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, 7 March 2011
Saturday, 12 March 2011
4:41 PM

I had Freesat installed few months ago & have had problems since, periodically, with the boxes (apparently refurbished ones) whereby cable tv suddenly disappears - for no apparent reason. The guy who installed insists there is nothing wrong with the installation; also, with a couple of boxes he replaced, claimed that they worked perfectly for him.

However, I am not inventing the fact that sat. tv just suddenly goes off completely - sometimes for hours. So why does this occur?

Two further questions, please: 1) is it usual for the light on box to go red simply when you turn the tv off (but not at mains)? 2) now that I have a satellite dish, can I get an alternative cable service, e.g. Freeview?

Thanks (in hope).

link to this comment
Monika's 5 posts GB
Monday, 14 March 2011
1:43 PM

i have a basic sky box my contract is up in july ,can i get freesat from sky on my existing equipment? and can i add sky sports if i am on freesat

link to this comment
norm's 3 posts GB
1:51 PM

i forgot to mention in previous post we are on a communal aeriel

link to this comment
norm's 3 posts GB
Mike Dimmick

4:03 PM

norm: the transmissions are the same whether you're using Sky, 'Freesat from Sky' or BBC/ITV Freesat.

Channels are broadcast either unscrambled - 'free-to-air' - or scrambled using Sky's Videocrypt system. To descramble, you need a viewing card. Channels may have a unique descrambling key, or may use a 'free-to-view' key, which doesn't change very often, and which still works even after you cancel your subscription.

If the free-to-view key changes, Sky charge £25 for a new card.

BBC/ITV Freesat only offers free-to-air channels.

Sky Sports on satellite requires a basic entertainment pack subscription (£19.50 per month) plus the sports pack (£20.25 per month extra). Or, you can buy only Sky Sports 1 or Sky Sports 2 rather than the sports pack at £12.25 per channel per month.

You can get Sky Sports 1 & 2 (not HD) through an aerial if you get either Top Up TV or BT Vision. Your region has already switched over and you have a choice of transmitters providing the full service - either Winter Hill or Pendle Forest. Top Up TV don't require a subscription to their main service, but you do need one of their boxes rather than just a regular Freeview box.

link to this comment
Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
6:53 PM

mike just had email back from sky saying exactly what you have about having to buy FREESAT VIEWING CARD and that i would have to take a seperate package for sky sports ,but whhat i wanna know is could i receive the sky sports on the freesat card or woul i need a different sky card ? ,,,,Norm

link to this comment
norm's 3 posts GB
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Mike Dimmick

11:35 AM

norm: Sky require you to take one entertainment pack, at £19.50/month, before you can have the Sky Sports subscription.

Sky Sports Pack - Live Football, Cricket, Rugby & More Sports

"£20.25 extra a month
With any basic Sky TV package" (RG47SH)

link to this comment
Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
Thursday, 17 March 2011
keith hewson
9:22 PM

Hi all , i've been with sky for the last 9 years , and still have the old type box ,do you think they would give me a + box and change the lnb for free ??? Thanks

link to this comment
keith hewson's 1 post GB
Monday, 21 March 2011
Anna Sargent
9:28 PM

Hi there,

I have an ex-Sky satellite and bought a TV and a Humax digisat box so that I can get channels without subscribing to Sky.

However the two satellite cables sticking out of the wall have thin copper wires coming out of them which don't fit in the back of the Humax box.

I bought a male to male coaxial lead and a converter (which has a hole one end and a thin metal pin the other side) but they don't work, I think the sizes are wrong.

Please can you suggest what type of converter/ attachment I need to go onto the thin copper wire bit to make it connect to the Humax box?

Hope this makes sense, I don't know how to describe it better. Any advice would be gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.


link to this comment
Anna Sargent's 2 posts GB
11:07 PM

I have a TV with built in freeview and it picks all the channels up well. I have just bought a Humax 9300 recorder but when i connect it to my tv via scart it cannot pick up any channels. It just says "no or bad signal"
Does it use anything different than the tv to pick up the signals?
My postcode for signal is SK14 4BL
Dont know if i'm doing anything wrong

link to this comment
Chris's 2 posts GB
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.