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What do I need to watch streamed channels?

To access the extra channels available via the internet on top of your regular Freeview channels, you need a compatible Freeview HD receiver with an internet connection.

This is because the Freeview HD receivers are not only designed to receive HD channels, they're also designed to connect to the internet. (Note: the services being streamed are not in HD.)

BBC Connected Red Button:
The BBC’s new red button service uses a different technical infrastructure to that used by streamed channels accessed via the red button on commercial channels, e.g. Freeview channel 18. Click here more on the BBC's service.

The following information provides details on the non-BBC internet services available on some Freeview devices.

1. If you already have a Freeview HD certified device: Start with a Self Check
(If you don't have Freeview HD, go to point 2)
You can do a quick check to see if your own Freeview HD certified device supports streamed channels by going to 4Music on Freeview channel 18. Do you get a prompt pointing to the red button telling you about extra channels? Does it tell you your receiver is compatible? Similar services also exist linked to channels 35 and 135.

If your TV is connected to the internet (see instruction manual) and you have a speed of at least 2Mbps, pressing the red button on channel 18 will give you access to three more music channels streamed via the internet.
  • Found the extra channels? Find out what else is available in our streamed channels list.
  • Doesn't work? See points 2 and 3, below.

Restricted access to these services on YouView boxes:
YouView boxes are not fully compliant receivers. A workaround is in use to provide access to a limited number of these channels.

2. Have you got a suitable broadband connection?
You'll usually need a broadband connection of at least 2.5 Mbps speed. Ideally, it should be an "unlimited package", available from most internet service providers. You don't need to have fibre broadband if your speeds are fast enough on a standard ADSL/ADSL2+ line.

3. Get a supported device: 

There are two types of streamed channel service on Freeview HD. One set operated by Connect TV from Arqiva and another by Synapse TV (VuTV/TVPlayer).

Each operator has information on which devices in particular are compatible with their services. Please see the links below to their websites.

Connect TV from Arqiva services (e.g. Racing UK, Motors TV)

Compatible devices information from Arqiva

Synapse TV services (e.g. VuTV, TVPlayer and Vision TV)

Compatible devices information from TVPlayer    
Compatible devices information from Vision TV   
Compatible devices information from VuTV   

Updated: 09/12/2014