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Mar 30 2010

We have been given the opportunity to present some questions to Emma Scott, MD of Freesat; but rather than us asking the usual kind of stuff, we thought that we’d open it up to our readers to ask the kind of questions Freesat customers want to know.

Have a think what question you’d like answering more than any other and then post a comment below. We’ll obviously sift through them and pick out those we feel are likely to gain the most interesting response.

We’ll leave this post open until **now closed, thanks for all your questions**

141 Responses to “Ask Emma Scott A Question”

  1. admin Says:

    Our question is (as an example):

    With 63% of customers on our poll choosing Freesat for HD content above all others, does it concern you that channels like C4HD, E4HD and FiveHD all seem to have contractual agreements with Sky that will mean no chance of them appearing on Freesat any time soon? Is 1.5 HD channels deemed enough to meet the primary advertising strategy?

  2. Ross Says:

    When are we getting more channels e.g. HD channels

  3. Francis Says:

    Almost the same question as Ross. What is the deal with HD channels and bandwidth? While Freeview get the more HD channels now we’re starting to miss out.

  4. Nick Says:

    When will the Panasonic TV’s with Freesat built-in get iPlayer, we seem to be the only ones left!!!

  5. Rob H Says:

    I’d like to know if CAM slots/pay tv will come to freesat – I’d like to subscribe to something like National Geographic/British Eurosport on a pay as you go basis. This flexibility would be a definate plus and I feel, would enable Freesat to compete better against Sky, whilst still being a very low cost option for people

  6. Julian Says:

    Same question….what channels should we expect to see this year, particularly which HD channels?

  7. gerard wright Says:

    Dear Emma,

    When are we getting film 4 in hd on freesat

    Yours Sincerely

    Gerard Wright

  8. John1961 Says:

    Question for Emma Scott-
    With the Picture Quality now much reduced from the early days of Freesat
    and pressure to further reduce “unsustainable” Bit rates will you guarantee that
    viewers will not see further reductions in Picture Quality, and also work towards improving Picture quality to match or exceed other satellite service providers.

    This is not a ‘Geek Issue’ as many ordinary viewers have noticed the lack of definition in your ‘High Definition’ service .

  9. David Austin Says:

    Just to echo what others have said: What steps are going to take to secure more HD content on the Freesat platform? Is there not a danger of Freesat becoming a ‘poor cousin’ to Freeview following the launch of terrestrial HD services?

  10. Roger D Says:

    I’d ask the same question as Nick #4, when are Panasonic TV’s going to get iPlayer. I’ve Emailed their customer services twice with no replies either time.

  11. Adam Says:

    Having moved from Freeview to Freesat, I was very disappointed to see that the BBC Red Button service was lacking in the news multiscreens, extra coverage of music, entertainment and sports events, Comedy Extra and children’s coverage, especially as Freeview seems to get more despite having severely limited capacity for extra services such as this. When do you expect the BBC will bring Freesat in line with the other services?

  12. jim Says:

    Can Emma outline the Freesat strategy to attract more HD content and what would be her wish list over next 1 -2 years in terms of conent

  13. Paul Leonard Says:

    Can Emma Scott explain why the promised HD channels have not arrived? I paid £150 for a Freesat receiver when they first arrived and with a “wink wink nudge nudge” I was promised more HD channels to come. Years later they never arrived and quite frankly I feel conned. I have now bit the bullet reluctantly and subscribed to Sky’s over-expensive HD service. Now we know that there was never any bandwidth for any extra HD channels does Emma Scott feel guilty for in my opinion misleading her Customer’s? Whether intentional or not

  14. Trevor Harris Says:

    Does Emma still think that the thousands of licence payers who complain about the picture quality on BBC HD are “geeks”

  15. zeb11 Says:

    1) When can we expect to see more HD channels coming to Freesat? The continued lack of 4 HD, Five HD, E4 HD is hugely disappointing.

    2) Why is the bitrate of BBC HD stuck on only 9.7Mbps? The PQ of this channel has dropped markedly since the bitrate fell from 16Mbps last August – this is the flagship Freesat channel after all.

  16. Gordon S Valentne Says:

    Will the Community Channel be coming to Freesat any time soon?

  17. Paul. Says:

    Does Emma get fed up of being asked the same questions again and again about channel availability or bit rates that she cannot answer, either because of commercial confidentiality, or as the matter is entirely out of her control and are the result of decisions made by the channel owners?

    Does she also get fed up of being asked questions by people who like to think they understand the technology, but who clearly think that Freesat channels are a different version of the channels compared to those available to Sky subscribers?

    If she ain’t, I certainly am.

    Paul.

  18. Dave Says:

    Are we going to get any of the Freeveiw channels, such as quest ect, !!!.

  19. Dave Taylor Says:

    Like many here I feel cheated, Freesat should have more bandwidth than Freeview for HD but Freeview are getting more HD channels. Seems grazy, the only reason I, like most others here got Freesat is for HD. You should get your act together when Freeview HD PVR’s become available then Freeview would be my recomended choice for HD. Also why does ITV not boradcast in Dolby Digital.

  20. Brian Damage Says:

    This ties in with the HD question which everyone else is asking, but I’d like to understand what the situation is regrading UK focused satellite both bandwidth as it is now, and also what is due to be be available and when.

    It’s often been reported that Sky have grabbed all this for themselves, even though they don’t specifically need UK focused channels. This seems to me to be the biggest bottleneck preventing the future growth of Freesat.

