How to Set-Up Sky Remote: A Complete Guide

Sky Remote

While Freeview and Freesat are excellent programs, it doesn’t exactly provide the premium TV experience. If you want to splurge on your home entertainment system, you can consider switching to Sky TV. It has some of the best channels and shows in the UK and they are constantly creating new packages for their users. 

The company has a whole family of additional devices like the Sky remote control and the Sky box. If you are new to Sky, control your viewing experience by properly setting up your system. Once you figure out how to program your Sky remote control, you can host movie nights with family and friends! Here is Aerialforce’s complete guide for how to set up Sky remote.

(If you are interested in our other Sky guides you can check out: Watching Sky TV From Multiple Rooms: A Guide)

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Different Sky Remotes

Over the years Sky TV released several versions of the Sky remote. They have one for Sky TV, Sky+, and Sky Q. For Sky TV and Sky+, you should have no problem switching between the two remotes. 

The main difference between the two is purely aesthetics, though users have mentioned that it is easier to change the batteries on the Sky TV remote than Sky+. The Sky box isn’t too picky, but you may need to toggle around the settings if you want to use your Sky remote for your HD box.

With the recent addition of Sky Q, they expanded their remote control options. Some of the highlights of these new remotes are voice control, touch feature, and Find My Remote. There are 3 stand-out models. The first kind is similar to the traditional Sky remote control. It has the usual buttons and features. Unlike the regular Sky remote, this one has a voice control option. 

The second is the Sky Q Touch remote. Just like its name, it has a touch-feature so you can swipe and scroll through your channels. People have mixed feelings about the touch remote because of its sensitivity. When you accidentally tap or swipe, it can affect your viewing experience. If you don’t have young children at home, it is very easy to use. Among all the Sky remotes, this one really grows on you. 

(If you are interested in switching to Sky Q, you check our The Complete Guide to Your Sky Q Installation)

And the third model is a combination between the two. It has the same style and design as the touch remote, but instead of its touch feature, you get the usual buttons. Now that you know the different remote options for Sky, let’s go through the step-by-step process of pairing them with your TV.

How To Connect Your Sky Remote To Your TV

When you are connecting a new Sky remote to your TV, your old Sky handbook can come in handy for the digit codes. However, if you already chucked it in the bin, here is how you can connect your Sky remote to your TV:

Identify Your Model

The first step is identifying the model of your Sky remote and your TV since this can affect the codes you can use. You can identify your model by looking inside your battery cover. Then get the brand and model of your TV. Figuring out the brand is a no-brainer, but the model can be tricky. You can check your TV manual, box, or purchase receipt to find out. With all this information you can find your 3 or 4 digit codes for Sky remote here. 

Program Your Remote With Code

Have your 4 digit code for Sky remote in front of you, and you can get started. It is a simple process that only takes 3 steps when you know your code. 

  1. Press TV on your Sky Remote.
  2. Press Select and the Red button at the same time until the red light on your remote blinks twice
  3. Input your 4 digit code and press Select. 

Having problems with your sky remote control? If you are sure about your 4 digit code, simply try again. Sometimes it takes a while until your TV can properly save it. If you do not know your exact code, try every 4 digit code listed for your TV brand until you find the right one. 

If you have exhausted both methods, but your sky remote control does not pair, maybe it isn’t a 4 digit code. If you got your Sky remote second-hand, it probably is a 3 digit code because it is an older model. The instructions are the same, press TV, press select and the red button until it blinks twice, then input your code. When you can control the volume, you successfully set up your sky remote control!

How To Connect Your Sky Q Remote To Your TV

If you are connecting a new Sky Q or Sky Q Accessibility remote to your Sky box, here are the following steps:

  1. Press the Home button on your Sky Q remote.
  2. Select Settings > Setup > then Remote Control
  3. Select the Remote you are using
  4. Then select Control Your TV, then Find It For Me
  5. From there select your TV brand among the options
  6. Press and hold buttons 1 and 3 for 2 seconds and enter the code on your screen.

You can see if you successfully paired your Sky Q remote control by changing the volume or flipping through the channels. If it doesn’t work, you simply have to try again. 

In the worst-case scenario, set it back to its factory default setting by pressing 7 and 9 together until your remote’s red light flashes 4 times. When you reset your remote control, you can try again.

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How To Connect Your Sky Q Touch Remote To Your TV

If you have a Sky Q Touch Remote or a Sky Q Voice Control remote the instructions vary. 

  1. Press and hold buttons 1 and 3 at the same time
  2. Select Continue and go to Brand of the TV
  3. Then Select Find It For Me

Again, if you cannot change the volume, follow the steps in the previous section and try again. When you can change the volume, answer the final question. If you have a speaker system, there are more instructions you have to follow to program your Sky. If you don’t have a Soundbox or speaker, you are good to go!

When you finish pairing your Sky Q Touch remote, you can set up touch control 

  1. Press the Home button
  2. Select Settings> Setup> then Remote Control
  3. Select Sky Q Touch Remote and turn Touch Control On or Off

Then that’s it! You can now swipe, scroll, and tap to control the settings of your TV like you would with your smartphone. It is a nifty feature that can make it difficult to go back to the old Sky remote. If the touch feature is not for you, then simply turn it off and use the buttons as usual.   

Important Things To Note

Your Sky box can only accommodate one TV remote at a time. If you are replacing a damaged Sky remote or upgrading to a newer model, you need to unpair the previous remote control first. You can reset the factory settings of your old remote by holding 7 or 9 until the light flashes 4 times. If you damaged or misplaced your Sky remote you have to manually unpair it from your Sky box. If these steps don’t work, you can always contact Sky with your questions and concerns. 

If you have a Sky Q Voice Control remote, you can only use the voice control feature when your Sky box is connected to your broadband. If you lose your broadband connection, you can no longer use Voice Control and may have to make do with the buttons instead.

And last, but definitely not the least, you can set your Sky remote to control your TV and Sky Q at the same time. You can turn both devices on and off with HDMI control. However, you need to have a compatible TV with a feature Sky calls Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), but it can go by many names. If you have a more current TV model, this should not be a problem. To program your sky remote control follow these steps:

  1. Press the Home button on your Sky remote control
  2. Select Settings> Setup
  3. Select Audio Visual> HDMI Control then turn it On

This feature was first introduced with Sky + as HDMI One-Touch-Play. The instructions are similar. Visit settings and setup and turn the CEC setting on, once you have it in place, press the Standby button. Keep it on Standby for 30 seconds then press the Sky button, and you can get HDMI control!

With every upgrade, your Sky remote just gets better and better. Whether you notice it or not, your Sky remote control can affect your TV experience. If you are interested in switching to Sky, Aerialforce can help you set up your satellite dish! We have professional technicians who can get you the best TV reception possible. You can contact us at 0330 173 8058 or book us online here!

What Is A Masthead Amplifier and How Do I Install It?

tv amplifier

Nobody likes getting poor TV reception. That much is true. Fortunately, dealing with weak signals isn’t as difficult as it seems. Several different devices have been developed to help address this issue. One example is the masthead amplifier, which is determined to be one of the most effective ways to boost your TV signal. 

What Is A Masthead Amplifier and How Does It Work?

A masthead amplifier is a device used to boost a TV signal at the TV aerial, where it is at its strongest. It absorbs the signal received by aerial and sends it through the coaxial cable and to the TV, already amplified. 

Masthead amplifiers are connected to a power supply through an uninterrupted coaxial cable. Most domestic tv masthead amps require a 12V DC, or a 5V DC power supply to work, while non-domestic settings, like a block of flats and other communal systems, may best work with an 18V or 24V DC power supply. 

