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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
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

Friday, 1 June 2012
Dave Lindsay

12:29 AM

Trevor: With your aerial on Marlborough, you can expect to receive the Commercial channels sometime never.

The Commercial broadcasters operate purely on a profit-driven basis. They site their transmitters where it suits them and have no "Public Service" obligation, unlike those that broadcast from Marlborough.

I think that the only way you can get more free to air channels is Freesat.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
g coon
9:23 PM

I had the Virgin package of TV, phone and broadband. I recently cancelled the TV package keeping the phone and broadband. The Virgin TV cable is still in place. Can I use this cable to connect to a computer and TV to watch Netflicks of Film 4?

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g coon's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 4 June 2012
11:57 AM


I've just moved house and have done all of the below..............

An aerial is no use for a satellite box as it has to be connected to a dish, although only one dish lead is required and which has to be connected into the Sky boxes LNB1 input.

If your TV is HD ready then you should just have used the HDMI lead between the box and the TV and leave the scart leads off.

However, my sky box just keeps saying no satellite can be found/no signal etc - what do I need to do please?


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Karen's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 7 June 2012
11:26 AM

I have recently tried this but I still recieve all the sky channels even though my sub has ended.

Is this breaking any rules?

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bob's 1 post GB flag
Friday, 8 June 2012
8:32 PM

Hi, I used to be a Sky subscriber over 2 years ago and am thinking about subscribing again because they've got a 12 months half price offer.

My previous Sky box is still in the living room which we use to watch the free-to-air channels. I'd be grateful if you could help with the following questions please.

If I get a new 1TB HD box and get it installed in a bedroom, could I afterwards swap the new 1TB box and put it in the living room and bring the old box up to the bedroom?

If yes, would this mean that the subscription package that I sign up to will only be received in the bedroom and only free-to-air channels will only still be available downstairs?

Also will I be able to access all the recordings that I'd made on the old box again as we haven't been able to access these since we stopped subscribing over a year ago?



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Jay's 1 post US flag
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Mike Dimmick

12:21 AM

Jay: Access to the channels is based on the serial number of the viewing card in the box. If you ask them for a new box they'll send out a new card with it, and the subscription will be associated with that card. The recording features, including playback, will go along with that card as well.

So, if you put the new card in the old box, you should be able to play back the old recordings, but you wouldn't be able to record on the new box. You probably want to keep the new card with the new box, and put that wherever you intend to watch the pay channels.

To get all features on all boxes, you need a multiroom subscription. Sky probably still have the serial number of the old card on record and could probably reactivate it; if not, they'll send out a new card for the old box.

I'm not sure if Sky's offers would extend to adding a second set of cables to the dish. Their help page on multiroom setup says:

"A standard installation assumes that no additional cabling, bracketry or other equipment is required or any works which are beyond the scope usual in a normal installation. A standard installation further assumes that if you already have satellite equipment, you will not continue to use it and your existing cabling will be used in the connection of the Digital Satellite Equipment. If the installation of your Digital Satellite Equipment is not standard you will be charged a reasonable sum for any additional equipment or works that are required.

"We will advise you about these charges before we install the Digital Satellite Equipment, which may need to be re-arranged for another time. If you already have satellite equipment and you wish to continue using it and/or have it relocated within your home, you must tell us at least 24 hours prior to the installation, and in that case a separate installation charge may be payable by you. If so, we will advise you of the amount of this charge, which must be paid before the day of installation of your Digital Satellite Equipment."

Source: Sky TV | What equipment do I need with Sky Multiroom ? , under "I already have satellite equipment in my home, can I link it to my Sky box with Multiroom?"

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Sunday, 10 June 2012
12:00 PM

Hi. I have a sky plus box with subscription. I have a sky HD box I was given. My question is can I use the second hand HD box with my current card. My reason is to access free to air HD channels such as BBC but do not wish to have a sky HD subscription.

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Fraser's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 11 June 2012
11:11 PM

I have bought a new TV with Freeview installed, my question is can I use the Freeseve on the TV through my sky dish

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Alan's 1 post GB flag
Friday, 15 June 2012
1:57 PM

Hi, from what I've been reading I've seemed to do the impossible by connecting a sat dish to my freeview box and gettin all the freeview channels?! I live in a flat with all the connections, I've simply cut the wire from the sat dish feed an stuck the copper wire in the aerial slot on the back of my freeview box! I only tried this due to the normal aerial reception was rubbish breaking up all the time an now the signal is brilliant! Is this possible?

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KennyT's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

3:47 PM

KennyT: Err no.

Freeview signals are broadcast by terrestrial transmitters. A satellite dish picks up signals from a satellite.

You haven't given your location so it's not possible to gauge how likely it might be that this is the case, but if you're very close to the terrestrial transmitter, perhaps the lead from the satellite dish is picking up sufficient signal from it due to the signal being that strong.

This could also explain why you have poor reception on your communal terrestrial aerial system. It could be amplifying it too much. If this is the case, then it is the responsibility of whoever maintains the aerial system to put it right. It will probably affect others so you might ask your neighbours.

I emphasise that I make this suggestion on the basis that you "may" live close to a transmitter. Without knowing your location I cannot have any idea whether this is likely or not at all likely.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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