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Changing to Freesat
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Old 27-07-2020, 06:21   #1
Davut
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Changing to Freesat

I am thinking about changing from BTTV to Freesat, Among other reasons the main one is I think BT are getting on the pricey side and they tried to get me on a new contract (sending me an email saying my contract was expiring soon, even through it has 6 months to run). I have a satellite dish on the house, with a cable running a connection box near my main TV, but having been with BT, it hasn't been used for the 7 years we have lived in the house. My question is, is the dish likely to be OK to use?
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Old 27-07-2020, 10:10   #2
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Re: Changing to Freesat

It will probably be fine. The only problem is likely to be water getting into the cabling running from the LNB (the device on the pole that sticks out) into the house. You obviously need a box to test it.

Many Sky users and ex-Sky users have old boxes they don't use any more. If you know someone you could give them some of their attic space back and offer to take it from them, or ask to borrow it if they are keeping it for emergencies.

Else, the cheapest way to test it is buy a 2nd hand box, or a cheap basic model. Of the latter there is only one to choose from these days, the Manhattan SX, but it is well regarded, and costs around £50. You can get them in Currys and Argos.

https://manhattan-tv.com/freesat/manhattan-sx

Also you may want to check your TV has a built-in satellite tuner. Is it Panasonic or LG? The latter have been putting satellite tuners in their TVs and not really advertising the feature. If that's the case you may just have to buy an appropriate coaxial cable to run from your indoor wall socket to the TV.

The Manhattan box isn't able to record TV. You'll need one of the new Freesat UHD recordable boxes for that. https://www.freesat.co.uk/4k-tv-box/
Or look for a 2nd hand Humax Freesat recorder, though prices are high for those at the moment I've heard.
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Old 27-07-2020, 17:22   #3
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Re: Changing to Freesat

Our 42" Sony Bravia (2014) is equipped with a satellite tuner and appropriate co-ax connector.
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Old 27-07-2020, 19:24   #4
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Re: Changing to Freesat

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Originally Posted by heero_yuy View Post
Our 42" Sony Bravia (2014) is equipped with a satellite tuner and appropriate co-ax connector.
Good find - just checked our Sony Bravia KD-49X8309C 4K TV, and it does too.
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Old 27-07-2020, 20:08   #5
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Re: Changing to Freesat

Most TVs don’t have a built in satellite tuner, and not all those that do, have access to the Freesat EPG. A branded Freesat set top box is well worth having for its integration of catch up services and its programme guide, not to mention the ability to record and store stuff offline.

Davut, is there only one cable coming into your house from the dish, or are there two cables? On the junction box inside your living room, is there one terminal, or two? If you’re going for free satellite you might as well take everything it offers, which means you need a twin feed from the dish in order to reliably watch one channel while recording another.

It is a worthwhile investment to get an independent sat installer out to check the dish alignment, install a new multi-LNB on the dish’s protruding arm, and a new pair of cables from the LNB to your living room. It’s a one-off cost that will ensure you get the most out of your new set-top box.
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Old 27-07-2020, 20:58   #6
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Re: Changing to Freesat

Quote:
Originally Posted by heero_yuy View Post
Our 42" Sony Bravia (2014) is equipped with a satellite tuner and appropriate co-ax connector.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
Good find - just checked our Sony Bravia KD-49X8309C 4K TV, and it does too.
And my 2018 N series Samsung 4k TV. It also has the proper Freesat EPG
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Old 27-07-2020, 22:12   #7
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Re: Changing to Freesat

I believe the LGs and the Panasonics with satellite tuners have the Freesat EPG from what I recall reading.

The Manhattan I mentioned earlier has the EPG, as you'd expect for an officially branded device, but it doesn't have Apps, the WiFi it has is just for updating the box software.

Chris gives very good advice above. We got dual feeds installed in two rooms by a recommended local independent installer.

The new UHD FreeSat boxes (both recordable and non-recordable models) are so new the software is still a bit ropey by many online accounts in forums, so bear that in mind if you decide they are for you.
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Old 28-07-2020, 14:49   #8
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Re: Changing to Freesat

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheekyangus View Post
I believe the LGs and the Panasonics with satellite tuners have the Freesat EPG from what I recall reading.

The Manhattan I mentioned earlier has the EPG, as you'd expect for an officially branded device, but it doesn't have Apps, the WiFi it has is just for updating the box software.

Chris gives very good advice above. We got dual feeds installed in two rooms by a recommended local independent installer.

The new UHD FreeSat boxes (both recordable and non-recordable models) are so new the software is still a bit ropey by many online accounts in forums, so bear that in mind if you decide they are for you.
How much did it cost, if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 28-07-2020, 16:13   #9
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Re: Changing to Freesat

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Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
How much did it cost, if you don't mind me asking?
I don't mind, it's just it was done about 6 (or more, I forget) months after digital switchover, and I don't remember.

In 8/9 years inflation is bound to have increased it too.

Plus we got an aerial to feed 3 other rooms (2 of those was basically a replacement for an old attic installation) with Freeview at the same time.

I wouldn't like to guess as it may be very wrong, misleading and subsequently no help. It seemed reasonable at the time.

I had a look a the website of the people I think we used and there are no prices on it. Doh!

They did a relative of mine before switchover, but they only got a dual feed to one room so I'm not sure that helps a lot. It may have been £180 (at a guess) way back then, as my relatives sourced the Freesat PVR themselves. I don't know how useful that is given how long ago it was.
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