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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

Saturday, 29 January 2011
Les Nicol

9:14 AM

Doreen - Yes but you may need a minor upgrade. If you have a SKY plus or plus HD receiver the dish LNB that's the the piece of equipent on the end of the dish boom arm will have two spare output connections and one of these will require a spare feed run to connect the Freesat receiver in the bedroon. If you don't have a plus or plus HD box in the lounge but rather a standard SKY receiver then the LNB will probably require replacement as well.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Bob Hunt
3:00 PM

I have Sky+ in the living room running from 2 cables on the LNB on the dish. I would be able to run a further two cables from the LNB. Would this support a freesat box in addition to the Sky+. Would there be complications with the signals being received by the two different set-ups ?

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Bob Hunt's 1 post EU flag
Les Nicol

4:02 PM

Bob Hunt - If you opt for a "Freesat" either standard - HD or HD single tuner PVR receiver then another cable is reuired from the Dish LNB. If you are thinking of a "Freesat" twin tuner HD receiver as a SKY Plus HD box then you require a twin cable from the dish LNB. There should be no compatibility issues at all as each of the four LNB connectioms are outputting individually.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
7:47 PM

If i cancel my sky subscription can i take out my sky receiver and replace this with a New freesat hd box and instantly receive all freesat and Freeview programmes, or do i need additional equipment.

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JOHNBOY's 1 post GB flag
Les Nicol

9:29 PM

Johnboy - Yes it's a straight swop over. However if your current SKY receiver isn't a Plus box and you plan to get a "Freesat" HDR same as a SKY plus or Plus HD then may need upgrading to the dish LNB and wiring. If its a non recrding receiver you plan as replacement your existing dish LNB and wiring will be OK.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
11:20 PM


I've got Sky+ which work fine. The only issue is that some of the Sky specific channels drop out occassionally. I put this down to the sat dish being slightly out of line.

The other day I bought a FOXSAT HDR, and I tried to install it tonight. The second stage (Freesat detection), and subsequent stages failed. I've check all the connections and continued in accordance with the troubleshooting. This included skipping to the end and checking the transponder signals. All the transponders (when viewed all together and individually) indicated zero strength and quality! Because my Sky subscription still works for another few weeks I plugged it back in. It works as before.

I believe Freesat and Sky dishes are aligned the same and therefore installation should just be a straight swap of boxes. Does anyone have any ideas?

The only other point to mention is that the Foxsat box is a reconditioned box. Could it be broken?

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Justin's 2 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Les Nicol

10:00 AM

Justin - Check your connections - making sure you have the two dish feeds to the two tuners connected left and right and not on the centre connector. Go to the menu on the reomote scroll down on the left hand pane to the dish icon and on the right hand pane select Factory Reset and then try to set up again.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
10:50 AM

I have dumped Sky + and bought a Humax Foxsat HDR box.
The box is working fine but the user manual is not exactly very user friendly.

Any Foxsat HDR box users able to help clarify the following points:

1. Can I use the box to record two different channels and at the same time watch a pre recorded programme stored on box hard drive.

2. Can I use the box to record two different channels and at the same time watch a third channel live.

3. Some of the recorded programmes are cut off a minute or two before the end of the recording.

Thanks in anticipation.

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ceebee's 3 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

1:32 PM

ceebee- The answer to your points 1 and 2 are yes the receiver can do this.

As far as your point 3 is concerned I can only say that I haven't experienced this with my receiver. The receiver relies on upto date info from the broadcaster via the EPG. The only previous comments I've seen on this is in the past and has been in respect of some ITV sporting schedules. Maybe others can input more info on this for you.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
2:29 PM

I have a standard Sky box, and am dumping sky. Do I need to get a new receiver or will my current sky box do to receive freesat once I remove and reset the sky box.

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Robert's 1 post IE flag
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