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All five public service channels now free to air!

It nice to see that all five of the designated public service broadcasting channels can now be viewed throughout the UK on Freeview, Freesat and Sky.

Channel 5 HD beings completes the high definition public service list.  Photograph: Shutterstock
Channel 5 HD beings completes the high definition public service list. Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

Here is how the HD line up looks on Freesat now.

If you can’t see the above list you need to power off and on again (on Freesat HD and Sky HD) or do a retune (Freeview HD)

Until recently you needed a Sky subscription package to be able to watch Channel 5 in high definition, the channels strangely  missing out on being free-to-air back in December 2011 [1] having being granted a license by Ofcom the month before [2]

The current list of free to air HD channels is list here -

You might need to check your Series Links on Freesat – due to the removal of Channel 5 standard defiition from the  channel guide, my personal  Freesat Freetime box needed my Channel 5 schedule recodings doing again. 





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
Will we ever have Freeview Ultra HD or Freesat Ultra HD?6

Sunday, 15 May 2016
3:43 PM

It may be on Freesat, but not on Freeview where I live (Brougher Mountain TX)

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Alec's 12 posts GB flag
Ian Taylor
10:14 PM

Any idea why BBC4 HD signal comes and goes on my youview box but is OK through the Samsung TV?Winter Hill is the transmitter for Clitheroe.

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Ian Taylor's 4 posts GB flag

11:25 PM

Ian Taylor: Check they are both tuned to the same transmitter, and the signal levels. Tuners in different boxes can react slightly differently, but it would be unusual to be so different. Could be the signal is too high on the YouView box (its a Humax, so not impossible).

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Sunday, 22 May 2016
7:40 PM

What exactly is meant by the term "public service channels" ? Seems bizzare that ITV or Channel 5 is described as such but (apparently) not BBC4 ?

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Mike's 5 posts GB flag

9:51 PM

Mike: BBC channels are certainly 'public service', pretty much by definition. As for the commercial channels, ITV, C4 and C5 have a public service remit as part of their licence. Frankly, I'm not sure what that really means in terms of ITV, and I'm fairly bemused what it means for C5, but I suppose as long as they make the occasional documentary, have some local news (ITV) and don't have wall to wall adverts, then they just about stay within the terms of their licence. It would a good basis for an article by Brian.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
MikeB's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 4 June 2016
12:44 AM

There are rumors afoot that Channel 4 could be launching its 5 remaining advertising regions in HD, meaning that Channel 4 HD could be defaulted to 104 on Sky HD and Freesat HD boxes!
This could be the kickstarter to BBC and ITV finishing off their HD regional variations and seeing all PSB channels in HD on Sky HD and Freesat HD boxes at least, with freeview following when DSO part 2 comes.

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lotrjw's 3 posts GB flag

11:13 AM

lotrjw: The amount of speculation triggered by a potential transponder move for film four is amazing.

The arrival of channel4 regions, which are identical apart from adverts, in HD, benefits the viewer not one jot.

The same benefit accrues to the movement to T2 as evidenced by the number of Sub-Standard-Definition services on COM7, not to mention Film4+1 on BBC B!

Who cares what LCN a service has! Content and image quality is what matters.

What we don't need is more 4!

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js's 826 posts GB flag
2:10 PM


It isnt just the transponder move that has triggered this two people who work in the industry have commented on DS forums that they have heard things independently of each other, one a former channel 4 employee.
So while again thats rumors thats a little more substantial than just a transponder move of Film 4!

Also there is value to Channel 4 HD being at 104, as ratings for that channel will significantly increase as it replaces the SD version, I believe that is what has happened when Channel 5 HD went FTA and moved to 105 on Sky and freesat.
Its also good for viewers who like HD as we dont have to put in 227 for Sky and 126 for freesatr to get Channel 4 in HD! The same goes for the other PSB HD channels that cant currently swap like BBC 1 English regions, BBC 2 Nations and ITV/STV/UTV HD (I think UTV HD swaps for HD subscribers in Northern Ireland to 103 but thats the exception).

Im sure at some point the PSB channels will want to dump their SD simulcast on satellite, as its expensive to have both sitting there, but first they need to show that the HD versions are getting more viewers than their SD versions and to do that they need the HD versions at 101-105 on HD satellite boxes!

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lotrjw's 3 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 27 July 2016
6:14 PM

Hi Mike
i get my signal from whitehawk in Brighton. Mainly i watch HD on mux ? channel 51.
After a manual retune today i am now picking up bbc 4 HD, which is great for the music docs. I have now read that this is to do with the olymics. Do you think after i will keep bbc 4 in HD, or will it go back to Sd.
Thanks for your good work.


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Stephen's 3 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
6:34 AM

For the last 2 weeks [approx.] our BBC reception [BBC 1; 2; 4; News CH 130 etc. UHF 43] has been abysmal - it has now descended to useless. We are in south Worcestershire and in a bad reception area. Generally the bad reception is experienced at the change of seasons but it is usually across all channels. Mainly our reception is from Sutton Coldfield but sometimes we can get reception from Ridge Hill or Lark Stoke UHF Ch 26 but not at present. Malvern is blocked by a hill.
The BBC used to have reporting facilities but I see that has now gone. Mind over matter they don't mind and we don't matter.
Any comments?

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syno's 1 post GB flag
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