Sky provide its subscribers with subscription viewing cards, Sky Cards. These all the viewers to access the pay TV channels that they have subscribed from the Sky Subscription packages.
Sky also produce a freesatfromsky viewing card, that allows access to the “free to view” channels.
The cards are also used to ensure that the sky digiboxes show the correct BBC ITV Channel 4 and FIVE regions on the programme guide and on Sky Channels 101, 102, 103, 104 and 105.
The cards are also used for Parental Controls, which users can block certain channels being made available to all viewers, especially children. It also allows the users to PIN protect certain movies and channels, again to try and make “adult” programmes not available to children.
You do not need a sky card to view ANY BBC channels such as BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News or BBC Parliament, or ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 or ITV4. You have not needed a viewing card to watch BBC channels since 2001, when the BBC moved its channels to “free to air” and moved over to the Astra 2D satellite.
The use of a Sky card outside the UK and RoI goes against the terms and conditions of the Sky contract. Should Sky find out that the cards is being used in Spain (or France Italy Germany Greece etc) then they will deactivate the card.
There is no Freesat viewing card.
You do not need a viewing card for Freesat.
Freesat comprises of only TV channels that you can watch for free.
Sky do produce a “Freesat From Sky” viewing card that allows access to a handful of “free to view” non subscription but encrypted channels.
Viewing Cards – This is the wrong card for this set top box
The Wrong card for this set top box” error message will be displayed if you are using your Sky Subscription card in another sky box, and trying to watch the Sky premium channels, like Sky Sports, Sky Movies or Sky HD channels.
Viewing Cards – Skyviewinghelp.com message
Some Sky TV customers using SkyHD and Sky+HD Digiboxes will have seen the following message on their TV screen:
This message is part of some new Sky security software, and they need some information from your Sky box which they do not have.