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Freeview or Freesat best for HD ?

Discussion in 'Freeview' started by lauraeva, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. lauraeva

    lauraeva Member

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    As may be apparent by my other posts on the board I'm in a quandary over which viewing platform to install in a new house (with no aerial fitted yet), and which HD TV to buy.

    Regarding free to air HD content availability in the next few years - is Freeview of Freesat likely to deliver the most HD channels ?

    Laura
  2. cdstomper

    cdstomper Guest

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    If you live in a good freeview area go for freeview,
    you will get bbc itv and 4hd from the start, still no 4hd on freesat
  3. Inferno

    Inferno Active Member

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    There is still no 4hd on freeview or freesat either, i have both.
    Its only on sky hd atm.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  4. Geofbob

    Geofbob Member

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    I know this is repeating what I posted in another thread - but I'm not sure whether the future of HD is really the most important criterion in deciding whether to go for Freeview or Freesat.

    In particular, I note that you say that as yet you have no aerial fitted. Generally there are far more problems with terrestrial (Freevew) reception than with satellite. So - are you absolutely sure that you are in a location with reliable Freeview reception? If not, then it may be advisable to go down the Freesat route - even if in the long/very-long term Freeview has 1 or 2 more HD channels.

    If, on the other hand, you are in a strong Freeview area - then Freeview offers certain advantages over Freesat, such as it being much simpler to connect additional devices, such as recorders & TV sets in other rooms. Also, the basic channel line-up of Freeview has some channels not on Freesat - though admittedly a couple of these (Dave & Sky Sports News) are fairly narrow in scope.

    A further consideration is that HD is not always the mind-blowing experience TV adverts would have you believe. Only the BBC offers a reasonably full schedule of HD programming - ITV HD programmes are sporadic & the same is likely to apply to C4 when it opens on Freeview. Also, the superiority of HD to SD is more apparent on a larger screen (40" & above) & even then not everyone can perceive much difference between the two.

    So overall my advice would be to choose the platform on the basis of more general factors - & only if the case is very finely balanced, let the future of HD be the determining factor.

    PS. One last point that might or might not have been covered elsewhere is that if you are very keen on HD - then perhaps you should consider subscribing to Sky HD with its multiple HD channels.
  5. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    To add to Geofbob's well-considered comments, I would make the recommendation that, irrespective of which platform you eventually decide on, it would be a good idea to fit a UHF aerial in any case [ assuming you are in a reception area. ]

    All devices [ except platform specific types ] would work with it and it can provide useful viewing / recording alternatives and general flexibility, .... and back up, if not the main system...in many locations around the house.
  6. lauraeva

    lauraeva Member

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    I live at river level in the Thames valley ... so aerial options are either very high gain towards Crystal Palace 50 miles away, or a slightly smaller aerial on a very tall shaft pointing towards low power Hannington ... My old property just a mile away had freeview from Crystal Palace and the reception was rather dodgy and climate dependent, so satellite may well be the best choice.

    All local fitters quote @£200 inc VAT for an aerial set-up.
    A freesat dish would be @£150 fitted ... but Sky do it for £30 install ... but then a min term contract which costs £360 leaving you with the hardware to use for free to air if you wish.

    I do want HD content ... but only if its worth watching (no Big Brother or X-factor please !) ... BBC 4 is the channel I most record / archive from, mainly for its music and arts programming.

    My immediate dillema is that I'm looking at two Sony TVs, 100Hz Bravia 3 engines, one with freesat tuner, and for £50 more the newest model with integrated freeview HD. But if I view through a PVR such things become "academic" as I will be using the tuner in the PVR (shame because the Sony has a much nicer remote than the Humax !).

    Bearing in mind that I will be buying a PVR (probably freesat) or going for Sky, and leaving aerial installation for when I have £200 burning a hole in my pocket, I'm not sure whether the freesat or freeview HD television would be the best investment (were I to sell and upgrade at a later date) ? Maybe the freesat TV would give the most flexibility ?
  7. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    OK. ... but put into the mix of your considerations that reception should improve considerably in 24 months time when Crystal Palace undergoes the DSO... and will be broadcasting at 10 times current power.
  8. Inferno

    Inferno Active Member

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    I dont want to start the old argument but if i was you i would look towards getting a good plasma 40+ inch screen, i own 2 plasmas and 1 (42 inch) lcd and when the picture is compared side to side the plasma (when properly set up) will blow the lcd out of the water every time especially with hd content.
    There is no lcd tv out there including the led varients that will provide you with the "through the window look" they all look fake, but that maybe what your looking for.
    I would probably choose freeview if its between freeview and freesat but freesat does imho provide a better picture i know this as i have both in my pana as freeview will probably get any extra channels first.
  9. Geofbob

    Geofbob Member

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    Hi Lauraeva - all things considered, it does sound as though satellite would be a better bet for you than terrestrial. By the way have you ever looked at what the UK digital TV reception predictor says about your likely Freeview reception & aerial needed - put your postcode in the space & scroll to the far right. Also, bear in mind that we are promised a big increase in signal power when analogue is switched off at CP in 2012. (I see Gavtech has made this point while I've been labouring over this.) So, as you say, in due course an aerial might be worth having.

    Deciding between local installation of Freesat & Sky is difficult. One factor to bear in mind is that though you will be able to retain the Sky HD+ box (now standard) when the contract ends, & use it for FTA channels (including HD) - you won't be able to use the recording function or even watch programmes on the hard disc without a subscription (unlesss Sky change their current policy).

    On the issue of Freeview HD TV versus Freesat HD TV, bear in mind that if you do get a Foxsat HDR or Sky HD+, you will need a three feeds from the dish for full functionality of recorder & TV. Personally, I wouldn't attach too much importance to the secondhand value of any TV you buy - but that's what eBay is for & you can live in hope!
  10. gbjbaanb

    gbjbaanb Member

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    I'd say the same - but if only to get both freeview and freesat capabilities n the TV. Then when paying someone to fit an aerial or dish, they'll fit both much more cheaply and you can use both to get all the programmes you want to watch (eg Dave on Freeview)
  11. lauraeva

    lauraeva Member

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    Update ... my purchase ...

    Sony Bravia 3 Freesat TV (£100 cheaper than the new Freeview HD tuned equivalent + free dish install worth £100) & 10% Sonex / Debenhams sale discount.

    So less than £500 for a top range 37" Sony - except I'm thinking Bravia is not too good at interpolating 100Hz motion, but "amazing" Philips would have cost twice the price even if there were availability before Autumn :-(

    Free dish fitters added an aerial at cost price, so now have terrestial and sat available ... maybe a Freeview HD PVR when they become available as maybe more HD on Freeview ?

    But is it just me ? ... or does Freesat really give better "like for like" pics than Freeview ????
  12. nwhitfield

    nwhitfield Member

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    It varies, and you can't absolutely say that one platform will always be best. There are some channels, that use a higher bitrate on satellite than on Freeview, and there are others where the opposite is true.

    In particular, until recently, the quality of some of the ITV regions was a fair bit worse on satellite than on Freeview.
  13. diandave

    diandave Member

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    I thought you could get 4HD freeview on 52?
  14. nwhitfield

    nwhitfield Member

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    Yes, it's on FreeviewHD, and has been since the consumer launch on 30th March.

    So, robmac65 was correct when he wrote his original post, a couple of weeks before then, but this is a pretty fast moving area right now.
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  15. SteveU30

    SteveU30 Active Member

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    It's been in Virgin for some time too!

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