Sky plc is one of the largest pay-tv broadcasters in Europe. It has subsidiaries, ventures and partnerships all over the world, an only in Europe it has more than 21 million subscribers. Sky plc’s huge size, partnerships with many studios, networks and channels in almost every part of the world, makes it a great option for a TV provider. The problem is that in only offers services as a regular TV provider in Europe in Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom, which, as you may have noticed, does not include France.
So, what if you happen to live in France and want to enjoy Sky’s pay-per-view sports events, original content and wide array of channels? Well, you do not have to worry, since there are several options for watching British TV in France, where the regular service is not offered. You should keep these things in mind:
Will my Sky Q box work in France?
Sky Q is one of Sky’s many TV services, and it features HD and 4K Ultra HD content. It is great for enjoying your favourite movies or sports events at the highest resolution possible. The thing is, as you could probably imagine, that you can only hire Sky Q if you live in one of the countries where Sky offers the service.
Many people who actually live in one of the countries where Sky offer its Q service, but also happen to own a house in France, want to know if there is any way to take their Sky Q box with them while visiting their summer house to get their signal and enjoy it instead of paying the monthly bill back home and also hiring a different service for their summer house at France. Well, the thing is that is kind of tricky:
First of all, when you hire Sky Q, you get a digital signal receiver (also known as a Q box) and a little card that makes it work. Technically speaking, what you pay for is only the signal and the box does not belong to you, Sky “lends” it to you so you can enjoy the service you are paying for, and you are not supposed to move it out of your house –let alone the country-, and the card is supposed to only work with the Q box it was originally paired with. This is all technically speaking and in theory, because while it is supposed to be forbidden by your contract, several people have successfully taken their Q boxes out of their homes and enjoyed their TV service in other countries, or even just took the card and placed it inside a third-party digital box and claim it has worked.
The bottom line is that if you are going to spend lots of time in France and you already have hired Sky Q’s service in a country where it is offered, there is no guarantee that you could just take your box with you and it will work -it probably won’t-, but if you decide to try, you might just get lucky.
Free online streaming services
If you do not own a Sky Q box or you tried to take it to France and it simply didn’t work, you can always head to one of the many online streaming services. They broadcast live content from some of the main channels of several companies and they are free to watch in case you really do not want to miss a football game, for example.
Naturally, there are many downsides, as they offer almost exclusively low resolution options, they are riddled with ads everywhere, they can be very slow to buffer and interrupt your event every few minutes and, if you are not careful, they could even infect your computer with virus. Needless to say, this is a last-resort option.
VPN on your computer – How to watch Sky Go in France
Pretty much anyone who knows about Sky’s regular services is also familiar with Sky GO. Basically, Sky GO is a service that allows you to access the contents you are paying for with your regular subscription even if you are not at your home. This works by accessing the Sky Go webpage, introducing your client information and streaming your contents online for the same fee you are already paying.
The problem is that Sky GO is only accessible from the countries where Sky offers its services. If you really are desperate and you want a high definition option for viewing Sky’s contents in France, you could ask a friend who is a subscriber of Sky in one of the countries where they offer their services for his client information and then install a VPN (virtual private network) in your computer to access Sky GO. A VPN works by “funneling” your computers traffic through servers all around the world to protect your privacy and make the Internet think you are in a different place. There are many VPN options that allow you to choose the country where you want to route your traffic through, which would allow you to watch Sky GO in France, pretending to “be” in a different country.
Physical VPN routers
There are many companies in France that sell what is called a physical VPN router. To put it simply, it is a third party’s digital box with an integrated VPN that includes a card similar to the card Sky Q provides. This “makes the card think” you are in a different country and allow you to hire Sky’s services in a country where they are not usually offered. While you should browse several options and be careful not to fall for sketchy devices, there are several legit companies that offer a quality service.
It can be somewhat frustrating that your favorite TV provider doesn’t operate in your country, but you should remember that there are some ways to get the best experience possible and enjoy your favorite contents from anywhere in the world. Besides, Sky is a very large company in continuous expansion, so who knows, maybe they will start operations in France sooner than you think.