Why I’m switching away from Sky TV to Freesat

Published: 8 August 2008 By MoneyhighStreet Staff 8 Comments
Updated: 13 February 2011

I’ve decided to switch away from Sky TV to Freesat, and this is why.

Freesat is a newish satellite TV service that provides free access to it’s programs. There is no monthly subscription, it works with an existing Sky satellite dish.

If you have the dish, all you have to pay for is a once only purchase of a Freesat decoder box, which is rather like a Sky TV decoder box.

Family watching Freesat TV

I have been subscribing to the Sky pix and mix selection which costs £21 per month (£252 per year), but as my 12 month contract period is coming to an end, I decided to look at what Freesat offers, as an alternative.

Sky TV are increasing their prices on 1st September, so my subscription package is going to increase to £22 per month. Most of the Sky TV packages are going to increase by £2 per month.

I like the idea of watching High Definition programmes, when they become more available, so I decided to buy a Humax High Definition Freesat receiver for £129.95 from Comet.

I chose the Humax receiver because it has a surround sound connection into a home cinema system and both RGB and HDMI high definition video outputs, which is important as my TV only has one HDMI input, that is currently being used.

Setting up and connecting Freesat

I unconnected the Sky TV receiver, plugged the satellite cable into the Freesat box, connected it to the TV using a supplied SC ART socket (I will need an RGB lead to display high Definition video), and then started the setup process.

Once the system had found the satellite signal, which it did straight away using the existing Sky TV satellite dish, auto installed the latest software, it then automatically setup the TV and radio channels.

The whole installation and setup process took me no more than 15 minutes.

Programme availability

Freesat is as easy to use as Sky TV, so you should have no trouble using the service. You will notice a lack of programmes compared to Sky TV though, and this may be an issue for many people.

Freesat will be adding more and more programmes in the future, but if the current Freesat programme listings suit your needs, then you should really consider saving money with Freesat.

Personally, I have found that I watch very few TV programmes that are only available on Sky, so saving the monthly Sky TV subscription certainly makes sense for me.

So if you like the idea of watching High Definition TV, particularly when it becomes more available, receive surround sound, have access to a wide range of programmes (but not as many as Sky) all for a one of cost of £150 with no monthly subscription, then you should consider switching to Freesat too.

If your contract with Sky has already exceeded 12 months, then you only need give them 30 days notice to stop your subscriptions and receive the benefits of digital TV for free.

MoneyHighStreet.com comment: If you don’t have a satellite dish, (or need extra cables adding to your set-up) you should book a professional installation, offered by many companies, including Argos for example.

If you order satellite installation through argos.co.uk they will contact you, usually within 24 hours of your order, to arrange a suitable installation time. There is a fixed price for most standard installations.

Comments

8 Responses to “Why I’m switching away from Sky TV to Freesat”
  1. a.moir says:

    I have read your article about Freesat with interest..
    I too am a sky customer and have a package which includes
    broadband. I have been a customer for less than a year and already
    my broadband rental has risen by 100%. It seems to be a case of
    signing you up with what looks like an attractive package and then hammering you. There is such a vast number of programmes to choose from but
    unfortunatly they make up to about 95% repeats.
    Some days it is difficult to find even one programme to suit my taste.
    regards
    A.Moir

  2. ann hoskings says:

    i run a public house and have had sky in for the last 2 & half years. i upgraded to sky ultimate on 12th august last year for at the races as it had to be paid for. i pay 363 pounds a month. RIP OFF. they have now lost setanta & a lot of other channels, but instead of reducing my monthly costs they are increasing them. can anyone tell me who else i can get satllite tv from for my public house. i need racing and sports, anyone any ideas please.

    • ian murphy says:

      There is a shop near heaton park in manchester who sells boxes and dishes for 400+ they come and set it up for you the dish moves on its own to pick up a signal

  3. J.leaver says:

    If I optout SKY what alternatives have I got? Can I conitinue with Broadband and what about “free sat”?

  4. noel kelly says:

    Another point to make is, when you cancel your Sky subscription, you can purchase a Freesat card, from Sky, for a one-off payment of £19.00, replace the existing Sky card in your receiver with this and you get Freesat without having to buy a Freesat box.

    I cancelled all my Sky subscriptions in protest at Sky’s refusal last year to air the appeal for the refugees in Gaza. I expected nothing else from Rupert Murdoch but, to see the BBC do the same was a national disgrace.

    • Steve says:

      Noel
      When purchasing a Freesat card from Sky, were you able to use the recording facilities in the Sky box or did you lose this?

  5. David says:

    I would like to know the answer to the last question, ” When purchasing a Freesat card from Sky, were you able to use the recording facilities in the Sky box or did you lose this?”
    Can you continue to record etc. If so this must be the best option?

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