We knew absolutely nothing about satellites but we wanted to watch some ordinary UK programmes. I went to Brico Depôt and bought an Axil 'kit satellite numérique' with a single head for €70, a post for the dish for €10 and a 100m roll of TV cable for €21.
We have a fairly modern TV that recognises UK PAL transmissions. After assembling everything I pointed the dish roughly south-east with an elevation just above the horizon.
After about an hour of mucking about with the dish and the Axil box, I eventually latched onto Astra 28E and suddenly there was 'East Midlands Today' with a better picture than we got when we lived in Nottingham.
Without really being able to understand the 'Chinglish' instruction book, we were able to group togegther, in a sensible order, the following programmes: BBC1, BBC2, ITV, News24, each with excellent sound and vision. That's all we really want. There are plenty of other channels that we browse occasionally and I'm sure that there are heaps of things that this set-up is capable of providing. But, hey ho, you know what they say about 'simple things pleasing simple minds'...
So, no matter if you've never done a digital box before, go for it! Great value for just over €100 and no Auntie knocking on your door for a licence fee either.
Just two post-scripts. Firstly, the satellite industry uses a strange compass which is not the conventional 360°. I believe the figures refer to degrees east of south. Secondly, lots of people in France think that Sat dishes point south because that's the direction of the Maghreb! None the less, this southerly direction indication can be a big help in a strange town if you are lost.
Cheers all, Tom Denne