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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, 8 August 2012
Vj chandra
10:49 PM

I am confused between the differences - channelwise - on freesat versus sky's free view.

I am looking to buy a sat receiver since my house has no arial but has a dish with cabling.

I can either get a used sky box OR a freesat box for same cost. What is the difference?

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Vj chandra's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 9 August 2012
Peter Henderson
12:10 AM

Vj: As far as I'm aware, there isn't really any difference these days as anything that's free to air is available on both Freresat and Freesat from Sky. Channels that are free to air but not on the Feresat EPG can be accessed in non Freesat mode.

At one stage 5 USA, 5*, and Pick TV were only available on Feesat from Sky and not Feesat, but these are all free to air now. Both 5 USA and 5* are also on the Freesat EPG.

The main difference, as far as I can see it, is that you can't use a PVR (recorder i.e. Sky plus) with Freesat from sky unless you pay Sky £10 per month, which kind of defeats the purpose. PVR funtions are free on Freesat should you wish to go down this route.

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Peter Henderson's 15 posts GB flag

12:20 AM

Vj chandra: A few channels are obtainable on Sky's free to view that aren't available on Freesat and vice versa, but the biggest differences are that you can choose what region you want to view from on a Freesat device by simply entering different post codes in the set up menu, whereas with Sky there is no way of doing this, meaning that a Sky box might be defaulted to receiving programmes on 103 as though the viewer resided in the London regional news area no matter where they might actually be located in the UK, something which cannot be altered as its done via the Sky card.

The other plus point about Freesat being that you can purchase a Freesat PVR (recorder) for recording programmes whereas "not" on a non subscription Sky box even if it was of a Sky+ variety which has a built in recorder, as Sky retains access to the recording / playback side of the box and only activates the recorder if a subscription is taken out.

The only point to note about a Freesat twin tuner PVR is that it requires two input leads from the dish.

This is a link where you can compare the channels, use the two right hand columns.

All free TV channels | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Ruth Hughes
6:11 PM

I currently have a sky multi room subscription, including 2 sky plus boxes and I want to change to freeview, but would like to be able to retain the recording facility. Is this possible? And if I have to buy a box that records, can you recommend one please?

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Ruth Hughes's 2 posts GB flag

7:05 PM

Ruth Hughes: When you cancel your contract with Sky as well as them blocking reception of their package channels they will also disable the access code used for the recording / playback side of the Sky+ boxes, and so if you have anything you wish to retain then you will have to transfer it to an external recorder.

The best policy is for you to purchase a Freesat PVR (recorder) as its fully compatible with a Sky box as far as the inputs from the dish are concerned, of course you still wont be able to record any of the previous programmes you viewed "if" they were a dedicated part of a Sky package.

You can check what you will, or will not be able to view by simply removing the Sky card.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Ruth Hughes
6:06 PM

Thanks jb38!

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Ruth Hughes's 2 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 21 August 2012

10:11 PM

When I converted from Sky to Freesat I noticed that the NG postcode I put in gave me Central West, because Central East is apparently encrypted. However today when watching the football I noticed the channel 103 had changed to Central East. Somewhere along the line the channel has been unencrypted and the channel switched for boxes using the appropriate postcodes?? Surprised I can find no reference as yet on this website - is this a surprise to everyone ?

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Steve's 27 posts GB flag
Steve's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 10 September 2012
john weare
11:06 AM

I want to replace my sky+ box in bedroom with a free sat box and keep my sky+ HD box in lounge. Currently I can use both boxes at same time and watch one channel while recording another on each box.
If I replace as above will I be able to use freesat box and sky+hd box at same time?

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john weare's 1 post GB flag
Peter Henderson
4:00 PM

John Weare: Yes, you can.

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Peter Henderson's 15 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson
4:03 PM

Steve: Check out Digital Spy's Freesat changelog. Any changes such as this are usually mentioned there, or on the ITV regions thread.

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Peter Henderson's 15 posts GB flag
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