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Most Common Classifications of Masthead Amps

To determine the best masthead amplifier to use for your TV system, you must have an idea of how they are usually classified. Here are the most common ways TV masthead amps are generally classified:

  1. Frequency Band

In the past, masthead amps operated on UHF for channels 21-69. However, the release of 4G, which migrated the operation of channels 60 to 69 on the 800Mhz band, has limited the reach of a masthead amplifier to channel 60. Additionally, 5G signals have also emerged, which means the migration of channels 50-60 on the 700Mhz band. 

Due to this, masthead bands that pass only through certain frequency bands exist. If you’re worried about getting a masthead amplifier that has access to certain frequency bands only, you don’t have to worry as wideband masthead amplifiers exist!

  1. Amplifier Output Count

When you have multiple TV units, it is much advisable to install multi-output versions of the masthead amplifier. As an alternative, you may also opt to use a single-output masthead amplifier and install a splitter to connect to your other TVs. 

Some multi-output masthead amplifiers will require you to keep the power supply unit (PSU) connected to one particular output, but this is ot always the case. Some masthead amps will allow the PSU to be connected to any output. 

  1. Signal Gain

There are different makes and models of masthead amplifiers in the market. That means a particular masthead amplifier may output signal at a greater or smaller level than others. A TV masthead amplifier with fixed gain runs at about 10db. Meanwhile, masthead amps that have variable gain would often run between 15dB to 27dB. 

Masthead amps with variable gain are best used in areas with weak signal strength or when there is a high-output passive splitter connected to it. The adjustability in gain is also helpful in balancing the system when needed.

Do take note, though, that most masthead amplifiers will have a maximum input and output. Going over this limit can cause an overload that may result in a faulty amplifier, pixelation and loss of TV reception. 

  1. Power Consumption

As mentioned above, masthead amplifiers need to be connected to a PSU  for it to work. The most common masthead amps run at 5V, 12V, 18V and 24V DC power supply depending on their make and purpose. 

Installing Masthead Amplifiers

Now that you’re aware of the different types or classifications of masthead amplifiers, it is time to start installing one. Here are some tips on where to install your amplifier and PSU, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to install your masthead amp!

Where Do I Install The PSU?

While instilling your masthead amplifier’s PSU, it is important to put it at a location where it is safe from getting switched off or unplugged often. It is, thus, advisable to install the PSU in the loft or attic, or within a cupboard. Alternatively, you may also place it behind the TV, but you must come up with a solution to ensure the power supply does not get cut off. 

Make sure to install the PSU into its own socket, rather than into an extension socket or adapter. By doing so, you are effectively minimising the risks of it getting accidentally switched off or unplugged.

Where Do I Install The Masthead Amplifier? 

For optimum performance, the masthead amplifier should be installed as close to the aerial as possible, with it being connected by at least a metre of coaxial cable. As its name implies, it is most ideal to be tied, strapped onto the TV aerial mast or pole. 

Masthead Amplifier Installation Guide

  1. Use a coaxial cable to connect your TV aerial to the input terminal on your masthead amplifier.
  2. Prepare an uninterrupted coaxial cable and install it between the amplifier and the PSU. Connect it to the output of the masthead amplifier. 
  3. Connect the other end of the second coaxial cable into your PSU and plug it into the power main. 
  4. Connect a coaxial cable from the output of your PSU  to the input of your TV or distribution system. 
  5. Enjoy!

For a visual guide, here is a video from TVTradeDave who specialises in video guides for TV, Saorview and CCTV.

Problems You May Encounter After Installing Masthead Amplifiers

  1. Faulty Electrical Wiring

Just like any electrical device, the power supply of a masthead amplifier can become faulty. In fact, the PSU is usually where issues occur. In such instances, you may simply replace the faulty device.

  1. Disconnection From PSU

If there is no signal where the masthead amplifiers are in place, check if the power unit is plugged in and switched on. This is also a common mistake most TV owners make. Simply plug the power supply back in and turn it on to start enjoying your TV again!

  1. Not Enough Power Reaching The Masthead Amp

Wall-plates and splitters may prevent the power from reaching the masthead amp. This usually happens when the wall plates and splitters do not allow DC to pass through. To fix this issue, use equipment that allows both to do so. 

  1. Signal Overload

You do not always need an amplifier for your TV. If you are receiving moderate to strong signals and add a masthead amplifier, the signal will be too strong. This, in turn, may overload your TV and ruin your viewing experience rather than improve it. 

  1. Weather

Always remember to weatherproof your masthead amplifier. Whether you seal it shut with tape or put a protective covering around it is up to you. What’s important is that you protect it from water, wind and other debris that it may encounter. 

If you are unsure about installing a masthead amplifier to your TV aerial, you may also consider contacting an Aerialforce engineer or any professional aerial engineer to help you out!

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Having BT Youview Box Problems? Here’s What You Can Do To Fix It!

There’s nothing worse than encountering BT YouView box problems when you’re already comfortable in bed or on your couch while watching your favourite show or movie. It’s annoying, frustrating, and quite frankly, definitely a mood-killer! 

Fortunately, whether you’re dealing with signal loss, missing channels, distorted or pixelated picture, spotty audio, a faulty remote control or recording problems, BT Youview box troubleshooting is not as difficult as you’d think. 

So, if you’re looking to fix the issue on your Youview box yourself, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out just exactly what you can do to get back to your programmes as soon as possible!

The Most Common BT Youview Box Issues And How To Fix Them

Before you go and contact customer BT’s customer support, it is best for you to try and address your BT box issues yourself. Here are some of the most common BT Youview Box issues and how you can fix them:

Poor TV Signals

“Your TV signal is weak or lost.” 

If this message appears on your screen, try to figure out if the issue is isolated in one channel, or it’s affecting everything. If it is isolated to one channel, then it could be weak signal transmission from their end. However, If it’s the latter, then you may be experiencing intermittent aerial connection. 

If this is the case, you may want to check out the positioning of your TV aerial or the quality of your aerial installation. A few adjustments to your aerial may just fix this issue.

You may also want to try checking the signal quality in your BT box’s settings menu. If your set top box is receiving signals that are too strong, it is also likely for it to overload the Youview BT box, hence causing poor TV signals. If you think this is the problem, try reducing the signal level to 85 or 90%. You may also use a TV Signal attenuator to address this issue. 

Missing channels on your BT TV box could also be a result of poor TV reception. If this is the case, perform the same troubleshooting steps above. 

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Audio or Video Issues

If you are experiencing pixelated or broken up pictures and delayed or missing audio, restart your TV system. Your set top box and TV probably just need a quick reset to start working properly again. 

However, if restarting your device does not work, then you could be having network issues. 

If you are having network or broadband connection issues, make sure the issue isn’t from the service provider’s end or check if your phone line is working. If neither of these is the root of the issue, restart your BT Hub.

Many network problems are often fixed by simply restarting the connection, so there is a likely chance that you will be able to resolve your broadband issues this way. After restarting, check if the lights on your hub are powered on. 

BT Box Is Not Working At All

If your BT Youview is frozen or stuck on loading, all you have to do is restart your BT Box. If this does not do the trick, then your device may be due for a software update. 

To check for a software update, follow the steps below:

  • Press the YouView button, select settings
  • Go to the Information & Reset sub-menu. 
  • Select Software Information.
  • Click Update Software.

If this does not work, you may have to do a full factory reset. However, when you reset your BT box, you may lose your existing recordings. To prevent this from happening, try resetting your device on maintenance mode

No Blinking Lights

If there are no lights on your BT Youview box or box connectors, it is either not working, or not receiving enough power. 

Check if the power is switched on and if everything is securely connected. If you find that neither is the issue, you may have to replace your connectors and powerline adapters. 

Stuck On Maintenance Mode

When you try to start the box and see that it is stuck on the red light or on maintenance mode, immediately try restarting the box. If this does not work, press the arrow button on the box to enter maintenance mode. Follow the prompt and check if the indicator light is blue. 

