Is Upgrading to Freesat Channels really worth it?
We live in a block of flats that has a Satellite Dish set up for all flats to receive signals from! is it worth Upgrading to Freesat Channels rather than Freeview? how many more channels would we receive? any help
- Anonymous1 decade agoBest Answer
Only got five channels? You need to get with the future... but what's the right choice?
Those of you fed up with nothing to watch on TV must have missed the digital revolution that’s going on right outside your window.
No longer do you have to suffer with five channels (or four if you’re really unlucky) as a little box under the TV can give you a whole new range of eyeball-related fun.
“But it’s the credit crunch!” you cry. “I can’t afford £50-odd a month to watch movies and sport on Sky or Virgin!”
Well, you need to look at the free services, the ones that only require a one-off payment. We’re talking about Freeview and Freesat.
Buy the box
While you may have to buy the boxes themselves, which can cost up to £250 (if you’re being fancy... though a simple Freeview box can be found for as little as £10 these days) you’re then free to watch as much digital content as you like.
Freeview is the option most people are going with these days, as it’s been around the longest and is the box most people won’t look at you blankly when you mention it.
Freesat needs a dish and installation, but if you’ve had Sky then that dish will be there already, so no need to fork out extra and wait for an engineer to come round... you can buy the box and off you go.
“The Freeview and Freesat TV services are a fantastic option for UK TV viewers, giving the ability to access a whole range of digital TV channels for a one off cost,” says Graham North, Commercial Director, Humax, which manufactures boxes for both Freeview and Freesat.
“In addition, both services support the very latest digital recording capabilities, ensuring viewers of either service can watch, record, pause and rewind live TV using Freeview+ and Freesat+ digital TV recorders.”
So if you think that only the subscription-based providers allow you to pause and rewind live TV, think again, as digital video recording has made its way to these one-off payment efforts too, and with hard drives of 160GB you can get over 250 hours of your favourite programmes on one box.
But which is for you? You might consider yourself to be the kind of person that has to have the latest technology and consider a one-off installation fee to be something you can easily live with, but is Freesat definitely right?
“An upgrade to Freeview will suit many people as it’s a fairly straightforward proposition, but for those TV viewers looking for a little bit extra there are still some areas of the UK that don’t have full coverage for the Freeview platform and Freesat will provide a better digital TV alternative for those households,” says North.
Alex Lane, editor of What Satellite magazine, thinks that people should think hard about making the choice between one or the other:
“Freeview is the easiest choice if you can get it where you live, and hi-def channels will start to arrive from the end of this year, but reception is a problem in some places and picture quality is quite poor on some channels.”
Living the high (definition) life
You might have treated yourself recently to that large HDTV that you’ve been craving, but realised that you’ve got nothing to actually use it with after you decided that a Playstation 3 was an unnecessary luxury and that Blu-ray was just the same as DVD.
Rather than kick yourself, which will certainly hurt and may even rupture a hip ligament or something (biology was never our strong subject) the free and digital movement can come to your aid if you’re thinking of making the jump to high definition.
“Freesat is available almost everywhere and already has BBC HD and ITV HD, plus you’ll soon be able to connect Freesat boxes up to the BBC’s iPlayer,” says Lane. “On the other hand, you can’t get fun channels like Dave or 4Music on Freesat and the choice of kit isn’t very good yet, plus you have to get a dish.”
North thinks differently, believing that if you’re after HD content, then you’ve only got to look at what’s currently on offer from the Freesat brigade to realise you can get plenty of pixels beamed to your new goggle box:
“Freesat+ is an obvious choice - offering the best way to watch and record the very best HD programmes from the BBC and ITV.”
So while picking a Freeview box (cheap, easy to install) over a Freesat unit (HD programming, wider coverage) seems as confusing as trying to choose between Golden Delicious and Granny Smith Apples, there is an easy solution:
“With nine million Freeview homes and growing to a few hundred thousand for Freesat, it looks like terrestrial has the upper hand, but it’s likely many people will get Freeview for their second or third TV and have both Freeview and Freesat for their main TV,” adds Lane.
“Freeview boxes are cheap so why not have the best of both worlds?”
- LuttyLv 44 years ago
The channels are much the same, so not worth the trouble, unless there is a particular channel that you can get by satellite, that is not on terrestrial TV.