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Upgrading from Sky+HD to Freesat+HD

What to do if you want to stop subscribing to Sky+HD but do wish to record/pause/play free HD television.

What to do if you want to stop subscribing to Sky+HD but do wis
published on UK Free TV

You might get a glossy magazine every month, but what do Sky really think of your custom?

"Give me a f**king name on a direct debit and it's mine for life,"
- Sam Chisholm, former boss of BSkyB.

Perhaps you responded to an offer like the one blow that promised a gratis Sky+HD box (for new customers taking their first Sky+HD package) with free standard set-up

But you were so excited with the thought of a £50 M&S voucher that you didn't think to follow each of the little daggers and little stars to quite read all the terms and conditions:

So, your twelve months of commitment are over and, for reasons of budget (or politics) you have decided you want to keep all the features of Sky+ - live pause, high definition, extended electronic programme guide, series record, and recording two programmes at once whilst you watch another - but don't want to fork out every month on top of your TV Licence - and you still get hundreds of free TV channels

Here's what you can do.

First you need to buy a Freesat+HD box. There are many on the market, and can be bought from Argos, Currys DIGITAL, John Lewis, Comet and online at Amazon, as well as other stores.



This will take no more than ten minutes. First you will need to disconnect the Sky+HD box mains from the wall socket.

Then you will need to disconnect the cables from the back of the Sky+HD box.

Pull out the mains power connection (1), carefully unscrew the satellite dish links (2) and (3), and then take out the HDMI lead (4) to your HDTV. If you have an "surround sound" amplifier, you may also have a digital audio connection (5).

Remove the Sky+HD box and put the Freesat+HD box back in the same position.

Then reconnect the cables: the mains power cable (1) - but not to the wall just yet, screw the two satellite dish links (2) and (3) and connect the HDMI cable (4) to your HDTV. If you had one, reconnect the digital audio connection (5).

If you have an Ethernet router, you can connect it to the Freesat+HD box at this point (5).

With everything in place, turn on the mains power and power up the Freesat+HD box.

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:

And that's it.

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Freesat adds a plethora of new channels in time for Christmas including channel 1
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Yesterday, Drama and Really joining Freesat this month3
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Satellite TV operators FRANSAT, TIVUSAT and our Freesat launch FreeTV Alliance 6

Friday, 3 June 2011

1:12 PM

Bill: Yes, you can. However, you will need a quad-LNB - a package of four LNBs, fitted to the dish.

For satellite reception, there must be a single cable for each receiver connected to an LNB output.

For Freesat+ (and Sky+) where there are two receivers in the box, you need two cables and two LNB outputs.

So, a quad-LNB and cables can support four Freesat boxes, two Freesat+ boxes, or one Freesat+ and two Freesat boxes.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Saturday, 4 June 2011
Anne Poultney
1:41 PM

We have a freesat box and a HD tv. We used to be SKY customers and have a SKY+ box. Our dilima is do we use our SKY + box for our kitchen tv or do we get a new aerial to watch free view? We value your opinion.

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Anne Poultney's 1 post GB flag
Mike Dimmick

4:31 PM

Anne Poultney: Your Sky+ box should act as a Freesat-from-Sky box, if you can run a separate feed from the dish to the kitchen. You will need to keep the viewing card in the box, and the recording and time-shift features will no longer work.

It needs to be an independent feed, as the box sends control signals to the dish along the cable. Each output on the LNB itself (the box at the front of the dish that the cables connect to) can be controlled independently. Splitting a cable means that the LNB either only gets control signals from one box - meaning that the other box is limited to only channels matching what the first box has selected - or it gets a mixture of signals, possibly selecting the wrong result for both boxes.

Your freesat box might have an 'LNB 1 Out' connector on it, but this has the same problem of only allowing the second box to have full control if the freesat box is in standby. Otherwise you're limited, again, to watching channels that match the settings for the channel that the freesat box is set to.

If the freesat box is a recorder, you can get the same problems when it's recording two programmes when in standby.

There is a slightly different range of channels on Freesat-from-Sky compared to Freeview. See the comparison at Compare Freeview and Freesat-from-Sky TV | - independent free digital TV advice .

If you provide a full postcode, we can see if Freeview is likely to provide a full service.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Doug Balmer
7:44 PM

I've given Sky 31 days notice and I am looking at what to do after Sky.

I want to be able to record, pause and rewind, also I would like to be able to keep the feed to the bedroom with the abilty to use the remote Eye control and still use the Sky Gnome.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Doug Balmer's 3 posts GB flag
Sunday, 5 June 2011
12:35 PM

I cancelled my Sky account and now (of course) cannot record, live pause, etc with my Sky box but can still receive most stations (of course).
Clicking though Services, I stumbled across Anytime. I recall hearing about this but never used it. I selected "activate" but now fear I've accidentally reactivated resubscribed to Sky! I still have our old card in the slot in order to pick up some channels.
Can I get Anytime on my Sky box for free?

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jamie's 1 post GB flag

1:53 PM

jamie: Sky Anytime is only provided to Sky subscribers as it records a selection of subscription programmes automatically.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag

1:55 PM

Doug Balmer: Please see the above article.

You have two options, either buy an "RF modulator" such as
Programmable Universal Modulator : AV Accessories : Maplin
or, run a satellite-grade cable from one of the spare LNB outputs on the dish to your other TV set, and use your old Sky+ box to watch (only) Freesat-from-Sky programmes.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Doug Balmer
10:35 PM

Thanks Briantist, the advice is apprecated.
Can I ask if I opt to keep the Sky+ HD box and pay Sky £10.00 a month, I will get Sky Freesat only plus the pause, rewind, record and the Gnome facilities.

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Doug Balmer's 3 posts GB flag
Monday, 6 June 2011

2:12 PM

Doug Balmer: Yes, £10 a month gets you play/record/pause.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
3:27 PM

Doug Balmer: Be AWARE that as from the day you switch to FreeSat-from-SKY then your existing recordings on your SKY+ box WILL NOT be accessible. To keep any, you need to start copying them now....

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Strathearn's 2 posts GB flag
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