How To Watch TV Without An Aerial (Freeview & Alternatives)

Own a TV but don’t want to pay for a new aerial to be installed, or perhaps you’re just curious what options are out there for watching TV without an aerial. It’s quite a common question, so we’ve pulled together a blog on the ways that you can go about doing this.

In this article we will talk about:

So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Live TV Without An Aerial

The single most popular TV option is Freeview in the UK, which you will need an aerial for. There are however a few options for getting live TV to your home including Satellite & cable solutions, if you’re researching the topic you may also come across IPTV which rose to prominence with Kodi boxes, it’s a streaming service, but I advise highly against it as it’s illegal in the UK and could lead to a significant fine if caught.

Cable TV
You may be familiar with Virgin Media, one of the UKs largest TV providers. Well they provide their live TV through cable. This may not be the best solution if you’re looking to save money as it’s a subscription only service, and an expensive one at that.

This cable solution will deliver TV, internet and a landline connection all through a single cable to your home, which comes from underground and is a box on the wall usually inside your property. It’s a good solution if you’re willing to pay the monthly fee, as it’s underground it means there is less disruption due to the weather which can often be problematic for satellite TV. Virgin also offer some of the best most reliable speeds in regards to the internet with their fibre solution.

Satellite TV
When you choose to get a satellite you have two main options to watch live TV, the most popular of which and along similar pricing lines of a monthly subscription service to Virgin is Sky. The second option is to go for Freesat TV and for this you’ll need a freesat box.

Some of the freesat boxes on the market can get around 200 channels with a handful being HD, and even a few 4K. It’s a viable option but of course you will need to get a satellite dish installed.

We’ve pulled out a few popular freesat boxes for you as well, which have some great reviews and will do the job perfectly:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Manhattan SX Freesat HD Box
998 Reviews
Manhattan SX Freesat HD Box
  • Enjoy an unrivalled line-up of subscription-free TV from Freesat with...
  • Discover what’s on in the beautiful 8-day TV guide without missing a...
  • Set reminders for your favourite shows in one tap and create your own list...
  • Connect to HDTVs with the included 1.2m HDMI cable for picture-perfect HD...
  • Buy with confidence thanks to the 2-year warranty and in-house UK Technical...
Bestseller No. 2
Freesat 4K TV Box (Non Recordable)
92 Reviews
Freesat 4K TV Box (Non Recordable)
  • 180+ channels with no monthly fees: Entertainment at your fingertips with...
  • On Demand: Watch content, including 4K where available, from some of the...
  • Plug & Play to your satellite dish: Works with your existing UK satellite...
  • Intuitive interface: With an easy to use menu system, the Freesat 4K TV Box...
Bestseller No. 3
FULL HD COMBO Freeview HD + Satellite / FreeSat / Sky HD Receiver Set Top Digi Box 7 DAY Advanced TV Program USB Recorder Digital Television Terrestrial Tuner HDMI&SCART Out, USB WiFi Port Ready, 4in1
1 Reviews
FULL HD COMBO Freeview HD + Satellite / FreeSat / Sky HD Receiver Set Top Digi Box 7 DAY Advanced TV Program USB Recorder Digital Television Terrestrial Tuner HDMI&SCART Out, USB WiFi Port Ready, 4in1
  • ✅ ENJOY 700-800 Freeview HD & Satellite HD TV Channels &90-100 Radio...
  • ✅ NO MONTHLY FEES TO PAY ,YOU CAN USE/Connect YOUR EXISTING...
  • ✅ You can record in FULL HD Quality as instant or a time booked TV...
  • ✅ “USB WiFi Port Ready” : Simply Optional Purchase of a USB WiFi...
  • ✅ The Product works also as a Media Player. You can watch movies or play...

You Might Not Need An Aerial For Live TV

This sounds strange I know, but if you have moved into a new build home you might not actually need an aerial installed for live TV. It’s becoming quite common for new build estates to have a single aerial or satellite dish installed for use by everyone, so you might already have satellite or aerial points in your house, take a look around!

Internet Based TV Options

The internet has quite obviously changed the way we watch TV, gone are the days of Blockbuster and Love Film and ushered in is the new digital version. There are loads of new ways you can watch your favourite films and series with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC Iplayer and many more, most of which require a monthly fee but this is usually a fraction of what you would pay for live TV.

