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This is really probably only of limited interest to the real techies on this forum,  and only applies if you watch France 2/3/5/Arte/LCP FTA digitally on AB3 (which most of you don't!)

Ever since the feeds of France 2,3,5, Arte & LCP appeared on AB3 on

11591 MHz about three years ago it has been stressed that these are not

aimed for general public reception, but primarily exist to provide the

TNT feed to the digital terrestrial network.

This was an important distinction, because the original technical plan

would see France Televisions disappear from public view when the sixth

TNT multiplex (R5) starts broadcasting (end Oct 08) ; at this point R1

and R5 would be Newtech'd together on 11591 MHz, allowing reception

direct from the satellite only on very specialised gear (as is the case

already for R2/3 and R4/6).

However, it is now mooted that R1 will be left alone as TDF have

re-arranged their (now largely redundant) microwave distribution system

so that it can carry the HD feeds of R5. It is suggested that one

reason for this reversal in the decision is that R1 distribution by

satellite is already complicated enough (at some downlink points the

signal is picked up at a local studio for insertion of the local France

3 regional opt outs before being sent back to the tx site by

non-satellite means) and that keeping R5 out of this distribution

muddle might be a good idea!

The person who has come up with this new plan is unable to reveal his

sources, and I would suggest that we won't know for sure until the new

mulitiplex is actually fired up, but - just maybe - the FTA versions of

Fance X will stay where they are.

We shall see...

The French discussion is here -


- and as you may be able to see there is some doubt as to the veracity of the idea put forward by "totoche".
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Forgive my slowness about this Martin (my excuse is that I've been sawing up wood all morning and my mind is still outside) and I haven't looked at your link to the Yahoo forum yet, but if this means that the digital channels on AB3 will remain where they are - at least for the time being - I will be able to reassure a friend who lives in a steep vallley. Terrestrial analogue and digital are almost impossible without an enormous mast on the top of the house. I put up a lovely litle dish for her to get these digital channels - and FIP radio (an essential for her) - whilst muttering things to her like  'make the most of it while you can, they may switch this lot off soon'.


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Well it would be a useful back up if it stays put for a while.   It was always thought that it was idiotic to make these feeds FTA if the eventual plan was to Newtech them.

Presumably it also means that BIS won't have to make alternative arrangements on AB3 - I believe that their boxes use this FTA feed for the channels in question,  at least that's according to lyngsat.   Kingofsat has a reference to a duplicate on one of the BIS transponders which seems unlikely (it would be carrying about 18 channels if this was the case) but I haven't checked recently to see if I can reproduce their figures.

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For France FTA Anton it's pretty much what I mentioned,  ie 2/3/5/Arte/LCP

All 18 TNT's are there but Newtech'd so you can't see them,  and there's the BIS package but again it's scrambled (conventionally,   Newtech isn't encryption as such,  although the end result is the same).

TMC was in FTA digital but has gone,  and there's Mont Blanc TV and another I think.


I'm sure you've looked on there already.

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Absolutely,  I believe there are over a million households in France with a 5 deg west dish.

Which is why BIS are simulcasting their package on both Hotbird and AB3.    They hope to mop up both analogue AB3 viewers as well as ex TPS viewers who didn't migrate (and hopefully told Canalsat graphically what they could do with their offer!);   if one is in either camp there is no need to move the dish,  just buy and connect a BIS box.   (Oh,  and pay the €4.90 per month of course)

Cunning eh?

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An interesting thread Martin. We recently signed up to Orange broadband, and in the 'package' we could have digital tv. Ostensibly this was via adsl (ha ha, we're lucky to get the broadband) However the hardware arrived and with it an Orange branded OpenTech TVS 70 digital decoder. We already had analogue French tv from AB3 (albeit in B/W as our tv is an old one brought from the UK) and I hooked up the digital decoder to said dish. Yes, we can receive all the channels you mention, but in addition and using our Orange viewing card, we can receive, TV5Monde, France O, M6, NT1, Direct 8, NRJ12, Virgin17, AB Moteurs, TMC, BFM, Gulli and W9. There are a couple of other non French channels. I think we made a payment of 49 Euros for the box at the time of ordering. I find I am watching French rather the UK tv at the moment, which should improve my language skills!!

Incidentally, as the box has multi satellite capabilities, I have set it up on our Astra dish too, as a back up in case the digibox decides to go!!


