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Your Questions Answered

The FrequencyCast podcast is a downloadable online radio show (give us a try!). As part of each show, we answer our listeners questions that we've had via our podline or our mailbox. Below are some of the more frequently-asked questions we've received...


Freeview Questions

Q. I can't such-and-such a channel on Freeview

There are several reasons why you may not be able to get a certain channel on Freeview. All of the Freeview channels are broadcast on six slots called "Multiplexes", and you will be able either to receive all channels on a multiplex, or none of them. Here are the two things to check:

  • Channel changes: Now and again, some of the channels have to shuffle around, and change to a different multiplex - recently we've seen UKTV History, Film 4, ITV2, ITV3 and E4 hit by changes to their multiplex. The fix is an easy one... you need to rescan your channel lineup. Try a full re-scan from your Freeview receiver's onscreen menu, to rebuild the channel list.
  • Reception: If you can't get any of the channels on a certain multiplex, it's a reception problem. There are several ways to improve Freeview reception, including reducing interference, checking cabling, getting a booster, and in some cases, upgrading your TV aerial. For help on Freeview reception, see our Freeview Advice page.


Q. What happened to Men and Motors on Freeview?

We covered this in Show 02, where we featured calls from some unhappy viewers. Men and Motors ceased broadcasting on Freeview on the 12th April 2006, to make way for the new ITV channel, ITV Play. See the official announcement.
If you're not happy with this decision, you should address your complaint to ITV. If you get no joy, you can also complain to the regulators Ofcom. The campaign to save Men & Motors is at


Q. My main TV has built-in Freeview. Will I be able to send the signal to a non-digital TV with a AV sender?

DigiSender AV senderAn AV sender allows TV signals to be transmitted over a short range without wires. These are available from Maplin , Currys and Argos. AV senders can only transmit one channel at a time, so are fine if all you want to do is broadcast one Freeview channel to another room (i.e. you have to watch the same channel in both rooms).

Most AV senders accept a signal via a SCART socket, so you have to connect a Freeview feed via SCART to the AV transmitter unit. The AV receiver unit connects to a TV set. Regarding TV sets with built-in Freeview, many of these do support outputting Freeview via a SCART socket (typically for connection to a DVD or video recorder.

Assuming your model supports Freeview-via-SCART, then you can connect this output to an AV sender. If you're not sure whether your model of TV set supports output of Freeview via SCART, check your TV's manual, as each model is different.


Q. I have a digital TV in one room and wish to use TV in another room without an external aerial. Is it possible to us an audio-visual sender and watch different channels?

No. An AV sender connects to the output of a set-top box and sends signals wirelessly to other rooms - you'll only be able to send whatever channel that box is tuned in to. Your options:

  • Get a Freeview set-top box and connect it to an AV sender - you can use this box to watch a different channel in the other room. AV senders are available from Argos and Maplin
  • Run an aerial cable from the main TV to the second TV and use it to connect to your main TV aerial
  • Try an indoor aerial - this only works if you're in a strong Freeview area. Help on aerials

Q. My main TV has a built-in digital tuner. It can find analogue TV stations but no digital stations. Is my Sky receiver giving out digital or analogue signals

A. There's two questions in one here. Firstly, when talking about a TV set that has a digital TV tuner - this means that it's ready for the digital switchover and is capable of tuning in to the free-to-air digital TV service known as Freeview. Freeview is received via a TV aerial, so for your digital TV set to be able to get Freeview, you need to connect a standard TV aerial into your TV set. You should then be able to get your TV to tune in to digital stations. If you can't find any, it may be a reception issue.
As for Sky, typically you'll connect this to your TV set via a SCART lead, and will need to set your TV to view Sky via the appropriate TV Line-in socket (look for AV/Ext or Line on your TV remote.


Q. Can a Freeview digital recorder be used on the same telly as a Sky box?

Yes - no reason why not. The two shouldn't conflict with each other. If you need more cables, or a SCART switch box to connect the boxes to your telly, try Maplin or TVcables.


Q. I am thinking about buying a new tv. Should I get one with Freeview incorporated in the tv or would it be better to get a top set box.

A. Here are the pros and cons - The advantage of a TV with built-in Freeview is that it's all-in-one. No extra cabling, no need for an extra box plugged into the mains eating electricity, and they're easier to connect and set-up. On the down-side, they tend to be more expensive. A separate box allows you to take the box to another room, or replace it if a better box comes along. Buying a new TV.