    In addition, it has also been suggested that a switch to DVB-S2 would provide more channel capacity. As I understand it, the Fressat standard specifies that receiver hardware should be compatible with this. Will Freesat be encouraging broadcasters to make this change?

    Finally, I’d like to know when the iPlayer is due to move out of Beta, what news is there of ITV Player and whether Freesat will be a part of Project Canvas.

    (Sorry – these are all very geeky, aren’t they!)

  21. Zub Says:

    1.If Channel 4/5 HD channels etc cannot launch on freesat due to certain programming restriction on FTA outside UK, then why not have the Red button option.

    2.The Freesat HD promotion is wearing thin, the platform needs more HD output.

    3.BBC HD’s picture quality decline has not done Freesat any favours. There is clear evidence that the picture quality is not consistent. As a result, it would dissuade people from investing in HD.

    4.With the current offers from $ky(1/2 price and cashback), the package is quite tempting offering 35 + HD channels. After the 12 months, you can cancel and keep your box as a free to air receiver. All FTA channels will be the same. There is no major incentive to buy Freesat anymore.

  22. Jock Says:

    Hi Emma,

    Is there any chance of improving subtitles – like achieving better synchronisation with the speaker? Often, on the news, the speaker is a couple of topics beyond what the subtitles are showing. My Goodmans SD box is also inclined to sieze up when running subtitles. Regaining control of the box is a bit of a pantomime – often the only way is to switch off at the mains and start afresh.

    My wife calls me a deaf old s*d, but effective subtitles are one way of keeping the peace. At present they are not!

  23. James Says:

    When will we get more HD channels such as Channel 4 HD?

  24. Barry Seed Says:

    Why is so little HD broadcast in Dolby Digital, and why none in 5.1 surround? What is the point in HD video, without HD sound?

  25. Tony Lock Says:

    Can we be sure that the amount of HD content on Freesat will not fall below that of Freeview?

  26. Jon Says:

    Hi Emma,

    my sound keeps going out of sync with my picture. Is this an issue with Freesat or is it a problem with my Bush HD receiver? Also, like many others, I cannot see any difference between the picture quality on the HD channels as compared to the SD channels. I had thought that maybe my receiver was not up to scratch!

  27. Kevin Lodge Says:

    Are we going to get some of the channels from freeview, ie yesterday, dave, five us etc or is freesat doomed to be the poor relation

  28. Dan_os Says:

    Hi I just want to know have you got any time line for adding Other HD channels to Freesat.

    PS.
    I also found out that Fashion TV has a HD channel.
    As Fashion TV is on freesat is there any chance of getthing the HD feed.
    http://www.ftv.com/fashion/page.php?P=4309

  29. Al Catraz Says:

    I agree with Paul (12).

  30. Kev Says:

    Emma i have moved back to freeview,this is due to the channel choice ie virgin,quest.
    And once freeview HD recorders are available,Freesat will be dead.
    What are you doing to compete with freeview Hd,And make me move back to freesat.

  31. BrianC Says:

    Whatever happened to the news multiscreen. It was one of the promised early developments that persuaded me to get freesat. There was a lot of discussion after freesat launched and then….nothing.

    Not related to my question but would just like to say that iplayer on freesat is brilliant.

  32. Rod Says:

    Just some thoughts:
    1. When selecting genre in the epg would it not be possible for the guide to show all movies from all channels and not just those channels it decides show movies? Microsoft Media Center is a good example of how genre should work. Shows are now given a genre so there is really no excuse why this can’t work.
    2. Once ITV HD goes simulcast with ITV 1 will we see an option for HD recorders to replace ITV HD as channel 3? Likewise with BBC HD should this ever happen.
    3. BBC 1,2,3&4 are too many in my opinion. IMO we need a rebranding. BBC4 is much like after dark BBC2 anyway. BBC3 could stay the same.
    4. The BBC need another HD channel. One would be a simulcast of BBC1 and the other the best of a new BBC2 & 3 plus classic repeats, movies, sports etc. At least until bandwidth increases. Then all three in HD.

  33. SC Says:

    Channel 4 HD has today launched on Freeview HD. When will it be available on Freesat ?

  34. John Simon Says:

    What other HD channels are being planned to be brought to Freesat?

  35. Simon Forster Says:

    Going forward how is Freesat going to differentiate itself from Freeview HD and what are the benefits of the Freesat system? What are you goals for the future to develop the brand and head off the competition from Freeview HD.

  36. Peter Richards Says:

    1. Why is Freesat wasting valuable bandwidth on soft porn channels when that same bandwidth could be utilised to provide better quality entertainment channels that are available free on other platforms (e.g. Dave)

    2. What inroads are Freesat making to reduce the stranglehold that Sky engineering has on the launch of new Channels on the Astra Satellite?

    3. How does Freesat answer the challenge that it is now the poor cousin when it comes to HD with the launch of Freeview HD?

  37. admin Says:

    @Peter Richards

    Freesat aren’t wasting bandwidth on channels that are preventing others like Dave being available; Freesat don’t offer bandwidth, merely an EPG that broadcasters can either purchase a slot on, or not! Channels like Dave are restricted only by being contractually signed to Sky as subscription only; if they were available on Freesat, they would be FTA and therefore no one would pay for them on Sky.

  38. admin Says:

    @All

    Some good questions so far but try to think up some new ones that Emma may be able to answer. Bare in mind that Emma is the MD of Freesat and whilst funded by BBC, she isn’t in a position of being able to improve bitrates, or have BBC rebrand their channels; nor can she bring channels to Freesat that are in contract with Sky.

