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 ?
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 Freesatreception 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.