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You need to ask yourself a series of questions if you want to be sure you are taking advantage of the free HD TV channels.
Given that, in the current week, ITV 1 HD gets only 2.6% of total viewing, compared to 36.5% to the channel in standard definition, and that BBC HD gets 1.2% of total viewing compares 26% for comparable channel BBC TWO, it seems that many people are not taking advantage of the improved pictures and sound that can easily be enjoyed.
So, you have to ask yourself five questions:
Q1 Do you have a high definition television set?
You need to check that your television is actually high definition. Almost all HDTVs are flat screen, but it does not follow that all flat screen televisions are high definition.
The best two clues to look for are the "HD Ready" or "Full HD Ready" logos, and also that the television set has HDMI connectors.
If you have the manual for your television set, it may describe HD as "720 line" or "1080 line". If these are not mentioned, you don't have HD and you will need a new television set.
If your TV set has the Freeview HD logo, it can receive what are known as "DVB-T2" transmissions, which means you get HD direct from the TV aerial connection. If this is the case, see Q4. If the set is "HD Ready with Freeview" it means you can't.
Some high end sets have Freesat HD built in, where you can watch the free high definition channels from satellite. For this to work you will have to use the satellite connection on the set. Remember that set will also have standard definition Freeview, so pictures from the normal TV aerial will not be in high definition.
Q3 If your HDTV doesn't have built-in reception - do you have a Freeview HD or Freesat HD box and the correct cables?
If you have an HD Ready television, you can connect it to an external set-top box to receive either Freeview HD or Freesat HD.
You must make sure that you connect the box to the television set using an HDMI cable. If you use a SCART lead you won't have HD.
Q4 Do you remember to switch to the HD versions of BBC One, ITV 1 or Channel 4
You must select the special channel numbers for these services, as the usual channel numbers (1, 3, 4 and 8 on Freeview, 101, 103, 104 on satellite) will only show in standard definition.
On Freeview HD, 50 must be selected for BBC One HD, 51 for ITV1 HD (or STV HD), 52 for Channel 4 HD (not in Wales), 53 for S4C HD (Wales only) and 54 for BBC HD.
On Freesat HD, you must choose 108 for BBC One HD, 109 for BBC HD, 119 for ITV 1 HD (or STV HD), 126 for Channel 4 HD and NHK World HD is on 209.
On Sky HD, you have to choose 140 for Channel 4 HD, 143 for BBC One HD, 169 for BBC HD, 178 for ITV 1 HD.
Q5 Is the HD channel actually showing an HD programme?
Only the BBC HD channel has a HD-only schedule. On BBC One HD, ITV 1 HD and Channel 4 HD non-HD programmes are shown "upscaled" to HD resolutions and look better than the pictures on the SD version of the channel.
Check in the EPG (usually the INFO or GUIDE button on the remote) to see if the programme that is being shown has an HD marker in the listings.
I think "Homeland" was in 5.1 sound and the surround volume is always lower than the "standard" sound carried by the SD broadcasts.
I assume, because there are more channels to carry on 5.1. Can you receive 5.1 audio?
brian: Thanks for that Tony, no only use the tv sound, no 5.1, the problem was the adverts blasted you out of the room when the volume was set to hear homeland,so just went back to std ch4, no problem them.....
Loraine Hurd Monday 9 April 2012 11:43AM Petersfield
We have a panasonic viera TX-32LXD600 with internal freeview currently running software version 1.52.Since switchover we have all our channels but no timer or time showing so now have no TV listings guide and often cant watch the channel we want as no info listed and it wont let us. When you try it brings up message" invalid system time."
Please help its driving me crazy. Have tried auto tune set up and it just gets worse.I think we are on Midhurst transmitter.
I bought a Panasonic 'Full HD' TX32LZD85 in 2008 and was told by the Panasonic shop that this was future proof for when Rowridge switched over and would show the Freeview HDchannels.
But of course it doesn't, and now Panasonic couldn't care less.
I am wondering whether the reason is that Panasonic assumed when they sold me the set that HD would go out on the DVB-T standard whereas DVB-T2 which is used in the UK for HD was only ratified in June 2008?
Thanks for your reply.
I understand that "Full HD" refers to the picture definition, and that a DVB-T2 tuner will now be required to receive HD because the decision to use that standard rather than DVB-T for HD transmissions had not been taken when I purchased the set.
My question is whether I would have been able to receive HD through the existing tuner as promised by the shop had the UK continued to use DVB-T (like many countries) rather than change to the new standard DVB-T2 for HD?
IKG: With respect, I don't see as there is anything you can do.
If the person said "I think you will be able to receive Freeview HD transmissions at switchover", then that is a statement of opinion rather than statement of fact (as it starts "I think").
