How Do You Access Free to Air Channels on a TV in NZ?

New to the country and our stuff just arrived.
In oz we just connect the TV to the wall and that's it.
Just tried that at our rental unit and its not picking up any channels.
It's a sky cable so assuming we have a sky satellite dish?
How do you access them here??
Do you need a decoder or receiver for this? If so and because I have sky will I have to pay a monthly fee for Sky to get access to free to air channels??
Not after sky or any cable packages, just want what's free in NZ. Thanks.



      I'm no expert but it sounds like you might have to buy a satellite receiver. Possibly as it was setup with a sky decoder before. I believe recent to new TVs have decoders built in but they normally accept only digital terrestrial connections.
      You might need something like this which accepts satellite.

    • +1 vote

      Nachos is right.
      Have a look on your roof and see what you have up there. Might have a dish and antenna


        Has a dish on the roof. So the dicksmith box won't work and I'll have to get a satellite box?


          Yea the dicksmith one is a dvb-t reciever. You need a dvb-s one.
          Have a look on trademe. Heaps on there for not much money. A lot of people bought them before upgrading to a TV with built in freeview. Now they sell them off cheap.
          Search for a freeview satellite receiver


    Freeview is available in NZ on either SD (via Sat dish) or HD (via Aerial) Check for more information on coverage areas and install advice.

    Your TV may have the capability of one or both of these depending on the model.

    For Satellite dish it sounds like your dish is ready to go, so your tv would need to be able to decode this to use it (usually slightly older models, but not too old)
    For HD, sometimes regular "bunny ears" are enough if the signal is strong enough and again, your TV would need this capability (usually newer models). If you want free to air TV in HD and regular bunny ears don't work, you could consider asking the landlord to install a UHF aerial on the roof, or ask them or the last tenant what they used.
    Some TVs have both capabilities.Google your TV model for info.

    If your TV has neither, then a freeview box can usually do one or the other.

    Check for more information.



    My understanding is that you need to have one (or more) of:

    UHF Antenna
    Satellite Dish
    Internet Connection

    The UHF antenna will get you free to air broadcast signals, including FreeView. To decode the terrestrial FreeView signal, either your TV has to have that ability (I would think any modern TV - last five years? - would have that built in, but not certain), or a FreeView decoder box for older TV (or low spec models) which might cost you $50 to $100 one-off (cheaper if you buy second-hand).

    A satellite dish will get you signals from Sky (or wherever you point it and assuming it gets a signal), but you would need a subscription / decoder from whoever is delivering that signal.

    An internet connection can get you whatever you like on the net, including, I believe, FreeView for no marginal cost over and above your internet connection charges, whereas some internet sites will charge subscription fees (such as NetFlix).

    Hope that helps,



      Thanks for the comments, Alan. We have a satellite dish only from what i can see. I will assume it is a sky satellite as the cable from the wall has sky written on it.
      Does that mean I can only get a sky decoder?

      I have an android box so am strongly leaning towards using internet only once we get connected.


        Sky and Freeview both use the same satelitte, so you can use the freeview decoder i mentioned above without having to pay monthly subscription to sky.


        As Nachos notes, since the same satellite broadcasts both Sky and FreeView, the same satellite dish will receive both.

        You will need a separate decoder for each of those signals though I believe. Having said that, I don't actually have Sky anymore, we killed that some time ago, so I guess its possible that the Sky decoder will also decode the FreeView signal, but a FreeView decoder definitely won't decode the Sky signal ;-)

        For what its worth, I think that if you have a fibre internet connection (almost everyone I know has fibre now, but I appreciate that will vary once you get out into the country) and an unlimited data plan, then you might well say you don't need anything else. As I noted above, we killed Sky some time ago, saving us about $60 a month, and subscribe in rotation to NetFlix, LightBox, Neon, QuickFlix, or whatever is around next time we choose to shift. I figure after spending some time on each one, we'll go back to NetFlix, and they will have a load of new content for us to chew through. Call it $15 a month instead of $60 per month with Sky. The only thing Sky have going for them is sports, but if you aren't too worried about that, then it seems compelling to leave them, and eventually they can charge $500 a month to the rugby fans.



  • Top