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Freesat and existing sky dish + install

OldSkoO1

Established Member
Really looking forward to freesat in march but i dont fully understand how the service will work.

Can anyone clarify - what would be required to get up and running on the bbc/itv freesat service.


1) I saw someone suggested i could use my existing sky dish for freesat with bbc/itv - is this correct?

2) Would this be a suitable STB/PVR for freesat ? http://www.humaxdigital.com/uk/products/hdci-2000.asp

3) Would the sky dish just work or does it need re-pointing by a CAI ariel installer?

4) Would the sky drop cable from the satalite need to change or will the that type of wire plug into the PVR.

5) Do you need to purchase anything else other than the box? - Like a viewing card/subscription or special license?

6) Is the quality expected to be better than a standard freeview ariel reception?


Can't wait for march

will the ITV / C4 HD services be out then?

just disappointed dave and sky3 wont be on it but it will look great on my plasma HD. Esp. the HD channels!
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
1) Yes.
2) Nope, Freesat have their own badged receivers on the way which are built to handle the full EPG and interactive applications.
3) No change required to the dish.
4) No change, however a DVR will require 2 LNB feeds not 1.
5) Just pay for the box, no subscription and TV license covers it.
6) The quality will be identical to what you get through SKY, they are the same signals after all and generally Freeview is consider to have the edge over Dsat.

**At this time nothing much officially has been mentioned so while I am 99.9% sure of these answers there can always be wiggle room:)

ITVHD is expected to be a launch channel so if you go for a HD DVR and you don't already have a SKY+ or SKY+HD you will have to add a second LNB feed from the dish. The CH4 family (except for Film4) will probably not be on Freesat until October when their contract for encryption ends with SKY, however they may surprise us yet.
 

OldSkoO1

Established Member
Thanks very much for the answers

Does HD DVR mean a HD reciever with the ability to record? Just want to double check you can get HD PVR's like you can with freeview.

Hope the quality is good - we have a sky dish but haven't had sky for years! Can't remember what its like.


Sounds like all i will need will be the box and call to the local fitter to run a second cable. Nice - shame about the lack of channel 4 channels though.


Thanks again,
 

jondy1

Standard Member
hi, just like to clear a few points up here,i think youre getting confused between a hdd freeview pvr which is a standard definition digital terrestial reciever with a hard disk drive (hdd) and a hd(high definition) pvr for satellite reception which also has a hdd for recording content, and to your question 6 the quality is going to be miles better than your freeview picture as this is broadcast only in standard definition and the quality of some channels are iffy to say the least even with a good aerial:)
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
Thanks very much for the answers

Does HD DVR mean a HD reciever with the ability to record? Just want to double check you can get HD PVR's like you can with freeview.
Hope the quality is good - we have a sky dish but haven't had sky for years! Can't remember what its like.

Sounds like all i will need will be the box and call to the local fitter to run a second cable. Nice - shame about the lack of channel 4 channels though.


Thanks again,




DVR = Digital Video Recorder
PVR = Personal Video Recorder

The usage is down to personal preference, I use DVR to mean everything from SKY+ to V+ to a Freeview twin tuner hard drive recorder where as the only thing I call a PVR is TIVO.
The HD does stand for High Def where as HDD refers to Hard Disk Drive.

So as jondy1 says there currently Freeview DVR's, SKY+ and SKY+HD and it is expected that Freesat will offer both a standard DVR and HD DVR although maybe not at launch and it is down to the various manufacturers what models they offer since BBC nor ITV have a stake in that aspect of the service.
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
the main thing i am looking forward to with this is a twin tunner pvr so i dont need sky plus anymore



Indeed, if you only use SKY+ for the "free" channels or pay for 1 MIX to get better "value" than paying the £10 a Freesat twin tuner DVR will be a good alternative although the lack of CH4 and Five could be a problem for some until as expected CH4 go FTA later in the year and no doubt Five will have to follow suit.
 

shadows

Established Member
Indeed, if you only use SKY+ for the "free" channels or pay for 1 MIX to get better "value" than paying the £10 a Freesat twin tuner DVR will be a good alternative although the lack of CH4 and Five could be a problem for some until as expected CH4 go FTA later in the year and no doubt Five will have to follow suit.

living abroad my hands are tied at the moment
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
and generally Freeview is consider to have the edge over Dsat.

Really? I thought it was considered that Sky digital was better than Freeview digital, due to higher bandwidth and better bit rates?

Some, not all mind, of Freeview's channels look awful! ITV2 for one is horrendous half the time (fast moving images cause lots of blockiness on the screen, flashing lights cause lots of pixelation, and this is on a good CRT TV, not even an LCD!!!

BBC and CH4 seem to have good bit rates on Freeview tho, very rarely do I ever see a fault on their channels (BBC3 sometimes gets glitches, that might be reception errors of course)

Would dred to see what ITV2 looks like on Sky is Freeview is supposed to be better!!!!!
 
PVR = Personal Video Recorder

Here is my understanding of it, a PVR is a device which cache's the stream while you are watching it in the background so you can rewind it and catch up, no user interaction needed, also has the abilty to manualy record..., uses a hard drive for storage...

