Freeview is a free and easy way to receive free digital TV channels, radio and interactive services, through your existing television aerial.
How do I receive it?
To access Freeview, you don’t need to have a cable or a satellite dish, the small box that you receive when you buy Freeview simply plugs into your existing aerial. Most new televisions have a Freeview receiver already built into the television so you don’t even need a box, you just plug it in. When you first turn the box on, it will automatically tune itself and then present you with an on-screen programme guide listing the channels available along with programme and listing information. You use this guide to select which TV channel you want to watch, or which radio station you want to listen to.
How much does it cost?
You are not required to take out a contract in order to have Freeview. All you need to do is make a one-off payment for the box. Once you have paid for the box there are no additional costs or monthly bills. Before going ahead and buying a box, it’s a good idea to check first to see if Freeview is available in your area. You can do this by visiting the ‘Freeview Coverage Checker’ on the Freeview website and entering your house number and postcode. You can also buy Freeview boxes which come with built-in recorders so you can record programmes directly onto memory in the box and watch them at your own leisure.
What Channels can I get on Freeview?
Freeview has more than 40 free TV channels and interactive features accessible via the red button. There are also more than 20 radio stations – all transmitted directly through your normal TV aerial. Included are all of the BBC’s digital TV and radio channels (included in your licence fee) as well as the five existing terrestrial TV channels. New channels and features are regularly being added to the service. To keep up-to-date with available channels, see the ‘Freeview channels list‘. If your television can display HD (high definition) pictures, then check you can receive HD in your area and buy yourself a Freeview HD box.
Retune your box
With new channels and updated services regularly being introduced, it’s a good idea to retune your Freeview box every couple of months or so to keep up-to-date. Some digital boxes will automatically retune but most will have to be retuned manually. The process is straightforward but can vary slightly depending on the box manufacturer. For information on retuning, check out the Freeview retune help web page.