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Millions told to check TV set-top box – you will stop receiving BBC channels very soon unless you act now

Millions told to check TV set-top box – you will stop receiving BBC channels very soon unless you act now

SATELLITE TV views could lose access to BBC channels next year as part of a huge upgrade.

The broadcaster is set to switch off its SD (standard definition) channel feeds in favour of HD (high definition) only.


Channels will disappear from SD-only set-top boxes

This means anyone with an older Freesat or Freesat from Sky box that doesn’t support HD will no longer be able to receive the BBC’s channels unless they buy a new box.

Viewers will start to lose their local BBC One programming between January and February this year.

Then in early 2024 they will lose all BBC channels.

BBC One South, BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC Two Northern Ireland started the switch this week.

BBC One East and BBC One East Midlands will follow next week.

Other regional and national channels will make the switch throughout February.

The broadcaster says it needs to switch off the SD channels to be able to launch HD versions of its channels.

How to tell if you’re using an SD-only box

If you’re unsure whether you’re affected, there is a special channel that allows you to check.

Freesat customers can go to channel 799 on your TV.

If your set-top box is fine, it’ll show a “Good news!’ message.

But if it says “sorry, your satellite set-top box is not capable of receiving high definition services” then you’ll need to get a replacement to continue receiving BBC channels in future.

Old Sky SD-only devices can check by going to channel 105.

If you see “Channel 5 HD” then you’re fine, but if it’s just “Channel 5” then you can only receive SD channels.

There’s also a limited help scheme for people who need extra support.

Eligible customers may be entitled to a voucher or a home installation visit. 

You’ll have to register at

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