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HD channels from Freesat

What is Freesat from the BBC and ITV?

Freesat has over 140 channels of digital Radio and Television without any contract or monthly charges, and there are more channels to come. All that is necessary is the purchase of the receiving equipment. The BBC and ITV joined together to provide this service as an alternative to Freeview, Cable, and Sky Satellite. It provides pictures and sound that are crystal clear and practically perfect. As you would expect there is also an 8 day on screen programme guide and teletext.

What equipment is required to receive Freesat ?

To receive Freesat you will need to purchase a set top box that is either standard or high definition for use with your existing TV. The set top boxes are also obtainable with or without a built in PVR for recording programmes on the internal hard drive. Then again you can buy a television with a Freesat receiver built in, in which case you won't require a set top box. Currently Panasonic is the only manufacturer of TVs with Freesat.

If you already own an existing sky mini dish on your house then you will be able to connect your Freesat set top box or Freesat TV to it provided you aren't using it for sky or there is a spare connection on the LNB. If there isn't a free connection on the LNB then a satellite installer will be able to upgrade it to one with either two or four connectors. If this isn't feasible then you will have to have a further dish installed. Obviously if you don't already have a satellite dish then you will have to purchase one and pay for it to be installed as long as there aren't any obstructions such as trees preventing this.

What areas of the country receive Freesat ?

Approximately 98 per cent of households are able to receive Freesat even if they don't at this time receive Freeview via normal broadcasts.

How much choice of channels are available ?

All of the finest channels from the BBC and ITV are available for the entire family including Sport, Entertainment, Sport, Children, Lifestyle, Special Interests, Music, Movies, Shopping, Radio and Regional TV, Gaming and Dating. The channels offered include BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, BBC News, BBC Parliament, CBBC, CBeebies, E4, Channel 4, Zone Romanitica, Zone Reality, Zone Thriller, Aljazera, Pop, Pop Girls, CITV, Tiny Pops, KiX, , Overseas Property TV, Film 4, Movies 4 Men 2, True Movies, True Movies 2, , Bubble Hits, Scuzz, QVC, Price-Drop TV, Zmusic, QVCetc. On top of these there will be extra channels available shortly.

Can you receive high definition TV on Freesat ?

If you purchase a high definition Freesat set top box, to use with a HD Ready tv, or a HD Freesat TV then you can gain from a picture quality that has up to 5 times more resolution than standard Television, with deeper and more vivid images.

There are now 4 HD channels available which are free, including BBC HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD and more channels are planned in the future.

If you don't already subscribe to get HD on Virgin cable or Sky HD, and you already own a HD Ready TV, then Freesat represents a way of making sure that you get the full advantage from the capabilities of your HD Ready TV

Interactive TV - a new way of viewing television

With just a press of the red button you can see the latest news headlines, lottery results, business news, or find out if your favourite team has won. All of this information is available by means of user friendly menus.

The button also offers interactive TV where you can watch video based multi-screen services such as Glastonbury, the Olympics, the Proms, Snooker, and Wimbledon more al events in the future. By means of this feature you will be able to switch cameras to different events, stages, different tennis courts, or different camera angles, etc.

Why choose Freesat HD over Freeview HD

Freeview HD has gained substantial momentum over recent times. It is easy to install as all you need to do is plug in your aerial. The thing is Freeview HD has to be compressed both in image terms and audio terms far more than freesat. The reason for this is that a standard aerial and the DVB2 receiver is limited and it is the only way it can work at the moment. With freesat, the compression rates are less which means an enhanced bit rate. This means that any terrestrial programme being watched in High Definition on Freesat will look better than on freeview HD! This is also the same for the audio, as again this has less compression on freesat than on freeview HD.

Conclusion

Freesat offers a real alternative to Sky, Cable or Freeview. If you cannot receive freeview at the moment and don`t intend to pay a monthly fee to Virgin or Sky then Freesat is ideal. Although Freeview HD has now gained momentum, Freesat offers near 100% coverage (which freeview and especially freeview hd cannot boast) , you can get it right now without waiting for the digital switchover to complete and it gives you access to catchup tv programming like BBC iPlay. Finally, if you are the complete AV enthusiast and want to get the very best from your home cinema equipment, freesat offers the very best in sound and image.

Next article: Plasma vs LCD vs LED
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