The hidden extra channels available on Freeview

Extra Freeview channels available to users with certain TVs are hiding in plain sight and provide access to a diverse range of special interest stations.

You won't find most of them in the main Freeview channel list. Instead you can access a number of these services by pressing the red button when tuned into certain Freeview channels or by visiting a channel portal through certain Freeview channel numbers.

The TV or Freeview box needs to be compatible and connected to the internet but doesn't need to be an up-to-date model - TVs from the last 7-8 years are more likely than not to be compatible - sadly there isn't an exhaustive list of devices - so why not try and see if these services work on your TV:

So what's available?

More Music

4Music also offers extra choice with a red button prompt giving access to

  • Kerrang, 
  • Kiss,
  • Magic TV
On compatible TVs, the red button prompt with the caption "more music TV" appears in the top right corner of the screen within 60 seconds of switching on channel 29.

Now 90s can now be streamed via Freeview channel 271

Music channels Now 90s and Clubland can now be accessed via the Channelbox portal.  Go to channel 271, wait for it to load and navigate to the relevant channel via the left and right keys on your remote.

Country music and archive feature channel Spotlight TV can be accessed through Vision TV on channel 264.

More Shopping

QVC allows viewers to access a wider range of channels via its red button service.

On Freeview channel 16, a red button prompt will appear on compatible devices which will allow you to choose from a selection of QVC channels.

  • QVC HD
  • QVC Beauty
  • QVC Extra
  • QVC Style
  • QVC+1

A similar service is also available on channel 35 through QVC Beauty, which only broadcasts on a part time basis on traditional Freeview.

Jewellery Maker and Shopping Quarter (incorporating Sewing Street) also offer extra choice: during Jewellery Maker's morning broadcast on channel 73, select red to access Sewing via your internet connection. That's ideal if you are not in the range of Shopping Quarter's signal on Freeview, which is only available in some areas on Freeview 74.

More hours

Freeview doesn't have as much bandwidth as other TV platforms, so slots are more expensive and some channels limit their hours to reduce costs or because they can only secure of part-time slot. However when the main Freeview service ends, these channels keep on going:

  • QVC Beauty - channel 35
  • Jewellery Maker - channel 73
  • NOW 70s - channel 78
  • Hochanda - channel 85

If you access these channels on a compatible device during the times they are not broadcast via Freeview's terrestrial network, a web stream of the channel will load. It make take up to a minute to load on slower devices, and you'll be alerted to the fact that this channel is being delivered by your broadband provider.

More languages 

Vision TV (channel 264) and Channelbox (271) offer access to a number of global channels.

The French language service from France 24 is currently available on both Vision TV and Channelbox.

For Greek speakers, Hellenic TV via Channelbox includes content from the Greek and Cypriot public broadcasters.

Channelbox also has Rudaw TV, supplying Kurdish language programming and the bilingual Vox Africa, which was the home of the French-African version of talent show The Voice.


Planet Knowledge on Freeview

In addition to live linear channels, special interest on-demand platforms are also available using the same system.

  • On-demand 365 (channel 265) combines the Sports Channel Network offering sports fans coverage of a wide variety of sports, including some not widely featured elsewhere, plus Planet Knowledge  with its vast library of factual programmes, from motoring to history.
  • For children, Ketchup TV and Yaaas! (211),  open up a world of children's programming to watch anytime.

Finally, pressing red on Moscow based RT, will, on compatible devices, provide access to the RT Documentary channel, providing a different perspective on events.

  • The operators of these services recommend a minimum broadband speed of around 2.5Mbps.

This article was updated on 13th May, following changes to Planet Knowledge, Sports Channel Network, Ketchup and Yaaas.