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Should I buy Freeview HD for Christmas?

It isn't just for the first high definition EastEnders on Christmas Day, Freeview HD is the gift that keeps giving

It isn't just for the first high definition EastEnders on Chris
published on UK Free TV

What are the benefits?

Four high definition channels


Everyone gets:
  • BBC HD. All the programmes on this channel are in high definition, and comprises of simulcasts of BBC TWO, BBC three and BBC FOUR shows, narrative repeats of these shows (rebroadcast within the first week of showing on a main channel) plus some high definition BBC classics.
  • BBC One HD. This channel shows high definition versions of most programmes on BBC One, with a commitment to move towards 100% high definition output over the coming years.
  • ITV1 HD (or STV1 HD or UTV1 HD). As with BBC One HD, this is a high definition version of the most popular commercial channel.

Plus one of:

  • Channel 4 HD. Again, a simulcast of the main Channel 4 channel in high definition, but again where available, and not in Wales.
  • Clirlun (S4C HD). In Wales, a high definition version of the Welsh language channel S4C.

Christmas Day EastEnders will be in HD
Christmas Day EastEnders will mark the first broadcast of the BBC soap in high definition.

Better pictures for sport

One of the main improvements in high definition is the ability to provide much better motion for sport compared to standard digital television.

Clearer pictures for documentaries and drama

Many of the most popular high definition shows are documentaries and drama where the clarity of the picture gives a distinct edge to the viewing experience.

Movies

As movies have always been created on 35mm film (rather than videotape), this means that any movie created since the 1920s can be shown in high definition.

All existing Freeview services

In addition, you also get all of the existing Freeview channels.

Better overlap handling

Another benefit of Freeview HD boxes is that they deal much better than standard boxes when you live in an area served by more than one transmitter. These boxes now prompt you to select your BBC and ITV region, older boxes just guess.

Christmas Day installing

Freeview HD is very, very easy to install. All you will need is:

  • A high definition television set. Any set with "HD Ready" or "Full HD Ready" markings will work. A limited number of very old high definition sets may not have these markings, so you may have to check for the presence of an HDMI input socket.
  • Your EXISTING aerial connection. A rooftop aerial is already required for reliable Freeview reception, so as long as normal Freeview (or Freeview light) is being received, Freeview HD will normally work (see coverage below, however). YOU DO NOT NEED A NEW AERIAL TO USE FREEVIEW HD.
  • A power point.
  • An HDMI cable. This will normally come with the box, but if you are hoping to install the set-top box on Christmas Day you might want to ensure that the cable is there. Remember that, as HDMI is a balanced high-speed digital connection, there is no benefit paying more than a few pounds for a cable as screening (or gold connectors) will made no difference whatsoever to the quality of picture transferred. As with most digital components, it will work - or not.

Recording and live pausing with Freeview+HD

Humax box

As well as the basic Freeview HD boxes, you can also purchase Freeview+HD boxes, which contain a hard disk drive (as found in computers) and two digital tuners. This allows, much like the popular Sky+ and Freeview+ boxes you to:

  • Record a whole series of a show with a single button press
  • Record one show whilst watching another one live
  • Record two shows while you watch a recording from the drive.
  • Set a show to record by pressing a button when you see a trailer for it.

Freeview record/play/pause devices DO NOT require a special aerial to work.

Where will it work?

It will definitely work in any region that has switched off the analogue signals and replaced them with digital only, which is:



UK areas that have switched to digital-only transmission

There is also a pre-switchover service from a few main transmitters:



Five transmitters with Freeview HD at low power

In the above cases the service is not provided from any relay transmitters, and the lower power levels provide service only to the core transmitter area.

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

Comments
Thursday, 13 January 2011
B
bett
10:14 AM
Oldbury

Thanks, it will have to wait until next week until we can visit as its too complicated for her. I'll post the response.

link to this comment
bett's 6 posts GB flag
bett's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

10:15 AM

bett: OK, let me know how it goes.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
T
Tom
12:20 PM

Hi, we recently got a Sony Freeview HD TV. We're in a Flat just outside of Crawley with a communal aerial which has been upgraded to accomadate for the switch over and yet we cannot get any HD channels. The maps state we have strong reception and the website says we should get them, the channels broadcast at 554mhz and we can get channels both at higher and lower frequencies.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Tom's 2 posts US flag
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

12:47 PM

Tom: Are you sure you are using the Crystal Palace transmitter? I can't really say without a full postcode.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
T
Tom
12:50 PM

As far as I know it's pointing towards Crystal Palace, I think we might be too far away or the Reigate transmitter maybe interfearing with the recption

link to this comment
Tom's 2 posts US flag
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

12:51 PM

Tom: If you put your postcode into the box at the top right you could find out.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
B
bett
6:34 PM
Oldbury

Hi, re post on 13th, hubby did as you suggested. The retune didn't find HD. An engineer who visited just after my last post couldn't sort it or explain it either. I have found out that she had HD channels until she had a message on the TV telling her to retune and then it lost it. What do you suggest now?

link to this comment
bett's 6 posts GB flag
bett's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

7:12 PM

bett: You might have to wait until 21st September 2011, but you might want to check the Single frequency interference | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice page.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
B
bett
7:39 PM
Oldbury

Which multiplex has the HD channels on. I can't see any.

link to this comment
bett's 6 posts GB flag
bett's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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