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  4. Freeview vs Freesat vs Youview: Which is best?

Freeview vs Freesat vs Youview: Which is best?

Tamires Criscio
Tamires Criscio
  | Edited by Tom Church
Updated 3rd March 2021

Not sure about the difference between Freeview, Freesat and Youview? Latest Deals is here to help you understand more about each of them. Learn what they are and what is the best option for you.

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First of all, it’s important to understand that Freeview and Freesat are both free TV packages that include the UK’s most popular free channels, such as the BBC, All 4, My5 and ITV Hub. However, Youview is not as free as it may appear. These three services were developed by the BBC and ITV in partnership with other companies. Freeview: what is it? 

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Freeview is a free digital service that offers free TV channels and catch-up applications. You can watch it on your TV or mobile via an app. To watch with your mobile, Freeview is free. This project was developed by a partnership between the BBC and ITV. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  To view Freeview’s Channels, you will need an internet connection and an aerial cable. 

Freeview: where can I get it? 

To have access to Freeview, you can either buy a Smart TV with it built-in or add a top box to your old TV device. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Most Smart TVs sold in the UK will come with Freeview built-in. To avoid any problems, make sure you check it before buying. 

Freeview channels: what can I watch? 

You will have access to BBC Channels, All 4, My5, ITV Hub and more. We talk more about these channels in this article in the section about UK Television: Free movies and TV shows online. 

  • BBC iPlayer (BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News, BBC Parliament – live and on-demand)
  • ITV Hub (ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe, CITV – live and on-demand)
  • All 4 (Channel 4, E4, Film 4, More 4 – live and on-demand)
  • My5 (5, 5USA, 5STAR, 5Spike, Paramount Network, 5SELECT – live and on-demand)

Freeview: can I record live TV? 

Yes, you can record live TV. To do that, you will need to get a TV box recorder, which will allow you to record live TV. 

Freeview: can I get an HD TV? 

Yes, you can get an HD TV with Freeview, you just need to make sure that the TV box set is available in full HD and that the television set supports full HD. 

Freeview: how much does it cost? 

You can get Freeview in many different ways and with different costs. You will spend around £200 to get a new Smart TV with Freeview built-in or a recordable top box to add to your old TV device. In the past, Freeview was cheaper, nowadays it’s more expensive. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Even though Freeview is a free television package, you are still paying for either a TV set with it or a box set. If you don’t have an aerial cable, Freeview’s partners can install one for you, this will cost on average £150. On top of this, to stream live TV you will need to pay for a TV licence. 

Freeview: Advantages x Disadvantages

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Freeview Advantages 

  • You can get Freeview with most new Smart TVs available in the UK. 
  • You don’t need to pay any monthly maintenance. 
  • You can watch it on the go for free via a mobile application.
  • You can get access to the Now TV app.

Freeview Disadvantages 

  • You need an aerial cable if you want to watch Live TV.
  • You will need an internet connection if you want to watch on-demand. 
  • You will have to pay for a TV licence to watch Live TV.

Freesat: what is it? 

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Freesat is also a free service that offers free TV channels, but you will need a satellite dish. Freesat works pretty similar to Freeview and it was developed by the same companies, a partnership between The BBC and ITV. 

Freesat: where can I get it? 

You can get Freesat if you have a satellite dish available at your location. You will also need to buy a Freesat TV box set. 

Freesat channels: what can I watch? 

You will also have access to BBC Channels, All 4, My5, ITV Hub and more.

Freesat: can I record live TV? 

Yes, with Freesat you can choose between a TV box set that is recordable and one that is not. If you get the one recordable you will be able to record up to four things at once. 

Freesat: can I get HD TV? 

Yes, you can get Freesat’s channels in HD. You will need a TV that supports HD resolution. Both Freesat TV box sets are in HD. 

Freesat: how much does it cost? 

Starting at £125 for a non-recordable TV set, you can pay more than £250 depending on the TV set you are choosing from. The more recordable hours you have access to, the more expensive it will be. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Even though Freesat is a free television package, you are still paying for a TV box set. If you don’t have a satellite dish, Freesat’s partners can install one for you, this will cost on average £150. In addition, to stream live you will need to pay for a TV licence. 

