How to Get Freeview on Apple TV [Guide 2024]

If you’re looking for Freeview on Apple TV, odds are you’re already quite familiar with what it is. For a refresher, Freeview is the most popular DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) platform that provides free-to-air broadcast channels to viewers in the United Kingdom alongside a few other countries.

Launched in 2002 as a replacement for the ageing analogue TV broadcasting system, the main appeal of Freeview is its offering of a wide selection of channels without the need for a premium cable or satellite subscription to a pay-TV provider. It includes terrestrial networks like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and many others.

Over the years, Freeview has drastically evolved and introduced various changes and upgrades, including the transition to HDTV broadcasting and now to Freeview Play, which allows viewers to access 60,000+ hours of catch-up TV via services like BBC iPlayer, ITVX, and UKTV Play through their compatible receivers over the internet.

Even today, it continues to dominate the hybrid TV market alongside YouView, with Freeview HD tuner and Freeview Play integrated into nearly all connected television sets and set-top boxes sold in the United Kingdom.

But what if you want to enjoy Freeview on Apple TV? Can you view Freeview channels and catch-up programmes on your big screen via your Apple-branded streaming box? There’s more to it than just a simple yes or no, which is why we’ve created this guide. Continue reading to learn more.

Can You Get Freeview on Apple TV?

Unfortunately, Freeview is unavailable as a dedicated app on Apple TV in the UK, unlike in Australia, where Freeview FV is downloadable as a tvOS app on the App Store.

Freeview typically relies on terrestrial digital TV broadcasts and requires viewers to have a dedicated aerial and receiver or a compatible television with a built-in Freeview tuner to access its “free-to-air” channels. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stream your favourite channels and programmes via your Apple TV.

You see, the most popular Freeview channels have their own streaming apps on the Apple TV’s App Store. For instance, BBC iPlayer, which offers free streaming access to the BBC channels and catch-ups, is available on Apple TV. The same goes for ITVX (known formerly as ITV Hub), which is ITV’s ad-supported streaming platform.

There are similar apps you can download and then navigate through their interfaces to watch the live and on-demand programming they offer. The best part is you don’t necessarily need a subscription to access their content unless you’re also looking for an ad-free experience plus a premium selection of box sets.

Sure, the absence of Freeview Play on Apple TV means losing the convenience of browsing through all the great shows from all the different channels you love watching within the same interface, plus the old-fashioned TV guide where you can check what’s currently on and will air next across your favourite channels.

However, Freeview Play only serves as a content aggregator. You can always use the Freeview mobile app [App Store | Play Store] to find what you want to watch across all the on-demand/catch-up services with top picks per category. It also features a channel guide for setting reminders, so you never miss your favourite shows.

List of Freeview Players on Apple TV

Freeview on Apple TV

As mentioned, you can get various streaming apps on your Apple TV to watch live Freeview channels alongside catch-ups and on-demand box sets. You won’t need to set up an aerial antenna as the majority of these streaming players allow watching live channels over the internet. Here are your options:

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is your all-in-one app for accessing the latest TV series, documentaries, news, and sports programs across the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) network, including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, etc.

Whether you prefer watching live broadcasts or on-demand episodes of your favourite edge-of-the-seat dramas like Peaky Blinders, side-splitting comedies like The Royle Family, nail-biting thrillers like Killing Eve, or reality shows like The Apprentice, iPlayer on Apple TV has got you covered.

For the little ones, the streamer offers all their beloved shows from CBBC and CBeebies, and parents can create a child profile to ensure an age-appropriate experience.

iPlayer on Apple TV lets you pause, restart, and rewind live channels at any point, and once you sign in, curate a personalised playlist of your most loved shows, start watching on one device and seamlessly resume on another, and get content recommendations tailored to your preferences.

ITVX

ITVX isn’t just a simple rebrand of ITV Hub; it’s bigger and better than ever, with an extensive 15,000+ hour library of well-loved British (and American) box sets, a rotating selection of captivating blockbuster films, and fresh exclusive originals from ITV and other content studios you won’t find elsewhere.

From iconic sitcoms to game shows, timeless dramas to cult classics, and even special sports coverage from ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe, and CITV – it’s all on ITVX, available live, on-demand, and for catching up – and did we mention, it’s all free?

You can also subscribe to ITVX Premium (£5.99 a month) on Apple TV, which removes ads from on-demand content and adds thousands more hours of hit programming from BritBox and other premium providers.

Channel 4

Looking for a diverse range of entertainment? Look no further than the Channel 4 app (formerly All4) on Apple TV. It lets you stream a variety of British and American television shows, true crime documentaries, comedies, dramas, live sports, and more from Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4, and 4seven – live and on-demand.

From Gogglebox to The Inbetweeners, it has comedy and drama covered. Plus, you can enjoy Hollywood blockbusters and reality shows like Married at First Sight, Made in Chelsea, and The Great British Bake-Off, alongside The Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty, The West Wing, and much more.

Like iPlayer and ITVX, the Channel 4 app learns your preferences and suggests new shows you’ll love. You can also create a watchlist and seamlessly resume watching your favourite shows between your Apple TV on a bigger screen and other devices on the go.

And if you don’t like the ads and want early access to the latest Channel 4 programming, there’s the Channel 4+ subscription.

