There are still a lot of places in West Somerset that rely on local relays for terrestrial TV, the service from these is very limited, consisting of only a handful of TV and radio channels. Then again there are a lot of places that can’t get these either, this is where satellite TV comes in. If you find yourself in a position where terrestrial reception is limited or simply not possible…or you just require more channels than even the main transmitters can supply, then satellite may be the only option.
This can fall into a few categories, by far the most popular being Sky and Freesat. We all know what is on offer from Sky’s subscription services, if not you can check it out here
Freesat, on the other hand, is a free service, it may be more limited than Sky but it’s channel line up is greater than that of the terrestrial Freeview service. Whereas Sky install their dish and receiver free of charge, with Freesat you will need to purchase them yourself, with receiver prices starting from around £50 in Argos. This will get you a basic High Definition box, obviously the more you pay the better the equipment you will get. Probably the best range of boxes on the market are the Humax receivers, the top of the range costing around £200 but allowing you to record to an internal hard drive, access the Freetime program guide which allows you to pick programs from the last seven days via the TV guide, and you can also access catch up TV through the iPlayers. Freesat will run off a standard Sky dish if you have one, or one can be installed by me with prices starting from £80. The channels available on Freesat can be found here
I sometimes find that Sky will refuse to install a dish if it means too much work, for instance if the dish has to go above a certain height, or the cable run is too long. If this happens feel free to contact me, I will install the dish and cables, leaving the Sky installers nothing to do but install the box.
Very seldom do I have serious trouble installing a dish and only once have I ever given up, this was on a property surrounded by very tall Poplars. There was no way a dish could be positioned to see over them, the only option would have been to put the dish on a post outside the treeline, but this would have involved burying a very long length of armoured cable and the cost proved too much.
There was a similar instance in Roadwater where, had the dish been installed on the house it would have faced straight into a very steep wooded bank. I thought it was a lost cause until I discovered the customer also owned the steep bank. So it was in no way an easy job but a dish was attached to a post at the very top of the bank and the leads strung through the trees and across the drive on a guy wire. The result…satellite TV where they had thought it impossible.