Freeview is the new free digital TV service for the UK. Normally, you can receive Freeview using your existing TV aerial, and you just need to buy a new Freeview set top box, which can be bought for as little as £50. In some cases where the digital TV signal is weak, it may be necessary to buy a better TV aerial. We have a page which answers FAQs about Freeview boxes, as well as a page giving our recommended Freeview boxes.

What is a Freeview Box?

A Freeview box is just a decoding device, which is able to translate the digital TV transmission into pictures. The Freeview box connects to your existing TV, usually via a Scart cable. Some Freeview boxes can also connect to older TVs that don't have Scart sockets. To connect a Freeview box to an old TV, the Freeview box needs to have an RF modulator, so that you can use the traditional aerial cable to connect it to the TV. If you need a new TV anyway, then you can buy an iDTV (integrated digital television), which is a television that has its own digital TV tuner inside, so there is no need for a separate set top box.

We have a list of Freeview channels currently available, most of which are free, although a handful are subscription only. The government hopes to switch off the current analog TV transmission in a few years time, when you will need to have a Freeview box or iDTV, so you might as well buy one today.

There are also products known as Personal Video Recorders (PVRs). These have a digital TV tuner inside, and also contain a hard disk drive, and can therefore record digital TV without the need for a video cassette. These are likely to prove increasingly popular, and mark a step in the convergence of TV and computer technology.

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