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I've got SkyHD, but think it costs to much... options?

DannyBoy73

Established Member
Hi,

I've done be of searching but can't find the right answers....

I've got SkyHD with my 2 cables from my dish. But I'm now thinking my monthly subscription is far to much etc...

If I cancel my Sky subscription, does that effectivly mean I have SkyFreeSat? If so will I be able to view BBCHD and C4HD? but never ITV-HD? And will I still keep the Sky+ functionality??

Is the other option to buy a FreeSat box to replace my SkyHD box? What would I gain by this? more channels? ITV HD?

Cheers
 

mkcurtis

Established Member
The second cable is used for your Sky+ service which is currently free with your Sky HD subs. So if you cancel SkyHD you will lose the Sky+ features. If you cancel your subs in full you will get many free to air channels. These include BBCHD but Im not sure about C4 HD. You may also get Luxe HD and Rush HD I think. As it currently stands you will not get ITV HD with a sub or not on Sky.
 

DannyBoy73

Established Member
So when there's a FreeSat DTR (Sky+ function) box, will it use both my cables from my dish?
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
Hi,

I've done be of searching but can't find the right answers....

I've got SkyHD with my 2 cables from my dish. But I'm now thinking my monthly subscription is far to much etc...

If I cancel my Sky subscription, does that effectivly mean I have SkyFreeSat? If so will I be able to view BBCHD and C4HD? but never ITV-HD? And will I still keep the Sky+ functionality??

Is the other option to buy a FreeSat box to replace my SkyHD box? What would I gain by this? more channels? ITV HD?

Cheers

If you cancel just your HD subs, you'll be able to watch BBC HD, CH4 HD and Luxe HD. It is anticipated that ITV HD will arrive on the Sky platform in the future and you will be able to view that when it does.

You will only keep your free Sky + functionality if you keep the basic minimum Sky subscription. With Freesat From Sky, Sky + costs £10 pm.

If you go the Freesat route, there isn't a PVR (Sky + equivalent) available yet, although they will be launched later. An HD version is rumoured to be going to cost c £300 but that's not definite. With that you will have Sky + functionallity for free, the Freesat channel line up and BBC HD & ITV HD when it launches. CH4 HD will probably arrive on the EPG at some time in the future too, but no one knows when. Some boxes can be tuned to receive Luxe HD too. HTH.

ATB

Max
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
So when there's a FreeSat DTR (Sky+ function) box, will it use both my cables from my dish?

Yes, assuming the Freesat PVR box has twin tuners like the Sky + box, as surely it will have.

ATB

Max
 

BrianMc

Established Member
The second cable is used for your Sky+ service which is currently free with your Sky HD subs. So if you cancel SkyHD you will lose the Sky+ features.
That's wrong! Since last July Sky+ is free with ANY level of Sky subscription - from 1Mix upwards
If you cancel your subs in full you will get many free to air channels. These include BBCHD but Im not sure about C4 HD. You may also get Luxe HD and Rush HD I think. As it currently stands you will not get ITV HD with a sub or not on Sky.
You get BBCHD, C4HD (not on Freesat yet!) and Luxe TV as HD channels without a subscription.
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
Freesat has less channels but you probably wont lose anything you would miss except CH4 HD. Yes you will soon gain ITV HD, but it is probably safe to assume that the free channel lineups will be essentially identical within 12 months anyway.

One advantage you will get with Freesat is an EPG uncluttered with Sky subscription channels that cant be viewed, but the bigger benefit for the near future will be the ability to record for free, once you can buy a Freesat HD PVR. Sky could make the recording facility available without subscription on their Sky HD and Sky + boxes, but my guess is they wont do that.

I wouldn't bank on it, if Sky see this as a reason to keep people on board without subs due to people leaving for Freesat, they may well do it. They scrapped the Sky+ charge for all subscribers already. If they do it, there'll be little point in leaving for Freesat for anyone with an HD box, why would they want to spend £300 on another box?

I would expect Sky to scrap the £10 charge for Sky+, it would stop migration to Freesat at a stroke. There wouldn't be any point IMHO.

ATB

Max
 

Jonstone

Prominent Member
Sky will want to keep the recording facilities disabled on their freesat option because it is a good way to kick people who cancel Sky+ subscriptions. Some people may go back to Sky to regain the recording feature of their box. By allowing recording without subscription Sky may even encourage more people with expensive Sky HD packages to cancel subscriptions.

I think this consideration will outweigh their desire to keep the people who already cancelled from buying a Freesat box and switching off the Sky+/SkyHD box. They dont lose any money directly when that happens, they just lose the slim chance that that person might have restarted their subscription. I dont think it is enough to make Sky enable recording at the risk of increased churn.

