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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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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

Monday, 26 January 2015

9:40 PM

andy: Check out the differences here: All of the free TV channels in the UK

HD is of course one advantage, but of course the other is that if you have a twin LNB, you've got the chance to record, unlike a 2nd hand Sky box. And you would get on demand TV from a Manhattan or Humax box.

I'm not sure I'd be that disappointed to lose some of the Free Sky channels anyway - Horse & Country TV?

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Friday, 13 February 2015
geoffrey o'neill

7:06 PM

I've tuned my tv and now get internet channel 248 when will this be broadcasting on the net. Stockton on tees.

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geoffrey o'neill's 24 posts GB flag
geoffrey's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 14 February 2015

11:47 PM

andy: some Freesat programs have 5.1 sound, like the rugby today for example.

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Nick's 58 posts GB flag
Friday, 20 February 2015
2:19 PM

We have BT infinity broadband and u view, but reception through our terrestrial areal is really bad, constantly losing the reception for long periods.
We have an old sky plus box and card which allows us to change over fo free channels when the reception is poor but the box plays up at times and the picture is not as good.
Without re subscribing to sky packages, what is the best option?

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John's 1 post GB flag

9:13 PM


As you already have a dish, as was used for your previous Sky service, it may well be advisable to use that with a Freesat box. That will work perfectly well using the dish as the signals for Freesat come from the same group of satellites as the Sky signals.

I don't think that YouView works with satellite services though, but others may be able to confirm that or correct me if I'm wrong. My YouView box takes signals from my terrestrial aerial but, like you, signal reception of terrestrial (Freeview) services is not ideal.

If you like the idea of using your existing dish with a Freesat box, you may consider getting a Freesat PVR so you can record programmes as well - but that will need a dual output LNB at least. If you had Sky+ then you should already have at least a dual LNB (or maybe a quad, just as good) and at least 2 downleads that fed into your Sky+ box.

Food for thought?

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Saturday, 7 March 2015
9:12 PM

I have just moved into a flat, there are two sat leads coming in. We are using freeveiw at the moment and getting poor reception on bbc 1 and bbc2, Would it be best to get freesat or sky basic package!!

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TED DOE's 1 post GB flag

11:08 PM

TED DOE: Freesat is a one off payment - and since there are two leads, you can get a PVR, so you can watch and record at the same time. The Manhattan is about £129, but the Humax is a better best, and starts at £169. Thats also a smart box, with all four channels on demand, and wifi can be added.

Sky will cost you more over the long term - I have no idea of the basic package (Brianist did write an article on it - and MikeP reckoned £21 a month for a basic package), but if you simply bought a 2nd Sky box, and paid Sky to connect it up and allow it to record, its over a tenner a month, just for the recording function. So the Freesat box will have paid for itself in about a year if you buy a cheap one. Of course Freesat doesn't have as many channels as Sky (although I could probably live without Psychic Today, etc). Here is a list of what you get on each - All of the free TV channels in the UK

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Monday, 9 March 2015
7:18 PM

I have a Sky + box & am moving to another area where a Sky + dish & leads is already installed... BUT I can no longer afford or wish to continue with my Sky subscription.

I am happy to receive whatever free channels are available BUT how can i record programmes best? Is it possible to use the recording & link facilities on my Sky+ box? If not, what do I need to get to record programmes with a link so that i don't have to keep resetting the recorder etc.



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FrankLT's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:24 PM

FrankLT: You cannot use the recording features within a "Sky" box without paying said company for the dubious privilege. Therefore the best solution is probably to go with a Freesat PVR, this being a one-off payment for the box.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 1 June 2015
11:06 AM

Old Sky box a long time ago before I don't want to Sky anymore because too expensive, I have freesat+HD Humax freetime box better working service available fine.

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Ronnie's 3 posts GB flag
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