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Everything posted by Gyn_Paul

  1. [quote user="Dave"]My wife and I live in the Isle of Man, but have a house in Mayenne which we visit as often as possible, and hope to spend much more time there when we retire. Our problem is that as the IOM is not part of the UK or the EU we have been told that we are not eligible for reciprocal health care in France as we would be if we lived in England (where we were both born). Is this correct, and apart from comprehensive health insurance, is there any way in which we can protect our health needs when visiting our holiday home? Thanks.[/quote] Not the right thread, I know, Dave, but you should also be aware that - like CI residents - your  French property has a different tax status to one owned by a UK resident, and is subject to 'a notional rental tax'  Hope you are on top of this. p
  2. I used to have fun in Comet and Currys enquiring exactly which part of this (CRT) TV was actually digital. And I'm sure we've all had variations on the conversation along the lines of, - "I'm looking for a TV to work in France"         "Well this one here says it will play NTSC" "Yes, I noticed. I'm sure that's quite lovely but I'm going to France, not America"         "Yes, that's NTSC." "What is?"         "NTSC" "What do you mean?"        "That's what they have if they don't have our TV" "You mean if they don't have PAL?        "That's it" "No, it's not"         "Yes it is, it's PAL here, and NTSC abroad" "Really?        "Yes. You'll definitely need NTSC." "Right..... so what's SECAM then ?"           "SECAM ????" So cruel. But such sport. p
  3. My keyboard is digital: - I work it with my fingers! p
  4. This posting might confuse more than help but.... With Free's equivalent of the Livebox, one has to go on line to the personal page on the Free.fr website and 'enable' the phone socket on the box, perhaps Livebox is the same ? To hopefully sort your confusion a bit... Coming down your bits of wire is a mixture of ordinary telephone signal and digital computer signals. The ADSL filters separate the two and pass the appropriate  signals to the (landline, or 'fixed') phone and the Livebox (then to the computer). You can plug another phone - which is a completely separate service to the landline one - into the back of the box. This uses the ADSL, or computer, part of the signal. So you can, in fact, hold two separate conversations on the two phones (or as someone pointed out, call one phone from the other!). Or not in your case... The one thing you haven't said is, how long have you had the ADSL service? As mentioned earlier, it can sometimes take them an unconscionable length of time to light up the phone line. p
  5. [quote user="Timco"]Yes Paul - I think you're right - I've got one I'm playing with at the moment. Do you have one? If so, which? The reason I suggested the physical link via the RCA sockets directly to the stereo amp is simply because it's simple!! Especially as it is probably all in the same room. I also agree with your internet radio comment - I'm sorting out the connections for my little transmitter at the moment so that I can use it for radio from the laptop or satellite receiver. Tim [/quote] I'm assuming you mean in internet radio rather than a FM TXer, am I right? A Logik IR-100. Cheap from an Ebay supplier who was charging what seemed like a fortune to post to France. However when it arrived, and I felt the weight of it, I could see why Royal Mail were charging him so much. The quality is generally good; the sorting and menu levels leave a bit to be desired,  it could do with far more pre-sets than the 6 it has, and - for some reason - it generates a slight mains hum when it's finished buffering the signal, but other than that I'm pleased with it. It's very nice to lie in bed and listen to WNYC-New York Public Radio, or ('on demand') last week's 'Brain of Britain' at the touch of a button! p
  6. Ok I'll be the first to admit that this is an academic question of very little interest to almost everyone. My friend in the UK who has recently had a new so-called 'digital' aerial installed for Freeview was told by his electrician (there doing some other job) that... ".. to go with that, you really need some proper digital cable, mate." "What?  Do you mean some sort of low-loss coax?"      "Nah, it's not coax, its digital "                                                                 or words to that effect. Now - to me - this sounds like complete and utter bovine gonads, or am I missing something (something vital, probably)? Yes the signal strengths of Freeview transmissions are (currently) lower than the ordinary analogue ones, and thus you need a decent signal to avoid the pictures falling off the digital cliff, but as for digital aerials and digital cables????   I understood that the signal was a digital bitstream modulating an ANALOGUE carrier? Am I completely wrong ? p
  7. [quote user="runningdog"]Hi Tim Thanks for the info.  We inherited the French TV aerial in the roof space so I thought that I would try it.  I have a Sony tuner amplifier and a Triax satelite dish with Panasonic decoder that allows us to get all Freeview channels.  The satelite dish is on the chimney stack and beyond my reach - or should that be courage?  I cannot recall which satelite it is tuned in to but it was the usual one for western France - someting like Alpha 2.  What sort of transmitter are you referring to? - Many thanks! [/quote] He's referring, I think, to a small FM transmitter into which you plug the audio output of the panasonic decoder (if it is a Sky box, then channel 0104 gives you R4FM ) and it transmits the signal on the FM band to radios around the house : the transmitter has a range of about 50yds, so - with luck - it covers your house but not your neighbours. A fine idea if you live in a village or the country; not so much if you live in a block of appartments in St Jean de Monts. You should - in theory - be able to get some sort of signal from the 1500 metres Droitwich transmitter (sorry, sorry.. showing my age: 198 kHz ) but frankly these days there is so much AM interference that it can quickly become too awful to listen to. As for World service, ironically you are too near the UK to get a decent signal. You are less than one ionospheric skip from the transmitters. Do you have a broadband connection? May I suggest an internet radio? It's my current favourite toy. p
  8. For Internet Explorer 7.... Click FILE, then IMPORT AND EXPORT This opens a Wizzard then follow instructions You can also export cookies which will allow your new computer to behave much like your old one when you visit regular sites. on the new computer, simply duplicate the process above, but following the 'import' route For Firefox : BOOKMARKS then ORGANISE BOOKMARKS allows you to move bookmarks and thus move them to a portable source. hope this helps p EDIT Ahhhhhhh...... beat me to it by 1 minute!
