Technology of satellite television
Direct broadcast via satellite
Television receive-only
Early history of satellite television
Beginning of the satellite TV industry
TVRO/C-band satellite era
1990s to present of satellite television
History of Freesat
Video on demand
Reception equipment of satellite television
Technical details of satellite television

Reception equipment of satellite television

At the launch of the service, there were two types of Freesat receivers available ēstandard definition-only receivers and high definition-capable receivers. As of July 2010 there are eleven companies licensed to produce Freesat boxes and televisions. Humax launched a Freesat recorder, Freesat+, which became available to the public in November 2008.

In April 2009 LG launched 4 LCD TVs with built-in Freesat receivers. The LG series is the LF7700 (discontinued mid-2010), with screen sizes of 32", 37", 42" and 47". Sony have released two televisions with Freesat receivers, the W5810 and Z5800 series, available from sizes 32" up to 52" and in 100 Hz and 200 Hz alternatives.

The service makes use of the same group of Astra satellites at 28.2ŠE as the Sky subscription satellite service. This means that a satellite dish which is positioned to receive these services will be capable of receiving Freesat, with the addition of a suitable receiver (or Television with receiver built in). Provided that the LNB has sufficient outputs, a single dish may be used to receive multiple services (i.e. Sky and Freesat). However, a dish with an LNB for the Sky Q service cannot be used with a Freesat receiver because Sky Q uses a wideband LNB which is incompatible with Freesat receivers. A "Hybrid" Sky Q LNB can be used as it has both wideband outputs for Sky Q and conventional universal LNB outputs for non-Sky Q receivers, including Freesat.

While Freesat systems work in Ireland, official branded Freesat receivers are not widely or officially marketed in the country. On 23 October 2008 several Irish retail chains including Maplin, Tesco Ireland and PowerCity began offering modified Freesat systems from Grundig and Alba that had their Freesat branding replaced with a Sat4free brand name. The requirement to enter a UK postcode was removed; the systems were instead set to use the version of the electronic programme guide appropriate for Northern Ireland through a hard-coded Belfast postcode. Sat4free was permanently closed down shortly after.

Although not intended for reception outside of the UK, it is possible to receive Freesat outside of the UK and Ireland, although a larger dish may be required as the footprint of Astra 2E and Astra 2F (who carry all the channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) is mainly focused on the UK and Ireland. Even residents of Eastern European countries, however, (who generally have giant dishes) can often have access to the Freesat UK services. Freesat receivers, however, ask for a UK postcode during installation, to determine where regional services are placed in the EPG and channel list.