That would depend on whether sky believe they could seriously hinder the progress of freesat by doing so.

The basic freesat service is not much of a threat to sky as it offers no premium service.

If the number of people who own freesat boxes stays low then the chances of future channels launching on the service expanding its popularity would diminish.

If sky enabled me to use my sky+ box fully without charge on their own freesatfromsky service then I would have no reason to pay for a new freesat stb so I wouldn't be using the freesat EPG so that platform is less enticing to new broadcasters
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
Yeah, the only reason I can think of for me switching from SkyHD to a freesat PVR box would be to save the £10pm Sky+ charge. And perhaps to get ITV HD (is this exclusive to Freesat?). I'm definitely going to ditch my Sky subscription, probably going to get BT Vision and either keep my SkyHD box for BBCHD etc without PVR facilities or get a Freesat PVR later on (depending on whether ITV HD is available on Sky or not probably).
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
I dont think that Sky can "hinder" Freesat because Freesat does not need large numbers of subscribers to acheive its aims. That is why it does not need heavy promotions. There is already a market for supply of non-Sky satellite boxes so they can't really undermine that either.

If Sky want people to choose SkyHD over Freesat HD they will need to reduce the cost of their entry level HD package (which currently stands at £26) while still including some desirable channels in the package such as Discovery HD. If it came down to around £18 I might reactivate my Sky HD subscription rather than buying a Freesat HD PVR.

I'm not sure I can see the logic of your argument there? Sky already have circa 500,000 HD subscribers, so those people must have something there to attract them based on that level of interest. Why would Sky need to reduce their HD subscription either right now, or in the short to medium term? There are currently 18 HD channels on Sky at the moment. Don't forget, Freesat only has BBC HD to offer right now. OK, the Humax box can tune into LUXE HD, but does anyone actually watch that channel? ITV HD is looming on the horizon, but as that is going to be provided on the 'Red Button', I doubt that will offer much HD material in the short term either. Somewhat in the way CH4 HD isn't awash with HD material either, although that's not available to Freesat yet. Freesat as yet, can't even offer the correct regional SD programs on the EPG according to postcode location, so someone in Truro has to watch the news in Birmingham, let alone a decent selection of HD channels. I don't think that Freesat can offer a credible alternative to Sky for HD viewing, in the medium to long term.

So as much as I'd like to see Sky reduce the charges for HD content, I don't see what could make them even consider that option. The four hours of mainly repeats on the HD schedule from BBC HD isn't really competition is it?

I also find it a little strange that you would ditch your Sky HD box, spending another £300 on a Freesat HD PVR, to see programs that you can already view for free on the box you've already got. Unless of course you plan to cancel your Sky subscription completely, in which case you would have to pay for PVR functionallity. I would expect Sky to drop this charge if they see too many people drifting to Freesat, but we'll have to wait and see.

The people who enjoy HD football and HD movies won't be jumping ship any time soon IMHO.

ATB

Max
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
I was not saying that Sky do not have a good offering. They certainly have the best HD service in the UK but at a high price. But how many HDTV sets have been sold in the UK over the last couple of years? I am sure it is a significant multiple of 500,000 so Sky have just scratched the surface of potential HD viewers so far. Most of them will be looking for something cheaper than Sky and will be happy with Freesat.

I didn't say that you didn't think Sky had a good offering. I was just questioning why you thought Sky should discount that good offering, when the alternative is a single channel that only has four hours of mostly repeats a day?


Because not everyone wants the maximum number of HD channels irrespective of cost. I did not say they might reduce the cost of their premium HD service which includes sport and movies. I think that Freesat will make them consider lowering the cost of the entry level HD package. There have been a surprising number of people in the Freesat forums saying they have cancelled Sky HD or are thinking of cancelling to take up Freesat instead.

The HD package costs £10 a month (33p a day), IMHO that's not a great deal of money to pay for 18 HD channels. The HD subscription mirrors your existing SD package, so Sports & Movies are only included if you subscribe to the SD versions of those channels. It's difficult to quantify the 'surprising' number of people that have cancelled Sky HD to go to Freesat from these Forums. Personally, I think that those people would have cancelled anyway. They don't suit the Pay TV model, why would anyone give up 18 HD channels for one part time HD channel? Unless they didn't see the Sky service as value for money, in which case they were prime to cancel anyway. Particularly as BBC HD can be received on the Sky HD box without subscription anyway.

It may not be much but it's subscription free and will already be quite an attractive package for the people with an HDTV who are currently watching freeview only. By this time next year there will be more HD channels on Freesat and HDTVs will be sold with HD Freesat receivers built in at just a little extra cost. How can you think this wont have an impact on Sky HD pricing?

