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Old 30.12.2006, 20:14
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RSargeant RSargeant is offline
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Re: Watching BBC in Switzerland?

I've just finished (November 2006) a project working with Swisscom on their new Bluewin TV service. Briefly, this offers 100+ TV channels from many countries, sent to a set-top box via a very fast ADSL connection to the Internet. The costs are somewhat lower than Cablecom's digital cable offering and certainly cheaper than Sky, especially if you cancel your analogue cable TV connection and its associated charges. You get a very fast ADSL connection too!

The exact channels offered vary depending on where you live, but mainly in the local offerings, i.e. Tele Züri appears only in the Zürich area. The BCC and ITV offerings seem to remain constant. When I checked my location, BBC World, 2 3 and CBBC were offered, together with ITV 1, 2 & 4, CNN, Sky News and Film 4. Of course there's also a big selection of German, French, Italian and other language channels too.

Here's a link where the only box you can enter anything into wants your Swiss postcode. Just enter that and you'll be rewarded with a list of all the channels provided at your location. There are also HD channels - Discovery etc but in German or French, but breathtakingly good quality.

You can also have VOD (Video on demand) where you can "rent" films for a small fee - better than the local DVD rental shop, and also have access to PPV (pay-per-view) which is for mainly sporting events like world championship boxing matches etc.

The functionality of the bosx is about the same as a Sky HD box - it has a disk and you can use the EPG (electronic program guide) to mark programs to be recorded later. The box has composite, S-Video, SCART and HDMI outputs.

It's all very new and there are some small teething problems and it may not (yet) be available in your area but if you are happy with the English channels mentioned above, give it a try. It's certainly a solution for those of us frustrated by Cablecom steadily removing channels from their analogue offering, and Swisscom's service is certainly better than Cablecom, whose customer service is legendarily bad!

Let us know if you try this and what you think. I have Sky and free ADSL from another provider so don't want it!

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