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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
BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
Removing all barriers to communication between diverse cultures2
How do I get a test card with Freeview3
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau4
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?5
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

Monday, 4 April 2011
Jen Bolter
3:31 PM

Hi just put in a freesat box all ok until went on BBC News then it froze now can only change channel using box not remote? done the obvious changed battery etc red light flashes on remote but no connection to box any ideas why? thanks Jen

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Jen Bolter's 7 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

5:47 PM


1a: Since you won't be recording on the Sky+ box, you can get away with only running one cable and plugging it into LNB 1 IN.

1b: The quad LNB is a LNB with four outputs on it rather than just two. It replaces the existing LNB - the device on the end of the arm that points at the dish. It might be hard to see how many outputs the existing LNB has, because they should be weather-proofed.

You can run the cables yourself but you do need the right sort of cable, be able to drill holes through brickwork, and know how to assemble the connectors so you get a reliable connection. Try F and TV plugs and leads connectors and see SKY+ Freesat+ and Replacing your minidish LNB for information on replacing the LNB.

2: This is a poorer option because if there are arguments over which channel to watch (or record), and you need both boxes on at once, you might not be able to select the channels that you want on the second box. If the lounge box will always be on standby when you're watching the bedroom box, no problem.

Unfortunately, the boxes are only designed to record signals directly from the satellite. The boxes cannot regenerate the satellite signal, and the Humax won't record from SCART or HDMI. The Sky box won't let you copy programmes to an external hard disk. (The Humax will, but they're scrambled so that only the Humax can play them back - a condition of High Definition copy protection.) A video cassette recorder is actually about your only option! (RG47SH)

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

5:50 PM

Jen Bolter: Try cleaning the window on the end of the remote where the infra-red beam leaves, and the window on the box where the infra-red sensor is. Also check that there's nothing in front of the sensor. Some remotes have an exposed LED rather than it being enclosed.

Otherwise it sounds like the sensor has broken, but that's usually a very rare occurrence. You might need to take it back.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
8:49 PM

At present I have a basic Sky package using a Sky + box,but I intend to cancel my Sky subscription ASAP as I now only require the freeview channels.
After cancellation,will I still be able to use the Sky + box to record non-HD programs as before,with rewind and fastforward,etc,or will I need other equipment?
I am not technically minded in any way on this,so thanks for your comments.

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barryw's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
11:09 AM

i have a sky digital hd box downstairs connected by sky and this works fine. however when first moving into my new house i was given a sky digital box by my sister in law and told i could watch the freeview channels on it which i did- brilliant. i now have a tv upstairs in my bedroom also and wondered if it was possible to connect this old sky box to the tv and watch the freeview channels up there is there anything specific i need to do as it says there is no signal being recieved?

i have it plugged in and an old sky card in there and tv aerial point the same as when it was downstairs.

Any ideas???


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Graham's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
3:16 AM


I only see mention of an aerial, not a dish.

I assume you have the digi-box connected to a dish,as well as an aerial,if you need RF out?


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rockinrom's 7 posts ES flag
8:11 PM

We are out of sky but we are viewing freeview channels through it.Now suddenly we are gettting the error 29:No signal received.unplug ur main frm the box.We tried all the ways like rebooting,tighten up and checking all the connections.But we couldnt seeit.Can you help us?

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reethy's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 7 April 2011
10:32 PM


From what you say, I assume you are using your sky digi-box, and your dish, to watch the free to air channels.
If NOTHING has changed,ie: high winds, dish alignment, broken cable etc. And you get NO channels, (you should get Sky News and BBC news channel on a piece of damp string in the UK). Then, maybe, the problem lies with digi-box itself. I would do no more than you have already, reboot, check connections etc. Then, perhaps ask a friend or neighbour, if you could borrow their box for 30 minutes, and connect it the exact same way as your box is connected. If their box boots up and works, then that is your problem, and you'll have to source another box. Maybe a Samsung HD box (easily the best) from Ebay, for about £40-£60.

Hope this helps,

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rockinrom's 7 posts ES flag
Saturday, 9 April 2011
8:23 PM

I have a sky + box and and i am thinking of cancelling my subscribtion with sky will i be able to watch the programs and films that i have recorded on it, (i know you cant record once cancelled).

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simone's 2 posts GB flag
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