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28th March 2011
I have just cancelled my SKY HD contract because both my wife and myself are hard of hearing and use subtitles a lot. We found that the HD version of an SD programmes (shown at the same time) did not have subtitles, so that is the reason we cancelled the HD.
Is this usual or is it something I am not doing? They have left me with the Sky HD box, Sky dish and twin co-ax cable. Is it possible to attach a PVR box to this cable using a splitter box? and still get the ordinary SKY channels. I also have an aerial which allows me to watch freeview if neccesary. Any advice would be appreciated.
There do seem to be various problems with subtitling on Sky's HD service ranging from certain channels and programmes not providing them at all to several seconds lagging behind the picture. I did find this page on their support site:
but that's no use to you now you're not a subscriber.
So long as you've still got your Sky viewing card you should be able to receive 'Freesat from Sky' which is simply all the non-subscription channels, and this should get you a more-or-less channel line up to Freesat itself. Sky offers their competing service in part as a means of upselling to their subscription packages but you're moving in the other direction!
With regards to recording you can attach some kind of recorder to one of the analogue outputs on the back of your Sky HD box and that will allow you to record but you may find the overall experience a little un-optimal as the the recorder won't be able to control the tuners in the Sky box.
If you'll be recoding a lot and don't want to mess about with timer recoding on two boxes you might like to look a buying a Freesat+ box that will contain an integrated recorder. Both standard and high-definition Freesat+ boxes are available and all you need to do is swap out your existing Sky box and connect up the Freesat box to your dish instead.
If you're going to buy new equipment you obviously also have the option of Freeview and Freeview HD to consider too.
20th March 2011
I have an excellent TV which is not HD compatable but do not, as yet want to buy a new one. At present I have Sky but want to cancel my monthly subscription and buy an HD Freeview+ box. Would this box enable me to watch Freeview channels on my present TV? Obviously, I am aware that I will not be able to watch HD channels.
You should have no problems doing what you propose, all you need to do is make sure you can physically connect your TV to the new Freeview HD with an appropriate cable. You'll get all the regular Freeview channels in standard definition and will likely be able to watch the HD channels but in standard definition also.
15th March 2011
I have recently bought a Sony Bravia KDL40EX503U TV, full HD with Freeview HD. Will this give me HD TV when available or do I still need to have a box to receive HD? Sorry if I seem stupid but I'm getting conflicting advice from friend & family. Thanks in advance for your help.
As you say your new HDTV contains a high-definition Freeview decode/tuner so as soon as digitial-switchover is complete in your area of the country you should be able to start receiving the main channels in high-definition. All you may need to do is rescan for the new channels when the time comes if it doesn't happen automatically.
You can check on the status of digital-switchover by inputting your postcode here:
23rd February 2011
Apologies for this very basic enquiry and my obvious lack of knowledge and understanding, but I've just left Virgin Media because I want tv without a monthly subscription attached to it, and I'm looking for some advice as to how best go about this.
I've been advised that freesat is probably the best way to go with this? We have an LG 42 inch tv which is just over a year old, two new 22 tv's and an older tv, all of which we want to use separately - in other words, we want to be able to watch different programmes on our tv's.
Can you advise me on the best equipment for achieving this, and how many channels we will be able to receive? Presumably I'll need four HD set top boxes and the satellite dish but is there anything else I'll need to buy?
Your two options for subscription-free HDTV are either Freesat or Freeview. For Freesat you need a dish on your home and one or more decoder boxes. For Freesat you need and aerial and to live in an area of the country where digital switchover has completed and where high-definition transmissions are available. If your television doesn't have a high-defintion Freeview tuner built-in you'll need a separate Freeview HD box. If Freeview HD isn't avaiable you right now it should be within the next 12 months, and you can check here:
If you don't want or need to watch the limited amount of HD channels on all your TVs you could consider a mixture of both high and standard definition Freesat and Freeview depending on your circumstances. For example if your secondary TVs are digital and have inbuilt standard definition tuners all you should need to do is connect them to your aerial. For your main TV if you're wanting high-definition you can then look at either Freeview or Freesat depending on your location and your preparedness too wait if needs be.
Freesat will be a little more expensive equipment-wise and will require professional installation from about £150, SD boxes are £50+ and HD ones from £100. Freeview HD should just need an aerial which you may already have along with the associated cabling, standard-definition boxes if you need them begin around £30 with HD ones beginning around £100.
18th February 2011
I have a virgin media v+ Samsung bable box, when I connect via a scart to my Samsung dvd/vcr it doesn't seem to show whats on cable or record? Do you think as both these units are Samsung they may be on the same frequency and therefore clashing causing improper operation. I have downloaded the correct wiring diagram but wont operate properly?
The fact that you have two Samsung devices is unlikely to be the issue they ought to work together as well as any others would. You need to make sure that the SCART output of your Virgin V+ box is going to your DVD/video recorder's SCART input and that your recorder is set to record from an AV input corresponding to the input into which the SCART cable is connected. You will also need some kind of output connection from your recorder back to your TV in order to playback the recordings. I don't believe there are any restrictions that will specifically prevent you doing what you want so it should just be a matter of connecting and configuring your devices together correctly.
18th February 2011
I have a panasonic full HDTV with built in Freeview. Will I be able to recieve HD TV via an aerial and what type of hard drive recorder would I need?
In order to successfully receive you need to make sure that the inbuilt tuner inside your HDTV is high-definition capable, a standard definition tuner will only receive standard-definition channels. If the tuner isn't high-definition you'll need a separate Freeview HD decoder/recorder. Not all programming is broadcast in high-definition so you don't necessarily need an HD Freeview recorder unless you specifically want to record rather than watch high-definition programming.
The final prerequisite is that you live in an area of the country where digital switchover is complete and so where Freewiew HD is available. You can check this here:
14th February 2011
I have an LG 32lf77 TV with built in Freesat although I can get superb picture and sound on BBC1 HD and BBC HD, I can only recieve ITV HD when it decides to show its face. Other times it appears for 2 seconds and then a blank screen any ideas?
As you suggest I would tend towards it being a reception problem, with either the dish or LNB being misaligned. Somewhere in you TV menus I would hope there is a signal strength meter that should help you compare the channels that do work with ITV HD and confirm this. You options are to try and adjust the dish yourself which can be very hit and miss without a signal meter, obtain a signal meter and adjust using that or to get professional help from a local independent retailer.
10th February 2011
I want to install HDTV to watch Freeview but not to record it at all and for which I intend to buy a V HD box. At present I use Virgin which is a good reliable system. But it is important for me to continue using my Panasonic DVD recorder (Model DMR-EZ47VEB) to record standard Freeview documentaries and films as before.
Can I do this by just fitting the V HD box with the same connections. Otherwise how can I do this?
The configuration you describe should work. You'll want to connect the SCART output of the V HD box to your DVD recorder's SCART input and HDMI outputs of the DVD recorder and V HD box to your HDTV. You'll have to swap inputs on the television to switch between watching live TV and recordings but that's a pretty trivial task with the remote these days.
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