French Television & Internet

By | 14 Aug 2014

walking deadActually, it arrived several weeks ago.  After much agonising trying to decipher what one was really getting for your money in all the internet packages and the contradicting information that we could or could not receive internet television at the address.

In the end we decided to go with Orange, which I now realise is a fair bit more expensive than most other options.  However, part of the decision was that they seem to attend to any problems quickly and can’t say the problem is not their side of the line/service since they are the commercial wing of the line supply that all the other providers have to use.   Having already experienced a frustratingly long delay of well over a week to restore our business internet after a storm, whilst our neighbours who were on Orange had theirs up and running after only a day or so, we didn’t want to a repeat of that inconvenience.

It then transpired that Orange were correct in that I could not receive internet television through the line (which other providers said I could).  I don’t understand how all that works, but I can receive television on my laptop via online sites, so I’m not sure why that can’t happen across to the TV.  I think it has something to do with the quality of the image and that internet sites have already downgraded the speed, but as I said, I don’t understand, nor am I particularly interested in knowing the details – it doesn’t work on my TV.

I tried a new internet ready TV, but that made no difference and was an extremely frustrating experience as the screen kept freezing and wouldn’t allow more than one function to work at the same time – i.e. I couldn’t change volume if the TV was running anything at all.  I then researched online, it seems a lot of people have problems with internet TVs and they’re not very useful yet.  I also tried linking up my laptop to the TV but that didn’t seem to work either, but in any case I want to be able to work on my laptop whilst a film or show is playing elsewhere.

So I got a satellite dish installed, which I didn’t want to do as I will be moving out of this building and in to another one in a few months as the building works roll on, necessitating another paid visit by the Sat man when we need to look after those pennies.

However, especially as I have no-one to go out with, I feel TV is more a necessity than a luxury, especially on those rainy days, so it was installed.

I was grateful for its arrival but a felt a little trepidation about the transmissions all being in French (we had before been able to receive some English TV).  With increasing years, my hearing is decreasing: I often can’t catch what the actors are saying in English programmes let alone in another language.  I now believe most actors mumble a lot and the music is played too loud to discern what words are being said – and I’m only middle-aged, not yet old in my mind.  It all takes a lot of concentration.

The French TV turned out to be quite refreshing, not only to listen to but to view the wide variety of world films available, and certainly good for me to get used to the speed at which they speak on TV.  (Top viewing tip to get up to speed: American dubbed films/series tend to be slower or are dubbed in more correct language making them easier to follow.)  There were and still are several programmes though where I can’t make out any words being spoken, so I selected ‘subtitles for hard of hearing’ to help me.  This can actually make it whole lot more confusing as the subtitles often don’t correlate with what is being said by the actors.  But often the subtitles do help me to pick out some words that I don’t know and look up the translations – so raising the next problem that a lot of the language used is very colloquial and not in my dictionary.  At least in those cases I know it is fine not to have been able to pick up or understand that word, leaving me with the nice thought that maybe my hearing is not deteriorating so fast after all.

Eventually I found that I could change the language on some programmes.  I only do this occasionally when I’m really tired or if there is a programme I’m really keen on.

Well, I tried this on a series that I’ve heard a lot about but never seen – The Walking Dead.  I watched some in French and then switched to English, but it didn’t make it any better for me.  Now, I love a zombie and count Night of the Living Dead as one of my many favourite films, but this just didn’t hit any marks for me.  The Walking Dead seemed like many other survivor style stories there are out there, and highly predictable in its events.

Perhaps it was because it was a later season.  I think you often don’t get into the story and characters in the same way if you come at it late, and any series probably gets a bit far fetched and less fresh with each season.  Although I only recently got to see Breaking Bad, the final season, which I was watching after hearing all the raves about it, and that series caught my interest almost immediately.  It had fewer lead characters, which probably helps when you come at it late, but I now want to go back to the beginning of that one and see the character transformation.  Not so with TWD; but what do I know, it’s a long running series because its watched and enjoyed by many, many people.

Or maybe it’s not just my hearing, maybe increasing years is changing my tastes and shifting them up to being more high brow…

Nah!  I watched Dead Snow (zombie Nazis in the snow) recently and that was class!


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  1. Pingback: Divergent Series . . . Better Not! | TyroCharm

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