menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Freesat



Click to see updates

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, 9 August 2015

6:29 PM

I moved area and changed from Freeview to Freesat. I can't help but think the HD definition was of a higher quality on Freeview. Is this the case, or should both provide the same HD quality?

link to this comment
Nick's 58 posts GB flag
Sunday, 10 January 2016
david reeve
7:01 AM

I am about to move into a house where the previous owner is using Sky and I assume will leave their dish and equipment in place. I have never had a Sky account. Can I use a FreeSat box as desribed here and if so, do I need to contact Sky to activate ?

Thank you.


link to this comment
david reeve's 1 post GB flag

8:38 AM

david reeve: If the previous owner of the property has left the dish in situ, which applies in about 99% of cases, then you are perfectly free to use it for Freesat reception without having to contact anyone, as the activation referred to only applies to viewing card used in a Sky box in order to access programmes dedicated to those associated with one of their Sky packages.

By the way, Sky boxes are still able to receive a huge range of Freesat channels without any viewing card being required, the only purpose the standard (once of payment 25 or so) viewing card serves being to enable the receiver to allocate local news / adverts appropriate to the area a viewer happens to reside in.

Another point to note being, that if the Sky box used by the previous owner was of the Sky+ (recording) variety, witnessed by two leads from the dish, then this would enable you to purchase a Freesat twin tuner recorder rather than just a receiver.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 1 July 2016
12:38 PM


I moved into a new house where the previous owner was using Sky and he left the dish with the aerial cable in place. I have a Tv with Freeview built-in and when I connect the aerial to the TV it doesn't work. There is a message telling "No station found, please connect the aerial". I've checked the connections and the TV says that there is no signal.

I know that the TV has Freeview but, would I need a FreeSat box to connect the dish?

There is moreover a TV plug and a Filter TV. I've connected everything in all the possible combinations but it doesn't work anyway.


link to this comment
Carlos's 1 post GB flag

2:20 PM


It sounds as if your previous occupant had a Sky dish but not an aerial. To get Freeview, you need an aerial installed to get the signals from the best transmitter for your precise location.

The dish left behind is suitable for use with either Sky (for a subscription monthly) or Freesat. Satellite equipment normally uses a screw-on connector, called an F-connector, for the signal input connection. Some Freeview TV sets also use an F-connector for the aerial input - but it must be fed from an aerial and not a dish. Some TV sets also have a satellite facility which uses an F-connector but is set up separately from the Freeview system.

link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Saturday, 3 December 2016
6:46 PM

I've been a sky viewer/customer since I was a child and its launch in the UK back in the '90s. I left Sky about 4 years ago, thus my Sky box is now a FreeSat, with more channels than the standard Freeview, though still, there really isn't much variety difference between the two... Anyway, I'd like to know if I have ALL the available channels that FreeSat provide

link to this comment
Morgan's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 4 December 2016

11:40 AM

Morgan: Yes, all the channels available on Freesat are also available on a Sky box either with no viewing card inserted, or with a free to view or ex-subscription card (which will also get you a few extra free to view channels and put the correct BBC/ITV regions at the top of the program guide).

link to this comment
StevensOnln1's 3,601 posts GB flag

1:11 PM


A Freesat box will always receive the complete range of channels provided by Freesat. If you are using a Sky box without a subscription then you do not receive all of the Freesat channels, just the 'free to air' channels present on the Sky service.

Hope that clarifies the situation for you?

link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag

4:19 PM

MikeP: All the Freesat channels are available free to air on a Sky box via the EPG without a viewing card. Unless you know of any that aren't?

link to this comment
StevensOnln1's 3,601 posts GB flag
Monday, 19 December 2016
Steve Holden
8:05 AM


I have just bought a JVC TV with built in Freeview.

Using a new, indoor One for All aerial, I can get BBC1, 2 and 4 but it does not find any ITV, Channel 4 or 5 stations.

Does anyone have any advice for me

(I last bought a TV before this about 20 years ago so not fully up-to-date with the terms and technology!)



link to this comment
Steve Holden's 1 post GB flag
Select more comments

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.