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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.

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Can I use my ex-contract sky digital satellite receiver to get Freeview channels1
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

11:47 AM

MikeP: Humax is the one our tech support people like - they get to see what comes back, so I tend to trust them!

Its an excellent point - you tend to get what you pay for. A cheap PVR tends to have basic software, poor remote, etc. However, a decent Freesat PVR (not that there are that many) isn't that expensive. A Humax can be had for £169.95 at the moment, which is 17 months of paying Sky £10 a month, and of course you own it.

I stumbled on a Sky forum last year and was amazed at how many of the forum users didn't know that there were other ways to record TV at all...

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
1:41 PM

This may or may not help.

I do not have Sky but I do have a small portable Satellite Dish and a Free to Air receiver box. If the Sky Dish points to the same Satellite as the Free to Air service, then it should be possible to use Free to Air. You will need to buy a Free to Air receiver to do so. Free to Air by the way is a different service to Sky and Freesat. It does offer many of the free UK channels though, plus others not on Freeview or Freesat. Free to Air receivers boxes are available in both Standard TV or HD TV form. Maplin I have found are a good source for such receiver boxes. You can by the way use a 2 way or 4 way Y connector to provide transmission from the Dish to two or more receiver boxes, should you wish to do so. Maplin and Screwfix are good sources for the latter mentioned Y connector.

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PG's 4 posts GB flag

2:13 PM

PG: 'You can by the way use a 2 way or 4 way Y connector to provide transmission from the Dish to two or more receiver boxes'

No you can't. Sat. receivers each need an LNB, the signal should not be split, because the LNB might be blown. Maplin do sell a splitter type thing, but even they suggest you get a twin LNB instead.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag

10:29 PM


The only way to get signals to more than one receiver from a single LNB without separate cables is to use a distribution amplifier as sold by the likes of Labgear, etc. Splitting a satellite IF feed *does not work* and as MikeB says could well risk the LNB being irreparably damaged.

Satellite signal feeds from the LNB are *not* the same as the signals from a terrestrial aerial as used for Freeview. With a terrestrial aerial system you may be able to divide the signals to 2 or more TV sets, with some loss of signal strength. You cannot do the same with satellite signals.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
10:46 PM

Is it possible to transfer programmes recorded on a Virgin Tivo box onto my own Hard Drive? If so how?

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Brian's 4 posts GB flag
Brian's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 14 November 2014

12:31 AM

Brian: To my knowledge the answer is NO, as although when the TiVo box was initially launched it was reported that this could be done via the USB port, this later being denied, the purpose of USB port mentioned as being for a keyboard.

The only way of transferring programmes from the TiVo box is via the scart or HDMI cable onto a DVD recorder of the hard drive variety, the snag being that it can only be done in real time.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

12:47 PM

no one said anything so I will repeat Save your money, Ditch Sky TV and just watch Freeview and save some real monies. Just think it will mean more monies in your bank . In the past people only had two channels and they survived :)

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Michael's 368 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
1:01 PM

If I stop subscribing to sky, can I use the skybox to record programmes, and will I be able to view programmes already recorded?

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Steve's 1 post GB flag

1:04 PM

Steve: That's an easy one. The answer is "no".

However, you can just swap out a Sky+ box for a Freesat HD+ box, see Upgrading from Sky+HD to Freesat+HD | - helping the UK with free TV reception since 2002 for how to do that.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts US flag
Sunday, 30 November 2014
7:34 PM

Hi, I've recently moved into a house with no aerial and just a dish, I've never had sky and only used freeview before. I've bought 2x old sky box (one for downstairs and one for upstairs). The one downstairs works perfectly fine and shows more than the usual freeview channels. However when connecting the sky box upstairs to the TV is just says ''no signal". There are 2 cables coming from the dish just like the downstairs one. From what I've read on here I think I need a quad-LNB?? I have no idea where to start looking for one of these or how it works!! Could someone please help?? Thanks!

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Lisa's 2 posts GB flag
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