Receiving the bbc in france

Hello there,

I can’t watch the BBC on my PC, when I try it tells me I am not in the right region. I don’t want to have to do all this VPN business. Does anyone get the BBC on their telly and if so with which box and which provider please ?

Thanks as I get frustrated with the poor French TV and miss the quality of the BBC programs:-)
Happy Sunday everyone


Whereabouts in France are you?


We have an old UK sky box (sourced in France) connected to a satellite dish looking at (IIRC) Astra 2 and obtain all the free to air UK TV channels without the need for a Sky card.
Mind you, that said, I think we must have frustratedly maxed out on BBC repeats and now resort to watching French TV on a targeted basis or mainly radio programs via the internet.
How people in the UK can countenance continuing to pay dearly for the “privilege” of watching such crap defeats me!

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Astra 2E at 28.2°E

You don’t need a Sky decoder although an old one will do, any decoder should be able to get the channels but it is easier if you pick up a Freesat decoder from the UK.

The only difficulty, though, is that if you are in the deep south of France while reception should be possible, you might need quite a large dish.

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These are very simple to use - but a bit hit and miss with BBC at the moment.

We use an old Sky box + 80cm dish which works as if you were in UK.

Watching some of those “place in the sun” type programs you have to wonder if people get their “bits” fried on their rooftop solariums with the size of their dishes just to get UK TV :laughing:

I have the decoders but I’m not buying a bigger dish to watch the Beeb. We were at the limit of being able to use a “normal” size dish…folks on the other side of the mountain were getting quoted stupid money to replace theirs.

I think ours blends in pretty well:


Here in November when the house is surrounded by mist, a little bit of sunshine goes a long way.

Yep that’s about it Mat :smile:

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Hi Jane. We gave up the BBC years ago. We tried BBC iPlayer when we first came but didn’t find a lot to watch. I did miss Radio 4 in the car but you can get it on the internet. There is a lot of rubbish on French TV but I reckon the UK is the same. We got TNT and found out what we liked, now we select favourite channels and programmes we enjoy, while soaking up some the French language and idioms at the same time. Sport is ideal. Then there are lots of good documentaries on Arte, some of which actually are produced by the BBC with a French voice-over blended in to the original soundtrack so you can hear both. The excellently presented Rugby World Cup is currently on TF1 in French. The main channels regularly have American and English films and some series dubbed into French (e.g. Peaky Blinders) but with the option of watching in Version Originale if you have a TV with the means. Perfect for a good old Hitchcock for example. There are French variants of the UK programmes : Strictly = Dance with the stars. Top Chef = Top Chef, Bake-off = Meilleur patissier, Kitchen nightmares = Cauchemar en cuisine (but with Philippe Etchebest, a much nicer person IMHO!). The formula is scarily similar, therefore familiar and easy to watch. French news does tends to be France-based and sometimes a bit noddy, but then we are in France and it pays to know what are the issues of the day. There is always the internet for UK news.

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Three French programs immediately come to mind which are infinitely more watchable than the English variant Le Mur (The Wall), Money Drop (the 100k drop) and Le Juste Prix (the price is right) and of course, not forgetting these two which are of French origin - Fort Boyard (no explanation necessary) and des chiffres et des lettres (Countdown).

@Mat_Davies gave some great advice about a VPN called Pure VPN a few months ago. To subscribe and download takes less than 10 minutes. Its a few euros per month and gives us a wide choice of channels including BBC. No dish required.

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but what about bandwidth @Dan_Wood Do you have a perceptible drop in internet accessibility as a consequence?

@Graham_Lees - not noticed as l am either watching the tv and not using the internet or using the internet and not on line with the vpn. Do occasionally get some buffering during peak periods but our commune is low in bandwidth anyway and the internet slows perceptibly when all the neighbours kids are on line.

We have two Pure internet radios, not without fault.

Who needs ~BBC when you can get Plus Belle La Vie :relaxed:

I reckon the whole commune will be mourning the death of a favourite actress…

How interesting - But PureVPN and a pure internet radio are not the same service.

VPN solutions are popular - but the BBC does try to block them where it can.

That’s right Paul this is the fourth one we’ve had and fingers crossed, it will continue to work for a little while longer. I am still a little bemused that the BBC do not offer iplayer as a streaming service worldwide to compete with Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix and others​:confused::confused::confused: