Freeview is the most common way to watch free TV, but Freesat’s universal insurance is a viable option for many. The initial cost of the Freesat is high, but the overall difference in channel options is small. The final choice between Freeview and Freesat depends on how good the Freeview signal is. While Freeview is transmitted via an antenna, Freesat broadcasts are transmitted via satellite, which provides a more stable signal that is not affected by adverse weather conditions.
Freeview is the UK’s only digital terrestrial TV platform. It is operated by DTV Services Ltd, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, and the broadcaster Arqiva. Released on October 30, 2002 it was licensed by ITV Digital, which went bankrupt that same year. The service provides consumers with antenna access to seven DTT multiplexes covering the UK. As of 2020, there are 85 TV channels, 26 digital radio channels, 6 text services, 10 HD channels, 11 streaming channels, and 1 interactive channel.
Freesat is a free satellite TV service in the UK created as a joint venture between the BBC and ITV plc. This service was enacted as a memorandum of understanding in 2007 and has been available since May 2008. Freesat provides an alternative satellite to Freeview for terrestrial digital television with a similar range of channels available to receiver purchasers without a subscription. This service also uses satellite broadcasts from 24 broadcasters such as BBC, ITV, Daystar, Channel 5, Arirang TV, Bloomberg, FreeSports, Discovery Networks, France24, and so on. It Covers HD channels. Provide RT UK and TRT World.
Setting Up Freeview TV
All standard Freeview units come with setup instructions, but here are some tips to help you in case of problems. How to set up a TV that supports Freeview.
Here is a guide to Freeview Support TVSetup.
- Connect your TV to a power source and put the battery into the remote control. Connect your antenna and turn on the TV.
- If you have a smart TV, you will be required to enter your Wi-Fi network and password.
- It allows you to set up your TV to find available Freeview channels. This will take 3-4 minutes.
- You can then save the channel and start watching. If you have a Freeview HD TV, the HD channel will start at BBC One 101.
The difference between Freeview and Freesat
Freeview and Freesat users can access digital tv services without paying a monthly fee or signing a contract.
- Freeview: Transmitted via antenna and attachments.
- Freesat: Transmitted via mini-dish and tv box. It is this transmitting difference that sets Freeview and Freesat apart.
The coverage difference
Freeview and Freesat’s other difference is the coverage.
- The Freeview is officially available in 98% of the UK with home antennas and national transmitters.
However, there are two levels of Freeview and the full version is available to about 83% of the country’s population while Freeview lite remains only 15% with significantly fewer channels than the full version (typically around 15 major channels).
- Freesat offers 100% coverage via satellite broadcast.
So regions struggling to get a decent Freeview signal or frustrated that they only have access to a few Freeview channels can invest in Freesat services instead. Anyone unsure should check what services are available with Freeview. Here you will need to verify on the website using your zip code and house number.
Freeview and Freesat prepaid
Many new TVs have Freeview built-in, and some HD TVs give you instant access to Freeview HD content.
- The Freeview box is as low as £35 for a decent base model. Customers looking to upgrade to the HD box or recorder will have to pay a bit more, but that cost can also be less than Freesat’s set-top box and satellite dish requirements. Installations start at around £80.
- For Freesat customers who don’t have a dish yet. Expect to add at least £30 to installing a Freesat+ or multiple boxes due to the additional cables and connections required. Estimates vary and often depend on the local company providing economical services.
This changes all the time but,
- Freeview has about 70 channels, some of them in HD, and about 20 radio stations.
- This exceeds Freesat’s impressive 200 TV and radio channels.
There is also the smart version of each service that you can use to access the full range of terrestrial digital catch-up services.
Freesat can offer a full range of impressive channel options, but it cannot offer all the channels Freeview has, such as popular channels like Dave that Freeview can offer for free.
If you’re not fussing between the two, it’s a good idea to check if you already have a working antenna or satellite dish, as it can potentially make a decision. The same satellite dishes previously used for Sky can be used with Freesat. However, not all satellite dishes installed for Sky Q are backward compatible. Make sure you are in the Freeview Lite area. If so, It is recommended to try Freesat if you cannot receive the full Freeview service from the nearest transmitter.
Frequently asked the question:
Question: Do you have to pay before viewing on Freesat?
Answer: No, you don’t have to pay to watch for Freesat.
Question: How many channels does Freeview have?
Answer: Freeview has over 60 channels.
Question: Do you have to install a satellite dish before your Freesat can work?
Answer: Yes, because Freesat transmits only on satellite.
Question: Can you record a program on Freeview?
Answer: Yes you can always record your favorite program on Freeview.