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You're right,  the "Orange channels" are simply using the BIS versions.   I think you can pay a bit more and have Orange football or something.....?

The good thing is that at least Canalsat aren't enjoying quite the monopoly they were hoping for,  which serves them right judging by the many many horror stories one reads in the the mags and the net about their attitude to both their subscribers and their distributors.

And of course you're now in glorious colour!!

PS  Welcome to the forum.   Nice to see a first post in a technical section!

Laters - you're one jump ahead of lyngsat which doesn't yet show M6 on BIS,  M6 were going to be forced by the govt to join,  (they had been playing hard to get) and so it must have goine ahead already.   Unless it's coming from somewhere else...?


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Yes, we could have paid more and gained access to 'Orange Foot' and other channels, but as we are on quite a tight budget we are happy with what we have.

Whilst we are in the 'technical' part of the forum, I see that the 'Amos' sats are very closely positioned to AB3, is there any chance I can pick them up on the existing 60cm + dish? They aren't listed on the decoder on screen menu, but there is a facility to add a sat. Is this easy enough to do, or is it impossible because I can't pick it up on this decoder, or is there simply nothing on Amos worth watching?!!


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@ Pete

I've only done a quick bit of research on this as we're going out but if you look at


you'll see that even the Europe beam of Amos is focused on the east of Europe;   to get a 60 cm dish to work you need (I think) over 50 dBW and so it's not possible.

But normally it's fairly easy to get sat boxes to add channels whether the sat in question is on their list or not,  either you have to scan individual frequencies one at a time,  or do a blind scan (where it "feels" its way through the frequencies,  takes longer but should find everything coming into the dish).

Don't get hooked - I have four dishes here and six in England as I love trawling other people's channels!

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Hi Chaps,

First time post on here.

AB3 - I remember when this slot was occupied by a Telecom I satellite, a Ku-band spot on 12.5-12.75 GHz band  with a skewed polarity as the French adopted an alternative attitude to the concept of polarisation !

I cannot fathom why the national DVB-T (TNT so-called) in-the-clear package is not replicated on AB3 as a conventional DVB-S in-the-clear service, as indeed 'Freesat' has finally, yes finally (once ITV worked out what their business really is about) become a sister to 'FreeView' in the UK. A DVB-S service that 'in-fills' the geographical areas that for whatever reason DVB-T fails to reach.

For the owners of antennas pointed at AB3- 5W, they would simply need to by a cheap simple DVB-S box from Mr Brico. But no that would be far to simple. The twists and turns of Canal+, AB, TNT, TNT-sat and now BIS could only be French,  spread over 3 satellites , it beggars belief.

Can I dispel some of the myths and legends;

The 'BIS' service is merely normal DVB-S with ViaAccess Conditional Access.

The 'Newtech',  I suspect is in truth equipment supplied by 'Newtec Cy' of Belgium, an interesting company, they supply professional 'rack-mount' receivers and modulators for use at uplinks etc. Someone at TDF (Télédiffusion de France) decided to use this kit from Newtec, probably because they all speak French.



The above confirms it's DVB-S2 in 8PSK. With some streams encrypted with ViaAccess.

Cheers,  2M2T.

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I'm not sure about these myths and legends you mention....

I don't think anyone suggested that BIS was anything other than a conventional package using conventional encryption techniques.

"In truth" indeed the Newtech equipment is supplied by the company you mention.  I have explained on this forum ("in truth" a few months or even years back) why Newtech equipment is used on two transponders on AB3,  and what a d*mned nuisance it is to those of us who - like you - would like to be able to watch French TV without let or hindrance.   The fact that they used Newtech equipment has nothing to do with the fact they speak French,  it simply does the job it's required to do that I mentioned in my previous posts.

If you can get Newtech streams to clear on a conventional DVB-S2 receiver then the world would love to hear from you.   Only one mention has ever been made of someone achieving this (or at least seeing how it could be done) involving a lot of computer programming and an on-board card.

In the meantime perhaps coming on here as a newbie and suggesting what's already here is all myths and legends makes those of us who have been trying to help other users since 2001 feel a little "de trop".

Sorry,  maybe I'm misinterpreting what you write.

