A week after going free-to-air on satellite, Freesat customers can now access ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 in HD. But users with series links may need to take action.
Freesat added ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD to its Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) earlier today. The HD channels replaced the SD channels on their previous channel numbers (see below).
The move comes 12 years after ITV launched its HD offshoots behind a paywall. And for viewers who miss out on the linear HD broadcasts: from next month, ITV will also offer over 10,000 hours of HD content, including catch-up from ITV2, 3 and 4, via ITVX for free.
It means Freesat users can now access additional live sport, including tonight’s La Liga fixture between Osasuna and Barcelona in HD on ITV4, plus hours of classic drama and soaps upscaled to HD on ITV3.
Check series links and scheduled recordings
Unlike other channels, Freesat and ITV aren’t listing both HD and SD variants on the channel list.
So viewers who set series links or have scheduled recordings set to the now deleted SD versions of ITV2, ITV3 or ITV4 need to review them urgently.
Exception for viewers with Freesat SD boxes
Viewers with older, first generation Freesat receivers, including those handed out as part of the digital switchover help scheme a decade ago, will see no change for now. Here, ITV2-4 continue in SD only.
ITV2+1, ITV3+1 and ITV4+1 remain SD only on all platforms.
▶ Free-to-air satellite TV and Freesat
Free-to-air means a channel is not encrypted and not part of a pay TV package. This doesn’t always mean they’re also on Freesat.
Freesat allows free-to-air channels to reach viewers who use Freesat boxes or TVs that support the Freesat EPG. A listing charge applies, which is why some smaller channels choose to be free-to-air, but not on Freesat.
Overview – Freesat channel changes – 8th November 2022
HD receivers only
Most Freesat boxes and TVs will update automatically. Some older, legacy Freesat receivers update overnight. Viewers who don’t see an update to their channel list should rescan their receiver.
But Freesat has yet to implement changes to Channel 4 HD. The broadcaster launched a fully regionalised HD service on satellite back in September, which allowed Sky to move Channel 4 HD to channel 104 across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Although Channel 4 does not show regional programmes, it does carry regional advertising at various points of the day. The regional Channel 4 HD service is officially still testing, but the broadcast streams do carry Freesat EPG data in preparation for a future launch.
Published: 11:41; Updated 13:16