The Benefits of Freesat | Aerialforce
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The Benefits of Freesat

Nov-2019 / 2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Freesat (FS) is a free-to-air satellite digital television service provided jointly by the BBC and ITV. This service is now a very popular digital TV option throughout the UK and is seen as the main competitor to the Freeview terrestrial digital television service. FS has a number of benefits over Freeview, chief among them being that it is available in all areas of the UK, whereas Freeview reception is not possible in some locations.

What’s on offer?

Freeview currently offers 40 digital channels on its digital TV service. FS offers 140 free standard definition digital TV and radio channels, all for a one-off payment, with no contract and no subscription.

What about High Definition TV (HD)?

At present, Freeview can only deliver a basic HD programme output because of its current bandwidth limitations. FS however can offer the very best of BBC and ITV HD programming, including BBC HD, BBC1 HD and ITV1 HD. The successful launch of BBC1 HD now allows the BBC to provide more simulcast HD programming options from its regular BBC1 and BBC2 schedules.


There is no need to worry about missing your favourite programmes. In conjunction with Freesat’s HD service, Humax has launched the HD PVR. This wonderful box of tricks offers similar features to the Sky+ HD recorder, but without having to pay a monthly subscription.

If you would like to know more about digital television services, satellite systems or digital TV aerials, get in touch with us here at Aerial Force.

What Are Programming Sources

We mentioned earlier that a satellite needs to receive information in the first place in order to give it to the broadcast centre so that it can then pass it on to a second satellite. So, what are the sources of these channels and how vital is their role in all of this?

  • Local Channels: regional channels that are relevant to a specific location usually don’t send their information directly to the satellite. They typically use a broadcast centre first before the first satellite, so the process is switched up a little bit.
  • Turnaround Channels: these types of channels usually aren’t confined to a region or specific location and have their own broadcast centre that can send the information to the satellite directly, without having to send it somewhere else first.

Encoding Satellite Information

When it comes to transforming the information into a language that your TV can understand, it is usually a three-step process. Let’s take a look at what this involves.

  1. Compression: because the information that the satellite sends is coming from space, the data needs to be packaged a little differently in order to make the journey successfully. Compressing it means turning it into a smaller file that can be sent more efficiently.
  2. Encoding: once it has been compressed successfully and sent from the satellite, the broadcast centre can then receive it. The broadcast centre will then take a look at it and remove any data that doesn’t need to be there.
  3. Transmission and Encryption: one the broadcast centre has made sure everything is ok with the compressed file, it can be sent to the satellite. The satellite will then send it down to the dish on your roof.

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