Join Freesat

Nov 23 2011

Channel 5Channel 5 have announced that Channel 5 +1, 5 USA and 5* (plus their +1 timeshift channels) will all be joining the Freesat platform in December.

This is fantastic news for the platform and clearly shows Channel 5’s intentions to bring all their channels to the wider audience (plus confirms they have kicked Sky in to touch!).

Channel 5, our main channel, is currently available on this service. Channel 5+1 will launch on this service on EPG channel number 128 on Tuesday 6th December.

Our digital channels 5* and 5 USA, as well as their relative +1 services, will launch on this service on Thursday 8th December. The relevent EPG channel numbers wil be as follows:

129: 5 USA
130: 5 USA +1
131: 5*
132: 5* +1

No news yet on Channel 5 HD, but it is suspect their existing contract with Sky concludes in July 2012 when it will launch on both Freesat and Freeview.

(thanks to regular reader Muzer for the spot)

88 Responses to “Channel 5+1, 5 USA and 5* Join Freesat Next Month”

  1. Mark Says:

    This it’s great news. I don’t watch the channels much (freeview) but it should mean more people moving to freesat.

    Well done to everyone involved.


  2. Jon Says:

    Great news, thanks for the update


  3. Brian Lincoln Says:

    Very welcome news – what next I wonder!


  4. Al (Original) Says:

    Great news, thanks Desmond.

    We just need some 5 HD now!


  5. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    So, we’ve almost reached the extent of what I thought it was reasonable to expect in the long run – i.e, all terrestrial channels and their main HD variants. Anything else beyond this I regard as an added bonus. I never expected zillions of HD channels on a subscription-free service.


  6. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    It gets better & better, I’m lovin it !

    Mark Aberfan Aerials


  7. Richard Crichton Says:

    Sweet. How about a Freesat a car sticker? Something like I’m Loving Freesat.


  8. Patrick Says:

    This is a great step forward for freesat,if it keeps up like this then there will be no point in subscribing to sky.Excellent progression freesat keep it up.


  9. Dave Says:

    Fantastic news. Well done Channel 5 !


  10. D A Burns Says:

    great news the start of things to come 2012 may be intersting


  11. Russ Says:

    Very pleased to see these latest additions to freesat. The 5 family of channels can only help to enhance this platform.


  12. Neil Says:

    Great news, these channels have finally arrived!! I assume on the same date they’ll regionalise C5 to match that of other platforms in terms of ads. Good one Desmond, lets hope 5HD follows in the summer.

    You never know, maybe C4 may also bring us all an early Christmas present, lets wait and see.


  13. liamo Says:

    This is without doubt the most significant development in Freesat since Channel4HD went FTA – For many NON-HD users its the most significant development ever – ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! FANTASTIC! Well done Freesat and THANK YOU CHANNEL FIVE! I look forward to two brand new channels and their time-shift counterparts! may have said this already but … FANTASTIC! I cant say enough positives folks – And i really cant see anyone having any negative’s to say about this one! (Although im sure someone will try!) . I have never watched 5* or 5USA because… I HAVE NEVER HAD THEM! Freeview reception dire in my area, so IM DELIGHTED!


  14. Kate Says:

    liamo … here it is … 😀

    Don’t press the FreeSat link!


  15. Bob Says:



  16. Freeviewfsn6b Says:

    even less of a need to switch my TV from viewing Freesat to Freeview. 😉

    Just need Quest, Yesterday, Really, 4Music & Viva to make an appearance on Freesat. (Not too bothered about Pick TV, Dave & Challenge).

    Plenty of FTA channels for Freesat to tempt across.
    (i.e. Travel, the Fitness channels, Music channels, Timeshift versions of PopGirl & Tiny Pop)

    What’s being tested on Channel 999 (bbgbb) ?


  17. Anthony Says:

    well done freesat these channels have been missing for a long time. Any new channels will be a bonus. It would be great if discovery quest was coming some time in the near future we can only dream.I say again well done freesat.


  18. GaseousClay Says:

    @ Freeviewfsn6b post #16

    It’s a service by BiBC (British internet Broadcast Company)
    Over the last month they have been testing their BoxOffice365 on demand delivery service.

    showreel here:-


  19. Billybass Says:

    About time,nice one 5 !


