What is Freesat?

Freesat sounds like it is just another make of Freeview box, but it is actually a totally different way of receiving digital TV, without any subscriptions. Both have certain things in common – they have many television channels to choose from, can come in both Plus and HD formats (the former allowing the user to record, pause and rewind live TV whilst the latter gives superior picture quality for those with HD ready TVs) and both need a set top box to receive signals.

The difference comes in how these signals are received. Whilst Freeview can be received via analogue or digital TV aerials, Freesat is transmitted via satellite. This means two main things – firstly there will be a much greater coverage, meaning that almost anyone in the country can ensure they get perfect pictures, wherever they are, and secondly that, to receive it, you will need a satellite dish. For those with digital TV aerials who have struggled to get the picture quality or indeed channel coverage they would like, Freesat may be the perfect answer.

The other differences come in the number of channels that can be received – with Freesat there are literally hundreds of channels to choose from as opposed to Freeview which is currently under 100. It is also possible to get BBC iPlayer direct to the TV meaning that almost any show from the previous seven days can be watched at any time.

Freesat can be installed by any normal aerial installers, so there is no worry about having to get in specific companies who will charge extortionate prices due to their exclusivity.

Whichever you think will suit you better, it is worth talking to experienced and qualified aerial installers first who will be able to inform of the best option for you depending on the area that you live in.

Common Problems – Digital Set Box Crashed?

A common yet easily rectifiable problem when watching your favourite digital television programmes, is for your pictures to freeze or not appear, and your digital set top box (which is used for either Sky, BBC Freesat or Freeview systems) to stop responding to any commands to change the channel or enter the menu.

Digital set top boxes (or satellite receivers in general) are like mini computers, and are prone to crashing which is where the software fails to operate as expected and cannot be operated by traditional methods.

The solution to rectify this problem, and return either your Freeview, Sky or BBC Freesat satellite receiver to a functional state, a reset of the box will be required.

We have outlined below the necessary procedure to perform a reset:

For BBC Freesat, Sky Digital & Freeview Receivers:

  • Unplug the set top box from the power socket for approximately five minutes. This allows the receiver to power down and clear it’s memory
  • Reconnect the set top box and allow the software approximately one minute to load itself correctly
  • Take the receiver off standby mode by pressing the power button on either the box or the remote control.
  • If successful, your digital television channels should be ok and watchable, and you should be able to change channel as expected.

If you have a Sky Digital satellite receiver and the above method didn’t cure your problems, you may need to perform a ‘system download’ to force the box to download the latest software and channels.

To perform a system download for Sky, follow the instructions below:

  • Unplug/Turn off the power supply powering the Sky digital(Sky, Sky+ or Sky HD) receiver.
  • Hold you finger down on the ‘backup’ button located on the front of the receiver (Please note, holding the backup button on the remote control will not work)
  • Reconnect the receiver or turn the power back on at the supply, whilst pressing down the backup button
  • After approximately 15 seconds, lights should appear on the front of your Sky digital receiver, and a message on screen explaining a download is in process – DO NOT SWITCH OFF THE RECEIVER!
  • Allow this process upto 15 minutes to perform fully. Once completed, the Sky digital receiver will automatically go to standby mode by default.
  • Press the power button on your remote control, and your Sky digital viewing service should be resumed!

If the above procedures do not cure your home viewing problems, there may be something else in your digital system which could be causing a disruption to your service, such as, the satellite dish or aerial, cabling or even slight mis-alignment or your satellite dish or TV aerial. A visit from an highly trained Aerialforce engineer can help fully diagnose the fault, and implement a remedial course of action.

Choosing Between Satellite TV Options

If you’re thinking of getting a satellite TV package, you may be wondering which company is best, which channels you want, and how to even decide. Sometimes there is so much information out there it’s difficult to know what to do. But with the help of Aerial Force, you can get advice and assistance with satellite TV options, as well as TV aerial installation or Satellite installation.

If you aren’t sure whether you want Sky TV, Virgin Media, or BT Vision, Aerial Force can help you decide which one is best for you. They can assist you to find which channels most interest you and how to get the best deal on those programs you most want to watch.

With Aerial Force you can also get professional help with Satellite installation or TV aerial installation. They can even help you to set up your digital TV, or multiple TV’s in different rooms, as well as assist you with advice on Freeview, digital, and anything else related to your new TV or Satellite that you don’t understand.

