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.
Terrestrial TV, such as Freeview, comes from ground based transmitters and uses a UHF aerial to receive the signals. Satellite based TV comes from an Astra satellite in a geo-stationary orbit above the Equator, roughly over Eqst Africa, and uses a dish to receive the Ku band signals.
To watch Freeview you can use a UHFD aerial mounted correctly for your intended transmitter (there are over 1000 of them!) and fed into the normal coaxial aerial socket of the TV.
To watch Freesat yoiu can use your existing dish as the same satellite as used by Sky is used by Freesat. But you need either a separate set top box or a TV with a satellite receiver built in. If your TV has one it will have a screw-on 'F' connector for the satellite downlead to feed the signals into the satellite tuner.
A dish cannot be used to receive Freeview at all, nor any other terrestrial signals.
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