Can I stop paying Sky and use my satellite receiver to get Freeview ?
Yes, but only "sort of".
Freeview is the name of the (BBC-backed) digital TV system that uses hilltop transmitters to rooftop aerials. It is run separately from the "Sky" satellite-to-dish service. free-to-VIEW is a term for satellite channels that need a viewing card to watch, but not to collect a subscription. free-to-AIR channels are ones that can be received without needing a viewing card or subscription.
The free-to-AIR satelite service backed by the BBC and ITV is called Freesat. The free-to-VIEW service operated by Sky is called fSfS or Freesat from Sky.
As long as you have finished your first year, you can leave Sky when you want. To do this just give Sky a call and tell them you don't want to subscribe any more.
If you stop subscribing you will be able to watch the hundred or so free-to-air channels listed on free channels list. This service is called Freesat from Sky (fSfS).
Some of the channels on the Freeview service are subscription only on satellite, specifically: 4Music, Challenge, Dave, Dave ja vu, Quest, VIVA and Yesterday . See these links to compare the TV channels on Freesat-from-Sky and Freeview, and to compare radio stations on Freeview and fSfS. Many homes have free satellite and Freeview to get the full range of channels.
You will still need to keep your Sky viewing card. If you stop subscribing on a Sky contract, you can keep using that card to watch 5USA, 5* and PICK TV, the so-called "free-to-view" channels. (All ITV channels are free-to-air).
It is not possible to plug an aerial into a Sky Digibox to receive Freeview channels because the boxes have not been designed this way.
You will continue to get the full Sky EPG listings; you just will not be able to watch subscription channels.
If you want to go for High Definition, HD, you can swap out your Sky box for a Freesat one very easily.
A card is not needed to watch BBC services, but it is needed to get the correct BBC ONE and BBC TWO regions on 101 and 102.
Another option is to disconnect your Sky Digibox altogether and Upgrade from Sky to Freesat - ukfree.tv. If you have an HD-Ready TV and a standard Sky box, this is a good option.
Further to that said by MikeB, you *have* to use an aerial to get Freeview of any sort. Do you have an aerial fitted to your home? If not you need to have one fitted. If you do have one, find where the cable from the aerial comes into you room and hopefully find either a coaxial cable that you must plug into the TV aerial socket or else there may be a wall plate with a coaxial socket. In that case, get a coaxial TV flylead and connect it between the socket on the wall and the socket on the TV set. Then try a retune of terrestrial services only.
It always helps us to help you if you provide a full post code for your location.
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Phil: Sky 1 and Sky Arts are subscription channels and can only be received by subscribing to Sky, Virgin, NowTV, BT TV, etc. There is little point buying a Sky+HD box without a Sky subscription as you won't be able to use any of the recording or on demand functions as Sky require an active subscription to enable those features. If you don't wish to subscribe to Sky, you'd be better off with a Freesat box such as one of the ones listed at the link below (all will work with any existing dish and cabling previously used for Sky).
Get Freesat - buy a Freesat box or Freesat HDTV online
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Phil: To add to Steven's excellent reply, if you do want to dip into Sky occasionally, a lot of my customers who have Sky are going for a Humax Freesat PVR instead (which have wifi and ondemand as well), plus a Now TV box.
You have to be careful with the terms and conditions, but for about ?15 (unless you have newish LG smart TV, in which case the app is on the TV), you can get an Entertainment package, etc for some months. So you get to record and watch, plus stream the usual channels, for a one off purchase of the Humax, plus you can 'top up' with other services from Sky/Now TV. Strangely, I have a couple who have asked how to get Sky Arts, and gave them exactly the same advice!
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I am having terrible problems with signal on my smart Panasonic TV. It was working perfectly until recently and then started pixelating so badly its almost frozen. I thought this was due to high pressure because it was very cold, clear and frosty weather. However it has not improved. Oddly a little cheap tv in my kitchen is fine while and LG in my bedroom is same as Panasonic - not working. When I check the signal in settings it shows a good signal strength but poor signal quality. My aerial is in my loft and the transmitter is very close across the water from my house. I don't know whether its an aerial problem, a problem caused by one of them being connected to wi-fi. The Panasonic used to work with the aerial was put through a hard disk recorder but that stopped working and I used an old BT YouView hard disk and it is intermittently OK through that. I previously disconnected boosters that the electrician had installed because the aerial was inside and that helped for a while but now its as bad as ever. Do I need an aerial installer. I'm about 60 miles from nearest so want to be sure what is actually wrong before paying for someone to come all that way
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