This is a FAQ about FreeSatfromSky, for the newly launched FreeSat from BBC and ITV see the articles on the main page
What is Freesat?
Freesat is a name for all the UK satellite TV and Radio channels which are availabe for free in the UK. No subscription is required and no monthly fees charged in order to access to the service.
What do I need for Freesat?
You need to have a satellite system installed. This includes a satellite dish with an LNB pointing at the Astra 2 satellite, the cabling, the satellite receiver such as a Sky Digibox, and – if you want to watch C4, Five, Five Live, Five US and Sky Three – an FTV card. The FTV card is available for a one-off payment of £20 and there are no further monthly or subscription charges.
Where do I get Freesat from?
One option is to get the satellite equipment and the installation from www.freesatfromsky.com (or call 0870 240 5651). Alternatively you can get all the equipment yourself (e.g. second-hand off eBay) and do the installation yourself with the help of this site. Note that in order to watch C4, Five, Five Life, Five US and Sky Three you need an FTV card, also available from www.freesatfromsky.com.
How much does it cost?
£150 which includes the satellite dish, LNB, Digibox, FTV card and installation.
Can I not get it cheaper?
Yes, you could buy all items second hand (e.g. on eBay) for about £50 – £70 and install it all yourself. But if you wanted all new equipment, it would be only slightly cheaper and you’d still have to do the installation yourself.
I already have a dish and a Digibox, what can I do with them?
You can watch all the Free To Air (FTA) channels, including BBC and ITV. For C4, Five, Five Live, Five US and Sky Three, you need a Freesat FTV card which you can obtain from www.freesatfromsky.com for £20.
How do I install the system?
For dish installation, see the installation guides on this site. Then just insert your card and wait up to 72 hrs for the card to be activated.
What is the difference between Freesat and Freeview?
Freesat is a satellite based service. Freeview is a terrestrial based service. That is, with Freesat, the TV signal comes from a satellite and you need a satellite dish and a satellite receiver to pick up this signal. With Freeview, the TV signal comes from a broadcasting antenna near you and you can pick up that signal with a rooftop aerial on your house and a terrestrial Freeview receiver.
For more information on the differences, see the article Freesat vs. Freeview – which one to get.
Do I need to connect the Digibox to the phone line?
No, this is not necessary (not even during installation/activation).
Can I delete the subscription channels from the EPG?
No, deleting and reordering the channel lineups on a Sky Digibox is not possible. But you can add the channels to your favourites list and surf through them with the blue button. You can also show the favourites in a custom EPG if you are on EPG Ver 3.4.4b or newer. Just press TV Guide and then blue. To check which EPG version you have, press Services and then system Details.
Can I later subscribe to Sky?
Yes, go to www.sky.com or ring them up and they will be more than glad to welcome you as a new customer.
Will I get a substandard or refurbised Digibox when I order Freesat?
No, the equipment will be all new and the same as you would get from a Sky subscription. It will come from the same stock the installer currently has.
Do I get warranty with my equipment?
If ordered through www.freesatfromsky.com , all equipment come with standard warranty.
Can I get pay-per-view movies from Sky Box Office with Freesat?
No, this is not possible. You need at least a basic Sky subscription in order to be able to order PPV Movies.
Will the installer bring the Freesat FTV card?
No, the FTV card will come through the post.
Is a Freesat FTV card ‘married’ to a specific Digibox?
Matching up or ‘marrying’ a card to a Digibox happens only with the Sky premium subscriptions. FTV cards are never married to a box.
I came back from holiday and now I can’t get the encrypted channels?
If you had switched off your Digibox from the mains or removed the card for some time, it will automatically de-activate itself. All you need to do is power up your Digibox and insert the card. Then wait for up to 72 hrs for the card and channels to be re-activated. During this period, you should have the box at least on standby. Note that some channels might be activated earlier than others.
I have not inserted the card for a year, will it still work?
If it’s a blue yellow house card, it will still work even if you haven’t used it for over a year. All you need to do is power up your Digibox and insert the card. Then wait for up to 72 hrs for the card and channels to be re-activated. Have the box at least on standby during this period.
Do I have to use a Sky Digibox? Can I not use any other receiver?
For the FTV channels, you can use any other receiver. For C4, Five, Five Live and Five US, you need a Sky Digibox. Having said that, you can obtain a special NDS cam for non-Sky receivers to work with the FTV card.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a non-Sky receiver?
- You can change, add, delete and reorder the channel line up.*
- You can use it to receive non-Sky channels on other satellites such as European channels (Sky Digiboxes are severly limited for such use).
- You can get a PVR receiver and record programmes without paying Sky additional money for their Sky+ services.
- You cannot get C4, Five, Five Live and Five US without a special NDS cam. Usually, you will still need a Sky Digibox to keep the card activated every now and then (exceptions exist on e.g. the Dreambox). But you can get these channels on terrestrial Freeview if this is an option.
- EPG is limited to Now and Next on non-Sky receivers for UK channels. 7-day EPGs are only available on Sky Digiboxes.
They are sometimes better for fringe reception.
Where can I get more information regarding satellite reception?
Read the installation and technical guides on this site.