Freeview vs Freesat for quality on HD channels - which is best?

Stevie G

Active Member
Hi guys

Is there much difference between the broadcast quality of HD channels on freeview compared to satellite? I am thinking of getting a satellite based DVR (VBox Android TV XTi 4134) and using that instead of my HDHomerun and wondering what the quality difference is with HD versions of BBC1, BBC2, ITV1 and Ch5 on the two platforms. Is there much in it?

One of my reasons for looking at this route is to get BBC News HD, BBC4 HD and Cbeebies HD, which aren't available on freeview. I have a Sky Q dish and intend getting a Hybrid LNB 6 Output Hybrid LNB (2 x Wideband for Sky Q + 4 x Quad for freesat) and using the Sky dish. My Sky sub is due to end soon and I'm not sure about keeping it, so it'll give me the option to get it again later on if I do ditch Sky.

DOes anyone have both freeview and freesat and able to give comment on the quality of the two in comparison?

Thanks
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
One of my reasons for looking at this route is to get BBC News HD, BBC4 HD and Cbeebies HD, which aren't available on freeview.
They are all available on Freeview!

BBC News HD (is available via the Com7 multiplex), BBC Four HD and Cbeebies HD (are available via the Com8 multiplex).
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
They will be virtually identical in quality.

DIGITALBITRATE : Le debit des chaines en numerique has measurements of the bitrates and suchlike for both Satellite and Terrestrial transmissions.

For, say, BBC both 'platforms' use a statistically multiplexed mix of channels, where the bitrates are allocated on a moment-by-moment demand of the pictures. Static heads need less than fast-moving action. The precise channel mix will influence the allocated bitrates sometimes.
Freeview HD also has a clever bit-reduction feature (25p in a 50i wrapper) that is not available to satellite (at least so far - adoption would render many receivers obsolete!). That means the quality will be as good at slightly lower bitrates. The Freeview HD audio system also shaves some bitrate off cf satellite.

But overall the picture and sound quality of Sat vs Terrestrial is virtually identical for the HD channels.

The BBC channels you list are available on Freeview to a good proportion of the UK population, but not all transmitters. Presumably not where you live, though?

NB Channel 4 HD is NOT available on freesat proper (but may well be via the sat box you are looking at with an internet-provided epg rather than the freesat epg proper
Ch 4HD IS universally available on Freeview, and where people get COM7/8 also 4Seven HD and C4+1 HD. So there are winners and losers on any platform you choose to go with. Having both is often a good idea?
 

Stevie G

Active Member
They are all available on Freeview!

BBC News HD (is available via the Com7 multiplex), BBC Four HD and Cbeebies HD (are available via the Com8 multiplex).
They don't seem to be in my area and none of them come up when I scan any of the tellies or my HDHomerun, we're the Findon transmitter. We get Cbbc HD but not Cbeebies. Occasionally a scan will pick up BBC 4 HD or New HD on a really high number but it never works.

We rarely watch Ch4 but will still have it in HD on the freeview TVs if we need it.
 

Stevie G

Active Member
Thanks Rodders. Yes, I've discovered the mixed frame rate stuff on Ch5 HD; I've been recording kids stuff on the HDHomerun and my Fire Stick 4k freaks out at it, just crashes all the time, so I've been having to convert stuff to 1080p50 to get it to play ok!
 

GeoM

Novice Member
Hi guys

Is there much difference between the broadcast quality of HD channels on freeview compared to satellite? I am thinking of getting a satellite based DVR (VBox Android TV XTi 4134) and using that instead of my HDHomerun and wondering what the quality difference is with HD versions of BBC1, BBC2, ITV1 and Ch5 on the two platforms. Is there much in it?

One of my reasons for looking at this route is to get BBC News HD, BBC4 HD and Cbeebies HD, which aren't available on freeview. I have a Sky Q dish and intend getting a Hybrid LNB 6 Output Hybrid LNB (2 x Wideband for Sky Q + 4 x Quad for freesat) and using the Sky dish. My Sky sub is due to end soon and I'm not sure about keeping it, so it'll give me the option to get it again later on if I do ditch Sky.

DOes anyone have both freeview and freesat and able to give comment on the quality of the two in comparison?

Thanks
I used to have both Freesat and Freeview, both via Humax boxes or tv connections, and I always found that Freesat was a better picture and I got BBC4 HD, which is not available on my local Freeview transmitter.
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
They don't seem to be in my area and none of them come up when I scan any of the tellies or my HDHomerun, we're the Findon transmitter. We get Cbbc HD but not Cbeebies. Occasionally a scan will pick up BBC 4 HD or New HD on a really high number but it never works.

We rarely watch Ch4 but will still have it in HD on the freeview TVs if we need it.
That makes sense now. As the Findon transmitter only offers 3 out of the 9 multiplexes!

Like others here. I prefer to access my TV channels via satellite ;)
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I think that Freesat PQ has the edge. The last series of Spiral on BBC4HD had an almost 3D quality to it on my LG TV.. It’s a pity that C4HD isn’t easily accessible — my LG TV won’t oblige with a non-Freesat mode, and the enforced DD5.1 audio on C5HD and QuestHD makes them unwatchable (or is that unlistenable), so I often find myself switching between Freeview and Freesat.

