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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
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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

8:25 AM

James: To fully clarify the situation, what brand / model is the TV in question?

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
3:30 PM

JB38: According to the instruction manual the TV is a Pioneer Plasma Display System PDP - 436RXE.

It says HDMI on the front if that helps?

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James's 5 posts GB flag

5:54 PM

James: Thanks for the info on the TV, I suppose that I should really have initially enquired as to the model of device you were referring to, as to be perfectly honest about it I (and also a couple of work colleagues I mentioned this to) was totally unaware that Pioneer actually made a device such as this, and what in effect is really a digital monitor but with the addition of an analogue tuner, which I may say could be considered as a bit oddball in the technical sense, as more modern LCD / Plasma screen TV's with an analogue reception capability are also equipped with Freeview tuners as a minimum, the analogue being up to a point an add on!

Anyway, I have had a good study at its technical spec and it appears as though it can do what you require if you are intending to go ahead with the dish for the Sky+ HD box. The only thing I would say is, that during fishing about for info on that model I have also seen a number of people having experienced unsolvable problems when using the HDMI connection between it and the Sky+ HD box, Pioneer no longer offering assistance as far as software updates are concerned.

I would therefore suggest that before going ahead with the dish you should purchase an HDMI lead and couple the box up to the Pioneer, as you will at least be able to use the Sky boxes services menu to give you an idea if all is OK with the coupling between the two devices.

By the way, don't pay anymore than about £10.00 max for the HDMI lead, this no matter what fanciful claims about performance you might see on much higher priced cables.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
11:49 PM

JB38: Thanks very much for such an in-depth response. The good news is the box via the HDMI connection seems to be working fine.

I can get the services menu and the TV listings menu page, but obviously the actual programme information is missing without the proper signal via the dish.

I will now go ahead and get a dish supplied and fitted. As the kids grow up and take more of an interest in TV we have the option of upgrading to freesat if we so desire.

Thanks once again for all of your help, it is very much appreciated.

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James's 5 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
1:24 AM

Hi, I will soon be moving to Sweden is there any chance i could still use sky or freeview over there if i take the digital boxes and have a sat dish?

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tony's 1 post GB flag
tony's: mapT's Freeview map terrainT's terrain plot wavesT's frequency data T's Freeview Detailed Coverage

7:53 AM

James: Thanks for the update, and pleased to hear that there doesnt appear to be any snags in the coupling between the two devices, this hopefully indicating that once you have the dish installed you should have the type of set up you desired.

I will say that all reports read about that TV suggest the picture quality as being very good on that Plasma screen, which up to a point could not have been used to its best advantage when fed from the sets internal analogue tuner.

Regards / jb

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Thursday, 29 September 2011

7:21 PM

tony: See the satellite footprints at All about Freesat | - independent free digital TV advice . Freeview is only broadcast from transmitters in the UK.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Sunday, 2 October 2011
5:50 PM

i reciently cancelled my sky digital subscription but was thinking of returning again will i be a new customer cause i could do with recieving a new hd + box as mine wasnt working great.

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glenda's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 3 October 2011
1:43 PM

Hi there

Just got new Sky+HD box so have spare Sky+HD box. Can I use the spare box in another room, I live in a communal block with only internal connections. Only one room has LnB connection and all others have normal aerial connections. Is it possible to use sky box or what do you suggest.

Thank you.

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Zaina's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Barry Jarvis
10:20 PM

Hi, I am about to leave SKY and currently have a SKY + HD box which has worked pretty well for the couple of years I have had it. I was about to buy a HUMAX freesat box with the + type facilities then found this website and I am now wondering if I need to. Will my SKY + HD box still be fully functional, i.e. receive HD signals (on fewer channels) pause live TV and easy recording just with fewer channels if I do nothing after the expiry of my contract? Second question is if all works, what does buying a SKY freesat give you extra? Thank you

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Barry Jarvis's 1 post GB flag
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