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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.

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Tuesday, 7 June 2011
8:34 AM

I am an agent, a skybox and card was present in the property when the tenant moved in. The landlord deactivated the account and the tenant informed us that the skybox and card was removed by Sky.

Does Sky remove the box and card when the account is deactivated?

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Anelle's 1 post ZA flag

8:42 AM

Anelle: No. Sky never, ever does that. The dish and box are provided for "free" when a subscription starts and is 100% the property of the subscriber.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
10:31 AM

After 30 mins on the phone, I finally managed to get sky customer services to cancel my account. I was subcribed with them for just under 2 years but on leaving, I was told I still have to give them 31 days notice before I am finally freesat (hopefully). Sky told me I would lose the packages I was paying for, recording features and signal. Does losing the signal from sky mean that I will not be able to get freesat?

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Steve's 3 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

11:58 AM

Steve - You will still be able to obtain digital Satellite TV either from from "Freest" the service supported by the BBC and ITV - you will need to purchase your own receiver for this service - various models are available on the high Street from independents and multiples rg:- Currys Comet John Lewis Argos etc. Alternatively by obtaining a FSFS - freesat from SKY card £25+ but with limited FTA (free to air) channels.
A receiver purchased by yourself will simply mean connecting to your existing dish - a straight swop over of the SKY box.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

12:27 PM

Steve: No, it does not mean you will not be able to get Freesat. You will not lose any signal - Sky have no ability to turn off the transmissions for just one viewer. You should continue to receive all free-to-air services listed on the 'Freesat-from-Sky' comparison page at Compare Freesat and Freesat-from-Sky TV | - independent free digital TV advice .

You can continue with your Sky box if you want. The encryption card remains necessary for some channels - again, see the comparison page for the services that are 'free-to-view' (requiring the card) rather than 'free-to-air'.

However, Sky can and do disable recording, timeshifting, and even playback of previously-recorded programmes on Sky+ and Sky+ HD boxes.

If you want to continue with recording you can replace your Sky+ box with a Freesat+ recorder, but you will then lose the channels listed on that comparison page.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
12:42 PM

I recently cancelled sky and was expecting to still be able to view any freeview/ free to air channels via my sky box... but I am only able to watch channels 1 to 5. My phone line is no longer connected.. is this why ?

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Helen's 2 posts GB flag
12:58 PM

Les Nicol: Thank you for your help
Mike Dimmick: Thank you for your help

Cancelling sky was the best thing I done. There are so many freesat/fSfS channels that I'm still able to watch, providing I keep the encryption card in the Sky+ HD receiver. Also the disabling of the Sky recording feature is not a big loss as I can catch up on missed programmes, movies with iPlayer and also thinking of running an extended VGA cables from PC to other rooms to watch free movies, sports etc from free streaming sites!

Thank you for comments which are very much appreciated!

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Steve's 3 posts GB flag
K Bromelow
6:08 PM

I cancelled my sky package last month. I still use the sky box for the free channels
but find I cant record or watch programes previously recorded,as I paid £300 for the box when I joined sky 6 years ago why cant I use the box to record.

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K Bromelow's 1 post GB flag
6:24 PM

K Bromelow- As Mike Dimmick has said above:

Sky disable features such as recording, timeshifting, playback of previously-recorded programmes when you stop subscribing.

If you want to continue with recording you can replace your Sky+ box with a Freesat+ recorder, but you will then lose the channels listed on that comparison page.

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Steve's 3 posts GB flag
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