If the salesperson told you that "you will be able to receive FreeviewHD transmissions" when Rowridge switches over, then they made, what turns out to be, an incorrect statement. But I wouldn't think that in law a customer can hold a retailer to what they said would happen in the future (when it hadn't been finalised), particularly when the decision of what happens is down to someone else and certainly not after four years.
If they said that it will "show the Freeview HD channels" when switchover happens, then that is what you have. That is, it will "show" them.
As I say, it's four years ago so I don't think that there's a lot to be done.
And in any case, if this was all verbal then it's your word against there's or perhaps the person that sold it to you has moved on.
I appreciate that the marking people band about terms like "Full HD" and "HD Ready" and that some will have interpreted (prior to switchover) that the latter meant that it is ready to receive HD when it comes on the air. That's marketeers for you. I'm certainly not a marketeer so would have never used such ambiguous phrases.
Thanks for your comments; as you say it's a long time ago, and impossible to prove one way or the other. I was just trying to understand whether there was a technical explanation for what might have happened. Perhaps I was trying to be too clever at the time to try to future proof so far in advance, but the old CRT set had had its time!
I bought a Freeview HDbox on the weekend so I could tune into the HD channels that were suppose to be available on 13 April in the village of Geddington (NN14 1AX) according to your website. I live along the A43 between Kettering and Corby. Upon closer examination of your website, according the the coverage map it seems I currently live in what appears to be a dead zone for FreeviewHD programming. Is the reception situation likely to change in my area in the near future, or should I return the HD kit and go back to my standard def box? Thank you in advance for your reply.
Festus: If you can receive Freeview SD channels, then you will be able to receive Freeview HD, as the BBCB multiplex that has the HD services runs at the same coverage levels as the BBCA one with the SD BBC services on it.
Quite new to this and getting confused. I want to buy a PVR but need to decide between FreeView and FreeSat. I want to concentrate on HD channels. I live in the FK2 0PT postcode.
I cannot get ANY HD channels on FreeView but get BBC1 on 108 C4 on 126, NHK on 209 and BBC HD on 109 on Freesat. I believe that STV will start HD in June.
Any ideas as to why I am getting nothing on Freeview.
Robert: HD services are available from all Freeview transmitters that have completed switchover. The likely answer as to why you don't get HD services is because your receiver does not cater for HD services. These are in DVB-T2mode and this will be shown in the specification section of your receiver's manual (if it exists). DVB-T is the mode of standard definition services.
Robert: Well I've done the Digital Retune and still have a gap between channels 49 and channel 60 with no HD channels BUT I have HD on Freesat so it's unlikely that I have 2 different tuners in the set. Am off to bother Sony.
Update Fri 27th. I have had the aerial checked. My TV man now thinks that there is no HD being transmitted from the Craigkelly transmitter in Fife Scotland. Any ideas where I can find out if this is the case?
KEVIN GARDINER Wednesday 20 June 2012 9:21PM Stourbridge
I'm a keen HD freeview watcher these days after upgrading to Hd in January this year.I receive perfect reception from the Sutton cold field transmitter on both standard and HD. Over the months, i've noticed that the HD programmes were being broadcast in 1440 X 1080p/i for 99% of programme ouput, but occasionally a programme would be broadcast in the full HD standard of 1920 x 1080p/i, then the following episode being transmitted in the lower standard.this has been going on for quite a while. I can only think it was due to quality checking etc.
However, since midnight on 1St June 2012, all the multiplexes are now transmitting all HD programmes in the higher resolution 1920 X 1080p/i.
Gerald:I have noticed this as well,on the hd channels,but have managed to improve the sound strength by altering my sound settings on my tv.BBC HD also transmits the sound in 5.1 dolby surround sound so this could be another reason.(on Belmont transmitter).
Brian,what do you think?
Sunday 22 April 2012 1:11PM Dorchester. Also Des Collier 09-07-2012
Only just seen your questions so sorry about delay. I have HD via both Free TX systems fed via high end Yamaha av amp with 5:1 audio.
