Freesat sounds like it is just another make of Freeview box, but it is actually a totally different way of receiving digital TV, without any subscriptions. Both have certain things in common – they have many television channels to choose from, can come in both Plus and HD formats (the former allowing the user to record, pause and rewind live TV whilst the latter gives superior picture quality for those with HD ready TVs) and both need a set top box to receive signals.
The difference comes in how these signals are received. Whilst Freeview can be received via analogue or digital TV aerials, Freesat is transmitted via satellite. This means two main things – firstly there will be a much greater coverage, meaning that almost anyone in the country can ensure they get perfect pictures, wherever they are, and secondly that, to receive it, you will need a satellite dish. For those with digital TV aerials who have struggled to get the picture quality or indeed channel coverage they would like, Freesat may be the perfect answer.
The other differences come in the number of channels that can be received – with Freesat there are literally hundreds of channels to choose from as opposed to Freeview which is currently under 100. It is also possible to get BBC iPlayer direct to the TV meaning that almost any show from the previous seven days can be watched at any time.
Freesat can be installed by any normal aerial installers, so there is no worry about having to get in specific companies who will charge extortionate prices due to their exclusivity.
Whichever you think will suit you better, it is worth talking to experienced and qualified aerial installers first who will be able to inform of the best option for you depending on the area that you live in.