IMHO it won't have an impact on Sky's pricing in the short to medium term, because there's only one four hour HD channel available on Freesat. There is no need for Sky to discount it's product. One thing you haven't considered, is that it could well work the other way. People could take up Freesat, installing a dish for the first time because it's a free service and then realise they want HD Films and HD Sport and ditch Freesat for Sky! The majority of the viewing public will continue to watch Freeview, just as they do now. Recieving TV via an aerial is the norm in the UK and shouldn't be overlooked.


I have started to quite appreciate watching programs like Grand Design on Ch4 HD even though it is not sourced from HD. Video that is upscaled to HD from a high bandwidth SD source is much closer to HD than SD in quality. Purists may moan that it is not real HD but most people will appreciate what their eyes see.

But you won't be able to watch that on Freesat will you? Upscaled or otherwise, because CH4 HD isn't part of the Freesat offering. So the 'purists' won't be able to make a judgement on it. You can watch it on your Sky HD box without subscription though. It may, or may not come to Freesat later.

It is if it's free, and when it is joined by ITV HD, Ch4 HD, Five HD, Filmfour HD etc, it will start to look quite respectable. Of course it will never match the Sky HD premium offering and serious football fans will always have to pay that premium but cost is a factor for most people.

It is free, at the moment the Freesat HD offering is a continuous preview loop and four hours of mainly repeats. Apart from ITV HD, which we know is on the horizon, all the other HD channels are pure speculation on your part. It wouldn't do for me, but for those who don't want to pay for a TV service it will be fine I'm sure.


I have indeed already cancelled my Sky subscription completely and have saved enough to buy an HD PVR box several times over. It was great to have SkyHD when it first launched but once HD-DVD became available I stopped using the film channels and you can only watch so many HD wildlife films on Discovery HD before you feel you've seen them all. Soon I found that I only used Sky HD to watch BBC HD. I know there are many sports fans and hard core Movie fans who love Sky HD and are willing to pay the price but I know from these forums that I am not the only one to have cancelled.

That's fine, as I said earlier, you're obviously one of those people who don't see the Sky offering as value for money and you're right to cancel. You choose to pay more for your movies by buying HD DVD (although they are cheap right now because the format has failed) but ultimately HD media on disk is much more expensive than Sky Movies HD. We've also had films like all six Star Wars movies in HD, I don't think they're available on BD or HD DVD. But Sky HD isn't just about movies and sport, it's about top TV series and documentaries too. I'm quite the opposite to you, I watch very little BBC HD these days. You can only watch repeats of Gardeners World, Jools Holland and Bleak House so many times. BBC was better as a 'Trial', than it now is as a 'Channel'. I was expecting to see 'Rome' & 'Life In Cold Blood' shown in HD to coincide with their showing on BBC One, it never happened.

I have already explained above why I dont think Sky will drop the PVR charge for non-subscribers so I wont repeat it here.

The charge to subscribers was dropped, Sky are quite likely to drop the charges for PVR to non subscribers, it would stop people leaving for Freesat. Why then would people want to ditch a box they had already paid for, to buy another one to receive less channels? It wouldn't make sense and there would always be the possibility that people would re-subscribe, an opportunity that would be lost if people buy into Freesat.

Nobody says they will. It's a strawman. I was talking about the rest of us.

We're agreed on that then! :)

ATB

Max
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
We'll just have to wait and see who is proved right then.

Anyone interested in Freesat HD who has done their homework will know that the cheapest way to get the satellite install is to get Sky's pay-once-watch-forever option. After four months of watching Sky 4 mix package for free they can junk the cheap sky digibox and get the Foxsat HD PVR which should be available by then. But what offers will Sky have when they call up to cancel?

I think Sky will want to tempt them with a basic HD version of the 4 mix package but not many will be willing to pay £29/month if they originally set out to get Freesat HD. So what's the deal going to be and will it be available to everyone or just those who cancel the Sky mix that came with pay-once-watch-forever?

The only point I possibly don't fully agree with, is that someone going for the 'pay-once-forever' deal, won't be going for a Sky HD box. They will be using that method to get a dish and installation for nothing prior to getting Freesat for their HD fix, so they will only go for an SD package. So I don't think a Sky HD 'offer' will come into it. The potential Freesat HD punter won't have been watching Sky HD, only the SD service.

Unless Freesat can do something to increase the HD offering their may well be some disappointed viewers. If Humax incorporate a CAM slot, you might find some people subscribing to Sky for the 18 HD channels after spending £300 (TBC) for only two part time HD channels.

Other than that I pretty much agree with you! :thumbsup:

ATB

Max
 

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