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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

Monday, 24 January 2011
Les Nicol

8:52 AM

Edd - No You simply swop over the receivers. You would need an HD capable TV to receive the HD transmissions via an HDMI cable which are supplied with a new "Freesat" receiver. If the TV isn't HD it will still see the receiver usable with a scart connection as your SKY box and the scart cable is also included. If however you opted for a freesat HD box with dual tuner recording facility same as a SKY HD plus receiver then you would need upgrading to the LNB and additional cable run to feed the signal to the two tuners on these boxes. A "Freesat" single tuner recording receiver can be had the differnce being that box can record one chasnel while watching aother rather than two. Going for this would not require any upgrading as described as your existing dish would suffice. Non recording "Freesat" receivers also will work fine with your current dish.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

9:01 AM

Edd - see this link- -Upgrading from Sky to Freesat
| - independent free digital TV advice - but you must use an HDMI cable, rather than the old-fashioned SCART lead.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
12:35 PM


I currently have Sky HD on the main TV in the lounge, but would like to use a freesat box in a bedroom using the same dish, is it this possible?

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Pete's 1 post GB flag
Mike Dimmick

3:14 PM

Pete: to get the full range of channels on the Freesat box, you will need to run at least one new cable from the dish to the box. You should use a separate output on the LNB - the box on the end of the dish arm - rather than splitting any existing cables.

Some Sky boxes have a 'dish output' connector on the box. This usually allows another box connected to it to have full control of the dish when the Sky box is turned off, but only allows the other box to select the same range of channels as the one the Sky box has selected when it's switched on. It's better to run separate cable to the dish.

Sky normally install a 'Quad LNB', with four outputs, and connect two of them to the Sky+ or Sky+HD box. The other two are to allow for easier multi-room installation. If you already have multi-room you might need to replace the LNB with an Octo-LNB, 8 outputs.

Technical detail: the satellites broadcast channels in both Horizontal and Vertical polarization, and in a Low and a High frequency range. Signals from the box, carried on the input cable, tell the dish whether to select Horizontal or Vertical, Low or High, for that cable. If two boxes are connected to the same cable, or two inputs on the same box are, the LNB gets confused about what it's being asked to do. The result is that channels stop working on one or other box, seemingly at random, depending on what channel the other box is tuned to.

If you use the 'dish output' on one box to connect to the other, usually it blocks the H/V and Hi/Lo signals from the other box when it's on, but allows them through when it's off. This means again that the channels that work on the second box depend on which channel is selected on the first box. It's better than nothing if you can't run another cable, but another connection is preferred.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
3:47 PM

I have bought Bush BFSAT02SD SD digttal box. Signal at 87%. Receiving television pictures ok but most of the radio stations have no signal. I took the box back to Argos think it faulty. Got a replacement box, same problem. Any idea how to resolve it?

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Gerry's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 26 January 2011

8:34 AM

Gerry: It could be a number of things, either the dish is slightly misaligned, or the LNB has failed and is not selecting the polarity correctly.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Thursday, 27 January 2011
9:19 PM

Hi, great job you're doing here. I've got a sky satellite dish, and a sky + box. When I've cancelled my subscription I understand I can get Freesat with the equipment I've got. Is that right? Do I need to do anything or will it just come up when I turn the TV on. I don't want Freeview - but Freesat. Can I still use the live pause and record funtion on the sky+ box? Sorry if this is repeating questions...and sorry for my ignorance!!

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F J's 3 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

10:51 PM

F J - In cancelling your subscription for your SKY plus receiver SKY disable the recording capabiliy. You can continue to use the SKY box but would need a FSFS - Freesat from SKY card available for a one off £25.00. Alternatively you can buy your own "Freesat" receiver (this service is supported by the BBC and ITV) The freeaat plus receivers are HD and are available as a single tuner version that will pauseplay series record can be set up for iplayer and soon the ITV Player as well as stream to and from your PC. - Requires external storage device. Pen drive or usb connected HDD. There is a twin tuner version (various manufacturers) that has onboard HDD drive the same functionality and more as a SKY HD plus receiver. Cost single tuner £128. add a £100.00 for the twin tuner. - You own the receiver - no subscriptions and you will never have the recording function disabled.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Mark Aberfan Aerials

11:41 PM

Hi Mike,

Im interested in your comment of 3 days ago

"Some Sky boxes have a 'dish output' connector on the box"

I have not come across this, could you let me know the make/model No


Mark Aberfan Aerials

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Mark Aberfan Aerials's 1,059 posts GB flag
Friday, 28 January 2011
6:54 PM

I have a sky box in the bedroom(multi room).I AM TERMINATING THAT BOX IN FEB.If i buy a freesat box,will it function from the sat dish i have now...I am keeping sky in the lounge...

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doreen's 2 posts GB flag
doreen's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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