Freeview is from Sandy Heath and Freesat from 28.2 east (of south) And video is displayed by a 32" Sony 1080 I product some 5 years old. The HD freesat signal is fed from a Panasonic BD recorder whilst the HD freeview is fed from either a second Pany BDR or if simply watching via a HD set top box (I-Can easy TV HD tuner) all via HDMI leads. I have yet to see a noticable difference in video quality from any of my tuners tuned to a HD signal provided each tuner is tuned to same program during test. The audio of the I-Can set top box is not as rich as either of the Pany's even if fed via the spdf optical cable. If at any time I find that there is degradation of video I'd expect to see it from the Freesat tuner due to a serious accumilation of snow on the dish preventing the signal entering the LNB's feed horn. (10 gig hz sigs will not pass through any matter) I have found that the best way to clear such amounts of snow are also safer than assending a ladder in freezing conditions and includes little risk of knocking the dish out of alinement but will only work if dish is about as high on wall as the bottem of a first story out side window ledge with a clear sight line to your position. Sprayer must be able to send water jet to dish. Fill small Hozlock plant sprayer thats never been used to spray garden chemicals (VERY IMPORTANT) with tepid water adjust to get jet of water from nozzle and direct jet of water at dish and with time snow will go. This is a very gentle way of clearing the snow from dish. This methord worked very well on my 1 metre H-H analogue dish used for most of the 90's and some of the 00's. Put simply the dish is taking a relativerly warm shower to thaw the snow. I would not use a hosepipe just in case the plastic cap over the feed horn on the LNB was disloged - remember the holes in the plastic caps caused by the UV light and letting in water and resulting in systems failing in the early days of the Amstrad fidelity sattlelite systems.
The more I'm reading into why my TV suddenly lost pretty near perfect BBC 1 HD/ITV 1 HD and is impossible to watch ITV 4 (SD)... the more I'm convinced there's a gremlin in my house. I have a LG 32LV355T, which the spec says has built in Freeview HD and can receive from DVB-T2 (the switchover to which I understand is the reason for people getting grumpy with the BBC). So what's the problem? I live 3 miles from Crystal Palace, virtually in the shadow of the tower, dammit!! Cables?? Virgin?? Cat?? What else is there to blame??
Right thanks Dave. Possibility of too much signal? I've checked the signal strength for the channel I have problems with - ITV 4 - and it varies between 30 - 42%. The quality varies between 0 and 100%. I can't get any channel between 49 and 60 after a full factory reset.I've just bought a variable attenuator as per your thread and advice. Fingers crossed!!
Stuart: If as you have mentioned in an earlier posting that you cannot receive any picture when using a set top aerial and something which you should have been able to do, unless that is you are genuinely experiencing a very low signal caused by the "umbrella" effect, i.e: shielded by being too close to the mast, although I do feel that you are a little too far out for this type of thing to affect you.
But though on checking back on your various postings I cant say that I noticed you having mentioned at any time anything regarding your aerial arrangements, insomuch is the aerial yours? and if so where is it mounted, or is it a communal aerial system that you are connected to? as its important to know this and especially so if its communal.
However apart from that said, as you seem to have exhausted tests / things to try and this being coupled to your locality making it difficult to check / assess the problem using Google earth, but as it does appear that you are located in a reasonably high density housing area have you as yet checked with anyone else close by to find out if they are also suffering from the type of problems as you are?
(This is a duplicate posting to the reply made under the other heading you have used.).
Sorry for the slow response but thanks for your comments on the relative merits of HD on "freesat" and "Freview. It seem, then, there is no difference. Surprising to me as I would have thought that "freesat" would be superior - not much trouble with snow here in sunny Dorset! I will probably upgrade my Freeviewbox to HD but it is not a priority.
Any thoughts on "YouView"? My freesat box is iPlayer capable but I have only used it about three times in two years! With PVRs readily available, I can't quite see the point of it except for people away from home - like university students.
hello i currently have a sky dish and want to convert to freesat. i also have a full hd free sat and freeveiw tv . do i still need to get a freesat box or could i some how plug the dish directly into my tv as it has a sateliette port at the back of it. though their are two cables running from the dish. any suggestions and help greatly recieved . many thanks daniel
daniel: If you genuinely have a Freesat TV then the dish connects directly into the TV, as Sky and Freesat are 100% compatible with each other as far as the dish arrangements are concerned.
As far as the two cables are concerned, just use one of them as the two cables are only necessary if a twin tuner Freesat recorder or Sky+box is being used, and by the way the two cables are electrically identical to each other so you can use either one.
daniel: And forgot to mention, that you do not require any other box unless you wish to be able to record Freesat programmes then you will require the twin tuner Freesat PVR, and as this requires the aforementioned twin inputs the LNB on the dish requires to be changed to a quad type if not already that, as sometimes Sky engineers will fit a quad block as standard so have a look up at the block and you might see two spare ports, if not you require a quad LNB kit to be fitted and these are obtainable for around £10.00 or so from a few e-bay outlets and are simplicity to fit, then all you require is to run another single coax from the LNB to the TV.
Susan Hopkinson Monday 31 December 2012 1:19AM Oldham
Help - I am in a poor reception area for freeview and so have to have sky TV.
My plasma screen TV is freeview ready but I can only get 5 channels on this because of the poor reception. Apparently I am on a "Doghill"
Reception in Oldham Lancashire.
