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Upgrading from Sky to Freesat

It takes less than five minutes to replace an existing satellite box with a Freesat one.

It takes less than five minutes to replace an existing satellit
published on UK Free TV

If you have an existing Sky or fSfS (Freesat from Sky) installation and want to go to upgrade to Freesat, it is a simple process.

First, buy the Freesat box from a Argos,, Comet, John Lewes or your local independent shop:

In the box you will find the Freesat box:

Also included will be a remote control, and this model also comes with a SCART cable, a HDMI cable and a stereo-with-composite cable. Unpack the ones you need:

You old Sky box looks like this:

Unplug the mains first from the Sky box, then pull out the SCART (or SCARTs) and then unscrew the connection to the satellite dish.

Remove the Sky box and fit the Freesat box. Reconnect the satellite cable (take care as to not damage the connection) and then the SCART and finally connect the mains power:

The box will look like this:

The box also contains the manual, which has full installation instructions. Finally fit the batteries into the remote control.

The TV screen first displays the box's logo

The first set-up screen allows you to select the TV type, widescreen mode and resolution:

Next the box checks for the satellite signal:

Then there is a check for updated software:

Then you enter your postcode and the box checks it:

The next step is a scan for channels. This takes about 30 seconds:

And that's it. You can now view channels, like 108 for BBC HD:

Or press the GUIDE button for the EPG:

(Apologies for the photos not being of the top quality)

Help with Free satellite?
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In this section
Freesat adds a plethora of new channels in time for Christmas including channel 1
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Yesterday, Drama and Really joining Freesat this month3
PBS America joins Freesat for Halloween4
Fixing the Freesat Freetime internet connection problem5
Satellite TV operators FRANSAT, TIVUSAT and our Freesat launch FreeTV Alliance 6

Saturday, 27 August 2011
pat bottomley
4:51 PM

Hi,i have sky box-live in very poor signal area.i want to change to sky i have to have an HD tv(which i haven't got).

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pat bottomley's 1 post GB flag
Mike Dimmick

6:31 PM

pat bottomley: There are both SD and HD Freesat boxes. Even the HD boxes still have a SCART output to connect them to an SD television, so you can upgrade in stages. Many of the channels on Freesat are still SD anyway, and most 'HD' channels still broadcast a significant amount of SD output, resized to fill the whole screen. I believe only BBC HD is actually all HD content at present.

If your TV doesn't have any SCART sockets, and you're tuning it into your Sky box's RF output, you will need a separate RF Modulator as I don't think there are any Freesat boxes that include one.

If you don't want to pay for a subscription any more, you can just stop subscribing - the Sky box will continue to work as a 'Freesat-from-Sky' box. See Compare Freesat and Freesat-from-Sky TV | - independent free digital TV advice for the differences between the channel line-ups. Many of the channels on fSfS but not Freesat require the Sky viewing card to decrypt, so keep it in your box - you might have to buy a new viewing card in future if Sky change their encryption. If you have a Sky+ box, the recording and time-shifting features will stop working (Sky want a minimum £10/month payment for these features).

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
2:01 AM

I am currently running a sky multi-room setup (2 sky boxes connected to same dish/LNB) would it be possible to keep one box on sky and change the other to Freesat?

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bobbob's 1 post GB flag
6:29 AM

Briantist: Would you know if this would work in Cushendall, Northern Ireland as at the minute freeview does not work, I know the dofferences in freeview and freesat but the mrs will not listen to me!! Would be gratefull if you could shed some light on the situation.

Many Thanks


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Brian's 1 post GB flag
Peter Henderson

11:17 AM

bobbob:Yes. Just disconnect the Sky box and replace it with the equivalent Freesat one.

Brian: Freesat will work without any problems in Cushendall.

Post DSO (at the end of next year), the local transmitter in your area will Freeview Lite so Freesat will be a far better option. Some channels that are on Freeview but not Freesat (5*, 5USA etc. ), may possibly come onto Freesat soon with the recent launch of Astra 1N.

You should also be able to receive Saorsat in Cushendall, when it's up and running, which hopefully will be soon.

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Peter Henderson's 240 posts GB flag
Thursday, 1 September 2011
Jill Joselin
4:02 AM

We have purchased a new Humax box. We had a professional to fix it all up for us. He wizzed through all the channels showed us how to use HD left it on HD BBC1 and left us to it. After he left I pressed the key to change channels and nothing happned. I read the instructions but still it seems stuck. We cannot get any other channel through the box. We can only view by ordinary channel not the digital. Its driving us nuts! It worked fine for the engineer. It must be so simple what am I doing wrong? Please help!

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Jill Joselin's 3 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson

3:17 PM

(1) Try rebooting the box Jill i.e. turn it off at the mains and turn it back on again a few minutes later.

(2) Try rebooting the remote i.e. take out the batteries and then replace them.

Sometimes either will cure faults like this Occasionally by Sky boxes wil lock up like this and a tevoot will usually cure it.

I've a Humax 9300T terrestrial recorder also and a reboot usually cures the problem. It also locks up from time to time.

Failing that, I'd ring the engineer.

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Peter Henderson's 25 posts GB flag
Jill Joselin
7:46 PM

thank you Peter, your tip worked a treat!

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Jill Joselin's 3 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson

10:01 PM

Glad to be of help Jill.

This always works when any of my Sky boxes, or Humax box freeze up.

I think all boxes tend to do this at some stage or other. Sky ones are not immune any more than the Humax ones to this phenomenon

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Peter Henderson's 25 posts GB flag
Friday, 2 September 2011
Jill Joselin
4:10 PM

Hi Peter, To be honest I thought I may have seen the last of jamming boxes, obviously not the case!

However, sanity has now returned in the household, so not a bad thing! I didn't know about taking the batteries out and replacing them so anything is worth a try. Much better than throwing said recalcitrante box through the window, which for me was the next step!

Thanks once again for your timely tips. Jill

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Jill Joselin's 3 posts GB flag
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