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Freesat review

 Review: January 2013  

Last updated October 2013

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: Freesat is an alternative to Freeview, and includes broadly the same features, including HD and catch-up TV.


Freesat setup & requirements

Freesat is an alternative to Freeview and can be a good option to choose if you experience poor Freeview signal quality in your location. You'll need a satellite dish to receive Freesat signals, and most Freesat users are probably ex-Sky users with a dish already installed. Freesat uses the same satellite as Sky, so you can literally just replace your Sky box with a Freesat box and start watching. Some TVs even come with Freesat tuners built in, although a box is a more flexible option.

Freesat boxes

Most Freesat boxes are more advanced than their Freeview counterparts, including access to HD channels and personal video recording (PVR), allowing you to pause, rewind and record live TV.

Freesat channels

Freesat includes more than 180 free TV and radio channels and 5 HD channels, which is more than Freeview, although Dave is missing because of licensing conflicts with Sky.

On Demand TV

The latest Freesat boxes include the Freetime TV Guide. This adds catch-up TV to the Freesat service, so you can roll backwards through the EPG (electronic programme guide) on 21 channels to access the past week's programmes via a broadband internet connection. Freetime gives you access to the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5.

Conclusion - an alternative to Freeview

Freesat is a good choice if you already have a Sky dish installed, or if you simply can't get Freeview reception in your area. Otherwise, there's no compelling reason to choose Freesat over Freeview. Although you may read that Freeview channels are broadcast at a lower bitrate than Freesat, most of that is based on the situation before the digital switchover, and Freeview and Freesat broadcast quality is broadly similar.

Freesat features include:

User questions

Sorry - questions and comments on this page are now closed.

Does freesat have sport and documentries?

Asked by Alan fowler from Scotland on 28th Feb 2017
If freeway has sport and documentries how many channel are there?

Reply by S21 from UK on 28th Feb 2017
Hi Alan, you can get a list of all Freesat channels here.

Freesat user reviews

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