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Old 09-05-2007, 08:41 AM   #1
George
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Difference between Freesat and Sky pay once?

Hello,

I'm finally fed up with Freeview. Even with a decent aerial I keep getting picture breakup and lots of pops and squawks on the sound. So I have decided to join the dark side....

Originally I was going to go with "Freesat" http://www.freesatfromsky.co.uk. £150 all in, this is what my parents did and it worked well.

However, I see that Dixons are listing a Sky pay once deal for £75 http://www.dixons.co.uk/martprd/edit...+Watch+Forever which seems to be the same thing, but half the price.

Am I missing something? Can anyone confirm that the box from Dixons will work with Tivo?

Cheers

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Old 09-05-2007, 10:56 AM   #2
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The Sky box is standard - whatever the make - so no problems

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Old 09-05-2007, 10:58 AM   #3
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Looks like the standard freesat but they are trying to temp you to subscribe to Sky.

Any standard Sky box works well with Sky except for channels who show programs with pre watershed pins being required. In the freesat lineup I think there are none to worry about.

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Old 09-05-2007, 11:25 AM   #4
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Sky are bending over backwards at the moment trying to get their Freesat "customers" to take up a Sky subscription.

I know someone who is currently "being paid" £50 to get the full package by Sky - they're getting a 3 month free trial and £50 of M&S vouchers. I know also of at least one other person who turned down the offer (mainly because they structure it so that you have to actively cancel at the end of 3 months otherwise you're bound to a year contract - that's what they told me anyway).

They did something similar last year but only for a month - I guess enough Freesat customers were tempted that time to make it worth trying again.

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Old 09-05-2007, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Am I missing something? Can anyone confirm that the box from Dixons will work with Tivo?
Sky Pay Once Watch Forever is a normal regular Sky box and Sky dish and Sky viewing card with 2 of their Mixes (Entertainment and something else) free for 6 months. It works find with Tivo. It is a normal Sky box and install.

Its the same as www.freesatfromsky.co.uk except better because its half the price and yet gives you 2 Mixes as well free for 6 months. Basically Sky are testing out how a product like this that is half the normal Freesat price but then tries to tempt people to become Sky subscribers works out in terms of conversion rate.

Its all part of an evaluation exercise on their part at Sky to see what tactics they can use to stop the BBC successfully launching its proposed Freesat service next year.

Your only problem with Sky Pay Once Watch Forever is actually getting hold of it. The Dixons site is taking orders but has no stocks to deliver it turns out. I got mine from Asda Slough who had plenty a month ago. Someone on Digitalspy forum phoned Asda head office customer services today and was given the names of a small number of large stores who still have the product in stock.

However if you take a regular Sky package with 1 Mix (which they now do following their price increase on Sept 1st) and order through the www.quidco.co.uk website then you pay Sky £30 install and £16 per month for 12 months = £222 but then minus £5 Sky account credit for ordering online and in turn via Quidco website and £110 cashback from Quidco itself = a total of £107 so long as you desubscribe at the end of 12 months. Quidco do always pay their cashback, especially with mainstream retailers like Sky. I have always had all my cashbacks paid so far.

Disadvantages - cost is £107 net vs £75 for Sky Pay Once Watch Forever

Advantages - you become a proper ex Sky subscriber who has done 12 months on contract so can opt back in to Sky for just one month pay viewing now and again if something you need to see is on. With Sky Pay Once Watch Forever if you don't carry on after 6 months and then ever want to subscribe to Sky pay channels they will say you are not a subscription customer and so you have to sign a contract for at least 12 months at £16 per month.

So Sky Pay Once Watch Forever is only right for people convinced the FTA channels on a Sky Digibox are all they ever want to watch. However it is also a lot cheaper than upgrading a deficient aerial for Freeview in a weak reception area in many cases.

So if you can track one down then this may well be what you need.

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Old 09-05-2007, 04:24 PM   #6
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When I cancelled my Sky sub and went freeview, Sky told me that the card would continue to work with the freesat channels.
The cheap option I guess is to find a second-hand box, card and dish? Luckily the house I bought had a quad-lnd dish left on the wall and wires to the bedroom and living room. I now have the old sky box in the bedroom.
Somewhere on the sky web site they mention the freesat card you can buy from them for about 20 quid. I believe the BBC can also furnish you with one at a similar cost, but have never seen it advertised.

