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Can I use my old Sky dish for Freesat?

Many people will move in to a property and "inherit" an old dish from the old owners or maybe you've had Sky previously and have stopped subscribing to them. Either way, it seems a shame to have it there and not use it!

There are a couple of options with this:

  • Get rid of the old satellite dish and just use an aerial or streaming service

We can come and take it away, remove the old dish and cabling and seal up any holes on the property. That way it won't be sat there, rusting away and not looking great. We generally charge around £95-135 to do this, depending on how long it will take and if you like, we can install the aerial at the same time (if you need one). The main thing is, you now no longer need to think about it or look at it on your house rusting away!

  • Use it for Freesat

If the dish is in good condition it should work by simply plugging in a Freesat receiver box (or if your TV has built in Freesat, then you won't need this - just google the make of TV). If the dish has been there for a while, it might have moved and need some alignment which we can do using our trusty satellite meter. If the dish has been used for Sky+ or SkyHD then the LNB on the dish is fine but if it's been used for Sky Q then it will need changed.

We can also check the cable to make sure there isn't any water ingress, check the condition of the LNB on the dish (at the end of the arm) and make sure that all the bolts and fixings are secure. If water has got in to the cable, sometimes you can tell at the faceplate - just feel the cable end and you can tell if it's a bit damp. If it needs replaced, we can do that too. We can also run feeds to other rooms so you'll have Freesat in your other rooms too if you want it.

Freesat is a great way to watch TV, it's got over 170 channels and if you've got a Smart TV (which most people do these days) then you've got access to apps such as Netflix and iPlayer so there are loads of options with it without massive monthly subscriptions. The new Freesat boxes come with great recording ability now so you can keep your recordings for later on too. If you want more sports however, then you may find it a bit lacking.

  • Can you use the Sky box to view Freesat from Sky?

You can access a service from Sky but you won't get access to the premium sports or movies. It will however give you access to more channels than normal Freesat (over 240) but there is a set up fee of around £175. It is also not available for new customers from 2021 but is still available for old ones.

  • Use it for foreign satellite

This might work for certain satellites although with some they work better with a bigger dish, normally around 60-80cm whereas Sky dishes tend to be around 43cm - 60cm. However, it will work with some foreign satellites ie Hotbird and 19deg East and if it's in the right location on the property, you might find it works well. If it's not in the right location, then it might not be worth it.

So are there any down sides?

Not a lot really, the only issue with satellite dishes (of any type) is that they have a tendency to move if the weather is particularly bad so you may occasionally have to get a visit to realign it. It's not a big job generally and tends to cost around £95 (again depending on where it is on the building and how easy it is to access) so that may be something you have to factor in at some point in the future. The maintenance costs tend to be quite light and a well installed satellite dish should last for years. We use good quality cable and parts, so tend not to get a lot of bother with them but as we say, a good Scottish Winter can undo a lot!

You also have to phone Sky and cancel which as anyone knows who has used them, can take a while but they may offer you some great deals to keep you committed for longer. It's up to you whether you want to take these up, in which case your Freesat choice may be delayed a wee bit.

If you'd like to discuss using a satellite dish that you've got or if you'd like a new one installed or if you'd just like the old one taken away, just get in touch and we can help. Have a look at our services page and see if it helps in any way or call

0131 450 7158 or email


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