Freeview vs Freesat vs YouView
Freeview, Freesat and YouView decoders
TNT comes in many different forms. You can get it with a decoder, a streaming stick or a TV with built-in Freeview.
To get started with Freeview, simply connect it to your antenna – and broadband, if you want to stop and start live TV or watch streaming services – and you’re good to go.
Freesat is broadcast by satellite and offers you many channels at a very attractive price. However, if you don’t have a satellite dish yet, you will need to install one.
Freesat is a good choice if you have a bad TV signal in your area or if you have already installed a satellite dish.
See you Set-top boxes are provided free with the BT TV and TalkTalk plans, but are also sold separately.
As for standard TNT boxes, you just need to connect a YouView box to your antenna to be able to access all the TNT channels. And connect it to the internet for streaming services.
You can buy a basic Freeview box, with no recording functionality, for under £ 20, making it the cheapest of the three.
Alternatively, Freeview HD TVs, available from most major electronics companies, start at around £ 170.
Freesat and Freeview have similar prices, although with Freesat you will end up paying more to install a satellite dish if you don’t already have one. Budget around £ 80 to cover installation.
A basic Freesat box, with no recording capability, will likely set you back around £ 45. But if you want the latest Freesat box with on-demand recording and functionality, expect to pay around £ 180.
A YouView box can cost up to £ 135 to buy, although cheaper models typically cost between £ 80 and £ 90. YouView boxes come free with the BT or TalkTalk TV plans, but you will be tied to a contract and monthly payments.
Click the button below to see our selection of the best BT and TalkTalk TV deals currently on offer:
* Average speeds are based on download speeds of at least 50% of customers during peak hours (8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.). Speed can be affected by a variety of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be slower than stated above. You can check the estimated speed of your property before you buy.
Streaming channels and services
Freeview offers 70 channels, as well as 15 HD channels if you have an HD TV and a decoder with TNT HD.
The new ‘Freeview Play’ boxes offer all of this, plus the ability to subscribe to Netflix and add more channels with Now TV passes.
YouView has the same number of channels, with the option of getting a lot more when you get pay TV service from BT or TalkTalk. The new YouView boxes also allow you to subscribe to Now TV, Amazon Video and Netflix.
TalkTalk’s Sky Cinema Boost, for example, includes the most popular movie channels including Premiere, Disney, Thriller, and hundreds of live and on-demand movies.
And you can add ten kids TV channels with a Kids Boost TV, including Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Baby TV.
But when it comes to the quantity of channels, Freesat leads the way, with over 200 TV and radio channels including Retro Movies, Horrorchannel, CBS and BET. Most Freesat boxes now also support Netflix
Freesat wins the trophy here.
Freesat, Freeview, and YouView all let you watch your favorite shows in HD.
However, while YouView offers 13 HD channels, Freesat offers 13 and Freeview offers 15 impressive HD channels.
Freeview and YouView win this one.
Freeview, Freesat, and YouView all let you record, pause, and rewind live TV, plus boxes that let you save between 500GB or 1TB of TV.
All three TV services offer catch-up functionality. Here’s how they stack up:
- TNT: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Demand 5, All 4, UKTV Play and STV Player.
- See you: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5, STV Player, Milkshake, UKTV Play, S4C, Quest. Additionally, BBC and TalkTalk offer additional on-demand options depending on your plan.
- Freesat: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Request 5.
A comfortable winner for YouView.
Freesat offers a seven-day catch-up service called Freetime that lets you organize your recordings, as well as go back and watch shows you’ve missed.
It’s pretty simple to use, but it’s not standard. You will need to verify that the box you choose supports Freetime.
When it comes to Freeview, different manufacturers and TVs will have different interfaces for the service, so it’s hard to give a straightforward answer on this. What I can say is that it is very easy to set up.
YouView stands out with its user-friendly design and accessible features. For example, catch-up is built into the TV guide, and it’s easy to turn on subtitles or audio descriptions.
Additionally, there is an interactive zoom feature that makes the TV guide much easier to read, along with high contrast audio feedback and user interface.
YouView wins for usability.
Freeview on its own doesn’t offer a lot of movies, although it is compatible with TV streaming services. So, if you have the right TV and a broadband connection, you can access apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Now TV, and more.
Freesat has the fewest movie services, although you can add on-demand services like Netflix.
Meanwhile, a stand-alone YouView box lets you use Netflix, Now TV, and Prime Video to buy and rent movies.
With BT TV, you’ll get all of that and BT Box Office, plus Sky Cinema bolting, and you can also add all of Sky’s movie channels to a TalkTalk TV plan anytime.
If you use TalkTalk, you can sign up for Sky Cinema, which gives you 11 dedicated movie channels and over 1,200 movies on demand.
The standard channels available on Freeview and Freesat are by no means exceptional for sports. Indeed, most premium sporting events and competitions are only available on pay channels.
That said, if you have a Freeview Play box, you can at least subscribe to Now TV Sports passes to watch Sky Sports channels.
YouView is a much better proposition, however. TalkTalk TV, for example, lets you add the full suite of Sky Sports channels as a Boost. You can also get BT Sport.
Of course, BT Sport is also available on YouView from BT TV, and a Sky Sports Bolt-on can be added and removed at any time.
YouView is the best in this department.
Of course, Freesat has the most channels. And Freeview just might be the kindest on your wallet. But for us, YouView is the best of the three services. At some distance.
With an easy to use interface and a wide range of HD channels, it offers an excellent TV experience at a good price.
Best of all, you can get tons of extra channels and hours of on-demand extras if you get the box through a BT TV or TalkTalk TV package.