Freeview – Free to view Digital TV in the UK
This page provides information about the Freeview channel line-up
Below is a summary of the subscription-free channels on offer to Freeview users:
|ITV1 (inc GMTV)|
|ITV2 (inc GMTV2)|
|BBC Four (in-depth cultural channel from 7pm)|
|Yesterday (Was UKTV History)|
|News / Sport||BBC News (formerly BBC News 24)|
|Radio||BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 ,BBC Radio 4|
BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
BBC Radio 6 (Album tracks, classic sessions and concerts)
BBC 1Xtra (Contemporary black music for a young audience)
BBC Radio 7 (Comedy, drama, and children’s)
BBC Asian Network
BBC World Service
Absolute Radio (formerly Virgin Radio)
Smooth Radio (formerly Jazz FM)
Premier (Christian Radio)
Many of these stations are also available on DAB
Full listings on our Freeview Channel Lineup page
How to get Freeview
Here are the things you’ll need if you want to get Freeview’s extra channels:
- Coverage – To receive Freeview, you must be in range of a Freeview transmitter. To check this, enter your postcode at Digital UK’s checker or the Freeview site.
- Box – If you are in a coverage area, you’ll need to get a free-to-air set-top box. Boxes cost from around £25 and can be bought from high-street stores such as Currys. Shopping online for a set-top box is often the best route, as there are some good bargains to be had.
- Connect – Plug your new Freeview set-top box to your existing TV aerial. Connect another lead to a spare SCART socket on your TV, and you should be ready to go. (Freeview box connection help).
Note that in some cases, your TV aerial may not be suitable and may need upgrading.
Remember, there’s no subscription costs, or rental agreements, so the one-off cost is all you’ll pay for the extra channels.
|For help with getting started, see our new to Freeview page|
Set-top boxes can be purchased for a one-off fee of around £25, depending on the features and styling you’re looking for. Here are a few things to consider when buying a Freeview box:
- Price: Boxes cost upwards of £25 – no subscription, installation or ongoing costs.
- Connectivity: All boxes have a single SCART socket as standard, for connection either to a TV or video. You may want to consider improving your options with a second SCART socket that allows connection to both a TV and video
recorder. If connecting to a TV or video that doesn’t have a SCART socket, you need to look for a box that has a modulated output (that can transmit TV on a special channel that you can tune your TV/VHS into).
- Features: Starting with basic boxes that support interactive services and subtitles, to boxes with electronic programme guides, built-in games and programme timers, to top-of-the-range boxes with CD and DVD players, DVD recorders,
and hard-disk recorders.
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|
Old ITV Digital / onDigital receivers – If you own an old ITV Digital / onDigital set-top box, you’ll be glad to know that you can pick up Freeview on this box without having to pay a subscription. The software on the box may now be out-of-date, and still branded as the old name, but the box should allow you to watch the new channels without having to buy a new box.
|For info and deals on set-top boxes, see our Freeview boxes page|
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
from Freeview’s text and interactive services:
BBCi News Multiscreen
Channel 4 Listings