Channel 4 is now HD-only on all but the oldest Freesat boxes in the latest changes to the free-to-air platform.
Freesat viewers can now access Channel 4 HD on channel 104, except in Wales where it’s on channel 106.
This replaces the standard definition version of the channel and the previous London version of Channel 4 HD on Freesat. As a result, viewers who have set series links or recordings set to Channel 4 will need to check their recordings.
The HD switch has allowed E4 Extra to move from channel 181 to channel 126, to fill the slot previously taken by Channel 4 HD.
▶ Overview – Channel 4 changes on Freesat
|Channel 4 HD
Channel 4 continues in standard definition for now on older Freesat SD receivers. However, viewers are encouraged to upgrade. The BBC has already announced it will no longer broadcast its services in SD from 2024. Channel 4’s future plans for its SD broadcasts on satellite have not been disclosed. Unlike the BBC and ITV, it currently only offers its main channel in HD on Freesat.
Why has it taken so long for Channel 4 HD to arrive on Freesat 104?
For an HD channel to replace a SD channel, both versions must be identical.
To achieve this, Channel 4 regionalised its HD channel on satellite last year, so that the regional adverts would match what goes out on the SD channel.
In September 2022, the Channel 4 HD regions went live on satellite. They carried Freesat data, but failed to launch at the same time as Sky. Since then, these HD regions have only existed in Freesat’s test bouquet or channel list, which isn’t open to the public.
That changed late this morning, when the channels were finally added to the main Freesat channel list in each region.
The whole regionalisation process is understood to have taken much longer than originally planned due to the major playout centre fault that struck Channel 4 back in 2021.
The London version of Channel 4 HD was added to Freesat back in December 2021, after several years away from the platform. This followed a changes to the ownership structure of the satellite platform, with Channel 4 becoming a shareholder in the operating company.