My friend is moving into a flat with work, there is a digital TV ariel but no sky dish, he wants to get sky sports and in HD if possible with sky+ etc or a similar recorder thats like sky+. He owns an HD TV, what are his options please?
A standard TV aerial won't get you any HD services at present. You need to be subscribing to Sky HD with a dish or Virgin Cable. Alternatively you could get FreeSat (which also requires a dish) which is a free service but only gets BBC HD and the occasional ITV HD programmes. This service is free. There are Freesat Boxes to plug into the tv, and there are some TVs with the Freesat facility built in. You will not get Sky sports with this service.
On the horizon is Freeview HD which is picked up with a conventional aerial. You need an additional box to plug into your HD Ready TV. Only small parts of the UK are currently covered. The boxes are available in a couple of months and cost between £130-170. Again you will not get Sky Sports HD or otherwise.
You asked about his 'options'. Actually with his current equipment the answer is none.
The only Sky sports channel on Freeview is Sky Sports News which is a rolling sports news channel. Not matches. Sky sports are only available on subscription services that you pay for on Satellite or cable.
Yes he will have use a dish and subscribe to the appropriate Sky package. I'm pretty sure nothing is available via phone line. Try Tiscali or BT. I don't think they provide a Sky service. There is no such thing as a 'digital aerial' It is simply an ordinary aerial capable of picking up freeview tv. Nothing special about it.
Edit: Tiscali is now Talk Talk and they do provide something. You need a good broadband connection.
is it only pc quality on xbox too, didn't know that.
In that case talk talk TV will be the best option but again you will need decent broadband with a healthy usage limit as it will really eat in to that. In simple the order of quality is as follows:
Sky HD (Will need a dish and cable run but is the only way to get it in HD)
Virgin Media (Will need a cable run and to be in a VM area)
Talk talk TV (Will need good broadband from talk talk)
Sky player (Will need decent broadband plus a pc or xbox but will still receive a fairly poor image)