Free, Non-Subscription Digital Satellite Television Through a Dish

Freeview is a non-subscription digital satellite service giving users the ability to obtain a large number of digital television channels via a small satellite fixed to their home. Once the dish and box are purchased and installed there is nothing further to pay – no ongoing monthly subscriptions whatsoever and no additional costs. There are currently around 150 channels and new channels are being added regularly.

How does Freesat work?

Freesat works by using a small satellite dish similar to the familiar Sky satellite dish which when connected to a suitable Freesat box decodes the digital signals giving you access to a large range of digital TV and digital radio channels as well as a range of interactive services.

Best of all if you already have Sky minidish that you no longer use, or are considering opting for Freesat instead of an existing Sky subscription you can in most cases use your existing dish and cabling to connect to a Freesat box, reducing your purchase, setup and installation costs still futher and making installation an easy DIY proposition for anyone even reasonably technically capable.

One of the best things about Freesat is Freesat HD, which gives you the option of High Definition viewing at a fraction of the cost of comparable packages from Sky and Virgin Media. Using a Freesat HD box together with a suitable HD Ready television, you can enjoy HD quality programmes from BBC and ITV free of charge. HD channels have up to 5 times more detail than traditional tv channels and the difference is staggering!

If you have an existing Sky subscription that you wish to retain it is also possible to replace the receiver part of your dish that the cables connect to (the LNB, or Low Noise Block) with one that has more outputs on it, allowing you to use the same dish for both Sky and Freesat simultaneously! This is a very good option for Sky / Sky+ users who do not wish to lay out a large sum of money for a Sky HD box and then pay an additional monthly subscription for HD content on top. New LNBs with 4 outputs cost around £30 and you will need to run additional coax cabling back from the dish alongside your existing Sky cabling and back to your new Freesat HD decoder in order to do this. An easy DIY job and well worth the effort.

Freesat Hardware

Freesat equipment is available in a number of different forms – standard definition Freesat set top boxes, Freesat HD set top boxes, Freesat digital video recorders (Freesat+) and integrated Freesat and Freesat HD decoders that are built into the television itself..

A Standard Definition (SD) Freesat set top box will cost around £50 – it connects to your dish and your television and decodes the Freesat SD signals, allowing you to view them on your television. Incorporated into the Freesat system is an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), which will help you to plan your viewing.

A High Definition (HD) Freesat box will typically cost around £100-£150 and will give you all the functionality of the Freesat SD service as well as access to all the Freesat HD content. HD content is delievered at far higher resolutions and when used in conjunction with an HD Ready television it can provide you with a stunningly detailed viewing experience.

A Freesat+ box will typically cost in the region of £200-£300 and gives you all the functionality of the Freesat HD equipment but with the added benefit of being able to record both HD and SD programmes directly to the built in hard drive. Working in much the same way as the Sky+ system it will allow you to schedule recordings of your favourite programmes via the EPG meaning that you need never miss your favourite shows again – you can simply record them automatically and watch them at a time that is convenient for you.

With Freesat+ you can also pause and rewind live television, so if the phone rings, or the doorbell rings, or you miss something due to someone talking over an important scene you can easily rectify the situation! Freesat+ boxes offer you the added benefit of being able to do two things at once – either recording one channel while watching another, or recording two channels simultaneously – ideal for when two programmes that you want to watch clash and you would normally have to make a choice between them – now you can watch both!

Integrated Digital TV decoders (IDTV) allow you to watch Freesat programming through a decoder that is built in to your television, doing away with the need to purchase and connect a separate Freesat SD or HD set-top box. If you are considering the purchase of a new television to take advantage of the new HD programming available then it would be wise to look at an integrated solution and potentially save yourself money, reduce clutter and make your system as easy to use as possible.

With IDTV the TV connects directly to your dish – no other external hardware is required.

Click here for more information on Freesat, including Freesat equipment and prices.

Freesat Channels

Freesat currently has a line-up of around 148 channels and new channels are being added on a regular basis. Current Freesat channels include the following:

Digital TV Channels Digital TV Channels continued Regional Digital TV Channels Digital Radio Channels



Channel 4


BBC Three

BBC Four


BBC Alba







S4C Digidol

Channel 4 + 1


E4 + 1


More4 + 1

Zone Romantica

Zone Reality

Zone Thriller

Zone Horror

Zone Horror+1



BBC News

BBC Parliament


Al Jazeera Eng


France 24

Russia Today


Bloomberg Television

NHK World TV


Film4 + 1

True Movies

True Movies 2



Simply Movies

Wedding TV

Wedding TV+1

Information TV

Rural TV

Men and Motors

Audi Channel

Chart Show TV

The Vault


B4U Music

Zee Music


Clubland TV

CBBC Channel





Tiny POP


Teachers TV


Inspiration TV

Daystar TV


price-drop tv

bid tv

Pitch TV


Gems TV1

TV Shop

Shop on TV

JML Home & DIY


JML CookShop

Thane Direct

Ideal World

Netplay TV

Smart Live TV

Gala TV

BBC 1 London

BBC 1 Channel Islands

BBC 1 East Midlands

BBC 1 East (E)

BBC 1 East (W)

BBC 1 North West

BBC 1 North East & Cumbria

BBC 1 Northern Ireland

BBC 1 Oxford

BBC 1 South East

BBC 1 Scotland

BBC 1 South

BBC 1 South West

BBC 1 West Midlands

BBC 1 Wales

BBC 1 West

BBC 1 Yorks

BBC 1 East Yorks & Lincs

BBC 2 England

BBC 2 Northern Ireland

BBC 2 Scotland

BBC 2 Wales

Channel 4

Channel 4 + 1

ITV London

BBC Radio 1

BBC 1Xtra

BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 4 FM

BBC Radio Five Live

BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra

BBC 6 Music


BBC Asian Network

BBC Radio 4 LW

BBC World Service

BBC Radio Scotland

BBC Radio nan Gaidheal

BBC Radio Wales

BBC Radio Cymru

BBC Radio Ulster

BBC London 94.9 (London)

Capital FM

Choice FM

Classic fm



Absolute Radio

Absolute Class Rock

Absolute Xtreme

NME Radio

WRN Radio

Jazz FM

Planet Rock


RTÉ Radio 1

RTÉ Radio 2 FM

RTÉ Lyric FM

Raidió na Gaeltachta

Insight Radio

BFBS Radio

TWR Radio

Freesat benefits

When you buy Freesat you are not tied into an ongoing subcription contracts. Your costs are limited to a one off fee for the set top box and dish (if required) along with installation (if required) and that is all you would need to pay in addition to your standard TV licence fee.

Installation using an existing dish and cabling is very straightforward and should take no longer than a couple of minutes. The excellent selection of channels in addition to the huge potential bonus of free HD content makes Freesat a very attractive proposition.

Click here for more information on Freesat, Freesat equipment and prices.