What Is Freeview

By | July 21, 2011

What is Freeview

Freeview, is the name for the collection of free-to-air services on the Digital Terrestrial Television platform in the UK. The service is jointly run by its five equal shareholders, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and transmitter operator Arqiva. DTV Services is designed to market changes to the platform. DTV Services is responsible for marketing services such as Freeview+, the PVR brand and Freeview HD.

Freeview officially launched on 30 October 2002 when the BBC and Crown Castle (now Arqiva) officially took over the digital terrestrial television (DTT) licences to broadcast on the three multiplexes from the defunct ITV Digital (originally called ONdigital). The founding members of DTV Services, who trade as Freeview, were the BBC, Crown Castle UK (now part of Arqiva) and British Sky Broadcasting. On 11 October 2006, ITV plc and Channel 4 became equal shareholders. Since then, the Freeview model has been copied in Australia and New Zealand. Some of Eureapen countries, such as Sweden, Italy, France can receive Freeview as well. It has gained a great popularity among the whole UK.

What you need

Freeview Receiver

To receive Freeview channels, either a television with an integrated digital tuner, or an existing standard analogue television receiver plus a set-top box or digital Freeview PVR is required. It costs among $15-20, affordable with everyone.


An aerial (antenna) is required for viewing any broadcast television transmissions. For all transmissions indoor, loft-mounted, and external aerials are available. In regions of strong signal an indoor aerial may be adequate; in marginal areas a high-gain external aerial mounted high above the ground with an electronic amplifier at its top may be needed.

Service costs

Different from ITV Digital, cable and satellite digital TV services, Freeview channels can be received at no charge. Freeview is paid by the government as a public expense. All the subscribers can enjoy a total free-charge service. Now the Digital TV Group the industry association for digital television in the UK, is responsible for co-ordination between Freeview,  and other digital services. More service will be in the near future.

Freeview channels

The Freeview service broadcasts free-to-air television channels, radio stations and interactive services from the existing public service broadcasters. Channels on the service include the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 terrestrial channels, as well as their digital services. In addition, channels from Sky and UKTV, text services from Teletext and radio stations from BBC and Bauer amongst others are available.


The full range of channels broadcast via digital terrestrial television includes pay television services from operators such as Top Up TV and ESPN. These channels, although available only to subscribers with appropriate equipment, are listed in the on-screen electronic programme guides displayed by many Freeview receivers but may not be viewed. Only paid, you can receive the channels.


Freeview+, originally entitled “Freeview Playback”, is a consumer brand for the specification of Digital Terrestrial Recorders which is published and maintained by the Digital TV Group. It is designed to “raise consumer awareness and promote sales” of Freeview-capable digital video recorders. Only approved digital terrestrial recorders (PVRs, DVRs and DTRs) which meet specified quality and functionality criteria are permitted to carry the Freeview+ logo. An advantage of the scheme is the benefit of joint marketing and consumer confidence.

Freeview HD

With two channels (BBC HD and ITV1 HD) Freeview HD completed a “technical launch” on 2 December 2009 from Crystal Palace and Winter Hill and operates on multiplex BBC B (aka Multiplex B or PSB3) from that date in regions that switched-over on or after that date, with the service coming to all regions by the end of 2012. Channel 4 HD commenced test broadcasts on 25 March 2010 with an animated caption, ahead of its full launch on 30 March 2010, coinciding with the commercial launch of Freeview HD. S4C Clirlun launched on 30 April 2010 in Wales, where Channel 4 HD will not broadcast. STV HD launched in Scotland, where ITV1 HD does not broadcast, on 6 June 2010.

Five HD was due to launch during 2010 but was unable to reach ‘key criteria’ to keep its slot. Spare allocation on multiplex B was handed over to the BBC, two years from the date when it was anticipated that further capacity on multiplex B would revert to the control of the BBC Trust. On 3 November 2010, BBC One HD launched on Freeview HD. It is available in addition to the existing BBC HD channel, which continues to show the “best of the rest” of the BBC in HD. The BBC Trust recognised that technical and financial constraints as of 2010prevent additional variations.[18]

During 2011, Ofcom intends to give the Commercial Public Service Broadcasters another opportunity to apply to provide an additional Freeview HD service from 2012. On 30 March 2010 Isle Howling said “I think we know it won’t be coming from Channel 4, if you ask Five when they think they’ll be on, they’ll say the end of 2012

Freeview HD Tuner

Another possible way to watch Freeview HD channels is use a DVB T2 digital Tv card. DVB T2 might be a little strange for somebody. But it’s easy to understand. DTB T is an abbreviation for Digital Video Broadcasting –Terrestrial; it is the extension of the television standard DVB-T, issued by the consortium DVB, devised for the broadcast transmission of digital terrestrial television. That’s to say, Freeview is transmitted by DVB T2 format. DVB t2 tuner card allow you watch and record Freeview SD and HD channels on PC.

Recommended Freeview HDTV Tuner

Freeview HD TV tuner TBS6220

It’s a digital video recorder for recording digital terrestrial TV programs with full HDTV support. It’s ideal for watching UK Freeview SD and HD channels on your PC.

Freeview HD dual tuner TBS6280

It’s a dual tuner PCI-Express interface DVB-T2/T TV Tuner Card which supports watching or recording two different channels from two different frequencies simultaneously.                                                                                            

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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