If this does not work, you may have to do a hard reset. 

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Recording Issues

Recording issues are normally caused by poor broadband connection or poor Freeview signal. To make sure you successfully record a programme or channel, you have to ensure that the channel you want to record can be viewed properly. 

Make sure that your BT Youview Box stays on during the whole duration of your recording. Turning it off will also prevent you from recording anything. 

Lastly, check the list of your scheduled recordings on your My TV menu. Any overlaps will cause problems for your recordings.

Remote Control Is Not Working

Now, this one is quite simple. In most cases, all you need to get your remote control working again is a fresh set of batteries. 

Also, check for the connection between your remote and the TV box. If the light on your remote control is blinking, but the TV box is not responding, you may have to reboot your TV Box. However, if this is not the case, you may want to reset, or worse replace your remote control.

What Happens When None Of The Troubleshooting Methods Work?

If none of the troubleshooting methods above work, you may have to replace altogether your BT YouView box. If you think your box is still salvageable but are not entirely sure on how to fix the issue, ask an aerial TV professional from your neighbourhood or from companies like AerialForce to assess your BT box and TV aerial, and address these issues themselves. 

Final Thoughts

Save yourself the frustration and stress that comes with being to address any issues that cut into your TV viewing and leisure time! Keep these troubleshooting methods handy to make sure you’re ready the next time you experience any of these issues! 

How Do I Find the Nearest TV Transmitter to My Postcode?

TV towers aren’t just tall skyscrapers that you admire from a distance. Besides adding to the city skyline, they have a vital role in making sure your favourite soap reaches your TV. They do the grunt work of making sure every home with a TV aerial gets their Freeview channels. With over 18 million households using Freeview, you can see why it takes a whole network of transmitters to reach every neighbourhood. In summary, they’re the reason you’re able to watch Frasier, Line of Duty, and Normal People.

Unfortunately, you might not experience your shows the way you want to because of technical problems. Like all technology, a little bit of know-how can go a long way. Here are a couple of questions to help you understand your TV aerial and TV transmitter a bit better: 

Why Can’t I Watch My Shows? 

Even with great reception, you can lose channels a little bit over time. It is the reality of the cable cutter experience. If you have problems with your TV channels, first check if they are available in your area. You can do this by visiting the Freeview website and typing in your postcode to see what channels reach your neighbourhood. If the list online and channels on your TV do not match, then there are three possible problems: 

  1. Faulty transmitter
  2. Faulty aerial
  3. Signal disruptions (obstructions, heavy rainfall, etc.)

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Faulty Transmitter 

If you are struggling to get reception, check your local transmitter through BBC’s or Freeview’s site. You can see the active towers near you. You need to enter your postcode and house number to get accurate information. The checker will show you a map of your area and the nearest TV transmitter and its current status, whether it’s good, varied, or faulty.

If a TV transmitter near me is not working, it would be red. I can look around for the nearest TV transmitter to me in the green/good to try to connect to their service. Its coverage should reach me for it to be a proper replacement.

If you have a faulty transmitter, try to look for a new one within the area. These TV towers often overlap in urban areas, so you can quickly remedy the reading by adjusting your aerial. If there are no other towers near you, you may have to wait until it is up and running again. 

Faulty Aerial 

The next thing you should consider when the TV towers have no problems is your own aerial. Aerials are fickle things. They need to face the right direction and to be in the proper angle before you can enjoy your channels. 

On top of that, outdoor aerials have to brave the elements. A torrential downpour of rain could affect your aerial’s position, making it harder to receive any signal. Indoor aerials are no better. While they don’t experience the same wear and tear, they are not that strong. Other types of signal interference could affect your aerial.

Try to test out different positions for your indoor or outdoor aerial. Try to see if the quality of your show becomes clearer or not. If you have no luck making it work with the right angle and direction, it might be time to replace it. Check out 

Environment Issues

Before you replace your aerial, try to inspect your surroundings. There might be environmental changes that affect your reception. Are there new trees, buildings, or posts? Just because you do not see these changes in your immediate area, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. 

People who live in valleys and wooded areas are more sensitive to this. A TV transmitter doesn’t cover these areas evenly. Most homes here depend on relay transmitters. If the relay transmitter near you has problems, it could affect your viewing experience as well. 

How Can I Improve My Signal?

Improving your signal starts with addressing the previous problems. Even if you do not lose your channels, those steps can help you get better reception. You can upgrade your aerials with models that can handle interference better. 

You can switch between transmitters. For example, the nearest TV transmitter to my postcode in Surrey is Freeview’s Reigate transmitter, but Crystal Palace is south enough for my aerial to pick up. I could try Crystal Palace even though it’s farther because it has more channels. The distance is not the only thing that affects your reception, so a transmitter that is farther but offers more channels might be more effective. 

Since not every area may have a tower, I could also check maps for TV transmitters near me and not the nearest TV transmitters to me. There is a difference. Instead of looking at your postcode, focus on the miles instead. It will give me more things to try, and from there I can compare the different signals. It can be an excellent benchmark. 

You may opt to get a TV signals booster. However, signal boosters have a history of mixed results since they can sometimes get the wrong signals. Read more about signal boosters here

Where Is My Nearest TV Transmitter?

There are several ways you can look for your nearest TV transmitter. You can check Ofcom’s transmitter location maps on their website for the digital switchover plans. You can get the names of the transmitters and towers and look it up in Google maps. 

You can also check the UK Free TV website for news on transmitter repair work and Freeview transmitters across the country. Take note of the direction it is in and adjust your aerial accordingly.

So how do you know if the TV transmitter you found is the right one? There are two ways you can do it. The first is to compare your aerial with your neighbour and the second is to look up your postcode.

Look At Your Neighbour’s Aerial

People who value their privacy might feel uncomfortable at the idea of posting small details of themselves online. When you enter information online, the cookies may remember them. You can always opt to clear your cookies history to remove personal information online. 

If you do not want to check your postcode, you can do the age-old method of following the crowd. Look at your neighbour’s homes and see what direction their outdoor aerials face and follow suit. All aerials try to look towards the TV transmitter.

You can try to check 5 different homes to see if there are other key directions. Pay close attention to the houses who had theirs professionally done. They have the ideal direction and position. You could also ask around if you are close to your neighbours. 

Now, this method will not help in areas with relay transmitters. Large outdoor aerials may face the main transmitter while the smaller indoor aerials go towards the relay transmitters. In this situation, trial and error is the best way to figure out which one is best. 

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Look Up Your Postcode

All transmitter maps require your postcode. To get precise information, you may have to give that along with your house number if your neighbourhood is big. Remember to clear your cookies history if you include your house number as a precaution. Enter these details on the online TV transmitter maps website to see which one is closest to you. 

When you input your postcode, take note of the distance between you and the tower. TV aerials do not have a lot of coverage. While they may seem close on the map, the numbers on your antenna may beg to differ. 

For people who live in rural areas be wary of aerials that advertise 80 miles and more for their range. The upper end of that should also be an outdoor aerial, not an indoor one. Advertisers tend to stretch their specs, so conservative estimates are more likely to be true. 

Which Way Should I Point My TV Aerial?

Always point your TV aerial in the direction of your TV transmitter. You can use a compass, to match the coordinates on the maps. Or use Google maps and rotate to properly orient yourself.

Now, there is an exception to this rule. It is when you have a clear obstruction in that same direction. Massive buildings, posts, trees, and other similar things block the signals for your TV aerial. Try to look for a clear space to install your antenna. 

In urban areas, signal interference is also common. The signals from cars, homes, and businesses can affect your reception. Try to avoid those as well. 

The same rules apply for your indoor aerial. Stay close to windows and avoid significant obstructions. Keep your aerial away from other devices that might produce signals that conflict with your aerial. Try to keep your aerials as high as possible too. 

