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Is there any way I can get free channels via satellite and have the kind of hard

Is there any way I can get free channels via satellite and have the kind of hard drive recording I am used to without subscribing to Sky+?

Is there any way I can get free channels via satellite and have
published on UK Free TV

You can buy PVRs that work with the free-to-air satellite channels, however they do not have a program guide.

When Windows Vista Ultimate Edition works with dual DVB-S tuners and provide a full electronic program guide.

Which PVR's work with free-to-air satellite channels?

Are you talking about FreeSat or some other way of picking up free to air channels?

I'm very new to satellite broadcasting so have not much idea of what I'd need to set up a system or, indeed, of the terminology used.

What has Windows to do with it? Are you saying that I could get a program guide on my PC?

For DVB-S PVRs, see:

These can be used with Freesat, and requires a dish with a quad-output LNB, as a connection is required from each tuner in the satellite receiver to an LNB output.

Windows XP Media Center Edition (and now Windows Vista Ultimate Edition) contains PVR software and an EPG:

Windows XP Media Center Edition

The best PC based program guide is DigiGuide:

Download Digiguide

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Monday, 10 January 2011
Graham Stone
2:41 PM

Kieran: You can also use a TIVO (Series 1) to control and record from a Sky, FreeSat, Freeview or Cable TV box. TIVO has it's own EPG and User Interface both of which are far superior and easier to use than anything you will have seen on SKY+.

You will need a secondhand TIVO with a 'lifetime' subscription, you can pick these up off ebay, or one of the sites offering Tivo spares, upgrades and advice such as TivoHeaven or TivoLand. Original TiVos had 40gb Drives, good for 11 Hours at Best Quality, but with upgrades to the hardware and software much bigger drives and near DVD quality (referred to in TiVo speak as 'Mode 0')are possible. My Tivos use a mix of 250GB and 500GB drives and will store hundreds of hours of recordings, I have two controlling 2 old SKY Boxes, and 2 controlling FreeSAT HD boxes.

So my suggestion would be to get another satellite box, hook it up to the redundant seconf feed intoo your Sky+ box, and let Tivo use that one - allowing you to watch Sky FreeToAir on the Sky+ box, while Tivo records from the other.


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Graham Stone's 5 posts US flag
Graham's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 11 January 2011

8:49 AM

Graham Stone: Sounds much easier to just buy a Freesat+ box. One box, two tuners, one remote.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Graham Stone
1:07 AM

Briantist: I agree it would be easier, yes, but he said he didn't want to buy a FreeSat recorder, easiest of all would be to not cancel the Sky+ Subscription.

The Integrated recorders (Sky+, Freesat+, Freeview+) are more expensive, more complicated to use, and depending on what else you might want to do less flexible :- Archive to PC or DVD, Edit, convert to other formats, control/schedule remotely - from your phone perhaps?, view remotely, etc, etc;

Oh, and I think they are also less reliable - Does Sky+, FreeSat+, Freeview+ actually record and let you watch everything you set it to record - I haven't seen one yet that does...

And, the seaason passes aren't really, they do one run of a series (if you follow an obscure sitcom or drama, you'll have to wait till the new season starts to schedule a 'new'; season pass, which sort of defeats the object) they don't automatically reschedule clashes to pick up repeats and re-runs, and the programme guide data is poor.

The only advantage to having Sky+HD or a FreeSat HD Recorder is the HD part - soon to be fixed by Virgin Medias licensing agreement with Tivo and the introduction of the latest generation HD Tivo systems; But as most of Skys HD content - other than sport (which Keiran isn't paying for - isn't recorded in HD anyway, only upscaled for broadcast, that is questionable. The BBC / ITV / C4 HD stuff - which is filmed in HD - is quite acceptable when recorded and viewed in Tivos (default when upgraded) Mode 0.

sorry to be so scathing, but Tivo invented the PVR, and while it was originally endorsed and sold by SKY, they ultimately tried to copy it but failed.

Now Tivo are re-entering the UK market - with Virgin for now - and I expect a lot of Sky+ customers will want to switch.


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Graham Stone's 5 posts GB flag
2:23 AM

I recently purchased Sagem freesat HD+ box and WOW. I cannot be more pleased with my old Technomate 6800HD. Set the Sagem to record The Tonight show and it doesn't. When you go the the channel & press record it tells you that it's recording but no recordings show up! And then there's the recordings it does do... about 20% of them will choke 1/2 way through and say HDD error, format HDD.

Switch it off & on again and it will resume no problem (mistakenly bought the same thing for the in-laws and it does the same thing). Oh, want 5.1 surround? seems only to be on BBC HD not on any others.
BUT WAIT the real reason you bought it, the built in TV GUIDE! Yup, 90% of the time you go to it there is a wait while it refreshes.

Yes... yes you may have just checked it 30 seconds ago but it's forgotten EVERYTHING. So there you go, Buy an approved piece of overpriced garbage or buy something that works (plus a TV guide).
Sad thing is 8 years ago in another country my computer could do this stuff without breaking a sweat. (oh and it was 20x quieter than these garbage PVR's they're selling nowadays).

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Steve's 9 posts GB flag

6:17 AM

Steve: Sounds like you have a fault.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

8:39 AM

Steve - I like you also have Technomate 6800 HD receiver(external 2.5 HDD) which I have paired with a motorised dish. Great performer. I also have a Humax DTR Freesat recorder and a couple of Technisat "Freesat" single tuner boxes with a PVR capability (external 2.5 HDD's) in other rooms in the house. I have to say fair use is made of the recording facility on these receivers and I haven't had any issues. Like Brian states. I think there must be a problem with the Sagems that you have. I've actually upgraded the Humax DTR to a 1TB HDD and and this was a painless transistion as well. (although 1YB is the maximum capacity the Humax will cope with in such a drive conversion). The downside with the Technomate if one can call it that is the absence of the fully featured EPG that comes with the "Freesat" receivers. I have put in a number of "Freesat" Humax DTR's for others and haven't had any issues other than some mis-recordings which seemed related to issues with ITV transmissions (Football coverage) rather than issues with the recivers themselves.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Friday, 4 February 2011
r o'neill
7:40 PM

hi i live in a block of new partmants each one is connected to a satelite dish i have humax freesat recorder which gives me perfact reception, my question is if i bought a NOVA satelite reciever would this work ok you see i have no access to the satelite dish they will have to stay in the exact possition theye are now or would i be wasting my money.
many thanks ro'neill

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r o'neill's 1 post GB flag
Saturday, 5 February 2011

1:11 PM

r o'neill: No, the broadcasts are on a different satellite system. You would need a dish pointing at the correct satellite.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
Sunday, 22 January 2012
David Wardynec
6:44 PM

I have just cancelled my Sky subscription. (services end on 17feb) Can I still use the sky+ hd box that i have to record the available channel?

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David Wardynec's 1 post GB flag

9:22 PM

David Wardynec: No! as Sky retains control of the recording side of the box and will deactivate it along with your entitlement to view subscription channels.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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