The question on the mind for people trying to decide which TV Viewing system to switch to after leaving Sky or Virgin is ‘which is the best Freesat or Freeview?’ As an Aerial installer I am often asked this question. Many UK homes don,t have a working television aerial an when moving into a new property often the householder has a choice to make, Satellite TV or Terrestrial?

Firstly, lets explain what Freesat & Freeview are, & what they both have to offer.

#Freeview, is a free to air digital television service broadcast in the UK. It was set up as a joint venture between BBC, itv, Channel 4, BskyB & transmitter operator Arqiva. It was set up in 2002.     An interesting statistic is that 90% of the television most people watch is shown on Freeview. There are 60 digital TV channels & 26 Radio Channels plus more…

In August 2013 it had some 60 DVB-T TV channels, 26 digital radio channels, 4 HD channels, 6 text services, 11 streamed channels, and 1 interactive channel. Some ten additional feeds, whereof five more HD feeds, are expected for the first half of 2014,  and up to 10 new HD channels are planned to be launched later in 2014, from a new group of multiplexes awarded to Arqiva.  The new HD channels were launched in selected areas on 10 December 2013 with a further rollout expected during 2014. Wikipedia

What equipment do you need to watch Freeview? To be able to watch Freeview you’ll need a TV Aerial pointing in the right direction and receiving a good clear signal. Next you will need quality shielded cable, This is because the signal can become compromised by interference from WiFi and other electrical signals. A Digital Television or a freeview digital receiver is also required. The benefits of Freeview over Freesat is that from 1 TV  Aerial you can feed every digital TV in the home whereas with Freesat, for each TV you,ll need a Freesat receiver for that Television. You cant just plug in the freesat signal into a TV (unless it has a built in freesat tuner in it).

FREESAT is a Free to Air Satellite service and you have to have a satellite dish installed on your property to be able to receive this service. It has a very similar channel list to that of Freeview, but on the whole it has more TV channels. To be able to watch it o your TV it will need a Freesat receiver for each TV (unless it has a built in receiver). This ends up more costly than the freeview option.

So, equipment wise, you need an aerial installation for Freeview & a satellite dish installation Plus a digital receiver for each TV if viewing Freesat. Having had both of these services I can say that if it was me choosing, for the cost and practicability of it I’d choose Freeview as it has most of the channels I watch and the extra channels you get with Freesat are in my opinion poor.