Although you can get an amazing amount of quality TV shows and movies for free in the UK with your standard service and there are some options to expand this further. Aerial Waves would like to guide you through what Freeview Play and YouView are, what they offer and how they are different.
Of course, you know that subscription services like Netflix and Sky provide you with a wide range of entertainment choices for a monthly fee. However, you don’t have to spend any money monthly to get a close service that provides more TV shows and movies. Freeview Play and YouView deliver exactly this without a recurring expense, except your TV license payment that you’d have to pay no matter what.
We’re going to take a look at what both of the services offer and how you can take advantage of.
What is Freeview Play?
Freeview Play is an expansion of the standard Freeview service that has been available in the UK for many years now. The service offers over 70 standard channels and about 15 HD channels. It also has catch-up and on-demand services that are included and it makes it easier to enjoy content when you want, rather sticking to the TV Schedule.
What is YouView?
Well, there’s not a lot of difference between YouView and Freeview Play in terms of what they do and what they offer. They provide access to the same 70 standard channels and a range of HDs one. YouView also supports on-demand and catch-up services and where there’s a subscription to pay like Netflix and NowTV, they are built-in if you have a subscription to them.
What do I Need to Receive Freeview Play or YouView?
For the standard service that Freeview offers, all you need is a TV with Freeview built-in and an aerial connection. If your TV doesn’t have Freeview built in, then you’ll need to get yourself a Freeview set-top box. In fact, if you ask nicely, you may be able to get one from your broadband supplier at a discount.
Or, you could upgrade your TV to a smart TV that has 4K imagery and built-in Freeview, if you can afford to splash out on a new TV.
Freeview Play will add on-demand and catch-up TV but this is achieved via an internet connection rather than through your TV aerial. It is recommended that you have a minimum connection speed of 2Mb/s for these services to work properly.
YouView works in a similar way, although there are three main ways you can access these services. The first is for you to buy a YouView box directly from a manufacturer like BT, Humax and others.
YouView is also offered as the standard TV package from BT, Talk Talk and PlusNet when you subscribe to their broadband contracts. This way can get a little muddy because you’re essentially paying for the set-top box with a monthly fee, but with various tiers available, you can get additional channels for a higher monthly price.
The final route you can go to get access to YouView is by buying a new Sony smart TV which has the YouView app handily built-in. There’s a wide range for you to choose from, ranging from £400 to £4000, depending on how deep your pockets are.
What Can You Watch on Freeview Play and YouView?
Both Freeview Play and YouView are built on the free-to-air channels that are available to view in the UK with your TV license, so there isn’t a lot of difference in terms of content.
Each service offers BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and lots of other services like Dave, Food Network, Film4 and 5USA. Their on-demand and catch-up content is pretty standard too with BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5 all available for your viewing pleasure.
They also both offer access to subscription services like Netflix, NowTV and UK Play TV, but these all require an additional paid subscription for you to access them.
As there are very few differences between the two services, your choice will most likely come down to your next TV purchase and which one comes preinstalled with it. If you choose to get a Sony TV, it will have YouView, while the majority of other TV brands will come with access to Freeview Play.
Below is a list of the HD channels that are available on both services. Although it should be noted that you need a Freeview HD tuner in your TV or set-top box and be in an area which can receive these channels if you want to take full advantage.
- BBC One HD
- BBC Two HD
- ITV1 HD / STV HD
- Channel 4 HD
- BBC Four HD
- BBC News HD
- Cbeebies HD
- CBBC HD
- Al Jazeera English HD
- Channel 4 + 1 HD
- 4seven HD
- QVC +1 HD
- QVC Beauty
- Russia Today UK HD