French TV in the UK

I’ve recently been on holiday in France and wanting to improve my French I picked up a 50EUR TNT sat box from Darty made by Strong model SRT 7404.
French TNT broadcasts are encrypted and require a card to view the broadcasts but also require an approved box, so he 50EUR covered both and  the card should/will be valid for four years.
The TNT broadcasts can be received with an LNB aimed at 19.2E (see here for how I achieved that).

Once home I connected everything up but encountered some issues with a power supply unit I was testing with, which surprisingly allow the unit to power on and scan but insufficient power to find any channels. Anyhow after changing the PSU for a beefy 12v DC 4amp all was good (unit requires 1.5amp).

After fixing the PSU issue, the box found the French channels and I added 28.2E to pick up the UK channels. The box is surprisingly snappy for
a cheap box, better than the Skybox f5.

It is annoying that sorted channel lists can’t be uploaded to the box as it makes sorting so much faster. But for 50EUR the box is snappy and works great (with a good power supply).

Pictures to follow…

Free To Air Satellite TV FAQs

So if you’ve seen this post (click here) here are some answers to a few questions I’ve had regarding a DIY installed satellite system.

  • what is FTA?

Free to air channels are channels broadcast by satellite unencrypted.

  • OK what don’t I get?

All the sky channels are encrypted so you can’t get them. You also only get a now and next programme information – no seven day electronic programme guide (EPG.)

  • What is FreeSat?

Free sat is a group of free to air channels that pay to be part of freesat and get put on the freesat seven day (EPG).

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Installing A Monitor Mount

I had some spare IT kit and I thought it would be useful have a PC and monitor in the workshop.

I wanted to mount the monitor on the wall out the way, so I purchased the cheapest swivel monitor mount off ebay for about £7.

I was given an old pc minus a hard drive so I found one in the stores and then installed Xubuntu 14.04LTS which was all easy enough, added a £3 ebay usb wi-fi stick and a keyboard and mouse I had kicking about.

To mount it I decided to fix the bracket to a piece of 2×4″ then the 2×4″ to the wall, this will provide four fixings in the wall rather than two so should be more secure.

To begin, I took a piece of scrap 2×4, and bevelled the ends for aesthetics and marked where I wanted the 2×4″ to be fixed to the wall.

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Free To Air Satellite Install

After seeing a review for a skybox f5 on the AVforums link, I decided I wanted some extra TV channels and more HD channels and a so following some purchases I had everything I needed (I also wanted a project):

  • Zone 2 sat dish with quad LNB £23.99 (I decided to get a larger zone 2 satellite dish as I had plans to add an additional 1 or 2 LNBs to the setup to receive more channels at a later date.)

The dish arrived with a Quad LNB

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Using a TV Socket to route speaker cables through a wall

Using a TV Socket to route speaker cables through a wall.

After installing speaker brackets on the wall, I routed cables up to the ceiling and back down the wall to the amplifier. Rather than break the cable and add another join by using speaker wall plates, I choose to keep the cable in one piece and route through a TV socket plate just unscrewing the metal connection plate and pushing the cables through. The face plate was fixed to a standard metal back box (with a gromit to protect the cables).

Metal plate removed – only fixed with two small screws

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