With the cost-of-living crisis hitting us all hard, many of us will be thinking about ways to cut costs.
Reducing electricity usage and finding more energy-efficient ways to do this has been a popular topic in recent months, but what else can we do to save some money?
Reducing the number of subscriptions to things is an easy place to start. For things like mobile and broadband, it is unlikely you can just cancel these services, but you can show around and find the best prices possible. SIM-free deals can save you a lot of money.
For TV, both Sky and Virgin tend to be quite expensive depending on the package you get. Looking at Sky, the lowest price deal is £26 per month, and this goes up to £46 for Sky TV, Ultimate and Sky Sports.
Therefore, cancelling will save you a lot of money. But what are you left with when you cancel Sky?
What happens when you cancel Sky with a Sky Q Box?
In the past, you could cancel Sky and be left with all the free-to-air channels, giving you a service similar to Freesat.
Sadly, that's not the case anymore. The Sky Q box is loaned (similar to Virgin), and when you cancel Sky you will need to return the box. If you don't return this equipment within the time frame given, you'll have to pay a Non-Return charge. This will also apply to any additional mini boxes you may have.
A more detailed answer for what will happen when you cancel your Sky Q subscription
- Your Sky Q box will stop working: Your Sky Q box will no longer be able to access the live TV channels and on-demand content that were included in your subscription. You will also lose access to any recorded content that you have saved on your Sky Q box.
- You will lose access to your Sky Go account: If you have a Sky Go account, you will no longer be able to use it to watch live TV and on-demand content on your mobile devices and computers.
- You will lose access to your Sky apps: If you have any Sky apps, such as Sky Sports or Sky Cinema, you will no longer be able to use them.
- You have to return the equipment or you will be charged an equipment fee.
- You will be charged an early termination fee: If you cancel your subscription before the end of your contract, you may be charged an early termination fee.
- You will lose access to any add-on services: If you have any add-on services, such as Sky Sports or Sky Cinema, you will lose access to them.
- You will lose access to any discounts: If you have any discounts or special offers, such as a bundle deal, you will lose access to them.
- You will lose access to any loyalty rewards: If you have any loyalty rewards or incentives, you will lose access to them.
Can I still use my Sky dish to access Freesat / Freeview
In the past, when you cancelled Sky, you could continue to use both the Sky dish and Sky Plus box to access Freesat.
I had hoped you could use the Freesat on your TV or buy a cheap Sky Plus on eBay and then have access to the free-to-view channels. But, unfortunately, this is unlikely to be possible either.
Sky Q uses a completely new style of LNB (the bit that sticks out from the dish) to traditional Sky and Freesat. The latest 4K Freesat boxes should work with the new Q Wideband LNB.
For traditional Freesat in your TV or older boxes, you will need the original Sky+LNB or a Hybrid LNB, which covers SkyQ and Sky+ HD. The latest Sky Hybrid LNB's have 4 inputs, and 2 are specified for Q and 2 for Sky+HD/Freesat.
Freesat 4K TV Box
|Freesat Recordable 4K TV Box 1TB||£269.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Freesat 4K TV Box should work with the Q Wideband LNB that is in place from your old Sky Q system. So you can technically just swap out the Sky Q box for this.
The main downside is that the Freesat 4K TV Box is expensive. Assuming you want to record TV, it is £230 for the 500GB model. The non-recordable model is £145.
You will save money in the long term, but it's an expensive upfront investment for anyone wanting to cut costs.
What free-to-air channels are available?
If you fit a Sky Hybrid LNB, you can pick up cheap Sky Plus boxes on eBay for as little as £30 and this should give you access to any free-to-air channels.
There are a number of free-to-air channels that do not require a subscription that you can . These include:
- BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, BBC News and BBC Parliament.
- ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV.
- Channel 4, Channel 4+1, E4, More4, Film4, and 4seven.
- Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT, and Paramount Network.
- Sky News, Sky Sports News, and Sky Witness.
- Local TV channels, such as London Live, Made in Bristol, and That's Oxford.
- A variety of religious channels, such as TBN UK, Inspiration TV, and Hillsong Channel.
- Community channels, such as London Live, Made in Bristol, and That's Oxford.
- Shopping channels, such as QVC and Ideal World.
- Music channels, such as Scuzz, Kerrang! and The Box.
Last update on 2023-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API