List of frequently asked questions :
There are currently 2 systems broadcasting in the UK:
ONDigital - a terrestrial digital system sponsored by BBC and the ITV companies which began broadcasting in December 1998 using existing transmitters in the UK. Can normally be received over an existing aerial, which is subsequently connected to a special digital receiver. Not available outside of UK shores because of the limited range of the terrestrial transmissions. ONDigital is technically capable of supporting up to 60 channels simultaneously, but currently only broadcasts 30.
Sky Digital - a digital version of the existing Sky group of television channels, broadcasting since October 1998 from the Astra 2A and 2B satellites at 28.2degrees east of south. Technically it is possible to pick up signals from these satellites outside of the UK, but all channels available are on a subscription basis, and subscriptions are limited to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland only. Technically the system can carry up to 500 channels; 160 are currently available.
Because of the geographical
limitations on ONDigital, this document will only refer to the Sky Digital
Satellite System .
Sky Television have designed
reception equipment (known as a "Digibox") for their satellite transmissions
which includes a scrambling system, and have licensed their manufacture to 5 manufacturers in the UK - Pace, Grundig
, Amstrad ,Panasonic and Thomson . The heart of the
receiver is a computer system requiring software, provided exclusively by Sky
and actually downloaded or updated directly into the receiver from the satellite.
This means that apart from aesthetic issues, there is very little to choose
between the different receiver boxes on the market. In a few years experience
will tell who is the better manufacturer for product reliability. In the future
additional equipment, and maybe even digital satellite televisions may come onto
the market, but at the end of the day many of the facilities provided will be
limited to software capabilities which will be identical in all systems .
Receiving equipment is available in the UK from around £200 ($320), including dish. However, this price is artificial as it is highly subsidised by a company called British interactive Broadcasting (BiB) in collaboration with Sky to encourage people to buy into the new technology. Current estimates put the subsidy at around £250, putting the actual street value of the system at £450 ($720). The subsidy is only paid if 3 conditions are met:
The system is installed by a Sky qualified installer (the majority of these work for an installation company owned by Sky), and certified to Sky as being correctly installed at the given (UK!) address Permanent connection of the equipment to a telephone line in the home of the user (the receiver contains a modem which can be used to call Sky to book movies, make on-line shopping orders, and maybe, in the future for internet access. It is also understood that BiB (or Sky, with their permission) may actually call up boxes directly to interrogate their software status, and initiate downloads, and of course, to check they are still connected to the telephone). Signing of an "Interactive Discount Contract" - an agreement with BiB that enforces the above conditions and is valid for one year from signature. If any conditions are found to de broken any subsidies allowed in the sale of the equipment must be paid back.
The prices shown do not include any installation costs, nor costs for subscription to the channels you may wish to watch.
Please see our "Sky subscriptions page" page for more details.
For the box and installation (Greece only) , send us an e-mail.
Note that there is an annual fee of £70 to every new and old customer for the services provided from the Uk dealer .
Because the terrestrial
ONDigital system wanted to expand its appeal and include Sky programming such as
movies and sport, Sky have been required by the regulatory authorities to
reciprocate and include terrestrial broadcast programmes with their own. UK-sourced
BBC 1, BBC 2, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are included in the satellite
transmissions, as are some new UK channels, BBC Choice (a mix of BBC repeats
from the week before), BBC 24 (news) and BBC Parliament (live feeds from the UK
Parliament!). Additional free channels supplement these, including QVC; Travel
Shop, The Travel Channel (shopping channels!), CNN, Sky News, TNT, The Cartoon
Network and S4C. Because these are actually non-subscription channels (known as
"free-to-air") Sky are required to make them available to those that wish to
view them, without charge. ITV have not joined the channel line up, because of
confusion over the ability of Sky to limit regional ITV stations to their own
regions. ITV regions depend heavily on geographically targeted advertising
revenue, and may not want advertising intended and financed from ITV Scotland to
be available to viewers in London for example. Rumors in the industry suggest
that ITV will eventually join the free-to-air options later in 1999.
Officially - no. There are good
reasons for this. Sky only licences the material (movies, sports, etc.) they buy
for re-transmission into the UK and Northern Ireland. If they were to permit
viewing outside of this territory, not only would they be in conflict with the
redistribution rights that they have bought, but also programme providers in
other countries may get upset that their territory is being infringed. The same
is also true for the free-to-air channels - the BBC for example makes a healthy
living out of selling home-made material to other countries, and would not want
to lose this source of revenue by allowing it to be freely available in other
countries. It has been suggested that additional restrictions imposed by the BBC
have caused Sky to tighten up their own distribution system to further enforce
Technically - very little, legally - quite a lot.
Clearly as you would not want the system installed by a "qualified" installer (only in the UK) and permanently attached to a UK phone line, you would not qualify for the subsidy. This means you would have to pay around £450 for a complete system, then ship it abroad and install it (or have it installed). You would be able to receive one channel - Sky News (and a couple of others advertising the wonders of Sky Digital 24 hours a day).
