Freesat – Digital Satellite TV Without Subscription

Information about Freesat, the subscription-free satellite TV service in the UK. Details of what Freesat offers, how to get it, and help to existing users.


Freesat logoWhat is Freesat?

Freesat is a digital TV service that’s backed by both the BBC and ITV. As the name suggests, it offers a number of TV channels using a satellite dish, and there’s no subscription (unlike Sky’s satellite offering).

Freesat launched on the 6th May 2008, and currently offers over 130 channels.

To get Freesat, you will need a Freesat receiver, and to have a satellite dish pointing in the general direction of the Astra satellite. Some High Definition content is available on Freesat, including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 HD channels.

Freesat EPG
Freesat EPG on a Humax FoxSat  

What’s on Freesat

Around 130 channels of TV and 30 radio stations.

The Freesat Channels are all subscription-free. Mainstream channels include BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5, E4, More 4, ITV2, ITV3, BBC Three, BBC Four, the BBC News channel, CBBC and CBeebies for the kids.

Other channels on offer include Film 4, True Movies, Movies4Men, Euronews, Men & Motors, Wedding TV, Chart Show TV and Al-Jazeera News. See our full Freesat channel list

HD: Freesat is currently offering five HD channels, BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV 1 HD, Channel 4 HD and HNK World HD

Listen to the FrequencyCast UK online radio show
FrequencyCast PodcastPODCAST FEATURE: We looked at Freesat in show 27.
Listen to the show online, or download it to your MP3 player.

Listen to Show 27 | What is FrequencyCast? | Add us to iTunes


How to get Freesat

To be able to watch Freesat, you need the following:

  • Satellite dishA satellite dish: You need a dish pointing in the right direction (towards the Astra satellites). If you have an old Sky dish, this will do fine. You can install a dish yourself with a DIY kit, or go for a professional installation by contacting a local satellite TV installation firm.
  • A Freesat Receiver: Freesat boxes are available for a one-off payment of £50 or more. We have a list of boxes here: UK Freesat Boxes. Some TV sets also have Freesat receivers built-in.

Freesat Set-top boxes

We have a page listing the available Freesat satellite receiver boxes – See our Freesat boxes section.

Here are the Freesat boxes we recommend:

Basic Freesat receiver. Doesn’t support High Definition – No built-in recorderConnectors: 1 x SCART, LNB in/Out, Ethernet£30 – from Argos (Cat no: 532/1557)

Humax Foxsat HD
Humax Foxsat HD
Supports High Definition Freesat channels. No built-in recorderConnectors: 2 x SCART, HDMI, Component, USB, EthernetReview: Humax Foxsat Review


Humax Foxsat HDR
Humax FoxSat HVR
Supports High Definition Freesat and can record 200 hours of Freesat

  • 320GB built-in hard-disk (up to 200 hours recording)
  • High Definition satellite TV recorder
  • Twin Tuner
  • Series link, pause live TV and 8 day EPG

Connectors: 2 x SCART, HDMI

More on our Humax Foxsat HDR page

Available for £249.99 from


Got a question on Freesat? First, try our Freesat FAQ.

If the answer’s not on our FAQ, ask in our Freesat Forum




Useful Links


  • richard green

    hi there,
    why do i sometimes get a breakup of hi-def channels yet its fine on standard def, this problem has existed for the last 2-3 months, i have installed a decent sony bravia a humax foxsat-hdr box and a selfsat-h21d flat antenna this combination has been working well since hi-def started.

  • Ian dale

    Try using your microwave when watching HD. This can cause signal loss to the tv. I have looked in the instruction bookfor my microwave and it says that it could interfere with tv reception

  • I plunged my freest on and it is taking so long to connect to the satellite dish, please help.

  • Andy Whalley

    Hello there,
    We have a Panasonic free sat tv and a Panasonic dvd rec/player never tried recording on Free sat but have freeview and thats fine,could you tell me how to go about recording a program on free sat.
    tech numpty here by the way

    Thanks in advance


  • I subscribe to Sky and have a SKY+ box which allows me to record two programmes at the same time but not watch a third. My tv is also connected to a terrestrial aerial on the roof so if I am recording two programmes on the SKY+ box I can watch a third (Freeview) from the terrestrial aerial. However, if I want to watch a football match LIVE which is being broadcast on SKY tv and it coincides with two other programmes I want to record, I can only record one other programme on the SKY+ box. Is there an additional recording box on the market which I can plug into my tv to record one or two freeview programmes from my roof aerial?

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