What is Freesat?
Freesat is a free-to-air digital satellite television service for the United Kingdom.
(The term “free-to-air” means the channels are available without a subscription, or encryption.)
With a Freesat receiver (set top box) or a TV with Freesat built in, you can enjoy over 200 TV and Radio channels, subscription free via satellite.
Freesat offers a satellite alternative to the Freeview service on digital terrestrial television, with a broadly similar selection of channels available without subscription for users. In 2007 Freeview, the UKs digital terrestrial television service, was available to only 73% of the population. After analogue TV services were replaced in the digital switchover, this increased to 98.5% for the public service channels and 90% for the full ‘Freeview’ service. To provide more widespread coverage and a larger number of channels, a digital satellite alternative was felt necessary, and Freesat was launched on 6 May 2008.
Although Freesat offers the free-to-air channels, these free-to-air channels can be received using a free-to-air receiver. However, only Freesat receivers offer a fully managed Electronic Programme Guide and interactive services.
Freesat HD also allows access to approximately 15 HD channels.
When Freesat launched in 2008, there were two types of receivers available — standard definition and high definition receivers.
In November 2008, Humax launched a Freesat recorder, Freesat+HD. Freesat+HD receivers allow you to pause, rewind & record TV, subscription free.
In October 2012, Humax released the first Freetime receiver, the Humax HDR-1000S. Freetime allows you to “roll back” the TV Guide through the past seven days of TV and watch programmes from a range of On Demand services.
Freesat Televisions have a built in satellite receiver and use the Freesat Electronic Programme Guide.
Currently (2016) LG, Samsung and Panasonic manufacture Freesat Televisions.
Channels on Freesat come from the same fleet of UK TV satellites as used by the subscription satellite service Sky TV. This means that any satellite dish which is positioned to receive Sky TV will also be able of receiving channels on Freesat.