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Old 09-05-2007, 04:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pugwash
Somewhere on the sky web site they mention the freesat card you can buy from them for about 20 quid. I believe the BBC can also furnish you with one at a similar cost, but have never seen it advertised.
BBC no longer do the free channels viewing card as they are no longer in the channel encryption business for their own channels. Sky still do the £20 card on its own but its only much use if you move to a house with an existing dish installed.

Their £75 Pay Once Watch Forever deal gives you a whole new dish Sky box and viewing card.

You won't need a viewing card some time next year as and when Ch4 and Five finally manage to arrange to broadcast all their channels in the clear. With BBC Freesat appearing they won't be able to afford not to.

You will then only need a viewing card to watch actual pay subscription tv channels.

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Old 09-06-2007, 02:37 AM   #8
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That £75.00 also says for life.
If I recall the normal offer is only until sky (if ever) need to replace the viewing cards for whatever reason.

Negative for this offer is phone line required or another £25.00 has to be paid.

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Old 09-06-2007, 03:34 AM   #9
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That £75.00 also says for life.
Perhaps they are working on the basis that there won't be any FTV channels that actually need a card by the time they next need to update their encryption system and cards.

Also one gets in to some interesting thoughts about what life we are talking about here taking a Tivo analogy. For instance is it your lifetime, the lifetime of that box or the lifetime of the Sky Pay Once Watch Forever product.

Quote:
Negative for this offer is phone line required or another £25.00 has to be paid.
Sky even offers to run the extension cable to the nearest phone socket for you though and any non customer initiated calls by the box are to an 0800 number.

The only danger is if you have other members of your household likely to start ordering movies.

The only reason its not as good a product as it appear is because of being clobbered with another 12 month contract if you ever want to watch any pay tv channels if you don't carry on for 6 more months after the free first 6 months.

If Sky has any sense they will drop this requirement for Freesatters at some point and let them start signing in and out of Sky subscribing at will like any other ex contract customers. Or perhaps they should offer them 2 Mixes for 12 months for only £60 or something rather the present £192 minimum for 1 Mix!

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Old 09-06-2007, 06:32 AM   #10
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I was a bit puzzled by the part about the phone line. It says it is needed for installation, as it happens there is a phone socket next to where the box is going (currently has two tivo's plugged into it!), but what is to stop me unplugging it:

a) once the installer has gone or

b) one my six months of subscription have expired?

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by George
I was a bit puzzled by the part about the phone line. It says it is needed for installation, as it happens there is a phone socket next to where the box is going (currently has two tivo's plugged into it!), but what is to stop me unplugging it:

a) once the installer has gone or

b) one my six months of subscription have expired?
Occasionally the box calls back to Sky while you are in the period you are obliged to keep it connected and if it doesn't make one of its calls that the Sky database is expecting then they can in theory write you a nasty letter suggesting you will have to pay the higher £100 fee rather than the £75 fee for this product.

Normally with Sky its the first year you have to keep the line connected but in this case I can't imagine its more than the 6 months you have a relationship with Sky as a free subscriber.

Also I think in practice nothing actually happens to people who don't keep their Sky box connected to the line. Sky just threaten it in the hope that good boys and girls will keep it connected and then other members of their household may order pay movies etc using the line. Also they hope you will use the online account management facilities that use the dialup.

Another points is that Sky Pay Once Watch Forever makes most sense if you are not on an exchange served by Sky/Easynet's own broadband service as in that case Sky can't offer you their cheap broadband deal. Whereas if you are on an exchange with Sky equipment Sky can offer you either free (2Gb per month download limit and 8Mbs) or very cheap £5 broadband as long as you are a Sky subcribers. So many customers on an Easynet Sky exchange might still want to be a Sky subscriber for that reason.

But there doesn't look any likelihood that Sky/Easynet will expand LLU coverage any more any time soon so if your exchange isn't present covered by Sky/Easynet then it probably isn't going to be. See www.samknows.com to check the LLU status of your local exchange.

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:09 AM   #12
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[edit - in reply to George!]
Nothing.

It's not really needed for installation either as instead of the Digibox dialling home to register itself that procedure can be done by reading out the card details to the call centre where they enter the data manually.

It's only contractually required, not technically. The connections are only normally policed for people with Multiroom, and then it needs to be to stop people sharing top packages with friends who only pay for the minimum. If your connection is policed, you'd get a warning letter as a first step anyway.

