Home TV Guide What is the difference between Freeview and Freesat?

What is the difference between Freeview and Freesat?

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Freeview and Freesat

Freeview and Freesat offer an extensive range of digital TV channels and radio stations, for those ready to ignore the cost of set up, for free. How would we pick between the two? We’ll start by looking at the different service offered between Freeview and Freesat.

Freeview and Freesat clients both can access a digital TV service without paying every month charge or joining to an agreement. The differences are in their service:

  • Freeview – uses an aerial and a set-top box.
  • Freesat – uses a minidisk and a set-top box.

Coverage of Freeview and Freesat

The major difference is in terms of coverage.

The manner in which Freesat is communicated implies its coverage is more. Freeview, then again, may well be accessible to over 98% of the UK, yet those with poor signal, for example,  15% of families in the UK can just get only 15 major channels. They will be better off using Freeview.

Any individual who’s uncertain should check what services they’re likely to get with Freeview. They should go on their site, here, enter their postcode and house number and see which service they will get.

  • FreeSat has 98% coverage for ALL its channels.
  • FreeView is approx 75% in some areas even less a percentage.

Upfront costs

Installing a satellite dish is more expensive than you think.

For the individuals who don’t have a dish, installation begins at around £80. Add another £30 to that cost for Freesat+ or multiple box installations for extra cables and connections.

A Freeview box is the UK’s least expensive setup box. For example, Ex Sky customer will at present need to purchase another Freesat box, however, and then it’s basically a case of switching the cables across.

Basic Freesat set-top boxes to start at about £44. Freesat-enabled TVs have a tendency to be among the higher spec models out there, with features like ultra HD justifying the price tag.

Freeview requires a traditional TV aerial, and either a Freeview enabled TV – which is the standard nowadays – or a set-top box. Such boxes can cost as low as £20.

Channel Choice

The quantity of channels accessible on Freeview is consistently expanding: more than 70 are presently accessible, with up to 12 in HD, there are in excess of 20 radio stations on offer as well. But that’s nothing when compared with Freesat’s service of a good 200 TV and radio channels.

Freesat also has a smart version, Freesat with Freetime. They will also get access to a full range of digital terrestrial catch-up TV services and movies on-demand. Bear in mind, however, that a few channels, for example, Sky News and those from UK TV, as Dave and Gold, are accessible on Freeview yet not on Freesat.

Recording programmes – For those willing to invest a little extra in their TV habit, both Freeview and Freesat offer set-top boxes with the capacity to record programs.

A not too bad Freeview+ HD recorder will cost from £130; Freesat + HD recorders begin from £99, however around £150 is more typical.


Freeview’s probably the interesting choice for most people, as it has a good mix of channels. Freeview HD has added more than just HD, with some fancy service added in the set-top box.

Freesat has one more HD channel than Freeview as seen above but if unless you can’t get Freeview, Freesat doesn’t have anything that really gives it an edge over its competitor.

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