Freesat: Advantages x Disadvantages

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Freesat Advantages 

  • You don’t need to pay any monthly maintenance. 
  • You can watch it on the go for free via mobile application.
  • You can get access to Rakuten TV for free. 

Freesat Disadvantages 

  • You can’t get Freesat with most new Smart TVs available in the UK.
  • You will need to invest in a TV box set which can be pricey.
  • You need a satellite dish if you want to watch Live TV.
  • You will need an internet connection if you want to watch on-demand. 
  • You will have to pay for a TV licence to watch Live TV. 
  • You can’t access Now TV with Freesat. (You will need to buy a TV stick which will give you access to it).

Youview: what is it? 

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Youview works pretty similar to Freeview and Freesat, but it’s less accessible. You will also need an aerial cable and an internet connection to use it. 

Youview: where can I get it? 

You can get Youview when you buy a BT TV package or a TalkTalk TV package. You can also get it with a Sony Smart TV or by itself with a TV box set. 

Youview channels: what can I watch? 

Youview will give you access to all Freeview and Freesat channels and also to paid streaming services apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV. 

Youview: can I record live TV? 

Yes, you can record live TV with Youview, but you will need a recordable TV box set. You can get either with BT or TalkTalk. 

Youview: can I get HD TV? 

Yes, you can get HD TV with Youview, you only need a TV that supports this resolution. 

Youview: how much does it cost? 

The most common way to get Youview is with BT or TalkTalk. In this case, you will be paying for a monthly TV package. If you buy a Sony Smart TV that comes with Youview or a Youview TV box set, you will be paying only for the gadget and will be free of contract. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Sony Smart TVs that come with Youview aren’t so popular and it can be tricky to find a Youview TV box set.  The easiest way to get access to it is via a monthly TV package either with BT or TalkTalk. Also, to stream live you will need to pay for a TV licence. 

Youview: Advantages x Disadvantages

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Youview Advantages 

  • If you get this with BT or Talk Talk, you will access more channels.

Youview Disadvantages 

  • You can’t watch it on the go for free via mobile application.
  • You can’t get Youview with most new Smart TVs available in the UK.
  • You can’t get a Youview TV box set so easily. You need to buy it with BT or TalkTalk. 
  • You need to pay a monthly fee (cable TV package). 
  • You need an aerial cable if you want to watch Live TV.
  • You will need an internet connection if you want to watch on-demand. 
  • You will have to pay for a TV licence to watch Live TV. 

Freeview vs Freesat vs Youview: what is the difference between them? 

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To make it easier for you to see their differences, we have created this comparison table: 

FreeviewFreesat Youview
Technology needed Aerial cable and broadband Satellite dish and broadband Aerial cable and broadband 
Prices Around £200 (for either a Smart TV with it included or a TV box set)Starting at £125(for the TV box set)Starting at £25 per month 
Payment One-time payment - free of contract One-time payment - free of contract Monthly payments -attached to a contract (if you get with BT or TalkTalk - the most common way to get it)
Channels BBC Channels, All 4, My5, ITV Hub and more.BBC Channels, All 4, My5, ITV Hub and more.BBC Channels, All 4, My5, ITV Hub and more.
Channels in HD Available Available Available 
Recording Available Available Available 
On demand (catch-up)Available Available Available 
Paid Streaming apps Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV Netflix, Amazon Prime Video (Now TV not available)Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV 
Free Streaming apps Not available Rakuten TV Not available 
Free app to watch on the go Available Available Not available 

Freeview vs Freesat vs Youview: what should I get?

It depends on what is the best option for you. For example, if you are already getting a TV plan with BT and TalkTalk, Youview is a good option for you. If you have a satellite dish and an old TV set available to you, you can invest in Freesat, as it could be cheaper.  If you are buying a new Smart TV, most of the time Freeview comes included for free. 

The best option  is the one that works best for your needs. Make a list of everything you need from your TV and check which service ticks all the boxes! 

FAQ - Freeview

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FAQ - Freesat

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FAQ - Youview 

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