Frequently asked questions about Freesat
What is Freesat?
Freesat is the new, free, digital satellite television service from the BBC and ITV. With Freesat there's no contract and no subscription, just a one-off payment for equipment. All Freesat's channels and services are free.
What do I get with Freesat?
Freesat has over 80 channels – TV, radio, interactive – and two high definition channels (BBC HD now, and ITV HD soon).
Freesat has entertainment, movies, music, news and children's channels so there's something for the whole family.
Freesat also has high-speed digital text, digital subtitles and audio description.
More channels and services will be added each month to Freesat after launch, so the number of channels will grow.
Can everyone get Freesat?
Almost everyone in the UK can get Freesat – because it's broadcast by satellite it reaches 98% of UK households.
A small number of people may not be able to get Freesat, either because it's not possible to install a dish on their home with direct "line of sight" to the satellite, or because they aren't allowed to put a dish on their building.
How do I get Freesat?
Freesat is available in shops and online at major high street retailers Argos, Comet, Currys, John Lewis and some independent retailers.
Retailers sell equipment and will also organise installation from an approved installer who meets industry standards.
What Freesat equipment is available and how much is it?
Freesat has the following options:
Freesat digital box (from £49): all Freesat channels in standard definition, seven-day on-screen programme guide, interactive TV and digital text.
Freesat HD digital box (from around £120): all the features of the digital box, plus Freesat's high definition channels. (To view in high definition (HD) you will also need an HD-ready TV).
Freesat HD digital TV recorder (price tbc): all the features of the HD box plus the ability to record, pause, and rewind live TV.
Freesat HD integrated digital television (price tbc): a high definition television set with Freesat HD already built-in, so there's no need for a separate box.
Installation costs from around £80 and includes the satellite dish.
Will I need to do anything to get the new channels added after launch date?
No. Your Freesat equipment will be automatically updated so there's no need to do anything.
What is high definition (HD) television?
High definition television has pictures which are much sharper and clearer than ordinary, standard definition, television pictures, with five times more detail. HD television also has surround sound. Watching and listening in HD is a more cinematic experience and the sound and pictures are much more life-like.
Do I need special equipment for Freesat HD television?
Yes. You need a Freesat HD digital box connected to an HD-ready TV, or an HD television with Freesat already built-in. To listen in surround sound you'll also need home cinema equipment.
But I already have an HD TV – doesn't that mean I'm watching in high definition now?
Not necessarily. Most people with HD-ready televisions aren't watching HD. You're only watching HD if you have your television connected to an HD digital box which receives an HD service. Freesat gives you two HD services for free.
I already have a satellite dish – could I use that to get Freesat?
Yes, if you already have a satellite dish on your home you may be able to use it to get Freesat, but it's best to get advice from your Freesat retailer.
If your satellite dish is still under warranty then connecting Freesat equipment may void the warranty, so do check the contract you have with your satellite provider.
How can I find out more?
Further information on Freesat is available on www.freesat.co.uk, by ringing 08450 990 990, or by asking your retailer.