Hi Jon, I want to get high-definition TV, and am looking for the cheapest option without any monthly costs. Can I get Freeview HD? I’ve heard it is available in some areas, but is it available in my area?
Can you help?
Mark Toland, Reading, via email, Updated: Friday 8 April, 2011
Hi Mark, thanks for your email about getting Freeview HD.
Freeview HD is the subscription-free high-definition (HD) TV service from Freeview, which offers HD channels via your existing TV aerial. If you’re looking to upgrade your TV service to HD without spending loads of money on set-top boxes or subscribing to a monthly subscription, Freeview HD may be the best high-definition option for you.
Firstly, have a look at my guide to HD TV to find out about high-definition TV, then read my top tips on Freeview HD for more information about availability and how to get Freeview HD…
Freeview’s HD service is currently available in around 60% of the UK. The rest of the country will be able to receive the service as the digital switchover moves towards completion in 2012.
If you can’t receive Freeview HD yet, don’t worry - there are plenty of other HD TV services available. Take a look at Other HD TV options for more information.
if you’re in a Freeview HD area, great news - but you will need to invest in a Freeview HD set-top box before you can start watching high-definition TV. These are available from retailers such as John Lewis and Argos for around £100. See how Freeview HD box features compare against those available from Sky or Virgin Media:
Your HD set-top box will also have to be connected up to a HD ready TV with a HDMI cable. You can buy a HD ready TV from any good electrical retailer, and prices start from around £250 for a 32in set. Visit www.hdready.org.uk for details on which makes and models are HD ready, and when buying a new TV, look out for the HD ready logo.
If you haven’t yet got a HD ready TV, consider getting one with Freeview HD built-in. These will be more expensive than buying them as separates. At the moment they typically cost around £400. Read our Freeview HD set-top box guide for more information on some recommended Freeview HD boxes.
Freeview currently has four high-definition channels, as well as up to 50 channels in standard definition. The HD channels available are:
There may be more HD channels added to Freeview in the future, including further channels from the BBC and a high-definition version of Channel 5. For more information, you can subscribe to Freeview’s HD news alerts at www.freeview.co.uk/freeview/HD.
I hope this helps answer your question about Freeview HD Mark - and if your area can’t get Freeview HD yet, remember there are plenty of other options for high-definition TV, including Freesat. Take a look at my tips below:
If you’re unsure of which high-definition TV service to go for, use our online price comparison tool to find out more about the other digital TV providers and HD services available in your area.
And if you want to find out more about HD television, download our Complete Guide to High-definition TV.
If you have a general switching or provider query please email us at email@example.com