Search for Help

POLL: Are you ready?

Ready for the switchover?

What's the switchover?

Get our newsletter

Sign up to the Radio and Telly Newsletter for updates about digital TV in the UK

UK Digital TV Switchover: Satellite TV Questions

Free satellite TV

Old Sky box:

Mary Boys asks: "I have a sky box that I don't use for Sky. Can I use it to pick up free channels?"

If you have a Sky dish and a Sky set-top box, you can use this to pick up over 200 "free-to-air" satellite TV channels without a subscription - see the list of free-to-view channels.

You'll need to connect your old Sky box to a satellite dish, and ensure the dish is pointing in the direction of Sky's satellites. More on our Satellite TV page

Freesat , Free Sat , Freeview, Free-to-view?

Yes - confusing we know. Here's some guidance:

  • "Freeview" - This service is delivered via a TV aerial, not a dish. What is Freeview?
  • "Freesat" - This is a satellite service from the BBC and ITV. Nothing to do with Sky, and not as many channels as Sky. More on Freesat
  • Free-to-view - On the satellite used for Sky, there are over 200 channels that can be watched without subscription or a subscription card - see the list of free-to-view channels - you can get these with a dish pointing at the Sky satellites and a decoder (including an old Sky box).

More information:

Answer unclear? Let us know!