  9. [quote user="Martinwatkins"]'twas the chatelaine in the chateau up the road.   Goodness knows how she bullied the factrice into sending it to the UK for nothing!  re the email it must have been onetel having one of its periodic "I can't send this anywhere" episodes. I wonder if the incomplete sentences are down to watching a 14:9 pic on a 4:3 TV.   Don't know what TV you've got Paul.... [/quote] It's an elderly and crummy Matsui 32"  (I know, I know... but it's still a better picture for non-HD pictures than any plasma at 4 x the price.) 16:9 or 1.77:1 - if my former boss is reading this. Its main and abiding failing is its inability to detect changes in format and switch automatically, so I was probably watching in some odd user setting which stretched the bottom line of text down into the casing. Time was when I would have realised something like that...... re- emails... it's not just Onetel having a fit of the vapours. Yesterday I had two episodes of receiving a 'this email is undeliverable'  at the same time as I got a response from the recipient ! p
  10. [quote user="Cat"][quote user="Gyn_Paul"] On a vaguely related subject.. (hi-jack a topic… wot me??) can anyone else explain why my TNT box (a generic Brico Depot one) doesn’t display the running news strap on NT1 (the French equivalent of BBC News 24). The ‘text’ button offers a menu which displays ‘disabled’ but no ability to change its status as far as I can see, nor is there anything in any of the menu sections to help either. The text line appears on the bottom of the screen, but is static. I'm sure it should run because they are incomplete sentences! p [/quote] NT1?  But, but, but... that's not a news channel, did you mean i tele (ch 16) or BFM TV (ch 15)?  They both have news straps, but they don't run, they are both static and replace the text every few seconds (or they were when I checked 5 minutes ago).  No missing text either.  The text button is for displaying teletext headings, for the channels that broadcast teletext, isn't it? [/quote] You're probably right..I imagine I meant I-Tele (ch10). I was doing it from memory because the OH was glued to a docco about Ella Fitzgerald on BBC4 while I was typing... I'm generally confused about what there is on the TNT multiplex; largely because there seems to have been a reorganisation of the channels which wasn't helped by my re-making all the aerial connections and vertually doubling the signal strength and thus the number of channels disponible at a stroke (I still think I was only getting on one line of text, finger trouble no doubt !). p
  11. Yes I did receive the email thanks: (what a  well brung -up chap you are!). I had no idea it would end up in Devon; do you get La Poste to forward your mail or is it the Irish cat-feeding neighbour ? [:)] p
  12. On a vaguely related subject.. (hi-jack a topic… wot me??) can anyone else explain why my TNT box (a generic Brico Depot one) doesn’t display the running news strap on NT1 (the French equivalent of BBC News 24). The ‘text’ button offers a menu which displays ‘disabled’ but no ability to change its status as far as I can see, nor is there anything in any of the menu sections to help either. The text line appears on the bottom of the screen, but is static. I'm sure it should run because they are incomplete sentences! p
  13. Oh let's go round the loop and have the full lot again. Just for old time's sake. NTSC : Never Twice the Same Color Pal : Pale And Lurid SECAM : Something Essentially Contrary to the American Method (although in French it would probably be something like : QECaMA) Sorry to be a pedant, Pierre ZFP, but I think the colour changes in an NTSC picture, which necessitate altering the hue (tint) control all the time, are more the result of phase errors: typically from the composite signal derrived from multiple signal paths. Given that many big US cities are built on a grid system - the structure of which would tend to encourage ghosting and multiple signal paths -  this is NTSC's fatal flaw. However, when you consider it was engineered in the later 40's/early 50's it's not bad! And PAL reception errors cause changes in colour saturation because the phase errors on subsequent lines either side of the reference are added together and cancel each other out: the greater the error, the smaller the colour signal. Or something like that.... Martin and Anton know all about it, but having explained it, they'd probably have to kill you. [:)] Isn't the SECAM-L signal, being FM, supposed to be more robust over long distances?  p
  14. Does your box have a slot on the LH side? If so then - yes - you buy a wifi card from Free on the website, it arrives a few days later, you take the power cable out of the back, plug the card in, put the volts plug back in  and it should start flashing its little LEDs at you... then the fun starts! p
  15. What I was really thinking (but was to tired to type) was if you had a device (like er... a phone) with a RJ45 terminated cable you could do a bit of detective work with a multimeter. but you would have thought of that, of course. Ever get the feeling this change hasn't been quite thought through properly? p
