Alternatives to Sky?

(17 Posts)
NetworkGuy Sat 01-Dec-12 04:57:28

"The dds do watch quite a lot of Tiny Pop, Nick jr etc. Which kids channels would I be left with ..."

Sounds like BellaRose2011 has switched down so it should work for you too.

Also, did you see the list of channels on FreeSat ? Pop, Tiny Pop and others are on FreeSat but you'd lose some like Nickleodeon. FreeSat box can be had from 35-40 (I'd suggest Manhattan over Goodmans) and the LNB (bit at the end of sat arm with sockets for cables) can be changed.

Adding FreeSat would be fine if you want to add more cables to more rooms (1,2,4 or 8 cables possible from 1 dish), so if you wanted to supply a TV in another part of house it shouldn't cost the earth and once bought and set up, but unlike Sky there would be no monthly fees (for multiple rooms or HD on those channels that are in HD - not many at present).

The satellite dish on front of house had 2 cables into lounge from previous owner. When Sky engineer came to install, he gave me another length of twin cable and I'm going to feed front bedroom with that cable via the attic, as there were 4 sockets on the LNB and only 2 are being used.

Just want a sunny day and my neighbour's ladder for a half hour now!

bellarose2011 Fri 30-Nov-12 13:33:40

well ive git the basic package and we've got tiny pop, pop, cbeebies, cbbc, citv. that seems to be fine for my kids, they watch dvds aswell.
you will; loose all the disney nickleodean ect

Dancergirl Fri 30-Nov-12 13:25:17

I spoke to Sky and they said they could offer me a cheaper package with the sports but I would lose the movies (don't mind that) and the kids channels (hmm!).

The dds do watch quite a lot of Tiny Pop, Nick jr etc. Which kids channels would I be left with if I did that? None of them or just the freeview ones?

bellarose2011 Thu 29-Nov-12 11:41:20

I rang sky up about a week ago to say i couldn't afford it anymore (21pounds for basic package) they gave it to me for a fiver a month for 3 months.
sky will try very hard to keep hold of you if you have been a good customer.
also find out what others cheap offers are around and tell them how much cheaper you could get it for.

NetworkGuy Thu 29-Nov-12 11:31:29

well, OK, they're not 'lost' from the disk drive, but if you don't have the same viewing card, then I doubt they will ever be 'viewable' again, and we were discussing cancelling Sky subscription after all !!!

PS happy to purchase the disk drive {only, cuts cost of delivery!} if anyone cancelling Sky to switch to FreeSat.

PearlyWhites Thu 29-Nov-12 04:10:07

That's not true about losing recordings the are stored forever hower you need to still subscribe to sky to watch them. We moved three years ago and my dh still has program's he hasn't watched. I can recommended Netflix though and a possibly a freeview recordable box.

NetworkGuy Thu 29-Nov-12 02:45:00

sorry, is late - it doesn't record an old show, but uses the 'on demand' replay from the 'net straight to your TV.

NetworkGuy Thu 29-Nov-12 02:40:17

YouView might be worth considering, especially if you would consider BT Broadband or TalkTalk. Seems that the 300 pound Humax box can be had from either ISP at low cost (50 quid installation fee from BT, not sure about TT) though you'd be tied into a 12 month contract.

ExpertReviews item describes the YouView box as the best HD Freeview recorder box (and the EPG shows not only the next 7 days but the past - selecting an item from the past means it gets downloaded via the internet and stored for you to watch later).

I've not tried YouView and never been a customer of TT of BT Broadband (and still under contract for phone line and broadband so unable to test either one out, though the idea of being able to grab some already passed TV show is quite tempting!

NetworkGuy Thu 29-Nov-12 02:10:18

I know you (OP) watch mostly the terrestrial channels, but if you want films (and more) then LoveFilm or Netflix might be worth checking.

If you have reasonably fast internet access, you could also try out NowTV (from Sky) for 8.99 for first 3 months (if joining before 8th January 2013), then 15 quid a month, with around 20 films added each month, a year before Netflix or LoveFilm. Might be worth trying out based on how much you'd save from cancelling Sky.

Sky has done a deal with Universal to lock out both Netflix and LoveFilm {for a year} on the latest releases from Hollywood, but i'm not sure I'd find 15 quid good value (it has been years since I went out to the cinema), but I suppose it is a fraction of the cost even if you only watched 5 'newish' films (of the 20 added monthly), compared with paying for 2 people at the Odeon/etc at 15-20 quid per night out!

I've used LoveFilm (look out for any Groupon or KGBdeals offers. I paid 6 pounds for 3 months of LoveFilm which saved me about 24 quid)... while they are fast at sending out DVDs and have a good range of both ordinary and Blu-Ray DVDs, there are sometimes delays before they can send you the most popular films from your choices.

So yes, plenty of choices, but as those NannyNick found, not always saving a lot of cash, unless you just go to FreeSat/Freeview and ignore most of the latest films, and definitely scrap the use of Sky Sports

NetworkGuy Thu 29-Nov-12 02:02:20

CajaDLM wrote

"Your old Sky box can be used as a freeview box, so they have some sell-on value."

Don't you mean 'FreeSat box' rather than 'Freeview box' ?

