Product Type: other TV channels
Newest Review: ... is the price so if like me you found the monthly payments a bit excessive then Freeview is definatley worth considering. I love my Sci-Fi... more
An excellent 'free' digital TV service
Member Name: adamp84
Advantages: Free, good range of channels, already fitted in most new TVs
Disadvantages: No Sky 1!
Freeview has been around for a number of years now (since 2002) and is the largest digital TV service in the UK. Ofcom recently reported that around 18 million homes in the UK have Freeview.
I've always had access to Freeview but, before i moved house 6 months ago, always used my Virgin Media cable TV as my primary TV service - primarily because it had a wider range of channels and on demand service.
However, since i've moved i have considered getting another pay TV service but as yet havent needed to as Freeview seems to suit my needs well.
There are around 50 digital TV channels on Freeview and 24 digital radio stations. All these channels are free to view, all you need is a digital terrestrial receiver (built in to most new TVs or a set top box available from any electronics store for around £30). You do of course still have to pay your TV licence but get far more channels, at far greater picture quality than the old analogue signal.
Channels include all the BBC channels, ITV channels, C4, E4, Film 4, Five, Fiver, Dave, Virgin 1. There are also childrens channels (CBeebies, CBBC and CITV), Music channels (4 Music, Viva) and News channels (Sky News, Sky Sports News, BBC News, CNN, as well as some other specialist channels.
Freeview also includes 24 digital radio channels, digital teletext services from ITV and BBC and also NHS direct.
Freeview is very easy to set up, its literally plug and play. The on-screen set up instructions in most boxes will lead you through tuning channels, etc. Periodically, when a new channel is launched, you may need to re-tune your box/TV to receive it but again your manual will tell you how to do this.
Signal coverage can vary, you can check the signal in your area on the Freeview website.
Whilst you do get more channels on pay TV services (e.g. Sky, Virgin Media) you do pay quite alot for the priviledge. If, like me, you mainly watch the BBC and Channel 4 channels there's no real need to go for a PAy TV service as Freeview covers the bases. That said, i do miss Sky 1, but not enough to get a pay TV service!
Summary: A great free TV service which will suit many people just fine