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How to get Sky TV if you live in a block of flats

Richard Murphy
Thursday, December 14th 2017

Living in a flat doesn’t exclude you from enjoying the delights of Sky TV, but it can require some additional steps during the sign-up process.

To get Sky TV, you need to be connected to a satellite dish. Installing a dish gets more difficult the higher you get, so Sky has a specialist installation team on hand to make sure the whole process goes smoothly.

If you live in a building of four flats or less, you can do everything online

For small blocks of apartments, the Sky TV installation process is not too dissimilar to that of a standard house, which means you can complete the sign-up process online.

Start by choosing which package you want using our comprehensive Sky comparison page, then complete your order via the Sky website. It is likely you will need to give information regarding the location of your flat (whether you live above the third floor, for example) and if there are any restrictions that might hamper the installation team.

From there you can choose your installation slot and wait for the installation team to turn up. Putting the kettle on in advance is optional.

Sky will endeavour to get your dish installed promptly, but there are limitations as to what the team can do and complications are not unheard of.

If you live in a property with four flats or more...

For those that live in a property with four flats or more, the process requires a couple of extra steps, but you can still start your order online. However, before you do, you should find out if your building is already set up to receive a Sky TV signal through a communal dish.

Find out if your building has a communal dish already installed

Some properties don’t allow individual external dishes, but do have a communal – or shared – dish to which residents can connect. A communal dish is installed by Sky – or by one of Sky’s approved installers – and, once set up, everyone in the building will be able to get Sky TV.

The good news is that your building may already have a communal dish installed. You can find out by speaking to your property's management, or by giving Sky a call on 03442 411 653.

If your building does have a communal dish...

If you do have a communal dish, your flat should have an outlet plate on a wall somewhere. This is an access point for your Sky TV box.

If this is the case, you can tell Sky that you have a communal dish and it can establish whether you can get a signal, and organise installation. As there is no external work to be done, the installation should be fairly quick and easy.

Again, you need to call Sky to discuss this, as there is no option to do so on its website.

If your building does not have a communal dish...

What happens now depends on your building management. It may be open to the idea of installing a communal dish on the property if enough residents voice their approval.

The cost of installing the dish will land at the property management’s door, but is usually split between the residents as a service charge.

The success of lobbying for a communal dish depends on how forthcoming your building’s management team is, and how many fellow residents also want to get Sky TV.

Another option is to get Sky to install an individual dish for your personal use. Sky will only do this if your property manager allows external dishes, if the conditions to receive the signal are met, and if it is safe to do so.

Some properties allow external dishes to be attached to balconies and alongside windows. If this is the case, you can contact Sky and see what they can set up.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get Sky Q from a communal dish?

Yes. Sky began enhancing communal systems in 2016 in preparation for the release of Sky Q and continues to upgrade blocks across the UK. If you communal dish isn’t already equipped for Sky Q, you can contact Sky or your building’s Managing Agent for more information.

Does it cost more to get Sky installed in a flat than in a regular house?

Again, this depends on what sort of dish you’re looking to get installed. The cost of a getting a dish installed in a building with six flats or less is no different from a standard installation.

Things get slightly more complicated with communal dish installation. The cost of this will be passed on to the building’s management, which will probably pass the cost on to its residents through a service charge.

Is there a maximum number of flats that can receive a communal dish’s signal?

No. The dish is capable of delivering a signal to any number of flats.

Can I keep Sky if I’m moving to a block of flats?

This all depends on the status of the flat you’re moving to. Sky suggests that you need permission from the building owner before Sky can carry out the re-installation of your dish.

Speak to your new building management and find out what its policy is for satellite dishes, or whether it has a communal dish in place. Pass this information on to Sky when you inform it about your move.

I am a property manager, how do I get a communal TV system installed?

You need to speak to Sky directly by requesting a call back on Sky’s Communal TV webpage. If you decide it’s right for you, you’ll be allocated a dedicated account manager and a Sky-approved installer will conduct a survey of your building. You’ll be quoted for how much installation will cost and, upon agreeing on a price, the system will be installed.

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