Freeview vs Freesat: Which has the most or the best channels?

Satellite TV, TV


If you don’t want Sky or any of the paid TV services then worry not – there’s a couple of free options out there. You can get Freeview, through a good old-fashioned TV aerial, or you can get Freesat – for which you’ll need a satellite dish and a special set top box. But which is better?


For most of the main TV organisations, like BBC One, ITV and Channel 4, both services carry most of their channels – though in the case of Channel 4, only Freeview has Channel 4 +1 (the timeshifted version) and 4Seven in HD – whereas only Freesat has More 4 +1.

Channel 5 is also slightly different: with only Freesat carrying 5*+1 and 5USA +1.

The biggest difference is probably in the UKTV channels – Dave, Dave ja vu, Really, Yesterday, Drama, Quest and Quest +1 are only on Freeview. Though this is offset – as Freesat has many more in the way of the crappy channels nobody ever watches, like Information TV and Psychic Today

Does Freeview or Freesat have more HD channels?

Surprisingly, Freeview has more HD channels – with 12 versus Freesat’s 11. It also probably has the better HD channels – offering Channel 4+1 in HD instead of, say, Japanese news channel NHK World in HD.

Here’s the full channel comparison we compiled in our research:

James O’Malley
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  • “Crappy” channels that YOU might not happen to like often carry special interest programmes that are keenly watched by substantial numbers of viewers. Your comment is insulting to the many niche channels that cater for more discerning viewers than watch the increasingly dumbed-down mass-audience channels with their endless ‘reality’ and voyeuristic programmes.

    “The Sun” happens to be the most popular newspaper in the UK. Does that mean it’s one that’s essential reading for us all?

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