Q. Some of my Freeview channels seem to be encrypted. How do I get to view these?

A. Chances are, you're referring to subscription channels which are available via the Freeview system. For our answer to this, see our Top Up Your Freeview page


Radio Questions

Q. How do I set up my own radio station?

A. To run a radio station in the UK, you need to be licensed as a UK broadcaster by the regulator Ofcom ( You then need to negotiate with a carrier (such as Sky or a DAB multiplex owner, or apply for an FM radio licence). An alternative is to run an online radio station, or even create a podcast like Frequencycast.
For some general guidance on getting on air with your own station, see Radio and Telly.


Sky Questions

Please see our Sky page for more on Sky Digital. Also, listen in to Show 16 for a Sky summary

Q. When will there be more HD channels on Sky?

A. The number of HD channels on Sky is increasing all the time. At the time of writing, there are over 50 channels on offer.

We've been asked how long it will be before all Sky Digital channels go HD... Well, the amount of HD channels depends on two factors: 1. the percentage of people with HD equipment (currently tiny), and 2. the amount of HD content (apart from movies, this is also small at the moment). Much of the content on channels found on Sky is old and wasn't originally recorded in high-definition, so it's mostly newer programme content that will be made available in HD.

Q. I have got Sky Digital and I am thinking about getting Multiroom for the whole house (5 more rooms). Do you think Sky will offer me some kind of deal?

A. There's no harm in asking Sky for a 'deal' - give their call centre a try. A couple of points to note:

  • One Sky dish can't have more than four 'feeds' running from it, so each Sky dish can only provide a feed for up to two Sky+ boxes, or four standard Sky boxes. For a fifth standard Sky box, you may need to have a second dish installed.
  • Worth checking that you actually need multiroom. Sky Multiroom in five rooms would allow five TVs to watch five different channels at any one time. This assumes 5 people all watching different channels simultaneously. If you'd be happier with one box feeding 5 rooms, this can be achieved with basic cabling.
  • Freeview would certainly be a cheaper option, but there are a lot less channels on Freeview. Check the list of channels and see if the channels you're planning to watch, are offered by Freeview.

Q. I have Sky HD and an AV sender - it works, but will it send HD pictures to the receiver which is connected to the HD bedroom TV? (Garry Metcalfe Apr 07)

A. Sorry, but your video sender can't be used to transmit Sky's HD service the home. Firstly, High Definition doesn't work over SCART sockets, most commonly used with AV senders - also, the bandwidth for sending Hi-Def wirelessly isn't there. Your Sky HD box still has SCART sockets, so you'll still be able to send standard definition pictures to another TV.

Q. Just about to buy a new LCD tv and want to connect my standard SKY+ box to it. Is there any advantage in connecting it via a S-video cable rather than a scart lead? (Nige Aug 07)

A. Answered in Show 18. Technically, S-video offers better video quality than composite video, although many prefer watching composite. Note that SCART leads carry both video and audio, whilst S-Video just handles video - if you go with S-video, you'll need to connect audio to your TV separately, typically using two phono leads. If you need any S-video or phono leads, try Maplin or TVcables.

Q. If I cancel Sky, can I still watch TV channels with my Sky box and dish?

A. Yes. If you cancel after your initial contract has expired, Sky will let you keep the box and dish. Your old Sky box and dish will still be able to receive the "Free-to-view" channels - the ones that don't require a subscription - see Sky's free-to-view channel list. Also, see our Free TV page for more options.

Q. I would like to watch local news on my sky box. At the moment it shows ITV London. How can I tune to ITV Meridian? (J Milledge Sept 2007)

A. Yes, it's possible to get the various ITV regions on a Sky Digital box - Take a look at for advice on how to do this. For help on regions, see the Sky FAQ.

Q. I'm moving to the US next year and I'm gonna miss all my favourite shows - is there any way I can get Sky in the US? (Chris Toms Sept 2007)

A. Sky Digital is only available to UK subscribers. It's not available in the US. If you know someone in the UK with Sky, you could consider a Slingbox, which will let you watch and control a Sky box over the Internet.

Q. What is the best way to download films on to DVD from Sky+... via USB or by purchasing a DVD recorder? (Katie, Dec 2007)

A. You can't copy content from a Sky+ box using USB or the Ethernet socket - the only option is to connect the output of the Sky+ box to a DVD recorder using a SCART lead. Your DVD recorder must have a Line In SCART socket. DVD recorder advice.

