We regularly contribute to a local Javea publication, the Javea Grapevine, with the latest news, and views with regards to satellite TV and reception of UK TV in Javea.
This was an article in the June publication.
You may have often heard about Freeview, Freesat, Free to air and free to view. But do you know what they mean? Many people and even some satellite installers are often confused about their meaning, and can mean people buying the wrong type of equipment.
Freeview is the name of the consortium that operated the UK’s digital terrestrial TV service. It is transmitted from land based masts, and received by a TV aerial. Freeview IS NOT available in Spain. The Freeview signals simply do not reach into Spain. Freeview is not available via a satellite dish. You cannot connect a Freeview box to a satellite dish and expect to watch UK TV – they are two different incompatible systems.
Spain does not have an equivalent of Freeview (the consortium), but it does have a digital terrestrial TV service – TDT. It offers about 40 channels via a TV aerial, and has the bonus where most UK and USA imported programmes have their original English audio available as well as the “dubbed” Spanish audio.
Freesat is the name of the satellite TV service which offers access to the free TV channels, many of which are on Freeview. Freesat is only available on official Freesat receivers. You cannot get Freesat on a Sky box, although the channels on Freesat are also available on a Sky box (even with no viewing card).
Free to air channels are channels that are available free of encryption (so no viewing card is required) and subscription free. They are available on Freesat and Sky boxes. Examples include BBC channels.
Free to view is not “Freeview”. Free to view channels are channels that encrypted (so a viewing card is required) but are subscription free. Free to view channels are not available on Freesat. They are available on a Sky box. Examples include Sony Movies, Motors TV and LFCTV.
Why do I mention this? Well I often hear of people saying “bring a Freeview box to Spain and use it on your dish to get channels” and “connect your Freeview box to your dish” and “you can get Freeview in Spain”. Over the years I have been called out to people who, based on what they have heard and understood, have brought a Freeview box to Spain and confused as to why a) it will not work with a satellite dish, and b) it only gets Spanish TV channels and no UK channels!
End of cheap (and illegal) Sky TV?
Some installers have been selling systems that can access the full Sky TV package, for a lot less than the official Sky monthly charges. They do this by selling access to illegal cardsharing systems. A satellite receiver, usually an Iberosat or Ariva, is connected via the internet to a server that provides the access codes to unlock the Sky TV channels.
Obviously illegal, but probably not mentioned by the installer.
However, recently if you are using such systems you will have noticed that about a dozen Sky HD channels are no longer available via this system – Sky One HD being one such channel.
It is expected over the coming months ALL Sky HD channels, and maybe even the SD Sport and Movie channels, will have their encryption upgraded, meaning these channels are no longer available on cardsharing systems.
This is because Sky, and other pay TV providers, have been upgrading their encryption software to prevent their channels being access via cardsharing. The only way to continually access these channels via satellite would be using a Sky Digibox and a Sky viewing card with a monthly subscription.
Jon Worby – The Sat and PC Guy
www.satandpcguy.com – our main website with information about UK TV in Spain
www.satandpcguy.com/blog – the latest satellite TV news for the Costa Blanca and Spain
telephone: 962819796 / 620130292