Wright's Aerials

The use of two-input satellite receivers in flats where there is only one feed from the TV system: advice for residents

If the builders have only provided one satellite feed for your flat you will not be able to use a two-input receiver to watch one programme and record another at the same time. Two-input receivers include those for Sky+, Sky HD, and Freesat+.

Until recently it has been normal practice in apartment blocks to provide only one feed; in fact at the time of writing (Jan 2010) some builders still do. If you think you have this problem look at the TV wallplate in the living room. If it only has one screw-type connector then you only have one satellite feed. If it has two, labelled
SAT 1’ and ‘SAT 2’ then there might be two feeds available. However, in some cases the second connector will be dead. Either there will be no cable between it and the TV system ‘head end’, or the cable will be in place but the head-end will not have sufficient outputs to give each dwelling two feeds. You can test the second connector with a normal satellite receiver by transferring the satellite lead (the one with a screw connector) between SAT 1 and SAT 2. The receiver should work normally on both connectors.

If there is only one feed and you want to watch one programme and record another at the same time you will need a second connection to the system. This can be very expensive if just one resident does it (£450 to £550 + VAT), but can be far cheaper per flat if a group of residents all have it done at the same time (typically £150 + VAT per flat). The reason is that there is a high one-off cost for the new unit in the head-end that provides the extra outputs. If there happens to be a spare output on the existing head-end equipment you could use that, but it isn’t likely.

Whether one resident or a number of residents opt to have this work done, new cables are needed from the head-end to each living room. (Typically the head end is in the loft). These cables almost certainly have to run externally on the building, so agreement has to be reached regarding their appearance and the drilling of the walls.

Once the head-end has been modified so it provides enough outputs, it is possible to use devices called ‘stackers’ as an alternative to running extra cables to the flats. However stackers are not 100% perfect in operation and cost more than a cable.

If it isn’t feasible to have a second feed, you can still use a Sky+ or Sky HD receiver. You won’t be able to watch one programme and record another at the same time, but everything else will work correctly. You will need to connect the dish cable to ‘dish input 1’ on the receiver, and set the receiver to work on one input, using the ‘secret’ menu. One of the following methods will work for your receiver:

  1. Press ‘services’ 0-0-1 ‘select’. Select the single feed option at the bottom of the page and switch it on.
  2. Press ‘services’ 4-0-1 ‘select’. Select the single feed option at the bottom of the page and switch it on.
  3. Press ‘services’, right or left arrow to highlight ‘settings’, ‘down’ to highlight ‘picture’, 0-1-‘select’ (in quick succession) so the ‘setup’ tab is highlighted, press the down arrow to reach ‘single feed mode’, right arrow to turn single feed mode on, green to save settings.

See also http://www1.sky.com/HDGuide/pdf/HD_EPG_MICROSITE.pdf.
In case of difficulty contact Sky and ask them to talk you through this over the phone.

If you are a resident in a building where Wright’s Aerials maintain the TV distribution system and you would like to discuss this further, please email us or ring 01709 813419 or 07860 610519.

Wright’s Aerials, January 2010

Print this page © 2003-2012, Wrights Aerials Add to Favorites