Sky Satellite TV in The Alps

All you need to know about receiving Sky out here

All Sky Sports events, Amazon Prime, BT Sport and Pay Per View events are shown in La Tania at Pub Le Ski Lodge and La Taiga but if you want to get your own UK TV see below.


Update 2023

No major changes to Sky footprint but more and more residents using IPTV type services (with VPNs to get UK catch up TV etc). With iPlayer, ITVx, More4, My5, NetFlix, Amazon Prime, Disney plus apps for BT Sport, NowTV etc and finally Sky streaming their services this would appear to be the way ahead (and no snow blocking satellite dishes anymore!). In addition, the roll out of further fibre internet to La Tania properties is expected in Summer 2023.


Update 2017

The footprint that is beamed across Europe for Sky subscribers is becoming tighter and tighter on it's focus to the UK. This means that while ok in Northern France as you head further away from the UK a bigger and bigger dish is required. In 2017 a 60cm dish will have very poor ITV quality and possibly no Channel 4, bad weather makes things worse of course too.

Sharing a big dish with a few other apartments (and a multiple LMB which are £10 on eBay) or a centrally controlled system seems to be the way ahead now.

An alternative is to use Internet based TV services especially if 60MB VDSL is available. Services such as IP TV, FilmOn, NetFlix, Now TV, Amazon Prime Video and all the catch up services BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5 as well as the Sky Go services work fine instead of a dish if you've enough bandwidth.

Note that for many of these services a VPN is required to hide your location. Services such as IPvanish or Hide My Ass work really well - IP Vanish can be installed on Amazon Firestick v2 providing a complete solution with all the catch up TV apps plus IP TV.



This from 2005...

Installing Sky

If you've got a Sky system in the UK (which is more than a year old and/or free of subsidy restrictions, telephone connections etc) it can simply be brought out here and the dish pointed towards the top of the Col. Eventually after a few minutes or several hours while looking at the signal strength indicator (in the setup menu) and making very, very minor adjustments you'll get the system up. We've found that the standard 45cm dishes are sufficient though some people do have the larger ones out here. There are places in France that can sell you the Sky system even though you're not really supposed to have it abroad - it is not illegal though! Alpine Satellite France can sort out all your requirements including subscriptions, installation and the new Sky Plus (or now Sky Q) boxes.
Contact them out here on 0479 042825.

Purchasing Sky

If the system is bought with a subsidy & subscription (usually free and/or around £60 for installation) in the UK it has to be connected to the phone line in the UK. Once a year is up it can usually be disconnected and brought out to France. Note that you must use a UK address for your Sky subscription, they will not allow an address abroad. The alternative is to simply buy a new digibox & dish outright and start a new subscription. For new equipment without a subscription or subsidy you'll pay around £330 (second hand around £150).


No subscription - Free to Air Channels FTA - Available from the end of 2005

If you don't have any sky subscription and no viewing card in at all you'll still get a host of TV and Radio channels - apart from lots of shopping, religious and travel agent type channels the main ones of interest are:

BBC Four
ITV1, ITV2 (+1 etc)
C4 & C5
The Vault (music channel)
Sky News
BBC News 24
BBC Radio 1,2,3,4,5 and World Service
Virgin Radio
Absolute Radio
Talk Sport
Classic FM
Capital Gold
Radio X

Of course all the main channels are included if you subscribe to any Sky package. Currently the cheapest is £18 a month, with the full Sport & Movies package from around £60a month. We've conflicting reports of getting a multi-room systems in the UK will work if you bring the second box out here - UK phone connection may be required etc.
If you're stuck out in a ski resort between the Winter and Summer seasons Satellite TV may work out to be a very good idea!



Page last updated 09/04/2023