New TV - Cable Dilema

8 Feb 2010
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United Kingdom
OK so weve moved house and the previous owner had a big 65" screen with cables plastered in wall from floor to behind TV......So we have 1 x HDMI / 1 x 240v power and a couple of old style plugs ( dubris before HDMI). They also had a sky box so there was no issue with coax cable which is run in at floor height.

However we do not have sky and as such would need coax straight into TV....there is no chance to feed coax up wall.....

What black box / connectors do I require in order to fit TV with no nasty cables showing...

We will be buying a new TV if that helps....

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Easiest will be a Freesat box- if the Sky dish is still in situ then plug it in and off you go, lots more channels than on Freeview. If you have a Now box etc then you might need an HDMI switch on the floor (so your multiple sources all link to the one HDMI cable). The 'old style plugs'- what are they? SCART, F, BNC?
As oldbutnotdead said, if the previous owners had Sky then Freesat is an easy choice, but there are a couple of things to check first before you jump in with both feet.

Unlike regular Freeview - the service you get from a TV aerial, and that is common on all TV sets - any Satellite-based TV reception equipment (Sky box, Freesat recorder) requires more than one coax cable connection if you wish to record one channel while watching another at the same time. This also goes for recording two channels while you are out where the programmes overlap in time.

The reason for this is that Satellite works differently to terrestrial TV (Freeview). The things we do with a TV aerial feed such as looping/daisy-chaining a connection in to a recorder and then out to a TV just won't work with satellite. For example, if I wanted a Freesat recorder to go with my TV, I would need two coax cables from the dish to the recorder's twin input sockets. The output would then be via HDMI to the TV. The TV wouldn't get any kind of TV signal without the Freesat box being switched on.

It is possible to get a Freesat tuner box. That sort of device requires only one connection from the dish. They don't have the dual-channel-recording, but some do support the pause live TV features of the full recorders. They they may also record one channel at a time to an external USB hard drive or USB flash drive. The important thing to remember is that with a single connection your recording choice is limited to either the channel you are watching or you put the box in to standby when you're out. Technically there is an exception to this one channel rule, but it only applies where the recorder box has dual tuners and both channels being received come in on the same phase.

The other complication is Sky Q.

Sky Q is the latest version of Sky. The main recorder box still requires two satellite cable connections. However, any further boxes in the house such as the dining room, bedrooms use either wired or wireless network connection to receive a signal. This means it's entirely possible to have a TV on a wall with nothing except a power lead and a HDMI connection and no other wires in to that room and yet still receive a full TV service.

Back to your system...

Have a look at the coax feed(s) you have coming in at floor level. If the cable is fitted with an ordinary aerial plug (and it's not a botch up) then what you probably have is a feed from a TV aerial. The TV coax plug is a push-in connector similar to this


If it's a feed from a satellite dish (and again accepting the possibility of botched-up connections) then it should be a screw-on-type connection similar to this


If you have just one of these satellite cable connections then you might want to reconsider your options.

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Now is your time to get into home cinema; plop a 65" tv on the wall, an AV receiver on the floor, plugged into the sole hdmi lead going to the TV, then connect all your extra devices (DVD, blurry, freesat, sky, freeview, whatever) into the receiver. A nice set of surround speakers, and you can really start enjoying movies (for me, sound is more important than picture in becoming immersed in the movie) cinema style without an annoying row of chavs spoiling it!
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Lucid has given you a very good reply, the satellite boxes are not all the same. Using a Sky box what ever vintage you have fixed channel numbers, and you can't hide pay for channels, but the program guide is A1, I use a very old Sky box and it works well, however it does not receive HD channels, down stairs we have a set top box, it receives both satellite and terrestrial TV, it can record onto a hard drive, and connects to TV using HDMI, and as far as actually getting the channels and watching them on TV the IceCrypt from Maplin seemed great.

However the electronic program guide is rotten, often I need to click on a channel to get the listing for that channel, and rarely get two days, never mind 7 days. If the program comes up in the guide a simple click with remote and it will record, but if not it's a real pain to program in.

It is great having freeview and freesat on same box, but this also means the channel numbers are not as found in the papers. It's OK for me, I can look on Sky box to find what's on, but do be careful with set top boxes, I think there are names like free to view which is different to freesat, however not sure how you select one with a good EPG?
The IceCrypt STC3250 is described as "MPEG-Fully DVB-S/DVB-S2/DVB-T/DVB-T2/DVB-C/DVB-C2(H.264) HD compliant". It also claims "Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) for on screen channel information" other than the program guide it is a good box, once you have removed rubbish channels it becomes very easy to flick between channels. The
LG 43" 43UH650V box has Freeview and freeset according to adverts so to say you can't get a box with both built in seems wrong. I have found one, it also has the TV built in.

Wikipedia said:
Freesat is a free-to-air digital satellite television joint venture between the BBC and ITV plc, serving the United Kingdom.

It seems the phrase free-to-air covers both satellite and terrestrial TV, and I have not found a phrase which covers a receiver which can receive satellite channels but not the program guide, I know my boxes specially the old boxes have a restricted program guide in fact some only give now and next, however it does not matter if the dish is aimed at Turksat or the UK satellites it still works. Until a few weeks ago I was watching paint magic on an Irish TV channel, this never came up on the Sky+HD box and it is clear the Sky box does block some channels.

There is clearly a difference between freesat and a satellite receiver but my internet hunt has not found what that is.
The are no set top boxes with both Freeview and Freesat. Yes there are the odd TVs but not separate boxes.
Freesat is simply an EPG which displays the channels which pay to be on it in the order Freesat decide. This EPG is only available on Freesat branded boxes (and TVs). Sky boxes also have their own EPG and once again Sky controls which channels appear on it and where. Free to air boxes store the channels in the order in which they are downloaded, though it is possible to edit them into your own order. They usually have a 7 day EPG, which is a standard DVB EPG and many continental channels adopt it. None of the English channels do. So free to air boxes only show now and next on English channels.
Since the BBC shows around 4 days in advance on my box which is not freesat, clearly the English channels do adopt the standard EPG the problem is one channel having the program guide for another, I will guess I get the EPG for the multiplex select ITV 3 and I will get EPG for all ITV programs, but Yesterday and Drama will have no EPG select either and the other will also show EPG but it will not show the EPG for the other channel called Drama and so on.

At one time you could buy cards which allowed you to view UK programs, like a sky card but a one off payment, this was the original freesat and it allowed you to watch programs which were not permitted to be transmitted to rest of Europe, I don't know why, likely the free trade agreement, but this card seems to have vanished and now we can view without a card. I will guess the boxes advertised as freesat now have the card built into the box?
At one time you could buy cards which allowed you to view UK programs, like a sky card but a one off payment, this was the original freesat and it allowed you to watch programs which were not permitted to be transmitted to rest of Europe, I don't know why, likely the free trade agreement, but this card seems to have vanished and now we can view without a card. I will guess the boxes advertised as freesat now have the card built into the box?

It was not the original freesat, it was free to view. You can still buy those cards and they allow you to view a few channels otherwise not available, and regionalise the sky box to give the correct BBC/ITV regions. The BBC discontinued the system in favour of using a transponder with a tighter satellite footprint.

Freesat boxes do not have cards built in, you have to enter your postcode to get the correct region.

BBC certainly do not use the standard 7 day EPG. Perhaps your box has an internet connection to get the EPG.

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