There’s some good news for Freeview viewers this week, with two new channels being added to the service – with classic action, horror and science fiction programmes and films along with some true crime.
These additions will come alongside the other major Freeview update this week – the long-awaited BBC One HD upgrade that’s coming to seven more regions.
The changes will start rolling out on Wednesday, April 24, on Freeview, and as always, some viewers will need to retune their devices.
Without a retune, your Electronic Programmes Guide won’t be up to date – the new channels might not show up, and you may face issues with the BBC One HD updates as well (some devices do this retune automatically – see our recommended Freeview recorders here).
This month’s Freeview update isn’t as big as the one we had in March – when quite a few channels moved around – but getting new channels for free is always a blessing.
Freeview, which started its life back in 2002, is the United Kingdom’s terrestrial television platform. It provides free-to-air TV channels and radio stations (via a Freeview aerial – see the ones we recommend), including more than 80 SD and HD channels. You can watch it on any supported TV, or by using a set-top Freeview box.
To watch Freeview via broadband (in case you don’t have good aerial reception) you’ll need one of the new subscription-based devices like Sky Stream or Virgin Media Stream (though not all Freeview channels are available on these devices).
See our full Freeview guide here.
New Freeview Channel: HorrorXtra
Last year, there was a big shakeup of The CBS channels on Freeview (along with Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media), and the long-running Horror Channel was shut down, and was transformed into “Legend” (which is now on Freeview Channel 41).
At the same time, a new channel was born – HorrorXtra – but it was only made available on Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.
Now – HorrorXtra is finally coming to Freeview, and will be available on Freeview Channel 69.
In recent months, Channel 69 was taken, sort of, by a channel called “RealityXtra2”, but that was merely a placeholder Freeview channel with no content – and its EPG spot was waiting patiently for HorrorXtra, which is coming this week.
What Can I Watch On HorrorXtra?
HorrorXtra is quite similar to the Legend channel – with a mix of classic horror, supernatural and science fiction programmes and films.
At the moment it only airs between 5pm to 2am – but starting April 26, its schedule will run from 8am to 3am.
Some of the programmes on HorrorXtra include TV shows such as Knight Rider and Mutant X, along with horror films such as Paranormal Activity, Scanners and Jeepers Creepers.
New Connected Freeview Channel: Real Crime
True crime on TV is becoming ever more popular, it would seem, therefore fans should find their fix with this new addition to Freeview (but Freeview hasn’t provided more specific information about its content – yet).
Real Crime will launch on connected Freeview Channel 288.
Note that this is a streaming channel – so it will only be available on Freeview devices connected to the internet.
Some Freeview channels, like Channel Box, Ketchup TV and more, are Freeview IP channels – meaning they can only be delivered via broadband, and do not reach your house via the aerial.
To watch these streaming Freeview channels, you need a modern Freeview device that supports the HbbTV standard.
Once your device is connected to the internet, you will be able to reach these IP-only Freeview channels like a normal channel through the TV Guide.
BBC Regional HD Channel Changes
As we previously reported, BBC One is finally airing regional news in HD on Freeview, which means regional BBC programmes will now be available on Freeview Channel 101, in HD instead of just on Channel 1, in SD.
The first batch of regions got this upgrade back in March – and this week, on April 26, the last batch of regions will be getting it.
The full list of regions that will be getting the regional BBC HD upgrade this week:
- BBC One West HD
- BBC One South West HD
- BBC One North East & Cumbria HD
- BBC One North West HD
- BBC One South HD (South)
- BBC One South HD (Oxford)
- BBC One East HD (East West)
- BBC One East HD (East East)
- BBC One South East HD
Later in the year, BBC One HD is set to move over to Channel 1 (instead of 101) – but only on a very limited number of devices, for now.
Retune Your Freeview Device
Whenever Freeview changes take place, some people need to retune their Freeview devices – otherwise, channel numbers and names won’t be correct, and new channels won’t show up.
Some devices do a retune automatically, but others may require a manual retune for this week’s changes to update correctly.
You can find more information on how to retune your device, on Freeview’s retuning help section.
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