My5

My5 on Apple TV is your go-to for all things Channel 5, your gateway to all your beloved programmes from the network, encompassing Channel 5, 5STAR, 5SELECT, 5USA, and 5ACTION – all at your fingertips and absolutely free.

Between watching your favourite shows live, you can effortlessly catch up on dramas, soaps, reality shows, and sports events from Channel 5. Additionally, you can dive into a treasure trove of hundreds of binge-able box sets to explore. Like iPlayer, My5 has a solid selection of kids’ shows, including Peppa Pig.

By signing in with a free My5 account, you get early access to brand-new shows and exclusives. Moreover, it allows you to keep tabs on your viewing history and seamlessly continue watching from right where you left off.

UKTV Play

UKTV Play lets you catch up on shows, box sets, and series from Dave, Drama, Yesterday, and W channels whenever you want – live and on demand.

With thousands of episodes from dramas and comedies like Tell Me Your Secrets, Would I Lie To You?, Hypothetical, Brokenwood, Sister Boniface, Meet the Richardsons, reality programs such as Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over and Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, UKTV exclusive originals, and a bevvy of hit classics, there’s something for everyone.

CBS Catch Up Channels UK

CBS Catch Up Channels UK is another Freeview player offering your favourite content from CBS Reality, LEGEND, RealityXtra, and HorrorXtra. Enjoy original series, box sets, and movies, all with a user-friendly interface for Apple TV.

Dive into CBS Reality’s true crime programming, with exclusive series and docus featuring real cases. LEGEND explores classic genres like action, thriller, and sci-fi. RealityXtra emphasises real-life stories, from legal dramas to factual crime docuseries. And if you’re a fan of the supernatural, fantasy, and suspense genres, HorrorXtra is for you.

When you aren’t watching the live channels, you can binge on some of the UK’s top shows like Judge Judy, Murder by the Sea, Evidence of Evil, Donal MacIntyre’s Released to Kill, Medical Detecting, and Star Trek, plus a sizeable collection of movies from LEGEND.

POP Player

Your kids can now enjoy their favourite POP shows on their own schedule through POP Player on Apple TV. Designed for children aged 4 to 11, it’s a user-friendly, free on-demand streamer featuring a fantastic lineup of age-appropriate TV shows. One can explore by channel and genre and even save their favourite titles.

From Tiny Pop’s True and the Rainbow Kingdom, Talking Tom and Friends, Dino Ranch, and Enchantimals to POP’s Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, Super Wings, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Miraculous, and not to forget classics like Pokémon, Bakugan, and Power Rangers available on POP Player.

STV Player

STV Player is available throughout the United Kingdom to stream live, catch up, and binge on box sets – all free. You can access 1,500+ hours of STV programmes, including shows like Tom Jones, Nolly, Maryland, Six Four, Most Haunted, McLeod’s Daughters, and Scotland Ocean Nation, with classic episodes of Brookside arriving every Wednesday.

And for those within STV’s broadcast areas, you can tune into live streams of the STV and STV+1 channels and catch up on your favourite STV shows, dramas, and sports for up to 30 days. If you prefer an advertisement-free experience, subscribe to STV Player+ on Apple TV for uninterrupted on-demand viewing.

FAQ: How do I get these Freeview players on Apple TV?

It’s just like how you get any other streaming app on your Apple TV, be it Netflix, NOW, or Prime Video. With your Apple TV powered on and connected to the internet:

  • Navigate to the App Store from the Home Screen using your Siri Remote.
  • Find the Freeview player (g., BBC iPlayer, ITVX, STV Player) you want to download on the “Discover” page.
  • Then click the Get button on the app’s overview screen, followed by a second time for confirmation.

If you can’t seem to find a particular streaming app on the App Store Discover page, head to the Search section (magnifying glass icon at the top) and use the virtual keypad to search by the app’s name.

But once you download it successfully, the Freeview player should be accessible from your Apple TV Home Screen. Simply launch it and enjoy tuning into your favourite live channels, catching up with the latest episodes of your favorite programs and replays of sporting events, and bingeing exclusive box sets on-demand.

On Apple TV 3rd generation or newer, you don’t need to do all this when you can simply use the mobile apps on your iPhone or iPad to cast the Freeview streams to your big screen over AirPlay. Most of the streaming players discussed above support the AirPlay protocol, and it should work flawlessly as long as your Apple devices are on the same network.

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Conclusion

And there you have it – a comprehensive guide to Freeview on Apple TV. While you can’t directly connect an aerial to your Apple TV and expect to just tune into the free-to-air Freeview channels in your area, there are several live/on-demand streaming players you can get from the App Store to watch the content you love (and a lot more) without paying for a long-term TV contract or recurring subscriptions.

Disclaimer

Residents of the United Kingdom typically need a TV Licence to watch live broadcasts, including Freeview channels. Since they’re also considered live TV, this requirement applies regardless of whether you’re watching TV on a traditional connection or streaming via an Apple TV.

The TV Licensing (tvlicensing.co.uk) authority is responsible for administering TV Licences in the UK. They provide detailed information on their website about who needs a licence and how to obtain one if necessary. Failure to have a TV Licence when required can result in fines or legal action.

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