  39. Peter Shillito Says:

    I bought Freesat since the early days under the promise that I would get more HD content eventually. This has not happened with the exception of ITV1 HD (hardly much of an improvement). Now I understand that Freesat as a company has no control over what channels are available, as that is down to the broadcasters and the available space on the satellite. However, I feel lied to in terms of what Freesat customers, such as myself, have been given. What are you going to do in order to attain additional and worthwhile HD content and thus appease loyal customers (assuming they haven’t bought a Freeview HD box already)?

    Best regards,

    Peter Shillito

  40. elo laugesen Says:

    What bit rate is BBC HD providing to SKY? Is it the same as the one for Freesat?

    if freesat is only an EPG then the same Satellite channel should be used for SKY? yes – no

  41. Derek B Says:

    I want Dave on Freesat. More HD Channels.

  42. ASK Says:

    Having seen many prophets of doom, forecasting the demise of Freesat, my question is. Does Freesat have a long term future.

  43. Lee B Says:

    @elo yes BBCHD is the same broadcast on Sky & freesat, though I believe some other countries get a higher bitrate version of BBCHD.

  44. Neil Richardson Says:

    Great news that HD is coming to Freesat, but can you put a stop to those garish DOG’s? In particular the bright yellow one on ITV1.

  45. elo laugesen Says:

    thanks for the info on bit rate being the same
    I just do not trust everything we are being told. There is for example a freesat update available for two of the new Panasonic TV models. why not for last years model????

    Panasonic PAL 10 LDA Models: G20B & V20B Series V2.004 N 24-03-2010 Open

    http://www.dtg.org.uk/industry/download_schedule.php

  46. NetworkFour Says:

    There are many channels FTA, but not on the Freesat EPG. Are there any incentives or marketing to these channels to persuade them to join?

  47. andrewwright Says:

    when will we getting a channel for films in hd and when do we start trying itv player

  48. Earl Says:

    when will the new spotbeam be up and will i lose the signal if i live in west europe ( germany)?
    now i have a perfect signal

  49. Paul D Says:

    Dear Emma,

    Do you, as Managing Director of freesat, really believe that the way to forge good customer relations and build a strong brand in a new market is to call a large proportion of your customers “geeks” when they express concern about picture quality on one of only 2 HD channels you have???

    Bonus question: Why has the iplayer implementation on freesat ensured that you must have a satellite feed in the box and therefore a TV license?

    Regards

    Paul

  50. MikeC Says:

    Why do Freesat continue to claim that HD contains “up to” five times more detail than SD, when it patently doesn’t?

  51. Rich Says:

    Accept it may be a BBC issue rather than a Freesat one, but agree with Adam above re red button services. Freesat seems very much the poor relation – the BBC red button blog seems to include the words “not available on Freesat” an awful lot.

    Any update on plans to improve the range of red button services? Any reason for the second rate service?

  52. MikeC Says:

    If you folk would indulge me a little more… The maximum theorectical pixel ratio improvement is 3.75 given current broadcast resolutions, which is 75% of 5. If “real world” detail improvement measures were used (i.e. based upon area), the actual improvement is around 2 times.

    To keep on claiming a 5-fold improvement is utterly dishonest.

  53. Barry Says:

    Emma,

    I’m moving to a new house that already has a satellite dish on the wall. For me to get Freeview I will have to have a large aerial installed as the signal is poor.

    However because Freesat channel choices are so poor I would rather pay to have an aerial installed and wait for Freeview HD.

    Freeview HD has more HD channels and better ‘ordinary’ channels (Sky Sports News, Dave, Fiver, Five US, Virgin etc).

    Convince me why I should install Freesat HD instead of Freeview HD.

    Barry

  54. Paul D Says:

    Barry here is one good reason:

    http://www.which.co.uk/news/2010/03/freeview-hd-quality-lags-behind-freesat-207998?src=rss156452

  55. Jools Says:

    Any plans for pay per view hd or sd movie channel?

  56. RAM Says:

    Freesat is a great service but what is the future for more narrowbeam space at 28.2E? It would be great to even get Fiver/Five US or even Dave.

  57. Paul D Says:

    Admin, any chance you will put the question to Emma about calling people geeks? IMO she should have been sacked for such a comment.

  58. Ian J Says:

    Does Freesat intent to bring a pay tv service to the platform, with the likes of ESPN and SKY SPORTS, and more entertainment channels of the likes of LIVING, VIRGIN1, SKY1 and DAVE! and why it has not bin sugested and put to the current and prospective freesat costumers? and even implemented.

    thank youuu

  59. Dan_os Says:

    I am currently using Windows 7 Media Centre to view Freesat and other FTA channels available (Luxe HD, etc). The EPG that is updated through Media centre is not great as it does not have information on all the channels on Freesat,
    Is there any chance that the Freesat service can be better supported/provided through Windows Media Centre, Maybe like the “Sky-TV” add-on available in Media Centre.

  60. Neil Says:

    Many people have answered questions on here relating to things like C4HD and I’m sure the iPlayer is on it’s way to my Panasonic TV in good time so my question is slightly different:

    Would it not be more beneficial to market the service a bit more aggressively. I appreciate that in the way Freesat is run it’s ‘not for profit’ so effectively they don’t have the financial resources of the likes of Sky etc but think take up would be improved with more awareness of Freesat products.

