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Alternatives to "Sky"

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by "M", Nov 30, 2016.

  1. "M"

    "M" Total Gardener

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    We have a basic Sky "variety" package and recently I've noticed that we are paying quite a lot per month for, not only a pretty basic package, but also an antiquated Sky box (non HD) and total lack of substance!

    So, having spoken to half a dozen different operatives at Sky (add call costs plus time) the very best I have been offered simply doesn't cut the mustard (IMHO). The charges are high, the equipment "reconditioned" (at best!) and I just don't know that it is justifiable any longer. Speaking to operatives, who are reading from a screen, isn't confidence inspiring to say the least! But, when they reach the point of stating they could send me a box for free but "can't guarantee it will work with the WIFI" was the point where the call ended (at 12p per minute it wasn't a moment too soon either!).

    Anyway: I've suggested to Mr "M" that, perhaps, Freeserve+ would be the route to go to suit our current circumstance. Does anyone have that? Or, perhaps you have FreeSat? Any recommendations?

    Ultimately, we wish to reduce the viewing costs by as much as possible. Movies/sports are not on the agenda. Nor is Children's TV.

    We (read *he*) would like the option of being able to record a couple of programs at a time (even if you have to have one of them on the channel you are viewing - so, you could watch a recording while two programmes are being recorded). Not that it happens often, but we have grown used to it with Sky.

    Also, if buying a FreeSat box, it states you need a satellite dish. Isn't that what I have with the Sky dish already? Do they convert? :scratch: Would I need to *do* something with the sky dish to make it compatible with a FreeSat box? :scratch:

    Thank you for any useful hints/tips you are able to give this (rather thick/out of date) wench! :heehee:
     
  2. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller Cuddly 'NEW SHED' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    It depends on what you watch really - the Freeview platforms are pretty good (they do Freeview+ and Freeview Play - the first tends to be a box that records stuff to an internal hard drive in the same way that your Sky box does now; the latter is an 'on demand' type where your broadband connection is used to stream past programs at the time you want to watch them rather than having anything actually recorded.

    FreeSat - yes, your existing satellite dish would work, all you should need to do is plug the incoming dish cable(s) into the back of the FreeSat box and it should then work. My experience with FreeSat is quite a long time ago though, so it might be a bit different now.

    I would almost guarantee that once you go through to cancel, you will be offered a stunning deal by Sky - - you have to be prepared to actually cancel the contract though, as they often let you go all the way through and then give you a call a week or so after it has gone off to try and tempt you back.....

    In addition to any of the Freeview/FreeSat options, you might also want to consider an Amazon FireStick - that gives access to a lot of free, on demand stuff and you can install other apps to increase that further. Feel free to PM me at any time if I can help.
     
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    • clueless1

      clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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      Have you looked at the Amazon Fire stick? I haven't got one yet but going to. You apparently don't need Prime. You get all the usually terrestrial on demand channels and I think Argos are selling them for 25 quid at the minute.
       
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      • Fat Controller

        Fat Controller Cuddly 'NEW SHED' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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        @clueless1 - get one, get KODI (free) installed (and give me a shout if you need more info on what KODI can do)
         
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        • Linz

          Linz Total Gardener

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          I got rid of Sky and my TV License a long time ago now and never looked back, this may not be the best option for everyone as you do need a license to watch LIVE TV (which I don't).

          I did have a Youview box but it never got used (it was free with a talktalk package I took), haven't tried freesat but when I looked into it there was a hefty installation fee for the dish, never done freeview and Virgin is not in my area.

          Current set up is an Xbox one and have been viewing on demand programmes on the apps available to download, such as All4, BBC iplayer, Netflix and Amazon video.. again this may not be the best option for some as on BBC iplayer some programmes get deleted after 30 days and not everything is available when you would like it to be ( such as Formula 1 on All4....) and being a video game console!

          My sister has a Fire stick and has downloaded Kodi, she swears by it and is trying to tempt me into getting one. You don't need to have a Prime account but you do need one to watch Prime exclusives (same as the amazon video app on xbox) such as The Grand tour, Mr robot, Man in the High Castle etc etc..

          This is no help what so ever... :roflol:
           
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          • clueless1

            clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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            The law has changed recently. You now need a licence for on demand TV too. I'm sure there are exemptions, but it might be worth checking.
             
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            • Linz

              Linz Total Gardener

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              :yikes: No way! Will look into it asap. Thank you.
               
            • Linz

              Linz Total Gardener

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              From 1 September 2016, you will also need a TV licence to watch on-demand or catch-up programmes on BBC iPlayer. You don’t need to buy a TV licence if you only use your TV to watch DVDs, or you purely use non-BBC on-demand services such as Netflix, the ITV Hub or All 4.

              http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/televisions/article/tv-licence-explained

              No more BBC iplayer for me then!
               
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              • pamsdish

                pamsdish Total Gardener

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                I have Humax freesat, just plug it into your satellite and away you go. I tried a Goodmans box after the 3rd stopped working I went a little more expensive and haven`t regretted it, huge memory I won`t go into details as the newer boxes have even more, had mine 4 years now.
                 
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                • wavebuster

                  wavebuster Gardener

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                  I've got Freesat on a Humax HD decoder. Had it 8 years now, plenty of channels and recording space. I will not be going back to cable tv!
                   
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                    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
                  • daitheplant

                    daitheplant Total Gardener

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                    We converted from cable to Freesat a few months ago. My bank account is much happier.lol
                     
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                    • wavebuster

                      wavebuster Gardener

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                      Hi Dai,
                      Apart from the initial outlay (about 320 euro) I don't pay a penny more and I have all Bbc and Itv channels including HD. All news channels CNN, Sky, Al Jazeera, France 24 etc plus loads more so I am more than happy not having a monthly bill.... Happy days!:yahoo:
                       
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                      • Loofah

                        Loofah Well used member

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                        Have a freesat hdr box but also just bought a new TV which has all sorts of options - satellite, terrestrial, youview and on demand. Blindingly good.
                        Highly recommend freesat box as you can watch and record a couple of channels at once.
                        I'm going to start a new thread on Kodi as I want to know more and don't want to hijack
                         
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                        • shiney

                          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                          Not much help from me :dbgrtmb:

                          We've just got Freeview and rarely watch much of those programmes that are available - at a guess, somewhere over 40 options (if you include the sales channels as well). No cost at all. We don't have satellite and there's no cable anywhere near us.

                          I have a simple hard drive plugged in that will record programmes as the TV is a Smart TV and gives me options. I think you can get boxes that are able to record more than one programme at a time. Never bothered with any of that :noidea:

                          I don't think that any streaming device would be good on our very slow broadband, so you would need to look into that sort of thing. As I think that most TV is rubbish anyway, I wouldn't be having anything that I would have to pay for. :old: (don't have a symbol for Scrooge :))
                           
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                          • Ariadae

                            Ariadae Super Gardener

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                            My tv repair man recommended oober supreme, a one off payment to buy the thing and then you get everything going in the world apparently! All the sky stuff, all sports, all movies including those new to cinemas, lots of foreign channels, and it comes over t'internet so no need for a dish. So goodbye sky, and saving £40 a month. Although I must say, I threatened to leave sky last year as our box was very old so they cut my bill and sent me a new hd wireless box. But I am glad to be rid of it. I will let you know what oober is like once it has arrived.
                             
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