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Can I stop paying Sky and use my satellite receiver to get Freeview ?

Can I stop paying Sky and use my satellite receiver to get Freeview ?

Can I stop paying Sky and use my satellite receiver to get Free
published on UK Free TV

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 - If you have an HD-Ready TV and a standard Sky box, this is a good option.

All questions
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In this section
Can I use my ex-contract sky digital satellite receiver to get Freeview channels1
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

11:10 AM

kay: In theory they could if the phone line was connected as the box communicates with Sky at various times, although mostly during night time hours.

However, you do not require to have the phone line connected to receive any channels whether free or not, and so leave it unconnected.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Thursday, 23 May 2013
Geoffrey Caton
10:58 AM

Are there going to be any added channels to freesat in the future,and when why can't we receive tcm on freesat.

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Geoffrey Caton's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 30 May 2013
5:47 PM

just moved into a new house and the aerial in the tv room is a sky aerial whilst the old style aerial is in the kitchen. We just have a freeview box with recording capabilities which we used to plug into our old style aerial in our old place.
Does this mean that if we want to watch the tv in the tv room, we would have to get an old sky box and would not be able to record anymore? Or are there any other options?

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Tanya's 1 post GB flag

10:35 PM

Tanya: I'd first check what the signal is like in the kitchen from your Freeview aerial (and where it is).

The PVR should be able to tell you signal strength and quality, and hopefully you should be able to tell which transmitter your signal is coming from (if you can include your postcode on any further post, its much easier to find this out, although you can do it yourself by using the box at the top of the page).

Where is the aerial? Is it on the roof, in the roof? The higher the better, but if you have an aerial already, and it works fine, then the easiest thing might be to just connect it to the TV room, and carry on using your existing equipment. It might already have an extra connection (follow the cables), but now hidden.

Next, check the dish (calling it a Sky aerial will lead to real confusion). How many cables are coming out of it? If its just one, then you can watch or record. If its 2, then you can do both at once (just like your Freeview PVR) using a Humax Freesat box (around £249). Check the thing where the cable/s come out, and see how many holes are in the bottom of it. It could be that you can attach extra cables (anything up to four), which means that although you might have just one at the moment, you can put more on. If there is just the one, and no extra connections, then have a look at or for the extra parts you'll need, as well as more advice.

Personally, if you have a decent signal from a decent aerial, and its not a pain to connect it up, use that and get someone to run a cable down to the TV room. If the signal is rubbish (and there might be a good reason why a dish was used), then go for the dish, and use a Freesat tuner/PVR.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
MikeB's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 21 June 2013
6:31 PM

Hello I would like to ask if it is possible to watch the free channels if I will manage to get some old sky box and dish. Or it is not so simple and I need to have previous contract with sky and cancel the one to be able to use sky no card channels. Thank you very much

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Romana's 2 posts GB flag

8:25 PM

Romana: A contract with Sky is only required for viewing programmes that are dedicated to a Sky package, if though they are not then its not necessary for Sky to be involved unless a person wishes to be able to view the correct regional news for their area, something which can only be achieved by purchasing a "free to view" card from Sky as otherwise the news by default reverts to London.

The card issued by Sky for this purpose was as far as I can remember around £25.00 but was not time stamped therefore could last a number of years.

By the way, are there any reasons for thinking along the lines of using a dish for satellite reception rather than "Freeview" via a normal aerial? this being far simpler if you are located in a reasonably good area for reception.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
9:14 PM

Jb38: thank you for your answer. We just recently moved in the house where is no arial at all and for the little ordinary arial is not very strong reception. Also I am mainly interested about foreigner channels as my husband is from india. I checked on the All free TV channels | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice and it showed that the most channels which I am interested in are on 'sky no card' ( freesat and freeview have much less channels). That is why I am asking for advice. I dont know if there is any other way how to get these channels for free. Thank you very much again.

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Romana's 2 posts GB flag

9:39 PM

Romana: I had an idea that there had to be something else involved, and of course Freeview is not really suitable for what you require and so a second hand Sky box and dish are whats required although I would avoid a Sky+ box, as although this is capable of recording its only able to do so if a contract is taken out, and when thats not your intention it would be slightly more expensive to run this type of box 24/7 because of the hard drive needlessly running at times for no reason.

By the way, the contract for the Sky+ box is NOT the same type of situation as the free to view card referred to, as the latter is not really a contract as such but a once of payment.

If though you are not bothered about regional news then there is no need to purchase a card as the box works without it.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 23 June 2013
5:01 PM

I bought a Sky + box for my daughter tv from a friend who no longer needed the box, the viewing card was removed but the problem is when I try to connect the skybox to her tv it says there is no phone line connection and no satellite signal being received. But I only wanted the box for free to view channels?

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Jennifer's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
mike Boyle
9:55 PM

Is it Possible to receive transmissions from the Irish Channel Saorview, in the West Midlands?

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mike Boyle's 1 post GB flag
mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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