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TNT Coverage

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Is there anyway I can tell if we are covered by TNT transmission? I

have checked the website, and we appear to be right in between two

transmitters (Niort and Bordeaux). Apart from buying a box and trying

it out, is there any other way of knowing?


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This isn't easy,  but if you can identify which transmitter you presently receive your UHF signals from that is a start.

In other words if you receive a very good picture (no snow,  no shadows) at present,  and if you can be certain it comes from Maisonnay (Niort) or Bouliac (Bordeaux) then you are likely to be able to get TNT.

The problem is that you might be watching an analogue relay at the moment with an aerial orientated on that relay which would not in its current form be suitable for TNT.   And if you are watching a relay it's probably because you don't get an adequate signal from Maisonnay or Bouliac in your area.

If your TV is the sort that tells you which frequency or channel number it is tuned to for each programme at the moment, that would tell you which transmitter you are using.

Niort is on ch's 22/25/28 for the main analogue programmes,  and Bordeaux is on ch's 57/60/63.  

If you can identify the channel numbers on your TV at present then you should be able to eliminate or confirm these two.  If the channel numbers are different post them here and we'll try and identify which relay it is,  although I suppose it's only of academic interest...

Have you tried going through the process that starts at


It is a bit of a rigmarole but it should allow you to select your village for an idea of whether a TNT signal is present.


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I don't actually have an aerial at present, and I'm asking the question

because if I can't get TNT, I'll switch to satellite, rather than go

analogue. I have tried that process you mention, and our village is not

mentioned. A few of the adjacent villages are mentioned and they are

covered by the Bordeaux Bouliac transmitter. I will speak to the mayor,

and ask him, he usually knows what's going on within his village. Maybe

he knows someone who's installed a system!

Thanks for the info

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Sorry babnik, it hadn't occurred to me that you were "starting from scratch".

It all depends on what one wants,  which channels are on which system,  and whether or not one is prepared to pay a sub,  but leaving all those aside:   from a technical point of view it is nearly always easier to do a reliable self install of satellite than UHF TV.   The experience of DTT in the UK - and from what one gathers in France where a more robust system is in use for TNT - is that you really need to deliver a cracking signal to a TNT/DTT box before it does its stuff reliably.   This means getting the aerial high with all that that entails,  whereas a satellite dish will work on the ground reliably in almost all circumstances.

There is hope for TNT/DTT;  when the analogue transmitters are switched off there is going to be a substantial increase in transmitter power which will help. 

But I think the advice must always be at present - don't rely on getting TNT unless someone living very close by is already getting it reliably,  or unless you are close to a transmitter.  Advice that you have already worked out by the look of it.

Try the Mayor though,  I wonder if he/she will know what you are talking about?

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To be honest I already have a sat dish installed, but I would like to get the french terrestrial channels, and I guess there are four options. 1) Analogue over an aerial. 2) Digital over an aerial 3) Analogue over a sat (Atlantic Bird 3 degrees west, but not guaranteed to stay there!) 4) Digital Sat with either TPS or Canal Sat.

I'm just trying to find out what will be the easiest, with the least amount of boxes and wires.

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Course some of this is only informed guesswork,  but option 3) is likely to be around for five years;  TDF's analogue network of terrestrial transmitters relies on this feed in the event of failure of the main distribution system (via microwave).    Which is why it's maintained to a very high standard.

It's probably the digital feed of publically-funded TV channels on Atlantic Bird 3 that is more vulnerable (to a switch to DVB-S2) although I've read elsewhere that suitable receivers are beginning to appear for this too.   But for the moment that's not a safe investment even if you could actually find one.

It really is a casse-tete,  and a shame that the French authorities (via the CSA) haven't made it obligatory that the TNT programmes are duplicated on satellite,  which would have solved the problem.

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You can definitely get TF1 in ANALOGUE on AB3.   In SECAM colour.   It seems likely that this will be for the next five years as the network of terrestrial UHF transmitters rely on this signal in the event of the national microwave distribution system failing.

The worry about things being temporary concerns the DIGITAL multiplex carrying France Televisions on the same satellite.   This is "visible" at the moment because the transponder concerned is not being used to its full capacity when compared to the two other transponders carrying the other TNT feeds. 

If and when the sixth TNT multiplex goes on air they may combine these extra programmes onto the satellite transponder at present carrying France Televisions using the same processing technique that prevents us watching the other TNT programmes.

Having said that with every month that goes by, more and more French people are using this FTA France Televisions service and there would be quite a fuss if they disappeared,  particularly as the reason for using the compression technique is entirely economic....

Finally,  nothing in French Broadcasting is ever for sure.   So whilst I (and others) may make an informed guess that the analogues will be there for a good while don't risk your money just because I say so.   Please.

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My wife would be right there with you on the least number of wires and boxes.   Sadly (from her point of view) there isn't an easy solution if one wants the full - or even a basic - range of programmes in two languages....    At least that's what I tell her every time a new dish goes up or another hole is drilled for a cable.

And things move so fast that what is the best advice today may be outdated soon afterwards.   It would also really help if the Conseil Superieur Audiovisuel got a grip on the situation but I don't think that's going to happen.

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It's actually my wife who insists on having the minimum number of boxes. But she also wants all the channels, and the ability to record one channel, while watching another. A dual TNT tuner in a media PC would be my first choice (I could also put dual anologue tuners in there!) I could then have all tuners/recorders etc etc in the one box would be ideal

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Just one other thought that would give you a vague indication of signal strength:   what sort of signal do you get off Bouliac on FM (89.7/93.5/97.7 MHz).   Often this is NOT a good indication of likely TNT signal,  but in the case of Bouliac the FM transmitters are quite low powered for a transmission site of its importance (5 kW).   If you get strong signals on a radio on those frequencies even with the aerial down that would be a good indication.   Maisonnay by contrast has very high power FM transmitters (200 kW) and so even if you got those well it wouldn't indicate that TNT would be reliable. 
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Hi babnik

I am guessing you have a digital stb and a fixed dish, shame you did not tell us the whole true in the beginning........ all you need is a motorised dish then you can point it at any sat you want, if you want french pay tv you will need a stb that will accept the card... does your stb have card slots?  no slots .....no card....no pay tv....... look through my other posts for channel's you can get plus many more......


More info?      just ask

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yes, I have a digital stb with a fixed dish, but this is all temporary

right now and will have to come down, and either be moved, or scrapped,

and my original question was more to do with TNT, and nothing to do

with sat. I know what's available with sat, what is FTA and what is pay

and which sat to point at.

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