Join Freesat

Jul 26 2011

One of the most commonly asked questions we get asked (apart from where’s Dave!!!) is whether the on-demand services from Channel 4 (4OD) and Channel 5 (Demand 5) will be coming to Freesat.

We know that discussions have been ongoing between the broadcasters and Freesat to increase the number of interactive services and it appears that Freesat are now finishing their email news announcements with the following tag line:

Freesat is a subscription-free satellite TV service offering digital television to everyone in the UK. It offers more than 150 TV, radio and interactive channels, including free HD services from ITV, the BBC and Channel 4; Freesat+ to record, pause and rewind; BBC iPlayer, ITV Player with 4OD and Demand 5 coming soon; all for free.

Now of course “coming soon” doesn’t mean much in this industry, but the suggestion that they will is certainly very promising and a further positive step for this forward thinking platform.

55 Responses to “4OD and Demand 5 Expected”

  1. original steve Says:

    It’s like waiting for a bus 3 come along at once


  2. Dave P Says:

    Sorry to be thick, but exactly what are ’40D’ and ‘Demand5’ ?.
    No comments about bra sizes!!!!
    What we really want are Channel 5 HD, and ITV HD to give you a decent Dolby sound track to their films, not just 2,0 PCM when Dolby 5.1 exists for the film – and they could allow you a single copy on them so you don’t have to keep them on your hard drive.


  3. original steve Says:

    They are like BBC I player ch4 4od ch5 demand 5


  4. Brian P Says:

    Oh well, perhaps one day I will have broadband speeds that allow me to watch these channels. It’s just a dream for some of us.


  5. James C Says:

    oh that’s good I won’t have to keep switching to the Bravia TV for these.


  6. CarrotMan Says:

    …and where is Dave? ;o)


  7. Neil Says:

    This is good news and by the sounds of things means these services are most likely in the pipeline. It does make you wonder whether, and as I posted similarly about ITV Player in the previous thread, as BBC iPlayer was the Guinea Pig for the IPTV protocol on Freesat as a whole, if ITV Player on a commercial basis can be now rolled out a bit quicker, then hopefully 4OD/Demand 5 could also appear without too much delay, once that is they actually get it up and running.

    For me 4OD would be fantastic as I watch a lot of Channel 4’s output and the ability to see this on my TV would be great. It’s also nice to see Channel 5 starting to finally take the platform seriously if they are possibly going to commit to the addition of Demand 5 too.

    If they decide to allocate 904 and 905 to these services then what would 902 be for? Maybe, and another good addition, it could be the UK Radio Player which has metadata compatible for inclusion on connected TV’s and STB’s?


  8. Muzer Says:

    @Dave P: they’re video on demand services for Channel 4 and Channel 5 respectively. In other words, they allow you to catch up programmes you’ve missed on those respective channels, if you have a Freesat HD receiver that is connected to the Internet. Such services that already exist are BBC iPlayer for nearly all such devices, and ITV Player in beta (testing) for Humax devices only.


  9. Al Catraz Says:

    A “forward thinking platform” they may be, but delivery is more important to we end users.
    We were promised ITV player last Autumn, then it was “coming soon” at the start of 2011, and now we have a new service “coming soon” when last year’s promised delivery is still outstanding!
    Promises wear a bit thin after a while when delivery is delayed time and time again due to various “unforeseen technical problems”. I now take all these announcements with a pinch of salt and ignore them I’m afraid – it’s all “vapourware” until it arrives on the screen.


  10. Neil Says:

    Al (9);

    Whilst I agree with your frustration, I think it’s unfair to lay the blame solely at Freesat for this as it requires as much work by ITV as does Freesat to make the service a reality. Channel 4’s 4OD service would be implemented in part by Red Bee’s support (their playout contractor) who handle iPlayer for the Beeb and therefore have extensive knowledge of multi-platform IPTV delivery already.

