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FreeSat advice please, I'm bored, clueless, busy and in desperate need of CBeebies.

(5 Posts)
ShePeeTeePee Wed 28-Oct-09 17:09:49

Hi. Can anyone help? I've just moved into a rental place. TV doesn't work - have phoned the agent... "oh no, there isn't an aerial, there's a satellite dish", I'm told. So, please, what do I do now?

We'd like FreeSat, rather than a subscription. Room one, I'd like to keep our very old-fashioned t.v., so do I just buy the cheapest FreeSat box and plug it in? I'm guessing if the TV is 10 years old there's not much point buying a High Definition box, or is there? Am also thinking of getting a new tv at some point for another part of the house. Can I get everything integrated, or do I need another box, or can I run two t.v.s off one box? Does the box just plug into the aerial point? Or, should I just get a metal coat hanger and stick one end in the telly and the other out the window?

Thanks smile

ShePeeTeePee Wed 28-Oct-09 19:17:04

Bump ?

WebDude Thu 29-Oct-09 14:51:08

Given what you've written, a basic FreeSat box should do fine. A bit (running 2 TVs) depends on what FreeSat box you end up buying, and what your current 10-yo TV has in the way of inputs.

Not sure how long ago SCART became popular, but some the satellite boxes may go for HDMI (typically feeding into a flat-screen LCD or Plasma) so:-

1) check whether a UHF tv cable can be plugged into (whatever) FreeSat box (you end up buying) (to feed another room)

2) decide whether you want the cheapest (around 50 quid for a Grundig at John Lewis) or one which is High Def capable (about 130 quid) and for just 25 quid extra, extend warranty to 3 years - see http://www.johnlewis.com/230480023/Product.aspx

I hunted for the instruction manual for that Humax box ( http://www.superfi.co.uk/extras/Humax/HumaxFOXSATHDmanual.pdf ) and it shows 2 SCART connections plus a few others, but no UHF TV "out").

If you have an old VCR (if not, you can buy a "modulator" to go SCART to UHF) then you could feed the TV Out socket from the VCR to the second TV, and use SCART for the main TV (better picture quality). UHF aerial extension cables are pretty cheap and will work fine, where you might have to spend quite a lot (eg for an RF "sender" or expensive cable) to get a signal using SCART or HDMI to another room.

If the main TV has no SCART input, then you'd either need to find a FreeSat box with UHF output as well as SCART and HDMI, or use the VCR or modulator method, and split the output to feed both the main TV and second room.

I had a quick look for the Grundig GUFSAT02SD (a model name found on some website) but the Grundig site mentions only the SAT 01 models (HD and non-HD) but both models have SCART and the HD box also has HDMI.

There are a few TVs with FreeSat receivers in them, the Panasonic ones are around 600 and 500 pounds, there are also a couple of LG models, around 600 and 400 pounds. But neither is guaranteed to offer an output to feed a second room, and extended warranty might be quite costly - for such a high outlay I'd want more than a year's cover in case of a problem in month 13!

ShePeeTeePee Fri 30-Oct-09 17:36:16

Thanks WebDude. Have just bought a Bush HD FreeSat box from Argos, and have ordered a nice new HD ready tv from John Lewis. So, that's me bought kicking and screaming into the new millenium then! smile

WebDude Sat 31-Oct-09 13:36:05

Good for you! Getting the HD model gives you the benefit of being fairly future-proof.

If you check on the Q+A section of the Argos site, you may come across answers about using a quad-LNB (4 cables from the "head" at the end of the arm facing the satellite dish) and if you had extra cables, you'd be able to make fuller use of the Bush box, as one cable could be used for the TV you are watching and a second cable (being tuned to some other channel for recording some other show).

Anyway, with what you're getting you will be set up OK for BBC HD, some ITV HD programmes (don't seem to have lots on yet, but I've no TV, and just watching developments from afar at present) and don't forget the radio channels too - it may sound daft but you'll have extra BBC choices such as Radio 6 Music, 1Xtra, 7 -drama and comedy-, and others of course!

All too often the option of radio is forgotten when people mention satellite, especially dealers and Sky, but it's all there and gives good quality, though the time "pips" will be late, of course!

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