Can You Really Get Satellite TV for Free?

by Jeremy Roche - Date: 2008-10-16 - Word Count: 464 Share This!

I'm sure you've seen the adverts for free satellite TV. Digital switchover is almost upon us and that will mean that our old TVs just won't pick up signal anymore. One of the ways around this is to get a satellite dish installed and then watch TV through a satellite feed, rather than purchase an expensive new TV that can pick up the digital signal. By now, you've probably seen the freesat from sky adverts and maybe even the freesat adverts. Both promise free satellite TV, but is really free?

<b>Freesat from Sky</b>
The deal is you pay a one off charge of £75 and then you get a satellite dish and a viewing box from Sky. Sky is the most known name in satellite TV in the uk. For your money, you get to watch around 230 TV stations through the skydecoder box. So, obviously this is not entirely free. Not bad you may think given that it is only £75, but there is a catch; you are automatically subscribed to a premium mix of channels which you get for free for a few months. You have to remember to cancel this subscription before the trial period ends or you will get a recurring charge on your credit card. If you cancel, you still get to keep the decoder box and can continue to watch the free to view channels.

<b>Freesat from Channel 4 and ITV</b>
In one of the biggest marketing blunders, Channel 4 and ITV launched what they call Freesat, but allowed sky to advertise its free satellite service as freesat from Sky. As a result, the real Freesat is very much unknown. With Freesat, you again need a satellite dish and a decoder box. If you already have a Sky dish left by a previous property owner, you can use that one because it is pointed to the same direction that the freesat service is broadcast on. The Freesat decoder box will set you back between £50 and £150 pounds depending on which one you chose to buy and what features you want. Then you get subscription free channels, mostly just the usual terrestrial channels, but there are a few other free to view satellite channels in the mix.

So, free satellite TV is a myth. What they really mean is free to view, once you've paid for the equipment. Which option is better for you? Well, if you already have a satellite dish that is not being used, you can get a cheap Freesat decoder and off you go. If you don't yet have a satellite dish installed then freesat from Sky is a better option for you. Of course, you could forget all about satellite TV and just purchase a new TV that can receive digital broadcast, but that's a whole different article.

Related Tags: satellite television, freesat

Jeremy is a freelance computer programmer and part time bedroom philosopher. Look at his blog on freesat

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