Freesat Vs. Freeview: Which One Is Best?

f you are interested in buying one of the latest digital TV systems, you may have already started to ask whether Freeview or Freesat is best? We are here to give you information on each system to help you make a more informed decision. Quite often the decision is made based on how good the reception is for your TV aerial, see ‘how to improve your TV reception‘ for more info. To begin with, we will tell you more about the characteristics associated with each system.

Freeview is a UK based digital terrestrial TV service, which is delivered to homes through aerials. It comes in different forms which include the set-top boxes, to televisions that have Freeview built in, onto something very small that hardly even qualifies or looks like a box. To link up to Freeview, all that is required is to connect this service to your existing aerial, along with broadband if you plan to buy a Smart TV, and it’s ready for use.

Freesat is a free-to-air British satellite TV service which is available through a satellite. It comes with similar selections of channels when compared to Freeview, but without a subscription for the users that purchase the receiver.

Even though these systems share a few similar aspects, there are differences which make each service unique, which will assist you in determining which option is best for you.

The next section we will cover a few points on both the Freeview and Freesat services:


This is perhaps the most important of the differences because even though Freeview is made available to 98% of the UK, Freesat has virtually total or total coverage. Additionally, there are a few areas where Freeview only offers the reduced service known as the Lite version. So for these situations, Freesat is regarded as the better option.

The Channels

On this point, it is important to consider that the channel numbers on both systems are constantly changing (in most cases increasing). Freeview, provides more than 70 channels, with many of these in HD, and approximately 20 radio stations. Freesat provides over 200 TV and radio channels. This wider variety of channels may appear impressive, yet it is still better to find out which channels interest you before you decide which system suits your needs best.

HD Versions

Both, Freeview and Freesat provide HD channels. So when it comes to this point, there are no differences between the two.

Upfront Costs

Even though watching these TV channels will be free, there are a few upfront costs to think about when it comes to the installation. For instance, the satellite dish installations cost more as you are required to buy the satellite dish along with an additional cost for the installation. Yet for most people, this expense is more than compensated for, due to the wide selection of channels to choose from.

Freeview on the other hand only requires the standard digital TV and TV aerial. If your TV is not digital, you still have the option to buy a cheap set-to-box which usually costs around £30 for the non-recording versions and they are available in the majority of supermarkets.

After reading about these differences, we hope that we have helped you make a decision on whether you should choose the Freesat system or the Freeview system.