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Old 10-03-2004, 03:25 PM   #1 (Print)
cwaring
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FTV/FTA UK Satellite TV

I've done a quick Google, but can't seem to find anything relevant

Could someone update me on the current situation regarding getting the standard five UK channels via satellite without subscribing to Sky.

I know that the BBC has gone FTA (or is that FTV?) but what about the other channels? Can one still get all of them with or without a card? etc. Links to relevant web sites always a plus!!

Thanks.

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Old 10-03-2004, 04:19 PM   #2 (Print)
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Hi Carl,

Try this link:

http://www.wickonline.com/fta.htm

I thought I heard Sky were going to do something about offering a freeview package a while ago, but can't find anything to back it up!

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Old 10-03-2004, 05:03 PM   #3 (Print)
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Yes, but at £150 (the last figure I saw quoted) for the five basic channels - and aload of FTA/FTV channels that you don't need Sky for - they can get stuffed

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Old 10-04-2004, 01:18 AM   #4 (Print)
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I didn't know they were going to ask £150, does that include installation as well?

Are you thinking of saying goodbye to cable ?
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Old 10-04-2004, 02:02 AM   #5 (Print)
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A new model Panasonic DigiBox goes for about £80 on eBay ( older models for less ) you would then have to find someone to supply and fit a dish, LNB and cable run.

If Sky decide to sell the FreeToView cards alone then this would be a far cheaper way of getting FreeSat.
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:08 AM   #6 (Print)
cwaring
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Quote:
Originally posted by Regor
Are you thinking of saying goodbye to cable ?

Never!

It's for my parents. When they're in the UK they live in Knaresborough which has a really poor terrestrial signal quality so we (well, I ) am looking into all the alternatives.

He already has an old Panasonic box (DB30? I think! something like that) so would just need a UK dish.

He also has one of the last - possibly the peniltimate - series of BBC Cards. Would this still work?

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Old 10-04-2004, 03:20 AM   #7 (Print)
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The new service is provisionally called "FreeSat" and there are strong rumours that the BBC are in discussions with Sky regarding making it a BBC-Sky joint venture.

If this is the case then I'd hazard a guess that additional free channels will be made available.
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:21 AM   #8 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cwaring
Yes, but at £150 (the last figure I saw quoted) for the five basic channels - and aload of FTA/FTV channels that you don't need Sky for - they can get stuffed


Freeview:

Decent box: £60-£100, Aerial upgrade: £60-£150, result: five basic channels and loads of FTV stuff.

What's the difference?
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:31 AM   #9 (Print)
groovyclam
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There are pluses and minuses to both systems.

Ordinary Sky Box:

1) Will probably cost more to obtain/setup than a FreeView box
2) Interactive content is far better on Satellite than FreeView due to limitation of FreeView bandwidth
3) Channel lineup is yet to be confirmed but will probably not have UKHistory, UKBrightIdeas, FTN or the two FreeView music channels
4) Has Horror channel, other music channels, some minority sports channels and loads of radio channels
5) Has series links and autochange channel as standard which is useful for VCR users

FreeView:

1) Generally a bit cheaper and easier to set up
2) Transportable between addresses without much hassle as long as aerial reception is OK
3) No series links unless you get a FreeView PVR
4) Interactive content more limited
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Old 10-04-2004, 04:29 AM   #10 (Print)
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Get them Sky+ installed for £99.00

http://www.skyplus.co.uk



Automan.
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Old 10-04-2004, 04:39 AM   #11 (Print)
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Re: FTV/FTA UK Satellite TV

Quote:
Originally posted by cwaring
I've done a quick Google, but can't seem to find anything relevant

Could someone update me on the current situation regarding getting the standard five UK channels via satellite without subscribing to Sky.

I know that the BBC has gone FTA (or is that FTV?) but what about the other channels? Can one still get all of them with or without a card? etc. Links to relevant web sites always a plus!!

Thanks.


BBC TV and Radio transmissions on Digital Satellite are FTA (Free-to-Air) - in other words un-encrypted. Any DVB-S receiver should be able to receive them, but a Sky Digital box is required for the EPG and Digital Text services. A viewing card is only required if you wish to have the correct versions of BBC One and Two mapped to 101 and 102 (rather than appear in the 940s-960s) - a card-free Sky box will show all BBC services, but will map BBC One London and BBC Two England to 101 and 102!

S4C Digidol is also FTA.

ITV1, Channel Four and Five are all encrypted on digital satellite, but are not part of any subscription package (i.e. the broadcasters don't get any money for carriage) They are FTV (Free-to-View) and require a viewing card and a Sky Digital box for reception.

FTV cards were available easily when the BBC was also FTV (rather than being FTA) - but at the same time that the BBC moved to FTA broadcast Sky updated all their viewing cards. For a short period series 2 FTV cards were made available for about £23 - but this was a shortlived deal designed for existing FTV viewers to upgrade to the new card series.

