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.
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MikeB: Hi there.
My main TV is a four years old Flat Screen Samsung, with Built in HD Freeview.
I actually use two Humax Freesat receivers both connected to the TV via separate HDMI: A Foxsat sockets; a Foxsat-HDMR, with 320gb hard drive, and a new receiver with 500gb hard drive and "Freetime", Humax/Freesat's on demand EPG.
In some ways I prefer the older Foxsat, because it more easily allows the viewing & storing of the 300+ non-Freesat other channels (adult, and at the moment the "Talking Pictures" vintage film channel)
There is very little on Freeview, the terrestrial service, that isn't on Freesat, so I don't it much.
Basically, if you've a Sky satellite dish, keep your aerial plugged in for Freeview, and plug a Freesat DVR in the Sky satellite connection.
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Bob Loader: Off the top of my head, no idea if it should pair up with bluetooth headphones, although bluetooth is in verything these days. AVfourm has probably got a thread on this set, and a trawl through there and the manual should help.
You can always pop a bluetooth adapter in one of the USB's, and see if that works, or use a blue tooth transmitter with a 3.5mm jack (about 15 on Amazon) and connect it via the headphone socket.
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What you say is perfectly valid and correct, but ... When I tried a 3.5 jack fed Bluetooth transmitter in the headphone socket it cut off all other sound outputs! (I understand that is very common and has been so for many years.) That's fine if only one person wants to listen but if there are others they will complain. One common usage is for helping those with hearing impairment, like me, so they can listen at a volume that is comfortable for them without blasting the ears of others in the room. But they all may well want to listen to the programme sound. I've resorted to an 'optical splitter', as suggested by yourself, so the sound bar still gets the data it needs and others can have the volume as they find comfortable yet I can listen via my Bluetooth headset/earphone at a volume that suits me without anyone else being upset.
Hope that helps Bob Loader as well.
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