Jan 152020

A reminder that you cannot receive Freeview in Spain

Hardly a week goes by when someone asks myself, or in Facebook groups, if they can receive UK Freeview in Spain, or if they can use a Freeview box with a satellite dish to watch UK TV in Spain. This is also not helped by “UK TV installers” also getting confused with terminology, confusing the public, some who end up purchasing the wrong equipment.

The simple answer is NO.

You cannot receive UK Freeview in Spain.

Either legally or illegally.

As it is physically and technically impossible.

Freeview is the UK TV service that is transmitted by land based masts, such as Emley Moor, Belmont, or Crystal Palace. ,

These transmissions barely cover the UK.

The nearest UK Freeview transmitter to Spain is in the Channel Islands. And those signals are simply not powerful enough to reach Spain. Nor are they strong enough to overcome the French and Spanish transmission on similar frequencies.

These Freeview transmissions are very different to satellite transmission, so you cannot use a Freeview set top box with a satellite dish, as the two signals are incompatible.

Freesat is the satellite equivalent of Freeview, and is available in Spain, although this does depend on where in Spain you are located, which determines the size of satellite dish you need for your area to receive the Freesat signals.

Freeview and Freesat are not the same as free to air and free to view.

Freeview – a selection (approx 80) of free to air UK TV channels via a TV aerial
Freesat – a selection (approx 150) of free to air UK TV channels via a satellite dish

Free to air – channels that are subscription free but are not encrypted.
Free to view – channels that are subscription free but are encrypted.

On satellite there are currently (Jan 2020) only three free to view channels, ie channel that are free but are encrypted so need an active Sky viewing card to watch. These free to view channels on UK satellite TV are : Yesterday+1, Local TV, and 4 Music.


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