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Cheapest/ easiest satellite options?


Prominent Member

I live in a poor Freeview reception area. I'm not particularly interested in Sky, but what are the options for getting TV by satellite (BBC channels etc plus the "good" ones on Freeview)? Options to use an ART card to get football from North Africa would be good though ;)

Can someone point me in the right direction?

Also, can a dish be mounted in the loft rather than outside?

Jules Tohpipi

Prominent Member
Check out this - the world's most difficult to find website (for the obvious reasons):


Basically, it's a Sky installation at £150, but no contract and no further payments and no phone line connections. It allows you to watch the free-to-air channels. Included in the pack is the £20 FTV card, which allows you to watch also the free-to-view channels - such as ITV. A good webpage to look at about this, with channel listings, is http://www.wickonline.com/fta.htm

No, your dish will have to go outside.


Prominent Member
So is it the Freesat card that is the key? Can it be used with any Sky receiver & dish? Or does the Freesat card "unlock" the receiver, so any "unlocked" receiver will get the FTA channels?

Jules Tohpipi

Prominent Member
No, it doesn't really work like that as such.

Any Sky Digibox is ready to receive the free-to-air channels. You just plug it in, and hey presto, you can watch the free-to-air channels without having to do a single thing to it. There doesn't need to be a card in the slot, nor does the box need to be activated by Sky. It just works.

However, in this guise you will not receive ITV, Channel 4 for various reasons. Mostly to do with government regulations on the regionality of these programmes. But, they are free to view - they just need to be de-crypted. This is where the free-to-view card comes in. That then allows you to watch all the free stuff that has to be encrypted - like ITV. These are called the free-to-view channels - as opposed to the free-to-air channels that need no card.

My understanding is that a FTV card doesn't need any kind of activation - but I might be wrong on that. In any event, it will involve nothing more than a phone call to activate it over the air methinks ?

Jules Tohpipi

Prominent Member
Erm.. just to add. The Freeview card will have to be in the receiver, for the receiver to get those channels. If the card isn't in there, then it's no dice - even if the card has been in previously.

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
There is no such thing as an FTA card.
Free To Air means no card needed.

The so called "freesat" card is an FTV card.

As for Ebay, people may use the term "FTA card" in order to confuse or fool gullible punters.

Chris Muriel Manchester.

Jules Tohpipi

Prominent Member
Regarding eBay:

If you are a Sky subscriber, but then decide to cancel your subscription with Sky, then your card is merely downgraded - not completely deactivated. Sky typically downgrade (over the air) your SKY card to a FTV card.

Therefore, one could imagine a situation where a genuine SKY subscriber might cancel their subscription because they are moving abroad or moving in with girlfriend, whatever. They phone up Sky - their card gets knocked down to a FTV card, and is no longer associated with that person or SKY - then they put the gear (and card) up for sale on eBAY.

When you buy that item, then everything (in theory) should be hunky-dory. You'll be able to receive the FTA channels (naturally) and the FTV channels. It just might be that some ebayers get their FTAs and FTVs mixed-up sometimes.

Anyone claiming that their SKY box can receive FTV channels without an FTV card are lying - as far as I'm aware.

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