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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?
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau1
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?2
What is a CA module?3
My box says "No Satellite signal being received"4
Is there any way I can get free channels via satellite and have the kind of hard5
In this section
Freesat adds a plethora of new channels in time for Christmas including channel 1
A tale of a two Freesat boxes2
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

Wednesday, 2 November 2011
2:17 PM

Firstly very impressed by the very helpful - and patient- answers to all our problems!

I too am about to abandon Sky, and intend to get a Humax + box. I note from the photos at the top of this thread that there appeared to be only one dish feed. Other threads refer to two dish leads. My Sky + has two feeds from the dish. Will both these have homes to go to on a Humax+ box? Also want to set up another TV at the other end of a house (old and thick walls). Presume I need to lead another (pair?) of dish leads from the dish to the new TV position? And get another box?

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irish's 3 posts GB flag

2:56 PM

irish: Thank you for the kind comments made about the site.

As far as your query is concerned, two feeds from the dish are only necessary if the receiving device is a twin tuner PVR, this whereby you can record one channel and watch another, and the reason why Sky+ requires two feeds.

Satellite equipment (all) requires an individual feed for each receiver, and a dish LNB can be fitted with 1/2/4 or 8 individual outputs, so if you are wishing to use a TV at the other end of the house operating independent of the one replacing Sky+, then its just a case of running another feed cable to the point required from the dish, or two feeds if you are thinking about using a PVR at the other location.

In other words, two feeds at one point and two at the other, this requiring the dishes LNB to be fitted with a Quad block, have a look at the present LNB though, as the Sky engineer might just have fitted one as the price difference is fractional between the two and four outlet versions.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
4:33 PM

thanks JB38, so as I intend to hook up a Humax + with a record capability, then the two feeds will need to feed into that? And I will check to see if I need additional feeds to supply another TV.

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irish's 3 posts GB flag

5:10 PM

irish: Yes, any twin tuner Freesat PVR (e.g: Humax Foxsat HDR etc) requires two feeds, one for each tuner.

With regards to the second TV, if you are intending this also to operate on a satellite system then a TV on its own only requires one feed for a standard Freesat box, (or if TV has Freesat built in) but if you are considering using it with a PVR then you require two, as you would "not" then require the TV to have Freesat built in as you would generally be viewing it via the recorder.(PVR)

Of course you could just use a standard terrestrial Freeview TV in the 2nd location, that is "if" you are in an area where Freeview can be received via a normal aerial, the convenient thing about Freeview being that you only require one feed from the aerial no matter how many devices are involved, as it can then (if necessary) be split between various devices using an appropriate splitter.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
5:39 PM

thank JB38. yes, I can't get freeview here yet

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irish's 3 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson

9:16 PM


An octo LNB will run 4 PVRs (recorders), or 8 non PVR Freesat receivers, or any combination in between.

Likewise, a quad LNB will run 2 PVRs or 4 non PVR receivers, or any combination in between.

If you're in a Freeview Lite area post DSO then Freesat's the way to go, in my opinion.

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Peter Henderson's 240 posts GB flag
Thursday, 3 November 2011
12:33 PM

Thanks Mike D for your reply to my 26th Oct query. been away sorry for delay in thanks. This site has as others have commented is really good and although us lesser mortals may often be going over old ground the replies are always polite and informative.

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David's 3 posts GB flag
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Clare C
7:36 PM

I currently subscribe to Sky and want to cancel my subscription and keep the equipment to recieve free sky programmes. I was told by the operator that I would have to purchase a freeviewing card from the "Internet" as my current Sky card would not work. Is that right?

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Clare C's 1 post GB flag

8:58 PM

Clare C: Partially yes, as the box will still be able to receive without a card inserted except that you will not be able to view ITV programmes etc in some areas as well as other things like 5* / 5US etc, pull the card out and have a check to see what's missing, this demonstrating the situation when you cancel subscribing.

The "Free to view" Sky card costing £25.00, and going by my own one lasting for years, the card always having been obtainable from Sky themselves unless they have altered anything recently.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Monday, 7 November 2011

6:56 PM

Clare C: If you stop subscribing your card *becomes* a Free to view card, you need do nothing at all.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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