Freeview is a collection of free-to-view television channels that are available in the UK. Through the use of a Freeview box/receiver you are able to pickup these channels in your home without the need to pay monthly subscription or setup fees that are traditional associated with satellite TV.
Freeview was first launched in 2002, and is owned by a total of five key shareholders: Arquiva, Sky, Channel 4, ITV and the BBC. Getting on for 10 years in action, Freeview has achieved great success, with most households recognising the value of having a Freeview system if they don’t want to (or can’t afford to) have Sky.
With the Digital Switchover in the process of happening throughout the UK, people are moving to Freeview in order to continue viewing the free-to-air channels that are available. Soon, analogue TV signals will become obsolete, so people will be forced to move to the digital channels if they wish to continue viewing television programs without the use of an internet connection.
The reason that Freeview has become so popular is simply because of the channels that can be received free of charge. Over recent years it has only been paid subscription services that have opened up access to the array of television available, but Freeview has changed all of that. Over the past few months Freeview have also launched Freeview HD, which allows people to view HDTV channels free of charge – which is a fantastic alternative to the dominant Sky HD which is available at a premium cost. FreeSat HD is also another alternative in the market.
During 2010 a survey was conducted in the UK which resulted in 77% of the population being able to receive the full service provided by Freeview – showing the broad coverage that is offered. Moving into 2012, some estimations are that Freeview will cover an even greater area, moving up to the 90% mark potentially. A full package of 60 channels are available and completely free to view on the service, covering a vast array of different topics and subjects that are appropriate for people of all ages – including cartoons, drama, and sport.
As Freeview continues to impress, more and more people are turning to the service as an alternative to Sky. Although Sky holds some exclusivity to channels such as Sky Sports and the Discovery channels, Freeview can still match a lot of the offerings such as E4, BBC Three and Eurosport – all of which are widely watched by people across the network.
If you are planning to move to Freeview then the setup is usually very simple. You can purchase a Freeview box for approximately £25 – £50 from lots of high street retailers, although you may need a compatible aerial to receive a good signal. Should the signal not be strong enough in your current aerial, then you may need to get a satellite installer to put a new one up in your loft or attached to the side of your house (which is a relatively quick and affordable job).
FirstLine Digital is one of the UK’s largest independent installers of digital TV, audio, media and renewable energy systems in the UK. View our freeview installation options.