The function of the satellite receiver is to decode the data stream from the satellite into a picture that you can watch. This is done with the aid of a video codec.
We have three main types of receiver.
SKY - Owned and operated by SKY
F.T.A - Free To Air receiver, able to receive all free satellite feeds.
FreeSat - New! Freesat is just like FreeView but transmitted by satellite.
The receivers will work with almost any caravan satellite system.
SKY Satellite Receivers.
The SKY receiver has been around since the wheel was invented. Most people are familiar with SKY from use in the home.
The advantage to SKY Digital is that almost everyone in the UK has used it at on time or another. This makes the SKY Guide familiar to all.
The major drawback with this system is that you will have a UK subsidised receiver at home. This is a problem!
Within the first 12 months of your contract SKY will randomly test the telephone connection to the box.
All current SKY boxes are 240 volt so you may need an inverter.
You CAN'T take your sky card out of your box and put it in another sky box and get all the same channels. This is because the card and box are coded. When you first contact Sky to set up your system they take a note of your viewing card number. However, you should be able to get some channels like BBC and ITV, but don't expect to be able to get Sky One.
Just take your Sky box out of the house or a multi-room box. You must understand that the licence on your box is for the UK only and you MAY have your card blocked. You can call Sky when you get home and get it un-blocked.
The F.T.A (Free To Air) Receiver.
If you look around you will find hundreds of F.T.A receivers in all shapes and sizes. We will refer to a GENERIC receiver as they all do the same sort of thing. The only difference between them is the ease of use of the menu system.
The GENERIC F.T.A reviver's are capable of receiving almost every satellite that orbits the earth. I know this is a very broad description, but if you call into a local satellite dealer in any country you should be able to buy a F.T.A receiver.
The normal method of operation is to select a satellite that you wish to watch. This will bring up the program list for that satellite. You then just select the program.
One thing that we must point out is that not all F.T.A receiver are created equal. Some have an EPG (Electronic Program Guide) and some do not. The EPG gives you information on the program line up on the channel you select for the rest of the day, week or month. This is quite important if you must watch East Enders. Some have a satellite signal meter which could be handy if you are using a portable or manual system.
Most FTA receivers will receive FREESAT by pointing your dish at Astra 28 and hitting search. Channel 4 is listed but is not listed as channel 4. It is listed as a number like 84362. This is not the channel but it does begin with 8. We will update this when we find the channel number.
When picking your F.T.A receiver, go for the one with the EPG and satellite signal meter.
This is the newest addition to the satellite receiver market and is still settling in. The FreeSat system is run by the BBC and ITV together. It includes hundreds of programs. (See details)
The Freesat receiver is designed for use within the UK. Having said that I will work in any country as long as your dish is big enough to receive the fairly weak signal.
FreeSat systems have a good user system and a detailed EPG. The box is also available in an HD (High Definition) version. FREESAT is free to watch once you have purchased the equipment. (channel list).
Good system for use in the UK, even though it has a limited range. If you intend to stay in the UK, then it is a great system for use with your caravan satellite system.
When we refer to a GENERIC receiver, we refer to a receiver of no make or name.