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Freeview – The Free UK Digital TV Service

Information about Freeview,what the services offers, how to get Freeview, and answers to common questions about the free-to-view TV service.


What is Freeview?

Freeview logoFreeview is a Digital TV service that allows you to watch over 40 TV channels via your TV aerial. No dish required, no subscription, no ties, no contracts, and no installation costs. Just buy a set-top box for free access to the Freeview channel lineup…


What channels do I get on Freeview?

Below is a summary of the channels on offer to Freeview users:

Freeview channels

Entertainment BBC One, BBC Two, ITV 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4, BBC Three, Pick TV, BBC Four, E4, More4, Film4, Yesterday, Dave, 5*, 5 USA, CNN, Challenge, Community Channel
/ Sport
BBC News,
Sky News,, BBC Parliament.
Kids CBBC, CBeebies, CiTV
Shopping QVC, Bid TV , Price-drop TV , Ideal World
Music 4 music,
The Music Factory
Radio BBC Radio
1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio
5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Radio 6, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Radio 4 Extra, talkSPORT, BBC Asian Network, BBC World Service, Smash
Hits, KISS, Kerrang, Smooth Radio (formerly Jazz FM), Heart, Absolute (formerly Virgin), The Hits, Q, Magic, Heat & Premier Christian
/ Info
BBCi, Teletext,
FourText, Sky Text, NHS Direct
For more on the Freeview channels, see our Freeview Channel List


How do I get Freeview?

Here’s what to do if you’re looking to get the Freeview channels:

  1. Check Coverage – To receive Freeview, you must be in range of a Freeview transmitter. To check this, enter your postcode on the Digital UK Postcode checker. More: Freeview Reception help
  2. Freeview boxBox – If you are in a coverage area, you’ll need to get a free-to-air set-top box. Boxes cost from around £20 and can be bought from high-street stores such as Currys. Shopping online for a set-top box is often cheaper. For help choosing, see further down this page.
  3. Connect – Plug your existing TV aerial lead into your Freeview set-top box, then connect a SCART lead from the box to your TV’s SCART socket, and you should be ready to go. Follow the instructions supplied with the  set-top box, and scan for available Freeview channels.

The cost? There’s no subscription costs or rental agreements, so the one-off cost for the set-top box is all you’ll pay for the extra channels.

For help with getting started, see our ‘New to Freeview’ page.


Freeview set-top boxes

There’s quite a range of set-top boxes, with differing features and styling. Here are a few things to consider when buying a Freeview box:

  • Price: From around £20 – no subscription or ongoing costs.
  • Connectivity: All boxes have a single SCART socket for connection either to a TV or recorder. You may want to consider improving your options by getting a box with a second SCART socket, so you can connect to both a TV set and a video / DVD recorder.If connecting to a TV that doesn’t have a SCART socket, you need to look for a Freeview box that has a modulated output (e.g. the Icecrypt T5000).
  • Features: Basic boxes tend to support Freeview’s interactive services and subtitles. More expensive boxes come with two-week electronic programme guides, built-in games and programme timers. At the top-end, boxes have a built-in a hard-disk recorder – These hard-disk recorders, known as PVRs, support live pause, and many allow you to record one digital channel whilst watching another.

If you’re looking to buy a Freeview receiver, take a look at our list of Freeview boxes for the full range of UK boxes. Below, you’ll find our ‘Quick Picks’ – three different types of box, to suit differing budgets:

Radio and Telly’s Freeview Quick Picks
Philips DTR230GOODMANS GDB18FVZS2: Basic box with 2 SCART sockets. Amazon / Currys £25 YouView from BT BoxBT YouView: Freeview HD recorder plus on-demand content.
More info: get.youview.bt.com
Humax PVR-9300Humax PVR-9300: Includes a hard-disk recorder that holds 160 hours of TV. Currys £164

For info on set-top boxes, see our Freeview Boxes section


Freeview Interactive Services

Freeview offers digital services, such as programme listings, digital teletext and games. Check out BBCi on channel 105 for an example of the text services available.

Below are some screenshots of Freeview’s text and interactive services (click the image to get a larger version):

Teletext Weather

BBCi News Multiscreen

Channel 4 listings
Channel 4 Listings


Freeview problems?


BT YouView Current Deal


Freeview Links

8 Responses to "Freeview – The Free UK Digital TV Service"

  1. joshua Says:


  2. Yogi Says:

    Give me your postcode and that of the transmitter and I will tell you

  3. Yogi Says:

    OK. I have the transmitter’s postcode

  4. Trevor Whitnall Says:

    I noticed yesterday, without any prior warning of any kind, 2 channels (CBS Action & Dave JaVu – channels 25 & 64) were removed from my Freeview service. Please explain why this has happened, I watch both these channels a lot, as they show a number of programmes which are among my favourites and it is highly annoying to go to watch them only to find they have been unceremoniously removed without trace or prior warning. I trust you will be restoring these services immediately as these actions have caused great annoyance. I live in West Kent so maybe it is just a localised error on your part but either way I look forward to (1) your explanation and (2) restoration of these channels. Thank you in frustration & annoyance.

  5. paul Says:

    I would like to know why such an important program like Daystar channel 73 has been taken off air.It was the new light of jesus coming to us in our homes just like TBN IS ON Channel 65 Together they gave an awesome delivery of gods message. Now it is like one arm being cut off. please reinstate it for the complete and varied delivery of these pastors of god who bring the answers to the problems of the world through the bible that we may receive everlasting life through jesus christ amen.

  6. chris hollow Says:

    having tried to do a retune yesterday I now find that some channels are no longer available, like yesterday. how do I get them back so they can be accessed.

    chris hollow

  7. david duncan Says:


    I have a Freeview television , I m not going to pay for virgin or sky , but I notice that all of the Freeview channels are available on sky and virgin , there are two many selling and jewellery channels why cannot Freeview show more sky or virgin
    shows . I only watch five or six channels , I have heard that sky
    have over two hundred channels a friend has sky has sky and he only watches six channels a lot to pay for just that .

  8. George Says:

    What a windup motorstv gone since the move from 71 to 240 cant watch channel 60 tv’s only 4 yo freeview tv cant be outdated whats going on ?

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