On a lighter note,    like you I remember the skewed pol,  although in practice if the dish was large enough it made little difference,  particularly once LNB's became so much more sensitive.   Along with the SECAM,  the 5.8 MHz-only sound,  etc,  it made French TV so much fun.   Wasn't the first encrypted French package (apart from Canal +) here as well for a bit?

Finally,  I imagine the reason that the whole ambit of TNT channels is not FTA anywhere is because operators here are - unlike the BBC - motivated primarily by money.   Unless the CSA passed "must-carry FTA" rules it's not going to happen,  and the CSA are about as useless as Ofcon.   In addition,  AB3 transponders of the sort likely to be used spill outside France,  and whilst we all know that the same applies to Britain and 2D,  it does impinge on those oh-so-precious rights holders and their little empires.

As you may know,  Radio France recently left Astra 1 after a dispute with Canalsat over fees,   we should be very grateful that the BBC make our lives so easy in comparison.

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I have reviewed what I wrote above and its tone,   and whilst I still think that the tenor for a first post was not one I would have chosen,  at the same time it is not for me to over-discourage a newbie who clearly knows a lot about the subject.

A number of us try very hard to help folk on this sub-section and the atmosphere generally remains very friendly,  and so in that spirit I hope that 2much2soon will continue to contribute.

And if he/she CAN get a Newtec (I now know how to spell it) stream to decode on a DVB-S2 box then I for one would like to know how it's done!

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I think you've just discovered a new (probably BIS) transponder (11469 MHz V),  with M6 now appeared (I think you mentioned that was there now in a previous) and a few tests.   My box doesn't clear Orange Foot on any of its frequencies and the cynic in me would be amazed if BIS gives out anything for free,  but very interesting to see a new transponder up and running,  it isn't mentioned on Lyngsat yet.    Suggests that BIS are confident enough about their future to hire more capacity,  which is good given that they are squashing rather a lot of channels onto each transponder at the moment.

You could alert Lyngsat and see your name up in lights!

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Well Martin, I just checked again before replying and 'Orange Foot' has indeed scrambled,the others are showing colour bars and tone but the channel names assigned to them don't seem to correspond to any in the Bis bouquets. Ah, I guess it will all disappear in due course, I doubt my 'Orange' viewing card will allow me to see them in the clear once they broadcast in earnest. (Just a thought, they couldn't be tests for HD channels?)

Incidentally, my interest in the TV side of things began in 1967, when I began work as an apprentice tv engineer. I left the trade in 1978, when video recorders started and I haven't really touched a tv since. But I still like to 'tinker' if possible!!! Hence my fascination with the digital box (and my partner Debbie's insistence that I couldn't set the thing up without an engineers help), I'll keep scanning, you never know what's going to turn up!


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The reason I guess that it's BIS is because of the presence of M6,  which has been the missing "jewel" (if one could ever call M6 that) from the BIS package.   The CSA ruled that M6 had to allow BIS to carry them,   I would further guess that they're widening their range of packages,  and if they are successful they may well end up emulating a cheap latter day TPS which would offer welcome competition to Canalsat.

But all that is guesswork.   We will see.

I think you (PeteinH) are in need of a motorised dish to extend your scanning capabilities.   I have dishes on four different sats which suits me but you could have a lot of fun with a motorised,  there's masses out there,  as you already know.

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My OH, Debbie, would definitely describe a motorised dish as a 'want rather than a need', so I can unfortunately put that desire on hold!! I would have fun yes, but money and spare time are both in short supply right now.

So, I'm quite happy with the UK and French channels we receive at the moment............there is that old Astra 19.2 dish on the gable end though..........it only needs a new cable..........hmmmmm.


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  • 2 weeks later...


Sorry to bring this posting back to the front, but some of you may be interested in the following :

I rescanned AB3 this morning and found in addition to the previously mentioned colour bars / tests for movie channels, there was a new looped promo for ''Orange Cinema'. No doubt this is why the other 'chaines' are running a test transmission, and equally I have little doubt that these will be subscription only. I live in hope that there may be a 'clear' period to entice subscribers!

We also are apparently having our Opentech digibox (supplied by Orange) exchanged for an updated Samsung model. I think, reading the email that arrived to inform us about this, that it is capable of receiving TV both via ADSL and satellite. We have yet to receive broadband quick enough to sustain the ADSL option, but I'll be interested to see if this receiver performs more efficiently than the other. The arrival of the 'factrice' in her yellow van is eagerly awaited.


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