Satellite Receivers – Freesat Set Top Boxes. Free to Air Satellite Receivers.

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 allow for the viewing of free to air and subscription channels.

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.

A selection of Freesat and Sky satellite receivers

A selection of Freesat and Sky satellite receivers

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

Freesat offers free to air, subscription free UK TV via satellite. It was was designed for those areas of the UK that are unable to receive the UK terrestrial digital service, Freeview.

For a one-off payment you can receive over 150 TV and Radio channels.

And with a Freesat HD set top box, you can receive 11 high definition (HD) channels.

There are three types of Freesat Set Top Boxes:

  • The basic standard definition Freesat Set Top Box,
  • a high definition Freesat HD Set Top Box,
  • and the high definition with hard drive Freesat+HD Set Top Box.

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 our 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.



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.

Our range of other satellite receivers can be found here



Satellite Receiver User Manuals and User Guides

User Guides and User manuals available for free download : available for Freesat, Sky, Galaxy Innovation, GI, Iberosat, Darkbox, Dreambox and other satellite receivers.

Satellite Receiver User Manuals and User Guides


Cardsharing in Spain

Cardsharing is a method to use one satellite subscription card with more than one satellite receivers in a same time. In practical terms an original legitimate subscription card could be used in a receiver; then another box that is in another room, or even a thousand miles away, could access the smartcard via ‘local network’ or ‘internet’ to clear channels that the subscription card allows.
More information on Cardsharing here