Where Are TV Transmitters Typically Located?

Ofcom regulates where the TV transmitters are so there will be minimal interference. Besides that, there is little information about the factors that go into their location. Most of them tend to be in populated areas. In the countryside, they stay near the central regions to get the most coverage. Since TV transmitters have minimal coverage in these types of areas, most people opt for satellite dishes instead. 

How Can I Check The TV Signal Strength In My Area?

With no extra gadgets, the best way to test for TV signal strength is to have all the channels listed in the TV guide website. They already took into account the loss for your area. If it says you should get 122 channels, but you only get 80, then the signal strength is weak. You can manually try different setups until you find the majority, if not all, of the channels.  

You can also buy an aerial signal meter. Detach the coaxial cord from your TV set and input it to your meter and attach your meter cord to your TV. Rotate your aerial while you take note of the signal strengths each time. The more LED lights go green, the stronger the signal. You can do this several times until you narrow it down to the best angle. 

Over the counter meters have mixed results, so try to buy the ones your friends and family use. You can also opt to get a professional to do this. They have the gear and equipment to get the best TV signal strength. 

No matter how great the tech, TV aerials still have a bit of guesswork. Online TV guides and transmitter maps are excellent references for you to check your reception, but the ever-changing environment prevents this from being a fool-proof plan. Hopefully, with a lot of patience and luck, you can see the difference and return to your regular programs in no time. 

If doing all of these steps still doesn’t give you a proper reception, then it may be time for you to call the professionals. We, at Aerialforce, can come to your house on the same day of your distress call so you can continue to watch your favourite shows without any problems.

No Cable, No Problem: Best Alternatives to Sky

Sky is a large TV platform that offers many different bundles and services. They boast of their millions of customers and premium services. However, their basic tier for watching TV–Sky TV may not be the best option on the market, not even within Sky’s own products. 

Despite the minimal competition in the UK cable industry, there are many alternatives to Sky. You can break it down to services within Sky, other TV companies, free TV platforms, and streaming online. Whether you want to stay in the cable system or become a cable cutter yourself, you can find new ways to enjoy your favourite shows. 

Is Sky TV Worth It?

Switching to another company begins with the question: is it worth it? There is no simple answer. It depends on whether you enjoy the basic subscription or not. If you love everything it has to offer, it is worth it. However, if you keep getting add-on services, it might not be for you.

What Do You Get With Sky TV?

The basic plan for Sky TV is £25 per month excluding the setup fees. There are many available channels. They have free channels like BBC One and Channel 4 and their in-house channels Sky Documentaries, Sky Atlantic, Sky History, and Sky Nature. 

They also have deals with paid channels like Pick, Fox, Comedy Central, TLC, Syfy, Sky Sports News, Zee TV, MTV, etc. Your Sky subscription has 2,500 series available, which is around 27,000 hours of entertainment

Now, these may seem great, but to enjoy the ultimate TV experience that Sky offers, you need to add to your plan. The Ultimate TV adds on is another £6 per month. If you are an avid sports fan, you may need to purchase the sports channels individually, or through their complete sports pack, that’s an additional £18-£30.

Even with SkyGo as a free service, their ultimate experience is far beyond the first £25. Your Sky subscription can go up to £80. With more upgrades, you are essentially switching to Sky Q. Sky Q starts at the same price but with £20 for installation and £14 for multi-room features.

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What Are The Common Issues With Sky?

The common issue with Sky is that while TV viewing experiences develop, they do little to upgrade their primary offerings. Your Sky subscription can reach £99 per month with all the upgrades. For most people, Ultimate TV might be a bit too expensive. If you are ready to switch, check below for other options. 

What Are The Sky TV Alternatives?

Yes! There are many alternatives to Sky TV. However, there is no clear answer about the best one. It depends on what you are willing to do and how much you are ready to spend. The sky alternatives are other TV companies, free TV platforms, and online streaming

All of these three can deliver quality entertainment at an affordable budget. However, if you want to expand your experience, you can always opt to subscribe to a better plan or find exclusive deals. Let’s go through your free options first. 

What Are My Free TV Platform Options? 

Never forget the kings of TV: Freeview and Freesat channels. They continue to be a popular way to view shows and movies. Both require some form of installation, but they are quite affordable and accessible. 


Freeview is the leading platform for free TV channels using an indoor or outdoor aerial. Your aerials pick up the signals from TV transmitters nearby. While these have a vast collection of free shows to watch, the availability of the channels depends on the area. You can check out what’s available by going to their TV guide for more details

No matter where you are there should be a good mix of live TV, radio, and entertainment channels for you to enjoy. If you live in the city or the countryside, your aerial can pick up major channels. You can still watch Channel 4, ITV, and BBC One. 

The main cons about Freeview are that you don’t get everything they have and aerials may be a little temperamental. However, the main pros are that there are no monthly fees and very minimal upkeep. If you live near TV transmitters, like the city, it can be an excellent investment. 


Freesat channels are similar to Freeview with their free channels. However, instead of aerials, you need a satellite dish. There are little to no indoor dishes available. Not all alternatives to Sky need professional instalment, but that extra help goes a long way. 

Outdoor aerials and satellite dishes can be dangerous to install on your own as they are typically on the side of your house or on the roof. Companies like Aerialforce can do the installments for you.

What makes Freesat so great? A Satellite dish is a popular choice among cable cutters because of how much they can receive. If you have a motorised one, you can enjoy a whole range of shows just by slightly adjusting the angle. You can also continue to use your old sky box even though you are not using their services. 

You can also catch-up with shows from different entertainment channels on their apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Demand 5. But what if you do not have broadband connection? With a TV box, you can also record these shows instead of watching online. There is a way to catch up to your favourite entertainment channels. 

Besides UK channels, you can pick up international channels from other countries. For this to happen, you need to check out what satellites are near you. The satellite dish has a lot of range, so it is popular in the countryside where TV transmitters are few and far between. Aerial and cable connection are not always available, but the dishes are. 

Other TV Companies Besides Sky?

There are three household names for TV providers in the UK: Sky, Virgin, and BT. If you are looking for an alternative to Sky TV, then Virgin and BT are the next in line. Let’s take a closer look at these pay-TV options.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media and Sky have a rocky relationship, but that’s competition for you. Virgin Media is a cable company with a select service area since they do not use aerials or dishes. They have five main tiers for your TV subscription: 

  • Big with 114 channels
  • Big + Drama with 147 channels
  • Bigger with 222 channels
  • Bigger + Movies with 245 channels
  • Ultimate Oomph with 261 channels 

These plans and numbers can change in the future. They also have a broadband setup and extra channels for an additional fee. 

Pro Tip: For families with children, popular channels for kids like Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, and their junior versions are only available in the Ultimate Oomph plan

Its setup price is quite steep when you compare it to aerial and satellite dish installations — £35 for new customers. For families who want more than one V6 box, there is a £49.95 V6 activation fee, but these vary depending on the package. It is hard to gauge the total monthly payments of Virgin TV since you can customise it to your liking. 

But these premium prices have their benefits as well. Their TV box and cable connection are what makes it so expensive, but it is also how you can get premium channels and catch up TV players on your smart TV with BBC iPlayer, All4, and Sky On Demand. Virgin TV is less like Sky TV and more like Sky Q. They also have better reception all-around. 

In summary, Virgin TV might not be the best choice if you want something cheaper than Sky TV. It is still a top-tier service that can get pretty expensive. It is a good change of pace for people who are tired of poor connections. 


BT TV strengths do not lie in expansive TV channels like Sky or Virgin. Two main things make BT TV interesting. The first is that BT TV comes with its broadband and fibre connections. The second is its sports channels. Unlike Sky and Virgin, BT Sports owns the exclusive rights for most of the Champions League matches including Europa League. For these sports series, you can enjoy live TV and experience the game with everybody else. From cricket to WWE, they have a collection made for avid sports enthusiasts, especially football fans. 

