With the imminent launch of Freesat this afternoon, the question is whether you will be able to receive the service at your location. Freesat has 98% coverage across the UK and only if you don’t have a clear line of sight to the satellite, will you not be able to get it. So, how do you check the clear line of sight? Just go to DishPointer, enter your address (street address rather than just postcode as the second part of the postcode is omitted) and then select 28.2E Astra from the satellite list. A satellite image map of your house should show up with a marker and a line indicating the direction of the Freesat satellite signal. You need a clear line of sight along this line. The big marker can be moved by clicking and dragging it to the exact location of your dish. The small marker is to calculate the maximum height of any obstacles along the line without interfering with the signal. “d” stands for distance to the obstacle and “h” for the maximum height it can have.

There is a tree right on the line not far from your dish. You’ve dragged the marker and got “d” = 20m and “h” = 10m. Your dish is on the roof at a height of 8m.
This would mean that the tree is 20m away and that the tree must not be higher than 10m from the base of the dish or 18m from ground level. If it’s any higher than you’d have problems with the signal reception because there wouldn’t be a clear line of sight.

There is also a satellite help section on DishPointer.

23 Responses to “Can you get Freesat?”

  1. UKSatelliteHelp.co.uk - Freesat launched says:

    [...] « Can you get Freesat? 06 05 2008 [...]

  2. Paul Davis says:

    We cant get Sky because theres a huge tree in the way – would this mean we cant get the newly launched (non Sky) Freesat either? Are there any other options for us for getting more than the 4 terrestrial channels (we dont have channel 5, and we cant get Freeview either!). Preferably the extra BBC channels and News channels etc. and ideally HD content,

    Really appreciate any advice!

  3. Alan says:


    Not looking good for you. If you can’t get Sky, you won’t be able to get Freesat as both are broadcast from the same satellite (well, 28.2E and 28.5E). You need to have the dish somewhere with a clear line of sight: either high enough or away from the tree.

    The other option you have is cable (Virgin).

  4. Paul Davis says:

    Thanks Alan,

    Hmm – we dont have Virgin either. Freeview isnt here until 2011 either!

  5. paul carpenter says:

    Just wondered if I could pick UK FREESAT up in spain. I have a 1.8 dish which should be large enough. Do I need anything else?

  6. Alan says:

    if your dish is large enough, all you need is an lnb, a satellite receiver and a satellite cable to connect the two. If you’re only interested in viewing Freesat, then get a Freesat receiver, as it has a good EPG. If you also want to watch different channels from different satellites, it all gets a bit more difficult as no single satellite receiver does it all.

  7. paul carpenter says:

    Hi Alan and thanks for the reply. Are there certain LNB’s for certain receivers, or is there just one type of LNB?

  8. Alan says:

    Paul: There are many type of LNB’s but all available ones in Europe will work with the receivers being sold here (In the States there are also circular LNB’s which wouldn’t work with your receiver).

    First, you should get a universal LNB (almost all of them are).

    Then you need to decide if you want a single, dual, triple or quad LNB (if you’re hooking up one receiver then get a single if you want a receiver in the livingroom and one in the bedroom and watch different channels at the same time then get a multiple lnb).

    Then get a good quality one since you’re in a fringe reception area. Invacom are good but the much cheaper Smart Titanium are not bad either.

  9. gavin says:

    My receiver doesn’t list Astra 2D, just Astra 1E, 2C and Astra 1D, 3A. It seems like I can “add” a dish but can’t find any information on how to tell it 2D is out there. Can I do this or do I need a box?

    I’m in Switzerland, my neighbour has a Freesat box and it works.

  10. Alan says:

    gavin: First, your dish needs to be pointed at Astra 2D at 28.2° East. Then you need to scan the transponders on that satellite with your receiver to find the channels. That list of satellites above only tells the receiver which transponders to scan. But you can also manually add transponders and scan those – no matter which satellite has been selected from the list.

    The transponder settings can be found at http://www.satcodx.com

  11. Tina Jefferies says:

    Hi Alan
    I’m wondering if anything is being done for people like me (and my neighbours) who cannot access the Astra satellite due to living in a dip with several 40ft trees on the “line of site.” Who will want to buy a house where SKY, Freesat & HDTV are never going to be a possibility (there’s a preservation order on the trees)? Freesat claims that nearly everyone can receive Freesat. I wonder how many are in my position.

  12. princesssumari says:

    can anyone plzzz tell me if ETV GUJARATI comes on SKY

  13. suzanne says:

    can you get iving tv on freesat

  14. satellite receiver says:

    princesssumari u can get all channels in sky u have to pay for these channels

  15. Justin says:


    I’m in the Netherlands and I’m using the satellite signal finder in the website you gave, but I cant work out which channel I am supposed to be selecting. When I do a standard search it says I have a clear line of site, but when I select one of the different signal channels it changes completely. Is there ever a ‘standard’ direction your dish should face, like south east etc..? Thanks!

  16. Arine says:

    Hi you all, I am from South Africa , the tv stations are very boring and if you want to have normal tv it costs you a fortune every month like 50 euro’s , originally we are from the Netherlands so its nice to receive BVN to see what’s going on there on the other site , BVN is a FTA channel but Multichoice always ask a subscription for it, now I want to point out my dish to another satelite Astra 4/ Sirius 4 , but if I want to give that satellitename in in my decoder ( also Multichoice ) it won’t give me an option for that satellite name
    Hotbird, Astra 1 , Astra2 , Irdeto lab-E ,& W, Dstv W4/7, en IS7/10 can I also choose another name or do I have to buy another decoder ?
    Also the dish allignment is a complicated job:-)
    thanks a mill

    Arine from the bush

  17. petergifkins says:

    could you please let me know if i can get freesat in my area in egremont cumbria postcode is ca22

  18. satandpcguy says:

    Freesat is via satellites, and coverage is excellent over the whole of the UK.

    You just need a dish, and be able to install it on a wall that has line of sight to the satellites.

    Now Freeview, the terrestrial TV service, does have coverage of the Uk, but in some areas this is still limited, hence why Freesat was born, to cover the areas that cannot receive Freeview. You can check your freeview reception on the freeview website.

  19. rich says:

    hi can anybody tell me if i get free to air box will i get more channels than freesat

  20. satandpcguy says:

    rich: the answer is yes and no.
    Freesat receivers tend to have two modes.
    Freesat mode, where it has a certain number of FTA channels on its programme guide.
    And non freesat mode, where you can scan all the FTA channels into a channel list.
    So wheather or not a FTA receiver gets more channels than a FTA box, it all depends which mode you have a freesat box in.

    And note that a Freesat box will have a 7 day EPG, a FTA box will just have now and next information.

  21. rich says:

    thanks for your reply and help

  22. frank says:

    hi rich Ihave got a fta philex 28207rf can you tell me will it pick up any channels out in northern cyprus regards frank

  23. satandpcguy says:

    A FTA receiver will pick up the free to air (FTA) ie not encrypted channels.

    The only limitation on what FTA channels you can receive will which satellite you are pointing to be your dish size. I understand that in Northern Cyprus you need a “very big dish” to get the main UK FTA channels like BBC & ITV.