Sky might be willing to downgrade the Sky card to show only the Free-to-Air channels that FreeSat offers (they have been selling 'Freesat on Sky' packages for a while, where they'd fit a dish and provide a box and viewing card, for a one-off fee... initially it was around 75 quid but went up, and they were only offering that deal while switchover to digital was happening... means their boxes are in hundreds of homes and with there being ads for Sky all over, some users would probably upgrade as it would only need a phone call and the time it takes for their viewing card to be 'upgraded'.

I bought a Sky+ box for 30 quid second hand from a shop (cheap way to get 500 GB hard drive a year ago!) but the fact the box won't play recorded shows after a while is disappointing.

A few years ago (when I lived somewhere else) and cancelled, Sky on year offered me all the Movie channels over Christmas for free (and I cancelled) and a year or so later, offered the full package at half price for a year, so I used it for a year and cancelled again. Not sure what they offer these days, but worth checking MoneySavingExpert and other 'consumer' sites to see what might be on offer from the 'retentions' staff. A quick search on the MSE site showed a few items about haggling with Sky, plus mention of the price increases from September, and how Sky is paying 760 Million A YEAR for Premier League football (no wonder Sky Sports costs so much whether paying directly to Sky or to someone else offering TV channels!)

NetworkGuy Thu 29-Nov-12 01:42:31

Indeed, does seem having Sky Sports is costly (but no doubt they bid high against BBC etc for rights, and can charge what they like for access to football and all the rest). It's probably cheaper to set aside 20 quid for DH to spend if he goes to a local pub with the football on, if he's not watching it often.

Switching to a FreeSat box with record would probably cost 130 to 180 quid (depending on what box you buy) and you could add FreeSat boxes in other rooms cabled from your existing satellite dish if you want.

There are HD boxes as well as SD (but at present few channels are in HD, though when the Olympics was on BBC TV had 24 HD channels, and of course with no Sky 'pay extra for HD' charges).

I bought a Manhattan HD box from Tesco online, for 90 quid (which included having a second dish fitted, so I could feed the back of the house), and a couple of Manhattan SD boxes (35 quid each at Asda, a few months back). Have added a recorder (again from Tesco, this time on Ebay, with warranty).

FreeSat offers {most, if not all of} the range of radio and free-to-air channels that are on Sky, a number of which are not on Freeview (eg CBS, several +1 for Channel 4/ITV/Five 'families' of channels {More4+1, 5-USA+1, ITV2+1 etc}, various music video channels).

> FreeSat channels < .... > Freeview channels <

nannynick Wed 28-Nov-12 21:28:42

You say you are not in a cable area, so Virgin Media won't be any help to you - that's cable TV.

BTVision does Sky Sports 1 and 2, but looks to me as though it's about £20 to add ontop of the BTVision basic package. As of Sept 2012, you need to be in a BT Invinity (fibre broadband) area to get Sky Sports. You also have the price of hardware and have to have broadband via BT. Look at the small print at the bottom of the linked page.

SamKnows can tell you what broadband services are available at your local exchange. To know if BT Infinity is in your area, look for the Green box that may have appeared in your local area in the last 18 months.

TalkTalk are offering Sky Sports 1 & 2 via YouTube according to that article, but doing a basic calculation I still make it around £54 a month.

Looks like however it's done, Sky Sports is costly.

Dancergirl Wed 28-Nov-12 20:25:31

I think we would still need Sky sports 1 otherwise dh would lose his footy. How does Virgin media compare with sky?

Timeforabiscuit Wed 28-Nov-12 20:11:44

I'm with virgin - but they do have the option of down grading your package to the basics but you get to keep the box.

You can still pause record etc, I think it was £12 per month - i'm sure sky
I would do similar to be honest, Netflix has replaced everything we need except Disney Junior - and £50 quid a month for quiet kids is a price worth paying some days.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 28-Nov-12 20:11:14

Oh, freeview or Youview are much cheaper, if you'd prefer those - no subscriptions, just the cost of the box. But you'll lose all the satellite channels and just have freeview.

Make a list of the channels that you absolutely need, and see if freeview offers them. If it does, that could be a huge saving. YouView is fairly new, it's Alan Sugar's new project, and Freeview has various types such as a recording one and a HD one...

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 28-Nov-12 20:09:58

Yes, if you move, you'll lose everything on Sky. So any recordings etc will work for a month, but after that you'll lose access to them. Your old Sky box can be used as a freeview box, so they have some sell-on value.

You could get Virgin Media or BT, if they serve your area. Both offer the same type of set-up as Sky - varying packages at different prices. Both offer a planner, and the ability to pause/rewind.

It might be worth phoning Sky and seeing what they offer you to stay, though. You can remove Sports and that'll save you around £10 per month. Movies is quite dear too, if you have that.

I told Sky I was going to BT and they gave me half price for 12 months, so it was definitely worth asking!

Dancergirl Wed 28-Nov-12 20:06:54

We have had Sky+ for a few years and pay a whopping 52 ish pounds per month. We got in the first place mainly for dh to watch football as he no longer has a season ticket. However he only watches a game every couple of months, sometimes less.

I love the recording/pausing facility of Sky+ but other than that we don't really use it much. The odd film here and there but we mainly watch the terrestrial channels.

So is there anything else we could have that would save us some money but still allow dh to watch his footie? BTW I have checked and we're not in a cable area. Other than knowing that, I am totally clueless about anything techy like this.

Also, if we go do over to another system, would we lose everything we have on our sky planner?

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