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Freesat, Freeview & HD TV  
What is Freesat?

Freesat is a free to air ( requires no monthly or yearly subscription) digital satellite TV service which has been available since May 2008. It is available to almost all of the households in the UK. It requires a one-time payment for a digital box, satellite dish and installation. Freesat currently offers approximately 150 TV & Radio channels, including BBC, ITV, C4, Five and dozens more. If your TV is already ‘HD Ready’, Freesat also gives you access to the exciting world of ‘free’ High Definition (HD) programmes, at present BBC HD and ITV1 HD (requires the appropriate digital box).

Freesat offers viewers a satellite based alternative to the existing FREEVIEW service

What channels does Freesat offer, and how many?

Because Freesat is delivered via satellite (i.e. using a similar satellite dish setup as Sky ), there is a large range of TV, radio and interactive services available. Currently around 150 channels, and this number is growing all the time.

How much does Freesat cost?

A one-off payment is all that is required. You pay initially for the digital box (prices from approx £50); and the satellite dish to receive the channels, and installation.

There are no ongoing costs for Freesat once you have bought your equipment and had it installed.
What is Freeview?

After the digital switchover in the UK is completed in 2012, every household in Britain will need to have a digital television, either through a monthly subscription TV package, or from a free-to-view provider like Freeview or Freesat.

Freeview is the cheapest option to receive digital TV. Requiring just a one-off payment for the set-top box or integrated TV, there is no monthly subscription. You will then have access to all the original terrestrial channels, plus all the newer digital channels as well.

Freeview comprises the range of subscription-free digital channels and radio stations that will replace the current terrestrial channels after the switchover is completed in 2012.

When your particular geographic area switches to digital, you will no longer be able to watch analogue TV any longer, so you will have to get a Freeview or Freesat set-top box if you want to carry on watching TV.

Why should I get Freeview?

If you want to keep watching TV after the switchover, but don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription, then Freeview may be right for you.

In addition to being able to watch all the current terrestrial channels - BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 - you’ll receive a growing number of digital-only channels and radio, such as BBC3 and ITV2.

Depending on the set-top box you buy, you might even be able to send emails via your TV, or do online shopping. The interactive facilities of digital TV are always expanding so keep a look out for new services.

And if you’ve got a HD ready TV, getting a Freeview HD set-top box is the cheapest way to watch high-definition (HD) channels.

What do I need for Freeview?

You must live in a Freeview area to receive Freeview. Use our postcode checker to see if you live in a Freeview area. It is currently available to around 80% of the UK.

To receive the Freeview channels, you’ll need to have a Freeview set-top box. These cost as little as £20 and can be simply plugged into the back of your TV. Digital recorders (PVRs) are also set up to receive Freeview.

Or, if you need a new TV, you could opt for a digital one with Freeview built-in.

Because VCRs run on the analogue signal, they will become redundant after the switchover, so you should invest in a digital recorder. These allow you to record programmes onto their internal memory, pause and even rewind “live” television.

How much does Freeview cost?

The cost of Freeview depends on how you want to receive it. Standard Freeview boxes start at around £25, while some high-definition (HD) ready, integrated digital TVs can cost more than £1,000.

If you go for a subscription service, your hardware will probably be free but you’ll be tied into a contract and have to pay a monthly fee.

High-definition television (or HDTV, or just HD)

High-definition television (or HDTV, or just HD)
refers to video having resolution substantially
higher than traditional television systems
(standard-definition TV, or SDTV, or SD). HD
has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly
five times that of SD. Early HDTV broadcasting
used analog techniques, but today HDTV is
digitally broadcast using video compression

Sat-Insta can advise and install HD
television according to your needs.
Get an online quote
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