    I’d also like to know if Freesat have any plans to add more of CSC Media’s channels (Dance Nation TV, Bliss and NME TV) to the EPG in the coming Months. Obviously this could be confidential so don’t expect an answer however it might be worth letting her, and Freesat in turn tell the broadcaster, that these channels would be appreciated on the EPG by number of people I know who’ve asked me in recent weeks.

    On another but unrelated note, is Luxe TV planned to ever join the platform? It’s not got the best programme line-up but does have very good HD production and getting back to my initial comments relating to marketing would provide a very good ‘shop front’ for retailers showing off the platform’s HD capabilities.

  61. Dan_os Says:

    I just checked on my Windows Media Centre EPG the FTA channels, that I have Scanned which are not on Freesat, and so easily could as they are (FTA)

    The Freesat channel list
    http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/index.php/freesat-

    Extra Channels that should be added…

    Children (2 Channels)
    * Tiny Pop +1
    * PopGirl +1

    Entertainment (2 channels)
    * True Entertainment (which is part of the “true movies” channels)
    * The Unexplained Channel

    Lifestyle (10 channels)
    * Body in Balance
    * The Community Channel
    * Fasion Tv
    * Fitness Tv
    * High Street Tv
    * Horse & Country
    * LA Muscle Tv
    * Luxe
    * Luxe HD ( Yes a Free HD channel thats not on freesat???)
    * Renault TV

    Movies (3 channels)
    * Film24
    * Movies4Men +1
    * Movies4Men2 +1

    Music (8 channels)
    * Bliss
    * Channel AKA
    * Dance Nation
    * Music India
    * NME TV
    * oMusic TV
    * Scuzz
    * Starz TV

    Special Interest (1 channels)
    * Entrepreneur

    ## All in all thats 18 (FTA Tv channels) available that are not on FreeSat,
    Come On Emma!

  62. Pat Kirby Says:

    With ITV contemplating pay per view on sokme channels, won’t that call the viability of Freesat into question if they impose it?

  63. Jon Says:

    Why does Sky have a better red button service from the BBC and also ITV (Tour of France last year not available on Freesat) when Freesat is a joint venture from BBC and ITV?

    We’ve been told in the past that it hasn’t been implemented yet due to people working on other things, but the service is now almost 2 years old and your rivals still give me more access to your content?

  64. Anders Vittrup Says:

    Dear Emma,

    How many channels can be expected by the end of 2010?
    First year the expected number of channels were something like 200 right?

    I’m hoping to see channels like C4HD, E4HD and Dave.
    Will freesat try to get the same channels as is on freeview, because some of us are using freesat because we can’t get Freeview :)

    Cheers
    Anders Vittrup

    A happy freesat user

    BTW I can’t seem to get Freesat Info Channel with video… My receiver see it as Radio Channel. Any chance we can get any info about what the video pid should be?

  65. Kevin Davies Says:

    Why is it that itv-hd is now going on sky and we dont have chan 4-hd in return.
    Freesat must get more HD

  66. Kevin Davies Says:

    Also can freesat ever get sky sports news as this would make a lot of people i know switch.

  67. Richard R Says:

    My questions would be pretty much like everyone elses – when will we get more channels?

    Particularly echoing Anders how does Freesat expect the channel line up to compare to Freeview post switchover? Especially interested in more music channels and comparable HD line up.

    I love freesat and came to the platform as not able to pick up Freeview or willing to pay Sky rather than for HD content. However, likely that freeview signal will improve post switch over (or I’ll have moved house) and at that stage I don’t see an obvious reason to stick with Freesat (other than for my love for my current Hummy). Are Freesat expecting user numbers might drop off in this situation? Could it be an increasingly marginal service (only for those who truly can’t get freeview) longer term once the HD advantage has gone?

    Would also be useful to get Freesats take on various hardware issues experience with the service. For me I found the long wait for Humax PVR software update frustrating (albeit the problems with the box such as deleting restrictions weren’t fatal ones and I think its a great product). Know others have had more serious problems. To what extent do Freesat liase with manufacturers on these types of issues?

    Also how key do Freesat see iplayer as being to the service? I’ve little use for it given I have a PVR so would have preferred the resource to have gone into making the red button service comparable in other areas.

  68. roly384 Says:

    Dear Emma,

    What more can we expect to see on Freesat via Project Canvas (if approval is given)?
    Personally I would like the ability to subscribe to Eurosport player and possibly Sky sports player (subject to OFCOM pricing) and watch then on my main TV via the ethernet connection on my Freesat box.

  69. John W Says:

    Clearly after 67 responses, the only substantial question is regarding more HD. I have freesat but only for HD – I never use it for SD broadcasts as my freeview reception does that more than adequately. It is suggested that there is a bandwith problem. Well I may be the one one out, but does anyone really watch the volume of Shopping Channels or specifically the +1 channels, especially with the easy facility for recording (for most people).

    There seems to be no shortage of Bandwidth, just a better decision of how to use the bandwidth more appropriately.

    I know that even on the BBC/ITV Freesat service, commercial constraints rule the roost, but I suspect that there are more like me who only use Freesat for HD, with the clear promise of ‘more to come’. There are two channels I ever watch on Freesat and if the proposed Freeview HD has more HD than Freesat when it comes to the South Coast in 2012 I will dump Freesat for that.

  70. Andy Hayes Says:

    Yes more HD channels blah blah blah but I’m VERY happy with Freesat standing alone, and better still as an alternative to Sky.