  16. Each of the satellites in the group which comprise 28.2E is in a box of sky some 10,000sqkm, and they all have potentially different service footprints, so you cannot guarantee that the field strength of transponders from different satellites will be the same, or that you dish is looking squarely at all of them. The signal strength and quality readings on the Sky digibox are derived from one particular transponder. The likelyhood is that the ones you are having trouble with are coming from a different one, on a different satellite, so you are not necessarilly measuring like-for-like. p
  17. First of all I'm assuming we are talking about a bog-standard Sky digi box? not a Sky+, HD or anything else fancy? Has this installation ever had a working signal from Sky with another box before or has it possibly been used for French satellite reception?   That being the case, it sounds to me as if it might be as simple as the dish not being focused on the satellite properly. As others have suggested, this box needs attaching to a known good system before dragging it back to the UK. You will find that the service menus are quite capable of displaying all the serial number/card details etc without the coax cable being even connected to the box, and 'no satellite' would certainly suggest either 1) The dish is not looking at 28E properly, or 2) the LNB has died, or 3) The cable is not delivering the signal to the box (this latter covers a multitude of sins including water ingress at the head end, faulty connection to the LNB, faults in the run of the cable, or faulty 'F' connector at the box end). This set of possible problems is best ruled out by trying a known good box on this intallation. And I echo ErnieY's sentiment: software updates for a standard Sky box are sent over the air not via a phone line or we'd all be up the proverbial creak without the means of propulsion! p
  18. [quote user="Ecossais"]Friends have taken a Sky Digibox that they bought on eBay to their holiday home in France.  They weren't able to try it / activate the FTA card in the UK as they dont have Sky at home.  They had a dish fitted in France during their last visit and saw UK TV on the installer's equipment at the time so presume everything's OK with the dish.  They phoned Sky from their mobile to activate the FTA card but cannot get a picture - Sky say it needs to be "upgraded" via a phone line (I think its a Pace 2200 receiver). So they are going to have to bring the Digibox back to the UK and try it with someone's dish.  They drove to France but will be flying back - are they likely to encounter any problems at Airport Security if they put it in their hand luggage? Obviously other electronic devices like laptops are allowed in hand luggage but these can be demonstated working if necessary. [/quote] That's a new one on me. I was under the impression that software updates took place over the air, and that the phone line was for billing purposes... Have they tried a 'hard boot' to make the box load the latest software? Why not check it in their suitcase ? Although with any luck it won't need to travel ! p
  19. Maplins sell a handy little (well, not so little actually) intercom which uses the house mains for its connecting wiring. Has anyone seen the equivalent here in France? Nothing to be found in the Conrad catalog... p
  20. [quote user="Martinwatkins"]Yes -  like the swallows but in the opposite direction;  we've only just got back.    Not that I've located my consumption meter yet. It won't be today,  I've wangled an invitation to Stockland Hill (I'm sure I don't need to explain to you!) to inspect the DSO work going on there at the moment.... [/quote] Not the location, but perhaps DSO ?? The only time I ever went to Stockland Hill the ground didn't emerge from the fog until about 2.30, and even then I had to take their word for it that the mast actually had anything on the top of it. But then I am a bit like the lorry driver - a Douglas Adam's character - who spent his life driving in a permanent raincloud because he is actually a rain God. We spent 5 weeks holiday in southern Germany one year and I never once got a clear view of the top of a mountain. We expect a full report when you get back. Have fun[:D] p Edit:  just worked it out. Digital Switch Over. Of course. Excuse the fog-addled brain.
  21. The sort of bog standard 60 or 80cm dish you will find in Brico Depot (Montlucon?) for about 45€ will do fine. When one of those end-of-the-world black storm clouds pass by you will find the picture freezes for a couple of minutes, that's all p
  22. Depends on where you are: 80cms is perfectly fine for everything down to the south coast/Spanish border. Indeed it's fine there too if you are willing to put up with the occasional brown-out when a big black cloud passes between you and the satellite. 80cms is paradoxically easier to set up than a bigger one, and provided you set it up accurately, you should be fine. p
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