A DVR is similar to a VCR, only records when you tell it to or schedule it "manual recording" ... uses a Hard drive
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Really? I thought it was considered that Sky digital was better than Freeview digital, due to higher bandwidth and better bit rates?

Not for all of the services.

ITV1 and C4 on DSat (aka Sky - though nothing to do with Sky other than EPG, and in C4's case encryption) are broadcast at the reduced resolution of 544x576 to reduce their bandwith/data rate, as ITV and C4 have to broadcast all of their regional variations (though C4's are only advert variations - but their advertisers pay for regional targeting)

On Freeview, currently, Ofcom mandate that all services simulcast with analogue terrestrial have to be at 720x576 or 704x576 (essentially the full broadcast resolution equivalent to the 702x576 an analogue signal digitally sampled would occupy) - and as such BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, C4 and Five on Freeview are all full res. ITV2-4 and E4, More4 etc. need not be - and most aren't - though some of the +1 channels are not broadcast on the ITV/C4 mux and instead are broadcast on the National Grid Wireless muxes (previously Crown Castle) at 720x576?

As a result ITV1 and C4SD look sharper on Freeview than on satellite (Though C4HD on satellite looks the best - even when showing SD content upconverted to HD! I've stopped watching C4SD)

ITV1 on DSat is close to being unwatchable on saturday evening shows like The X Factor which contain material that challenges MPEG2 encoding

Some, not all mind, of Freeview's channels look awful! ITV2 for one is horrendous half the time (fast moving images cause lots of blockiness on the screen, flashing lights cause lots of pixelation, and this is on a good CRT TV, not even an LCD!!!
544x576 res coupled with a low bit rate...

BBC and CH4 seem to have good bit rates on Freeview tho, very rarely do I ever see a fault on their channels (BBC3 sometimes gets glitches, that might be reception errors of course)

BBC One in England is broadcast at around 4.8Mbs at a fixed bit rate (for reasons of regional opt-outs and local encoding) and can look OK - though there are plans afoot to replace this infrastructure with central coding in London.

Would dred to see what ITV2 looks like on Sky is Freeview is supposed to be better!!!!!

BBC One, ITV1 and C4 on Freeview usually look marginally better than their DSat (aka "Sky") equivalents. Five is using some very odd encoding on Freeview and usually looks a lot better on satellite. BBC Two I'm never sure about. The other channels are more of a toss-up - some of them go out at very low data rates on Freeview, and at the same low resolution on both Freeview and satellite.

(I'm not entirely convinced that they haven't been winding the BBC One satellite bitrates down - at least in London - as it seems to be more artefacty of late. "Sense and Sensibility" on Sunday night looked atrocious - with candles moving independently of their background)
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
This should be OK... I think.

I was hoping my origonal Skybox would be OK as well but I'm not so sure anymore!




It's a SKY box, useless for the Freesat service.
Freesat is a hardware specification for the reception of FTA digital channels on satellite, in that respect the basic functions are identical to a SKY digibox in that it takes the LNB feed from the dish and turns it into a picture. The Freesat and SKY platforms will both receive exactly the same signals from the same place so the FTA channels on one box will be watchable on the other with the partial exception the Freesat EPG may not be as populated at launch but no reason it won't grow during 2008.

So with your original digibox you will get the same SD channels that appear on Freesat plus the FTV (encrypted non-subscription) channels that have to be watched on SKY hardware for now.
As for the HD channels we don't know yet if HD capability will be on every Freesat receiver or you have to buy the more expensive version, given that Freesat is intended to cover Freeview dead areas I expect to see cheap mpeg2 boxes (like SKY digiboxes) and DVR's (SKY+) plus HD boxes (SKY+HD).

One of the best things Freesat will have going for it is the choice of boxes from different manufacturers and a modern EPG and GUI (like Freeview), SKY hardwares need for legacy support has stunted it's design and growth.
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
Here is my understanding of it, a PVR is a device which cache's the stream while you are watching it in the background so you can rewind it and catch up, no user interaction needed, also has the abilty to manualy record..., uses a hard drive for storage...

A DVR is similar to a VCR, only records when you tell it to or schedule it "manual recording" ... uses a Hard drive




That'll work, as long as we all end up in the same place no worries:)

I just think that TIVO is unsurpassed in the user friendliness and TV listings manipulation and deserves the title PVR (which was used when only TIVO existed) where as virtually everything since while capable of doing the hardware part of TIVO falls flat in the software hence doesn't deserve the PVR title.
 

ThunderBoltLSD

Established Member
Starburst Just been back to check & I stand corrected.

What do you think of BTVision deal? Seems good but you have to take broadband and I'm not sure how good - or bad - their broadband is. Any opinions folks?

Also, does anyone know if the wires from Sky are the same as Freesat boxes? In other words could I get a splitter and run the frrsat box AND skybox from the one dish?

I already have sky installed but no longer subscribe so just get a very limited range of channels.

Cheers all!
 

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