  20. Shane Says:

    A great boost to freesat. Channels like five USA and Five* may be lost in the epg on sky, competing against the likes of Living,FX and Sky1. But on Freesat these channels should shine. Im sure many freesat viewers will be delighted with the new additions in early december. Well done freesat and Five!


  21. upthePOSH Says:

    Great news , the wife loves C.S.I and has been nagging me for ages about when these channels would launch. Thanks Freesat and channel 5 , the wife is now happy and if shes happy I’m happy.


  22. Brian P Says:

    Yes! Excellent news.


  23. munc Says:

    Channel 5 all well and good….anyone know why channel 4 HD has been displaying ‘Not available or Scrambled’ for the last few days? 4SD and all other channels are OK


  24. Rosco Says:

    Where are you located munc? C4HD has moved to the Astra 1N uk beam so at the very least your box needs a rescan.


  25. Muzer Says:

    munc: This will happen if you turn your box off at the mains or leave it on (not standby) every night, depriving it of the chance to rescan. Do a Freesat scan via the menu (will bring back deleted channels too) and in the future, be sure to leave it in standby overnight (it uses less than one Watt so energy usage is a non-issue – you’d have to leave it on standby for more than 1000 hours for it to use just one “unit” of energy).


  26. munc Says:

    Thanks Rosco & Muzer…….rescan did the trick..


  27. Justin Says:

    This is great news for the platform, just what we need in the run up to Christmas!


  28. Muzer Says:

    Apparently Sky are now using the 1N versions, so I would expect the 2B transponder to be shut down soon, then they can go FTA.


  29. David Says:

    Absolutely fantastic news, my wife is over the moon, and I am looking forward to them too!

    Also great idea #7 Richard, very cheap way of getting the word around, please put me on the list for one for a Freesat car sticker :-)


  30. steve 1 Says:

    Great news just 5hd now left in 5 family:)


  31. freeviewfsn6b Says:

    @30 and also Demand 5 😉


  32. James B Says:

    Time will tell


  33. steve 1 Says:

    @31 I haven’t got broadband yet so no hurry yet.this platform is snowballing all the time by Christmas it should be the size of a house!:)


  34. Brian Damage Says:

    Good news!


  35. steve 1 Says:

    To admin: You know freesat was set up for a backup for freeview. well couldn’t satellite be a backup for broadband?


  36. admin Says:

    @steve 1

    Freesat was never a Freeview backup, more a service to compliment it. Freesat just used that kind of terminology early days to help encourage growth 😉 It always had aspirations to be as big as Freeview, never its understudy.

    I doubt of this generation of platform Freesat will ever offer broadband capabilities, especially as Freesat is a free platform and broadband via satellite certainly costs a lot of money. SES/Astra offer a broadband service though that you might wish to research if you struggle for broadband access in your area.


  37. steve 1 Says:

    I wouldn’t expect it to be free. I live in the country and live to far from telephone exchange and fibre optics won’t be cheap it could be the only way.its food for thought anyway.


  38. Rosco Says:

    @35 – already is bud! Several companies offer broadband via satellite, but the bandwidth tends to be horribly expensive


  39. Muzer Says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen prices for satellite broadband – speed is fine (probably not as fast as the best fibre in this country, but faster than many people’s DSL), but the bandwidth caps are really limiting for all but the most expensive packages. I don’t know whether it is genuinely that expensive to run, or just monopolising companies working together to artificially keep the price high.


  40. Derek Says:

    Great news but I would love to see FILM4 in HD


  41. Nick Green Says:

    The last reasons for keeping a Sky receiver will disappear on December 6th. Great news!


  42. Freeviewfsn6b Says:

    You’d think Channel 999 would announce these channels ! This forum tells you more than what 999 tells you, and even more than what tells you. :)

    Channel 999 seems to announce Channels after starting !.

    Perhaps they should review this Channel, and put into place a ‘Messaging’ system.

    e.g. When Channel 999 is updated, when TV is switched on, A Message appears stating that Channel 999 has News, and you can either go straight there (by pressing a colured button), or continue to watch the Channel TV was last left in.


  43. Sarah Says:

    Great news especialy when ive kicked sky into touch , ive saved £££££ with freesat and still got plenty to watch , im telling all my neighbours and friends.
    Keep it up guys sky will be a distant memory soon .


  44. steve 1 Says:

    One bit of good news the recession is helping freesat and its hurting sky!.I wonder how many has left sky this year for freesat and it easier for them to switch having a dish already.the money you save in the year will pay for a pvr.


