Monday, 14 April 2008


Freesat and Sky is another hot question put to us because of so much rumours about Freesat HD digital boxes.
Here is the answer we have given out to hundreds of you;
Yes you can have both Freesat and any other satellite provider as long as you have the correct equipment. The obvious one is those with Sky and who chose their multiroom package automatically received a quad LNB fitted to their satellite dish. The quad LNB is exactly that, and you can run four connections from it which in many cases with multiroom has an empty connection on the LNB which you can use to connect your FReesat connection. You can also use a piece of hardware called an AB switch either manual or auto, the AB switch costs about £6 and it is used by connecting both your Sky coax cable and your NEW Freesat coax cable, the third connection point in the AB switch comes from the satellite dish. If you press the Freesat remote the AB auto switch takes over and allows free access to your Freesat box and when you press your Sky remote again the AB switch takes over and you get full access to the Sky platform, switch one of the Receivers off and the AB switch takes over and allows access to your chosen receiver you have left on.
Another less well known method is to use a loop through and this works very well, and can save you a lot of expense, and here is how it works.
For this method we assume you have either a multi-sat system or a standalone free to air satellite receiver with two LNB connection points namely, LNB In and Loop.
The loop is used for all sorts of hardware and can avoid problems with cross modulation, poor sound etc..
Simply cut a length of coax cable long enough with a little extra to connect it without kinks or hard bends..attach on both ends an f-connector, one goes into the LNB IN point in the back of your NEW Freesat box and one goes into your stand alone satellite receiver which has two possible F-connections either screw on or slip on (you can buy slip on connectors which are much easier to work with in tight corners). Using the stand alone as the master, ie; use the loop in it to piggy back onto the signal coming down from the satellite dish into your NEW Freesat HD digital box.
So your set-up should be: Satellite dish...>LNB...>Stand alone satellite receiver...>NEW Freesat HD digital box...>HD TV set.
This set-up will allow you to still use and get HD through your NEW Freesat HD digital box as the satellite stand alone is only a loop through but obviously it will not upscale or make any difference to your stand alone satellite receiver unless of course it is already an HD receiver. You make sure your stand alone satellite receiver is on standby while using the Freesat box. To use the "stand alone", satellite receiver switch off or to standby on your Freesat receiver.
To help you further we have made a full tutorial for both motorised and single position satellite dishes, but as we always say if after reading this a couple of times you feel it maybe too awkward or difficult, ask your local arial installer to erect it for you and it is very wise to go for a fully fledged professional with the CAI qualifications.
Is it news to you? Then you read it here first!

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