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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

Friday, 25 January 2013
Dave Lindsay

10:31 AM

Lesley: The point is that "Freeview" is the brand name of the terrestrial system. Removing the card would demonstrate to you which you would left with (I suspect this is what you're looking for).

In some areas (with some transmitters) a replacement aerial "may" be needed to receive all channels. In general, existing aerials will suffice.

You could try it with a Freeview receiver and see what you get. In many cases it will work fine.

Knowledge of your location, preferably in the form of postcode or that of a nearby address (such as a shop) would allow prediction of signals to be checked. This would give an idea whether your existing aerial may be expected to work.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 28 January 2013
9:01 AM

Dave: Thank you for answering my questions. A postcode to use is NN1 5BD.

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Lesley's 4 posts EU flag
Lesley's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

9:52 AM

Lesley: In your general area the Sandy Heath transmitter is the main one. You may find that your aerial is not sufficiently sensitive to receive the COM channels because Sandy Heath is one of those transmitters where the COM channels aren't within the same frequency range as the former analogue (and therefore within the range of aerials). Sandy Heath is roughly east and your aerial will be horizontal (elements flat).

There is a relay transmitter at Dallington Park which is essentially a low power "filler-in" primarily intended for those who can't receive from Sandy Heath. If your aerial points towards this station then it will be vertical (elements up/down) and it only carries PSB channels.

In some cases it may be possible to change from using the PSB-only transmitter to using the full-service one, but this would be likely to require replacement of the aerial.

Refer to this page for a full list of Freeview services:

DTG :: DTT Services by Multiplex

Each table is a single signal known as a multiplex. There are six in total: three PSB (including one HD) and three COM. There is a small proportion of the population who can only receive the PSBs, so COMs aren't guaranteed even if you can receive PSBs.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

10:55 AM

Lesley: I would like to emphasise that you should try it whilst bearing in mind that you may only receive PSB channels.

If reception of the full Freeview service isn't possible or might require a new aerial then another alternative is to use your satellite dish to receive free-to-air services via the Freesat service. These two systems are identical as far as the dish is concerned.

A comparison of Freeview vs Freesat channels is here:

Freeview/Freesat | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice

For example, Dave and Yesterday are available from full-service Freeview transmitters (i.e. COM channels) but not Freesat.

All services carried on the PSBs are available on Freesat.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

10:57 AM

Lesley: You will need to click the "P24" tab below in order to see my other reply.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:00 AM

Lesley: You will need a Freeview receiver, whether built in to your TV or a set-top box. The Sky box will not function as a Freeview box.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
10:48 AM

Thank you Dave - you have been very helpful. Again, I am sorry I keep asking such basic questions.

Thanks again for the info.

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Lesley's 4 posts EU flag
Dave Lindsay

11:22 AM

Lesley: Happy to help. Hope you get it sorted.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Thursday, 31 January 2013
9:31 PM

Please I need help l have just bought a freesat box it works fine, then l recorded a programme but the channel was on when the record started wont allow me to change channels plus it records the programme l am watching and saves it for 2 hours AHHH

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Anne's 2 posts GB flag

11:17 PM

Anne: If you are referring to an actual Freesat box and are recording from this onto a DVD or HDD (hard disk) recorder then this is quite normal as you are only dealing with one tuner, however if you are meaning a Freesat "twin tuner" PVR (personal video) recorder that uses two inputs from the dish then are you sure that its not set up for single feed operation?

Maybe you could indicate the model number of the device in question.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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