Can I use my existing cables to set up Freeview?

If you want to use existing cabling, such as HDMI or ethernet (internet) cables, check they're in good condition, with no corrosion on the connectors, or cracks or weakening along the length of the cable.

Damaged cables can't carry signals effectively; if in doubt, replace them. You can find cables at most electrical retailers.

Aerial cables

To watch Freeview you need to have an aerial installed or have your device connected to the internet – you won't be able to get a TV signal through Sky or Virgin Media cabling.

Check too that your aerial cable isn't damaged by following the steps below:

  1. Unplug the cable from any outlets or ports.
  2. Remove the connectors from the ends of the coaxial cable.
  3. Examine the tip of the cable – where you just removed the connector – for signs of damage, such as corrosion.
  4. Look at the entire length of cable for any signs of weakening along the insulated outer layer.
  5. Search for cracks or tears to the insulation.

If there is any damage, the aerial cable can no longer carry the signal effectively and should be replaced. You can get in touch with a qualified aerial installer via the GetMeViewing (Confederation of Aerial Industries) or GetMeDigital (Registered Digital Installers) websites.

Viewing Freeview without an aerial

In addition to viewing your favourite programmes through live TV you can also watch Freeview on a connected TV via Freeview Play, mobile phones and tablets through our mobile app or online via our TV Guide.   

You can watch live and on demand TV from the following players... BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, STV and Horror Bites/CBS Catchup.

More information on how to view Freeview on internet connected devices can be found in our How to watch Freeview online article and our What do I need to get Freeview Play pages.

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