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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)

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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?

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Nick's 61 posts Bronze Bronze GB
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.


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david reeve's 1 post GB
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.

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jb38's 7,137 posts Platinum Platinum GB
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.


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Carlos's 1 post GB
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.

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MikeP's 1,030 posts Gold Gold GB
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