    I agree that ITV Player is long overdue from it’s original promised date but, being an optimist, I’d like to believe that each broadcaster’s willingness to roll out their interactive service is down to that broadcaster alone so further additions may happen sooner than it has taken for that of ITV’s.

    It should not take anywhere near as long now for ITV Player’s full Freesat hardware rollout as it took for BBC iPlayer’s considering the manufacturers (e.g. Panasonic, Harvard, Sagem etc) won’t need to implement software updates for this or further interactive services. It was these, Panasonic in particular, who kicked their heels in getting the firmware updates to us, something not 100% within Freesat’s control.


  11. Robert O Mahony Says:

    I really hope 4od will work in Ireland since BBC player and itv does not work here and 4od INTERNET version does :)


  12. Bob Says:

    I just use the playstation instead – 4OD doesnt seem to locked to UK IP addresses


  13. original steve Says:

    If u haven’t got landline broadband for I player etc can u use mobile broadband I do have high speed 3g?I don’t know about the technical side


  14. Rogerd Says:

    Is it safe to assume that these 2 services will not work on my 2008 Panasonic that still can’t get iPlayer?? And is that still due in September does anyone know?


  15. AlexR Says:

    Any plans for a Full BBC IPlayer with Radio the same as available on a PC????


  16. Dan Says:

    @12 i use my PS3 for on demand as well, seems a lot faster to load


  17. Peter Says:


    In theory yes, in practice no.

    These services require a reliable 2Mb/second service and are very hungry for data. I think even with 3’s “All You Can Eat”, you would be cut off due to excess usage and I believe most, if not all, exclude audio and video streaming.

    3G connections are often terrible in terms of speed. OK for internet pages but I have experienced cases where a USB dongle on a computer was giving well under 100 bps – less than the “up” rate on Prestel.


  18. Richard Crichton Says:

    It would be a great idea to have UK Radioplayer on Freesat. That way we can get all subscribing UK radio stations not just BBC ones that iplayer with radio would provide.


  19. Russ Says:

    @ 14 Rogerd,

    I was on the panasonic site yesterday and some time september is the e.t.a. for I-player on 2008 models. They did stress they could not guarantee this however. They also stated that there would be no more software updates for this model with regards to future developments on the freest platform.


  20. original steve Says:

    I player etc is clever but the picture quality not as good as normal tv having a pvr is so much better with series link etc


  21. Richard Crichton Says:

    Adam Crozier, ITV’s chief executive, said the group will start charging the public for some content on its ITV Player from early next year.Doh
    Will that include Freesat?
    Who would pay to watch that dross?
    Rip-off Britain strikes again.


  22. original steve Says:

    Another reason then to my post @ 20 it won’t be freesat then paysat


  23. Richard Crichton Says:

    origional steve
    PVR is good but iplayer etc is good for stuff you forget to record. It’s not one or the other both are required in my case.


  24. Jock Says:

    In other threads we have all been panning the programme content of ITV. If it’s rubbish when first transmitted, why do we want it “on demand”?

    In addition, these on-demand services are very hungry for broadband bandwidth. ISPs use a variety of methods to deal with people who exceed their bandwidth, none of which is very nice. For those of us who live wa oot in teuchter land (out in the sticks) it is likely to be a long time before we get up-to-date broadband. Until then. on-demand TV will remain a novelty.


  25. Neil Says:

    Richard: Will be interesting what they charge for and how this would work, if at all, with Freesat? Maybe you’d have to set up some sort of account online and then enter a PIN in to the Freesat ITV Player portal? Whatever they charge for, they’d better make it good as I don’t believe it will be a sure-fire winner for them. Crozier’s clutching at straws in my opinion, then again if it saves some of their services going behind a paywall then that’s a good thing.