You can even get assistance with mounting your new TV, and Aerial Force is fully insured and liability guaranteed. This way you don’t have to worry about any accidents happening while you are trying to mount your own TV.

With so much help available, you will practically have nothing to do but sit back and watch while Aerial Force gets to work to set up your new media station. Just sit back and enjoy the show!

Don’t Put Up With Signal Problems

Sometimes, TV signals completely cut out, meaning you are unable to watch anything on the box at all. Obviously, in such cases you would quickly get in touch with experts capable of conducting digital aerial repairs, satellite dish repairs and other such things.

If you did not, you would miss out on all the great viewing opportunities available.

However, when problems with your reception are more minor, you might simply put up with them. For example, you may experience poor quality picture, pixelating or freezing. This can be extremely frustrating.

You should not try to live with these difficulties but rather get in touch with us here at Aerialforce. As well as specialising in aerial installations, our specialist team are masters of digital aerial repairs and satellite dish repairs.

When you get in contact with us, we will respond quickly and perform a repair at your property, ensuring that your set is working exactly as it should. This means you can take full advantage of all the services you receive. In most cases, we can be at your property the same day you call us, meaning your experiences of fuzzy and unpredictable viewing will be over before you know it.

Once we have found the fault, we will fix the issue and because our vehicles are fully equipped, you will not have to wait for us to come back for a second visit. Indeed, we can even provide you with a signal booster or upgrade your system to improve your reception during the same visit.

The Benefits of Freesat

Freesat (FS) is a free-to-air satellite digital television service provided jointly by the BBC and ITV. This service is now a very popular digital TV option throughout the UK and is seen as the main competitor to the Freeview terrestrial digital television service. FS has a number of benefits over Freeview, chief among them being that it is available in all areas of the UK, whereas Freeview reception is not possible in some locations.

What’s on offer?

Freeview currently offers 40 digital channels on its digital TV service. FS offers 140 free standard definition digital TV and radio channels, all for a one-off payment, with no contract and no subscription.

What about High Definition TV (HD)?

At present, Freeview can only deliver a basic HD programme output because of its current bandwidth limitations. FS however can offer the very best of BBC and ITV HD programming, including BBC HD, BBC1 HD and ITV1 HD. The successful launch of BBC1 HD now allows the BBC to provide more simulcast HD programming options from its regular BBC1 and BBC2 schedules.

What about recording?

There is no need to worry about missing your favourite programmes. In conjunction with Freesat’s HD service, Humax has launched the HD PVR. This wonderful box of tricks offers similar features to the Sky+ HD recorder, but without having to pay a monthly subscription.

If you would like to know more about digital television services, satellite systems or digital TV aerials, get in touch with us here at Aerial Force.

Freesat versus Freeview. What’s Best for You?

Hot on the heels of Freeview digital TV, Sky has come up with its own subscription-free digital TV option in the form of Freesat, Freesat HD and Freesat+.

Similarly to Freeview, Freesat is received via a set top box. There’s a one-off payment of around £175 (depending on any TV aerial installation costs) and there is no monthly subscription. Included in the one-off payment is the Freesat set top box, mini Sky dish and viewing card (included to make upgrading to Sky TV’s monthly subscription packages as quick, cheap and easy as possible) Of course prices can vary a little depending on what type of TV aerial installation you might require.

Remember a few blog entries ago when we told you about the magnificent 40 channels or Freeview? Sky Freesat boasts a massive 240 channels including music, films, sports, documentaries, and comedy – all the favourites that have made Sky TV the monolith of media we recognise it as today.

The most recent revolutionary addition to the Sky family is Freesat HD. You’ll need to make sure your current Freesat set top box is HD compatible, otherwise an upgrade could be in order.

Also on offer is the fabulous Freesat+ option, with which your remote becomes almost like a magic wand. Freesat+ enables you to record, pause and rewind live TV, and set programmes to record the same show weekly. You could pause Life on Earth while you nip to make a cup of tea, leaving you wondering how you ever lived without Freesat+ set top boxes before.

Freeview, Freesat or Sky. What’s best for you?

The range of TV viewing options available these days is immense. This is great news as it means you are never stuck for choice. There are so many packages available and great programmes to watch that there should always be something on that you like.

However, precisely because of this variety, you might feel daunted and unsure when you have to make a decision concerning what to get for your home.

The more knowledge you have about the different products, the more of an informed selection you will be able to make. One of the options available to you is a Freeview aerial. As its name suggests, this is available at no cost to you. As long as your TV set is capable of receiving digital signal, you can access a range of channels and radio stations for free.

