We sell an awful lot of dishes to people in Scotland, Wales and Ireland due to the incredibly poor Terrestrial Digital signal.
Despite the apparent roll-out of this service, and most new TV's featuring in-built FreeView receivers, there is still a good chance that you will receive a limited number of channels via this service.
The easy (and cheap) alternative is to use a combination of a Sky Minidish, an old Sky receiver, and a 'Freesat' card.
Here is what you need:-
- a 43cm (or 48cm for Scotland and Eire) Minidish with universal LNB - you can get individual dishes on eBay for around £7-£10 including the LNB
- a 'used' Digital Satellite Receiver - I would recommend any Panasonic (i.e. DSB30) or late-model Amstrad (i.e. DRX400) - make sure it has a remote control with it! - You can get these on eBay for about £10-20
- Some co-axial cable (CT100 if it's a long way, RG6 for any reasonable distance) and 2 x 'F' Connectors (you can get both these at any independant TV/Electrical shop)
- A 'Freesat' card (only really needed for a few channels now... but available from Sky for £20 by calling 0870 240 5651)
Here is what you do:-
- Fix the dish to the wall so that it is pointing roughly SSE (about 28 degrees East of South)
- Make sure everything is unplugged from the mains, and connect the cable to the LNB and the back of the receiver (The 'F' connectors screw onto the cable, and should have about 5mm of the central core wire poking out of the end)
- Connect the SCART lead (use a scart to set it up first - it's easier) to the receiver and the back of your TV
- Place the FreeSat card in the receiver
- Turn everything on, and switch to the Scart input till you see a Sky screen (it should say "no signal")
- Select Services, then 4, then 6 - this shows the signal strength / lock
- Place the television where you can see it whilst moving the dish, (or if this isn't possible, get someone else to watch the TV while you move it who is in shouting distance!), then point the dish to the South using a compass or even the position of the sun and time of day if you prefer, and a tiny bit at a time turn it to the left until the zeros change to 0002 (Network ID) and 07d4 (Transport Stream). The change can be quite sudden so go carefully to avoid swinging the dish too far - just 1 cm at a time. The Lock Indicator will also change from 'Not locked' to 'OK'. If you are in Europe (i.e. the South of France [speaking from experience here...], you may need to 'twist' the face of the dish left or right (i.e Turn the face of the dish so that it is not quite horizontal) in order to get a good signal. You should expect around 75-80% on the strength, and 55-75% on the quality - if you get higher, even better, but it will still work at 50%/50%
- If you now press the Sky button, and then press Channel Guide, you should be able to view FreeSat
I hope this helps you all out.