Can I Change My Sky TV Frequency to Another Satellite?

Updated July 19, 2017

Sky Digital is a UK satellite TV broadcaster. It uses the Astra 2 and Eurobird series of satellites and, like most service providers, tries to lock in customers and keep them from straying from its service. The Sky receiver (called a Sky Digibox) can be used to view stations from other satellites but is cumbersome to operate for non-Sky channels. It is much easier simply to buy a cheap free-to-air receiver.

Move the Dish

The Sky satellite dish is aimed at Astra 2, located at 28.2 degrees east, and the nearby Eurobird, at 28.5 degrees east. To watch channels from other popular satellites, such as Astra 1 (19.2 degrees east) or Hotbird (-10.6 degrees C east), you will have to move the dish to point at the corresponding satellite. You also may need a bigger dish, because the other satellites are not as powerful as Astra 2. In addition, you need a satellite signal meter to align the dish accurately. Note that you will lose the Sky channels as a result.

Add a Second LNB

As an alternative to moving the dish, you can add a second reception head, called a low-noise block converter or LNB. Keep in mind two pitfalls. The dish that Sky supplies is designed to make it very difficult to add a second LNB. And, the Sky Digibox can't handle multiple LNBs, so you will have to set up some kind of manual switching arrangement. Signals from the other satellites are weaker than Astra 2 in the UK and reception from the supplementary LNB is not as good as the primary LNB, so you may have reception problems unless you upgrade to a bigger and preferably non-Sky dish.

Change the Frequency Setting

Press the "Services" button on the Sky Digibox remote control. Press "4," then press "4" again. Manually enter the frequencies and other settings of the channels you want to receive and select the "Find Channels" option on the on-screen menu. The Digibox will scan the frequencies you have entered to look for channels. Select the channels you want to keep and follow the on-screen prompts to save the channels. To watch the channels, press "Services," then "7," and you will see a list of channels you have saved. Note that these saved channels may get lost when Sky updates the Digibox software.

No Scrambled Channels

The Sky Digibox is incompatible with other scrambling systems, so you can only use it for watching free-to-air channels. It cannot be used to watch non-Sky satellite pay TV packages. Fortunately, there are hundreds of free-to-air channels from many countries.

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About the Author

A graduate of Sussex University, UK, Sotires Eleftheriou now shares his time between London and Paris, working as a freelance writer on high tech subjects. He has spent 15 years editing trade newsletters for the information industry and been the Paris correspondent of an international newsletter publisher.