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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
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?2
What is a CA module?3
My box says "No Satellite signal being received"4
Is there any way I can get free channels via satellite and have the kind of hard5
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
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

7:41 AM

Les Nicol: It's always a bit complicated. Perhaps I should sort some type of diagram?

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

10:18 AM

Brian - When "Grundig" went into administration it was taken on for a short time by Dutch group Philips who subsequently disposed of their acquisition to joint owners Beko SA of Turkey and Alba Group UK I believe that Alba/Harvard then subsequently disposed of their holding to Beko but with conditional branding rights. I don't know what this entailed but obviously this seems to have terminated - reason unknown by me.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
J
John
5:38 PM

Les Nicol:
I was an RSM for Grundig for over 8 years, most of the shares were held with Chantelle and Philips Group (inc B&O) - she was the most eligible female in the World at one point.Grundig manufactured Seimens - Sony and most of the World's high end brands for many years. Sad to hear they have gone - great memories.... John - need more info, no problems!

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John's 2 posts GB flag
lesnicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

5:59 PM

John, Brian - A little correction - Philips owned from 1993 untill 1998 when they sold it off to a Bavarian Financial consortium, It never really pcked up and eventiually went into bankruptcy in 1993, selling of it's Satellite equipment division to Thompson. In 2004 Beko and Alba/Harvard group each picked up an equal 50/50 share of the brand rights. Since then Harvard Group sold their holding to Beko retaining brand usage in Europe until the end of 2010, but I understanding they still retain brand usage in Australasia until the end of 2012.

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lesnicol's 991 posts GB flag
lesnicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:05 PM

John -Brian - Apologies correction line 3 the year should read 2003 and not 1993.

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lesnicol's 991 posts GB flag
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

6:55 PM

lesnicol: This a fascinating example of what happens to the concept of a "brand" when it gets detached from the quality it is supposed to provide.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Thursday, 28 July 2011
lesnicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:50 AM

Brian;- Whilst many "Brands" are just that and some vompanies holdin brand rights set specs for their branded products almost alll are now produced in the far East particularly China. This company:- Shenzen Plute H.Tech co. Ltd in Guanqdong, Mainland China, are a manufacturing base for Technomate, Strong, AZBox, 500 and 600 series Dreambox recievers etc etc. Terrestrial products are also produced here. Likewise Another Chinese company maufactuers PC Mainboards for Dell, HP, etc and also turns out iPods.

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lesnicol's 991 posts GB flag
Friday, 29 July 2011
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

7:40 AM

lesnicol: I just find it strange that the whole concept of a "brand" was that the "brand image" was connected with the quality product, but somewhere along the line the product is changed but somehow the brand image remains.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

7:12 AM
Castle Douglas

Brian -
Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Out December.

Our goal with the product is to target the normal person with a non-motorised dish that wants to benefit from all that freesat and the other FTA channels that ASTRA 28.2 has to offer. Ill try and describe some more of the product for you:

- Unlike most TV recorders the Plaza HDR-S is whisper quiet in operation due to its fanless design and use of the latest hard disk technology from Western Digital. It is also extremely compact in size (W280mm, D170mm, H40mm).

- The Plaza HDR-S keeps things organised for you by automatically grouping your recordings by series. The channel banner allows you to see up to 24 hours ahead so you dont have to leave watching live TV to see whats on later.

- You can create a list of your favourite channels and then easily find what you want to watch using the dedicated button on the remote to either show only those channels in the Programme Guide or cycle thru your favourite channels using the Channel Banner.

- If over 150 Freesat channels are not enough the Plaza HDR-S can automatically add hundreds more non-Freesat channels. Combine them with freesat channels on your favourites list for true power viewing.

- Make a direct digital connection to your HDTV using HDMI for perfect picture and sound or use the digital optical audio output to connect to an external sound system. Those with older equipment havent been forgotten as the HDR-S boasts both twin SCART outputs and left/right analog audio outputs too. The ethernet port connects the Plaza HDR-S to your network and theres a USB port for offline updates.

There will be 320GB and 500GB models available and they will be priced significantly below the competition.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Les's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

11:10 AM
Castle Douglas

Les Nicol: Brian, The plus with this impending HDR seems to the ability to move between channels "Freesat" and FTA in a favourites list without having to switch modes.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Les's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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