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Saturday, January 16, 2010

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 ?

The simple answer is "No".

Freeview is the name of the UK digital TV system that uses hilltop terrestrial transmitters to TV aerials / antennae.

Whereas "Sky" is a satellite-to-dish TV system service.


Free-to-AIR (FTA) channels are ones that can be received without needing a Sky viewing card or a monthly subscription.


Free-to-VIEW (FTV) is a term for satellite channels that need a viewing card to watch, but not to collect a subscription, some examples of which are Fiver and Five USA

The free-to-AIR satelite service backed by the main UK TV broadcasters (BBC and ITV) is called Freesat.
The free-to-VIEW service operated by Sky is called fSfS or Freesat from Sky.

All free to air channels should be available on ALL satellite receivers.
All free to view channels are only availabe on receivers able to read /use a Sky viewing card, such as Sky digiboxes.


If you stop your Sky TV subscription, (after the 1 year minimum contractualperiod) you will still be able to watch the hundreds of free-to-air channels, and your card wil become a freesatfromsky viewing card, allowing you to watch the free to view channels also.

Some of the channels on the Freeview service are subscription only on satellite, such as Yesterday (UKTV History) , Dave, Virgin 1, and Sky Sports News.

You will need a Sky viewing card Five, Fiver, Sky Three, Viva TV, Liverpoll FC TV, and some alternate "extra" versions of ITV1 (on frequency 12408 V), Channel 4 (on frequency 12480 V) and Channel Five )on 12422 H) - the so-called "free-to-view" channels.

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, and are only compatiable with their own system.

A sky viewing card is not needed to watch BBC services, and has not been required for some 6 years, or required for many ITV channels for about 4 years. However a Sky viewing card is required to get the correct BBC ONE BBC TWO and ITV1 regions on 101 102 and 103. This is all done by using the postcode of the address that the skyc ard is registered at.

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