Freesat versus BSB Sky and installation.

Installation is very easy with Sky, an engineer comes to site and does all the hard work.  The box and installation are usually free to new customers, there maybe a £20 fee.   You can install Freesat yourself and I will explain later or get a Freesat approved engineer into do it.

I used to have Sky, but decided to go with Freesat.   If you like live sport then BSB Sky will give you everything you need for that, however you pay through the nose for it.  Can’t say I have been impressed with the Movies on Sky, same again you pay through the nose, there is a lot of choice, but very little I am interested in.   Sky will always been on your back pestering you to pay more for additional services, I now ignore their sales staff.

The great thing about Freesat is the ease of use, I prefer to BSB Sky.   There is all the ondemand and catch up TV you will need.  They also have Showcase, which brings all the best picks of the week to the front for you to record or view.   It also makes your TV into a Smart TV with downloadable apps, something SKY isn’t able to do.  Ensure that your Freesat box will actually record, many of the don’t and some do if you plug in an additional hard drive.

If you are installing your own Freesat, the first thing you need to do is install a dish.   Find out where your neighbours sat dish’s are pointed and attach to the same wall.   Freesat uses the same satellite as Sky, so if you already have SKY fitted, just change out the Sky box for a Freeesat box, go through the set up menu and you are online.

I installed the following Zone 2 dish.   http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AUHKRZG?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

If you live in England and live anywhere below Manchester a Zone 1 dish is quite adequate.  I preferred to use a Zone 2 dish, which is larger, because they work better in poor weather.

Make sure the dish is well anchored to the wall.   I will add a picture of the installation, as the dish installation instructions were very poor.  It is better to assemble from a picture of the dish.  I am going back up to take a photograph and touch up the damage on the fittings, when I adjusted the dish so it doesn’t rust later.

Next you need to installed coaxial cable from the dish to where the Freesat box is.   I used the following cable:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0083WRX2A?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

It came with the coaxial d connector ends already made off and a number of cable clips.  The signal quality after installation was perfect and this was a 20 meter run.

Attach to the dish at one end, cable clip carefully to the wall.  Drill an hole into the house where you box will be situated, ensuring there will be no pipes or cables where you drill.  I drilled from the inside out, using a 20mm drill I purchased from Screwfix.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/titan-masonry-drill-bits-20-x-400mm/88178

A 15 mmm drill may have been adequate, as you can thread the twin cable through one plug at a time.  I then filled the hole around the cable on the inside to stop damp getting in, using no nails.

Attach the co-axial cables to the Freesat box.  I chose the following box.

http://www.johnlewis.com/humax-hdr-1000s-freetime-smart-500gb-freesat-hd-digital-tv-recorder/p231732135?sku=231732135&kpid=231732135&s_kenid=7b7631d0-eea0-7c89-13d7-0000039d005a&s_kwcid=402×45050&tmad=c&tmcampid=73&kpid=231732135

I purchased from Curry’s.

Switch on the Freesat box and go through the installation process.

You will need to adjust the dish to pick up Astra 28.2.   It is a little more tricky with the Zone 2 dish, because it is more sensitive than a Zone 1 dish.   Purchase a Satellite finder meter from screwfix or else where.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/slx-satellite-finder-meter/27154

Astra 28.4 and 28.2 are so close together, it can be tricky to get the right one.

Connect the Satellite finder meter to the Dish using a short F cable.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/satellite-lead-f-plug-to-f-plug-1m/61186

Then connect the other side of the satellite finder meter to the coaxial cable that goes back to your Freesat box.

Point the Freesat in the same direction as the other houses on your street, then move side ways and horizontally to get the best signals.  Follow the instructions with your meter.  Then move the LNB either clock wise or anti clockwise to pick up the best signal.

I struggled to differentiate between Astra 28.2 and 28.4.  So I connected the Dish to my TV and Freesat box which I could see through the bedroom window, as my dish was on top of a flat kitchen roof.

It maybe tricky to find the signal but keep trying and you will succeed, there is plenty of instructions on the internet to help you.

This web site link will give you information on finding the satellite direction.

http://www.dishpointer.com/

It probably helps that I did an Electronics apprenticeship at British steel in the 1980’s and find technology easy to pick up, you may one to call in an expert yourself.

Enjoy your new Freesat box.

All the best

Tim

 

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