Getting Freeview HD

Should I buy a 4K/UHD television? What is HDR?

Many leading manufacturers are marketing televisions described as 4K, Ultra HD (UHD) or 4K Ultra HD.  The screens on these TVs are designed to show pictures with up to four times the detail of regular high definition TVs (1080p) and are becoming increasingly affordable.  Many Freeview Play TVs from Panasonic (and LG later in 2016) incorporate 4K technology.  Not surprisingly these TVs work well with HD signals so Freeview HD looks great on a 4K TV.

However there are regular 4K programmes currently broadcast on Freeview, satellite or cable networks.  Some on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube offer a selection of videos in 4K/UHD.

To get the maximum benefit from 4K TVs you need a large screen and also have to sit reasonably close to it.  For most people HD is a great experience in their living rooms.

TVs with 4K capability may also have a technology called high dynamic range (HDR) which will enhance existing programming.  HDR will display a wider range of colours which will make your TV picture more realistic.  It also improves how your TV handles contrast which makes for a brighter, more dynamic image (hence the name).

What is Freeview HD?

Freeview HD is a television service that offers the following HD channels through your existing TV aerial*, all for free.

101 BBC One HD
102 BBC Two HD
103 ITV HD
104 Channel 4 HD
105 Channel 5 HD
106 BBC Four HD
107 BBC News HD
108 Al Jazeera English HD
109 Channel 4+1 HD
110 4seven HD
111 QVC+1 HD
112 QVC Beauty HD
113 RT HD

123 CBBC HD
124 CBeebies HD

*To receive Freeview HD channels you’ll need a Freeview HD TV or recorder/box plugged into a HD Ready TV.  The availability of channels depends on where you live in the UK – check your channel line up.

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Freeview HD page
How do I get Freeview HD?

What can I watch on Freeview HD?

Once you have Freeview HD equipment you can enjoy the perfect picture quality of your favourite shows on upto 15 HD channels including BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD and Channel 4HD as well as more than 60 Freeview channels in standard definition* – all at no monthly cost.

To find out what programmes are available on the HD channels you can use this handy TV Guide. There’s also Freeview TV Guide app for iPhone, iPad and Android (free, of course), for you to use when you’re out and about.

*The number of channels available is subject to Freeview TV coverage at your address.

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Freeview HD page

How much does Freeview HD cost?

Freeview HD is a free service, just like the rest of Freeview. There’s no contract, no monthly bill and up to 15 HD channels depending on coverage at your address.

However, you will need to have either a Freeview HD TV or a Freeview HD Recorder/Freeview Play (plugged into a HD Ready TV). Prices for Freeview HD TVs start at around £170 and some recorders are now under £150. Find out more about the product range available.

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Freeview HD page
How do I get Freeview HD?
Learn more about what Freeview has to offer

Product options page – find manufacturers and browse Freeview HD products

How do I get Freeview HD?

As long as you’re in a Freeview coverage area (and 98.5% of the UK population is), it should be simple.  All you need is an aerial and a Freeview HD receiver. Most new TVs from the big brands come with Freeview HD or Freeview Play (which is also HD) built-in.

Alternatively, just plug a Freeview HD recorder or Freeview Play box into your HD Ready TV using an HDMI cable.

Tune your box, and go to channel 101 to watch BBC One HD programmes in high definition.

If you’ve got an older television, this is a great excuse to upgrade to a new one with Freeview HD built in. Either way, once you’re set up with the right equipment you can watch all the channels free.

Remember that a HD ready logo on your TV doesn’t mean that you are already watching HD channels on Freeview. When you’re buying a box or TV, look out for the Freeview HD logo to ensure that you’re buying an approved Freeview product, so you’ll be able to access all the Freeview HD channels as well as more than 60 Freeview channels.

HD_Feature HD-RECORDER_Feature

Are you in coverage? Find out with our coverage checker.

*The number of channels available is subject to TV coverage at your address

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Freeview HD page
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Freeview set-up guide – watch the video

Will I need to change my aerial to get Freeview HD?

In most cases if you can already receive Freeview using your existing aerial, then it will be able to receive Freeview HD.  You will need Freeview HD equipment to view HD channels.

If you’re not sure, then your local aerial installer will be able to advise you. The following organisations can give you details of one or more members who operate in your area and guarantee their work:

Find an Installer
Find a digital professional at getmedigital.com. Telephone 0345 257 2140.

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Can I get Freeview HD if I have a shared or communal aerial system?

 

Will I still be able to watch channels in standard definition with my Freeview HD equipment?

Yes. All Freeview HD equipment will allow you to receive over 70 TV channels, 15 HD channels, and more than 30 radio stations. The number of channels you can receive may vary according to the coverage available at your address.

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Coverage checker
More Freeview HD FAQs

What is a Freeview HD Recorder?

A Freeview HD Recorder allows you to watch and record Freeview HD channels, with some other rather smart features. For example, you can record the entire series of your favourite show at the touch of a button, you can record two programmes at once and you can pause and rewind live TV.

A Freeview Play Recorder is our new alternative to a Freeview HD Recorder. These have catch-up TV built in, enabling you to scroll back through your TV Guide to find the programmes you missed. They also include a variety of other apps and services.

See our latest Freeview HD and Freeview Play Recorders

 

Can I get Freeview HD if I have a shared or communal aerial system?

Freeview recommends asking your landlord or management company to check with the aerial system installer to see if you are set up to receive Freeview HD.

A small number of people in flats with shared aerial systems may find that filters within their system actively filter out the frequency used to broadcast the HD channels. These filters will need to be changed to pass the Freeview HD signal to each individual household.

The households which are affected by this problem will receive a weak Freeview HD signal or missing HD channels, but other standard channel reception should be fine.  The experience may vary between adjacent flats, depending on how the aerial system has been installed.

You may want to try Freeview HD before having an aerial survey carried out.  If you do, make sure you buy the equipment from a retailer with a refund return policy.

 

 

Is digital television (Freeview) the same as HDTV (High Definition TV)?

Not quite. While all TV in the UK is now digital, high-definition television (HDTV) offers better picture and sound quality than standard broadcasts.  To view Hd broadcasts you need HD equipment – a Freeview HD TV (most large TVs from the big manufacturers have Freeview HD), or add a Freeview HD recorder to an existing HD-ready TV.  There are currently upto 15 HD channels available on Freeview (depending on the channels available at your address).