If you want to watch more channels you have 2 choices:
1. The free-to-air channels (see above). Anybody can call the BBC and request a (free) card for their Digibox which when inserted would enable it for these channels only. To get this card you need to:
2. The Sky channels of your choice (which all include the aforementioned free-to-air channels). Once again you must make a call to Sky from a UK phone, and if you fulfil the conditions and provide the information shown above you will be supplied with a viewing card within the week. Simultaneously, you should fill out a subscription application form for the Sky channels of your choice (broadly the same packages as for the analogue system, and at the same price). The form is available from most satellite dealers or from Sky themselves. Once Sky have received your application, and you have received the card, a quick call to the Sky subscriber centre, providing them with information they request they will enable your card for the channels you have chosen within a few hours.
There is one important aspect to note when subscribing to Sky channels. Your signature on the subscription form contractually obliges you keep the viewing card in the UK, at the address you have given, in the Digibox you have described to them (in fact, the card won't work in any other box - as once enabled, it is married to that unit alone). There is no signature required to obtain a free-to-air card - the implication being that you are not obliged to retain it in the UK - however, should you be "discovered" (or even suspected of) using the card outside the UK, the card can be disabled over the satellite in seconds. Disabling a card, will disable its host Digibox meaning that Sky would not enable any further cards in that equipment (they know the serial number!), unless it could be proved to be resident in the UK (i.e. seen by Sky approved installer).
Once a card is enabled Sky
recommend that it should always be left in the Digibox, the box should always be
connected to power (even in the stand-by ("off") state the Digibox continues to
receive and understand satellite signals) and your dish should always point at
the Astra 2 satellite. As it is certainly the case that the Digibox regularly
receives over-the-air software updates, then this is not unreasonable - not
receiving an update for any reason may temporarily disable your card. Sky will
tell you that even a few minutes with the card out of the box or the receiver
off-satellite can disable the card, but this is unlikely to be the case.
However, longer periods (in excess of 24 hours, say) should be avoided.
Although not impossible,
installation is not easy - installing digital satellite is much more complicated
than analogue. You certainly can't swing the dish around and look for a picture
- for a start the system needs around 20-30 seconds following accurate alignment
to recognise the signal and synchronise to a picture at all. A trial-and-error
approach would require tremendous patience. Accurate alignment not only of the
dish, but also of the LNB (receptor on the end of the dish arm) in its holder is
critical to getting any picture. Unlike analogue satellite systems, there is no
such thing as a bad (e.g. "sparkly") picture - you either get a picture, or you
do not! A competent installer would use a wide-band spectrum analyser and signal
strength meter with 22KHz upper-band switching to ensure optimal installation.
Even the cheap signal strength meters on the market are not adequate - they
block the 22KHz signal required to obtain the upper band digital signals.
Yes - the Digibox has a SCART
output for a Videorecorder, but as with analogue satellite you can only record
or watch one programme at a time. Note that here is currently no facility in the
Digibox for a VCR timer (automatic switch on to a certain channel at a certain
You can only do this using a TV
antenna connection - you would then be restricted to UK standard TVs (Just like
you cannot use a UK TV on a German aerial or cable system the Digibox does not
support a German antenna connection and cannot be easily adapted). You would not
receive stereo sound even if your TV supports it, and all TVs would have to
watch the same satellite channel at the same time. You could of course use the
wireless relay systems currently on the market to transmit the pictures to
additional televisions around your home.
At the moment - no. The Digibox does not support the required switching to achieve this. Future models may permit this (in fact, it maybe that only a software upgrade is required, but this is presently not certain).
The only way to do that for the
moment is if you have a twin output lnb , two cables and two subscriptions.
Yes - as with most analogue
systems there are (analogue) stereo audio outputs on the Digibox to connect to
Yes. There are more than 50 sound (music!)-only channels "in CD quality"
Theoretically, yes, but the
choice is limited. The Digibox can only receive a subset of all the digital
signals available from other satellites. Of course you would need to be able to
move your dish accurately onto other satellite positions.
No - the Digibox is designed to
de-scramble signals using the "Videoguard" encryption system which is exclusive
to Sky and not used by any other programme provider. Unlike other digital
receivers, there is no "Common Interface" to permit additional scrambling
systems to be supported.
No - no other receiver supports
the Videoguard encryption system, which is proprietary to Sky. Furthermore, Sky
licences the manufacturers of Digiboxes who build to Sky's own design.
Yes - if this information is
being transmitted (it is on most channels). Page updates are also much quicker.
This is a good source of programme schedule detail. Note that the remote control
for the Pace Digibox can (uniquely) also control the functions of most TVs so
you only need to have the one remote in your hand.
Maybe - but not very much. The
non-subsidised prices are comparable to other systems on the market, the prices
of which have not changed much over 2 years. The systems are really quite
technologically advanced and very complicated - technology has a price. Best
case is that there maybe additional features included at the same price (a VCR
timer for example).