Sky have announced a "Freesat" service - which is basically a FTV card (that used to be provided free - subsidised by the BBC not Sky) and Sky Box. No announcement if the cards will be supplied separately, and recent rumblings suggest the roll-out may be quite low-level (even on a regional basis)

Another option is to subscribe to Sky on the minimum sub, for the minimum period, (which may be a month if you supply and fit your own receiver?), as when you cease to subscribe your card SHOULD remain with ITV1, C4 and Five access rights (as these aren't part of your subscription deal)

There ARE rumours that ITV are considering following the BBC's deal when their encryption deal with Sky finishes - but Channel Four and Five have already externded their Sky deals I believe.

NB : Many of the other Freeview (i.e. DTT) channels (ITV2, UK History, UK Bright Ideas, ftn, TMF, The Hits) are NOT FTA or FTV on Sky Digital - though the BBC services, the shopping channels, Sky News and ITV News Channel are.
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Old 10-04-2004, 04:44 AM   #12 (Print)
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Re: Re: FTV/FTA UK Satellite TV

Thanks for that, Sneals, but....

Quote:
Originally posted by Sneals2000
... a Sky Digital box is required for the EPG and Digital Text services.


... please clarify this statement. Do you mean a "satellite receiver specifically purchased from Sky" or just any box as long as it is theoretically capable of receiving Sky's UK transmissions? Sorry to sound dense but although I know everything about TW, I know a lot less about Sky

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Old 10-04-2004, 04:45 AM   #13 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Automan
Get them Sky+ installed for £99.00


No point. They have just bought the "better system", ie a Tivo

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Old 10-04-2004, 09:38 AM   #14 (Print)
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Re: Re: Re: FTV/FTA UK Satellite TV

Quote:
Originally posted by cwaring
Thanks for that, Sneals, but....



... please clarify this statement. Do you mean a "satellite receiver specifically purchased from Sky" or just any box as long as it is theoretically capable of receiving Sky's UK transmissions? Sorry to sound dense but although I know everything about TW, I know a lot less about Sky


As already said any DVB S box will pick up the BBC channels as they are FTA. The digital text and interactive services however require software on the STB. Only Sky boxes have the required software.

ITV3 will not be on Dsat for approx 6 months after its launch.

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Old 10-04-2004, 09:45 AM   #15 (Print)
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Re: Re: Re: Re: FTV/FTA UK Satellite TV

Quote:
Originally posted by blokedownthepub

As already said any DVB S box will pick up the BBC channels as they are FTA. The digital text and interactive services however require software on the STB. Only Sky boxes have the required software.
Ahh. Gotcha!

ITV3 will not be on Dsat for approx 6 months after its launch.
Don't know about cable, but I guess the same time-frame. Damn! I might need "The Bill" repeats at some point

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Old 10-04-2004, 11:14 AM   #16 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cwaring
No point. They have just bought the "better system", ie a Tivo

TiVo has an analogue terrestrial tuner.

Sky+ has a digital satellite tuner with the card slot and software which is essential if you want to decrypt the FTV Sky stations intended for the UK. Plenty of point in that, even if you never record a single program.
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:40 PM   #17 (Print)
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don't you have to subscribe to the sky+ service though, even to record the basic FTA/FTV channels.

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Old 10-04-2004, 04:19 PM   #18 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by pgogborn
TiVo has an analogue terrestrial tuner.

Sky+ has a digital satellite tuner with the card slot and software which is essential if you want to decrypt the FTV Sky stations intended for the UK. Plenty of point in that, even if you never record a single program.


So how does everyone on here use their Tivo with a satellite system then? (You will notice I didn't actually mention any brand names. I assume that I can record from any satellite box that has a SCART OUT socket!

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Old 10-04-2004, 05:35 PM   #19 (Print)
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No, you can only record from Sky boxes as TiVo doesn not have the IR codes for the generic free satellite STBs.

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Old 10-05-2004, 02:38 AM   #20 (Print)
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Okay. So, I assume that Tivo won't have the codes for a Panny DB30 as I don't think this is a standard "Sky box"?

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Old 10-05-2004, 03:44 AM   #21 (Print)
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A skybox is a skybox is a skybox.

The same Grundig IR codes for SkyDigital work for *ALL* makes and models of SkyBox from when SkyDigital was first launched upto now. The only difference is the older a box is, the slower it is to react to the IR. First generation boxes have to use the slow version of the Grundig codes for successful channel change.

If the satellite box isn't a SkyBox then TiVo isn't going to work it ( unless by coincidence one of the other sets of codes happen to drive it )
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Old 10-05-2004, 03:55 AM   #22 (Print)
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I get that, but how do I know if this Panny DB30 is a "Sky Box". Does that term apply only to boxes bought (or given) as part of subscribing to Sky? It was bought seperately and has never been used for a Sky sub, as far as I know.

