Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the more common questions that tend to pop up, but if there’s something you’d like to know that we haven’t addressed, please get in touch! You can call Martyn on 07914 401036 or email: smhicks@btinternet.com.


Satellite television has two main attractions for anyone who wants to watch TV on canal boat, caravan or motorhome.

Firstly, you can forget ghosting, crackling sound, fading and all other problems with watching television when out and about. In theory, a 100% perfect picture is available just about anywhere that a dish has a clear view of the satellite.

Secondly, the choice of channels is huge and you can pick up radio channels as well as television.

The number of channels available is far greater than with digital freeview with an aerial that is now available in homes.

Free to view channels change all the time, however, some of the channels which are broadcast on Sky are available without any subscription payment including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News 24, ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, Channel 4, Channel 5, E4, More 4, several travel, sports, movie and general entertainment channels together with a variety of radio channels.

Freesat was set up by the BBC and ITV to ensure that everyone can access the best of free digital TV no matter where they are in the UK.

Freesat brings you over140 great digital TV and radio channels, favourites like BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News 24, ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, More 4, E4 and Film4 are all yours and that’s just a few and no monthly bills either. Freesat also offers up to 70 hours a week of High Definition TV from the BBC and ITV at no extra cost.

Yes. The number of options can of course be increased to include film, sports and documentary channels with a regular monthly subscription. If you subscribe to Sky, you can use your digi box from home, or even remove the Sky card and use it in the digi box on the boat, but it will not make the Sky Sports and main Movie channels work.

The dish is the aerial which collects the signal from the satellite. Every satellite dish has an LNB (Low Noise Block) which is the part of the dish that receives the signal from the satellite. It can be seen as the mushroom like object mounted on an arm pointing towards the dish centre.

Standard domestic satellite dishes can be used but for most people their size, weight and design make them a lot less convenient to carry and much more difficult to set up than a purpose made portable dish.

The smaller portable dish is easier to aim at the satellite and once lined up, they are not so badly affected by small movements of a boat. Also, a free standing dish can be sited at either end of a boat to achieve the line of sight with the satellite avoiding a building or tree if necessary. If you have a large permanently mounted dish, you will have to move the whole boat!

Only if you want to watch Sky! Freesat features hundreds of channels that are all free to watch. But you can use Sky as normal if you have a subscription.

A satellite dish can be mounted in many ways. For a portable dish, speed and simplicity of mounting can be achieved temporarily using either a suction or magnetic mount or with a specially designed pole fixing bracket.

With digital transmissions, the satellite dish must be positioned absolutely precisely. If it isn’t, you will not get a picture. The use of a satellite finder device makes locating the satellite easy, reliable and quick.

It is connected between the dish and the receiver and should be disconnected when the satellite has been found, used in conjunction with the test screen on the television and the signal will be found within minutes.

In order to watch satellite transmissions you must have a receiver.

The Sky digibox is the best known in the UK although there are several other different makes. They all essentially have the same features and they all perform the same task, taking the signal from the dish, unscrambling it if necessary and then translating it into a form which a television can recognise.

It can be connected by a co-axial cable to the dish and to the television via a scart, RF lead or HDMI cable.

Sky+ and Sky+ HD can also be used but require a monthly subscription.

Freesat can be watched via a Freesat digibox, Freesat digibox, or a Freesat HDTV recorder digibox; which digibox depends on your requirements.

You do not need a special television to receive satellite transmissions.

Using a Sky digi box, any television of any size or type will do, as the output from the digibox can be connected to the TV’s aerial socket, scart socket or phono sockets.

Because satellite TV is such a complex subject, sensible, straightforward and accurate advice is essential to help you set up for the first time and to get your new system working.

We provide an on site fitting service and this includes all cables, connectors and leads.

But more importantly, time is spent with you showing how to set up each time you use the system easily and quickly.

We will always offer advice and guidance for people to purchase a satellite system.

To ensure systems we have fitted and are easy for customers to set up each time they stop, we only use quality components that are compatible with each other and provide a carefree service.

Other components are available in the market, however, some do not meet our quality criteria and we prefer to only fit those that we have supplied ourselves.

We accept payment by cash, cheque or BACS transfer. We do not have a credit card terminal, sorry.