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Freeview or Freesat?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by Gimpymoo, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,872

    Location: Nottingham

    Kitting out with cabling after switching away from Cable TV.

    The TV's we have have Satellite tuners so any preference one way or the other?

    Thanks.
     
  2. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 6, 2016

    Posts: 6,484

    Satellite.
     
  3. Terminal_Boy

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 13, 2013

    Posts: 7,431

    Location: La France

    The only downside to Freesat is depending on where the satellite dish is sited, you may get signal loss when it pours down with rain and water is running down the dish.
     
  4. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,872

    Location: Nottingham

    May I ask what exactly makes Freesat the better choice?
     
  5. Jokester

    Don

    Joined: Aug 7, 2003

    Posts: 39,094

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    More channel choice.
     
  6. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 6, 2016

    Posts: 6,484

    Weather does not effect image.
    Dish can be lower down so can diy install, or adjust the and add extra cable to the lnb
    Land has four outputs and don't believe effects signal.
    Less likely to be effected by high winds
    Also if you decide to go full sat channels it's already in place
     
  7. Andrew_McP

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 21, 2003

    Posts: 2,604

    Location: South North West

    The things I miss from Freesat at my flat aren't huge, but if I had a choice I'd go Freesat.

    1) NHKWorld is like a Japanese BBC World Service channel and has some great Japanese/Asian content.

    2) CNBC is a US financial chanel with more adverts and repeats than content, but when the world throws a financial hissy-fit it's useful to have access to their live coverage (if you like trying to understand how the financial sector became the tail that wags the dog).

    3) Last but not least, HD versions of all the local BBC channels. I'm routinely swapping to 001 for local BBC News, then back to 101 for the rest in HD, and I often forget. Not the end of the world, but a niggle.

    There are certainly more channels on Freesat, but that generally means it just takes longer to go round the channel wheel saying... no... no... no... no... ;-)
     
  8. silverblack

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 8, 2007

    Posts: 1,518

    I use Freesat on an Enigma 2 box and it's great.However when i got the new LG TV i hooked up the sat cable to it and it's horrific.
    No way to edit bouquets or chs just a mess,takes forever to find anything.Promptly unplugged and went back to Enigma 2 box.
     
  9. lucid

    Soldato

    Joined: May 29, 2010

    Posts: 5,099

    Location: Cheshire

    Freesat may have more channels, but from an installation point-of-view it's a PITA. However, that can be fixed.

    Here's the basic issue: With Freeview, you can take one aerial cable in to a room and loop it through a Freeview recorder with up to 4 internal tuners, and then go on to connect a TV. With Freesat, you can't do that. Every tuner requires its own feed from the dish. With Freesat then, a room with a Freesat TV (1 tuner) and a Freesat recorder (2 tuners) requires 3 cables if you wish for everything to work. Why might you want a recorder in the room? Well, does your TV offer the pause-live-TV feature?

    The reason why Freeview can supply multiple tuners from a single cable is that the tuners are passive. The signal cable carries all channels available at the location, and all the tuner has to do is tap in to that. Freesat and Sky satellite is different.

    The satellite tuner and the LNB (the lump on the end of the satellite dish arm where the cables connect) work together; the tuner is active and it directs the LNB to switch between one of four states depending on the channel being received. It does this by sending a voltage up the cable to the LNB to change the polarisation between horizontal and vertical, and by altering a voltage state between 15v and 19v (allowing for voltage drop over cable).

    Technically, it's possible to split a single satellite LNB feed between two tuners - say two TVs - and watch two different programmes, but only if those two channels share the same polarisation and voltage. As soon as one TV calls for a channel that requires a different combination of H/V and voltage then one or other TV will lose its signal. This is why, in reality, you can't split satellite signal cables.

    When it comes to installing, the same type of dish and LNB that works for Sky also works for Freesat. This is because the signals come from the same satellite. The LNBs for Sky+HD (not Sky Q!) have four outputs. They're called Quad LNBs. It's also possible to get an 8-output version referred to as an Octo. If you need more than 8 then it's often a second dish. At this point you're probably totting up how many TVs and possibly the recorders you might want to have now and in the future, then thinking that the house is going to be festooned in bits of black wire. That's why I said that Freesat is a PITA to install.