  45. Dave P Says:

    Yes Fresat is just getting better and better.

    Just having one problem recording from channel 4 and their HD channel. My timed recordings don’t always get picked up. The tuner starts to flash as it comes up to the start of the program to be recorded, but then does not pick up the start of the program and doesn’t actually record. Or if it does record it may start recording half way through a program (twice now with Kirsties Handmade Britain).
    Anyone else having problems recording from Channel 4?.
    Don’t know whether it’s the signal being sent down for the program start or a problem with my machine. I have a Panasonic DMR-BS850.
    I never have any problems recording from any other channel.


  46. admin Says:

    @Dave P

    Try a Freesat re-scan from within the menu, Channel 4 HD moved to the new beam and your receiver might not have updated.


  47. Al Holden Says:

    This has to be good news,well done 5.It is now a year since I cancelled $ky,saved almost £450.Not missed in the least and Freesat is a better picture.Just need a few more HD channels to join. :-)


  48. Shane W Says:

    I cancelled my sky contract some 18 months ago when my credit card company offered me 12 months 0% interest on purchases i bought a new LG 42in freesat/freeview tv and a humax hd pvr box my monthly payments were less than my sky contract and i have now got a fairly decent tv with an excellent reciever.
    I have never missed sky and freesat only gets better and better with no future bills.
    Another nail in pay tvs coffin !!!


  49. lee Says:

    Freesat need channels like

    Pick TV
    sky news


  50. admin Says:


    This is mentioned over and over again, the situation is as follows:

    Sky News – Currently available via the non-freesat mode, unlikely Sky are going to offer up their channel on the Freesat EPG, though they may eventually feel it will help promote themselves.

    Pick TV, Viva – These channels are currently free but tied into an encryption deal with Sky, there is a chance of them joining Freesat in the future, as 5* and 5 USA etc are, but that will be down to them.

    Dave, Challenge, Yesterday, Quest, 4Music are all subscription channels, so unless these broadcasters can make fta work for them without the subscription revenue you are unlikely to see them for a long time to come.


  51. Steve Says:

    Yeah baby! Great news. This will mean substantially more people will now join the Freesat platform!
    Well done Channel 5 – I did email them a few years ago asking why they weren’t with us – I’m really delighted they’ve actually joined….


  52. liamo Says:

    @lee @49
    I appreciate what your saying lee but in all honesty Freesat have added 15 new channels this year if you include 5* and 5usa – 15!
    and Racing post! coming soon!

    Come on man! thats good going!

    also as to your list of channels:

    Pick TV
    -we get True Entertainment, True movies 1&2, CBS reality, CBS Action, CBS Drama, Horror channel, BET and their various +1’s

    sky news
    – We do get sky news in FTA mode! and we get 11 news stations – France24, Russia today, BBC News, CCTV, CNBC, Bloomberg, NHK World HD, AL
    jazeera, Euro News, CNN – AND theres 2 more in FTA mode – Press TV and CNC!

    Viva & 4Music?
    -We get 11 music channels man! Thats plenty (3 more in FTA mode too)

    With the addition of the 5*/5USA line-up freesat is sorted and represents the best buy out there at the moment in terms of Free channels, Free HD content, and Free News stations! Also as long as your living in a Freeview area you can always get the above channels too – don’t bother with Freeview-HD, a standard freeview box cost’s nothing these days and that’s if your TV doesn’t already have it which many do!

    Its only my opinion folks but after this and maybe with the possibility of 5HD and who knows maybe More4HD at some stage i think we are sorted! even if these HD’s dont come im happy with my package as is!


  53. Rosco Says:

    You cant possibly count Racing Post as a new channel – its a programming strand on another service – nothing more. If it does well, then who knows what might happen, but its not a separate channel yet.


  54. Saltydawg Says:

    I finally got an email back from the Travel Channel and they tell me they have no plans to join the Freesat platform. Maybe if enough people mail them they may change their mind?


  55. Neil Says:

    Saltydawg: It amazes me why the Travel Channel doesn’t show interest in the platform with over 2million unit sales?? As a FTA channel of decent proportion I’d guess they’d want to be on there??

    Liamo: Interesting we’ve had 15 channels this year added, must be the largest number added per year since launch?? Things are really looking good for Freesat now, more HD will be on the cards from Channel 4, it’s just a case of when.


  56. James B Says:

    And C5HD, cello media have promised too.


