Freeview TV untangled
There’s never been more great content to watch than now – and loads of it is free. Here’s how to get at it…
Gone are the days of choosing between four channels, having to sit through ad-breaks and spending ages getting the aerial just so before your cat jumped on it and sent the picture back into static fizz.
Today there are loads of ways to watch content so you’re bound to find one that suits you.
Since the analogue switch-off last year, there are three types of free-to-air broadcast TV: Freeview, Freeview HD and Freesat. The first is broadcast in standard-definition, and includes up to 50 channels and 24 radio stations. Freeview HD adds four high-def channels to this line-up: BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD.
Freesat, meanwhile, uses a satellite dish (even one that was left there by a previous occupant, provided it’s still connected to your living room) to receive similar channels to Freeview HD. You get 150 stations, including six HD channels (the four Freeview HD stations, plus NHK World and HD and Russia Today HD). There’s some on-demand services, too.
But, of course, with that many channels you’re bound to miss a programme or two – and that’s when you turn to the smart features built in to your television. Hook up your set to your home network via a wired or wi-fi connection and provided you’ve a stable broadband speed of at least 2Mbps you’ll be able to stream content from the Internet.
With BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport on board you have access to thousands of hours of top TV and radio content – all free. And, for a modest outlay, LoveFilm, Netflix, Blinkbox and Knowhow Movies offer even more – from the latest blockbuster films to whole TV box-sets. Why mess about with DVDs when you can simply press a couple of buttons on your remote (or even talk to your TV using voice control) and be watching your favourite show in seconds?
And if you really do miss having a cat on your telly, there are plenty of videos in the YouTube app…
John Steward is assistant production editor on What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision magazine
Now you know what’s available to watch, why not check out LG’s full range and find the TV that suits you. Click here