Freeview guide

Freeview Buying Guide

Freeview is the most popular way to receive terrestrial digital TV programmes in the UK. If you love choice and great image quality, Freeview delivers a huge increase in the channels available and enhanced digital quality.

Freeview is a way of receiving free digital TV through your television. Freeview and Freeview HD offer over 50 TV channels, 25 digital radio stations, 4 HD channels and enhanced digital quality.

You don't need to pay a monthly subscription - you just need a Freeview set-top box or new digital TV and to pay your TV licence as normal.

Why you need Freeview

The government plans to shut off the old analogue signal and switch to digital TV by 2012. You can enjoy over 50 free channels and 4 HD channels (with Freeview HD) - with more added all the time.

  • 25 digital radio stations.
  • Enhanced image and audio quality.
  • No monthly fee or contract.
  • No dish or special wiring - you should get digital TV through your rooftop aerial (as long as it's in good condition and properly sited.)
  • You can buy a digital TV with an integrated Freeview system - no need for a set-top box.

To check if you can receive Freeview in your area, and for more information on the service, visit the Freeview website.

Freeview HD

Freeview HD has channels that offer up to five times more detail than standard Freeview channels and Dolby Plus 5.1 digital surround sound. Even better, just like standard Freeview, there are no bills beyond the cost of the box or Freeview HD-ready TV.

But what is it?

Freeview HD is transmitted alongside the standard Freeview signal, so is received through your TV aerial. Some transmitters started broadcasting in HD at the end of 2009, and the HD channels will be rolled out across the UK between 2010 and 2012. To check when Freeview HD will be available in your area, simply enter your postcode and house number into the online checker.

What channels can I enjoy?

As well as all of the normal terrestrial TV channels that you're used to, Freeview has lots of new stations to discover including:

  • BBC3 and BB4
  • ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4
  • E4, More4 and Film4
  • Children's channels such as CBeebies and CITV
  • News channels including BBC News 24 and Sky News
  • Shopping channels such as QVC and Bid TV
  • Plus a host of ‘catch up’ channels

How can you receive Freeview?

  1. Freeview and Freeview HD TV

    Cut out the middleman and make the next big-screen TV you buy a Freeview ready one. Less boxes, less cables and less fuss. If your region can already receive Freeview transmission, you'll be able to receive free-to-air digital channels out of the box.

  2. Freeview and Freeview HD set top box

    If you're perfectly happy with your existing TV then upgrade it to the Freeview experience with an add-on set top box. Just plug it in and you're ready to go - Freeview HD will require an HDMI cable.

  3. Freeview+ and Freeview+ HD set-top box

    Take your Freeview experience to the next level by choosing a Freeview+ recorder. One of these will not only enable you to receive Freeview programmes but also pause live TV, schedule recording regular programmes and with some models record two at once.

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