Moving from Sky Digital to Freeview, worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by MAD ANDY, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. MAD ANDY

    MAD ANDY
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    Hi all

    currently have Sky Digital and refuse to pay extra for Sky+ and Multiroom etc as I havent been impressed with Sky's channels per cost for the last few years.

    Anyway, noticed E4 is now free on FV, and as most of the channels that we watch on Sky are on FV anyway, seems to make sense to make the move ie £234 per year for Sky, compared to a one off payment for FV, and if I go for the FusionDigital box from Currys for £130, I get a Sky+ style 80GB hard drive and twin tuner too!

    However...

    I live in a new house now two years old, and as we had Sky put in straight away we never got round to installing a TV aerial, there seemed no point! Now that I realise an aerial is needed, I know I have the option of either an outdoor or indoor, and from searching the threads general consesus is that an outdoor aerial is always going to be far superior to an indoor aerial (loft mounted), but if this costs what I think it will, I will be paying more cash out for the box and the aerial than Sky... for less channels! I have checked on the dti website and found I am 25m/40Km away from Winter Hill transmittor at Bolton (which appears to be the most powerful transmittor on there, this right?) so with this distance in mind (assuming this is classed as a big distance!), would I be kidding myself by trying to fit a loft aerial? should I just go straight for a quote for a outdoor aerial? and ultimately, is it worth having over Sky?

    I noticed most boxes come with a Now and Next guide, but I like the idea of having one similar to Sky and noticed some come with an electronic 7 day guide, can someone explain how this works? ie I assumed the only reason most had a Now and Next was because thats all the information that was broadcast, so how do some have 7-day guides? and are they similar in functionality to Sky ie able to set reminders etc?

    Lastly, can I fit the aerial myself? or do I need some sort of special frequency scanning device to work out the height and direction needed?

    if so, and I get an installer to fit one, whats the best setup to cable to 4 rooms so that I can install seperate FV boxes in the near future for individual viewing?

    many thanks

    Andy
     
  2. nig28

    nig28
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    Hi
    Are you aware that you can cancel sky, keep the sky box and still recieve some (no E4) free channels. If you have it in more than one room you could do this and get freeview in one room to get the E4.
    A simple (ROOF) aerial to one room ect , should not cost too much.
    I have no experience of 7 day EPG and hard discs.

    Nigel
     
  3. MAD ANDY

    MAD ANDY
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    Hi

    yep I am now, they gave me this website when I phoned up about cancelling:

    http://www.freesatfromsky.com

    I was always aware that you received some free channels when leaving Sky, but didnt realise they had a 'freeview' equivalent, only freesat as you rightfully say uses the existing equipment which is good (card costs £20) and also, there are 120 TV channels & 80 radio channels compared to freeviews 27 TV channels and 24 radio, and of course you get to keep all the Sky interactive features! Not having E4 is a bit of a downer, but the woman on the phone to freesat mentioned she believes its only free on freeview due to big brother, and that it will be removed again one this is over...
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The disadvantage though is you can't use a dual tuner HDD Freeview box to act as Sky+!

    E4 is staying free on Freeview - and will eventually become free on FreeSat once their contract with Sky expires.
     
  5. Chris Johns

    Chris Johns
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    To get Freeview you need a good strong terrestial signal.
    I doubt a indoor aerial will do unless you are very near a transmitter.
    Check out
    www.wolfbane.com/cgi-bin/tvd.exe?
    You could also ask a local Aerial firm their opinion.
    If a neighbour has an aerial, borrow a Freeview box from somewhere & try it in their house?
    Possibly the Aerial firm will have one?
     
  6. ad47uk

    ad47uk
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    You can not really compare the freesat with Freeview.
    so you may get lots more channels on Freesat, most of them are not really worth while, hundreds of shopping channels and other junk. Freeview, may have fewer channels, but at least it have got more that are worth while.

    UKhistory,
    ABC1 (mornings only)
    E4 (why anyone is bothered about this one I do not know)
    and other, plus your normal channels and and Itv and BBCs digital channels.

    The only problem with Freeview is the signal can be a bit iffy and the picture quality can be a bit naff.

    The good thing about Freeview is that you can buy a Sky+ style box and have most of the features of Sky+ and it will not cost you an extra £10 a month.

    You can stick the aerial up yourself, most of te time, they point in the same direction as analouge, so you should only have to look around where you live to find out which way they point. Do not fall of the roof, it is along way down.
    To allow other boxes to be connected, you will need some sort of distribution unit, which is normal just a box, that all the aerial plugs in and cables comes of it to the rooms you want the Freeview box in.



    Most boxes will now receive the 7 day guide, just make sure when you buy it, some cheap ones , have still only got the now and next guide. EPGs differ on each make of box. It is not like Sky where they are all the same. Maybe it is best to pop into somewhere like Currys or Comet and ask for a demostration.