Clem
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
my LG TV won’t oblige with a non-Freesat mode...
It will but you have to change the TV's broadcast country to '--' and perform a manual scan of 28.2 east. Sadly, you can't keep Freesat and scan/access other satellites.

And, as a consequence of changing the TV's broadcast country to '--', not only does the TV loose access to the Freesat platform (and its dedicated EPG), it also looses access to the Freeview platform and its dedicated EPG too!

Cheers
 

Attachments

Stevie G

Active Member
Thanks guys, I'll go ahead with freesat then. Just need to wait for a not windy day to get up a very high ladder!
 

TJT1

Member
Does it have to be that high?
 

chopples

Distinguished Member
Part of the freesat spec says that a non-freesat mode must be included.

I suggest you have not found out how to access it.
As @SeeMoreDigital says, it's an either/or, having ran a none Freesat scan on a webos TV it's an absolute mess, requiring you to upload the list to a pc and using software to sort it into some kind of coherent order. Also all the benefits of having access to an epg (both Freesat and Freeview are lost)
 

Stevie G

Active Member
Does it have to be that high?
Unfortunately yes, it's a sky dish that's already up, I need to change the lnb and add a couple of cables to the existing dish. Not keen on heights (well, not taking from them anyway!)
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Part of the freesat spec says that a non-freesat mode must be included.

I suggest you have not found out how to access it.
Not so. I have checked. The option isn’t there. See @SeeMoreDigital’s previous post about this. I also checked with LG technical who told me that the Freesat facility is a simple overlay on top of a generic tuner and LG sets do not fully comply with the Freesat specs., hence the lack of a manual tune option.

Clem
 

TJT1

Member
@Stevie G
OK, I'll try again on a different tack. If you don't like heights, what is preventing the dish from being fitted lower and thus more accessible in future. Mine is about 3 feet off the ground on a south facing wall.
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
Not so. I have checked. The option isn’t there. See @SeeMoreDigital’s previous post about this. I also checked with LG technical who told me that the Freesat facility is a simple overlay on top of a generic tuner and LG sets do not fully comply with the Freesat specs., hence the lack of a manual tune option.

Clem
Indeed, it's such a shame.... As (I've mentioned in other topics) LG's previous Netcast OS could offer both modes at the same time and you could manually edit (change) the programme numbers!
 

winston2010

Well-known Member
With my LG TV it one button press to go to non/freesat and one more to go back. In non-freesat it is possible to manually tune individual transponders. I currently have 4 programmes in non-freesat namely CH4 HD, CNN HD, Euronews, and PCNE.

Not so. I have checked. The option isn’t there. See @SeeMoreDigital’s previous post about this. I also checked with LG technical who told me that the Freesat facility is a simple overlay on top of a generic tuner and LG sets do not fully comply with the Freesat specs., hence the lack of a manual tune option.

Clem
I can’t see how LG can get away with that. If they add Freesat they have to pay for the rights and oney the specs.
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
With my LG TV it one button press to go to non/freesat and one more to go back.
So... What's the model number of your LG television? I suspect it's an older model that runs the old Netcast OS!
 
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grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Part of the freesat spec says that a non-freesat mode must be included.

I suggest you have not found out how to access it.
It does not say you have to be able to use non-freesat and freesat at the same time. There are some TV's that disable non-freesat if you elect to use Freesat mode,
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
My LG TV is a 2019 49SM8500PLA. There's no non-Freesat mode that I can see in any of the menus. The satellite interface looks very similar to a smaller LG TV that I have that has a generic DSAT tuner facility.

Clem
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
My LG TV is a 2019 49SM8500PLA. There's no non-Freesat mode that I can see in any of the menus.
There's a non-Freesat mode on my webOS LG too.

In my experience though, there's a problem. If the 'Broadcast Country' set to 'United Kingdom' after scanning the FTA satellite channels when you save them to a USB pen-drive using the 'Copy Programmes' feature and transfer them back to the TV, the Freesat logo appears. And after a few seconds of viewing weird things happen to all the channels...
 

Finn Ellebaek

Standard Member
DOes anyone have both freeview and freesat and able to give comment on the quality of the two in comparison?
In general:
  1. BBC1+2 HD bitrates are comparable on Freeview and Freesat.
  2. Don't know about BBD4 HD as it's not available in my Freeview region.
  3. ITV1 HD bitrates are almost twice as high on Freesat.
  4. Cha4 HD bitrates are at least twice as high on non-Freesat compared to Freeview.
  5. Cha5 HD bitrates are at least twice as high on Freesat compared to Freeview.
Example bitrates:

ChannelProgramFreeviewFreesat
BBC1 HDDracula S01E014.07Mbps4.26Mbps
BBC2 HDSnowfall S03E044.02Mbps4.23Mbps
ITV1 HDEndeavour S07E013.42Mbps6.33Mbps
Cha4 HDHomeland S08E014.66Mbps9.50Mbps
Cha5 HDPenance S01E014.06Mbps9.36Mbps
 

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