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More or less.

Without the card the box will still operate using the normal EPG and channel numbering system.   The distinction is that the EPG only contains channels that pay Sky for the priviledge.   It's a minor point but it means that some channels that show up on a Freesat box,  some channels that show up on a truly "non-tied" sat receiver,  will not show up on a Sky box UNLESS you search for them manually and then store them under "Other Channels".

The only other distinction is that Sky boxes limp badly if they aren't used on Astra 2,  and in some cases the symbol rates used on (say)  Atlantic Bird 3,  Hotbird,  and Astra 1 are different to the two set rates on a digibox,  namely  22000 kbps and 27500 kbps. 

But essentially for viewing the BBC,  ITV,  and radio,   they are fine,  card or no card.

I'm now worried about your little remark about not using the dish.   A sat receiver receives sat broadcasts,   and won't pick up Freeview/TNT (terrestrial digital TV).    It can't pick up a sat signal without a dish.    Am I perhaps missing something in your remark?   (but you can ditch the phone line part,   provided the box is out of its contract period).

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  • 2 weeks later...
Not sure what another poster's comments about the EPG meant as my cardless boxes contain full details of the programmes available.

Incidentally I got very cross in a UK TV shop which was busy telling customers that their Sky box would not work without a card. They were defiant that this was true despite my telling them they were speaking through the wrong orifice!! What some people will do to make money out of unsuspecting customers.....

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I should have made it clearer.   Here goes.

The Sky EPG is only populated with channels that have paid an exhorbitant fee to Sky for the privilege.

The freesat EPG is only populated with channels that have paid the freesat consortium (I imagine the fee is not so exhorbitant).

So you will find some differences not only in the order in which channels are numbered but indeed which channels are there at all.

Whereas a true free to air box will list all the free channels it finds,   which include some channels that pay neither Sky nor freesat but nevertheless are available on Astra 2.   They probably won't be in a convenient order,   and the full EPG details are likely to be missing,   it's probable you'll just see "now" and "next".

Shops will of course tell you a whole lot of whatsit.   I had to explain "Fransat" to our large independent dealer here in 24.   He'd never heard of it,  looked at me as though I was mad when I explained it to him,  but in fairness rang me back the next day asking for more details,   which I was delighted to furnish.   I imagine that thanks to me he will now be ordering some boxes to sell.

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Martin you have completely confused me. I had a Sky digibox (as the OP is asking about) and have now changed to a Freesat box (http://www.freesat.co.uk/) which has nothing to do with the company Sky. I don't think that a sky digibox is capable of picking up the Freesat EPG at all.

The OP has not even mentioned Freesat.

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Oh dear,  am I doing more harm than good in my attempts to cover all aspects?  Won't be the first time.

Indeedy.   The Sky and the freesat EPG's are separately transmitted and run using different softwares.  As you say,  mutually incompatible.

The op asks whether a cardless Sky box (often colloquially known as a digibox) will work as an "ordinary digibox" which to some people encompasses both sky boxes and "ordinary" FTA boxes.   Indeed some people even (wrongly) call their "Freeview" DTT box a "Digibox".

In trying to cover all eventualities I've perhaps managed to make it too complicated.  I was also worried that the OP remarked en passant about not linking to a dish,  which rang an alarm bell in my mind that they were confusing sat reception (DVB-S) with terrestrial reception (DVB-T).   Perhaps you see my dilemma.

So - over to you Bob T!

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[quote user="Martinwatkins"]I should have made it clearer.   Here goes.


Perfectly clear to me. As the OP has not posted again they must have solved the problem of obtaining a signal without a dish! Perhaps they can let us all know the secret.

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