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Terri2 posts since 4 Jan 2017 new member
I cancelled my Sky subscription on December 18th and as anticipated continued to receive RTE, TV3, Channel 4 , Sky News and BBC channels until a couple of days ago...then all disappeared but the good ol' BEEB. The Sky set top box and dish have been left untouched.

I have a year old Walker TV and have scoured Youtbe for advice but to be honest am even more confused Confused Is there a way in which I can retune either the TV and/or my set top box to access what I understood to be free to air channels ? I've heard that one can buy viewing cards/codes ..should I ?

Apologies if I've posted this on the wrong forum but any clues as to how to resolve would be gratefully received. Smile
steddenm1,289 posts since 11 Oct 2004
Central (West) Midlands Today
Hi Terri and welcome to TVF.

As AJ states if you call Sky Ireland customer care on 0818 719 819 they should send you a Freesat viewing card to get the BBC Channels back.

Hope this all helps.
"Stop touching Dot's pussy - you don't know where it's been!" (Honey Mitchell, EastEnders)
noggin12,064 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Beware - the situation is different in the UK and Ireland I believe.

RTE and TV3 aren't Free-to-Air or Free-to-View are they? So if you are in the Republic I don't think you'll get the without a subscription?

You may also find that other channels that are FTA aren't included in the FTA/FTV EPG for Ireland, even if they are in Northern Ireland (or does The Good Friday Agreement have a role in this?).

(Apart from Pick TV - are there any other FTV channels these days - even in the UK?)
London Lite6,901 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
From what I've read elsewhere, RTE channels are FTV in Northern Ireland only, so would require a NI card.

There was a cross-border agreement in 2010 to allow viewers in NI to watch RTE One and Two & TG4, along with BBC One/Two NI in the Irish Republic free to air/view. However, this doesn't stretch to FTA coverage of RTE One and Two on Digital Satellite which needs to be encrypted to ensure Irish rights are maintained.

Other BBC channels on the EPG in Ireland are with a commercial agreement between BBC Worldwide (who distribute the channels outside the UK, which allows distribution in Europe) and Sky
rdd2,556 posts since 21 Jun 2001
RTÉ channels are not FTV anywhere. They are pay channels on Sky in both NI and ROI though the line up is slightly different. The only platforms RTE is FTA on are Saorview (and Saorsat, for the five people that have it).

The OP will have no luck getting a Freesat from Sky card if they are ROI based I'm afraid. They'd be better off buying a Freesat reciever (though the only retail outlet in ROI that I know stocks then is Maplin) or a generic FTA satellite reciever - ideally a combo box with DTT for Saorview -if they are not planning on returning to Sky.
thegeek3,951 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London
If you wait long enough, Sky will probably start pleading you to come back to them - sometimes with a cracking deal. I think the best I've had so far was 70% off the basic pack, with no minimum term.
chinamug288 posts since 29 Jul 2013
UTV Newsline
All the stations you want are still there, but as far as I'm aware many of the Irish versions of the Stations such as Ch4 Ireland, E4 Ireland etc are scrambled. The UK versions of the stations are still FTA and you can access them via Other Channels on your SKY box. The only difference in those stations are the Ads. However, you have to manually tune them in. IMHO I think that if you've left SKY for good you should get a Freeview/Freesat Box from Amazon. They're about 40 pounds. That way you can get RTE TV3 and TG4 via an Aerial and Everything else via Sat on the one box.

The economic downturn a few years ago did a lot of damage to the SKY business model in Ireland. A lot of people switched to Free to air boxes or are using old Sky boxes that can get the FTA channels. Sky Salespeople would tell people they'd lose all the stations if they left the service (obviously not true). The vast majority of people with dishes in Ireland have them for BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Having said that SKY still has subscriptions in about 50% of households. But there are up to 1 in 4 houses in Ireland that enjoy Freesat in some form.

Just to add, the box I suggest above may not be offical Freesat/Freeview, that's why I did not include a link... You can get official Saorview and Freesat boxes which might be more suitable depending on your technical confidence.
Last edited by chinamug on 4 January 2017 8:32pm - 2 times in total
MetalGearRex842 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
Beware - the situation is different in the UK and Ireland I believe.

RTE and TV3 aren't Free-to-Air or Free-to-View are they? So if you are in the Republic I don't think you'll get the without a subscription?

You may also find that other channels that are FTA aren't included in the FTA/FTV EPG for Ireland, even if they are in Northern Ireland (or does The Good Friday Agreement have a role in this?).

(Apart from Pick TV - are there any other FTV channels these days - even in the UK?)

Pick's FTA, right?
For FTV channels the Sony Channel and 4Music are decent examples.

For the OP I'd suggest a Freesat and Saorview box, as others have mentioned.
'What is the only planet capable of sustaining life?'
'Mars.'
Terri2 posts since 4 Jan 2017 new member
Wow thanks all - even if I can't get free to view to work this forum certainly does ! I'm impressed and grateful in equal measure so please bear with me if I reply to all collectively rather than individually.

OK, have just phoned Sky to be told - disingenously - that they have never heard of a Freesat viewing card. We all have so what planet do they live on ? Best advice was to Google the net for freeview instructions : I did that earlier, am still confused hence my post to this forum...back to square one. I do understand that different territorial arrangements apply beteween the UK, NI and the Republic - regardless I have heard that 'unlock' codes and cards exist (illegally) on the net - (not expecting comments on that one guys.) Practiclly tho I've seen a vid on Youtube where allegedly a set top box has been converted to a PC : I'm not even going to think about atempting that but...could I access FTA channels on the internet and hook my laptop up to the TV and watch in that way ? No, not the plethora of FTA sex and foreign language channels but RTE etc ? I already watch More4 Catchup on my laptop (plus Netflix, I've also tried Putlocker but the constant buffering is boring) and via my set top box am still able to receive BBC 1, 2 and 3.

Thanks for the advice but I'm loathe to buy another receiver. My position/expectation is that soon we'll all be paid to watch commercial TV/streamed vids anyway as per the nascent Ryanair business model. After all the value to Mr Zuckerberg of every new Facebook punter is already circa $3.73 per user each quarter (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/28/how-much-are-you-worth-to-facebook).

For the record I was on a good (unpublished) deal - 20 euros per month. I cancelled due to the above principle and because for me at least terrestrial channels are no longer worth watching relative to digital alternatives.

Finally #chinamug thanks for your pointers : I can't access Other Channels now that my sub has lapsed. I've scoured the Sky menu but the only remaining active interface is Services - and it doesn't seem to be an option there. I'll investigate the option of getting an old Sky box further but yes the Holy Grail remains how to manually tune in... Cool