Wild Pete's Frequently Asked Questions
I'm happy to try to help with any questions you might have - contact me here - but please check to see whether the answer is already proved in the list below.
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Can I receive the German channels I used to get with my old Sky analogue system? Or channels in Spanish, French etc?
Currently the only European channels on the Sky EPG are the French channels TV5 Monde on EPG channel 799 and news channels such as France 24 and Euronews, all designed for an international audience. There are no domestic European channels available. To get foreign domestic channels you really need a bigger dish pointing to another satellite such as Astra 19.2E or Hotbird 13.0E, where there are many channels in German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic etc. A digibox is particularly inflexible when it comes to receiving such channels and newer models will not recognise them at all, so another free-to-air digital receiver is recommended.
For your guidance, I have one 80cm dish with three LNBs. One is connected to my digibox and the other two to a non-Sky receiver, allowing me to view channels from the satellites mentioned above.
Does manual tuning allow me to get subscription channels for free?
No, this is not a way to avoid subscription charges!
Where can I get a complete listing of the frequencies for all channels?
Have a look at Lyngsat, specifically www.lyngsat.com/packages/Sky-UK.html
Do you have a list showing which channels are broadcast free-to-air?
I keep a list available at freetoair.doc but cannot undertake to keep it as up to date as the rest of my site. I usually update it every few months.
Can I receive domestic UK channels in the Republic of Ireland (and elsewhere)?
All viewers can receive the BBC and most of the ITV channels (subject to being within range of sufficient signal) as they are free to air. However, signal strength will likely be a problem for those in continental Europe as most of the channels in question are on the Astra 1N/2F satellites which have footprints tightly focussed on the British Isles.
In Ireland, BBC1 & BBC2 are on the EPG, others can be added via manual tuning - use 10818V 22.0 5/6 for BBC News, 10773H for BBC 4, also 10788V and 10803H for various regions. All the ITV channels (1-4) can be found on 10758V, 10832H, 10891H, 10906V, 10994H and 11053H 22.0 5/6. Few ITV1 regions are available free to air on HD and most use symbol rate and FEC settings incompatible with manual tuning on a Sky receiver.
Channel 4 is on on the EPG in Ireland on channel 135 but otherwise it is free to air on 10714H 22.0 5/6. See also 10729V for Channel 4+1 and other channels in the C4 family (E4 etc).
The Channel 5 family of channels, apart from C5 HD, are all available free to air on 10964H 22.0 5/6.
As with the ITV HD regions mentioned above, BBC HD and BBC One HD have symbol rate and FEC settings incompatible with a Sky receiver and therefore cannot be added by manual tuning (for the record, they are on 10847V 23.0 8/9 and 11023H 23.0 2/3).
General 'Help, I have a problem!' queries
Although I will offer guidance where I can, I am not a satellite engineer or installer so I am limited in what I can tell you when things get too technical. I recommend the following websites for further assistance:
Digital Spy Forums for general news, chat about rumours etc. Includes a sub-forum for technical help
Astra 2D site - offers help to those wishing to receive British channels from abroad