menuMENU    UK Free TV logo TV



Click to see updates

How much is it going to cost to get High Definition TV?

It can cost as little as 68 pounds, and as much as 336 pounds to get free HD TV.

It can cost as little as 68 pounds, and as much as 336 pounds t
published on UK Free TV

If you already have a HD Ready television set, or are considering purchasing one, how much is costs to get the free HD services from the BBC and ITV depends on a few factors:

It can cost as little as £68, and as much as £350 to get free HD TV. Channel 4 HD is only carried by Freeview HD in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is not provided on Freesat HD as yet.

Option 1 - Freesat HD with an existing dish, from £68

If you have access to a satellite dish, but are not currently using it, then you can purchase a Freesat HD box for as little as £68.

All that is required is:

  • plug the output from the dish to the Freesat HD box;
  • connect an HDMI cable from the Freesat HD box to the HD Ready TV
  • plug the Freesat HD box into the mains

You will get BBC HD and ITV HD plus hundreds of SD channels, including those from BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Most Freeview HD boxes also provide the BBC iPlayer - this requires an Ethernet patch cable connection to your home router. You can enter an England postcode to a Freesat box to access ITV1 HD outside England and Wales.

Option 2 - Freeview HD, from £99

If you live in a television broadcast region that has switched to digital only transmission (including all of Wales and South West England) - you no longer have any analogue television - or you live in an area with the Freeview HD early service (such as London and Birmingham) you can use Freeview HD.

All that is required:

  • connect the Freeview HD box to your rooftop TV aerial
  • connect the Freeview HD box to your HD Ready television with an HDMI cable.
  • Plug the Freeview HD box into the mains

You will get BBC HD, ITV1 HD (except Scotland, Northern Ireland), Channel 4 HD (S4C HD in Wales) plus all of the other Freeview channels you could get before.

Some boxes also provide BBC iPlayer access. For a review of boxes, see Freeview HD Set-top Receivers - reghardware.

Option 3 - Freesat HD, no existing dish, from £148

If you don't have a dish, and want to watch HD but do not wish to record (or timeshift) your HD viewing, it costs less than £80 to have a dish installation for a single Freesat HD set-top box.

Most people can have dishes installed, and the engineer will also attach the Freesat HD box to your HD Ready television. See option 1 for the list of channels.

Option 4 - Freesat+ HD recorder, existing quad LNB dish, from £199

If you have an existing satellite dish with a quad-LNB (basically, it has four outputs) - perhaps you have (or have had) a Sky+ box - then you can fit a Freesat+HD recorder in place, or in addition to, a Sky+ box.

If you have a Sky+ box with an expired subscription, this is an excellent way to provide HD.

The process is:

  • Power off the Sky+ box and disconnect it from the mains, the two satellite dish connections and the SCART cable;
  • Connect the Freesat+HD to the two satellite connections;
  • Use an HDMI cable to connect the Freesat+HD box to your TV
  • Connect the mains to the Freesat+HD box.

If you have a Sky+ system, and wish to use the spare two outputs from the quad-LNB on the dish, this will require two satellite-grade coaxial cables to be fitted, which can be done DIY, or professionally.

Option 5 - Freeview+HD, from £285

Freeview+HD devices only require connection to a single TV aerial, so you can use as many of them in the home as you like. However, being the most recent to market the boxes are currently around £285 (Philips Debuts Freeview HD PVR -

This price will no doubt drop over the coming years, but the first boxes also provide many additional facilities, such as playback from memory sticks.

Option 6 - Freesat+HD, no existing dish, from £309

If you want to have recording and live pause facilities with your High Definition, then a dish with a quad-LNB and installation will cost from around £110, to add to the £199 cost for a Freesat+HD box.

Option 7 - Sky+HD, from £336 PER YEAR

Another option is the Sky+HD package, as this features a "free" Sky+HD box and "free" installation, at a quite reasonable £336. You only have to subscribe for the first year, but if you continue this will be for at least £336 in the following years.

