Freesat offers Nigerians free digital TV (satellite) service


Freesat offers Nigerians free digital TV (satellite) service

By Sina Oduko

Are you bothered by inability to raise enough money for regular subscription to your digital TV service provider? And dread the thought of missing your favorite soccer team in action? Relax, you should be enjoying free uninterruptible digital audio/vision transmission.

Yes, better days are here already for television viewers across the globe as Freesat has always been here. With over 200 channels – and 13 in high definition – it is not hard to find unbelievably good TV and watch the best drama, entertainment, sport, and children’s shows every week. Of course, there are no subscriptions, just great telly.

Nigerians can now watch channels of their choice without fear of being disconnected. The CNN, BBC, Aljazeera English, SKY and so many other religious, African movies (Nollywood, Ghanian and other African channels) for free. This includes 95% of what is available on subscription bouquets

The Nigerian TV authorities are giving lots of boost into the TV content production and hardware in Nigeria. This is indeed welcome news, more so as it is understood that we are ‘going digital’. This probably means that all terrestrial stations will now be completely updated from analogue to digital transmission.

Ultimately, all TV transmissions will be ‘online’, that is, hybrid of broadband.

For now, the state of the art is LTE  Long Term Evolution ‘of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS)’. Details of this will be discussed later. This is a lot cheaper and more easily deployed, compared with any form of TV transmission. An important innovation of LTE transmission is that one can now truly watch any channel on any smart or wi fi enabled gadget e.g. smart TV, handheld computers, tablets or smart phones natively.


FREESAT UK as the name implies is a bouquet of satellite television channels that are available to watch completely for free in the UK. All you pay for is your dish. It is described on their website as ‘Unbelievably Good TV – No Monthly Bill. With a Freesat box or a TV with Freesat built in, you can enjoy over 200 TV and Radio channels, subscription free. The same has been possible in Nigeria for a long time.

’If you’ve already got a dish (eg the 60 cm DSTV dish), it couldn’t be easier to switch. Simply plug in a Freesat box,  TV Set top box or decoder. Currently, the most popular one that is affordable locally in Nigeria is the STRONG brand. At around fifteen thousand Naira (Oshodi Market), this is rather basic, entry level equipment, but it  still does the job adequately.

In Nigeria, with STRONG decoder, you are able to watch over 95 per cent of what you get on DSTV completely free (absolutely no payment). The only ones that you do not get are the scrambled ones. Some decoders have smart cards. With this, you can subscribe for certain sport channels at a fraction of the cost of DSTV subscriptions

The basics:

Nigeria with a total population of over a hundred and fifty million cannot be overlooked by any news medium that is worthy of its salt. Hence all the satellite operators directly beam over the country (footprint). What it means is that any 60 CM dish will do adequately. This is exactly the same size as the smallest of the DSTV dishes. The dish however needs to be re- aligned to any of the several satellites with footprints in Nigeria, on the preferred channels. This is however only possible with more advanced decoders with ‘blind search’ capabilities.

The website, constantly updates the list of channels that are free in the country.

As there are so many satellites with different channels, the preferred option is to also install a device that is called POSITIONER. At installation, this is synchronised with the set top box. The dish is then automatically aligned to any satellite as the remote controller is used to select individual channels.  Installers are already used to this package in Nigeria.

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