With the advent of Freeview in 2002, so came with it a wealth of viewing options for those who don’t want to be locked into a monthly subscription. Thanks to digital terrestrial television (DTT), this has opened up more and more as the years have gone on. But this can open up questions, like: “what channel is BBC Scotland on Freeview?”
Some people might find this an odd question, though it is not as straightforward as it first seems. Regional changes and areas of coverage change, as well as channel numbers. So, we have compiled for you a list of those frequently asked questions, and how to address them!
If you are thinking of moving away from Sky and Virgin Media subscriptions, and want to find a network that works for you, consider Freeview! We will be considering its merits against Freesat, discussing media coverage, and what viewers can expect to find on their electronic programming guide when they boot up for the first time.
Wherever you are in the country—especially if you are in the Channel Islands—you might just want to keep reading!
How do I get all Freeview Channels?
All Freeview channels are free once you have purchased the box. But do remember that not every channel is available in your region. Like the BBC, some terrestrial TV makers will have their own region specific channel. This means there is a little reason to offer viewing of all of them. Still, if you are keen to view the regional offerings, this can be accessed through iPlayer, and other On Demand network services.
Whilst most regions can get most of the channels on offer, there are a few caveats.
In the Channel Islands, for example, viewers can only hope to receive 43 channels out of the pot. You can still get the full range of BBC and ITV programming including BBC Parliament (#232), ITVBe (#27). You can also find Channel 4 (#4), E4 (#13), Film 4 (#14), as well as kids channel CBeebies (#202) and CBBC (#201).
Full Radio service is also available. However, the Channel Islands are sadly lacking in Sky Arts, Dave, 4Music and the Paramount Network, amongst others. All of the, ahem, adult content is also missing from this region.
For the rest of the United Kingdom, pretty much every channel is there, save for a couple of the music channels, like Now 70s and Now 80s. Sadly for the rest of the country, this is only extended to England.
If you are living in one of the main UK regions, and you cannot find a channel that should be on your list, it could be time for a reboot of your box. Keep reading for more information!
What Channel is BBC Scotland on Freeview?
If you want to find BBC Scotland, TV channel #1 is your number! However this will only apply if you live in Scotland. If you live in another region in the UK, you Freeview box will default to that specific region. England, Northern Ireland and Wales, like Scotland, will all have their own region-specific BBC 1 channel. There is even a region specific section for the Channel Islands!
If you are looking for BBC Scotland in high definition (HD), head over to channel 108. Though, again, you will only find the specific region’s HD channel that you exist within. For those who are desperate to watch BBC in another region to the one they are in, iPlayer is where it is at! Though always ensure you have a TV license prior to viewing!
Interestingly, the BBC Scotland channel is relatively new! Launched on the 24 February 2019, BBC Scotland runs between 7pm and midnight each day. Here you can find lots of interesting regional offerings such as ‘Mirror Mirror’ and ‘Landward’. Between these times, viewers can look forward to programming from BBC Two and the odd bit of Scotland-based political coverage. Music and sports is also broadcast at various times throughout the year.
Sadly, there is no BBC Two Scotland, but viewers can find the nationwide BBC Two channel on channel #2.
How many Freeview Channels are there?
For much of the United Kingdom, purchasing a Freeview box will give you access to up to 70 channels, with up to 30 radio and 15 HD channels. And the beauty of it all is its free! The clue is in the name. Though some of the more regional areas can suffer with their inability to get all channels, for much of the country this is a really sweet deal!
However, it must be noted, that in order to watch these channels, you must own an arial and a TV license for all BBC programming. This is standard and evaders of the TV license will be fined. Technology is improving the BBCs ability to sniff out those who are breaking this law, so its worth heeding this warning and ensuring you are a full paid up member.
For those who are considering a purchase, head to Freeview website to check out your options. This will give you the confidence to know you are in a good reception area prior to purchase!
Which Freeview Channel is Sky Arts on?
Sky Arts can be found on channel #11 on Freeview, across each region save sadly for the Channel Islands. showcasing a huge list of programmes focused on around performance and creative endeavours, this is your place to go for the high-brow arts. From theatrical performance to music, sculpting and painting, including documentaries and competitions, all available 24 hours a day!
Whilst it may seem odd to have a paid network’s channel free to a non-paying public, they have insisted that they have a duty to the public. This being the distribution of, and access to, core cultural offerings that expand and inspire the minds of the nations public!
Which Freeview Channel is BBC News?