  57. Clive Says:

    lee @49
    eerrhh why??


  58. admin Says:

    This is Channel 5’s current position on Channel 5 HD, usual script really:

    We are exploring options to make this channel available on other platforms including Freesat in future, but do not have any additional information at the moment.


  59. James B Says:

    July it is, this was the script for 5*/USA


  60. Tony Says:

    At long last … Its been a while in coming but most of new it was only a matter of time……. Lets hope a few more Hd channels now appear to give the majority something to really smile about…


  61. Lee b Says:

    Excellent news, sky turning off in few days so need to get HDR from loft. I was going to upgrade the drive first but current prices have put me off.


  62. Mark B Says:

    Lee b @ 61

    You’re not buying a brand new box-set are you? Buying a hard drive yourself and manually replacing it is a heck of a lot cheaper.

    Just check online to ensure the hdd is compatible. Bought a new 1TB hdd for £50 and took me less than 2mins to replace the old 320GB hdd in my Humax Foxsat HDR.


  63. Dave P Says:

    Hi Admin: Re points 45/6

    I have retuned the box twice now and it is still not picking up recordings on Channel 4 HD. It flashes to say about to start, but then doesn’t kick in to record.

    Just wondered if you had any other suggestions/ thoughts on this.

    Recordings on all other channels appear to be okay (mainly BBC HD channels used). Channel 4 + 1 seems to record okay which we have used when realising that the HD was not going to pick up.


  64. Peter Says:

    @Liamo 52.

    Freeview HD boxes can be got (refurbished on Ebay) for £19.99 delivered. Tesco had a large number of their Technika STBHDIS2010 boxes with the first version of the firmware. That had the unfortunate tendency of deleting the HD channels whenever there was a simulcast. That was solved fairly quickly but the update was sent on their own data channel on a COM mux which was not available in Freeview Lite areas. That problem was fixed pretty quickly but the side effect is the boxes are as cheap as an ordinary Freeview box AND will have IPTV facilities soon.

    As there are likely to be new services on Freeview broadcasting on the released terrestrial frequencies in the next two years and these are most likely to use DVB-T2, it is a false economy to buy a DVB-T box these days. Indeed, for those in Northern Ireland who want to watch the Saorview services on the mini-muxes or direct from the Republic, a T2 box is essential.


  65. martin Says:

    all i can say is briliant yes glad i stayed with freesat now defo not going back to sky briliant


  66. mediaman Says:

    It’s great news Channel 5 +1, 5 USA and 5* will all be joining Freesat soon. It is also great to see more advertising of the platform running up to Christmas and their new sponsorship deal with Channel 5. I have also heard (but can’t confirm) STV & UTV have held talks in the past few weeks with Freesat about getting their HD channels and +1 Channels on the platform before Christmas. Bad Pony Media is also in talks with Freesat about the launch of their new Scottish based channel which will broadcast new programming including drama, comedy and documentaries and are currently in the process of developing 30 shows for the new channel. All in all Freesat is becoming the platform of choice for broadcasters and long may it continue.


  67. Neil Says:

    Mediaman: Not heard about Bad Pony Media, who’s behind this one? I guess if they are purely Scottish based (and thus helping to promote Scotland to the wider UK) then they might get some sort of grant from the Scottish Parliament?


  68. Lee B Says:

    @Mark B, was planning to get a WD AV GP Drive to upgrade the unit, but the prices are silly for AV GP or pipeline drives….much more than £50 for 1TB.


  69. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @Lee B #68

    Hard drives have more than doubled in price in the past few weeks. It is due to the floods in Thailand which has reduced hard drive supply by 35%. It appears that the manufacturers have been giving priority to the major PC and laptop suppliers leading to a shortage of hard drives to everyone else. Supplies are not expected to get back to the pre flood levels until Autumn 2012.

    One interesting development could be the growth of solid state drives. At the moment they are expensive and lack the capacity however I suspect they will reduce in price and come in higher capacity versions in the next five years. Certainly good for people who want silent PVRs!


  70. Llew Says:

    Great news. Keep em coming Freesat.
    Any news on the Electric Sofa movie channels they announced they would be launching this year , but seems to of gone quiet.


  71. ftauser Says:

    5USA and 5* are FTA now.


  72. Adrian Lucas Says:

    ftauser said:
    5USA and 5* are FTA now.

    Yep – they certainly are !

