Freeview or Freesat - which one’s for you?

Blog > Guides
2 Nov • 4 min read

You’ve made a decision. You want to get more out of your TV. Or you’ve decided to give the likes of Sky or BT the boot and aren’t prepared to be locked into another 12 months of hefty fees. The point is, you want great telly without any monthly bills.

But now, you have to work out what’s right for you, starting with whether to get Freeview or Freesat.

All this can get a bit confusing, so here’s what you need to know before you buy your box.

Aerial or Satellite?

First things first, do you want to get great telly through an aerial or a minidish from an old Sky subscription?

Freeview is broadcast from transmitters located all around the UK and needs an aerial to be received. You'll get the best results with a rooftop aerial, or failing that one in the loft. Portable aerials can work but are really hit and miss and depend on exactly where they are positioned relative to the transmitters.

Freesat is beamed to the UK from the same satellites as Sky and is great if you don't have an aerial or live in a black spot and want a simple way to keep using your minidish.

What channels do I get?

Whether you choose Freeview or Freesat you’re going to get great digital TV and all of the UK's most popular TV channels, with many in HD. Freesat has the edge with a slightly larger number of channels, but other than some missing news and religious channels Freeview's line-up is almost identical.

It's worth noting that Freeview are conservative in the number of channels they advertise because not all areas can receive all of them. Whereas Freesat channel numbers always look higher because they count all of the regional variations, like BBC One London, BBC One South East, etc.

You can check the channels you should be able to receive in your area using the Freeview coverage checker and popping in your postcode. To see what's on Freesat, visit their channel listings page.

Got it. What’s next?

Going down the Freesat route? We’ve got you covered with our Manhattan SX, bringing you great satellite TV for under £50 RRP.

Want a box that records, or brings you catch up TV like iPlayer, or even one that does both? Then check out our range of Freeview boxes, starting at just £39.99 RRP.