Freeview HD

Freeview HD works using a terrestrial signal and can be received using a standard television aerial.

To view Freeview HD channels you must have

  • A Freeview HD box or Television with Freeview HD built in
  • A HDTV, 720p or 1080p

Coverage

Coverage in the UK is weak at present and even when Freeview HD rolls out across the UK at the end of the year (2011) it is recommended to use a large roof top aerial as the signal quality using a portable type aerial is unlikely to yield satisfactory results. To check the current coverage in your area check http://www.freeview.co.uk/availability/  which will also give a list of the channels you can receive.

Currently freeview HD channels available include BBC1 HD, BBC HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD. The programming on all channels does not have 24 hours of HD television, as many shows are still shot in standard definition. However as time progresses expect to see more channels and more programming in HD.

Is it worth getting?

If you have invested in a HDTV then Freeview HD would seem a very sensible option. Currently the channels are only broadcast using 720p, so you will not be able to use the full capacity of your television (assuming its 1080p). The only way to use the full resolution is by using a Bluray player, so unless you are planning on using your television daily to watch Bluray movies, getting Feeview HD working should be a higher priority.

Note that little or no television shows are filmed using 1080p, so do not expect to get a better picture using satellite. If you can receive Freeview HD, compared to satellite it is the easier and cheaper option and often has better picture quality.