Another critical thing to note is that BT TV does not use satellites like Sky or cable-like Virgin. BT TV uses TV, aerials and broadbands. The TV aerial gets regular shows that are a part of Freeview, and the broadband gets the premium channels. 

BT TV has three main TV subscriptions, all of these come with a 24-month contract and a £9.99 delivery fee

  • Entertainment at £5 for the first 6 months then £10 every month afterwards
  • Big Entertainment at £20 per month
  • VIP at £60 per month

They all have Freeview channels available. Big Entertainment has Sky channels like Sky Atlantic and Sky Nature, and Now TV channels as well. VIP has everything from the previous packages, including the sports package and HD channels. Now, these rates and packages may change in the future. 

Wild Card: Now TV

While we are discussing alternatives to Sky TV, it does not have to mean leaving Sky completely. If you dislike the other TV companies, you can opt to stay under Now TV. Now TV is a streaming subscription under Sky. Think Netflix, but with your TV company. 

You can have any kind of fibre or broadband connection and enjoy. If you do not have an existing internet plan, Now TV also has fibre plans that you can easily bundle. 

Now TV has flexible plans, so you can pay for the shows you watch. There are different TV passes. All you have to do is select the ones you like. You can change these every month, here are some TV passes and their rates:

  • Entertainment Pass at £8.99 a month
  • Sky Cinema Pass at £11.99 a month
  • Sky Sports Pass at £5.99 a month
  • Kids Pass at £3.99 a month
  • Hayu Pass at £3.99 a month

All of these passes have a free 7-day trial. You can cancel them at any time. If you struggle with Sky’s rates for the shows you want, Now TV might be a great alternative. Select the ones you really watch like the entertainment pass and the kids pass and save money by avoiding the ones you never watch. You can get premium shows at a more affordable price.

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What Is The Best TV Package In The UK?

Now that we have gone through the list of different TV companies in the UK, which one is the best? It is difficult to say. Not only are people’s viewing habits different, but promotions also come and go. The best deal today might not be the same tomorrow. 

The top three most affordable packages without skimping on the content are: Virgin Media Big Bundle at £29.99 per month, NOW Brilliant Broadband and Entertainment at £22.99 per month, and NOW Brilliant Broadband and Sky Cinema at £23.99. If we are looking at other companies as well, BT Entertainment with Fibre 1 at £32.99 per month and TalkTalk Fast Broadband with TV and Entertainment Boost at £33.50 would be the next contenders. 

Can Online Streaming Services Replace Sky?

The TV viewing experience is a nostalgic one. The many pitfalls of TV are now endearing qualities. With TV, you never really know what you are going to catch. The compromise could lead to wonderful discoveries. Flipping through the channels has a distinct feeling that online streaming cannot replicate. There is also the option of live TV that can be rare for movie streaming services.

However, just because it has a strong nostalgic element does not mean it is the best choice for everyone. Streaming online is for people who like to watch their shows deliberately. It is also an excellent option for people who want to catch up on TV in their own time.

Online streaming services are so flexible. They work on most devices from your smartphone to your smart TVs. If you have a great TV setup, you can continue to enjoy your movie nights the same way you would with a cable.

There are many streaming websites and apps on the market. While their prices are within the same range, they can offer different shows. Here are four options you can consider: 


Who hasn’t heard of Netflix and their original movies and series? Netflix is an American streaming app where you can download your shows and watch offline. They have a good selection of films and series from around the world, though like most services the availability varies on your location. You always have to consider who owns the rights in your country. 

However, even without the big names, you can have a pleasurable experience with their in-house content. If the kids in your home want to watch Klaus, Hilda, and Carmen Sandiego, Netflix has a list for children of all ages. Netflix continually creates its movies and series for different countries. Unlike their other material, these are available in all locations.  

Netflix plans vary depending on how many screens you want. The monthly payments are £5.99 for one screen, £8.99 for two screens, and £11.99 for four screens. The standard plan comes with an HD option and the premium service, an Ultra HD option. 

Amazon Prime Video

If you love online shopping, you most likely have an Amazon Prime membership. Even the occasional online splurge and rack up points like crazy. One of the benefits of being a Prime member is their streaming service. You can be a Prime member for £7.99 per month and enjoy the benefits of Prime Video. You can also opt to get a Prime Video membership on its own for £5.99 per month. Since the monthly fees are so close sometimes it is easier to be an Amazon Prime member from the get go.

Prime Video has a collection of Amazon originals. You can watch shows like Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, The Man in the High Castle, The Expanse, Good Omens, and The Boys. They also have TV series and movies that vary depending on your location. 

If particular series or movies are not available, you can easily get them since the streaming platform connects to Amazon Prime. Digital copies are not for everyone, you can opt to get physical copies. Buy the box sets of your favourite series on Amazon Prime. Having the CD/ DVD in your hands is a different experience and there are people who crave that.


MUBI is not a common choice, but it is an excellent option for film lovers who are tired of seeing the same things. MUBI is a streaming service that focuses on award-winning films and indie selections from around the world. They advertise it as films that would not fill a theatre in a week but have an audience when you expand the range. If you want to watch Buffet Froid, Kansas City Confidential, Meshes of the Afternoon, or The Night I Swam along with other international pieces MUBI is for you. 

They have a free, monthly, and yearly plan. The free plan is just access to MUBI’s forums and reviews. You do not have to watch from MUBI to experience the community. However, if you want to stream the shows, it is $10.99, which is roughly £ 8.65 per month. You can opt for their yearly plan at $95.88, which is around £75.45. 

They also have MUBI Go which is a movie pass for smaller productions. It is only available in the UK at the moment and is relatively new.

YouTube, Google Play, and iTunes

If you want to stay away from the TV subscription altogether, you can purchase the movies and series you like one by one. YouTube has a rent/ pay per view or purchase option for films on its platform. You can opt to pay online or through your mobile bill. Google Play and iTunes also have the same opportunities, and the payment plan is similar to purchasing apps or getting credit. You can pay via card, or buy a point/gift card. 

It may be a little bit pricey since you are purchasing the shows individually. It is not the way to go for most people. If you know what you like, it can be an alternative to SkyTV experience in general. Unlike purchasing CDs and DVDs, it is more flexible, and you can watch on your different devices. 

Netflix and Amazon are common choices for people who make the online switch. However, if you choose to stay with your TV company, you can also get accounts in these services. It will link to your cable bill and it simplifies your monthly payments. 

Should You Make The Switch?

There is an alternative for every type of viewer. Whether you want to stick with Sky under a different plan or become a true cable cutter, entertainment is not limited to the TV screen. You can enjoy the same quality, if not better, with other services. 

Try to assess what you have and how much you are willing to spend. Take note of what your household members watch and look into plans that cater to them. Most of the online streaming services come with a free trial period. Test the waters and see if you like that experience better or if it’s TV all the way. There is no doubt that you will find an alternative the whole family can enjoy. 

A Comprehensive Guide On Your YouView Box

Are you constantly bogged down by stressful days at work or school? Are you struggling to keep your kids entertained during long periods indoors? Don’t know what to do on weekends? Easy. Invest in your home entertainment setup. Consider buying a YouView box, for example, to improve your days off. Bring back the late Saturday mornings while eating your breakfast in front of the TV. Relive movie nights with family and friends during long breaks. Relaxing in front of the TV can bring you back to the simpler days of your childhood. Sometimes, all we need is to destress for a couple of hours to replenish your energy.

Before purchasing a YouView box, it is best to learn about the nitty-gritty details to see if it fits with your current or future lifestyle. This list is your friendly guide to understanding everything about the YouView box before your purchase.

What Does A YouView Box Do?