    3D is here to stay in the Cinemas and will soon be heading into Sky homes. Its a great experience in the Cinema but I’m not sure I want to sit at home wirh a pair of 3D glasses on all night!

    However are there any long term plans for Freesat to provide 3D broadcasts? Would the current receivers be compatible?

    Keep up the good work Emma.

  71. Oska Says:

    I wouldn’t say I was “conned” into getting Freesat with their boasts of however many channels, but was attracted by HD. Now we have Freeview in the area I find I’m watching that more as it’s built into my TV, I’m seriously considering getting a HD freeview box and packing up the hummie Freesat and flogging it off.

    So my question echoes the majority here, What are Freesat’s plans for the future, if channels like 4HD go to Freeview and not Freesat, then why would the community continue to hold faith in a medium that’s barely crawling forward when it’s competitor, (because it is at the end of the day, despite the contrary in the past) has more channels, more possible HD offerings and probably a bigger market available? (Ariel vs a sat dish)

    Betamax vs VHS, Blueray vs HD DVD, Freeview vs Freesat? One will win one will sink. What’s Emma Scott and Freesat going to do to make sure they don’t sink and make me want to keep my Humax?

  72. Chris Says:

    I echo the question about marketing – if Freesat was more well-known then it would attract both viewers and broadcasters. But it gets firmly pushed to the back in retail stores, and you never really hear of it. It needs more publicity!

    Also, what is the situation regarding an obligation to provide services to licence-payers? For example, I cannot get Freeview (no terrestrial signal at all), broadband is awful so no chance of IPTV, no cable in the area etc, so satellite is the only option I’ve got for TV, which is why I was waiting ages for something like Freesat so that I could get rid of Sky. Just suppose Freesat fails and folds, where does that leave people like me? I guess I’d have to go to FreesatfromSky or use the Freesat box and Freesat TV in FTA mode, or get a generic receiver etc, but of course there would be no EPG and I could not get an EPG and recording facilities without paying Sky a subscription. Is it Freesat’s duty to provide a basic level of non-subscription TV services to licence payers (and what is defined by that basic level in terms of channels, EPG, PVR facilities?), is it down to the PSB broadcasters themselves, or is there no obligation at all?

  73. Ste Rush Says:

    @70

    “Betamax vs VHS, Blueray vs HD DVD, Freeview vs Freesat? One will win one will sink. What’s Emma Scott and Freesat going to do to make sure they don’t sink and make me want to keep my Humax?”

    Don’t take this personal but like a lot of posts above if you were to ask this question it would be embarrassing. Ask yourself why thousands of posters are always saying” freesat was set up for a a purpose so as those that could not receive freeview could get TV” Then at least your own question can be answered.

  74. jason Says:

    Is there precendence of an EPG service successfully acting as an enabler for a free alternative HD delivery platform? Where did this idea originate?
    Do other countries operate in a similar way with an EPG body set up by national broadcasters? How do they fare ?
    How much is the uk FTA offering hampered by spectrum availability and licensing/legislation compared to other countries?
    Is there a role for a pan-European equivalent of Freesat?
    When will we see a new narrow band satellite launched and what will be the impact on Freesat ? How has the launch of Freeview HD affected Freesat? For example : do you feel the uncertainty surrounding the DRM issue affected content on the Freesat platform?
    Are there any plans for free 3D TV on Freesat?
    Given 20% seem to get Freesat because they can’t access Freeview, while 66% bought it for HD content is it worth using scarce transponder bandwidth to re-broadcast duplicate content as regional variations, which I’m guessing a proportion of the 20% will be interested in? If that proportion voted, do you think they’d like to sacrifice the regional variants so that we can all have more HD channels? Is it as simple as this?

  75. Oska Says:

    72

    Nothing personal taken. My point being something will give if you have two “free” competing mediums, (although they’re not competing against each other of course).

    Now the digital switch over is now in full force, if Freeview offers more surely Freesat’s going to lose out, if 4HD goes to Freeview, 5HD follows and any others plus standard channels and Freesats ignored what’ll give?

    Far from being embarrassed about it, I’d have grave concerns that Freesat can maintain it’s future in the face of a more viable option with better channel and possible HD content.

  76. MYK Says:

    Putting the usual more HD channels argument to one side, why doesn’t FreeSat make use of its unique selling feature,( albeit has been a long time coming, but it was introduced far ahead of many other Television service providers including Sky) the Ethernet IP connection on FreeSAT HD devices.
    With upcoming iPlayer, and ITV Player that’s just the beginning. Technical issues aside could this feature not be expanded to VOD, Project Canvas, additional programme information / synopsis, improved (additional language) subtitles, 2 way interaction with TV programmes / quizzes etc, remote timer setting, additional PIP Stream for sporting events?. The options are endless as would harness existing web technology.
    Ok, consumers would have to have a broadband connection to access this FreeSAT Extra experience, but the usual no space on Astra 28.2 argument would no longer be applicable.

  77. jason Says:

    What were the differences and challenges between launching Freeview and Freesat? And what is she looking forward to in the future? Is Freecable on the horizon?

  78. Al Catraz Says:

    wow – this thread has really brought the whingers and moaners out of the cupboard, hasn’t it?
    what happened to the happy bunch of anti-$KY freesat users we used to be before this thread started?

