Three channels from ITV – ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 are finally getting their HD versions added to Freesat at no extra cost to viewers, ahead of several changes coming to ITV this month.
The three channels already went free-to-air on Sky last week, but the question remained whether they will also be added to the free satellite platform, Freesat.
Now, Freesat confirmed to us that starting on Tuesday, November 8, ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD will indeed go live on Freesat.
The main ITV channel (which is being renamed ITV 1 soon) is already available in HD on Freesat, but the rest of ITV’s channels were only available in SD until now.
With this change, most of the public broadcasters’ channels are now available in HD on Freesat, after Channel 4 HD returned to the platform last year.
Therefore, HD versions of ITV2, 3 and 4 are probably unlikely to come to Freeview anytime soon – though you will be able to watch them in HD on ITV’s new streaming app, ITVX (see more on that below).
Freesat was established in 2007 by the BBC and ITV. It offers more than 200 free-to-air TV channels and radio stations, all transmitted via digital satellite.
To watch Freesat, you need a dish outside your house and a Freesat receiver (see our recommended Freesat boxes here), which is why it sometimes works better in areas where Freeview reception is lacking.
Last year, a big shakeup was announced, when Freesat and Freeview came under the roof of a single company, Digital UK, which is owned jointly by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
Therefore, Freesat and Freeview are now developed and operated by the same company.
New ITV HD Channels on Freesat
While the Standard Definition versions of ITV’s channels were already available on Freesat – starting from November 8, the channels will finally be available in HD (as they were on pay-TV platforms such as Sky and Virgin Media).
The new HD channels will be staying on the original SD Freesat channel numbers (assuming your equipment supports HD channels). Therefore:
ITV2 is ITV’s entertainment channel aimed at young people, with a range of shows including original scripted comedies and panel shows, US acquisitions, and movies.
ITV2 HD will be available on Freesat Channel 113.
ITV3 is currently a home for popular classic drama series from ITV, alongside a selection of choice factual and entertainment programmes.
ITV3 HD will be available on Freesat Channel 115.
ITV4 offers a mixture of live sports, iconic movies, US acquired shows and cult classics.
ITV4 HD will be available on Freesat Channel 117.
Unlike Freeview, Freesat’s boxes don’t typically require a retune when new channels are added (or removed), and the EPG should change automatically.
More Upcoming ITV Changes
In the coming weeks, we will see quite a few changes on ITV’s channels and platforms, along with the addition of these HD channels to Freesat.
For starters, ITV’s new streaming service/app – ITVX – will be replacing ITV Hub soon.
ITVX will include a combination of catch-up programmes from ITV’s channels, along with new originals that will be available on ITVX even before their linear broadcast.
ITVX will be available on the newer, 4K Freesat boxes, but will not be available on the older Humax Freesat boxes, which also lost access to ITV Hub in September.
A lot of ITVX’s content will be available in HD (along with the live streaming of ITV’s channels), but there won’t be any 4K content at launch.
In addition, ITV is bringing back ITV1 – that is, the main ITV channel is being renamed ITV1 (and ITV1 HD).