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<  Satellite receivers, cable boxes and PVRs  ~  Freesat Setup

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gjblackford
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 07 Feb 2008 Posts: 36
Hi,

Just replaced my old TV with a HD TV so looking at HD Channel options, I refuse to pay Sky for a package so I am looking at FreeSat, but was wondering if anyone knows if I will be able to use the Sky dish on the side of the house to connect to a FreeSat box and recieve TV or if I will need to get it replaced with a new dish.

Thanks,



Gavin,
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gomezz
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:27 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Nov 2005 Posts: 3988 Location: Buckingham
The Sky dish will work fine. The Freesat channels are the same ones from the same satellites as you would see on Sky. Only the EPG info is different.

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glenmcfar
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:44 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Its worth mentioning that I've had my Freesat recorder for coming on 18 months and its massively underwhelming. Depending on where you live, you might want to wait on Freeview HD which, at launch, has a better channel lineup than Freesat currently has... The clout of terrestrial GUARANTEES that the channels on Freeview HD will eclipse that of Freesat.

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Darucla
Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:30 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Jun 2007 Posts: 1544
My offer of 20 for the Freesat PVR still stands. Wink

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glenmcfar
Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:24 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Seriously, offers over 100 quid might start an impromptu auction.

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digsatman
Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:47 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 May 2005 Posts: 166 Location: West Midlands
glenmcfar wrote:
Its worth mentioning that I've had my Freesat recorder for coming on 18 months and its massively underwhelming. Depending on where you live, you might want to wait on Freeview HD which, at launch, has a better channel lineup than Freesat currently has... The clout of terrestrial GUARANTEES that the channels on Freeview HD will eclipse that of Freesat.


Freeview HD is only ever likely to have three HD channels due to the bandwidth available. Satellite does not have such a restriction. As far as I am aware, there are no HD channels coming to Freeview HD that aren't already available as FTA channels in HD on satellite.

Whilst there are some SD channels on Freeview that you can't get FTA on satallite, you have the option of all the BBC and ITV regional programmes on satellite. For instance, the current "Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience" series on BBC2 was shown earlier this year on BBC Wales. With Freeview, you only get your local region due to bandwidth limitations.

ITV HD (currently only available on Freesat "Red Button") will be changing in April 2010 to a "Proper" FTA satellite channel. I doubt ITV would be doing this if everything in the Freeview HD garden was rosy! ITV HD will also also be coming to Freeview HD.

In answer to your original question - yes the existing "Sky" dish will receive Freesat as long as it is pointing at the current Astra satellites used by Sky at 28 degrees East rather than the old ones at 19 degrees East used when Sky was broadcast in analogue format.


Last edited by digsatman on Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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glenmcfar
Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:51 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
digsatman wrote:
As far as I am aware, there are no HD channels coming to Freeview HD that aren't already available as FTA channels in HD on satellite.


Channel 4 HD and some offering from Five (in the future) are coming to Freeview HD. We know from experience that broadcasters happily pay a premium to get on the Freeview platform. Freesat on the other hand hasn't had a new HD channel (or any channel of note) for a long long time. The broadcasters just aren't interested.

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digsatman
Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 May 2005 Posts: 166 Location: West Midlands
glenmcfar wrote:
Channel 4 HD and some offering from Five (in the future) are coming to Freeview HD. We know from experience that broadcasters happily pay a premium to get on the Freeview platform. Freesat on the other hand hasn't had a new HD channel (or any channel of note) for a long long time. The broadcasters just aren't interested.


I believe that Channel4 HD will also become FTA on satellite. Part of the problem with official Freesat receivers is that they only allow users to receive the services that Freesat allows. Receivers such as the Humax can be operated in "non-Freesat" mode which opens up other channels at the expense of losing the EPG and hence any timer facilities.

If I remember, Luxe HD is not available on a Freesat receiver when operated in "Freeview" mode. There may also be other HD channels hidden in Freeview mode.

I only used my Freesat box for a couple of weeks before frustration set in.

My current setup is Toppy 5800's and a Dreambox 8000HD which has 4 tuners in it - DVB-S2 and DVB-T. The Dreambox is an open source Linux based receiver and I get all the Sky, Freeview and Freesat channels on it. I have a full EPG from the combined sources of Sky, Freesat and the Radio Times. It has a 1.5TB drive in it and all radio/TV programmes can be copied to/from it. This is not the case with the official Freesat boxes. I see that the 3View FreeviewHD box will not allow recorded programmes to be transferred to external storage. I also understand a terrestrial HD tuner module is coming for the Dreambox (the tuners plug in to "slots" like PC cards in any combination).

