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By the end of 2011 France will no longer have analog television. TNT – Télévision Numérique Térrestre, in English - Digital Terrestrial Television will replace it. With analog you got 7 channels - TF1, France 2, France 3, Canal Plus, France5/Arte and M6. Or 6 as France5/Arte share a channel. With TNT you receive 18 channels. TNT is free but you may need a TNT decoder (adaptateur TNT) to receive it. The reason I say may, is that recent TVs have a built in decoder. Simple decoders start at about €30. Simple is really all you need unless you want to be able to record programs.

With TNT some channels will let you choose your language, so it’s possible to watch TV in English. French stations like TF1, Arte, M6 among others offer programming in English. You can program you decoder’s default language. Meaning you could set English as the default language and if the program you watch is available in English you will watch in English. If you live near a border it’s also possible to pick up other countries TV stations via TNT.

The French government has set up a web site - to help with the transition to TNT. It’s in French of course but it really isn’t hard to get TNT. Here are a couple of ways:

Antenna: Like analog you can get TNT with an antenna, be it an inside or outside antenna. Many new buildings are now built with a TNT antenna. Meaning you just have to connect your TV to a plug. If you don’t have a TNT antenna (most antennas bought less than 10 years ago should work) you can buy one.

ADSL: If your internet subscription includes TV, as most ADSL subscriptions do then you have TNT. Along with TNT you probably a lot of other TV stations.

Other options for getting TNT are via satellite dish, cable and fiber optic.

The French government’s goal is to have TNT coverage for 95% of France at the end of 2011. In areas where TNT isn’t reachable it’s possible to get satellite TV for free.

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