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Friday, October 30, 2009

Sky TV In Spain

Sky TV in Spain

The UKs main pay / subscription satellite TV service, Sky, operates on the satellites at 28 degrees east of south. These Sky channels are broadcast with encryption, and can only be viewed by the use of a Sky subscription card. The amount of channels that are “unblocked” will depend on the subscription charge you pay.

As far as I know, it is NOT illegal to use a Sky viewing cards or watch Sky subscription TV channels outside of the UK. However, you are breaking the terms and conditions of you Sky contract, which states that the Sky viewing card is only for use within the UK only. This is Sky’s method of ensuring that their contracts with the film, sports and other TV program makers is satisfied, as a Sky card can only be issued to a UK address.

Sometimes best to ask a family member or a friend in the UK to order a Sky card at their address on your behalf. The Sky contract that is received will need to be signed by the name of the person you have used. Once the contract has been received by Sky they will then issue the Sky card to the UK address. The card will need to be put in its Digibox, and then you and your UK contact will have to contact Sky to get the card activated, they will require the information from the sky receiver on the system details screen (Services, 4, 6)

The minimum term of a Sky contract is 12 months.

The Sky contact also states that the Sky card and Sky decoder must be connected to a UK telephone line. However, this is only true if you have had your card and decoder supplied by Sky. In the UK Sky heavily discount the installation cost. All equipment is their property for 12 months, and to ensure that it stays where is should they require the decoder to call back to the Sky computers every so often. After 12 months the equipment (dish and decoder) is yours and you can disconnect them from the telephone system. With installations in Spain, you are personally buying the decoders and dish so the equipment is yours from the start and although, as you did not get the equipment direct from a Sky you do not need to connect to the telephone system.

Note that’s this does not apply to the Sky Multiroom service. This service provides two cards with the same subscriptions for the cost of one card plus £10. However, the contact for this service states that both decoders and cards must be connected to the telephone system. If the boxes fail to contact the Sky computer then you will be charged full price for both cards. This stops people from bringing their second decoder and card to Spain.

Note that there are no "Authorised Sky Card Agents" or "Official Sky Card Dealers" or "Official Sky Authorised Agents" outside the UK. Sky do not authorise anyone outside the UK and ROI to sell or distribute their viewng cards. Any company claiming this should be avoided.

Also note that if you have a UK Address that you can register your sky card at, then do so. Should you do this via an company or agent in Spain then you should not have to pay a Yearly Fee. Some companies or agents charge a Yearly Fee for the client to "borrow" a UK address, but why should you pay a Yearly Fee if you provide your own!

For more information visit

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sky Cards to stop working on Non Sky (eg Darkbox and other multicam) receivers?

A few months ago I posted about this issue on some other forums and got shot down, however, recent reports say that Sky Italia, who use the same NDS encryption as Sky UK, have recently changed their encryption algorithm.

This has been done in an attempt to try restrict the use of their Sky subscription viewing cards in non sky boxes, and, more importantly, to try stop the card sharing networks using their viewing cards.

Many card sharing networks are reporting having problems in the last few days, just after it was noticed the change in the encryption algorithm.

It is speculated that this change in encryption algorithm will also cause issues with using the Sky Italia viewing cards cards in non Sky Italia boxes.

A few years ago card sharing was more of a hobbiest thing, with people just playing around with their receivers to see what can be received. However, in the last few years card sharing has become more popular, and it can be said that the satellite broadcasters are starting to lose a large amount of subscription revenue and so it has become more financially viable for them to spend money on counteracting card sharing.

Theere have also been reports that Sky UK have had a few tests with the new encryption, and this has caused the back out of some channels on non sky receivers, but also due to their age, it also affected some older sky receivers!

It could well be that the days for using your Sky subscription viewing card in non Sky receivers are numbered.

If you are offered an installation with a non Sky receiver for using your Sky card in it may be worth asking your installer / supplier about the swapping the non Sky box for a Sky box if and when this becomes a reality.

For more information visit

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My installer says I need a Sky viewing card or else I will lose my BBC.

"My installer says I need a Sky viewing card or else I will loose my BBC."

I have been hearing this a few times in the last few weeks, sparked by the new White sky card that are being issued, and many people wondering what channels they will and will not be able to received if they do not have new white sky viewing card.

Many people are stil under the impression thatthey need a sky card, or even subscribe to sky with a monthly subscription payment, to be able to receive BBC channels.

BBC channels have been available for the last 6 years without a Sky viewing card.

You do not need a new white sky viewing card to view the BBC channels.

You do not even need a viewing card for many ITV1 regions, ITV2,3,4, or the Channels 4 channels.

You do need a viewing card for
ITV1 (in these regions only: Anglia W, Central SW, Mer N, Mer SE, TT S, Yorks E)
Channel 4 channels on frequency 12480
Channel 4 HD
Sky 3

And whilst I am here talking about viewing cards, someone emailed me saying they asked an installer if they could buy a new white freesatfromsky viewing card, and told Yes, but they will only work in our digiboxes, so you will also need to buy the digibox!!!!!

To say I was shocked was an understatement!!!
Many sky cards are interchangeable (at the moment anyway!) for many channels (except the Sky Sports and Movies channels) and so all that needed to be done was the card dealer just calls sky and gets the new card "paired" to the clients existing sky box!!
You do not need a new sky box unless your existing box is not working, not because you need a new white viewing card.

And one caller wanted me to confirm what thier installer had said to them She would need to buy a new sky box when Spain swicthes off their analogue TV signals and transfers to digital as the sky box will not work when these signals are switched off!!!!!!
Sky has been Digital for over 10 years now, and as Spanish TV is received via the TV aerial, the two systems are totally independant of each other.
You do not need to buy a new sky digibox because Spains TV system is changing!!

Some of the crap spouted by some "installers" or "companies" is totally unbeliveable.

Famaval Portuguese Dishes (1.8 1.9 2.4m) in Spain

A number of clients I have installed big 2.4m dishes for have commented that "I am not installing the Famaval Portuguese dish" I promised and quoted them. After assuring them I was (they are unique in the fact they have 24 holes around the rim for extention panels!") I asked them what triggered their question.

Apparently all Famaval dishes have the Famaval logo painted on them, to try and discourage installers from claiming dishes are Famavals when they are not.

All I can say is not all Famaval dishes have the Famaval logo painted on them! None of the Famaval 2.4m dishes I have installed this year have had the Famaval logo on them.

In fact you are able to identify that the 2.4m satellite dish you have is a Famaval 2.4m satellite dish, as it has a future proof option. You are able to extend a 2.4m satellite dish to 3.1m with panels.

This dish is easily distinguishable by the 24 small holes drilled round its perimeter for these panels to be fitted if need be in the future.