Freesat HD decodes the satellite signal and provides a HDMI output for your TV to view the HD channels. You can also use a free-to-air HD receiver which can access more channels and satellites than a freesat receiver (this requires extra equipment) but is harder to use and configure.
Watching video over the internet is becoming more popular with offerings such as BT Vision allowing subscribers access to video content over an ADSL broadband connection. However free HD content is not that readily available and requires special equipment (such as Media Centre PC with HD output) to enable the content to be viewed on a HD TV.
There are three ways to get free HD channels – either through freesat, free-to-air or through Freesat from Sky.Freesat is the result of a collaboration between the BBC and ITV to provide subscription-free channels through a satellite dish and it provides over 110 TV channels and over 35 radio stations. It uses a standard “mini-dish” and cabling the same as a Sky system and your only costs are installation and the set-top box.
Free-to-air uses a satellite receiver (made by companies such as Technomate and Manhattan) to receive un-encrypted channels. By using a larger dish this sysem can be lined up to other satellites, such as NileSat, allowing you to view channels from other countries. To view any free HD channels in HD you will need to use an HD receiver.
Freesat from Sky uses a Sky digibox and minidish to receive over 240 TV channels and over 85 radio stations. If you cancel your Sky subscription then you will have Freesat from Sky once your subscription lapses.
Otherwise Cable Guys can install a Freesat from Sky system, including digibox and dish, for you.