With so much terminology used for TV these days, it is no wonder some people get confused and end up buying the wrong type of equipment and receiver. Many times I have heard of people buying a Freeview receiver only to try and connect it up to a satellite dish. So here is a synopsis of some of the terms used with regards to UK TV.

Free to air.
Free to air channels are those that are broadcast “in the clear” without any encryption, without the need for a viewing card or a subscription. Examples of some free to air channels on UK satellite TV are BBC 1 and BBC2.

Free to view
Free to view channels are encrypted and require a viewing card to view. They do not require a monthly subscription. Examples of free to view channels on UK satellite TV are (as at Feb 2012) Channel Five HD, Sony TV and Motors TV.

A digital TV service offered in the UK. Freeview is a terrestrial system that uses land based masts for transmission and a TV Aerial for reception. Some channels that are available for free on Freeview require a subscription on satellite.

A service offered by Sky, using a non subscription viewing card, that allows the viewing of the free to view satellite TV channels.

A satellite service that offers a selection of free to air satellite TV channels. Not all free to air UK TV satellite channels are available on Freesat, but they can be added to Freesat receivers by using “Non Freesat Mode”. A Sky digibox with no viewing card will be able to receive the same channels as a Freesat receiver.

Sky TV
The UKs main pay TV provider with a wide rage of channels available for a monthly subscription, and with some channels available on a pay per view basis.

You cannot receive Freeview via satellite, as they are based on two different transmission systems: satellite and terrestrial.

You cannot receive Freesat on Sky digiboxes. Freesat software is only for use on Freesat receivers, in the same way that the software used on Sky boxes is not available on Freesat boxes.

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