If your form of entertainment is rolling news, this is where you need to go! This department alone generates around 120 hours of content per day via TV and radio. You can find such shows on channel #231 throughout the nation. It has been a channel in its own right since 1998, aided by the advent of digital and satellite television.
Interestingly, BBC News is not only a news programme, it is also responsible for the documentaries provided for the broadcasting behemoth!
Which Freeview Channel is Sky News on?
Sky News has been running for some time, and has generally stuck with channel #233 across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Sadly, again, no coverage for the Channel Islands. The 24 hour rolling programming is a great way to catch up on the worlds news in an instant. It also gives viewers the option to see the news represented in a manner of ways, from BBC, Channel 4, and ITV amongst others.
One would assume that the network offer this channel for free for much the same reason as Sky Arts. Its outlet as a news programme should be extended to everyone across the nation as a matter of course.
Which Freeview Channels are HD?
Each BBC channel has an HD offering, including regional BBC 1 channels, and BBC News. The great news is the main channel options seem to correspond with their assigned number.
BBC 1 HD is available on #101 across the board. BBC2 HD is broadcast in England, Scotland and the Channel Islands on channel #102. Only in Wales and Northern Ireland does it differ, as they have a regional BBC 2 channel available in HD. These numbers will still correspond, however, and both are found on channel #101. where ITV can be found on channel #3, you can also find ITV HD, including regional STV and UTV on #103.
You can also watch BBC Scotland in HD, so head to #108 if you’re keen. BBC Four HD and BBC News HD is everywhere but the Channel Islands, on #106 and #107 respectively.
For kid’s programming, you can also find CBBC HD on channel #204 across the UK. For CBeebies HD on #205 but, you guessed it, the Channel Islands are sadly exempt.
By now, many from the Channel Islands are likely to be rather frustrated. And also feel it a little ironic that, with the island’s name, they have the fewest channels!
The reason for such a limited supply of HD services is due to the amount of channels they have on each multiplex. Freeview is reliant on a handful of multiplexes, or ‘mux’, through which they are broadcast. There are currently around 6 in the UK. Whilst the BBC doe not have enough space on its own mux to broadcast all of its HD services, it must rely on other commercial mux to broadcast. There are certain restrictions to the capacity of these commercial options, and so only three quarters of the UK can receive the broadcast.
If you are in an area with full service, but are having difficulty with your BBC channels, head to the transmitter tool. This will help establish where the closest transmitter is, and if there are any issues with your reception!
Which Freeview Channel is ITV4?
You can find ITV4 on channel #25 across the board, including the Channel Islands! First aired in November of 2005, the channel was tipped to be a replacement to the ‘Men & Motors’ style gambit. today, you can find a wealth of sports, classic British police dramas from the sixties to the eighties, as well as action films. This channel seems rather taken with the ‘Bond’ canon, for example.
Why have I lost Channels on Freeview?
The best way to check on the availability of channels in your area is to check your postcode with the Freeview Checker. This allows you to see which options are in your region. If you have checked this method, and some of your channels are missing, it could be time to retune your TV.
Most Freeview boxes will require a retune when there is a change to service, and this will be prompted via the box when necessary. In this instance you simply press ‘OK’ to auto-retune.
If your box does not have this function, however, follow these steps:
- Press the ‘Menu’ button on the controller to manually retune
- Select ‘Set Up’
- Next, select ‘Installation’
- Select ‘Update’.
- You will then be asked for your password.
- Press ‘First-time Installation’ when prompted. this can sometimes be referred to as ‘Factory Reset’ or similar.
- Press OK when asked if you would like to delete current or existing channels.
The box will then perform a full scan, and when prompted you can save all channels found. This should complete the assortment of channels you have! Be warned though, a factory reset is likely to remove all your presets and favourited channel options. So these will need to be added again! If you can record video, this will also be wiped.
If you are looking for even more variety, getting a box which can also access Freeview Play would be a great option for you! Not only can you view all digital terrestrial channels, but you can also get onto your favourite TV and movie Apps, such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, Netflix and Amazon Prime. All that is a required is an internet connection!
What is the difference between Freeview and Freeview Play?
Whilst Freeview gives you access to a host of options through terrestrial services, Freeview Play does a little more. With the latter, you get access to 70 channels and 15 additional HD channels, as well as catch up TV via the electronic programming guide (EPG). You can also access red-button services, as well as access to seven On Demand services. You do not get access to streaming Apps, however, and any box that has Freeview Play will require this as an extra.
