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Channel 5 HD encryption to be lifted on 3rd May

Sky has announced Channel 5 is officially going free-to-air on Tuesday following weeks of intense speculation and behind-the-scenes preparation for the move from behind the paywall.

Once the encryption is lifted, Channel 5 HD will no longer be part of the range of channels covered by Sky's entertainment pack and will be available to all HD viewers, even without a current viewing card. Viewers in the Republic of Ireland will be able to add the channel via Sky's other channels menu.

The end of the pay TV carriage deal with Sky opens the way for the channel to officially launch on free-to-air services.

Update: Channel 5 HD will launch on Freeview and Freesat on Wednesday 4th May 2016.

Timeline: Channel 5 HD on Freeview
How did we get here? Why did it take so long for Channel 5 HD to go free-to-air?


  1. Two years late in my eyes time for itv ch4 and others to go HD on Freesat and freeview

  2. Glad to see Channel 5HD going free to air as i find sd channels quality awful on large screen tv's


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