A YouView box is a set-top box, a device which converts the signals  into something that your TV can read and display. Unlike the set-top box of old, YouView tries to give you the best of both worlds: digital and IP TV. The box can connect to your aerial for free digital channels, your broadband for IP TV and other subscription-based programs. It is TV on-demand in every sense of the word. 

On your YouView box, you can pause, rewind, fast forward, record and save shows. Say good-bye to missing parts of your show because you had to take a call or go to the bathroom. No more waiting for scheduled recaps, you can catch up when you are free. This way, you don’t go missing grand reveals because you have work on their regular timeslot.

You can also create a customised library and add personal touches like reminders for things you watch for a better viewing experience. The YouView Box has features that people who solely use online streaming platforms are used to enjoying. It is definitely a step-up from what you grew up with.


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What Are The Different Types Of YouView Boxes? 

YouView has three main types of boxes: YouView, YouView+, and YouView+ Ultra HD. With these three boxes, there are two manufacturers: Humax and Huawei. The quality and features are the same across the board for these two manufacturers. It is a matter of company partnerships. Humax models are usually for BT, and Huawei models are for TalkTalk. The only difference would be the company logos and add-ons that comes with the box. 

When deciding between the different types of YouView boxes, the best version depends on your setup. While the YouView+ Ultra HD has the most power to accommodate your viewing needs, you cannot enjoy the HD channels without an HD TV. The YouView box is the most affordable among the three. However, it lacks some of the features that people have become accustomed to using like recording live shows. In conclusion, it’s really a matter of preference and your budget.

Is YouView The Same As Freeview?

YouView and Freeview are similar, but not the same. Youview has access to Freeview, but not vice versa. The initial Freeview model focuses on free digital channels without any other hook-ups. Its access depends on aerial connection. You can check what is available in your area with Freeview’s online TV guide. You can get channels like BBC, ITV Channel, Channel 4, Channel 5, and other live TV broadcasts

YouView, on the other hand, has access to all of these Freeview channels and can be plugged to broadbands for IP TV services like BT TV and TalkTalk TV, and other subscription services. YouView depends on decent aerial signals and internet service to deliver its wide range of features. 

Can You Get The YouView Box Without A Subscription?

You can buy a YouView box on its own without any accompanying subscriptions from BT, TalkTalk, and Plusnet. It would mean very limited services though. However, you can use it with your regular aerial set up. If you have a limited budget for home entertainment, buying the YouView box on its own might be best. However, this goes back to the question of what you want from your entertainment set up and how you use it. 

Pros For No Subscription

The thing that works in your favour when you opt for no subscription is that you don’t have to deal with a contract. When you find yourself busy at work, and you do not get a chance to watch TV, you cannot opt-out of paying your monthly fee just because you did not use it. It might be the choice to make if you, or the people you live with, have busy schedules. 

Cons For No Subscription

However, if you do not opt for any subscription, you are under utilising your YouView box. If the YouView+ or YouView+ Ultra HD appeal to you, their recording and storage memory is wasted. While free digital channels have a lot to offer, it cannot satisfy the pop culture nerd or film buff in you. Original content from Netflix and similar platforms are becoming more and more popular. Those shows will never pop up on regular channels. 

What Are The Subscriptions Available With The YouView Box?

Your YouView box can get subscriptions from TV on-demand services. They have services like Netflix and Amazon Prime that have a mix of shows with rights reserved and original content. You can also have access to subscriptions to Now TV, UKTV Play, STV player, S4C, ITV Hub, and BBC iPlayer where you can catch up to tv shows you might have missed. Even the young ones in your family have a place with subscriptions. Pop, milkshake!, Ketchup TV, and Disney+ are examples of what you can get for your kids. 

Multiple Devices

Most of these online subscriptions have apps and websites that you can access on other devices. By getting these subscriptions, you not only expand your home entertainment but also your viewing experience on the go. 

How Can I Buy A YouView Box?

There are three ways on how you can get a YouView Box. 

Direct Purchase

The first is purchasing it directly from different retailers like Amazon, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds, and Humax, among many others. You can also find second-hand YouView boxes at half the retail price, but that comes with risks. 

Purchase As A Bundle With A TV

The second is purchasing it with a range of Sony Android TVs that you can buy from Currys, John Lewis, and Richer Sounds. You have to double-check if the TV is compatible with the box, you can discuss this with your local sales representative.

Purchase As A Bundle With A Broadband

The third is to buy it in a bundle with broadbands like BT, TalkTalk, and Plusnet. There are different bundles, and the prices and models vary depending on how much internet you plan to get with it. HD channels and heavy recording require more from your broadband, so plan your purchase accordingly. 

How much is a YouView Box?

It is difficult to give exact numbers since there are different ways to get it, and they come with promotions that are subject to change. For the basic YouView box model without the recording feature, the average cost is around £62-100. Advanced models can range from £150-£170. When purchasing it along with a broadband bundle, monthly payments without the setup fee can vary from £22-£58

These numbers are estimates, it’s best to consult their websites for more information. 

How do I Set Up A YouView box?

To set up your YouView box, you need the following materials: a YouView box, remote control, AAA batteries, power lead, HDMI cable, aerial cable, and an ethernet cable. When you buy your YouView box, it includes the remote control, power lead/ power supply cord, HDMI cable, and ethernet cable. However, you may opt to buy the cables on your own if it does not fit your setup. Try not to force the configuration, play around with it and see what best suits your space.

Also, don’t forget that YouView uses Freeview and not Freesat channels. You need an aerial instead of a satellite dish. If you have an indoor or outdoor aerial, you can proceed, if not, have an aerial installed—select indoor aerials for flats and houses that prohibit outdoor aerials. If you have decent reception, a properly installed indoor aerial will work just fine. However, if you live in an area with rough terrain, lots of buildings, and the TV transmitter is too far–an outdoor aerial will work better. 

Insert the aerial cable to the TV box, then connect the HDMI cable between the box and the TV. Afterwards, you can join the ethernet cable between the box and your internet router. Insert the power lead to the back of the YouView box and the socket, and then you are good to go. 

YouView can be an excellent investment for your home entertainment setup. You can have general access to Freeview channels like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and Dave. While you can enjoy these free features, you can upgrade with different subscriptions like BT TV, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer. 

During dull afternoons with nothing to do, you can sit back, relax, and watch your favourite shows. It provides a flexible and enjoyable viewing experience. If you have aerial problems, you can depend on the broadband connection. If you have internet problems, you can switch over to the free channels. Channels cater to different kinds of people. From educational cartoons and children’s programs to reality TV and action movies, YouView provides entertainment for everyone in the household. 

What Is A Coaxial Cable and What Does It Do?

A coaxial cable or a coax is a type of cable that is used as transmission lines for radio frequency, video, and data signals. Traditionally, they have been used as feed lines to connect transmitters and receivers with antennas, internet connections, digital audio and cable television signals. 

This is why such cables are used in almost every home for television and internet connections, as well as in industrial settings for Local Area Networks. It is one of the most preferred types of cable because of its shielding and resistance to signal interferences from motors and other electronic equipment. 

It has multiple layers namely an inner conductor, an insulating layer, a conductive shielding and an insulating outer jacket. Most coaxial cables even have outer jackets that are UV, chemical, halogen and flame resistant, making it the best option, even for industrial settings. Its shielded design even allows for quick data transmission without succumbing to the interference or damage from outside or environmental factors.

They work by carrying data into the centre conductor while the surrounding layers of shielding (which is collectively known as the shield, restrict any attenuation loss and help reduce EMI. The first layer, meanwhile, provides distance and insulation between the core conductor and the outer layers. 


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What Does A Coaxial Cable Look Like?

Coax cables have a distinct thick, round shape due to its interior insulation layer. Because of its size, its look also differs significantly from other cable types. 

