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BBC/ITV Freesat - Spring 08

The BBC/ITV service will provide a high definition "guaranteed non-subscription" digital satellite service.

The BBC/ITV service will provide a high definition  guaranteed
published on UK Free TV
Main article: All about Freesat - ukfree.tv - launch update - Freesat Launch: brilliant for everyone - ukfree.tv


We've been reporting about BBC Freesat since early 2006

The BBC's service, which is now set to launch in spring 2008, will provide a "guaranteed non-subscription" digital satellite service.

The boxes will provide a HDTV satellite version of the popular Freeview service, with a number of BBC, ITV channels in high definition plus all the existing services that the current Freesat service provides.

The BBC and ITV Freesat service will also provide an alternate (but compatible) electronic programme guide (EPG), and will provide interactive services.

Currently both Channel 4 and five have agreements with Sky which require their channels (with the exception of Film4) to require the use of a "Freesat From Sky" card. This means that you currently need to purchase a card from Sky Subscriber Services Ltd for 20 to watch Channel 4, five, Five US, Five Life and Sky Three.

Whilst this card is included as part of the 150 cost of Freesat From Sky, Sky have in the past invalidated the existing cards and demanded payment for a new one from Freesat users. Last time Sky did this the telephone number that was provided told customers that the must subscribe and mislead callers telling them no replacement cards were available!

The BBC/ITV service will have several potential uses:

  1. a box-swap replacement to upgrade an existing Freesat from Sky or Sky subscription box for a box with HDTV services;
  2. a box-swap replacement for a Sky+ box for a HDTV satellite personal video recorder;
  3. a multi-room installation with an existing dish fitted with a quad-LNB;
  4. connection to a Windows Vista Media Centre or Windows Home Server;
Mark Thompson (BBC Director-General) said "The BBC's objective in launching Freesat is to support Digital Switchover by providing another way for licence payers to receive digital television channels and radio services, subscription free from the BBC and ITV.

"Its primary purpose is to drive digital take-up in analogue homes, particularly in those areas which are out of digital terrestrial coverage. Freesat also offers a trusted free-to-view digital upgrade path that gives licence payers all the benefits of digital television (notably high definition capability) guaranteed free of subscription."

Michael Grade (ITV Executive Chairman) said "Freesat will build on the success of Freeview by offering viewers a simple and cost effective way of upgrading to digital TV. By filling in the current gaps in Freeview coverage, Freesat will ensure that a free-to-air, no strings attached option for accessing digital TV is available to the whole of the UK ahead of digital switchover. By offering HD capability we will future proof Freesat if, as expected, high definition television continues to capture the imagination of UK viewers."

What channels will be provided?

The current single-channel HDTV service for the BBC is only a test service. It seems reasonable that the BBC will provide the main channels in HD resolution. This will probably not extend to the BBC regional news services, and may not initially include the national variations in HD.

ITV1 is the only network of theirs with regional variations, so again a "Network" version of the channel will be provided in HD, with SDTV potentially regional adverts inserted. It seems reasonable that ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV will also broadcast in HD.

It seems that the other public service broadcasters, Channel 4, five and S4C will want to get on board. This will require E4, C4, More4, five, five Life and five US to change their broadcasts, or for the new BBC Freesat to simulcast these channels as HD.

Channel 4 told the Guardian that the channel "currently has exclusive [digital satellite] carriage deals in place with Sky Digital for the majority of its channels (other than for Film4, which is broadcast free-to-air). Under the Communications Act we would expect to become subject to obligations to ensure the availability of the core channel on all satellite platforms, which would require that Channel 4 was available on Freesat."

As for the other non-public service Freeview channels:
  1. Ftn, The Hits, TMF, UKTV Bright Ideas, UKTV History are locked into Sky subscription agreements, but obviously it would be to the benefit of Freesat if these channels could be made available to the extra 2.5 million homes.
  2. Sky Sports News is a subscription service on satellite and Sky Three would have to go free-to-air, which may happen to show Sky's benevolence.
  3. Sky News is broadcast free-to-air.


Help with Free satellite?
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau1
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My box says "No Satellite signal being received"4
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In this section
Freesat adds a plethora of new channels in time for Christmas including channel 1
A tale of a two Freesat boxes2
Yesterday, Drama and Really joining Freesat this month3
PBS America joins Freesat for Halloween4
Fixing the Freesat Freetime internet connection problem5
Satellite TV operators FRANSAT, TIVUSAT and our Freesat launch FreeTV Alliance 6

Comments
Friday, 13 May 2011
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

4:43 PM

Brian - Just to add to my last post "Strong's" own HD DTR receiver looks remarkably like the "Icecrypt" HD DTR Turbosat UK's own branded range of receivers - as yet not available as a Freesat product but offered up as a "Freeview one. This lends me to think that they are producing set boxes for others.???

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

5:05 PM

Les Nicol: I would expect that the "generic" nature of the boxes probably means they are all badged and boxed versions of the same basic equipment.

The "Freesat" front end is just a few UK-specific menus on the front of a generic receiver.

That's where YouView have been going wrong, trying too hard with the specifications...

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Friday, 24 June 2011
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

1:05 PM

Mark Aberfan - Have you noted and installed the update of May2011 on the Technomate 5402HD? I see that it includes 1-7days EPG on 28 degrees South East. I was checking today and noted this is included with the latest download for the 6800 Super which I have and will install later today.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Mark Aberfan Aerials
sentiment_satisfiedGold

2:57 PM

Hi Les,

Yes mate i've been using it for a while & would say it works well, I can set up recordings directly from the epg. They also recently added youtube, internet radio & online services. I have to say I think it is a very good receiver, connected to a motorised dish I'm using it everyday even though It was originally meant to be a test rig !


Mark Aberfan Aerials

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Mark Aberfan Aerials's 1,059 posts GB flag
Thursday, 21 July 2011
lesnicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

10:30 AM

Brian - You seem to have a server problem in the system?? "The requested URL/bo such page php was not found on the server. This when I try to access latest comments

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lesnicol's 991 posts GB flag
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

1:03 PM

Brian - I see that "What Satellite" Magazine it to be closed. That's a pity as it really is the only publication giving comprehensive reviews on coming developments and pending or newly released receivers,equipment and accessories across the trade. This isn't to mention industry developments and relevant articles of interest published. Perhaps the title may be sold on to another publishing house.

http://www.guardian.co.uk…sell


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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Friday, 22 July 2011
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

1:42 PM

lesnicol: There was a fault, I have found it and fixed it. And it was my fault there was a fault!

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

2:00 PM

Les Nicol: Future to sell or close eight magazines | Media | guardian.co.uk does indeed say that.

It's a great pity, but I guess like most magazines it is hard to be "newsy" with a monthly format.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:44 AM

Harvard Group loses "Grundig" Brand to Manhattan. Rumoured that Manhattan ready to launch HD Freesat receiver come September with an HDR to follow. Pity that "Freesat" didn't bring in some of these manufacturers/distributors with "Pedigree" in satellite receivers prior to launch.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:53 AM

Brian - Interesting to know who still retains the "Grundig" mark? It was aborbed into the Dutch, Philips Group years back. Philips had Parabolic satellite dish equipment sourced from Norway's manufacturer "Fibo" and these were branded both as Philips and Grundig.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
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