Freesat is a free satellite tv service that launched in 2008. You get Freesat’s over 140 TV channels and radio stations, including two free HD channels, with no need to sign up to a monthly subscription. Think Freeview on steroids.
Freesat TV at a glance
Freesat is a cheap way to get digital TV via satellite. You can either buy a Freesat box and install a satellite dish (for a total cost of around £180) or use your old Sky digibox. You get access to over 140 free digital TV channels, including all the free-to-air Freeview channels, but perhaps most importantly you get free access to BBC HD and ITV HD. The cheapest way to view HD TV programmes, you can watch sports, films and popular shows like Robin Hood, Gavin and Stacey and Doctor Who.
How much will Freesat cost
A Freesat box costs from £95, with the dish installation costing £80 if you need it. That’s it – no monthly fees!
Freesat TV Pros
- All Freesat channels are free to watch with over 140 digital TV channels, including BBC3, ITV2, E4, BBC News, Cbeebies and Film4.
- You get two of the best HD TV channels – BBC HD and ITV HD 1, for free.
- Freesat is the cheapest way to get digital TV if you are in an area of poor or no Freeview reception.
- There is no monthly fee to pay; you only need to pay a one off fee for the Freesat box and dish installation box.
Freesat TV Cons
- There are fewer TV channels compared to Sky TVor Virgin Media and of course no access to subscription channels like Sky Sports or Sky Movies.
- Freesat has fewer HD channels than Sky.
- The upfront costs and hassle of installing a satellite dish may put many people off.
Who should get Freesat TV?
- If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee but want HD TV programmes.
- If you have poor Freeview reception but don’t want to pay for Virgin or Sky.
- If you have a Sky satellite system but are fed up with paying for channels you don’t watch.
What is Freesat?
Freesat launched in 2008 and is a free digital TV service offering over 140 TV channels and radio stations. As well as all the Freeview channels, ranging from BBC1 through to E4 and Dave, the biggest reason to get Freesat is probably the two free HD TV channels BBC HD and ITV HD.
Can I get Freesat TV?
Freesat is available to around 98% of the country, assuming you can install a satellite dish on your house. If you have a Sky minidish installed already you can simply replace your Sky digibox with a Freesat box.
What channels does Freesat offer?
Freesat offer all the standard terrestrial and Freeview TV channels such as all the BBC and ITV channels, E4 and Cbeebies. Some of the most popular channels are featured in the list of logos on the right.
The total number of TV channels and radio stations stands at over 140 at the moment, which is far more than Freeview’s 48 TV channels and 20+ radio stations.
Freesat also offers interactive services via the red button, including sports video and text options on six different screens.
Know you want Freesat? Compare Freesat recorders prices with Comet
What equipment is available for Freesat?
Freesat boxes are still relatively new so choice is a little limited, but you will need to make sure you get the correct box for you needs.
- Freesat Box (also known as a set top box): The cheapest option, this is only recommended if you don’t have an HD TV as there is is no High Definition TV output. This will only appeal to people who want subscription free digital TV but don’t have Freeview reception.
- Freesat HD Box – The cheapest way to get HD TV channel and 5.1 surround sound.
- Freesat+ (HD Digital TV recorders): For the full Sky+ style experience go for a Freesat+ box. You’ll be able to record both High Definition and standard TV programmes in high quality on the harddrive. This is by far the best choice
- Digital TVs (also called IDTV): TVs are available with Freesat built-in however we would not recommend this. If you move house or move the TV round the house it’ll be unusable without a Freeview box. If you want to sell the TV one day no-one will buy it.
Is Freeview right for me?