    I have got Sky myself and I am thinking of giving it up after September, but I have also got the Thomson Freeview PVR box, which will give me most of the channels I want.
    I will not get Sky +, I do not see why I should pay an ectra £10 a month just to record, which is why I got myself a DVD/HDD recorder. I know I can only record one channel at a time, but the twin tuners on the Thomson and since most of T.v recording is from the Freeview channels anyway.
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I have the picture on Freeview to be considerably better than Sky - mainly on the BBC channels.

    Entirely agree on your comments of Freesat v Freeview though - the latter is better as (depending on your box) you can rearrange channels to suit, get better PQ (on BBC channels) and use PVRs/DVDRs with integrated tuners for free!
     
  8. DRGL

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    If you want 7 day EPG go for the Sony box-it's VERY fast. I also have a Pioneer box which is fine for now&next but seems slow on the new 7 day EPG. Some boxes are also very slow at changing channels-the Sony & Pioneer are both very quick ;)
     
  9. MAD ANDY

    MAD ANDY
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    I'm 40Km's/25miles away so assuming in frequency terms thats not classed as near :(

    Good point, never thought of that!

    thats how I am starting to think actually

    Obviously the Big Brother for most, but its just the Second Chance Sunday catch-ups and some week-ahead-of-channel-4 type Friends programs etc, so a good channel :)

    again another massive benefit, especially for those of us who havent invested in a DVD recorder yet and still on VCR etc

    Good tip on the falling ;) however one silly question, I have a 3 storey house next to me in the direction the way the aerials are pointing, and high tree's behind me, will this make a difference ie should I be pointing the aerial in a LOS direction without the house in the way? Also is there a "DIY aerial installation guide" as although i could get the ladders and physically bolt it to the wall, no idea how high it should be, or where to find the current RF cable in the loft which has never been used (will the builders have tied it up somewhere?)

    Is this the 'amp' or is that just to boost a poor signal, rather than a perfectly good signal to many destinations? and where can I buy one?

    You'd be surprised looking at Comet and Currys!

    Can you explain a bit more on this one? ie assuming you mean you could have BBC1, 2, 3, ITV1, 2, 3 & Channel 4, E4, E4+1 all next to each other for instance, rather than spread around the menu? If so, which boxes? Shame there isnt a website somewhere comparing these

    Which Sony? as the stand-up or sit-down version available at Currys and Comet doesnt appear to have 7 day EPG, and after looking at the back of it, the spec is pretty naff in comparison to cheaper models ie it doesnt even have RCA sound out on it!

    cheers
     
  10. DRGL

    DRGL
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    There's only one Sony and it does have 7 day EPG. There is a digital output and that's about it. No RF Modulator so needs to be connected via SCART(why wouldn't you anyway??!!) The EPG and picture quality is very good.
     
  11. MAD ANDY

    MAD ANDY
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    wonder why its not stated on Comet or Currys website rather than just Now and Next?

    Scart only, of course!!! but I want composite RCA sound out as currently I connect my RCA out from the Sky box to my DVD player, hence if I have MTV or radio on via Sky I can channel it through the surround sound, hence a freeview box that will only let me play sound through the TV is no use unfortunately :( unless the digital out is for sound? if so, what type of lead is required as I would have to check my DVD player for compatibility
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes - I have my channels arranged BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 etc rather than the normal potmess. Don't know how many boxes let you do this - I have the Sony which (obviously) does - you can also 'delete' channels you don't want (Top Up TV).
     
  13. DRGL

    DRGL
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    Digital out is for sound,TOS link i think?? Deffo has 7 day EPG!!! Don't trust Currys for tech specs!!
     
  14. Maff et1

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    I have the sony box (that and a Toppy 5800 PVR), and picture quality is very good. It's also fast and reliable.

    Sound output is a hybrid socket, acts as a toslink or stereo phono (headphone style). Freeview doesn't broadcast full surround sound, only pro logic. I don't know if it can't or there simply isn't the bandwidth at the moment to do it.
     
  15. bradavon78

    bradavon78
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    If you need an aerial big deal. It's a one of cost and will work out about the same as £150 from Sky for their one off cost.

    Freeview box for £30 + £120 (roughly) for aerial upgrade. If you don't want to go the Sky or Cable route (assuming you can get it) then Freeview is your best bet. Assuming you're not very unlucky and can't pick Freeview up then Freesat is your only choice but those places are few and far between.

    I wouldn't trust what the Freeview coverage checker says. Plus the quality is better on Freeview.

    Yes if you're only looking at quantity. The quality of the 27 channels is vastly superior to the 120 channels Sky offer.

    Have you seen the 120 channels? They're utter crud. Off the top of my head you could 2 music channels, 3 24 hour news channels, a history channel, E4 etc . . . none of which you could on Sky.

    Sure you get more channels but you'll have trouble finding anything to watch on Freesat bar Channels 1-5 + ITV2, BBC3 and BBC4.
     

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