    If it wasn’t for the footie, I would drop Sky tomorrow.


  73. stu Says:

    This has got to be the best news i have heard all year! great well done channel 5 i look forward to it yyyyiiippppeeeee


  74. digiwatcher Says:

    What’s with leaving epg 127 out? is this the space that channel five hd will be taking up?


  75. Freesat Viewer Says:

    Freesat should look at all the so called “free channels” on sky and try to get then to switch to Freesat. Their viewers would no longer have to subscribe to a package just to get the “free channels” what an advantages it would give then.



    This is great news for all freesat customers like myself we’ve waited sometime for channel 5 to kick sky out and join freesat. I look forward to tuesday 6th for 5+1 then on thursday 8th for the other channels from 5. Any idea what time the channels will start up on freesat ie morning or atfernoon


  77. Al (Original) Says:

    Freesat Viewer said:
    Freesat should look at all the so called “free channels” on sky and try to get then to switch to Freesat. Their viewers would no longer have to subscribe to a package just to get the “free channels” what an advantages it would give then.

    Freesat is not allowed to compete with other platforms.It was one of the stipulations of the licence agreement.

    Whereas they can provide a free platform and approach channels to persuade them to join, I doubt a wholesale attempt to poach all the free channels from Sky so blatantly would go down well with the regulators.

    I think its more a case of targeting the bigger channels in a fair way and making the platform attractive so that maybe others want to join.


  78. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    Llew said: Any news on the Electric Sofa movie channels they announced they would be launching this year , but seems to of gone quiet.

    They’ve said that they won’t make any announcements until dates have been cast in stone. Many are sceptical that anything will happen at all so best to just take an attitude of: “if it happens it happens.”


  79. hugh duffy Says:

    great news about all the “5” channels any news about stv hd or on demand channels in the stv region


  80. ????? Says:

    Kevin McFarlane said: ….. best to just take an attitude of: “if it happens it happens….”

    Shouldn’t be allowed to get away with stating things, then keeping quiet hoping all is forgotten when not actioned.

    Freesat /Manufacturers has done this with ITV player, and getting away with it.

    LG not so lucky, as they ended up suppliying Humax Boxes for their LG Freesat TV owners !!!


  81. Shane Says:

    Launch date for Five USA and Five* has changed.

    Now launching on 6th Dec. Launching on same day as Five+1…


  82. Shane Says:

    Channel 5, our main channel, is currently available on this service. Channel 5 +1 will launch on the service on EPG channel number 128 on Tuesday 6th December 2011.

    Our digital channels 5* and 5 USA, as well as their +1 services, will launch on this service the same day. The relevant EPG channel numbers follow:

    129: 5 USA

    130: 5 USA +1

    131: 5*

    132: 5* +1


  83. Billybass Says:

    Great,sooner than expected,strange how freesat info doesnt mention anything about the five channels on 999,


  84. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    ????? said: Shouldn’t be allowed to get away with stating things, then keeping quiet hoping all is forgotten when not actioned.

    Electric Sofa’s mistake was to have initially announced dates rather than just saying they were working on launching some new stations.

    Ch 5 initially said something like they hope to join Freesat and didn’t specify any dates. That’s what ES should have said. They have the right approach now in not saying anything but the damage had already been done. Still, if and when they do launch I’m sure they will get some viewers.


  85. stu Says:

    Getting excited now todays the days :)


  86. richard gains Says:

    hi ive just got rid of sky as no longer can afford it i now have freesat and am happy with it but my itv1 hd and itv doest give me my local new which is granada it gives me london local new tune it in few times but still the same sam with bbc1 think sorted bbc1 but how can i get my local news on normal itv its central for local new and london on itv hd


  87. admin Says:

    richard gains said:
    hi ive just got rid of sky as no longer can afford it i now have freesat and am happy with it but my itv1 hd and itv doest give me my local new which is granada it gives me london local new tune it in few times but still the same sam with bbc1 think sorted bbc1 but how can i get my local news on normal itv its central for local new and london on itv hd

    You need to ensure the postcode you enter as part of the initial setup is one for the north west region. If you’ve already done that, try again but use a central Manchester postcode to see if it makes a difference.


  88. David Says:


    Can anyone help, just checked for Channel 5+1 and nothing there, re-tuned, still nothing, (but lost everything in the Schedule),when we were told we would get Channel 5+1 on December 6th I thought it would happen at about 3am as usual.


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