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How Does Freesat Work?

Nowadays, entertainment has become such a massive part of people’s lives. We come home from work, school, or even just a day full of errands wanting just to lay down and chill in front of the telly. It’s always such a treat, getting to relax and unwind while watching your favourite TV show, re-watching your favourite movie, or even just browsing through the channels available via your cable subscription. However, as cable subscription prices rise, we consumers are left looking for ways to satisfy our need for TV without having to shell out enormous amounts. Amounts that would have otherwise been dedicated to paying for necessities like food, water, electricity, rent, etc. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives to expensive cable subscriptions. One of these alternatives is Freesat, a digital satellite TV service from the BBC and ITV which offers a ton for channels for free. 

Now, you may be asking, “How does Freesat work?” To answer your questions, we’ve come up with a list of things you should know about Freesat:

Getting Freesat

To receive Freesat service, you will need a satellite dish or satellite receiver. You don’t necessarily have to get a new one if you’ve already got an existing satellite dish installed. This is why many people who switch over to Freesat usually come from Sky Digital, which also delivers its service via a satellite dish. However, if you are switching from a service that does not use satellite dishes, you may have to pay to get one installed. 

Once you have a satellite dish, the next thing you will need is one of the following:

A Freesat-ready TV 

Some manufacturers already produce at least one kind of TV with Freesat built into it. With a Freesat-ready TV, you will be able to access channels and almost any radio station without the need for an additional device.

A Freesat (or Freesat+) Set Top Box

Freesat set top boxes and Freesat HD boxes cost somewhere between £50-£220, depending on which features you will want on your box. These set top boxes should be compatible with whatever flat-screen TV you own. Connect the set top box to your satellite feed and your TV via HDMI, and you’ll be good to go!

Freesat from Sky 

If you are already a Sky Digital subscriber and no longer want to pay for TV, you may consider switching over to this plan. Although you wouldn’t have access to the HD and Premium channels exclusive to Sky Digital, you will have more channels compared to the regular Freesat Digital service. Those with the regular Freesat Digital service may choose to upgrade by purchasing a viewing card from Sky Digital.

Costs

As stated above, Freesat is a free TV service. This means aside from the upfront costs such as the set top box purchase, fees for its installation, and if needed, installation costs for the satellite dish, you will not have to pay any monthly fees. 

Channels

Freesat has more than 200 channels with 20 of those on HD, when you get the Freesat HD Box or the Freesat 4K TV Box, among other models. You may access on-demand content from channels/streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, BBC News, BBC Sport, My5, and many more. Freesat’s on-demand service, however, will require you to connect to your home broadband, and more preferably fibre broadband. 

Freesat also offers an eight-day program guide, helping you identify which shows you will want to watch live and which shows you will want to record with your Freesat+ box. 

Recording, Rewinding, Forwarding, and Pausing

If you have a Freesat-ready PVR, a Freesat+ Smart Box, you have the freedom to record programmes, as well as watch and re-watch them at any point.

Freeview vs Freesat

Freeview or Freesat? This debate has been going on for a long time. However, these two TV services are more different than alike. Their differences begin with the very fact that Freeview makes use of tv aerials to deliver their service, while Freesat makes use of satellite dishes or satellite receivers. Additionally, because of how their service is delivered, Freesat and Freeview’s coverage also differ significantly. Moreover, Freesat HD and Freeview HD differ in number, with the former almost doubling in the number of channels over the latter. 

This means rather than continuously trying to determine which of two is better, it all comes down to a question of “What does the consumer need?” Or better yet, “What do you need?” Consumers, like you, will have different needs and requirements based on their viewing habits, location, budget, current TV service provider, and many more. It is, therefore, advisable to figure out just exactly what exactly your household will require and enjoy more. 

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