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Using Sky Plus features on Freesat

Discussion in 'Freesat Forum' started by MJW, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. MJW

    MJW Member

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    A friend of mine recently changed from Sky to Virgin, and so gave me her old Sky Plus box. I used to have Sky installed a while back so figured I could use it as a freeview box. I connected it all up ok and there must've been a couple of weeks of her subscription left as I could access most of the channels from her package.
    Alas, on March 1st the bugger went off leaving me with no TV at all ! So I want to know if & where I can get a freeview card for it, and also if I'll still be able to use the recording / pause / rewind live tv functions of the Sky box. And if not is there some method I could use to activate these functions (firmware flash ?)
    Thanks in advance for any replies :)
  2. Broadz

    Broadz Active Member

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    Even without a card in it you will get all the FTA channels. With a Freesat card in it (£20 from Sky) you will get the FTV channels as well.

    To make use of the Sky+ functionality you will either need to take out a minimum subscription with Sky (currently £16pm for one mix package) or pay Sky £10pm for Sky+ functionality with only Freesat channels.
  3. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Ah right so if I just take the old card out I'll have the FTA channels. £10 a month so I can record things ? Pffft ! May as well remove the hard drive from it and stick it in my PC ! Isn't the recording functionality contained in the box ? Surely there's a way to reverse engineer it somehow !
  4. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    Since SKY+ is into it's 7th year and no one has been able to circumvent the use of the subscription info to enable hardware functions I think it's safe to say it can not reversed engineered:)

    As for removing the drive I don't think the box up at all if you do.


    You can a few months and see what Freesat can offer, there may be a SD DVR on offer or even HD DVR if you have the need.
  5. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Damn ! I figured since it was awash with USB ports there must be some way to tinker with it :D
    Well so much for me thinking I'd got myself a free PVR ! At least the Sky EPG is better than the dreadful one I had on my Philips DTR1500 freeview box so I can take some comfort in that.
    Are the Freesat channels any better than FTA Freeview, or is the programme list just padded out with shopping channels & crazy American evangelists ?
  6. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    If you mean the BBC/ITV Freesat satellite platform it will initially carry 80 FTA channels (radio and TV) on it's EPG and most of the TV will from the BBC and ITV family with with a number of the current FTA channels appearing like Film4.
    Anything beyond would be speculation although the CH4 SD family will almost certainly be accessible later in the year.

    There will however still be a difference between channels on Freesat (Satellite) and Freeview (DTT) due to broadcast rights and subscription revenues.
  7. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Tha would explain why I can't get E4 and 'Dave' then - probably the only channels that I actually watch :thumbsdow

    Also the BBC and ITV channels are still locked on 'down south' TV. I live in Yorkshire and don't give two hoots what's going on in Bristol (no offence Bristolians !) Is there any way to alter it to my local region ?
  8. Broadz

    Broadz Active Member

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    You can get a Freesat card from Sky for £20 which will be region-linked to your postcode, so you will get Look North and Calendar.
  9. Tatra-Man

    Tatra-Man Member

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    Sky are a pain over regionalising. I get four analogue terrestrial regions, two with good pictures and DVB-T as well but Sky won't give me anything but London because they say that's all my post-code gets. Ye Gods, I even get 6-TV the Oxford channel!!

    Anyway, as Clegg once said on Last of the Summer Wine:- "They brew better beer down South!":smashin:
  10. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    SKY use the postcode mapping provided by the BBC and ITV and they are obliged to follow their guidelines and while it's common due to overlapping terrestrial broadcasts for a home to have a choice depending upon where they point the aerial this isn't catered for by the broadcasters who pay SKY to handle region specific smartcards.

    Should you got to Freesat then this may also be an issue depending upon what method they use to assign the regions (postcode perhaps).
  11. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Hmmm well if I buy a Freesat card from Sky I guess they will key it to my postcode if I get it on a credit card so I suppose that will stop me getting BBC / ITV West.
    Does Freesat include Dave and the E4 channels ?
    Thanks for all the replies so far by the way !
  12. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    Yep, when order a freesatfromsky card your postcode determines the channels that occupy 101-104, of course all the BBC1 regions are on the EPG so you can access them and alternate ITV regions can be added manually.
    I expect this will be same for Freesat.

    Currently Dave and E4 are both PAY channels on satellite, E4 is likely to be FTA in October so could be picked up by any SKY box, Freesat box or generic dsat box but no sign of Dave going FTA.
  13. thegeby

    thegeby Member

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    You could also put yout local BBC/ITV in your favourite list instead of 101-103. All versions are available, just with weird numbers 9?? (above the cheesy britporn)

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