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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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Monday, 28 November 2011
Bill Bullock
9:40 AM

Hello Brian, this follows a previous question I sent on the subject of HD on locaL broadcasts when you said there was no immediate prospct of it.
Today around 0900, the Breakfast show came to that part where they say "and now for the news where you are" and for about 1 second before the red screen came up we saw the presenter for London, my local channel. If they can display that on freeview channel 50, why don't they just leave us on 50 to avoid constantly changing channels even if it's not in HD.

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Bill Bullock's 8 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

10:38 AM

Bill Bullock: Are you saying that in the slot where local news goes, you get a red screen?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Bill Bullock
10:59 AM

Dave Lindsay:

Yes Dave, I thought the whole of BBC1HD went to a red screen during local news broadcasts.
When I say a red screen, it's not just plain red and there's a caption saying They are not able to broadcast local news in HD and to retune to ch1/101 (don't know what 101 is) for local news.

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Bill Bullock's 8 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:33 AM

Bill Bullock: I've just had a look at BBC One HD on the EPG on the HD television in my house and at 18:30 instead of Look North it says "This is BBC One HD".

Next Monday at 19:30 it is Inside Out (same as BBC One) which varies by region. The synopsis for the HD edition is different to that of BBC One (standard definition). I wonder if the Inside Out on BBC One HD is the London one.

I would say that the reason that you get the message will be to do with feeding the signal into the transmitters.

Think about BBC One. Most of the time the pictures fed to all transmitters come from London. During regional programming, each area has different a programme fed into its transmitters. I remember when we had analogue you could tell on BBC One when a regional programme was coming up (the local news) because a few minutes before there was a momentary blip in the picture (e.g. during the weather at the end of the Six O'Clock News). That would have been so that the local BBC region could insert its own programming into the transmission system.

Now, it stands to reason that in order to do the same with BBC One HD that there would have to be the equipment to input these many different variations. That is, each region would have to have its own. It probably doesn't warrant the cost because it would be a waste if local news programmes aren't filmed in HD.

The reason you see BBC London News momentarily is because of what I said. That is that the feed comes from London. If they were not to display the red screen, and show London News, then it stands to reason that it would be shown all over the UK. This is because in order to show London News in London and the red screen everywhere else there would need to be an opt-out, i.e. two feeds for BBC One HD and I don't think that they would go to such expense, particularly when it's already been decided not to go with regional programming on HD anyway.

Is the BBC One HD slot showing "This is BBC One HD" in the London area as it is here in Yorkshire?

I'm surprised that they don't just replicate what's on the BBC News Channel between 18:30 and 19:00 Monday to Friday. Same goes for other regional news bulletins.

BTW, 101 probably refers to satellite.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Bill Bullock
12:52 PM

Dave Lindsay:
I think I follow that Dave, I'm not as technical as you seem.
Yes I remember those synching signals, "cue dots" I think they called them, usually a small shimmering square at the top right of the screen. I think they appeared for about 10 seconds then off for 10 then back on for 10 and the switch was synched to the end of that last on time.

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Bill Bullock's 8 posts GB flag
Thursday, 1 December 2011
1:07 PM

Please help, I am baffled! I have moved in to a rented house and it appears none of the other 5 houses have aerials, but all have sky dishes, as does mine. Coming in from outside is a standard external aerial cable which I have plugged directly in to my TV (which is Full HD with built in Freeview) and I have left the dish cables unplugged, which also come in through the wall as i have no STB. the area receives strong Freeview signal and all channels are available. However, my TV is not picking up any channels at all, including Analogue, so I can only presume that the standard Aerial cable is linked somehow to the sky dish! Is this possible? Also, that being the case, I have a Sky + box (no viewing card) which if I connect to the cables there and to the TV via SCART, will my TV then be able to pick the freeview channels as well as analogue? I am completely confused, and really don't want to be forced to subscribe to SKY. I am not dumb, but this has me completely baffled!

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Charlotte's 1 post GB flag

5:26 PM

Charlotte: There is nothing in common between Satellite and Freeview reception, and so the Sky dish you refer to is purely for Satellite reception, and so if you connect the cables from the dish into your Sky+ box you will receive all channels that's not linked to a subscription.

However there is a qualification to that, insomuch that you will not get 5* / 5US etc and might not get ITV channels either, as to receive these you require a "free to view" card from Sky costing £25.00 and lasting for an indeterminable time, but this will not let you use the recorder side of your Sky+ box as it has to be subscribed to as a separate item.

The normal aerial cable you refer to is possibly not connected to anything, or its that the aerial is fitted with a mast head amp and you don't have the in-line power supply to feed it, but the point is that its in no way connected to the dish.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Peter Cain
4:44 PM

I have a Philips Hard disk drive recorder, model DVDR5350H which worked perfectly until the analog EPG was switched off a couple of Christmas's ago.

A friend told me that if I bought a Freeview box this could be used to enable the Philips to record from a new Toshiba digital TV, model 26DL834B. Is this possible? I am happy to buy one but need to know how it would be wired up before I invest in the kit. Nothing else is connected to the TV and my aerial has line of sight to Emley Moor transmitter - about 15 miles away.

Would be grateful for advice.



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Peter Cain's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
5:57 PM

Hi- my mother has an old television and currently subscribes to sky with a standard sky box. Its now too expensive for her and she's thinking of getting freesat. Can she just carry on using her sky box and cancel the sky subscription? Will the picture quality be the same and will she get quite a few channels I.e sky news, bbc news 24?

Is it better to get a freesat box? I really doubt tv is HD ready!

Many thanks!

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tina's 1 post GB flag
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