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Are you really watching free TV in high definition?

There are many hurdles you have to jump if you really want to watch free television channels in high definition.

There are many hurdles you have to jump if you really want to w
published on UK Free TV

You need to ask yourself a series of questions if you want to be sure you are taking advantage of the free HD TV channels.

Given that, in the current week, ITV 1 HD gets only 2.6% of total viewing, compared to 36.5% to the channel in standard definition, and that BBC HD gets 1.2% of total viewing compares 26% for comparable channel BBC TWO, it seems that many people are not taking advantage of the improved pictures and sound that can easily be enjoyed.

So, you have to ask yourself five questions:

Q1 Do you have a high definition television set?

You need to check that your television is actually high definition. Almost all HDTVs are flat screen, but it does not follow that all flat screen televisions are high definition.

The best two clues to look for are the "HD Ready" or "Full HD Ready" logos, and also that the television set has HDMI connectors.

If you have the manual for your television set, it may describe HD as "720 line" or "1080 line". If these are not mentioned, you don't have HD and you will need a new television set.

See also What does "Full HD Ready" actually mean? - ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice

Q2 Does your HDTV have built in Freeview HD or Freesat HD?

Most HD televisions sold in the UK are "HD Ready", which means that they are capable of showing high definition pictures, but only from an external box.

Some, more expensive, TV sets have Freeview HD or Freesat HD built in.

If your TV set has the Freeview HD logo, it can receive what are known as "DVB-T2" transmissions, which means you get HD direct from the TV aerial connection. If this is the case, see Q4. If the set is "HD Ready with Freeview" it means you can't.

Some high end sets have Freesat HD built in, where you can watch the free high definition channels from satellite. For this to work you will have to use the satellite connection on the set. Remember that set will also have standard definition Freeview, so pictures from the normal TV aerial will not be in high definition.

Q3 If your HDTV doesn't have built-in reception - do you have a Freeview HD or Freesat HD box and the correct cables?

If you have an HD Ready television, you can connect it to an external set-top box to receive either Freeview HD or Freesat HD.

You must make sure that you connect the box to the television set using an HDMI cable. If you use a SCART lead you won't have HD.

Q4 Do you remember to switch to the HD versions of BBC One, ITV 1 or Channel 4

You do not automatically get to watch BBC One, ITV 1 (or STV) or Channel 4 in HD.

You must select the special channel numbers for these services, as the usual channel numbers (1, 3, 4 and 8 on Freeview, 101, 103, 104 on satellite) will only show in standard definition.



On Freeview HD, 50 must be selected for BBC One HD, 51 for ITV1 HD (or STV HD), 52 for Channel 4 HD (not in Wales), 53 for S4C HD (Wales only) and 54 for BBC HD.

On Freesat HD, you must choose 108 for BBC One HD, 109 for BBC HD, 119 for ITV 1 HD (or STV HD), 126 for Channel 4 HD and NHK World HD is on 209.

On Sky HD, you have to choose 140 for Channel 4 HD, 143 for BBC One HD, 169 for BBC HD, 178 for ITV 1 HD.



Q5 Is the HD channel actually showing an HD programme?

Only the BBC HD channel has a HD-only schedule. On BBC One HD, ITV 1 HD and Channel 4 HD non-HD programmes are shown "upscaled" to HD resolutions and look better than the pictures on the SD version of the channel.



Check in the EPG (usually the INFO or GUIDE button on the remote) to see if the programme that is being shown has an HD marker in the listings.

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
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
B
brian
9:38 AM
Waterlooville

Retuned this morning and get HD fine, however like some other comments on this thread no teletext on BBC HD by pressing the text button or the red button, also does anybody know when BBC south is going HD, instead of showing a red page saying change to ch 1 .....

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brian's 8 posts GB
A
Adrian
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

11:54 AM

Tony:

Teletext is indeed available on the BBC HD channels via FREESAT HD. But not (yet) via FREEVIEW HD.

Brian:

BBC South is now HD - but the BBC 1 HD channel is not yet 'regionalised':

BBC - BBC One HD - FAQ
(RG415DA)

link to this comment
Adrian's 55 posts SE
B
brian
2:15 PM
Waterlooville

Adrian, Thanks for the clarification

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brian's 8 posts GB
T
Tony Hill
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

5:09 PM
Dorchester

Well, thats sorted-out Teletext - now, how about some comments on picture quality of Freeview HD compared with freesat HD. Satellite should, one would imagine, be able to produce a better picture than terrestial but does it?

Anybody with both - can you advise?

link to this comment
Tony Hill's 62 posts GB
B
brian
5:35 PM
Waterlooville

Been waiting for HD to arrive as i have a tele with HD tuner built in, must say somewhat underwhelmed, there is a difference, but certainly not enough to make me get an hd box or tele if i didnt already have one......

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brian's 8 posts GB
Thursday, 22 March 2012
A
Adrian
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

10:48 AM
Wokingham

Brian:

Some of the programs transmitted on the HD channels are SD upscaled to HD - this is partcularly true for BBC 1 HD, as not all programs transmitted on BBC 1 SD are HD. However, the BBC HD channel is meant to show only true HD programs only i.e no upscaled SD programs. My experience of HD over the last 3 weeks or so is that some programs benefit far more from HD than others e.g wildlife/nature programs and sports coverage, compared to Eastenders (do you really need HD to watch someone scream 'Leave it!!' at someome else??).


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Adrian's 55 posts SE
D
david
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

5:05 PM
Salisbury

rowridge 100%quality/signal group a ariel 34db mast head roof mounted dixplexed on mendip group cd

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david's 63 posts GB
T
Tony Hill
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

6:59 PM
Dorchester

Adrian:

As your Panasonic can receive both Freeview HD and freesat HD, you are in a good position to compare the two sources for picture quality. Any views on the relative merits of the two providers?

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Tony Hill's 62 posts GB
Monday, 26 March 2012
A
Adrian
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

2:30 PM
Wokingham

Tony:

I don't have a satellite dish, so I can't comment.



link to this comment
Adrian's 55 posts SE
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
T
Tony Hill
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

6:01 PM
Dorchester

Brian:

Is there anybody else out there who can comment on the relative merits of Freeview and freesat for picture quality?



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Tony Hill's 62 posts GB
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