These services could also be the future of live TV, just a few months back Amazon Prime had the Premier League live, as an initial test for demand of the service, there could well be more. How do you watch these services though?

Smart TV
The best way to access all of the latest apps like Netflix & Amazon Prime is to have a smart TV. You simply connect the TV to the internet and they often have buttons on the remote to direct you to all these different apps, and much like a phone usually have an app store in which you can install additional apps.

Smart TVs come in all shapes and sizes, which you can find here. Although we’ve picked out a few of the top choices:

SaleBestseller No. 1
LG Electronics 32LM630BPLA.AEK 32-Inch HD Ready Smart LED TV with Freeview Play - Ceramic Black Colour (2019 model)
654 Reviews
LG Electronics 32LM630BPLA.AEK 32-Inch HD Ready Smart LED TV with Freeview Play - Ceramic Black Colour (2019 model)
  • Enjoy entertainment in stunning detail and Generating fives times the...
  • To support the advanced picture processing required for bright, sharp...
  • With active HDR adapting scene by scene to deliver image Mastering with...
  • Good quality software creates a surround sound effect producing virtual...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Sony Bravia KDL32WE613BU (32-Inch) HD Ready HDR Smart TV (X-Reality PRO, Slim and streamlined design) - Black
859 Reviews
Sony Bravia KDL32WE613BU (32-Inch) HD Ready HDR Smart TV (X-Reality PRO, Slim and streamlined design) - Black
  • With intense highlights and enhanced textures, HDR preserves the detail in...
  • X-Reality PRO upscales and refines the pixels on screen for reduced noise...
  • Browse the web, watch your favourite YouTube clips and enjoy well known...
  • Enjoy smooth and sharp details even in fast-paced action scenes with the...
  • Programme your TV to record your favourite show with the simple connection...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Toshiba 32WL3A63DB 32-Inch HD Ready Smart TV with Freeview Play - Black/Silver (2019 Model)
501 Reviews
Toshiba 32WL3A63DB 32-Inch HD Ready Smart TV with Freeview Play - Black/Silver (2019 Model)
  • Step into the action with HD picture quality for increased clarity, and...
  • Never miss your favourite TV shows, music and film, with Amazon Prime...
  • From speakers to software, your Toshiba TV incorporates everything you need...
  • Toshiba Gaming Mode optimises the vibrancy of your graphics for a more...
  • Included components: 1x Toshiba 32" LED SMART TV - 32WL3A63DB 1x User...

 

Amazon Fire Stick W/ Alexa Voice Control
The Amazon Fire Stick is a plug and play solution, all you have to do is put it in a USB port of your TV, connect it to the internet and away you go. Here are some of it’s great features which we’ve highlighted right below:

  • Control with Alexa voice commands
  • Watch the likes of iPlayer, Youtube, ITV Hub, Prime, Netflix, Disney+ and more.
  • Access to live TV through the internet
  • Options to stream in 4K

 

Now TV Smart Stick
The Now TV Smart stick works in a very similar way to the Amazon Stick above. It has a lot of the same apps and functions. Here are some of it’s selling points:

  • You can buy entertainment passes as bolt ons for live TV, including sport
  • Streams content at 720p
  • Disney+, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV, All4, Youtube, Sky Store, My5 and more
  • One of the cheapest options in comparison to competitors

 

 

Google Chromecast
The Chromecast is a slightly different animal, it was initially used as a mirroring tool so you can cast from your laptop or computer, we often use it at work for presentations. It has since however evolved into being more for TV purposes, again here are some of it’s selling points:

  • Cheap and affordable
  • Resolution of up to 1080p at 60fps
  • Can stream your devices straight to your TV
  • Works with streaming apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime & even Spotify, and it’s voice controlled

 

Android TV Boxes
These boxes have been around quite a while and you can get a few different variations of them, although there roughly around the same price. It essentially runs an android phone interface right off of your TV, meaning you can easily download apps from the store & more.

