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, 13 February 2012

4:41 PM

rob: I think you might be mistaking Sky's "free to view" card with Freeview, because anyone with an ex contract Sky box could purchase a free to view card (@ £25.00) to enable them to view certain Sky channels like 5* / 5US and a few others including ITV's local news in certain areas, however this has all changed in recent times and the card is no longer necessary except for viewing Pick TV, as its still encrypted.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 17 February 2012
Peter Holme
9:13 AM

I have satellite TV in France using Sky to get Freeview through an "old" Sky box. It has a white card to do the initial tuning but isnt needed thereafter. I don't get Channel 5 and so on but most of the UK Channels.

I now have an HD TV. To get the freeview HD Channels and record movies etc can I use a Sky HD box secondhand...??? If so do I need a card of some sort??

Looking at the discussion it appears that I can get freeview HD channels but I wont be able to record?????? Is that right???

Help anyone???

link to this comment
Peter Holme's 1 post FR flag

10:22 AM

Peter Holme: You have heard correctly, insomuch that unless a subscription of I believe £10.00 is taken out with Sky you wont be able to use the recording or playback side of the box, as Sky permanently retains access control to the operation of the box removing it on the cancellation of a subscription.

Channel 5 should not require a card to access it as only Pick TV (epg 152) requires it, try resetting the box by removing the mains plug for about 15 secs or so before reconnecting it again.

By the way if you are referring to a Sky+ box it will effectively turn into a normal single channel device, as the second tuner is only really for recording purposes.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 26 February 2012
Mike C

4:07 PM

Strange - last night Sat 25th Feb - had Freeview HD on the box through my Technomate 6902 - all ok early evening on all 4 terrestrial UK channels - looked in on them again later in the evening after 8 : 30 pm - no sound on any of these HD channels and the strength down to @ 50% vs 90 % earlier.

Tried them again this morning - all ok ! ?

Signal is from Winter Hill

no reported work or faults on Freeview site re winter hill either - or do they bother telling you ?

link to this comment
Mike C's 64 posts GB flag
Monday, 27 February 2012
2:18 PM

I am looking to move house, and cancel my sky subscription. I currently have sky hd box with sky plus. If I move and take dish and box with card. What can expect to get channel wise and features ( hd, recording, tv guide?. Or am I better using the free view built into tv, can the dish be used as arial into tv for free view rather than the roof one?

link to this comment
Pr08rad's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
6:08 PM

hi i live in lewes near brighton i have no subscription to sky but i put in a sky plus box i can get all the free chanells except itv any help would be appreciated no card by the way

link to this comment
chip's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Julie hedges
3:45 PM

I've cancelled sky, can I still watch And tape Freeview on my hd box

link to this comment
Julie hedges's 1 post GB flag
Mike Dimmick

11:01 PM

Julie hedges: I'm afraid that Sky require you to keep paying a subscription to use the recording and time-shifting features. It's rumoured that there's a reduced £10 per month rate if you only want recording, not any premium channels, but I can't find this on Sky's website at the moment.

You also won't be able to play back anything you've previously recorded.

Freeview is digital TV through an aerial, rather than through a satellite dish. You would need a Freeview+ HD recorder to record.

You can replace your Sky+ box directly with a Freesat+ box to get recording features. The channel line-up is slightly different: see Compare Freesat and Freesat-from-Sky TV | - independent free digital TV advice for a comparison.

link to this comment
Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Monday, 12 March 2012
10:31 AM

I've got a satellite dish installed from the people who used to live in my house and I'm looking to get a sky box to get the free-to-air channels. My question is this: If I get a sky box, do I need a card to be in it to receive channels?

also, if the box is HD, can you receive HD channels without a subscription?


link to this comment
ryan's 1 post 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.