British Radio in France


(Gillian Johnstone) #1

I have been living in France for nearly 4 months now and something I really miss is waking up to BBC Radio 4 in the morning. At the moment, the silence in my rental property is sometimes quite depressing first thing. I've been told that when I move to my new property, and have broadband and satellite dishes installed - which I've never had before, so haven't a clue how that all works - I should be able to pick up BBC radio on computer? However, I would really like a bedside radio. Do any other SFNers know if this is possible and if so, how to achieve it. Thanks for any advice.


(Pip Martin) #2

I assumed TV as well as Radio.


(Peter Lewis) #3

So why would you add this complication when almost all UK radio is available without it?


(Pip Martin) #4

Hi.

Gonna get technical but what I'm promoting is easy enough so long as you go slowly and methodically.

Buy a TP Link WDR model cable router (no modem or ads connection). You connect this to the back of your French router. Now talk to a company that will sell you a British IP address. You then set the TP link up to talk through the French router to the British IP provider. Now you tell your computer iPad, smartphone, any internet based device (even some TV's now), to talk to the TP Link router, instead of, the french router.

Once you have the links in place. the TP link router will provide you with a British IP that then BBC iPlayer, even the internet will give you full British radio. And if you want you early morning lay in with radio 4, Just set your iPad to wake you with radio4 playing on iPlayer.

Personally I cannot get on with French TV now matter how much i try. I gone back to Sky and using my tp link i have access to all the current movies and catch up tv.


(Jane Williamson) #5

I am listening to Radio 3 at this ver moment in bed, i picked up some virus at the docto the other day.
I use a PURE internet radio. If you have broadband this is the answer. PURE is not cheap, but the amount of pleasure it gives me and the sound quality make it worthwile.


(Peter Lewis) #6

Robert - The Oasis Flow is no longer made, but the One Flow is quite similar in its capability, except that it doesn't automatically come with a rechargeable battery pack and it isn't waterproof! (It also doesn't have a touch-sensitive screen, so you actually push buttons instead.)

For some reason the black/charcoal grey version of the One Flow is significantly cheaper than the white version on Amazon. This is probably the one you found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pure-Portable-Streaming-Digital-Internet/dp/B004E9SLOK/

I have a friend who has a One Flow & uses it on a daily basis & is very happy with it. For a start, it's quite a bit cheaper than the Oasis Flow, although she added the rechargeable battery pack for the One Flow (ChargePak E1) which brought the price up closer to the price of the Oasis Flow. If you're only going to use it plugged into the mains, there's no need to shell out £31 for the battery pack, which will need replacing every few years as well. To use the radio as a radio alarm, it must be plugged in anyway, as the alarm function is disabled if operating on the battery.

As you are currently in the UK, there's no need to limit yourselves to Amazon, and you could shop around a bit, though you might find it difficult to beat Amazon's price for the black model. John Lewis sell both the white & the black versions for £99.99, but their website offers a 3-year guarantee included in the price. (To be honest, most electronic products these days either fail in the first 2-3 months or last for years, so the guarantee is no big deal.) Another issue is that Amazon page claims that the One Flow comes with a 3-pin UK plug, which is perfectly true, but they give the impression that this might be a problem outside the UK. All the Pure Internet radios I've seen were actually supplied with a dual UK/EU plug top, which is readily changed & preferable to using an adapter.

The One Flow also has DAB capability, so you can use this whilst in the UK. France has, as yet, only carried out quite limited experiments with digital radio transmissions, and were talking about using a different system from most of its neighbours. (Where have I heard that before ....) The widespread choice of DAB+ elsewhere is, however, making them rethink this. Should they opt for their original preference (DMB), Pure tell me that the One Flow will already work with it, as well as both DAB & DAB+. (I'm very close to the Swiss border & get some excellent programmes on the Swiss DAB+, including an English-language channel.)

Hope this gives you the sort of info you need, but please come back with anything additional.


(Steve YATES 2) #7

I have a small FM transmitter connected to a Freesat decoder that broadcasts a signal around the house that I can pick up on any radio, only hassle is that to change channel you have to go to the decoder. Transmitter was originally destined to transmit to cordless headphones.


(robert norton) #8

Peter do you have a link on Amazon to this radio, we are moving to France this year and would love to wake up to bedside radio.
I have found one on Amazon after looking for pure radio oasis flow but Amazon say not guaranteed outside the uk


(michael phillips) #9

Oh no!does this mean I have to join the new world? Best stock up on coal to keep my computer going.