  79. bazm Says:

    Freesat v Freeview is not an option for many of us. Its Freesat or Sky. Anyway, my question is about those FTA that are not on Freesat epg. Do you have any say in who pays for the Freesat epg? Or do you just sell to anyone with the money? I’m not talking of censorship but why so many god and tele-shopping channels? They are rubbish that clutters up and lowers the quality of Freesat. And yes i do remove them! I’d much rather have fewer quality broadcasters. And why can’t BBC broadcast a nature or sports channel. You must have so much material available from the archives.

  80. Jasper Says:

    Let’s be honest – freesat exists because the license fee requires all people within the UK to be abel to receive free TV. Some cannot get a freeview signal so these are now catered for with an easy to use EPG with freesat. HD and iPlayer are sweeteners in the mix. Once iPlayer is up and running on all platforms you will only have the main public services in HD to come and that will be that, this will not, in my opinion, be a continously expanding platform as it is a non-profit free service paid for by license fee so is not bound by the issues with Virgin and Sky who have to woo new customers to make their business work.

    Canvas will encompass FTA services so may come to freesat but my guess is no as this will require all manufacturers to go back and update all their already sold product and where’s the profit in that when you can sell new Canvas ready TVs/STBs??

  81. Robert Hudson Says:

    Hi I’m still here lol, I just love reading it all, Although there are some Very Good Q. and yes we want more HD and More Channels, but I don’t think that’s up to Emma Scott.

    I am Very Glad Freesat is here, Just Hope it’s here to Stay!.

  82. Cranky Says:

    Could Emma please tell me when the BBC1 will be available totally in HD as French channels such as TF1, France2 and M6?
    Also why is the quality of BBC’s HD output inferior to these French (and German) HD channels that I pick up in the UK?

  83. Brian M Says:

    Just look at the Poll on this website to see why people bought into Freesat, they are now being let down by the lack of HD. We want more HD channels especially Channel 4.

  84. pedhed Says:

    When Freeview HD comes around what will technically be the better broadcaster – Freeview or Freesat? Is there any point in getting Freesat when Freeview HD comes around?

  85. rogercr Says:

    Two years have passed and I feel I’ve been sold a dud. One and a bit channels in HD and all the other channels in SD have poor picture quality compared to Freeview SD. Consequently I watch Freeview most of time but this means I don’t have access to the HD channel listing and so I miss the occasional HD programme that I might have watched. There should be prompting from BBC and ITV on Freeview to switch to Freesat HD when an HD programme is broadcast. What a sham it all is. Sky are laughing their heads off!

  86. SCM Says:

    Wouldn’t it make sense for Freeview and Freesat to offer the same channels and services?

    As a licence payer I would have to spend a fortune on getting an arial in order to get Freeview in an area where it is quite weak reception. I had Sky + but changed to freesat because I could record without paying subscription and I already had a dish. However I am disappointed as there are channels that should be broadcast when I compare to Freeview. (Sky News, Virgin 1 etc).

    Do you not think that maybe it is time for the licence to be abolished and BBC to become commercial?

    In Spain, RTVE (the state broadcaster) has removed adverts and you don’t pay licence fees. Why not the same in the UK??????

  87. Paul Smith Says:

    My question’s actually about the EPG! Could Emma “persuade” her channels to be more consistent in what goes on to the programme guide? For example, a few channels helpfully tell you what series/episode number is going to be broadcast which gives a hint as to whether the programme is a repeat or not. Also could there be some consitency from hardware manufacturers’ software? For example, my Humax box can search the EPG for programmes by programme title, which is really helpful. But my Panasonic TV doesn’t have that facility. Did Freesat give manufacturers a basic minimum specification to work to?

  88. Paulvan Says:

    I think having read all the posts to date, we should be allowed to have from Emma, an honest, and open (as far as is commercially possible) report on progress so far, and the esimated timescales for future expansion. It is very frustrating for non technical users of Freesat to see the service appearing underused and not fullfilling it’s potential, and the reasons for this should be explained. Freeview HD will continue to roll out over the next two years, so Freesat’s future position in the free HD market needs clarifying.

  89. Bob Ford Says:

    Emma

    Notwithstanding the various comments re HD which I accept are driven by the channel supplier and then by Freesat negiotiating to carry the feed.

    I would echo the comments above regarding greater transparency of existing FTA channel integration – there are a number that are available and whilst not all of us would want all of the FTA channels it would be great if the process of intgrating these into the Freesat mix could be handled.

    Bob

  90. Paul Eaton Says:

    Emma, why don’t you make Freesat a real contender against $KY by persuading the BBC to move its two SD channels on your transponder to another, then convert it to DVB-S2, statmux it and also boost the bitrate back up to 16 Mbps? If you did this then you could maybe even add a couple more HD channels too.

    (If you don’t understand what I’m suggesting then just ask one of he geeks who works for you)

    And, if you were to do all I suggest then you could easily market Freesat as a free high quality HD platform, giving it both a discernible distinction from Freeview HD and blowing $KY HD out of the water.

    If you don’t, and if the HD PQ on Freesat is forced by you to be the same as (or worse than) on Freeview HD, then my prediction is that your platform, and your job, are both doomed!

  91. mark Says:

    1) Please don’t give us ITV+1, ITV 3+1, ITV 4+1 and all the others.
    Just a waste of space and even more so with the ‘Players’ now available, which brings me to….

    2) Is it true that ITV player will be on freesat in the summer? What about five’s player and 4OD too?

