Freesat HD or Freeview HD - Which Would You Choose?

leggy

Standard Member
Am I right in thinking that in terms of picture quality and possible future expandability of additional HD channels Freesat HD is the better choice currently? Obviously I want the best quality broadcast image going to my HD TV and if I understand it properly it looks like image quality may have to be reduced further on Freeview HD if they add further HD channels due to limited bandwidth.

Thanks,

Rob
 

jgrg

Active Member
I think HD channels should look more or less indistinguishable on both platforms - I wouldn't worry too much about that. You may have more choice in the future on FreeSat, since there's more capacity to add channels.

With SD channels it is not so simple: eg: ITV4 is noticeably better on satellite, Channel 4 is slightly better on terrestrial.

Overall I think you're right - FreeSat does look like the better bet.
 

Captainkremmen

Novice Member
Freeset is the better long term bet in terms of future HD channels, simply because of the limited space on Freeview at present. However, that doesn't automatically mean Freesat will get any new HD channels before Freeview, or even instead of Freeview. In fact, Channel 5 HD is expected to launch on Freeview around March/April next year whereas they have not mentioned Freesat in their blurp at all.

If you have a satellite dish already, then Freesat is a good option. More channels than Freeview and longer term, more capacity. But it doesn't have some of the Freeview channels (Dave, Five*, Five USA etc.) as these are still encrypted on Sky.

Freeview is probably the simplest to go with if you don't have a dish already. Decent but not spectacular range of channels, good range of equipment available and, in terms of SD only, by far the cheapest route to digital TV.

Which one you should go for depends on what channels you feel you are likely to watch most often.

When it comes to picture quality, well that's a subjective issue. There isn't any difference I feel between the HD channels on Freesat and on Freeview. On SD some channels are better on Freesat, while some appear better on Freeview though.
 

leggy

Standard Member
Thank you both for your advice. I already have a satellite dish from an old Sky installation and a standard aerial too so I can choose either. It sounds like the satellite has a few benefits but as you've said I'm sure HD will look great on either and it's easy to get a bit over obsessed over these things. The tv I'm getting (a VT30) has both tuners anyway so whichever feed doesn't go to the PVR can be plugged directly into that. Thanks again for helping me make up my mind. Now, where is that credit card.... :)

Rob
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Three new HD muxes are coming to freeview ... but not until 2013 to 2016. probably too far ahead to be of any consideration now.

It is difficult to future-proof because of the political / economic / broadcasting vagaries so choose whatever suits the circumstances as they stand now.
 

jgrg

Active Member
If you have a satellite dish already, then Freesat is a good option. More channels than Freeview and longer term, more capacity. But it doesn't have some of the Freeview channels (Dave, Five*, Five USA etc.) as these are still encrypted on Sky.

Five, Five * and Five USA (and their +1 delayed copies) arrive on Freesat on the 8th December.
 

darucla

Novice Member
It's worth remembering that if your old Sky installation was just for an STB, you may need to add extra down-leads, and possibly a new LNB. If for instance you use a twin tuner DVB-S pvr, and want to feed the signal to the TV as well, you will need three down-leads in total, and a quad LNB. This is not an issue with terrestrial.

Incidentally 5, has been on Freesat for quite some time, and has a much better picture quality than the terrestrial version.
 

leggy

Standard Member
I think I may need to find a good satellite installer in the South London area to give me a hand as I'd also like to access some French broadcasts for my wife. Don't know if one pvr can deal with UK Freesat HD and French channels? Anyway I'll make a note of what you've said re Satellite installation and it's just possible I may actually sound like I know what I'm talking about when I speak to them, which is a bit of a result! ;)

Thanks again,

Rob
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
I think I may need to find a good satellite installer in the South London area to give me a hand as I'd also like to access some French broadcasts for my wife. Don't know if one pvr can deal with UK Freesat HD and French channels? Anyway I'll make a note of what you've said re Satellite installation and it's just possible I may actually sound like I know what I'm talking about when I speak to them, which is a bit of a result! ;)

Thanks again,

Rob

A generic HD satellite box will work seamlessly with more than 1 dish/lnb and give you all the channels on the Freesat epg but it won't have the fancy bells and whistles like a posh epg and series/accurate recording.

To access more than 1 dish you need a box that's capapable of working a special switch (diseqc). The Humax Foxsat-hdr is so equipped but you should be aware that (unless you use a modified firmware - probably not for you) you have to switch out of Freesat mode to acess non freesat channels. You can still record two channels in this mode (French and English) but you have to start the recordings manually. You can't do this while making a freesat mode recording. Pedro2000 will hopefully respond (A pro installer who really knows his onions :D)
 

Captainkremmen

Novice Member
It's worth remembering that if your old Sky installation was just for an STB, you may need to add extra down-leads, and possibly a new LNB. If for instance you use a twin tuner DVB-S pvr, and want to feed the signal to the TV as well, you will need three down-leads in total, and a quad LNB. This is not an issue with terrestrial.

Incidentally 5, has been on Freesat for quite some time, and has a much better picture quality than the terrestrial version.

But we weren't talking about 5, but about 5* and Five USA which are not yet on Freesat, although as pointed out they arrive in a couple of weeks, and also about Five HD which appears to be coming to Freeview HD early next year but there's no word on whether it will also appear on Freesat, and if so, when. I have no doubt it will arrive on Freesat at some stage though.
 

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