Still, things could be a lot worse as I believe the Australian version of Freeview can prevent users from skipping over ad breaks! I don't think this "feature" is promoted in their publicity too much!
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Darucla
Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Jun 2007 Posts: 1544
The only HD stations receivable on a Humax FreesatHD box are BBC HD, ITV1 HD and , on the non Freesat tuner, Luxe HD. If you can tell me a way to pick up the Ch 4 HD broadcasts, I would be eternally grateful. As it stands, I can see the channel ID, and a Dolby Digital symbol in the top right corner when I first tune it in, but no picture or sound.

Incidentally, as all of my Freeview tuners, the Topfields, Sony DVDR, and Pansaonic Viera, all suffer to some extent from the E4 bug, which seems to be spreading to other 4 channels, the Freesat tuners are used somewhat more now to watch TV live. The satellite channels do not suffer the same problem.

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glenmcfar
Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:17 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
digsatman wrote:
I believe that Channel4 HD will also become FTA on satellite.


I believe that for every drop of rain, a flower grows. Channel 4 HD will become FTA at some point, but I believe that Freeview HD will get it first.

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dsw
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:40 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 03 Oct 2005 Posts: 164 Location: Glasgow, UK
glenmcfar wrote:
Channel 4 HD and some offering from Five (in the future) are coming to Freeview HD. We know from experience that broadcasters happily pay a premium to get on the Freeview platform. Freesat on the other hand hasn't had a new HD channel (or any channel of note) for a long long time. The broadcasters just aren't interested.


Not entirely true. UK broadcast restrictions mean that BBC, ITV, C4 and Five can only broadcast FTA channels from the Astra 2D satellite (which is tightly focused on the UK) but it's pretty much full and can't accommodate C4HD, Five US and Fiver unless space is freed up. ITV can launch their ITV1 HD channel after moving 6 regional channels to a pan-european satellite and paying Sky to encrypt them.

I understand there are more satellites going up in 2012 which focus on the UK so that will create more space.

Freesat has far more scope for expansion than Freeview longer term.

I'm about to test the water by getting a Freesat dish (mainly for Champions League and the World Cup). If it's any good I'll seriously consider investing in a PVR to replace my Toppy in the next year or two.
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ccs
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:12 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 2587
A bit more ammunition here.

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ccsx
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gjblackford
Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:45 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 07 Feb 2008 Posts: 36
Hi,

Thanks for the input, I think for the moment then I will stay with my 5800 box and wait and see as too much going on with the Freeview HD and the like, mind you I am leaning towards Freesat as from my understanding ofr Freeview HD there will be a limited set of HD channels compared to even Freesat.

On a side note does anyone know of Suppliers of Toppy in the UK, I brought my 5800 from John Lewis but it looks like they are no longer stocking Topfield and if I do go for a freesat I need to find a supplier

EDIT: Looks like we could do with a box which allows watching of both Freeview and Freesat to give us all the channels as it currently seems that you can only get some channels on Freeview and other on Freesat
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toodeep
Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 30 Apr 2005 Posts: 282
digsatman wrote:
My current setup is Toppy 5800's and a Dreambox 8000HD which has 4 tuners in it - DVB-S2 and DVB-T. The Dreambox is an open source Linux based receiver and I get all the Sky, Freeview and Freesat channels on it. I have a full EPG from the combined sources of Sky, Freesat and the Radio Times. It has a 1.5TB drive in it and all radio/TV programmes can be copied to/from it. This is not the case with the official Freesat boxes. I see that the 3View FreeviewHD box will not allow recorded programmes to be transferred to external storage. I also understand a terrestrial HD tuner module is coming for the Dreambox (the tuners plug in to "slots" like PC cards in any combination).


A bit OT, but can you recommend a UK-friendly Dreambox forum and/or more describe your setup? I'd previously dismissed Dreamboxen as being for those simply preferring to not pay for satellite services, but if Topfield doesn't step up with a TAPable DVB-T2 box then I might soon augment my venerable 5800 with a 8000HD too.

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