BEWARE the default settings on the Digibox which are designed to maximise your spending! You have to take positive action to secure the system, which Sky know that many people will not do:
1. Put a PIN lock on all calls (Parental control/online restriction)
2. Change the PIN so that no-one else in your household knows it (Parental control/change pin). The default one is easily used by kids/workmen/babysitters etc
3. Set the spending limit for PPV events to £0.00 (Parental control/spending limit)

The above won't be enough, because the software is closed and proprietary. The PIN restrictions could easily be removed or "accidentally" reset in a future software update, and the first you'd know about them was the massive bill. So you can also:

4. Get FREE Premium-rate barring from BT, if BT is your 'phone provider. It will then be impossible for anyone or anything in your household to dial 09 numbers.

HTH

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:18 AM   #13
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BT is your 'phone provider. It will then be impossible for anyone or anything in your household to dial 09 numbers.
Surely the box doesn't dial an 09 rate number does it? The threat is from the cost of the movie or whatever being added to your Sky account.

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:27 AM   #14
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Depends on what the red dot calls, for example...

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:32 AM   #15
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Depends on what the red dot calls, for example...
Oh the Sky News poll type things.

They are on an 09 number aren't they.

I forgot about that.

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:38 AM   #16
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Currently BBC and ITV channels are Free-to-air - and can be received with any satellite receiver (including PC satellite cards) pointed at the satellite with a suitable dish and LNB.

C4 and Five encrypt some of their channels subscription free using the Videoguard proprietary system that Sky manage in the UK - called Free-to-View. To view these officially you need a Sky branded receiver AND a suitable viewing card (lapsed Sky subscription cards should continue to decrypt the FTV channels)

However UK broadcasters are banding together to launch their own Freesat service - with a similar aim to Freeview - and some of the Freeview team are now on board to launch this. The chances are they won't be duplicating the current broadcasts - just modifying some parameters. It is widely expected that C4 and Five will move to FTA transmission as part of this - if they can find space on a narrower beam.

One major change is that they are expected to broadcast an additional, open standard, EPG - in addition to the proprietary Sky EPG that they pay to be included on. This new EPG system will allow non-Sky PVRs and non-Sky receivers to have full EPG access - and PVR functionality for no cost (currently SKY+ is a £10 month susbcription for those without a Sky subscription - if you can get it - and it requires a phone connection ISTR) I expect it will duplicate the Sky channel number functionality to avoid confusion?

The new non-Sky Freesat service is also going to include HD support I believe - again removing the £10 month fee that Sky charge for HD functionality on their receiver (though BBC HD is not tied to Sky HD boxes currently - the EPG is)

The tricky area is going to be interactivity - as currently the BBC and other interactive services on satellite use the OpenTV standard. Be interesting to see if this can be licensed and deployed on non-Sky boxes...

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Old 09-10-2007, 06:01 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the replies. As someone suggested, getting thsi deal has turned out to be tricky so may well go down the 1 year with quidco rebate route.

Cheers

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Old 09-10-2007, 06:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by George
Thanks for all the replies. As someone suggested, getting thsi deal has turned out to be tricky so may well go down the 1 year with quidco rebate route.
On the Quidco deal at least you get 2 Sky Mixes of your choice (instead of the ones Sky wants you to have) and its for 12 months and not 6 months.

Plus more importantly after 12 months you are a full ex contract Sky customer if you desubscribe, which means they may offer you bargain deals like all Sky movie channels for 6 months at £5 per month or whatever when they are desperate to push their subscribers numbers back up.

Whereas on Sky Pay Once Watch Forever you can't ever watch a Sky subscription channel again after the free 6 months without signing another 12 month contract with them for at least 12 months at minimum £16 per month. Don't ask me why Sky do this as they are obviously driving away business they might otherwise get but anyhow its what they do.

Anyhow if you think you might occasionally need to subscribe to Sky for something then the Quidco deal is better in many ways and easily available.

I see www.topcashback.co.uk (no joining fee) are also offering Sky cashback but only £95 and not the Quidco £110. So on that basis it seems worth paying the £5 per annum Quidco joining fee. Quidco has loads of good cashback deals on things like car insurance policies and changing energy suppliers etc, etc. And they always pay up in my experience and direct to your bank account by BACS transfer.

Of course make sure you don't forget to cancel with Sky once your first 12 months are up.

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Old 01-27-2016, 12:25 PM   #19
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Sky TV

I recently used a company called Quote Me Less to provide me with my Sky TV and I managed to get the full package for £21 per month and I had £20 cash back.

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Old 01-28-2016, 06:27 AM   #20
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I recently used a company called Quote Me Less to provide me with my Sky TV and I managed to get the full package for £21 per month and I had £20 cash back.
What channels are in this package exactly?

For instance I don't suppose it includes Sky Movies, Sky Sports 1 to 4 or the HD channel pack at that price does it?

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