Coaxial cables come in many sizes, but the most common sizes are the RG-59, RG-11, and RG-6 cables. For non-industrial use, the most common coax cable used is the RG6 cable, while industrial installers, on the other hand, may use thicker cables like the RG11.

As for the colour, a coaxial cable normally comes in black, white or brown. 

Coaxial Cable Types and What Exactly They Are Used For

As mentioned above, coax cables are classified by their sizes. Here is a quick overview of what each coax cable type is used for. 

  • RG-6 Coaxial Cables – RG6 cables are ideal for television, the internet, and digital video. Because RG-6 cables are made with a different kind of shielding and have an impedance of 75 Ohm, they can carry GHz signals more effectively, making them best for tv aerials or domestic television, internet connections, and digital video signals.
  • RG-11 Coaxial Cables – Such cables are best used for HDTV. Because it offers a higher gauge which provides more space for signals to transfer, it is adept at transferring strong HD signals at high speed. It is also often used as a long-length backbone cable. End-users of RG-11 coax cables benefit from higher signal quality not just for TV, cable, and internet transmission.
  • RG-59 Coaxial Cables – This kind of cable is best for CCTV systems. While RG6 cables can run longer distances without loss to video signal, RG-59 cables are much convenient to work with. 
  • RF Coaxial Cables – An RF or Radio Frequency coaxial cable is used to carry radio frequency signals. These cables are the standard input cable on TV sets. It usually has a coax plug or pin, which you can simply plug to the RF input on the device. 

Coaxial Cable Connectors, Coaxial Splitters and Coaxial Ports

Cable Connectors

Coaxial cable connectors are used to connect your coax cable to another device while maintaining its shielding. These connectors could be classified into male or female. Male connectors have metal pins which protrude from the centre, while female connectors have a recessed hole where the pin is plugged into. 

These connectors are used for RF equipment, test instruments, radio, television and video signal, mobile phone connections, broadcast communications systems and many more. 

Coaxial Splitters

Because coaxial cable lines are produced to provide a signal to power a singular device, you will encounter a problem if you try using it to power more than one device. Coaxial splitters are used when there is more than one device that requires a signal. True to its name, it is designed to split the signal from one coaxial cable towards several lines to connect to multiple devices. 

Coaxial Ports

A coax port is a single female RCA connector on a device. It will most likely be labelled as “coaxial,” “digital out” or “digital in.” This port is usually colour-coded orange or black, where a male coax is to be plugged in. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables are pretty advantageous. Such cables are inexpensive compared to fibre optic cables, durable, easy to install, and easy to expand with a cable extension kit. Additionally, coax cables have good resistance to EMI and RFI, lower error rates, as well as a transfer capacity of approximately 10mbps. 

Moreover, coaxial cables are beneficial for both analogue and digital transmission, as compared to twisted pair cables and fibre optic cables, which are only capable of supporting analogue and digital, respectively.

However, coaxial cables still have a few drawbacks. Some of which come to mind are its susceptibility to total system or network failure, bulkiness, stiffness, and vulnerability to security breaches. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve got a much clearer understanding on what a coaxial cable is for, you’re probably ready to start on that DIY project that has got you looking up coaxial cables in the first place. However, if you are planning on installing a TV aerial, setting up a CCTV system in your home, or simply looking to extend your tv broadband, it would probably much safer for you to put the coaxial cable down and let the professionals work on it. This will not only ensure your safety but also save you all the frustration of trying to get everything done yourself!

Freesat Vs. Freeview: A Comparative Guide

If you’re on the market for a digital TV service provider, you’re probably on the fence between Freesat and Freeview. At first glance, they are pretty similar. Both offer a wide range of TV and radio channels for free, only requiring you to pay the upfront costs for your Freesat-ready or Freeview-ready device and its setup and installation. 

However, the fact is that they are more different than alike. And whether you see them as competitors or not, you are still faced with the decision of choosing between the two. To help you get to the bottom of this Freesat vs. Freeview dilemma, we’ve come up with a guide to help you better understand the services of each one. From coverage to channel selection, we’ve got you covered! 

Ready to make the choice between Freeview or Freesat? Read on!


Freesat is a free-to-air TV system which delivers its channels through a satellite dish or satellite receiver and a set-top box. Most smart TVs in the UK already have a built-in Freesat tuner, but if your device does not, then you may have to shell out for more than just the purchase and installation of the set-top box and satellite dish. 

Freesat is best for those who watch TV regularly, as it provides a great number of channels for the cost of almost nothing!


Meanwhile, Freeview is a digital TV service which delivers its channels through a TV aerial and a set-top box. Again, many smart TVs are Freeview-ready. Setting up Freeview is fairly easy as all you will have to do is connect your TV aerial to your set-top box or Freeview-ready device and give it a tune for you to start watching! 

Freeview is the most ideal for someone who occasionally watches TV, as it will not require you to shell out a lot of money, especially if you already have a Freeview-ready device. 


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A Side-By-Side Look On Freesat vs Freeview


As stated above, both Freesat and Freeview are free. You will not be bound by monthly contracts nor will you have to pay any fees aside from the upfront costs for the installation of the satellite or aerial, as well as the set-top box. 

If you are switching over from Sky TV, Freesat is the best option, as both TV systems make use of European satellite dishes to deliver their channels. And because you already have a satellite dish installed, you wouldn’t have to shell out for a new one. All you will have to do is purchase the necessary set-top box, switch the cables over to your new box, and start enjoying Freesat’s TV and radio channels. 


In terms of coverage, it is safe to say that Freesat is the way to go. Because of the way it is broadcast, Freesat almost has total coverage around the UK, assuming the accurate line of sight can be achieved.  

Freeview, on the other hand, can only reach about 98% of the UK population. However, 15% of these households reached by Freeview can only access Freeview Lite, a reduced version of the former, with only 15 channels accessible. 


At the moment, Freeview has about 70 channels with several in HD, and about 10 radio stations. Freesat, on the other hand, has a whopping 200 TV and radio channels. 

Each service also has a Smart version called Freesat with Freetime and Freeview Play, respectively. Both can give you access to digital terrestrial catchup TV services, as well as several channels that deliver on-demand content,

And while Freesat has twice the amount of channels to choose from, it does not offer all the channels that are on Freeview

Options for HD

Both Freeview HD and Freesat HD offer some BBC channels, ITV and Channel 4 in HD. Additionally, Freeview offers Al Jazeera, while Freesat offers NHK world in HD. 

It is important to note, though, that while Freeview HD boxes cost as little as £40, and HD is a standard in all Freesat boxes, you will still need an HD TV set to fully appreciate the improved picture quality. 

Recording, Rewinding, Forwarding, and Pausing

For an additional cost, both Freeview and Freesat offer set-top boxes and HD recorders which allow you to record, pause, rewind, and forward your favourite programmes. 

Both provide programme guides which the users can use to automatically set up recordings quickly and easily. Freeview+ and Freesat+ boxes will cost a few bucks over £100.

Choosing The One For You

So, is it Freesat or Freeview for you? Have you decided on which service you want to avail? If not, just bear in mind that you do not have to choose what is deemed “the best” by the market, but rather what is best for you. 

Ask yourself the question “What do I need?” and assess your current TV service provider, location, budget, viewing habits and preferences among many others. Figure out what exactly your household requires to be able to determine what you would be able to make the most out of. 

If you need help in choosing the digital TV service that is best for you or need help in installing and setting up your digital TV signal receiver and set-top box, call a professional Aerial Engineer today!

What To Do When There’s No Sky Signal

Imagine this. You made sure to have all your chores finished just in time for your favourite TV programme. You make it to the living room with a bowl of chips, sit down on the couch, and turn on the television. To your horror, your Sky box shows the words: “Sky No signal.” In only a few moments, your show will have started, and your Sky box won’t be available to record the video. What do you do? While you may try contacting Sky for an engineer, we know from experience that they might not be able to visit you until a few days later. You need your signal fixed immediately.

