Question Another Sky / Freesat Question

H22A

Standard Member
Apologies if this has been asked before here, I have searched various online communities, but I see conflicting answers over time (it seems to have been a popular question over the last 10 years), so looking for a definitive answer for 2020.

I am currently a Sky customer of many years.

Plan is to leave Sky, and use the Sky HD box to watch FTA channels (supplementing with existing Fire TV cube/Prime, Netflix and Disney+).
Not interested in Freeview as have no aerial, plus reception was never great in my area.
So as we have the dish, we're going to stick with Satellite.
Ultimately will replace the Sky HD box with a Freesat PVR when the new models (Arris?) get released in the hopefully near future. This will give us back the pause and record function that I know we lose when we cut the umbilical to Sky.

However, what I don't understand is this:

Will I NEED to buy a £25 Sky FreeSat card, or will my existing, but ultimately deactivated Sky card do the exact the same thing?
If not needed, does the Sky FreeSat card have ANY advantages over the deactivated Sky card that makes the purchase of one worthwhile?
Or am I missing the point, and the only people who need a £25 Sky FreeSat card are people with a Sky box and no Sky viewing card at all who wish to watch FreeSat?

I have seen post where people just say "pull your Sky viewing card out and that's what you will get". Well if that is the case, why would you need any card at all? Is there a different between basic FTA and FreeSat?

I would ask Sky when I call them to leave, but I am not confident I would get the correct answer.

Many thanks
Paul
 

depot

Well-known Member
I believe you used to have to buy a £25 card, for the sky box to work for freesat, but nowadays when your sky subscription ends it just becomes a freesat box, i left sky last month, and am also waiting for the new freesat pvr to be released, could be a while though.
 

H22A

Standard Member
Thanks for confirming, Depot. Nice to get a recent experience.

Yeah I was a bit concerned at the lack of noise coming from Arris re the new box. I think it was scheduled for release in 2019. However I heard that they had recently been through a merger/takeover, and literally a couple of days ago sent out an email flyer that the box would be appearing soon. So fingers crossed it's still "a thing".
 
I believe you used to have to buy a £25 card, for the sky box to work for freesat, but nowadays when your sky subscription ends it just becomes a freesat box, i left sky last month, and am also waiting for the new freesat pvr to be released, could be a while though.
Wrong - card is only required to view FTV channels, set parental controls and set correct regions on box - all cards after sub cancelled have always reverted to acting as a FSFS (FreesatFromSky) card. Note that FSFS is NOT the same as Freesat - FSFS has all FTA and a few FTV (Free to view - sub free but encrypted and requiring an active viewing card) and Freesat only has the FTA channels that choose to pay to be on the Freesat EPG ( and at the moment Channel 4HD although FTA does not pay and thus is not on the Freesat EPG
 
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Rodders53

Distinguished Member
As Dave says ^^^^ No need or benefit from a fsf$ card... Not until they replace the card with a newer one across the platform, when the old would eventually stop working.

The card gets you a few encrypted TV channels that would not be available otherwise.

The card also gets the "correct" BBC One, Two, ITV and C4 regional variants (the last for ads only). To provide the correct local news to your area.
No card in the box used to revert to BBC London and ITV Granada - but more recent boxes 'remember' the removed card regionalisation anyway (IIRC from a previous corrective post on the subject).
 

H22A

Standard Member
Great stuff. Thanks for the additional information and clarification.
Have no qualms now about leaving Sky and retaining access to FTA channels with zero fuss.
Other half will have to get used to the lack of recording functionality until we get a Freesat PVR, that's probably the only downside.
 

DavyPaul

Novice Member
( and at the moment Channel 4HD although FTA does not pay and thus is not on the Freesat EPG
so, does that mean that, with a bit of 'tuning' on my humax freesat, I should be able to find the C4 HD streams and save them on a 'favourites' slot..? this had not even occured to me.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Depends which Humax box you have. You can view Channel 4-HD using non freesat mode by simply adding the transponder data in non freesat mode and adding the transponder. When you switch to non-freesat the channel number will be in the 5000 + range. You can see what's on using the Channel 4-SD epg entry.

You have to switch to non freesat mode.

This includes any model with a HDR- 1xxxS prefix.

You cannot record or time shift the live content.

The older Foxsat-HDR with the Custom Firmware installed can record channel 4-HD and set manual recording timers while remaining in Freesat mode.
 

sainthunter

Standard Member
Be gentle with old fogies please!
I am of an age when I shall have to start paying for a TV licence again, come the 31st May.
We have been a subscriber to Sky since the year 2000 and need to plan what to do to be legal and stay within budget from June onwards. We pay a minimum Sky sub at present and plan to ditch the service as we object to paying both BBC and Sky, but accept that we wont get the same channels and record facility as at present.
There are Smart TV's in the house but there never seems to be the programme you want when its convenient to view etc.
The Sky box is an Amstrad DRX890 and, apart from the occasional reboot, does all of what we want, and the thought of having to get more/new gear is not an attractive proposition!
 

TJT1

Member
So what is your question?
 

TJT1

Member
If you want get your programme material from satellite, (pretty much the same stuff that is free on Sky but with HD thrown in for free) your best bet would be to get a Freesat recorder. The only problem is that Humax have stopped making them and the new supplier has not come on line yet.
Have you got a terrestrial TV aerial? If so, a Freeview recorder would be a good alternative after checking out the reception at your location.
 

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