  26. Lee Sartin Says:

    Knowing Freesat, we are all aware that ‘coming soon’ can mean 12 to 18 months time. In respect to this, I imagine that 4OD and Demand 5 will be available through Freesat G2 products with integrated YouView. I understand All these VOD services will be available through YouView and it wouldn’t make much sense in offering these on Freesat now otherwise we will not be buying the manufacturers next generation Freesat boxes.


  27. Al (Original) Says:

    I think Freesat should ban ITV Player from the epg if they start charging for content.

    Freesat should remain free otherwise its the thin end of the wedge towards a pay for view tv service where some channels remain free but all the good ones and all the major ones except the BBC, go pay for view.


  28. Russ Says:

    @ Al Original,

    Don’t forget ITV is a 50% partner in freesat, I would imagine in the circumstances it would be difficult to ban ITV player from the platform. I do however agree with you, freesat should remain as it’s name suggests, free. Once one channel starts the ball rolling with PPV it could start an avalanche of channels taking that route.


  29. Neil Says:

    Lee (26): You might be right about the YouView side of things in relation to these services but considering the all STB’s and connected TV’s out there are currently of the present spec I’d be surprised if they don’t attempt to bring these services to existing products.

    Giving thought to ITV’s Interim Results released this morning, it all makes sense Freesat decided to formally launch the service yesterday as it was probably written in to their literature. It all seems a bit coincidental to me that it happened yesterday with their annual Interim Results published today.

    Quote: ITV Player now launched on Android phones, Apple devices and Freesat.


  30. philip clark Says:

    freesat is probably the best thing that has happened to us living as we do “out of the UK !” but when can we expect to have subtitles on ITV1HD. it would really make life so much better;for us anyway. thankyou for an excellent service.


  31. Steve Says:

    “In other threads we have all been panning the programme content of ITV. If it’s rubbish when first transmitted, why do we want it “on demand”?”

    I don’t. ITV’s output is a steaming pile of crap. I couldn’t care less if ITV folded tomorrow and never broadcast again. Lowest common denominator TV at its worst.


  32. Neil Says:

    Philip: ITV1HD should have subtitles later on this, or early next year at the latest. Ofcom have ruled that HD variants of main PSB channels must now carry subtitles from some point in 2012 so I expect they’ll soon appear.

    Steve: ITV may not be your cup of tea but if it folded then it would play directly in to the hands of Sky’s greedy pay TV monopoly. FTA TV is important in the UK otherwise we’ll be in a position where PSB TV services are compromised.


  33. Muzer Says:

    Teletext subtitles (the standard used for Sky), I believe, are already available on both FTA ITV1 HD channels, but not many Freesat boxes can view them, as the Freesat standard is DVB subtitles. I know Humax ones can – you press the “SUB” button, select “Teletext” from the list, then type 888 to go to page 888 (it’s usually a bit laggy at this point so make sure you only type three 8s), and wait until the next line is said for subtitles to appear.


  34. Brian Damage Says:


    1. Really don’t understand why ITV HD doesn’t have subtitles on Freesat – they are already broadcast on Freeview HD. (I’m watching them now!) Weird, huh?

    2. ITV Player is finally officially launched and out of beta! Hurray! Except, just a moment… My 2011 Panny used to be able to access the GGBGG beta service (which didn’t work very well, admittedly) but now the message on screen says “this device does not support the ITV Player” – and refers me here:

    So Humax, Sagem, Bush, Goodmans, Grundig, Samsung – but NO MENTION OF PANASONIC!

    Having just replaced a 2008 Panny with this year’s model, in order to get the iPlayer, I am not happy!


  35. Neil Says:

    The ITV1HD London service carries subtitles for Sky but currently not DVB ones for Freesat, bit of an oddity they haven’t added them yet but they’ll be obliged to before not too long.

    I have it on good authority that Panasonic is next on the list so must be a typo it’s been missed off, I’ve also got Panasonic sets too, although 2009 models so already supported.


  36. WERT Says:

    No obligation to use dvb subtitles, teletext subs are enough… And they carry these!