    3) I would ask about extra HD channels, but everyone else already has

    4) Well done on getting the BBC iplayer – it looks and runs very well but it can be a bit slow at loading up from the red button. Also slow at going back to the main menu after watching a programme.
    Are there any plans to add the iplayer to the guide, especially if other ‘players’ do come to freesat

    5) Will Scuzz ever come back to the freesat line-up? I currently watch it in non-freesat mode

  92. Roger D Says:

    Slightly off topic, but related to some of the previoos posts, here is the reply I got from Panasonic regarding iPlayer:

    “Thank you for your e-mail enquiry. Firstly, please accept my sincere apologies for the uncharacteristic delay in our response. Due to an unexpected increase in the number of contacts we have recently received we have been unable to provide as speedy a response as we would normally.

    In response, unfortunately, we have no further information for new services at this time, other than that already displayed on our website. We would suggest that you please keep checking the following website for updates, as any information regarding new services will be added to this site as soon as it becomes available:

    http://www.panasonic.co.uk

    We are aware that features on Freesat such as BBC iplayer are in beta testing at the moment on some Freesat set-top boxes, but we have no further information on testing with other products”

    Not an answer as far as I’m concerned.

  93. Roger D Says:

    BTW that reply was today

  94. Bob Says:

    Why is ITV HD launching on 119 – why cant it be on 103 or 109 instead?

  95. Televiewer Says:

    I would like to second #90, an excellent idea.

    Can BBC HD, ITV HD (and BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD, CH4 HD and FIVE HD if we get them) be grouped together on the EPG. Channels 8 onwards would be good.

  96. Leo Says:

    I’d like to know what limitations Freesat places on box suppliers and what changes there might be in the near future. For example, I would like a box that has both Freesat and Freeview HD built in. I’d also like to stream video from my PC to the box. Are these things possible or are they prohibited by Freesat. Would it be possible to have a box with Boxee built in as well as Freesat or is this prohibited.

    Also are there likely to be boxes that remove the old fashioned Scart socket as I understand this is required in order to brand the box as a Freesat box. I’d prefer to see more useful ports like USB 3.0 ports, card readers and other such things than these legacy ports. I can’t see why anyone would want to buy an HD box and then use scart!

    Would it also be possible to support internet TV and applications like Skype in the future? There also seems to be limited numbers of boxes that also include Bluray players.

    In short, I’d like a box with Freesat HD, Freeview HD, Bluray player, Internet Radio/TV and Internet appications with movie streaming from people like Lovefilm. Is it Freesat that is limiting these possibilities and if so why?

    There also appear not to be enough of the big players making Freesat boxes. I’m thinking of LG, Samsung, Sony etc. Why is this and will it change?

  97. Soul4real Says:

    When we press Films under Genre with every other platform we get the films for all channels not just film 4 movies for men and true movie, swhich is the case for Freesat, please fix! and ITV HD should be 109 never has a priorty ITV channel Been listed (119) so Hi.

  98. Zub Says:

    Hi ADMIN, Paul’s question on Post#90 is an excellent one to put forward, please.

  99. Richard Crichton Says:

    @90 Paul
    That would be too logical and obvious but I guess they are just a bunch of stubborn silly billy’s who always seem to think that they know better than the great unwashed who pay their licence fees to fund the Beeb and their part time HD (sic) channel.
    It is very obvious that there should be more HD channels now that all TV’s except those little ones are HD capable. There is very little point in SD TV anymore.

  100. Stephen Grant-Davies Says:

    HDon BBC is very poor now compared to last year, I remember when I first got my FOX HD box was was amazed but now BBC HD is only just noticebly better than the non BBC channel, so whats the point of me buying the FOX HD?

  101. martin Says:

    first please let this question get thur i would like to ask why virgin one and dave quest are not available to freesat i find it irratating to go from freesat to freeviwe just to see my programes would it not make more seanse to put them all on the one platforme also the promis of free hd channels as aposed to two channels was promised in you r advertisment when will we see them

  102. NetworkFour Says:

    Can I just point out there are several channels NOT on Freeview that are on Freesat.
    Emma, not everyone is moaning about the service as it would appear here!
    Freeview HD will not be available from every transmitter until 2012 or so.

  103. Ste Rush Says:

    @102

    I agree I am more than happy.

    Good grief if the majority of these questions are posed I would have thought Emma would be glad to give up her job!

    Would it be possible to cut out a few of the posts that clearly are inane so that the few good questions can be seen more easily?

  104. Ekol Says:

    Will freesat waive/reduce the EPG fee for channels like 4 HD, Sky News, Sky News Sports, RTE International (if launched) etc. that would ultimately enhance (and differentiate) the platform?

    Is narrow-beam capacity the biggest hurdle to additional channels on freesat, HD or otherwise? What steps are ofcom, freesat, BBC, astra and Sky taking to ensure that narrow-beam capacity is prioritised for FTA channels?

    Will the launch of freeview HD hinder further development of freesat? Will it stop attempting to complement freeview and simply be a service for those with no terrestrial reception?

    Is it possible to use freesat+ set-top boxes to stream purchased HD content (sport, movies, box-sets etc.) from the internet? Is there plans to develop this with content suppliers?

    Can the internet connect be used as a return-path for interactive red-button services such as voting? Any plans to implement this?

  105. Sam P Says:

    I am sure it has been covered in some way or another above (and acknowledging Emma’s previous answers on similar subject) however with news of Sky being pushed into reducing the wholesale price of its sports packages and the underlying attitudes of the regulators this portrays does Emma see scope to develop an OnDigital style top-up feature for Freesat to enable us to enjoy the best of both FTA HD (and SD) as well as the premium products we will only ever see from Pay TV (and to be fair only expect to see from Pay TV) such as sports.

