Free TV What is Freesat?
Freesat is a digital satellite TV service from the BBC and ITV which launched in May 2008.
To watch you'll need a Freesat receiver, a satellite dish and ideally an HD-ready TV. It's basically the satellite equivalent of the digital terrestrial TV service Freeview – once you've paid for the box, dish and installation there are no more ongoing monthly subscription costs.
But Freesat has two key advantages over its terrestrial cousin. Firstly, Freesat is available to 98% of the population, compared with 75% for Freeview.
Secondly, Freesat boasts a couple of high-definition (HD) channels, something that's not going to be available on Freeview until 2010.
For full reviews and Best Buy information on the latest Freesat boxes, check out our Freeview and Freesat set-top box reviews.
Freesat shouldn't be confused with the Sky service of the same name, which has been available for a few years now.
Like the BBC and ITV Freesat service, this is available for a one-off equipment and installation payment and delivers a similar number of digital TV channels.
However, there is no HD option on the Freesat from Sky service. To get Sky HD you have to pay costly monthly subscription costs – though the high-definition content is far superior to anything available on Freesat at the moment.
To take full advantage of the high-definition content you will need an HD-ready TV. All our Best Buy LCD and plasma TVs are at least HD ready and ideal for the job.
For information on other Digital TV options, including Freeview, Freesat from Sky and online TV, check out the Which? guide to free and pay TV services.