Both subscription and non-subscriptions satellite services are now available.
With the BSkyB subscription service, ranging from £17 to £47, you can get more than 400 digital TV channels as well as digital radio stations and interactive services. Sky Box Office movies/events, Sky+ recorder and Sky HD cost extra.
For non-subscription services there are now two choices
freesat from BBC and ITV
- one off payment for a satellite dish, set top box or recorder and installation and no monthly subscription
- can use an existing Sky Digital satellite dish
- buy the kit and arrange installation through high street retailers
- pay from £35 for a standard set top box or from £215 for a high definition digital TV recorder, plus £80 for the dish and installation
- right now you will get over 150 digital TV and radio channels
- high definition BBC and ITV programmes available with HD boxes or freesat digital TVs
- access to BBC iPlayer.
Freesat from Sky
- the no-subscription Freesat from Sky service – you pay a one-off cost of £175 for all equipment and installation. For this you get over 200 digital TV channels, 80+ digital radio channels and interactive services.
- high definition boxes and Sky+ recording are not available with this service.
See our list of broadcasters and providers for all contacts.
For and against satellite
- Available everywhere, including areas where you can't receive a terrestrial (through an aerial) digital TV signal or cable digital TV services
- no retuning needed - all updates to equipment are automatic
- installation is done for you
- You need to have a satellite dish and new cabling installed
- you may need to get approval to put up a dish.
You can buy satellite receivers and dishes from satellite dealers and get 120+ TV channels and 80+ radio stations free-to-air – but not Channels 4 and 5 and no on-screen TV guide.