Is Freesat different from Freesat from Sky (fsfs)?
Brian Butterworth published on UK Free TV
How is Freesat going to be different from Freesat from Sky (fsfs)? There are a number of components tot the Freesat which differs it from the offering from Sky. Sky's FreeSat from Sky (fSfS). These are:
fSfS is basically a service that BskyB had to offer, because without it the company stood the risk of being brought to task for monopolizing the UK satellite television market. This is because BskyB is a systems integrator, it does not own the content it broadcasts, the satellites up there in orbit over the equator. The data standards used (MPEG-2) to broadcast the channels are public ones, the up linking is done by companies such as BT. The fSfS system is therefore an attempt to demonstrate legally that the satellite system is still open.
fSfS uses the same electronic programme guide as the Sky subscription service. This is encrypted and requires permission from Sky to use, as Sky charges third parties to be listed on the EPG.
The EPG has several issues. The first of these is the listing prominence which is the idea that channels are more likely to be watched by casual viewers if they appear on lower numbered channels. For this reason the five public service channels BBC one, BBC TWO, itv-1, Channel 4 and five occupy the first five slots.
These channels are also unique because they do not always transmit the same programmes nationwide at the same time. The BBC four nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) on BBC two, with England broken down to many more regions on BBC one. On many days these are less than one daily hour of regional news in England.
ITV operates a legacy system of regional news studios. In England and Wales, ITV plc operates the third channel, and this is used in the same way as BBC one to provide some regional news. However, for ITV1, the regions are more numerous to offer flexibility for advertisers. In Scotland STV operates two ITV regions, with UTV operating in their province.
Channel 4 has one obvious region Wales were S4C is analogue fourth channel for the Principality, but also operates a regional advertising system. Five also operates regions for the advertisers.
Using the terrestrial broadcast network these regions are created by providing each transmitter with the appropriate regional service, but on satellite it has proved necessary to uplink each and every region to the satellites, and then the EPG is used to provide the correct five channels from the pool of transmissions.
After this they are allocated as seen fit by the EPG provider. With Freesat, when a box is first installed, you will be required to select your location so as to get the region you want.
Another change between the Freesat and fSfS is the interactive services. On fSfS the interactive services are provided by Sky's (oxymoronic) OpenTV system. The MHEG-5 interactive services on satellite are going to be, I understand, considerably better and in HD.
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Thursday, 13 January 2011
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Spoke to a member of maplin's today who has changed from sky to freesat. All she did was take out the skybox and replace it with a freesat. Seems you can pay anything up to £25o for a freesat box. However a £75 box and an external harddrive to record onto should work just as good.
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