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French TV at a screen near you;Letter;News and opinion

WHILE the removal of the French channel TV5 from cable will be a blow to language teachers, all is not lost. It broadcasts on a range of satellites including Hotbird and Telecom 2B in analogue and Astra 1F in digital.

Hotbird transmits TV5 and La 5Arte in French, TVE and Canal 24 horas in Spanish and a good number of French and Spanish radio programmes. The same satellite also transmits German, Italian and Portuguese programmes. There is no subscription for any of these services.

To receive Hotbird all one needs is a basic analogue Sky dish and receiver.

It takes a knowledgeable technician a few moments to change the dish orientation and the receiver settings to tune to the new channels. There are lots of recently redundant Sky systems on the second-hand market at the moment and they are so cheap that we have one at school and another one at home.

Your article did not mention the TV5 website. Well worth a visit on

Mike Sadler

Co-ordinator of modern foreign


The Immingham School, Lincolnshire

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