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Channel 5 HD now testing on Freeview

Channel 5 HD has started testing on Freeview ahead of an imminent launch, which sees the service coming from behind the paywall and available to all HD viewers for the first time.

Test transmissions started earlier today, with the channel occupying capacity on the national BBC-owned Freeview HD multiplex (PSB3/BBC-B), which already carries the other main four channels in HD to around 98.5% of UK households.

An official go-live date hasn't yet been announced, but the move, when complete, will enable every Freeview HD household to watch the channel. This also includes viewers with YouView.

It's been speculated that the service will take over channel 105, which was left vacant by BBC Three HD at the end of March.

Channel 5 HD recently started carrying Freesat programme data alongside its satellite signal.

Can I watch now?
Most devices won't receive the new service yet: it's testing behind the scenes. Once it is officially ready to go live, it will appear on the Freeview HD channel line-up. In the meantime, computer software fed with a Freeview HD signal via a DVB-T2 compatible USB stick can display the channel using the service ID 17728 (as shown above).

Is this using the former BBC Three HD capacity?
No. This is a separate 24 hour slot. The former BBC Three HD capacity would only be available from 9pm - although CBBC HD is currently using all of BBC Three HD's former hours, with a promo loop from 9pm.

Channel 5 HD is currently testing. Test transmissions are subject to interruptions, cessation or other background technical changes without notice and are not intended for domestic viewing or recording.


  1. It would be unlike Freeview to give C5 the vacant LCN slot on Freeview. Although it makes sense surely by Freeview's usual rules it should go to C4 as the nearest PSB.

    1. I think in this instance they might well bend the rules as its a simulcast of a PSB channel, even though the HD version isn't officially a PSB channel.

  2. Finally something probably worth retuning for. Last time I retuned my Freeview HD boxes was 16 months ago around Christmas 2014 (I usually do it annually but couldn't be bothered last Christmas).

  3. If you have a Humax HDR Fox T2 with custom firmware installed it's possible to add the C5 HD test stream to the EPG. I'd quote a link to instructions if I could remember what policy on links off site is here.


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