Sorry to be thick, but I need to be able to tell my dad if he should try and sell the box over in Spain before carting it back here!!

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Old 10-05-2004, 04:02 AM   #23 (Print)
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Sky boxes have "Sky" written on them.

I'm pretty sure mine is a TU-DSB30; certainl looks like this.


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Old 10-05-2004, 04:43 AM   #24 (Print)
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Right. Just clarified things with me dad. (That's not bad grammar, that's how we speak here in Yorkshire! )

It's a Panasonic DB30, does not specifically say "Sky" on the box but does have a blue Sky Digital card in it.

We received the card through the BBC when they were giving them away to watch the FTA (or FTV, whichever!) channels in Spain but he never got it set up. It doesn't say "Sky" on the box.

Is he screwed (as they say in the US!) ?

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Old 10-05-2004, 06:10 AM   #25 (Print)
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That sounds like an old card. The newer cards have a picture of a yellow house on them and are a darker blue. AFAIK you can't get one of these at the moment without subscribing.
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Old 10-05-2004, 06:54 AM   #26 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cwaring
Right. Just clarified things with me dad. (That's not bad grammar, that's how we speak here in Yorkshire! )

It's a Panasonic DB30, does not specifically say "Sky" on the box but does have a blue Sky Digital card in it.

We received the card through the BBC when they were giving them away to watch the FTA (or FTV, whichever!) channels in Spain but he never got it set up. It doesn't say "Sky" on the box.

Is he screwed (as they say in the US!) ?


I suspect the remote control has a big button at the top with "SKY" written on it!

If the card came from the BBC then it will no longer work - as the BBC only really issued series 1 cards when they were FTV (i.e. encrypted but not charging subscription for viewing). Now they are FTA (i.e. unencrypted) a card is not required. (There was a very brief period where it was possible to get a FTV Series 2 card from the BBC - as a replacement for a failed series 1 FTV card - as there was a brief overlap window. )

In other words your dad's receiver will receive the BBC services (without a card) and the other FTA services (Sky News, CNN, ITV News, Shopping channels etc.) but will not receive ITV1, Channel Four and Five, which are FTV services (which require a card)

If you subscribe to the cheapest Sky package for the minimum period you will be supplied with a viewing card, which should continue to receive ITV1, Channel Four and Five (and also correctly map the correct BBC One region to 101 in the EPG) when the subscription is ceased. (Sky shouldn't deactivate non-subscription channels when you cease subscription - but neither do they have any obligation to assist with reception via a helpline?)

If you don't want to subscribe for any period then I suspect the advice is to wait and see what happens to existing card-less box owners under the new Sky freesat option.
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Old 10-05-2004, 07:25 AM   #27 (Print)
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Thanks all

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Old 10-05-2004, 07:26 AM   #28 (Print)
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According to an e-mail quoted in this thread (fifth post down) on Digital Spy. FTV cards will be available later this year for a payment of £20.

http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board...ad.php?t=157204

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Old 10-05-2004, 11:26 AM   #29 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by woody
don't you have to subscribe to the sky+ service though, even to record the basic FTA/FTV channels.

Yes, but at the moment it is not zero cost to obtain a FTV Sky card (or indeed a basic Digibox) - it is up to the buyer to decide if there are circumstances in which a package that includes recurring costs can represent better value than only initial fixed costs when setting up Sky FTV viewing.

Now, if the Sky+ subscription includes a basic viewing card, I do not know for sure, but until now I have assumed it does, as a viewing card is required to watch recorded programs.

By the way, I would not be surprised if some naughty people have hacked their TiVos to control non Sky satellite boxes with EPG info for stations whose footprint is not centered on the UK.
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Old 10-06-2004, 05:19 PM   #30 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by pgogborn
Yes, but at the moment it is not zero cost to obtain a FTV Sky card (or indeed a basic Digibox) - it is up to the buyer to decide if there are circumstances in which a package that includes recurring costs can represent better value than only initial fixed costs when setting up Sky FTV viewing.

Now, if the Sky+ subscription includes a basic viewing card, I do not know for sure, but until now I have assumed it does, as a viewing card is required to watch recorded programs.

By the way, I would not be surprised if some naughty people have hacked their TiVos to control non Sky satellite boxes with EPG info for stations whose footprint is not centered on the UK.


When FTV cards it was almost impossible to subscribe to Sky+ but NOT subscribe to Sky for programming. I DO know someone who managed it - and they managed to get a Series 2 FTV card as a result.

A Sky+ subscription, and thus a valid card, is required to record even the FTA or FTV channels using Sky + (the box will just act like a normal Sky box - albeit with different personal planner stuff and an optical digital output - PCM or DD5.1/2.0). I'm not sure if it is possible to get a FTV Sky+ card these days though by subscribing to just Sky+ - I don't think it is for new Sky+ subscribers.
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