the traditional Satellite to view French TV and was known as Atlantic Bird.
The Fransat package includes all of the popular National French TV Channels such as TF1 France2 M6 and W9. In fact Fransat has over 30 Free channels available many in HD High Definition. At the moment Fransat does not have any 4K content but we expect UHD channels will become available in the future.
These days EutelSat is an easy satellite to receive a signal in the UK and in the South of England most people will be able to use a 65cm Satellite Dish. In the North of England and Scotland I would recommend a larger 80cm Dish. The signal does weaken quite sharply the further North you live and in Scotland you may require a dish larger than 80cm. We can check your location to see exactly what size dish is best for you.
As well as a Satellite Dish you will also require a Fransat compatible Satellite Receiver and a Viewing Card. Although the French Fransat channels are Free to Air you do require a Viewing card that although does not require monthly subscriptions does need to be upgraded every 4 years at a cost of about £69 for another 4 years of Viewing.
It is important to note that the correct Satellite Receiver is required in order for the Fransat Viewing Card to operate correctly. We generally sell Fransat Cards and Receivers as a package as they are designed to work together to give you the best service.
If you have a TV with an inbuilt satellite TV tuner and CI+ CAM Slot then it is possible to purchase a Fransat CAM and Card. This also applies if you have a third party satellite receiver. The same Fransat channels are available but it is very important that the satellite tuner and CI slot is CI+ compliant. If it is not then the card will simply not work. If you need help or advice then please email us and we can advise you if what you have is compatible. Of course you still require a satellite dish.
TNTSat is possibly the most popular way to view French TV via Satellite. As with Fransat you will require a Satellite Dish and compatible TNTSat Satellite Receiver and Viewing Card.
As with Fransat over 30 French National channels are available including TF1 France2 France3 M6 etc.
The main difference is TNTSat transmits from the Astra 1 Satellite positioned at 19.2º East. This is quite close to our UK Sky and Freesat service and although a slightly larger 60cm dish for the South or 80cm Dish for the North is required the direction the dish has to point is quite similar. This should give you an idea by looking at neighbours Sky dishes if they have them what direction a TNTSat dish would need to be positioned.
Just like Fransat a viewing card is required with TNTSat and comes with the receiver and lasts for a period of 4 years. Once the card has expired a new card will need to be purchased for around £79 to allow viewing for another 4 years.
Unlike Fransat a separate CI CAM and Card option is not available so you are unable to use a TV with a built in satellite tuner or third party receiver. It has to be an official TNTSat box.
One big advantage with TNT is that as well as receiving all of the French channels it is also possible to receive all of the main German Channels and an assortment of other European and Middle Eastern channels as well. All Free to Air.
BiS TV is a subscription based service that has two packages available called BiS Panorama and the BiS Ultimum Package.
Viewing cards are purchased with a years service in advance and cost around £169 and £219 per year respectively.
Both BiS packages contain the National TF1 France2 France3 M6 plus many more National channels the same as Fransat and TNTSat but also has extra channels available such as Movies Sports and Special Interests.
BiS is a popular option for Horse Racing fans as it contains the Equidia Live channel. Also popular is the Golf TV Channel and the Motor Racing Channel AutoMoto. The Ultimum package has extra Movie channels and Adult Entertainment channels.
As with Fransat and TNTSat we prefer an official French Fransat receiver to be used although it is possible to purchase a CI Cam module and card to use with TVs with built in satellite tuners and separate boxes although older TVs and receivers may not work as the tuners must be CI+ compliant. Please ask if you are unsure.
To receive BiS Channels you will require either a 65cm or 80cm Satellite dish looking at the Eutelsat 5 satellite at 5º West or the Hotbird satellite at 13º East.
French TV Without a Satellite Dish
If you live in an apartment or property that is unable to receive a satellite signal then the only option left available is to purchase an IPTV box to stream the French Channels via the internet.
IPTV Boxes connect to your TV via a HDMI cable and wirelessly connect to your router via WiFi. It is important that you have a good internet connection such as Fibre and that the router is close if not in the same room as your TV is in. It is also possible to hardwire to the router with a network cable if the router is close enough.
The main Free channels such as TF1 etc are available with an IPTV box and although the picture quality is very good it’s not quite the same as a true HD Satellite picture. It is worth mentioning as well that although the channels are free to air they are not being provided directly by the broadcaster/provider so at times the service can be subject to glitches.
We recommend the use of a VPN service as well which can help with the stability of IPTV services.
It can also be a little more expensive as most IPTV providers come with an annual subscription that can be around £100 a year.
That being said it is becoming a very popular option for those that have absolutely no other options or alternatives to view French TV.
We do not provide any IPTV services for Pay TV Channels
TO VIEW OUR FRENCH IPTV PRODUCTS CLICK HERE
Canal + France
We are often asked if we can provide official Canal+ receivers and subscriptions. French Canal+ is one of the most difficult of all the European Satellite TV Providers to set up and provide equipment and accounts for.
As far as I am aware we are one of the only UK suppliers that can provide official Canal+ packages but be warned they are very expensive.
An example of the Essential package plus Sports and HD Cube box would be in the region of £3000 a year.. Yes you read that correctly £3000 and even then I would need to check prices. As you can imagine we do not sell very many but we can offer a price on request.