  37. Martin Says:

    They going to launch demand five where s five. Star and five us first they where going to launch those channel as well thought it would have launched before the return of big brother not that I liked big b to many channels letting freesat down at the moment they are on every other platform


  38. Mark Says:

    It would be nice if I could watch the ‘High Quality’ on the iPlayer.
    It used to work nicely on my 10mb broadband, but now it just buffers all the time and I have to watch in the ‘normal’ poor quality


  39. Jock Says:

    #31 – Steve

    In my idle moments I like to compare different TV channels with newspapers. For example, BBC1 is like the Mail or Express. BBC2 is more Telegraph, whilst BBC4 is Independent. BBC3 is more for the kids and I don’t know what papers are targeted at them – do you? BBC-HD is still looking for an identity.

    On this basis, ITV1 is The Sun. The Sun is the biggest selling daily in the UK – which just shows what crappy tastes we have as a nation!

    Anyone care to complete the sequence for the channels I’ve omitted?


  40. Steve Says:

    “On this basis, ITV1 is The Sun. The Sun is the biggest selling daily in the UK – which just shows what crappy tastes we have as a nation!”

    Wasn’t it previously the News of the World though? And we know what happened to that 😉 And who was it who said “Popularity is the hallmark of mediocrity”?


  41. dave Says:

    lets hope they dont buffer and jump in-front every 2 mins even with a 10mb speed (tested) like bbc iplayer does.


  42. Jock Says:

    #40 – Steve

    The News of the World was the biggest selling UK paper – but it was Sunday only. I went for the Sun as, like ITV1, you get crap every day of the week.

    P.S. I did say “daily”!


  43. monkeymaniac Says:

    Any more news on the subject below

    Broadband TV News is reporting that Freesat is preparing to launch a new series of G2 receivers that will run on the HbbTV (hybrid broadcast broadband) platform popularised in Germany and France.


  44. Al (Original) Says:

    @ Steve the trouble is despite all the channels, most people never stray far from BBC One or ITV which is proved by quality polls where the BBC seems to get 2nd every time well despite being arguably 4th for quality behind NHK, CH4 and ITV HD.

    I’m afraid some people are just creatures of habit which is a real shame because Ch4 and 5 now have some real quality cutting edge dramas and some of the other minor channels have some good programming amongst the rubbish as well.

    I’ve said often on here, I very rarely watch the BBC or ITV these days because there’s better content elsewhere. My main reason for watching the BBC if ever, is when there’s something especially good sounding on there like Hammonds recent Journey programme although I felt that one failed to deliver in both content and PQ (the 2nd episode was far better than the 1st for content).


  45. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @ Al (original) # 44

    Whilst you may have an argument regarding picture quality on BBC HD channels I have to disagree with you in respect of the content of those programs. I think that the majority documentaries shown on the BBC are of a very standard and compare very favourably with the competition. I have watched NHK HD quite a few times and the picture quality is good, however the voice overs lack passion and it always seems to be the same man.

    I have to agree with you about C4 showing quality dramas (including The Promise) but I have not noticed much original drama on C4 in the past few weeks! I don’t think the Killing can be included as BBC 4 got there first with the original Danish version! Most of the drama on C4 seems to be American imports.


  46. Al (Original) Says:

    @ Kevin, #45, I don’t disagree on the quality of content although sometimes it doesn’t always come across well – Hammond was very dry and boring I thought in his presentation of that particular programme, although the 2nd episode was better than the 1st.

    As for C4, I have nothing against American imports in fact some of the very best programming on tv at the moment is American. eg. The CSI / NCIS series are extremely popular and in my eyes far more interesting and watch able than eg. Lewis. The problem with a lot of home grown content is that its very dry and staid. American programming doesn’t have a lot of that laid back attitude and is often far more dynamic and exciting and entertaining as a result. Yes there’s rubbish on American tv (especially some of the humour) but equally there’s rubbish on British TV. Luckily Ch4 / 5 are quite good at picking the best shows.


