ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD are now available without an active pay TV subscription. The three channels originally launched as pay TV exclusive services in 2010.
Encryption was dropped by 11am on Tuesday morning, in a move that coincided with the 18th anniversary of the launch of ITV3 and the 17th anniversary of ITV4 going on air.
The free-to-air move came ahead of the launch of streaming service ITVX, which will offer HD quality streams of all ITV channels for free.
▶️ Where to find the channels on satellite
ITV2 HD 118
ITV3 HD 119
ITV4 HD 120
(Viewers without an active Sky sub can see them on 816, 817 and 818 instead.) Are you in the Republic of Ireland? You’ll need to manually tune in the channels.
ITV2 HD 113
ITV3 HD 115
ITV4 HD 117
[channel data updated 7 Jan 2023]
Sky originally offered enticements to encourage both ITV and Channel 4 to offer their offshoot channels in HD, but stopping any possibility of the channels launching on free-to-air platforms. As a result, viewers needed to maintain a subscription with Sky to continue watching them in HD. Virgin Media later also added the channels, while Freeview and Freesat could only offer the free SD versions.
How this affects Sky satellite users
Sky Q / Sky+HD
Very little changes, apart from the fact these channels are technically no longer part of your Sky subscription.
Older Sky SD boxes
Viewers will continue to see ITV2, 3 and 4 in standard definition as normal. At this stage, there’s been no suggestion of the SD channels being turned off.
ITV Be is not available in HD on Sky satellite. Meanwhile, viewers accessing the channels on Sky Stream/Sky Glass get these in HD by default.
BT TV’s new internet based TV service already offers these channels in HD by default as part of its selection of free channels.
Channel 4 continues to offer HD versions of its offshoots including E4, More4 and Film4 exclusively on pay TV platforms including Sky.
Meanwhile, RXTV understands a number of broadcasters are planning to reduce the number of standard definition channels on satellite, in favour of making HD channels available by default. 16 years after Sky launched its HD service, we may now be on the cusp of a proper HD switchover.
ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 HD on Freesat
Since this article was written, the three HD channels have been added to Freesat, and their channel numbers can be found above.
ITV satellite manual tuning information…
Only ITV1 is available in HD on Freeview (except Central and Northern Scotland). Other ITV channels are SD only. But you might be able to stream the other ITV channels in HD quality via ITVX, if your device supports it.
As for Freeview, since the summer, the capacity available for additional HD channels has been cut, as a result of a decision to close services to create bandwidth for more 5G services. At the present time, there is no further capacity for any more HD channels.
While terrestrial transmission of the HD channels appears unlikely for some time, they are due to be available to viewers with connected TVs and devices in the future.
Updated 01/11/2022 11:10 and 01/12/2022 15:58, with an update regarding Freesat. Channel number section last reviewed 07/01/23.