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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

Sunday, 25 November 2012
Peter Henderson

12:55 AM

Khalid:The answer is no, unfortunately. Once you cancel your subscription to Sky you cannot use the recording facilities on a Sky+ box (unless you pay Sky £10 per month.

However, you can replace your old Sky+ box with a Freesat PVR (recorder). It costs nothing to use the recording functions on Freesat. Freesat recorders start from around the £200 mark and would be your best bet if you don't subscribe to Sky.

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Peter Henderson's 240 posts GB flag
Thursday, 13 December 2012
12:18 PM

I have a Foxsat pvr with dual input cables from my dish. I have just bought a smart tv and want to use the built in freesat tuner, but to retain the existing ability to record two programs on the pvr. Can I use the foxsat LMB out socket to connect to my TV and thus watch a third channel while recording two others, and will quality be good?

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Ray's 1 post GB flag

9:22 PM

Ray: If you use the LNB output socket on your Humax sat box it will limit the channels you can view on the TV to being only the ones that corresponds to the polarity (H or V) as tuner No1 on the Humax box is using, as you cannot have two polarities on the same cable.

You should purchase a quad block kit for your dish, these available from a number of e-bay suppliers for around £10.00 or so and are simple to fit by being virtually a push fit onto the dishes rectangular arm, then all you require to do is run another sat grade coax from the LNB to your TV.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
10:49 AM


I want free sat. I have a sky dish installed from when I used to be subscribed to them. I also have a Samsung smart tv with built in receiver.

Can it be done through this?

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adam's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:00 AM

adam: The dish and cable used for Sky and Freesat are 100% technically compatible. So yes, it will work.

If you need additional feeds from the dish, such as to run another TV or a PVR then you may find that your LNB (the bit on the dish's arm that the cable(s) connect to) has a spare port or you can buy replacement LNBs with more ports online from sources such as eBay for around £10.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Claire Thompson
6:32 PM

Please can you help! I have just bought a new HD Smart tv, currently have sky+ and thinking of upgrading to skyHD now I have a HD tv. But I live in an apartment block with a central dish and dont have full functionality of sky anyway i.e. can't series link or record something and watch something else as there is only one live output feed. Not sure whether I should go for sky HD or a freesat, will freesat work and let me record given that sky wont?

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Claire Thompson's 1 post GB flag

8:19 PM

Claire Thompson: Freesat recorders are exactly the same as Sky+ or Sky+ HD boxes insomuch that twin inputs are always required for them to operate correctly, and in your situation about the only thing you can do is to go into the set up menu and change the dish setting to "single feed" operation, as doing this will allow a limited amount of flexibility as far as viewing one programme whilst recording another is concerned, the limited part being that both programmes have to be on the same signal polarity and not one on vertical and the other on horizontal.

Of course you will know if you are making a mistake when you are selecting a programme to record, as either a message will appear on the screen or it will just reject your choice, unfortunately there is no way around this problem.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Monday, 14 January 2013
11:20 AM

Thank you very much for all your help with my query

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sheik's 2 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Julien Piot
2:04 AM


I live in the south of france. I have a skybox and dish already set up. I'd like to set up Freesat but don't which box to get.
I need one with an internal hard drive to record tv programmes. Can anyone recommend a reliable one that's not going to conk out after a couple of months...

I hope you can help me with my decision.

Thank you for your time.


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Julien Piot's 2 posts FR flag
ian from notts

8:01 AM

julien piot- the humax twin feed box is popular and seems to have a lot of happy customers

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ian from notts's 253 posts GB flag
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