SkyQ >>> Freesat

My Sky TV  contract is coming up for renewal and the price for staying still is going up by £12 a month for their best deal for me, which isn’t really worth it for Sky Signature + Movies since most of the watching we do continues to be on the terrestrial channels and with the dilution of rights caused by the various streaming services, Sky Movies is no longer the goldmine of content and classics it used to be. It’s actually not worth even what Disney+ charges as a standalone product.  

So the question is, having been with Sky for such a long time, are the current gen Freesat boxes comparable? Can you install Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Netflix apps on it, and they work well?

I will give Sky credit, the SkyQ box is a good experience, mine drops connection now and again, but the UI is about as you can make it.

I’m just a the point with all the price rises, paying all that per month to watch 95% of the content i can get for free is not super smart, and i say that after being a Sky customer for nearly 25 years.


From (my little) experience, and some research, the current gen Arris Freesat boxes (which are currently I believe the only Freesat-licensed STB's around anymore, now that Humax have for an odd reason, stopped making them) are quite good, with UHD & HDR support out of the box. with a couple of niggles.

It supports the Sky Q LNB, however it doesn't support the 6 or 7 show recording at the same time feature that the 1TB UHD and 2TB Q boxes do. There also seems to be a couple of software bugs with it.

As for Netflix, Disney+ & Prime Video, the Arris boxes support Netflix & Prime Video, but not Disney+. Suspect the Sky deal may have something to do with it (though as I've seen, Virgin Media now has Disney+ so maybe not.)

If you are reasonably tech savvy, it may be worth investing in a non-Freesat FTA receiver, such as the ZGemma H9.2s, which I believe can have the Sky EPG installed as a plug-in. However, I also believe that the Sky Q LNB is not supported & recording requires an external storage device.

I just got a Fresat box (4K ITB). You can record up to 4 programmes at once. The Apps include Netflix and Prime plus Iplayer, ITVX, All4, My 5, UKTV, You Tube and a few others. There is no app for Disney or Discovery.

To the best of my knowledge the Arris Freesat 4K recievers are the only FTA boxes that support the Sky Q wideband LNB. Add to that you’ll only be able to use Freesat in one room, because the wideband LNB has only two outputs that typically both run to the Sky Q main box. Everything about Sky Q is really designed to stop you moving to a FTA setup, without going back to a hybrid or standard (dual/quad) LNB.

There is no 4K content on Freesat, so I’m not sure why they highlight the “4K” bit so much.

there is an SES 4K demo channel on astra 2, and IIRC it was in the Freesat guide for a while, possibly hidden but there if you knew the number. Manually tunable of course.

I guess the bigger reason for 4K is for streaming services, and futureproofing if anyone does launch a 4K FTA channel.

If your TV has a spare HDMI input, you could purchase a dongle device (Chromecast or Firestick) and get the apps/content that way.

Cheers everyone, looks like the 4K recordable freesat boxes are good enough. We don’t need multi room - indeed both my teenage children just have streaming services on their tvs and never watch any live terrestrial tv.

I can get all the apps on our TVs and it works well, it’s just the I do like the integration with SkyQ keeping it all together.

That said, I acknowledge that going from a paid service to a free one I’m going to lose a few nice features - and although convenient it’s not worth the £650 a year Sky will will be charging. My Sky bill has almost doubled in the last 3 years for more or less the same package (movies and the general sky entertainment pack) whilst the actual watchable content certainly hasn’t.

[-] The following 3 users Like Parsons's post:
  • bkman1990, Mort, Stuart

Just on a more general note, this particular rise seems to be the straw breaking the camel’s back for many. Sky really is the best pay TV service on the market - the problem now for a lot of people is that premium over other services (or over a free DTT and/or satellite solution) really isn’t worth it at the time of a lot of pressure on cost of living. Sky don’t really make it easy for themselves given Now TV seems to be permanently on discount and despite its lack of recording and limited live pause functions is now increasingly attractive if paired with Freesat.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Rdd's post:
  • Parsons

Like you I was paying double what I originally did for the identical package, fortunately I was able to get a special price on upgrading to Sky Q so took the plunge.

I did raise an eyebrow earlier this year when Sky first rolled out "free" Netflix, then offered "free" Discovery+ (actually good), then offered "free" Paramount+, handy if you're a Trek fan and also enjoy Eurosport and doccos/How It's Made on Discovery. I wouldn't have bought P+ or D+/Eurosport Player (shared a friend's for the LM24 last June) but they're very nice to have.

Then over Christmas Sky offered six months free Apple TV for new or existing customers, which was handy because my sub was just about to renew! So evidently they're going big on the "this is why you should stay with Sky" loss leader tactics, probably to soften us for another price rise this year.

As we upgraded to Sky Q with UHD, being able to shift the Netflix Premium sub to being subsidised by Sky is handy, to the tune of £16 a month, a clever move by them. We previously had movies via NOW TV, but they've gradually phased out the best deals, and brought in shady tactics like only including 1080p and multi-device streaming behind an additional "Boost" subscription. In the end it made more sense to just go back to Sky for the lot.

This top tier package should cost over £100 a month, I got a heavily discounted offer to Q with UHD but only for 18 months. I'm not sure I'll be renewing if the price is much over the current price next year. Enjoying it for the time being.

How much should one expect to pay for one of those Arris FTA receivers? I do have a spare Sky+ dish and bracket knocking about (long story...)

hi mum!
[-] The following 1 user Likes Mort's post:
  • Parsons

think it's like £200+ for the recordable box.

IIRC there is a Sky Q package for around £10/month that basically gives you the free channels only, but allows you to continue to rent the box(es). Some have called it "Sky Q Basic" but unsure if there's an official name. There are reports that it might be tied to taking Sky Broadband. Strangely enough, there's not a lot of official information out there

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)