For those who choose to go with Freeview Play, you will find BBC iPlayer, My5, All 4, UKTV, and ITV Hub alongside all your other channels. You can then choose to download any extras via the Apps page.
Channel 100 on the Freeview guide is a handy one to know as this is where the On Demand services would be accessed. You can also search, ask for recommendations and get help, all in one spot! To unlock all of these features, your home requires an internet connection. Either via Ethernet port or Wi-fi, though wi-fi is far more common these days.
Which Freeview Box is the Best?
The standard Manhattan T3 Set-top Box is the cheapest in the range, though this will only perform so much! What you get is a one-time only payment that grants you access to around 85 channels (including radio) available in the UK. Then, all you need to do is sat back and relax as you use the handy EPG to find and plan all your favourite binge sessions! Build lists of On Demand films and TV, and see whats happening up to seven days in advance.
However, considered as an upgrade you could choose the Manhattan Recorder T3R. Not only do you have access to a wealth of channels, but you don’t even have to be in to watch them. Choose between 500GB or 1TB hard drive to record between 300 to 600 hours of film and TV! Plus, when you are ready for a night in, you can pause and rewind and still record that content for later. You also have access to all On Demand services and YouTube. All of this, and with the added benefit of 4K, Ultra HD capability! Those HD channels will look even better than expected. Simply connect the device to the aerial for Freeview, then using your wi-fi for On Demand TV Apps.
But if you really want to take it to the max and for that bit of extra luxury, you might want to consider these next two options.
The Humax Aura 4K Android TV Recorder. It has a 2TB hard drive for recording up 1000 hours of content, and is Android TV powered. This means Google Assistant, Google Play and Chromecast at your fingertips! Plus, smart home devices are able to be connected for a seamless home experience! Viewing is crisper for those HD channels with 4K HDR10, all with Dolby Atmos technology.
Owners of this baby are able to record up to 4 programmes at once, watch a 5th, and store it all for watching on the go! And with the addition of Freeview Play, the fun literally never stops.
Alternatively, you can splurge about the same, and get yourself a Panasonic DMR-HWT250EP. Its 1TB of storage will still set you up well for lots of recorded shows, and Freeview Plus will keep you going for sure. Freeview Play puts live television and On Demand services side by side, and for everything else, just download streaming Apps! Again, wi-fi connection will be required.
Read our full review of the Panasonic model.
Whilst they all have their own merits, the Humax Aura 4K Android TV Recorder is a very attractive option! You can do so much with it, and if you are looking to make the leap from subscription based models like Sky and Virgin, the box will have paid for itself inside of six months.
Is Freesat Better than Freeview?
With the advent of Freesat, and satellite dish technology, all signs would point toward the former being more reliable. However, there are a number of reasons that Freeview is overall a better option in the main. And a large portion of this is to do with satellite reliability being weather dependent. It does cover 100% of the nation, as opposed to Freeview’s 98%, but there are issues with picture quality.
Freesat is a satellite based free service devised by the BBC and ITV plc., and rolled out in 2008. Satellite connection is perfect when living in areas of poor reception. Initial costs of installation are higher, being that you must pay for a satellite dish (if you don’t already have one) as well as the installation fee. However, this is of little consequence if you can get more coverage. Freetime allows for catchup TV services, you can also record through your box, access On Demand apps and view available HD services.
There are, however, some caveats to this service. Whilst Satellite signal can reach more areas and therefore cover more of the nation more cheaply, there are many reports of image quality being sub-par. This is mostly to do with the weather, which can badly effect viewing quality.
It is also in small part to do with the bit rate shows are broadcast in, as well as their frame size. Whereas on Freeview you are seeing an average of 704 x 576 pixels per frame, compared with the 544 x 576 pixels of the alternative. This means the image can often looked blurred when viewed on progressively larger screens. This is true for many channels, though not for BBC broadcasts.
For the most part, the battle between Freesat and Freeview is mostly a personal preference, Freeview does seem to offer a better picture overall. Satellites signal is weather dependent, which can often be an issue. Especially when its main draw is offering coverage in hard to reach areas.
Time to get a Freeview Box?
If you are thinking of getting a Freeview box, now is the perfect time! With a range of set-top boxes available across a range of budgets, you can get something to suit you. And if in doubt, check your local area using the region checker, or alternatively use the home-connection checker to ensure your specific area is covered.
As usual, if you are a Freeview user, let us know how you feel about the service and options available. We love to hear your stories and feedback!