They might - but experience shows they do not. If they do then the following answers may help your case:
(The two last points are
probably the better argument!)
Yes - you simply need to make a
phone call to Sky to send the signal over the air to the card to enable it for
the movies of your choice. Needless to say, this call should come from the house
where the Digibox is registered. The same is also true for card upgrades to
receive additional channels. This may be a risk you can do without.
The card itself is not upgraded
- you basically need to begin the enrolment sequence for Sky as described above,
and you will receive a second card. Note that your first card could not be
given/loaned/sold to anyone else, as it will only work in the Digibox that it
was registered for.
Difficult to say, but Sky won't
persuade 6 million existing subscribers to convert to Digital satellite with all
it entails overnight. Sky hasn't made a formal statement on this, but
pessimistic estimates say at least 5 years, but it will more probably be in
excess of 10. It will most probably be that newer channels will begin on
digital, leaving the existing analogue offerings fairly stagnant.
My Digibox doesn't work properly
My Digibox still doesn't work properly
What if Sky changes the Viewing Cards?
We are proud to enjoy an outstanding reputation. We are one of the only
agents who are able to offer Sky subscriptions personalised in your name. Other
advantages of using Satworld cards are: pay-per-view... all Box Office events
with the dialler ... With Satworld your Viewing Card is registered with Sky in
your name if paying on the monthly scheme. Therefore, if you experience any
viewing difficulties, you are able to control payment.
All our products are genuine. They are not pirated viewing cards. Someone
offering you pirate cards is committing fraud. What's more, according to
European law, the use and possession of pirate Viewing Cards is illegal.
To order PPV events you will need to purchase our dialler which will allow the box to automatically contact the Sky PPV centre and authorize your card for the event or you can directly order it through our web site
Delivery usually takes about 1-2 working days after we receive payment
You cannot subscribe to Sky directly outside the UK. You pay directly to Sky
only for the time you watch Sky. With us you are personally listed with Sky. In
the unlikely event of a fault you have the option to stop payments immediately.
This way, you only pay for what you get. We also give one year replacement guarantee for the
receivers persuade from us .
Is this legal?
12 months is the minimum period that somebody can have sky .Before that ,you can't ask for a cancellation .After one year you can stop your payment for a period and start again when you decide .
Note that we do not charge anything for these turn off and on except a minimum yearly fee .
Do I get a TV guide with my Sky subscription?
This has never happened before. If it ever does, Sky will replace it. If it is
your fault due to bad treatment of the card, Sky and/or we may charge you extra
We handle all information regarding our customers (past and present) with utmost
confidentiality and such information is never stored on a computer that is in
any way connected to the internet, either directly via modem or indirectly via a
No! We have found a way to charge international credit cards also .
Sky took too much off my credit card
Please contact us stating the channels you would like to add or lose. Then leave your digibox switched on and we'll take care of the rest.
What you need for Sky digital?
Can I get Sky TV where I live?
No you cannot take over an existing contract. If you want to subscribe to Sky, you will have to take out a new contract.
Sky have raised their prices. The price rise will not effect you within the first 12 months of a subscription.
We do not deliver anything COD (cash on delivery). All our goods are dispatched after payment has been received.
If you cannot receive these channels then you have one of the following
No the digibox does not support DiSEqC. It has to be directly connected to a
satellite dish receiving signals from Astra 2 positioned at 28.2 degrees east or
you have to connect it to a multiswitch that allows the inputs from the Astra2
satellite to be passed through by default.
We are often heard from owners of sky digital of south Greece or the Costa
Blanca or indeed in parts of Spain such as Madrid and the Costa Del Sol
that all the Sky Channels aren't available all the time. The answer is quite
simply a combination of the geographical location and the footprint of the Astra
2A digital satellite. The Channels broadcast by Sky on the "North Beam", e.g.
Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2, Granada+, Breeze, History Channel (and the rest...
you know which ones they are!) tend to disappear at the same time everyday and
then reappear much later or not at all the same day, only to be back to normal
early morning the next day and so on.. If you look carefully at the "North Beam"
footprint, the sizes in centimeters are Astra's recommended dish size required
along the lines of the footprint. So for example if you lived in France or the
U.K. a minimum dish size of 50cm is recommended. The extreme limits of the
footprints are marked by the last ring on the outside. This is where a minimum
dish size of 120cm is recommended. That's exactly where you are, right on the
edge of the footprint at the weakest point where the larger dish size is
required. If you look carefully near southern Italy, the 120cm limit of the
suddenly bends in to the west and then a bit further north curves round and
bends out again to the east. Effectively isolating southern Italy from receiving
all channels Broadcast on the "North Beam" ( Why doesn't the "South Beam" do the
same thing? )
For a detailed look at transponder coverage please see http://www.lyngsat.com/dig/skyuk.shtml for a channel list
and for coverage maps see http://www.ses-astra.com/satellites/footprints.php?sat=15
Sky faq provided by Bavaria satellite ( firstname.lastname@example.org )