Can anybody help me on either for freesat or anything else? I am on pension and I can'nt afford the sky anymore -
Anymore help on Broadband (slow) under 1mg.
or telephone would be apreciated. Thanks
Susan Hopkinson: If you stop paying your Sky subscription you will still receive "Freesat from Sky" channels, that is all those which are not tied to a Sky package. Removing your card temporarily will reveal which channels you will continue to receive via satellite. With regard to your in-built Freeview, with an aerial pointing to Dog Hill you should be able to receive all the BBC TV and national radio channels plus ITV1&2, C4, C5, More4, E4 and ITV1+1, C4+1. If you are able to have an aerial pointing to Winter Hill you are predicted to be able to receive the full Freeview service, this being subject to there being no trees or tall buildings blocking the signal.
Carl: transmitting in HD is more expensive than SD, hence on satellite many commercial broadcasters choose to charge a subscription to view HD services. This is also the case in Germany. It is worth noting that NHK chose to close its SD service, and now transmits free to air in HD only. Such a move by other broadcasters would, at the present time, leave many viewers who have SD only receivers unable to view the channels.
Tony Hill Monday 31 December 2012 6:16PM Dorchester
Susan: Why not give up Sky altogether and buy a Freesat HD box (or, better still, a Freesat PVR - Personal Video Recorder - so you can record programmes). With this Freesat HD box you will be able to receive all the channels you want - including all the free HD channels. You won't get HD with the "free" Sky option. If you don't have a Sky+ PVR then you would need some additional cables from the dish to use a Freesat PVR but not with a non-PVR Freesat box. Do you have anybody local to advise/help?
Tony Hill: The available HD channels are identical on Freesat and Freesat-from-Sky. It is really only worth buying Freesat equipment if a PVR is required, otherwise staying with what you already have is a no-cost option. When funds are not limited I would personally opt for a generic satellitereceiver that supports Diseqc and use a dish fitted with a second LNB in order to receive some real alternative to a multitude of shopping channels!
Tony Hill Wednesday 2 January 2013 12:11PM Dorchester
KMJ, Derby: As I understand it -please correct me if this is not so - if you drop down to Freesat-from-Sky, even if you have a Sky HD box, you will only be able to receive SD. So, if you do want HD, you will need a Freesat HD box.
I would not recommend a generic HD receiver for most people as there is no Freesat EPG nor ability, with a PVR, to record from the EPG.
I personally have a Freeview SD PVR and, on one (Sky-type dish)a Freesat HD PVR and on a second motorised dish, a Technomate SD receiver, so can sample (most) offerings - apart from Sky, of course.
Whether we embrace HD or not, it is here to stay.It s the format that all the creative industries are using and investing in longterm.It does have a few technical downsides but with all technology, especially electronic,where's there's gain, there'll be some loss, but the loss you get is far outweighed by the gains of the the format. like with all new technology, we get use to the old and some find the transition to new technology a nuisance and to some an un-necessary burden on thir pockets.
Yes, you are right and I (not a "Sky person") am wrong: "Freesat-from-Sky" does provide HD viewing (with a Sky-HD box, of course). I'm not sure if that has always been the case but - looking at Sky's Terms & Conditions - it is the case now. Perhaps Sky have improved their "Freesat" offering to counter competition from "freesat" and "Freeview".
So, Susan in Oldham, should proceed with her plan and user her old Sky box - unless she wants a PVR (who doesn't?) for programme recording.
I`ve un-subscribed from SKY package but still retain the SKY+box.Then I bought an LG 42LW550T LED HD 1080p,3D Smart TV with FREEVIEW HD. I`ve connected an HDMI lead between the screen and the SKY+ box which is then connected to a DVR via a scart lead.Ok..so I`ve still got the SKY menu and a few channels to work on.I want to use the tv to it`s full potential so if I start autu-tuning it would this complicate things when still connected to the SKY box and does the card have to be removed ?
David Sorley: The Skybox and its card has nothing to do with Freeview on the TV and so they should not affect the tuning process.
Assuming that the DVR is a Freeview one, then the aerial lead should be fed into it and out and into the TV. If you feed output of the Sky box to other rooms via the aerial lead, then the Sky box will need to be daisy-chained as well.
David Sorley Sunday 6 January 2013 10:53PM Anstruther
Thanks for your prompt response Davie Lindsay.Further to your question of the DVR type, I can`t see any FREEVIEW logo.It`s a Toshiba RD-88DTKB model bought in 01/09.
I can see this a `shot in the dark`.Any help gratefully received.Thanks
David Sorley: Freeview logos are placed on those devices which it has approved as being compliant with the way in which Freeview works. This doesn't necessarily mean that those which don't have a Freeview logo aren't compliant.
When I said "assuming that the DVR is a Freeview one" I meant one which receives Freeview which is as opposed to a Freesat one.
I found this machine was on sale (when it was available) from places such as Asda, Play.com and Amazon.co.uk. This suggests that it is intended for the UK market. Have you never used it with Freeview?