Sky HD does provide a number of additional exclusive HD channels, but the box will not record or play once you stop your subscription.

Help with High Definition?
Whenever i watch moving sport especially football I experience much poorer pictu1
In this section
Freeview removes com8 channels 1
20 Freeview HD TV channels to close March/June 2019 in Cornwall2
Channel 4 abandons Freesat HD in TWO DAYS3
Five tips for when you are buying a new TV to watch Freeview or Freesat4
Why do less than one in five people with an HD set watch in HD?5
All five public service channels now free to air!6

Monday, 14 March 2011
Des Collier

8:11 PM

Hertfordshaz:- You could use an amplified masthead amplifier with 3 outputs,which is powered via one of your aerials leads from downstairs,SCREWFIX sell these.or look the AERIALS & T.V WEBSITE for further info.

link to this comment
Des Collier's 171 posts GB flag
Des's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 20 March 2011

11:09 PM

Please help.
I have just connected my Metronic Zapbox T2 Freeview HD box to my router using Ethernet cable. The router shows an illuminated '2' on the front (1 is the PC) and the HD box shows a full set of communication data having set up the IP address, etc dynamically.

Now what? Can I watch iPlayer? Can I surf the web? What can I do with it now and how?
The instructions show how to make the connection, but there is no information on how to use it.



link to this comment
Nick's 58 posts GB flag
Monday, 21 March 2011

6:22 AM

Nick: You usually access iPlayer by pressing the Red Button on a BBC channel and selecting from the menu.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

5:31 PM

Thanks for the usual prompt and helpful reply.

I set to channels 050 or 054 and switch the TV to receive from the HD box, so I see the HD chennel.
I press the red button on the HD box hand set and nothing happens.
It seems odd that the box has a connection to my router but I cannot seem to do anything.

link to this comment
Nick's 58 posts GB flag

5:44 PM

Also, is it possible to network access the HD box from my computer, seeing how they are both connected to the router. Could I watch a video file from my PC through the HD box and into my TV? Both of my video card connections are connected to monitors.

link to this comment
Nick's 58 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 22 March 2011

6:49 AM

Nick: There are no "Red Button" services on the HD multiplex.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

7:13 AM

Nick: It is an unlikely assumption that you can "play a video file".

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
10:55 AM

We live in Rugby and have had a digital ariel installed by a professional a few years ago but the upstairs tv keeps breaking up and the signal is poor. Sometimes the main tv in the lounge is also breaking up. I often switch the tv to analogue to get a better reception what should I do as the changeover is looming in September?

link to this comment
paula's 1 post GB flag
paula's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

3:39 PM

Paula: often this indicates that the cables were split improperly, or that water has been allowed to get into the connections. You're expected to get very good results at present.

At switchover, the power transmitted by the Sutton Coldfield transmitter will increase a lot. If you get clear analogue pictures now, you should get reliable results after switchover.

There's actually a very large difference between the analogue and digital signal levels from Sutton Coldfield. If the levels are too high, the high analogue levels can produce noise on the digital signals. Very high analogue signal levels can cause some noise on the TV picture, but it's often not very noticeable or is overlooked. If this is the problem you may well have more problems after switchover. It's really hard to tell you what to look for here because there was no standard for what the numbers on the signal strength meter actually mean. Only professional equipment is properly calibrated and gives meaningful numbers.

You could try adding an attenuator to reduce the signal levels and see if that helps. You may well need one after switchover.

link to this comment
Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 18 July 2011

9:54 PM

Brian, please help. I'm a little confused.
Will I be able to receive a decent signal strength at B97 5YL

From what I can see on your site, it looks like a weak signal, but it's a fairly large conurbation.

cheers, and thanks for any help.

link to this comment
Nick's 58 posts GB flag
Nick's: mapN's Freeview map terrainN's terrain plot wavesN's frequency data N's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Select more comments
Page 4

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.