Satellite Receivers- Sky Digiboxes, Freesat Set Top Boxes. Free to Air Satellite Receivers. Brit TV Box.
In order to view satellite channels you will require a digital satellite receiver.
These satellite receivers can be a separate set top box, or be built in to your TV.
Digital satellite receivers take the digital signals received by the dish and LNB, and convert them into audio and video signals to be displayed on a TV screen.
Digital satellite receivers allow for the viewing of free to air and subscription channels.
Free To Air Satellite Receivers
Free To Air satellite receivers are only able to receive satellite channels that are unencrypted.
Free To Air receivers have no ability to read a viewing card, and therefore no ability to view encrypted Pay TV channels.
Free To Air receivers generally have only a “Now and Next” programme guide.
Freesat Set Top Boxes are an example of a Free To Air satellite receiver, but they use specially designed software for more enhanced features than a standard Free To Air satellite receiver.
See out Freesat Set Top Box page for more information
Pay TV Satellite Receivers
Pay TV satellite receivers are designed to receive both free to air and pay / subscription satellite channels.
Pay TV satellite receivers have a card slot for a viewing card.
Most Pay TV satellite receivers are branded for a specific pay tv provider, like Sky Digiboxes for the UK, or Canal+ / Digital+/ Movistar+ decoders for Spain. So decoders cannot be used to receive channels from other satellite providers or read other companies viewing cards. Pay TV satellite receivers from the pay TV providers are also able to update their software and channel lists automatically when required, and provide a full 7 day programme guide.
Sky Digiboxes are an example of a Pay TV satellite receiver, using specially designed software for more enhanced features.
See out Sky Digibox page for more information
There are also generic satellite receivers that will be able to receive both free and pay satellite TV channels. Although they may be are cheaper than those offered by the Pay TV companies they do have a few drawbacks. They may not be as good in receiving weaker signal channels, you will have to manually update the channels when frequencies or channel parameters change, they do not have a 7 day programme guide and usually restrict you to “Now and Next”, and you will not be able to access a number of interactive and text services that broadcasters offer these days.
Standard Definition (SD) Satellite Receivers
Standard Definition (SD) satellite receivers offer channels in standard definition, either 480 or 576 resolution.
Standard Definition (SD) satellite receivers are slowly being phased out, with High Definition (HD) satellite receivers now becoming the norm.
In France during 2016, all SD channels on satellite will cease to broadcast, and all users will be required to upgrade to a HD satellite receiver.
High Definition Satellite Receivers
High Definition (HD) channels are becoming more and more popular, due to the clarity and sharpness of the pictures they provide. HD channels can provide more lines of data than SD channels, meaning a sharper and clearer image.
To watch HD channels you must have a HD TV. You connect a HD satellite receiver to your TV using the High Definition Multimedia Input (HDMI) cable.