(Brian Milne) #10

That could be as soon as next month although there have been no follow up announcements since late 2011 when they gave a late June 2013 date.


(Gillian Johnstone) #11

Well, not having an old fashioned long wave radio would be one immediate problem. However, if what Peter Lewis says in the post below is true, even you may have to bite the 21st century technology bullet Michael. At the moment I am picking up Radio 4 on my little notebook PC with an attached "dongle", and when I settle into my permanent home and install broadband, I think the problem will be solved. My fingers are crossed.


(Peter Lewis) #12

Michael, It would appear that the Long Wave service from Droitwich on what used to be 1500m. will die one day in the not-too-distant future. This article from 2011 claims that the service is dependent upon some very special radio valves and that these fail every few years. Although the BBC has the world's remaining stock, they claim that these could never be re-manufactured.

As the audience which can't get Radio 4 any other way is apparently tiny, the BBC, announced in 2011, as part of its economy drive, that the service will cease when the valves are all gone. A BBC engineer told me years ago that the electricity bill alone for Droitwich is staggering, so they won't be too unhappy when that happens.


(michael phillips) #13

I don't see what the problem is, my old fashioned long wave radio picks up radio 4 on 197 metres using the pull up aerial. Maybe it's a question of location,I'm in the Gironde and can get it on my wifes car radio which has a normal type aerial,but not in mine which is built into the window. The only problem for some is that it receives the channel that broadcasts the test cricket (bonus for me) but otherwise all the other programs. No need for dishes or computers or subscriptions just an old transistor radio.


(Gillian Johnstone) #14

Computer Corner sounds like just what I need. I actually worked with image databases before I retired, but with the wonderful Computer Support department to set up, manage and problem solve. Using the technology is, sadly, not the same as understanding it, so I shall certainly look in the experts group and see what you're up to. Thanks for the contact.


(Peter Lewis) #15

Gillian,

Luckily, although most computer nerds appear to be just out of school, there are some of us who started in that world a long time ago, like when Adam was a lad & Bill Gates was still in short trousers. Now that we're retired, we try to help the "technologically-challenged" via SFN. You could do a lot worse than join the SFN Group "Computer Corner" and post your questions in there as they arise. We'll do our best to help.


(Gillian Johnstone) #16

Thanks. You've cheered me up considerably. :)


(Brian Milne) #17

Yes, you will be able to. Do not fret.

Unless you want considerably more than R4 an internet radio is an unnecessary outlay of not an inconsiderable amount if you want really good reception for music, for example.


(Gillian Johnstone) #18

Thanks for all the replies. Bearing in mind my lack of technology, but I now know, thanks to Brian, that I can access Radio 4 on my little Acer Aspire notebook (Intel Atom), which I access with a "dongle" @ 30E for 2G a month (£15 month in UK), I have a query. When I move to my permanent new home at end of July and subscribe to a "broadband package", with WiFi (an invisible "dongle", like electricity?), as I will have a larger PC for general use, would I be able to use my wee notebook to "pick up" radio (ie. use it as a bedside radio - it is small enough)? I was going to buy an internet radio, but I really only want to access Radio 4 so seems a waste if my notebook would work. One very slight downside of retiring is losing all that wonderful free computing with support at the end of a telephone line. Any help much appreciated.


(Martin Allen) #19

Go the Pure Connect route. It is absolutely brilliant.

http://connect.pure.com/p#!/uk/


(Peter Lewis) #20

I use the Pure Radio "Oasis Flow" model, purchased from & shipped by Amazon UK for a song (pun intended). I'm something of a satellite specialist but prefer this beast in conjunction with the wifi from my broadband router, mainly because of its portability. It also has an alarm function, which can be selected to operate only Monday - Friday if you prefer. However, it mustn't be on its rechargeable battery for this to operate. Bottom line: plug this in every night when going to bed & it turns itself on & starts the day with Classic FM (or Radio 1 or ...) in the morning. It has a beautiful tone, and has much more power than your average portable radio. It's also works with FM, DAB, DAB+ and with DMB. This latter is important here in France, as it's possibly going to be the hexagon's preferred digital radio system. ('Coz everyone else is on DAB or DAB+?)

I recently ordered a second one of these for a friend, and Amazon UK accepted the order, but on the basis of a 1 - 4 week delivery delay. They now aren't showing it all for delivery by themselves but still show lots of Marketplace vendors. Unfortunately, these are at least £10 more expensive than the Amazon price & most won't ship over here. There are also plenty of other vendors, both in the UK and some in France. The prices in France seem, however, to be completely OTT.