This is ideal if you are on a budget. And let’s face it, the economic conditions in the UK at present are by no means easy, so every penny counts.

However, some people find that this is not sufficient to cater for their demands and they need more channels at their disposal. If this applies to you, you might want to get Freesat. Launched in May 2008, this great offering requires an initial fee to be paid but thereafter, no more cash is required.

With Freesat, you get access to more than 140 channels and radio stations, meaning you are spoiled for choice.

But perhaps the most impressive variety comes with Sky packages. You can tailor them to suit your personal tastes. For example, you can opt for sporting deals, films and other such things. However, as well as paying for Sky installation, you also have to cover monthly fees.

To find out more about all the products, plus our aerial installations and other services, have a look around our website.

Getting Home TV Distribution

Home TV distribution is getting multiple TV’s set up in your home so that you can enjoy your favourite shows and channels in different rooms. Here are just some of the ways this could benefit you.

With multiroom installation, you can have a TV in any room of the house. For instance, if you wanted to you could have a TV in your kitchen so that you could cook while watching one of your favourite cooking programs. Or if you wanted a TV in the family room you can watch a movie as a family, yet still have another TV set in the lounge or bedroom where you can watch shows or movies that are not appropriate for your children without making them feel left out.

If you care for one of your parents or another elderly relative, you could allow them to have a TV In their own room so they can watch their favourite programs and not interrupt you with yours. The same goes for college students coming home for the summer, or, as inevitably many of them will—to live at home again.

Aerial installers can do multiroom installation exactly how you want it. Talk to the company about your ideas and preferences and see what they can do for you. There are many different ways to set it up and you can do it to your specifications.

Many aerial installers also provide other services that can be a big help whether you are buying a new digital TV or getting satellite TV for the first time.

The Bluffers Guide to Digital TV

Digital TV aerials and accessories are as much a part of our lives as cups of tea and slices of buttery toast – we couldn’t live without the joy they bring us! Ok, so maybe that’s pushing it, but adequate TV and media facilities are at the top of every birthday, Christmas and ‘To Do’ list across the country. Here are a few helpful definitions covering everything from digital TV receivers to High Definition TV!

Types of TV

LCD TV’s – The most common format of flatscreen TV. Anything above a 26inch display is suitable for HD (High Definition)

Plasma TV’s – Comparable to LCD TV’s, plasma screens are more popular as larger domestic TV’s. All contemporary plasma screens generally work with HD.

TV Services

Freeview – The most prevalent UK digital TV transmission that can be accessed via your digital TV aerials. A thrifty option since subscription is unnecessary, making your only outlay the Freeview box itself. Another option to consider is Freesat, also subcription free so the only outlay is for the equipment.

HD (High Definition) TV – The highest quality domestic service available. Modern Freeview and satellite boxes tend to come with built-in HDTV capability. Separate HD boxes are available; however, your TV must be HDTV compatible to really see the benefits. If you’re investing in a new TV be sure to look for the ‘HD Ready’ label.

One last thing! Our installers are asked one question on a pretty regular basis – “What’s a SCART cable?” Well, it’s simply a common way to connect your media equipment. It carries stereo sound and picture via a single cable, making it the most efficient connection to use in most circumstances.

Will I Need a New TV Aerial to Receive Freeview?

Although the highly publicised digital switchover is well under way, there is still quite a bit of confusion about exactly how peoples’ TV signals will be affected by the process. Of course, people who receive their TV channels via satellite or cable service don’t need to be too concerned as their digital signals are taken care of by their service providers. But what about Freeview customers who get their TV signals from standard TV aerials?

Well, the chances are that if you currently receive a decent Freeview signal then your TV aerial should still work after the switchover. Even if you don’t get a great Freeview signal at present, you still may not need to buy a new aerial. This is because the current Freeview signal is not strong enough in some parts of the UK for standard TV aerials to pick it up. The Freeview signal will strengthen after the digital switchover, so even more homes will then be able to watch it without having to buy a new aerial. It is estimated that less than 10% of homes will need a new TV aerial to receive Freeview after the switch to digital.

A digital compatible television aerial, combined with a digital television and Freeview set top box installation will ensure your home is ready for the digital switchover. If you are looking for aerial fitters to fit a digital TV aerial, get in touch with Aerial Force and our aerial installations fleet will be able to match your needs.