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Your TV Choice



With the recent announcement that analogue television broadcasts to the Midlands will cease in 2010, we offer some practical advice for those of you who are now looking to upgrade to digital TV, but donít want to pay a subscription to Sky and canít get reception for Freeview on your normal aerial.

Digital TV on the Cheap (What Sky doesn’t want you to know?)

An article by Mark Kelly.

Some info for anyone, like me, who's had trouble with their TV reception and is considering upgrading to digital TV.

I moved to Barford last summer and have been very happy with my new surroundings, but as most residents are probably already aware, the quality of television reception can leave a lot to be desired. I already had a freeview box, but this was next to useless as my poor reception meant it only worked on a few channels at a time and was prone to cutting out.

I didn’t want to end up paying a Sky subscription for the rest of my days so I looked into getting a better aerial. After talking to several aerial fitting companies in the area it was looking like I’d have to spend something like £300 to get a new aerial mounted extra high on scaffold poles to get a strong enough signal to power my freeview box. I didn’t fancy this because of the cost and due to the thought of having poles mounted on my roof.

I was about to crack and sign up for a Sky subscription, when I found a link on the BBC News website stating that Sky were offering a flat fee freeview service. I found this hard to believe as I’d just been on the Sky website looking at what the cheapest deals would be and had found no mention of this.

In the end it took me several hours to track down and verify that Sky do offer this service, but they seem to be avoiding any promotion of it. The reason for offering it at all was to stop the BBC and/or the government from setting up a satellite freeview service for the 25% of the UK population who cannot get a suitable signal for terrestrial freeview.

The service costs £150 and includes all the required equipment, installation and set-up. There is no contract or monthly fee so there is no more to pay - ever. For this you get perfect reception on the 5 regular channels plus all the new BBC and ITV digital channels plus a wide selection of digital radio stations and assorted free channels for news, shopping, holidays etc. I’ve had it since before Christmas and am very pleased with it. I can even use the BBC interactive (red button) services.

The only down side is having a smallish dish on your south facing wall, but as this is on the back of my house it wasn’t that big a deal and is still better than the scaffold poles!

The details are (which I still have never seen advertised anywhere)

Sky Freesat number 0870 606 1111

The offer should be available at most electrical retailers including Comet, Hughes, Bennetts, and independent electrical and satellite specialists.

or click here for the Sky Freesat website.

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