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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
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau2
I have a Panasonic TV with integrated Freeview how can I record Freeview channel3
My Sky box has a "no signal message" - what do I do?4
How do I change the RF output channel on a Sky Digibox?5
I have split the signal from my satellite dish and now nothing works.6

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Bob Loader

8:49 PM

Thank you MikeB & MikeP for your help. I like the idea of a dongle in the USB socket. Something that I may try.

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Bob Loader's 41 posts GB flag
Bob Loader

8:50 PM

Oh dear that dongle insertion sounds rude

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Bob Loader's 41 posts GB flag

9:57 PM

Bob Loader: I know the usb blue tooth transmitters work for keyboards, but you've got to get the audio stream to them, and I'm not sure its possible. I'd start with the sets own bluetooth. If no joy there, then the 3.5mm jack and a bluetooth transmitter sounds the next easiest option.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
6:31 PM

I just moved to the house, there is no roooftop aerial. We have a Sky satellite-to-dish on the wall but there is no TV box for that.
How could I get the free channels? What kind of box do I need?


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Andreas's 2 posts GB flag

7:50 PM

Andreas: Hi there.
Just pop along to your local Argos, or look at their on-line pages, and take a look at Freesat TV boxes ; one of those just connects to the wiring that you have from the dish, just like a Sky receiver.
I use Humax receivers with Hard Drives, that way, I press one button and record whatever I'm watching, or using the timer for stuff transmitted when I'm in bed or doing something else.
Other Freesat receivers are available from companies other than Humax, and many are also available for viewing TV., without hard drives.

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mikesey's 22 posts GB flag

10:10 PM


Further to that said by Mikesey, you should check to see if there is a terrestrial aerial in the loft space. If there is, that may be usable for Freeview terrestrial transmissions. If you have a fairly recent TV set that may well have a Freeview tuner built-in.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Monday, 8 February 2016
8:24 PM


Thank you for your answers. I will try this.

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Andreas's 2 posts GB flag
Saturday, 13 February 2016
4:44 PM

I don't know if this will help you. I use a Portable Satellite Dish and pick-up hundreds of Free Satellite Stations. That Dish is pointed to Astra 28.2 E Satellite. I am using an IceCrypt Satellite Receiver Box, supplied by Maplin. If your Sky Dish points to the same Satellite then if may be possible to pick up those Free Satellite Stations too. Many of those Stations on that Service are the same as those on UK Freeview Service. You may to have change your Satellite Receiver box in order to receive those Stations. It isn't the FreeSat Service, that is a separate Commercial Service. The one I am using I believe is called Free to Air Satellite Service.

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Pete's 4 posts GB flag
Monday, 15 February 2016
Neil Pallett
7:40 PM

Hi I wonder if you can help. I have a sky Hd box that I can record programs , I have moved house and sky has fitted a new HD box with a new card. So I have the old box and card spare do no if I take it down to Spain would I get free view channel and would I be able to record channels ?? I have a large dish in Spain but just use free sat

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Neil Pallett's 1 post GB flag
S. Davidson
7:44 PM

Is there currently, Monday 15 February, a problem with the Port St Mary transmitter this evening. All channels on my free to air TV set say 'no signal' or the picture fragments. This happens from time to time.

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S. Davidson's 1 post GB flag
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