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Watching Sky Television in France is Now Simple

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Access the TV content you want from abroad

In recent years, consumer viewing habits have changed dramatically. Since internet access has become mega-fast with the inception of fiberoptic and cable broadband connectivity, the choice on offer to consumers has grown at a frantic pace.

Up until recently, it was common to watch programming at the behest of the television stations schedules on both terrestrial and satellite networks. Now that outlook looks completely different. With the onset of on-demand apps widely available on on smart devices such as tablets and phones, plus the wide range of set-top boxes on the market, people now access TV shows however they like, on whatever device they choose.

Gone are the days of set times to dedicate time to watch the same soap, drama or action programme each and every week. The end users now officially determines how they want to watch TV, at what time and on which device. The pendulum has swung completely the other way.

Roku Interface. Image credit: Know Your Mobile

Roku Interface. Image credit: Know Your Mobile

There’s a world of choice out there!

Believe it or not but only a few years back, on-demand was just coming to the fore yet, it feels like it has been with us for decades. Online services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, Demand5 and Sky Go are internet-based versions of their respective networks. And up until only recently, there weren’t any cross network solutions that offered a complete package of entertainment from all these networks under one umbrella.

But now with the incredible growth of online service providers like Netflix, Amazon TV and Now TV; on-demand TV has taken off and answered those demands. These impressive new services offer the consumer the widest possible range of entertainment from a range of terrestrial and satellite networks, via live and on-demand systems. Now, you can switch on and access sports, movies and pay-per-view events at the touch of a button.

What’s more impressive, is many new programmes are now created by and exclusively shown on these providers platforms. Netflix has invested millions of dollars in new and original programming and boasts some of the highest rated shows to come out in recent years, like House of Cards, Bloodline, Marco Polo and fan favourite Orange is the New Black.

Amazon is no different. New TV series The Grand Tour, starring ex-Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, is set to be released very soon. This high production value show is set to be aired only to Amazon subscribers yet audience numbers are expected to be in the millions. So if you’re still relying on just terrestrial TV, you’ll never get to see it, proving that consumer viewing habits have well and truly changed and mainstream programming is considered old fashioned and a failing platform.

IPTV Devices. Image credit: iPhone Hacks

IPTV Devices. Image credit: iPhone Hacks

Watch amazing UK TV content in France

Now well into the new century, its commonplace in developed countries for most homes to be connected to the world wide web, not to mention phones and other mobile devices via 4G and WiFi. So it’s no wonder that accessing services from these groundbreaking providers is a breeze when all it takes is to install an app or to purchase a set-top box and hook it up to your TV.

As the world is so connected, accessing localised content specific to UK audiences is in actual fact so simple even if you live abroad in countries like France. By using a VPN provider or a smart DNS service, you can easily change the public IP address of any device you choose and bypass common IP filtration that blocks you from viewing content outside the UK.

So if you’re a Brit abroad living in France, the news just gets better because accessing British content such as Sky TV in France is a piece of cake. No need to install old fashioned satellite dishes or aerials. A clever bit of wizardry using a software (or hardware) VPN or smart DNS will unlock a world of entertainment meaning you can buy a Now TV box, Apple TV, an Amazon Fire Stick or even a Roku or MAG set-top box with complete confidence, knowing you can access whatever content you desire.

Plus popular apps such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer or Android TV will work just as long as your TV connects to the internet via the VPN or smart DNS. Watching non-localised content is achievable simply by changing your public IP – that’s it! A simple IP switch to another country effectively allows you to access content from that country, whether it be the UK, USA or elsewhere.

So if you’re living the high life across the channel in France, life just got sweeter with the advances in connectivity that allow live and on-demand streaming of practically any content you like, how you like it.

Skywatcher Explorer 200P telescope review

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We test drive Skywatcher’s popular “big league” telescope

First off, this has to be one of the prettiest telescopes on the market right now, with it’s sleek and attractive metallic cobalt blue finish, highly rated EQ5 mount and super sturdy tubular stainless steel legged tripod.

Surprisingly, the mount doesn’t have a polar scope however you can use the hollow tube as the polar scope for basic alignment if desired. As with most Skywatcher Explorer models, items such as the polar scope, motor drives and GoTo system can be bought separately allowing you to upgrade your scope to a more convenient point and find viewer.

What you do get with this model is a 9×50 straight-through finder, two eyepieces at 10mm and 25mm plus a 2x Barlow lens which has a camera attachment included.

First set up was straightforward however, we did find the overall height of the telescope to sit quite tall – not great for the kids or smaller folk. To compensate, the eyepiece can be placed in a more comfortable position is desired by rotating the tube in the rings.

Once in place, the mount was a very stable base to work from with minimal flexible noticeable. The slow motion axis controls were smooth as silk, with minimal play when put to good use.

Field of View Report

Using the supplied 25mm eyepiece, we firstly set our sights on the star of Arcutus and the resulting image was incredibly sharp across 75% of the view, with only minimal trailing occurring towards the edges.


Arcturus. Image credit: Astro Pixels

At low magnification, Epsilon Lyrae looked superb, showing two main stars. When switching to the 10mm eyepiece and Barlow lens, we enjoyed a superb view of its four stars and dark skies between. Using the same setup, Saturn also looked fabulous displaying its belt and sharp rings in all its glory along with five of its moons.

Closer to Earth, our Moon was a breeze to enjoy a mass of craters and maria in superb crisp detail.

Deep Sky Observations

Further afield, more distant celestial objects were mighty impressive through the Explorer 200P. With the 25mm eyepiece in place, the Whirlpool Galaxy was very simple to find and we enjoyed views of a large mysterious disc on that particular evening. Switching to the 10mm eyepiece revealed some subtle mottling on its surface, with some hints of edge detailing.

Looking out to Ursa Major, M82 was very strong through this scope, as was the M13 cluster. We even managed to catch a glimpse of the faint but distant NGC6207 galaxy with both the 25mm and 10mm eyepieces in place.

Ring Nebula. Image credit: NASA

Ring Nebula. Image credit: NASA

Nebulae also looked good, with the Ring Nebula showing its hollow ring at low powers. We also managed to find the Beehive Cluster and M39 during our tests using the 25mm eyepiece, with the stars in sparkling sharp quality through the viewer.

Review Roundup

As expected, this telescope passed with flying colours and delivered on all its promises. Both optically and practically, this telescope is a winner with our test team even without any mod cons such as motor drives and GoTo systems installed.

As a base unit, it delivers for what most demanding amateur astronomer would demand and with the additions such as the polar scope,motor drives and auto finder system in place, this is a set-up that would satisfy even the most pickiest of telescope enthusiasts.

At around the £400 mark, its a fairly sizeable investment yet it delivers on its promises as most Skywatcher Telescopes do. Set up is simple, the tripod is study and the images achieved are a joy to behold.