menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Help!



Click to see updates

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, 8 August 2011
Thursday, 11 August 2011

11:32 AM

The on Eutelsat is that people living in regions where terrestial reception will notreason for Irish tv channels being transmitted be possible have stated that Sky is not an option as they do not wish to suscribe.Galway Mayo area where the Quietman and The Field were filmed is the region.Possibly veiwng cards will be provided by RTE/TVE. RTE caters for a population similar to the Greater Manchester area so resources are very limited and free to air costs would be prohibitive.

link to this comment
U's 98 posts IE flag
Friday, 12 August 2011
Peter K
3:09 PM

Hi, can any kind soul explain in laymans terms how a TV signal booster works, or refer me to a website that explains the principles involved. Many thanks, Peter K

link to this comment
Peter K's 3 posts GB flag
Peter's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage

4:43 PM

Peter K: Put as simply (very) as possible, a signal booster is a radio frequency (RF) amplifier and works in exactly the same way as any other type of electronic amplifier, but in this case where a low level RF signal voltage from the aerial goes through one or more stages of amplification (boosting or magnifying) and comes out at the outer end at a much higher level than it entered.

This being the basis of all types of amplification, from Pop group's microphone systems to Hi-Fi's etc,etc.

Cant at this time put my finger on a suitable link without it being over complicated, and you did say that you wanted it in layman's terms.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

6:20 PM

Peter K: I recently disassembled one that I used to use (before finding articles on why boosters are useless). The active part of it - the bit that wasn't just converting AC power down to DC - was one transistor.

A transistor amplifier basically works by a small flow of current between two of the three pins on the transistor producing a much larger flow between two other pins. The larger flow is related to the small flow, but not linearly - there is an exponential relationship.

The current can also only flow in one direction, while an RF signal flows in both directions. To correct this, the signal is 'biased' with a voltage about half that of the power supply voltage, which means it never has to flow backwards; the amplified bias is then stripped off the output with a capacitor.

The bias is set so that the expected size of the input results in the right amount of gain, in an approximately linear region of the amplifier's transfer function.

Digital TV requires a very linear amplifier, it cannot handle much distortion at all. If the input is larger than expected, the response of the transistor amplifier is no longer linear. If the input is particularly large, the amplified signal can reach the voltage of the power supply at the top or the minimum voltage that the transistor will pass, which causes clipping - a severe form of distortion.

The distortion caused by this, when you have multiple frequencies in the input, is known as 'intermodulation'. The effect is to cause errors in other carriers in the same multiplex, and/or carriers in other multiplexes, which - if there are too many - causes failure to decode, either intermittent or total.

You can also get problems if the power supply starts to fail, particularly if the capacitors in it fail and the voltage to the amplifier circuit starts to 'ripple', as the power supply voltage - therefore the maximum output - will be periodically getting closer to the peaks of the output, and clipping them periodically.

Any electronic circuit also adds thermal noise, caused by the random movement of atoms when hot (random movement of atoms *is* being hot). What's important is the signal quality, the ratio between the signal level and the level of noise. All else being equal, adding an amplifier adds noise, reducing signal quality. Only do it if the signal is too low for the box to decode, although if this is the case, you're either too far away, the aerial doesn't have enough gain, or have some other problem in your aerial system. A booster might give an improvement if the receiver is particularly noisy, but usually the receiver front-end is better built than your average booster.

It is usually necessary to amplify if distributing the signal more than a couple of ways, as the aerial gain just isn't enough to offset the loss in the splitter and the extra cable length - in this case, amplify as close to the aerial as possible, just enough to offset losses in the splitter and cables, and ensure that the input to the amplifier is lower than the maximum input it can handle (without distorting).

link to this comment
Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Saturday, 13 August 2011
Peter K
4:56 PM

Hello I sent 2 posts but cannot see them on the forum? What am I doing wrong?

link to this comment
Peter K's 3 posts GB flag
Peter's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 15 August 2011
Saturday, 20 August 2011
10:41 PM

I have a skyplus box with a line to two other rooms. I would like to cancel my sky sub. I cannot get freeview channels here in CH640UY. I want to keep record and rewind features. What is my best option?

link to this comment
Kay's 4 posts GB flag
Kay's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Saturday, 27 August 2011
emma bowen
7:08 PM

I am sick and tired of fighting Sky over their charges as I watch very little tv apart from news and the itv gold channel of old sitcoms. I had a letter to say they were freezing their prices and then a bill showing a substantial increase.
Because I wanted to finish with Sky but keep the ITV GOLD channel I was advised by Comet to buy a foxsat-hd freesat box although my tv is not HD ready and I have no intention of changing it.I bought the foxsat box because the salesman at Comet said that ITV Gold was among the channels available. Have I had the correct advice or will I have to subscribe to watch ITV Gold. As a pensioner I have to watch my expenditure so I have concerns.I would appreciate your advice. Emma.

link to this comment
emma bowen's 2 posts GB flag
Select more comments

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.