  47. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @ Al Original #46

    CSI and NCIS are now fairly long in the tooth! I used to watch both those series but I consider them formulaic and have moved on. Now I am not opposed to American imports, there are some very good series such as ‘The Wire’ (incidentally shown on BBC 2) but I still think that many UK dramas and comedies which are excellent.

    It does look like our tastes in TV is very different and it is unlikely we will see eye to eye. I am just relieved that you are not a TV scheduler!


  48. Paul Says:

    When are they going to increase the quality of stream on the freesat BBC iplayer?

    On my Bravia TV, the iPlayer delivers content in “HD” but the quality on the freesat box (Humax) is SD only (and not as good as the SD stuff on the Bravia)


  49. Mark Says:

    We tend to watch the BBC because the ad breaks are so irritating and disruptive to the enjoyment of the program. And you have to suffer these too on ITVplayer/4od. Programmes with adverts have to be very special to overcome this drawback and persuade us to watch them.


  50. Keith (original) Says:

    Coming soon!

    Slightly connected to 4OD… A really annoying thing about Channel 4 HD on Freesat is that when I schedule a programme to record, the recording starts 5 minutes or so before the start of the programme and ends 30 seconds to a few minutes before the end.

    I don’t record (or watch) Channel 4 that frequently, but it seems to happen every time. The recording stopped long before both the first two Sunday broadcast episodes of the second series of Homeland.

    I record many things from BBC channels and never have any problems, it only seems to be a problem with Channel 4. It is very annoying. The connection with 4OD is that it might be useful to watch the last 30 seconds (or whatever) on 4OD, but when I am forced to use download quota to watch at least 7 adverts first I find I lose all enthusiasm. I can’t help wondering if it is a deliberate ploy on Channel 4’s part to increase exposure to their advertising. I’m toying with the idea of scheduling a manual recording to record just the last few minutes of one of the repeats, but it is all unnecessary hassle.


  51. admin Says:

    Just increase the recording buffer if your receiver allows it.


  52. Keith (original) Says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I had considered this in the past. I have a Humax HDR. I can set the recordings (all recordings) to end up to 5 minutes later, but this causes complications because it may/will cause many conflicts because recordings overlap which shouldn’t and so whole programmes get missed. The real answer is that Channel 4 should update the programme guide correctly so that the recordings actually start and end when they’re supposed to. The BBC are able to do this reliably, why can’t C4. In fact, this should be a requirement of Freesat that they do this reliably otherwise it makes a farce of the whole system.

    As I say, I suspect C4 are deliberately being sloppy about this to suit their own purposes and increase claimed advertising imprint. Thanks anyway.

    Incidentally, I did set up a weekly manual record to catch-up with the missed ending tonight. It turned out I’d missed at most 10 seconds! It still dissapointng that such work-arounds are necessary solely (for me) for C4 HD. Other channels may have similar problems but I tend not to record them – those I have had not exhibited this problem. It does, however, appear to happen with every C4 HD program I’ve ever recorded.


  53. nicola Says:

    We had the same happen on our humax with Homeland last Sunday. We set up to record it and the program that followed it on the +1 channel. It cut off even earlier than before but we managed to get the end of Homeland from the program afterwards.


  54. Jon Says:

    Exactly the same problem for me. It’s happened with Homeland many times, so 4od ASAP on freesat would be good! Better still, Channel 4 need to send accurate start signals.


  55. peter Says:

    Coming soon ???
    is coming soon this year or its in the pipe line we my or my not get it ive just paid out 300.00 for my set top box and i get the same as you would get with a set top box costing 29.99. i heve iplayer and bbc player but its so slow walk up save money get the set top box for 29.99 just as good


Leave a Reply

Freesat RSS FeedWant the latest Freesat news?
You should subscribe to our RSS Feed, as you'll get all the latest Freesat news, reviews and information!