TV without an aerial. Is broadband-only viable?

(Andy Wootton) #1

I’m trying to help my son solve a problem. He’s moved to a house with a Virgin dish but no TV aerial. He’s transferred a recent BT Broadband Unlimited contract. What are his options apart from getting an aerial fitted?

The obvious one to me is BBC, ITV, Channel4 and 5 apps and a wire to the HDMI port. He has an HD TV that isn’t smart.

Or: some sort of Kodi box but is there somewhere you can take a ‘Freeview’ type feed from without another subscription charge? I don’t watch much TV so this is outside my experience zone.

(Jon) #2

People still watch live TV? :thinking: :rofl:

(Andy Wootton) #3

I don’t care enough about TV to research what WAS on. I can barely be bothered to read through all the nonsense that is on now.

I think I’ve found a potential solution. There’s a Freesat box for £50, as long as the Sky dish hasn’t had a Sky Q mod, unless the dish is a ‘hybrid’. Unfortunately, there are Sky cables in 3 rooms, so Q seems quite likely. You can mod to hybrid but that probably costs as much as fitting an aerial.

(Colin Smith) #4

Not sure what Sky Q mod is but a Sky satellite dish should work fine for FreeSat, I had that setup at my last house.

(Andy Wootton) #5

I think I answered in the wrong place. Sky Q is a ‘wideband’ service for multiple concurrent channels so they have to change the ‘LNB’ and the cheap one they put in by default doesn’t cope with old Sky signals but I’ve been over this morning, to wait for a delivery and I’ve been chasing wires. It’s a 4-port job that supports both standards and they have Virgin cable connections too. It’s got BT Infinity capability too so if anyone wants to set up an off-site data centre with fail-over…

As an ex-planner of disaster recovery, I wouldn’t have put all the services in one corner of the house but then I wouldn’t have built a data-centre on a flood plain either, but they didn’t listen to me either, nor ring to apologise when it flooded :-). They probably had other things on their mind.


Is an indoor ariel an option? Picture quality can vary depending on the location, but ours works well enough to pick up most Freeview HD channels.

(Andy Wootton) #7

That’s the current situation. It isn’t good enough and the aerial only works at all in the middle of the room, in front of the screen. It is sub-optimal.

(Andy Wootton) #8

If this was software, we could Jack up the screen and declare it fixed.

(Isaac Reid Guest) #9

@Woo I’d point out

This is a service with a basic free service and paid tiers at pretty decent prices. They can be viewed on the website and on various apps(includes some Freesat/Roku boxes as well as Android, etc)

Nothing perfect, but comes close to the broadband only service that you seem to be looking for.

(Andy Wootton) #10

Thanks @irg. I think we’ll be getting him a FreeSat receiver for his birthday, through the existing Sky dish, but that was interesting because it looks like they might be the supplier of the service. It’s free with the box. Double thanks. They’re back in stock and I’ve just reserved one.

(Andy Wootton) #11

FreeSat box successfully installed on a Sky cable. About the size of a couple of CD cases. Very impressed by the quality and it connected to WiFi for updates.

(Andy Wootton) #12

I was left with one remaining issue. The 4-port dish has 2 connections, both of which were fed to a junction box on the front wall and from there, through the cavity wall, to appear through a hole where the TV goes. Having used one, I was left with a spare with a very easily damaged copper wire hanging out of the end.

I looked for caps. They are called F plugs and I decided that a f-f connector would protect the wire. After half an hour of searching for “JUST ONE! PLEASE?!” connector, I gave up and bought a ‘fixing kit’ of 2 plugs + 1 connector for £1-99. The Interwebs immediately revealed they are £1 from B&Q.