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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 Free

Yes, but only "sort of".

Freeview is the name of the (BBC-backed) digital TV system that uses hilltop transmitters to <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconrooftop aerials. It is run separately from the "Sky" <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconsatellite-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 <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconFreesat. 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 <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconFreesat 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 <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconHigh Definition, HD, you can <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconswap 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 <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconUpgrade from Sky to Freesat - ukfree.tv. If you have an HD-Ready TV and a standard Sky box, this is a good option.



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Your comments: most recent posts are at the bottom

firstFirst comments prevEarlier comments  ◊ 

Your comments are always welcome. Please use the form below to add your thoughts or questions to this page. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

MikeP
Saturday 12 July 2014 8:39PM

Nedbod/Mary

Mary will need not only a router/modem but also a broadband service that is fast enough to download programmes live without excessive biffering. That generally means something faster than 5 Mbps, which is almost always available on a fibre/cable service but not always (especially in rural areas) on ADSL (via the copper telephone wires).

I presume Mary has an internet service, but is it fast enough?

WiFi is easily fast enough for distributing the services in the home (802.11G is rated at 54 Mbps and 802.11N is at least 150 Mbps) and it usually faster than the external internet connection. Fast Ethernet is rated at 100 Mbps, so is ideal but needs wuitable wires laid from router/modem to the computer or smart TV.

But none of that actually answers Mary's query. I sorry I can't help more as my rural broadband is far too slow for any such services.

M
MikeB
Saturday 12 July 2014 10:33PM


I
Ian Cartwright
Friday 1 August 2014 7:56PM

Hi - I was given to understand that I could cancel my Sky subscription and use my existing Sky +box to receive any channels from the Sky Free Channel List for free. When I called Sky to cancel my subscription I was told that this was not possible, and that you had to have at least one of their packages to receive these so called "free to view" channels. The cheapest package being £21.50.
I am now somewhat confused! Was the article misleading or was the person I spoke to at Sky giving me incorrect information? As a result however, I have now taken out a new !2 monthly contract with Sky (at a reduced rate) so can do nothing at the moment, but I would like to know what the situation is for future reference. Thank you.

M
MikeB
Friday 1 August 2014 11:02PM


J
jb38
Saturday 2 August 2014 12:04AM

Ian Cartwright: Although that its obviously a bit late in the day to say this because of you having taken out another contract with Sky, but the best way for anyone to check what they will, or will not, be able to receive if they cancel their subscription is simply by removing the card from the box then running though the EPG channel list, as about the only channel I can think of that requires the card to be inserted in order to view it is Sony TV on 157, as although this "is" a free channel its transmission is encrypted for legal reasons.

The card is also required in order for you to be able to view the news services applicable to your area, but thats not really by a subscription as such, because when Sky cancels the card it automatically reverts to being a free to view card.

The only aspect that will change is that your Sky+ box will revert to being a normal box, as the recording / playback side of it will cease to function.

D
denise rodgers
Sunday 10 August 2014 11:13PM

I cancel my sky now am getting nothing at all where i thought i could watch the free channels

J
jb38
Monday 11 August 2014 7:55AM

denise rodgers : If you have been viewing Sky programme channels via a normal Sky box connected into your own dish? then cancelling Sky "only" results in you being unable to view subscription based programmes and not anything other than those, if though you are unable to view anything then its purely coincidental.

Carry out a signal test on your box by pressing "Services - 4 - 6" (on standard box) and check that both strength and quality are indicated above 50%, if zero levels are seen then there is a problem with the dish.

Further advice dependant on feedback.

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