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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

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

9:06 PM

chopper: You are probably aligned to the wrong satellites.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Thursday, 5 May 2011

12:09 PM

Briantist,my satellite receiver had to be re-programmed to accept signals from both satellites. It rejected signals from freesat when switch was connected.I had to issue a command to receiver to accept dual reception.Signal loss is only 1%.Reception from freesat is at 78%,from astra 1 it is 75%.Cables are 16M in length from dishes.

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Richard's 98 posts IE flag
Sunday, 8 May 2011
4:26 PM

Hi, I have a freeview box and a freeview built in tv, all i want to know is if i buy a sky dish will it work with my box and tv for the freeview channels?

many thanks

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Danny's 1 post GB flag

8:11 PM

Danny: The answer is NO! as freeview is a terrestrial based system and not a satellite one, a Sky dish would only be suitable if you were thinking along the lines of a using Freesat for reception, which as the name obviously suggests is satellite based.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Monday, 9 May 2011
8:26 AM

We have a sky plus box and are considering cancelling the subscription which is the one you pay for the basic package.
Will we still be able to watch and record channels such as BBC 1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 etc, using the Sky satellite dish. Do we need to keep the card ?

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Tim's 1 post GB flag
Mike Dimmick

2:16 PM

Tim: All variants of BBC One and BBC Two, and all other BBC channels, and all Channel 4's channels except 4Music, are free-to-air and do not require the card to decrypt. There are some regional variants of ITV1 that are soft-encrypted and require the viewing card to decrypt: this continues to work even after you stop subscribing. I don't think it's possible to put a free-to-air variant at 103 with Sky - the variant selected is the variant ITV consider most appropriate for the postcode your card is registered to.

Channel 5 has four regions for advertising purposes, of which one is free-to-air and the other three are encrypted. Again, Sky map the appropriate one to 105.

A number of other channels are also available as Free-To-Air or Free-To-View (soft-encrypted). See All free-to-watch channels | - independent free digital TV advice for a comparison.

If you cancel your subscription, Sky will disable all recording and timeshift functions. You will also not be able to play back previously-recorded programmes. It is possible to just buy the recording features but since it's £10 per month, and you have to get someone who understands what you're talking about, you may as well just keep subscribing.

If you want to keep recording and timeshift features, you should look into a Freesat+ box. The initial outlay is higher but there is no ongoing subscription. You can watch any free-to-air channels.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
11:25 AM

I am moving into a new house with a Sky+ dish.
I want to purchase a good Freesat+ recorder for my main living room (see no issue with this).
What do I then have do if I want to put standard freesat in other rooms.
I do not mind laddders or running cables

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Jonny5's 3 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

2:44 PM

Jonny5 - As you have a SKY dish as you say for SKY+ then the dish should have an existing quad LNB fitted. If your connecting up a "Freesat" DTR recorder for your lounge than that will leave you two feeds st the LNB to which you can run an additional two feeds to other locations. Should you require more than two feeds then you would have to purchase an octo LONB which has eight outs on it, this may require you also requiring a 40mm collar adapter to suit the current SKY dish. Adapters are inexpensive at under £3.00 and are push fit. Afore mentioned can be had at satcure or CPC. Satcure may be the better of the two as cable can be had in whatever lengths you require.(whom ever you go to make sure the cable is satellite grade) If you have a number of outlets then the neater option but certainly more expensive is in purchasing a multiswitch that's compatible with a quad LNB and utilise your existing one. "What Satellite" recently reviewed as best in category for a domestic installation the Optima MS508 at £80 - Note multi-switches can be located in the loft or a convenient cupboard - if that's the route you take.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
3:23 PM


Are you telling me that at the dish I have a futher two connection points as well as the two currently used for Sky+.
If so then can I use two for the new FreesatHD+ and the other two (one for each standard Freesat box) for two other rooms.

I already have some shotgun cable from my current house when I had to extend the sky cable

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Jonny5's 3 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

6:34 PM

Jonny5 - Yes you can do that which is quite straightforward. I was a bit long winded with my initial response but wanted to give you all the options not knowing the size of your property.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
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