Freeview HD – Your Questions Answered

Freeview started broadcasting in HD in December 2009. Here, we answer your questions on Freeview’s HD service.

Freeview Logo and HD Logo


When can I get Freeview HD?

  • Freeview HD became available in the Granada TV region and in London from the 2nd of December 2009. Now, 50% of the UK should be able to get Freeview HD. To find out if you can get Freeview HD, you can check coverage hereThe HD rollout will continue into 2012. 50% of the UK was able to get Freeview HD by June 2010.
    See our Freeview HD Info page for a more detailed Freeview HD rollout schedule.


What HD channels are available on Freeview?

  • BBC One HD – Freeview Channel 50
  • BBC Two HD – Freeview Channel 54
  • ITV 1 HD – Freeview Channel 51
  • Channel 4 HD – Freeview Channel 52
  • S4C (Wales only) – Freeview Channel 53

Five HD was set to launch by 2010, but their licence was withdrawn by Ofcom in March 2010: Five loses HD licence.


AerialDo I need a new TV aerial for Freeview HD?

  • If you’re already able to get all of the Freeview channels, then you won’t need a new TV aerial once Freeview HD is available in your area.


Do I need new aerial cabling?

  • If you’re able to get all of the Freeview channels with your existing aerial and aerial cabling, then you won’t need new TV co-ax aerial cable once Freeview HD is available in your area.


Do I need a satellite dish to get Freeview HD?

  • No. Freeview HD is received using a TV aerial, not a satellite dish. If you’re looking for HD channels via a satellite dish, consider Sky’s HD service or Freesat.


Do I need a new Freeview box for Freeview HD?

  • Freeview boxes sold before December 2009 do not support Freeview HD. New Freeview HD boxes began to appear on the market in February 2010, starting with the Humax HD Fox-T2. More info: Freeview HD boxes


HT TV setDo I need a new TV set or Freeview HD?

  • To watch HD, you need an HD-Ready TV set. If you already have one of these, you should be able to connect a Freeview HD box to your HD-Ready TV. You’ll probably do this using an HDMI cable.


I already have an HD-Ready TV with Freeview. Can I get Freeview HD?

  • There are two types of HD TV sets – “HD-Ready” or “Built-in HD tuner”. An HD-ready TV that can get Freeview that was made before November 2009 will almost certainly NOT be able to get Freeview HD on its own. “HD-ready” means that it’s capable of showing an HD image from a connected source (e.g. Sky HD box, Virgin HD box, Freeview HD box, etc). “HD-Ready” does not mean that it can receive HD channels via the built-in tuner.If you are looking for an HD TV set that can get Freeview HD without needing a separate box, look for a “Freeview HD TV” not an “HD-ready TV with Freeview”. Freeview HD TV sets started to appear on the marker in April 2010.
  • Why is this? Well, the technical standard for Freeview HD was only finalised towards the end of 2009. TV sets and set-top boxes before this date don’t have the required hardware built-in. Freeview HD technology uses something called DVB-T2, whereas the standard Freeview system uses DVB-T. DVB-T2 equipment only went on sale in 2010. If your TV doesn’t have a DVB-T2 chip, it can’t get Freeview HD without being connected to a Freeview HD box.


How much does Freeview HD cost?


Where can I get a Freeview HD Box?

  • The first Freeview HD box (the Humax HD Fox T2) was released in February 2010, and more set-top boxes and recorders were released over the following months. For the latest info, see our Freeview HD Boxes section.

Himax Fox T2 Freeview HD TV Box

Humax Fox T2 Freeview HD TV Box


Where can I get a TV set with built-in Freeview HD?

  • Panasonic TX-P42G20B
    The first TV set with built-in Freeview HD appeared in February 2010 – the Panasonic TX-P42G20B – this is a 42″ plasma TV that also supports Freesat, Other TV sets soon followed.For the latest info, see our Freeview HD Receivers section


Is there be a Freeview HD box with a built-in recorder / PVR?

  • Yes. These started to become available in May 2010For the latest information on Freeview HD recorders, see our Freeview HD Boxes section


What resolution does Freeview HD broadcast in?

  • Freeview HD broadcasts in 720p and 1080i


Does BT Vision support Freeview HD?

  • No, not at this time. New BT Vision boxes may be released in the future that offer Freeview HD.


Does Top Up TV support Freeview HD?


Is there a difference between Freeview SD and HD boxes?

  • Yes – existing Freeview SD boxes don’t contain the software or hardware needed to get Freeview HD (notable the DVB-T2 technology)



Help. I have an HD Ready Freeview HD TV, but I can’t get the HD channels

There are several possible reasons why you may not be able to get the Freeview HD channels. Here are the top three likely reasons:

  • Freeview HD is not available in your area yet. You can check coverage here
  • You do not have a suitable receiver. You need a “Freeview HD TV set”. This is not the same as an “HD-Ready TV with Freeview”, as we explain above. The TV must be capable of getting Freeview HD, not just Freeview.
  • You could be in a good Freeview HD area, but have a problem with your signal, possibly as a result of an aerial or cabling problem. See our Missing Freeview Channel advice

I have a TV with built-in HD tuner but I can’t see any HD channels listed in the EPG.

To watch Freeview HD, you need a) to be in a Freeview HD coverage area, b) be able to get a strong enough signal on the HD channels, and c) have a Freeview HD receiver. The answer above may also help.


Are Freeview HD Channels displayed separately on the EPG?

Each Freeview box manufacturer does things differently, so, in theory, a manufacturer could split out the HD channels on the Programme Guide. On the boxes we’ve seen, the HD channels are combined with the other channels.


Why is BBC1 is different to BBC1 HD?

Here’s the question from site visitor John: “I have a HD ready TV and a HD Digital recorder. When I switch on the TV to BBC 1, I get the standard picture, however when I go into the recorder guide I notice the HD channels currently being broadcast including BBC1. I was under the impression that if a particular channel you were watching was broadcast in HD the TV would automatically tune into that HD transmission. Have I set up my TV/HD Recorder incorrectly or is this normal?

This is normal. BBC 1 is broadcast on Freeview Channel 1 and BBC1 HD is broadcast on Freeview Channel 50. Each channel is broadcast separately and has a separate entry in the Electronic Programme Guide. To watch the HD version of the BBC1, ITV and Channel 4 channels, you’ll need to set your Freeview receiver to the HD channel number.


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One comment

  • robert fogg

    needed to replace pvr set top box. tried buying HD ones with scart leads to connect to a old tv. however on the ones i have tryed the program guide word size is to small to be read unless right up to the television. with old box tv guide could be read easily Is there a new standard for font size or can i buy a pvr recorder that gives tv guide with larger size writing

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