Q. With my old video recorder, I could record one programme while watching another programme. Can you do this with satellite tv? (Bob Simpson, Jan 2008)

A. A standard Sky Digital set-top box only has one output, so with a standard Sky box, you can't watch one satellite channel whilst recording another. You may want to consider a Sky+ box which supports recording one Sky channel onto built-in hard disk while watching/recording another Sky channel. See our Sky+ page. .


Satellite TV Questions

Please see our Freesat page for more on the BBC/ITV Freesat service.

Q. I have a Sky dish, and want to get a Freesat+ PVR. I understand this needs two feeds. Is this correct? (Tony T, Dec 2008)

A. That's correct. Satellite TV recorders such as the Sky+ box and the Humax Foxsat HDR have a "twin tuner", so they can record one satellite channel while recording another. For this to work, there needs to be two cables run from the satellite dish to the satellite receiver box. Standard Sky installations typically only come with a single wire from dish to decoder.
The dish itself also needs what's known as a "multi-feed" LNB (the bit that points to the middle of the dish). Sky installers will fit the correct multi-LNB and second cable when they install Sky+. Otherwise a satellite TV installer can do this work, or you can DIY with cable and LNB bought from Maplin.


TV and Radio Channels

Q. How do I get British Eurosport?

A. British Eurosport is available in the UK on the following services:

British Eurosport is not available on Freeview or BT Vision at this time.

Q. I want to know what channel I will find ARTSWORLD on

A. Note that Artsworld has now rebranded to "Sky Arts". This channel, dedicated to the Arts is available daily from 8am to 2am on Sky Channel 267 - See Sky Arts. To subscribe to Sky Digital, go to

Q. BT Vision or Top Up TV?

A. Amil asked us: "My family is visiting me next month and my brother can't live without Disney and Cartoon Network, what is the best way to get it through Top up tv or BT Vision. I do have BT Broadband and a home hub. I do not want a 12 month contract."
Well, those two channels aren't available for viewing on BT Vision or Top Up TV as standard TV channels, but content is available from those channels on-demand. With BT Vision, the installation is cheaper (as you have BT Broadband). Kids programmes are available on BT Vision for 49p per show, or for £6 a month you can download any of the kids programmes (no 12 month subscription). Top Up TV Anytime will cost you more to get installed, and subscription is £10.99 a month. You'll get a selection of 7 days worth of programmes, but there's not as many kids programmes on Top Up TV Anytime.

Q. Is Classic FM on Freeview?

Not at this time. Classic FM is available on FM, Sky Digital Channel 0106, DAB Digital Radio, on Virgin Media Cable or online at According to Classic FM's site, cost is the main reason why they do not broadcast on the Freeview platform.



TV connectivity questions

Q. My TV does not have enough sockets... what can I do?

A. You can buy SCART switchers to allow multiple devices to connect to a single TV. There are some basic manual switch boxes available at Maplin: SCART multiway box. You can also get an automatic switchbox: Smart SCART switch.

SCART, HDMI and co-ax aerial splitters and switchers are available from Maplin and TVcables.


Q. I have one aerial feed, but need to connect to two devices - help!

A. This is fairly common - you have only one aerial point in your lounge, but you need to feed a TV set and a Freeview box.

Aerial SplitterThe solution is simple - you need an aerial splitter. These allow you to split an aerial off to feed two devices - A basic solution is the UHF TV Splitter from Maplin (pictured), which makes two sockets out of one aerial.

If your Freeview signal is a little weak, you might want to go for something like the Aerial signal booster from Maplin, which takes an aerial in, amplifies it, and has two output sockets.

If you're looking for splitters, boosters and cables we recommend Maplin and TVcables.


Mobiles & Networks

Q. Broadband on a train?

Kim Ashton asks: " I've just bought a laptop and have a wireless connection at home. My sister said that people can get wireless connection anywhere including on trains. How does this work? Is there such a thing as a usb portable wireless modem? "

T-Mobile USB ModemA. Some train providers in the UK are offering on-train wi-fi, but it's fairly rare. Your best bet is likely to be to use the 3G mobile phone network. In the UK, we can recommend two providers who both supply a USB modem: T-Mobile Mobile Broadband offers mobile surfing for £15 a month, or there's 3 Broadband to Go, with prices from £10 a month, or on Pay As You Go.

More on our Mobile Broadband page.



Other Questions

Q. How do I record my own podcast?

A. See our DIY Podcast page for details.


For answers to some other common questions, take a look at


Anything you'd like us to answer on our podcast? Call 020 8133 4567 or send us a message


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