Please click on the questions below, or scroll down the page to learn all about Freeview.
- What is Freeview?
- How does it work?
- What are the benefits?
- What channels can I receive?
- Can I get Freeview in my area?
- Do I need to change my aerial?
- Can I have the aerial in the loft?
- What if I share a communal aerial?
- How much will an aerial upgrade cost?
- How do I connect the equipment?
- Do I need to change my existing television to receive digital
- Will digital television work with my existing video recorder?
- Can I upgrade the aerial myself?
- When will Digital Switchover happen?
Freeview TV is digital television through a roof-top aerial. To receive the digital channels new digital TV adapters (Freeview box), as well as integrated digital TV sets (IDTV), are available on the market, without any obligation to subscribe to pay TV unless you wish (Top-up-TV). Digital terrestrial transmission is designed to work with existing roof-top aerials but some households will need a new roof-top aerial. It depends on several factors, which include where you live, your local transmitter and the type/condition of your existing aerial.
The TV picture is converted into a digital format and compressed. This allows several television channels to be carried in the space used by one current analogue channel. Digital signals can be received by standard aerials, satellite dishes or via cable but have to be decoded and turned back into sound and pictures by using a separate set-top box, or a decoder built into your television (an integrated digital TV set/ iDTV / DVB).
Millions of people are already enjoying the benefits of digital television. Upgrading to Freeview will give you approximately 40 extra TV channels and digital radio. The main benefits include:
- More choice of TV and radio channels.
- Improved picture quality, including true widescreen and no ghosting
- Digital Quality sound.
- Interactive and enhanced information services by pressing the “red button”. This gives you access to more information, home shopping, banking and games.
- On-screen programme guides, making it easy for you to find what you want to watch.
- High quality text and graphics.
- More access to services for the visually impaired and the hard of hearing.
- Clear recordable subtitles.
There are a wide range of additional channels available on Freeview.
You can download the full line up by clicking on Freeview Channel Lineup
Over 73% of UK homes can receive Freeview. If you live in Gloucestershire it is likely that you will need a wideband aerial to receive the digital channels from Freeview, unless you have had an aerial fitted within the last 3 or 4 years. We cannot be 100% accurate without visiting your home and testing the existing installation, but the post-code predictions, coupled with local knowledge, should give a strong indication.
There are a number of ways you can check your postcode coverage:
Call 08000 93 54 44 or Text your postcode to 83331 (standard network rates apply)
If you live in Gloucestershire it is likely that you will need to upgrade your aerial to receive Freeview. We would recommend the installation of a benchmarked wideband digital aerial. If you have had a new aerial fitted in the last 3 – 4 years it may be suitable for Freeview.
To receive the best possible reception, we do recommend your digital box or digital TV is connected to a rooftop aerial. Therefore, we do not advise using a loft aerial or an indoor aerial to receive FREEVIEW.
If you live in a flat or a similar building and you receive your TV signal through a communal aerial system we recommend you ask your landlord, managing agent or local housing authority if it has been upgraded to receive digital television, before getting FREEVIEW.
A basic upgrade would cost approximately £75 plus VAT. Costs can vary depending on the extent of the work undertaken. All work is guaranteed for 12 months and quotations are available.
Full instructions should be provided on how to set up your box and connect it to your TV, VCR and rooftop aerial. The diagram below shows you how to connect your digital box, TV and VCR using scart or RF leads.
No, the freeview channels can be received on your existing analogue television by connecting a digital set top box (freeview box) to your TV. Analogue terrestrial services will continue for some time to come, but the government eventually intends gradually to switch over to digital transmissions, between 2007-2012. So if you're buying or renting a new TV set, you should think about switching to digital.
Yes, but if you're recording a digital channel, you can't watch another digital channel at the same time. It's also possible to record and replay programmes in widescreen using your existing VCR. New equipment coming on to the market will allow viewing of one digital channel while recording another digital channel (PVR boxes).
We would not advise DIY aerial installations for a number of reasons. These include Health & Safety issues and signal test metres are essential to check signal levels. If you prefer to carry out the installation yourself we advise you to use benchmarked equipment. Lists can be found on the CAI website www.cai.org.uk.
Digital switchover process will be happening in your area some time between 2008 and 2012. It will happen region by region, depending on where you live:
Starting in year
West Country, Wales, Granada
Grampian, West, Scottish TV
Central, Yorkshire, Anglia
Meridian, London, Tyne Tees, Ulster
For more information on Digital Switchover please visit the DTG website.