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 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:
|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|
Sky News,, BBC Parliament.
|Kids||CBBC, CBeebies, CiTV|
|Shopping||QVC, Bid TV , Price-drop TV , Ideal World|
The Music Factory
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
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:
- 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
- Box – 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.
- 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.|
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
|GOODMANS GDB18FVZS2: Basic box with 2 SCART sockets. Amazon / Currys £25||BT YouView: Freeview HD recorder plus on-demand content.
More info: get.youview.bt.com
|Humax 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 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):
BBCi News Multiscreen
Channel 4 Listings
- Problems receiving Freeview? See our Freeview reception page
- Problems connecting your Freeview box? See our Freeview connection page
- Other Freeview problems or questions? See our Freeview
Help and Advice section
- If your question isn’t answered,
please ask in our Freeview forum
- Freeview set-top boxes – More on the available boxes
- Freeview forum – Discuss Freeview and set-top boxes with others
- New to Freeview? – Considering Freeview? Read on…
- Freeview podcast – Regular updates on Freeview in our mp3 podcast, FrequencyCast
- Freeview FAQ – Our page containing answers to common Freeview questions and problems
- Topping Up Freeview – How can I get extra channels?
- BT Vision – Freeview receiver, hard disk recorder and on-demand content…free box!
- Splitters and boosters – Help on using an amplifier to improve your Freeview signal
- Digital TV – The Digital TV options explained
- On Your PC – How to watch Freeview on your desktop
- Channel comparison – See which TV service carries your favourite channel
- TV Listings – Information on Freeview listings / guides to help schedule your Freeview viewing
- Freeview Channels – List of the Freeview channel numbers plus multiplex lineup
- Digital UK postcode checker – See if Freeview is available in your area
- Wolfbane’s TX info – Transmitter coverage maps for UK digital TV
- BBC Transmitter work – Check for problems with your local digital transmitter
- DTG Software Download Schedule – Information on over-the-air software upgrades
- News Archive: 2004 News ; 2005 News ; 2006 News ; 2007 News ; 2008 News ; Latest News