What is Freeview?

freeview in a caravan

What is Freeview?

The way in which we watch TV has changed forever, if you are past the age of 20 you will remember that TV only had 5 channels and if you are older than 25 it was only 4 channels!! So the choice was either this or pay a monthly subscription for SKY™ TV, which was and still can be a costly monthly outgoing.

2002 saw the launch of Freeview, the UK’s free digital terrestrial television service. Delivered to your home through a TV Aerial. It offered a collection of free to air (FTA) services on the Digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform. The advantage to this service, against SKY™ was it was free, with no monthly subscription.

Two decades on and with the added Freeview play service, it is more popular than ever.

This blog will guide you through a few of the most common questions.

What equipment do I need to receive Freeview?

1. A Freeview or Freeview Play TV, box or recorder

For the last decade or so, all new televisions have Freeview built into them, so you can access this service. However Freeview boxes and recorders are widely available as cheaply as £40 upwards.

2. An aerial

To receive Freeview, you will need an aerial, we would recommend an external aerial. Loft aerials or portable indoor aerials may also work in stronger signal areas.

3. A TV licence

Anyone that watches broadcast TV in the UK must have a TV licence. However, you won’t need to pay a monthly subscription as the standard Freeview service is free.

4. An internet connection (Optional)

If you only want to watch digital terrestrial Freeview TV channels then you won’t need an internet connection. But if you have a Freeview Play device and want to access catch-up and on-demand content, then you’ll need an internet connection of at least 2Mpbs.

What channels can I get with Freeview?

With the Freeview service you can receive approx. 70 + channels, depending on your location.

What is Freeview Play?

Freeview Play combines Freeview’s traditional over-the-air channels, which you need an aerial for, with on-demand content that you can get via broadband.

This means you will still get the favourite over-the-air free channels such as BBC, ITV and Channel 4, but with the addition of services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All4, which let you watch the content on-demand. The electronic programme guide which provides the channel’s line up for 7 days ahead and back allowing you to watch on demand is also a popular addition to the standard Freeview service.

Why does Freeview keep breaking up?

The main difference with Freeview TV is that the signal is either available or not. TV programmes are no longer viewed through a snow storm of interference. In addition, you may not be able to receive all the channels that are being broadcast from the local transmitter.

There are many reasons why you can experience reception problems.

Firstly it’s a good idea to check your local area for your predicted coverage using the Freeview channel checker. https://www.freeview.co.uk/freeview-channel-checker This site also covers any planned maintenance, transmitter faults or live issues that could be affecting your area.

Secondly, it is important to check your installation, for example ensuring your aerial is aligned correctly to the transmitter. Cabling is also extremely important to check for any damage and that the connectors are intact and connected securely. A professional aerial installer will be able to check this for you and install new equipment if required.

Freeview reception can be subject to interference especially 4G reception areas. It can help to ensure that your equipment incorporates a 3G/4G filter. This blocks out unwanted interference to ensure maximum digital reception in 4G signal areas.

The weather can also cause reception and interference issues. The advice is, if this is an issue, is to wait until the weather condition changes. You should not retune your television when this happens. Please see BBC link below for further information: https://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/help-guides/freeview/how-clear-skies-and-fine-weather-can-affect-your-tv-reception

Will a signal booster improve digital TV reception?

Yes a TV signal booster helps to do just that! Designed specifically to boost your digital TV signals. They help to improve the signal quality received by aerials in locations with a weak signal from a TV transmitter. TV aerial boosters can prevent poor picture and sound quality caused by long cables or distributing to multiple TV’s.

Signal boosters are also often used with aerials in rural locations and on properties that have obstructions such as trees. It can sometimes help in these situations. However, it is important to say that TV boosters will not solve all reception problems because they boost the signal received.

Can you recommend a Freeview signal booster?

All of our boosters are compatible with Freeview, with 4G filtering, we offer a full range to suit your application.

Plug in Signal Boosters

Plug in signal boosters plug directly into a mains socket, offering an unobtrusive and neat installation.  https://maxview.co.uk/product/plug-in-signal-boosters/

TV Aerial Booster

High Gain Signal Boosters

Our high gain signal boosters are popular as they offer a switchable Gain Control. Switch between high and low gain for enhanced signal control. https://maxview.co.uk/product/high-gain-signal-boosters/

We also have a range of Distribution Amplifiers

This range of high quality amplifiers are designed to be installed in the loft to distribute digital television and radio signals throughout the home.

They feature a unique, versatile dual powering option. The first option receives power via the plug-in transformer (PSU300), where mains power is available.

The second option allows the unit to be powered through output 1 from a Masthead Power Supply (MHP1) if there is no mains power socket available in the loft. Filtering on the input and a fully screened enclosure helps minimise any signal interference from 4G, TETRA radio and GSM mobile phone transmissions. 


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