  • Can be used for much more than just TV and streaming, with a full android interface
  • Advanced operating system & technology means minimal issues and streaming lag
  • 4K Resolution
  • Powerful multi-media device

 

Apple TV
An expensive product as all Apple products are, but Apple TV is great and is a perfect alternative option to normal live TV. Here are some selling points:

  • It has 1080p quality
  • Can be controlled by voice using Siri remote
  • Thousands of apps in the app store, including the likes of Netflix, Prime, ITV Hub, iTunes and more
  • There’s also a superior 4K option

 

Do I Need A TV Licence?

You don’t always need a TV licence, and you don’t need one just if you have a TV set. It’s only if you watch live TV, which can include through apps or other services like ITV Hub for instance. You also have to pay a TV licence if you watch any BBC programs, even if they are on iPlayer.

Can I Watch Freeview Without An Aerial?

Not that we are aware of. To stream Freeview in its full capacity unfortunately you will need an aerial to do so. There are ethernet based options, but some of which are illegal and others will usually only offer a similar service.

Indoor Aerials – A Good Solution (Freeview)

If you want to watch Freeview then your best option might be to get an indoor aerial. These are simple to use and you can get some pretty powerful ones nowadays, gone are the old ones that you had to re-tune and move around the room just to watch your favourite channels. Here are a few of our top picks:

Bestseller No. 1
TV Aerial, Indoor TV Aerial 120 Miles Freeview Aerial with Amplifier Signal Booster, 4K 1080P Ultra HD Stronger Reception TV Signals, VHF/UHF/FM & 13.2FT Coax Cable & USB Power Adapter
1,536 Reviews
TV Aerial, Indoor TV Aerial 120 Miles Freeview Aerial with Amplifier Signal Booster, 4K 1080P Ultra HD Stronger Reception TV Signals, VHF/UHF/FM & 13.2FT Coax Cable & USB Power Adapter
  • 📺Long Range Up to 90-120 Miles - Our newest 2020 TV Aerial with...
  • 📺Stylish Ultra-thin Paper Design - Our TV aerial is designed super thin...
  • 📺Easy to Install TV aerial - Place the TV aerial on a window or wall for...
  • 📺High Quality 13.2FT COAX CABLE - With a 13.2FT coaxial cable to make TV...
  • 📺Free HDTV & Zero Bill - Never pay expensive cable or satellite fees...
Bestseller No. 2
Firmrock TV Aerial Newest,Freeview Indoor TV Aerial,50 Miles Digital TV Aerial 0.5mm Ultra Thin HDTV DVB-T2 Aerial with 12 FT Long Cable
1,612 Reviews
Firmrock TV Aerial Newest,Freeview Indoor TV Aerial,50 Miles Digital TV Aerial 0.5mm Ultra Thin HDTV DVB-T2 Aerial with 12 FT Long Cable
  • 【TV Channels for Free】You don't have to pay your cable or satellite fee...
  • 【Amplifier Signal Booster & 1080p HD Shows】 The detachable amplifier...
  • 【50 miles+ Signal Reception & 12 Feet Coaxial Cable】 This tv aerial can...
  • 【Lightweight & Ultra-Thin】Ultra-thin TV antenna is flexible and easy to...
  • 【Easy to Use】 Hassle-free installation with 3 steps-Unwrap, plug it and...
SaleBestseller No. 3
August DTA240 - High Gain Freeview TV Aerial - HD Portable Indoor/Outdoor Digital HD Antenna for USB TV Tuner / DVB-T Television / DAB Radio / SD / 4K - With Magnetic Base
6,456 Reviews
August DTA240 - High Gain Freeview TV Aerial - HD Portable Indoor/Outdoor Digital HD Antenna for USB TV Tuner / DVB-T Television / DAB Radio / SD / 4K - With Magnetic Base
  • Optimized for Digital Reception - Receive clear Freeview broadcasting in...
  • Magnetic Base - Place on metal surfaces to increase Signal Reach and...
  • Compact and Lightweight - Perfect for Portable TV's, Multimedia Players,...
  • Standard Coaxial Cable - Ideal for use with all Digital Ready devices such...
  • 6.5ft Cable – Attach to the roof of Trucks, Cars, Caravans, and Motor...

Mat

A complete novice trying to navigate in the world of DIY. I bought my first home about 2 years ago & ever since I've been trying to research & learn how best to tackle common household problems.

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