There’s good news waiting for you: you don’t have to tear your hair out because there’s no sky signal. And the even better news is that you can troubleshoot your Sky box without having to wait for a technician.


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Diagnose the Problem

There are a lot of reasons as to why your Sky box has no signal on tv. If the weather is bad in your area or if you hear the wind howling outside, this will definitely reduce the quality of your sound and image. We recommend waiting out the storm until testing your system’s satellite signal again. If weather conditions are favourable, try changing the channel and see if your Sky box still doesn’t have a satellite signal. Should the other channels work fine, you can wait a few minutes before going back to the previous channel; but if things still aren’t looking great, then your network coverage might have a problem.

Check your service status. You can also send them a message if you have their contact details. If there happens to be a network outage in your area, we recommend waiting that out, as well. If there are no such reports of Sky being unable to provide satellite signal, reboot your Sky box and check if any of the cables are loose. These are the basic techniques that generally save a lot of time and solve the majority of signal problems with Sky.

Resetting your Sky Box

Click the ‘Standby’ button on your remote. If your model has PVR or recording capability, you will need to wait for the hard drive to stop spinning for a short while. Once it ends, you may switch off your Sky box, your TV, and other devices that are connected to it. You will also need to switch off your mains and disconnect your Sky box.

Take note: When inspecting it, make sure not to take the small plug out of the power socket at the back of the device. When the power is on, take care not to touch the plug as this can cause damage to the internal circuits, and an internal fuse may fry up.

Look for the HDMI and SCART cables attached at the Skybox’s rear. All of these should be firmly attached to both the television and the Skybox. After tightening connections, wait for five minutes before switching everything back on. This allows the capacitors inside the satellite receiver to completely discharge and cool down. There will be times that your satellite receiver freezes and an excellent way to break this is to do a complete reboot. After turning it back on, you might notice that the Sky logo will flash across the screen. This is the start of the initialisation process. Make sure to wait for a few minutes before trying to change the channel to prevent the Sky box from being overloaded with commands.

Correcting your TV Source

If the words ‘No Signal’ are coming from your television screen and not your Sky box, check the cables once again. This could mean that your Sky box is working correctly, but your cables are not configured properly. If this is the case, double-check if your Sky box is on, with the green light showing. Then go to your handset and press ‘TV’ and then ‘Help’. If the handset is not configured to your TV, you will have to your television’s handset instead. Look for the words source, input, or AV. Depending on the manufacturer, this should lead you to the input settings for your Sky box. Keep rotating through the input options until you find Sky TV. This will hopefully restore your television’s audio and video.

Making sure your subscription is active

If your subscription-based TV services are not working, but terrestrial-free-to-air services are, you will need to check your subscription. Go to your Sky box and check the viewing card inserted in it and the viewing card paired with it.

Your viewing experience relies on a lot of devices. While it may seem daunting at first, doing these basic troubleshooting techniques will save you some money. However, when the time comes that you will need professional help, be sure to contact us and we’ll be there to assist.

Watching Sky TV From Multiple Rooms: A Guide

It is with no shame that we claim how Sky TV is a leading company in TV distribution: may it be satellite, aerial, or home AV. And now that Sky Q has been released, with just one box, a Sky multiroom set-up is ready to go! It would work even if there was a tv in every room, as Sky Q was built to function for TV in multiple rooms! This works best because it eradicates confusing wirework and it makes it easier to catch up on shows from any TV in your house!

Although, to any great thing there are certain problems arising. Some common issues on migrating from existing Sky TV packages such as Sky Standard or Sky HD to Sky Q are of the following:

Playback doesn’t work for you anymore

A common set up to have Sky in another room or Sky in different rooms is to use an i/0 link add-on modulator or RF2 output via a coaxial cable to reach a TV in another room. You may also have an aerial amplifier connected in the middle of the Skybox and the 2nd TV so as to create some sort of multiroom set-up. This would then sync everything up, especially your desired playback. The problem with this is that the Sky Q receiver does not support this system anymore, so we built this blog to help you fix it. 

a Sky multiroom system or having Sky Q in another room won’t work

Sky multiroom is a £10 offer to have Sky operate in multiple rooms individually inside one household. This does not work for Sky Q anymore because the LNB is not compatible anymore for this new service, rendering the old system obsolete. But don’t worry we have this blog for you to help you figure out what’s going on. 


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How to have Sky Q as a Multiroom TV System

Below are some ways in which we can have the optimal tv multiroom Sky experience. 

Go Wireless

Sky offers the option to ditch wires and to have other TVs outsource from the Sky Q box to a Sky Q mini-box. This is not only efficient and space-saving but also serves as a WiFi amplifier. Sky Q makes use of the mesh wireless network so it does not disrupt your WiFi signal but you have to make sure the repeaters are in the range of the main box and in between one another. Currently, a maximum of 4 mini boxes can be installed while only 2 can run simultaneously. 

However, if you are thinking of using a Sky Magic Eye to conceive a Sky multiroom set-up, then I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  The Magic Eye, unfortunately, does not run on a Sky Q set top box but rather on standard Sky boxes, the Sky HD box, and the Sky Plus HD box. Again, the closest thing you can get to a multiscreen subscription with the Sky Q plan is by availing of the additional Sky Q mini boxes for an additional upfront cost per box. 

Run it over wired LAN

If your walls are thick or foiled and wireless is not the best way to go, try using either a Cat5e or Cat6 data cable. There are already built-in RJ45 ports in both the Sky Q box and it’s mini boxes, eliminating the hassle of wireless if that’s your problem. Although comparatively, it’s a lot of work and it limits you to 4 mini boxes still. 

Opt for Coaxial Cabling but with an HD modulator

It’s a quick fix if your current set-up is having an RF2 output or i/0 link outsourcing signal from a Sky system. You can put an HD modulator in between and have it linked to the HDMI port of the Sky Q box. This would make it a sort of digital multiplex and have it connect to your aerial amplifier turning it into some sort of a Sky Q multiscreen that can be viewed as a digital channel. Be careful though, choose wisely on the UHF output on the modulator so it would not clash with the transmission of other signals in the area. 

The only problems that come with this are modulators are a luxury in the market right now. The price might be too steep to justify this fix unless you have the pounds to spare. Another problem here is having 4K transmitted from your Sky Q box. Unfortunately, an HD modulator can’t do this, so you get yourself an HDMI switch to fix this. Now you have to run HDMI cables from the 4K TV to the switch then to the modulator to fix the solution, but it’s a hassle and a dent on your finances. A good thing to note about this though is that you get to have the pictures in a clearer digital format that an RF2 or i/0 can’t provide.

Final Thoughts

While Sky Digital TV’s Sky Q requires you to completely overhaul your multiroom viewing set-up, it does improve the overall viewing experience. This multiscreen subscription package ensures that while you are viewing from essentially one main TV box, it will look, feel, and sound as though you’ve got multiple Sky TV packages running in your home. 

Additionally, you will get access to Sky TV, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and many more! Sky Q offers several channels on 4K Ultra HD, and a choice between a 1TB box or a 2TB box, both of which are UHD-ready. For an extra cost, you may also avail of Sky Ultimate TV, Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, and the ultimate On Demand TV options. If it interests you, may opt-in for access to BT Sport with Sky, Sky Box Office, the Sky Store, Sky Go Extra, and many more. 

For existing Sky customers, you may upgrade to Sky Q by contacting your service provider directly. Meanwhile, for those looking to switch over to Sky from other service providers,  you may want to check this out and make sure you’ve got the right kind of satellite dish for the TV deals you want to avail. To do this, you may call us to set up an appointment.