    Here's how to fix that.

    Instead of going for a conventional Quad LNB, it's possible to use something called Quattro LNB with a multiswitch.

    The Quattro outputs all four signal states at the same time; one output for each version. These signals go to the multiswitch. This device acts like a matrix switch for Freesat and Freeview signals. It reads the call from the tuners connected on each of its outputs and then supplies the correct signal. There are various sizes of multiswitch available based on the number of outputs; 8-way, 12-, 16-, 24-, and 32-way are common.

    I mentioned that the multiswitch will also handle Freeview. Personally, I would install an aerial as a matter of course even if your main viewing will be done with Freesat. Unless you're in an area with diabolical Freeview reception, then having the backup of Freeview makes sense. Every modern TV has a Freeview or Freeview HD tuner. Also, in heavy downpours I have lost satellite reception as the dish mesh has saturated with water. I have never lost Freeview reception at those times. Have a V36 Log Periodic aerial put up and feed its signal in to the MS.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  10. Andrew_McP

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 21, 2003

    Posts: 2,604

    Location: South North West

    Very informative post. Thanks.
     
  11. phil-k

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 1, 2011

    Posts: 1,206

    our satellite signal goes if there is heavy rain, snow or just very dense cloud, mainly the HD channels, so we switch over to Freeview, never have any problems with the aerial
     
  12. seanyc5

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 30, 2011

    Posts: 860

    I always wondered how LNBs worked. I do hope you work in the business though, if you don't you need to lay off watching TV hahah.
     
  13. ANDARIAL

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 6,120

    Location: Woolyback Country

    I read about this when we decided we wanted Freesat many years ago
    Consensus at that time was to get a bigger dish,we did (900mm) i think it is and have never had picture or sound problems :)
     
  14. i know nothing

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 6, 2004

    Posts: 3,271

    Location: Socialist Hell

    Interesting thread. Bought my mother a new TV (Freeview) for Xmas and she's had nothing but problems for several days now. Honestly thought I had bought a dud TV with an intermittent fault.

    Turns out that Freeview is affected by weather systems:- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50945421
     
  15. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,872

    Location: Nottingham

    Hi all.

    Many thanks for all the replies.

    I am likelu going to go with Freeview even though I do accept that Satellite is the better option.

    We need 5 points installing. 4 of the 5 have Freesat tuners built in (LG TV's) but my understanding is that the Freesat EPG's on these TV's is not that great but I have nothing to verify this and if having to purchase seperate STB's, that increases.

    We are not "heavy" TV watchers so with everything taken into account and not needing to purchase extra STB's. that would be preferred.

    Still uncertain though.
     
  16. divuk83

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 8, 2006

    Posts: 1,282

    Location: York

    We have Freesat, mainly because when we moved in there was no TV aerial (as the previous owners were sky users) so a Freesat box was cheaper and quicker than getting a new TV aerial. I'm pleased with Freesat although the loss of 4HD was annoying.

    Dave
     
  17. 3t3P

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 20, 2006

    Posts: 2,954

    Yeh was a bit bummed when I got freesat and didn't realise no 4 HD
     
  18. Ev0

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 13,677

    You can usually manually tune to get 4HD back.

    We use a Panasonic TV from 2009 that has both freeview and freesat tuners, only ever use the freesat.

    There’s a TV input option called ‘Other Sat’ or the like, and we’re able to tune a channel under this to pickup 4HD.

    Downside is it sits in its own TV input group, not in the main Freesat group of channels, but it’s not exactly a problem!
     
  19. silverblack

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 8, 2007

    Posts: 1,518

    That's the beauty of enigma 2 freesat boxes you can get 4hd back with epg and it sits in the usual 4 placement in the epg.
     
  20. wozzizname

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 29, 2004

    Posts: 2,202

    Location: Rainham, Kent

    I've got both, but use Freesat by default as it seems to give a better picture. Occasionally if it's pouring down the signal gets affected, but it never lasts more than a couple of minutes so barely worth switching over to Freeview.