Freeview HD gives you a selection of Freeview channels in high definition as well as all of the usual channels in standard definition. You need to check that it’s available in your area and then buy a Freeview HD box and connect to an HD-ready TV. Freeview HD was announced in 2008 and is now being introduced to the UK – this will be complete by 2012.
Channels on Freeview HD
So what channels can you get on Freeview HD? This depends on where you live but the channels currently available are;
- BBC One HD
- ITV HD
- Channel 4 HD
- BBC HD
- S4C HD (Wales only)
- STV HD (Scotland only)
To check availability in your area click here for the official Freeview website.
What You Need for Freeview HD
As well as Freeview HD availability in your area you’ll need an HD ready TV and a Freeview HD box. HD TVs can be either HD ready or Full HD – HD Ready TV uses 720 horizontal lines of information in each frame, which is twice the resolution of standard definition TV. Full HD TV delivers 1080 horizontal lines per frame, which gives extremely detailed resolution – full HD should also be 1080p – meaning ‘progressive’ – rather than 1080i – ‘interlaced’. The difference here is the way in which the picture is produced on the screen – interlaced means the lines appear in two stages, odd numbers lines followed by even numbers, and using progressive technology the whole picture is written to the screen at once. The interlaced method is so fast that the naked eye will not normally be able to see the difference, but there can be some flickering which you won’t get with full HD 1080p.
Freeview HD Receivers
When it comes to the receiver this could be a Freeview HD box or a TV or hard disc recorder with a Freeview HD tuner built in.
Freeview HD Box
The I-CAN 2851T Freeview HD Receiver is a great example of a Freeview HD box as it includes access to the BBC iPlayer and a card slot compatible with Top Up TV, making it a cut above your average box. This receiver costs around £100. Not many Freeview boxes give access to the iPlayer but this one plugs into your broadband (no WiFi) and lets you watch the BBC catch-up service on the TV instead of on your computer. The card slot is handy if you want to get Sky Sports on Freeview via Top Up TV – this involves paying a monthly fee but doesn’t tie you into a contract. Click the buttons below to find out more.
Freeview HD Recorder
Humax have long been associated with quality Freeview boxes and produce one of the best Freeview HD recorders on the market, the HDR-FOX T2 500GB Freeview+ HD Digital TV Recorder. This recorder costs around £300. The HDR-FOX T2 has 2 Freeview tuners built in so you can record one channel while watching another, both in standard and high definition – you can also record 2 channels while watching a previously recorded programme. The 500GB hard drive allows for up to 300 hours recording in SD or just under half that in HD. Click the button below to see the T2 at these stores.
TV with Built-in Freeview HD
When it comes to TVs you have an enormous choice due to screen size, type (LCD, LED or plasma) and 3D ready or not, so here are 2 examples from the John Lewis range fo comparison.
The LG 32LD490 LCD HD 1080p 32 Inch with Built-in Freeview HD costs around £300. It’s a full HD TV with 50Hz frame rate and has 3 x HDMI sockets and 1 x Scart. The Sony Bravia KDL37EX723 37 inch with Built-in Freeview HD (pictured right) retails for just under £800. It’s 3D ready, full HD with 100Hz frame rate, LED backlighting, 4 x HDMI sockets and 1 x Scart. Click the button below to see the full range of TVs at John Lewis.
Digital TV Packages
- Sky+ HD Starter
- Sky+ HD with Sky Movies
- Sky+ HD with Sky World
- Sky+ HD with Sky Sports
- Virgin TV L + Phone M
- Virgin Media TiVo Starter Bundle
- Premiere Collection
- BT Vision Gold Pack
- TV Essential + Broadband and Anytime Calls
- TV Unlimited + Broadband + Anytime Calls
- Top Up TV Favourites
- Top Up TV Complete Sports Pack
Freeview at Currys
Best Range of Prices
From cheap and cheerful at under £20 to Freeview HD boxes with built-in recorder there’s a wide range of price points on Freeview at Currys.
Freeview at Tesco
Best Freeview HD Range
Excellent choice of Freeview HD boxes, from special offers that make HD very affordable to top-of-the-range spec boxes with hard disc recording.
Freeview at John Lewis
Best Freeview Recorder Range
Great range of Freeview HD recorders if you want to spend a bit more and get 1TB of memory space, built-in Blu-Ray recorder, twin tuners and more.
Freeview on Top Up
Add Extra Channels
If you want to add extra channels like Sky Sports or Picture Box movies to your Freeview experience without a long contract check out Top Up TV.