  106. Chris Says:

    Peeps – Emma cannot answer questions about why certain channels are only available on Freeview, or when certain channels will appear on Freesat, or why FTA channels are available on the Sky EPG but not on Freesat, moving channels around transponders, etc etc. These issues have nothing to do with Freesat, apart from maybe lobbying and gentle persuasion that they might be able to do on the broadcasters!

  107. Stan Tasker Says:

    I have a Panasonic EX79 digital recorder with HD facility upgrade. Therefore, is it necessary for me to have a Freesat box with a recorder or, is there simply a Freesat receiver from which I can record to the above equipment. SJT

  108. Derek (Original) Says:

    To Emma Scott, There is a real chance for Freesat to make a name for itself and be acknowledged as a major player in the HD broadcast industry. Currently it is an ‘also ran’, hardly known outside of the population that currently own Freesat receiving equipment. Changes such as those outlined in post #90 would set Freesat on the path to become the market leader in high quality, high definition TV transmission in the UK. Products survive or fail on their USPs (Unique Selling Points). Multi channel, Free HD transmissions of the highest picture and sound quality is something Freesat can aspire too. The technology is there, the source material is there. It just needs strong management to make it happen. Success breeds success and if Freesat sets out on this path, HD channels would quickly come knocking on it’s door to be included (subject to existing contractual arrangements). My question to you Emma is: Are you willing to take Freesat down this path for the benefit of the UK viewing audience.

  109. Neal Says:

    Apart from the usual more HD content questions, WHY can I not change the channel order like I can on Freeview boxes. Ths is another reasion why I mainly watch using my freeview box rather than via freesat. I want the ability to change the order of the channels on the epg the way I like them, not the way you think I like them. If it takes me four times as long to switch to a channel using Freesat vs Freeview then, sorry but it’s Freeview for me.

    Also I want to be able to press 1 and get BBC1, not have to press 101 or what ever it is.

  110. Dan Says:

    @ Roger D
    That’s the same bulls**t answer I got back from Panasonic weeks ago!!

  111. HD-Sceptic Says:

    This whole thread depresses me! Do people not read the previous posts before doing their own bleat? Freesat is about ensuring that areas of difficult reception have access to a digital service after analogue is switched off. Some of us might have been left without a TV service at all.

    HD is the icing on the cake. It depends on channels being free of contractual obligations, on sufficient bandwidth being found on the UK-specific satellite, the ability of the channel provider to survive without subscription income and many other factors.

    If Admin passes all this stuff to Emma un-edited, I suspect she will not form a very high opinion of the Joinfreesat correspondents. Virtually all of the dross on Freesat come from satellites which are not eligible to beam HD into the UK – getting rid of porn channels will only have the effect of reducing Freesat’s income.

    Perhaps I should just go away and fing a nice gardening website!

  112. admin Says:

    @HD-Sceptic

    The responses are what we had expected to receive but it was always our intention to take away a selection of the questions we feel Emma is most likely to give an informative answer on. We naturally won’t be passing on questions about why certain channels like Dave aren’t available, as the answers are clear, so we’d rather focus on questions that can only really be answered by Emma herself. Emma will not be responding to questions directly on here, but through me to be published as a separate news story.

    We’ll be closing this post earlier than planned due to the high number of questions already asked (thanks for those) so get them in as soon as you can, but please, have a scan through those already asked and try to think of something completely different, as we cannot ask two slight variations on the same question over and over again

  113. Al Catraz Says:

    111 I agree – it’s as if this forum has hit the self-destruct button with all these dreadful posts. Come back derek100 – all is forgiven – none of your dross was as bad as some of these posts.

  114. Freddy Says:

    I’m very pleased and happy with Freesat, although I would like the same red button service available to other platforms.

    I realise that you do not have the advertising budget of other providers, even Freeview, but why do you not make potential viewers aware of your service in other ways. I’ve seen trailers for many programmes on various channels (one for CBBC today for instance) which give appropriate channel numbers for viewing via Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media, but never for Freesat. I have only ever heard Freesat mentioned on TV as a means of receiving digital TV when a football match is on ITV and the commentator is telling viewers to press the red button, or occasionally as a means of getting BBC HD. It does make me worry about the BBC and ITV’s commitment to a service that they have been running for nearly two years now and which even after switch-over will still be my only means of getting decent digital TV without Sky.

    Even just saying “Such and such is available on the red button except for Freesat viewers” would at least make people aware of the platform (and stop me pressing red in hope). Is there some agreement with Sky not to promote or mention Freesat on tv except via paid for advertising slots?

  115. Ste Rush Says:

    @113 Al Catraz

    Nurse!

  116. Rob H Says:

    @Admin – so my reasonably worded post right at the top of this discussion stands a good chance of getting to Emma? In light of the Ofcom ruling today (31-3-10), offering a CAM card (i’d pay for it!) & subscription it seems a very good way to grow the Freesat platform & get new partners on board!

  117. cliff hale Says:

    Radio channels. I recently tried to get Calssic FM but found Freesat does not have it “not available or scrambled” was the message. Freeview seems to have far more radio channels, apart from other advantages over Freesat.already mentioned above. Grateful for your response.

    Cliff

  118. Derek Says:

    I think it is about time we had more HD channels only BBC and ITV not much for the time freesat has been going

  119. admin Says:

    @Rob H

    Yes, great question

  120. Expat Says:

    Back in 2008 when Five launched on Freesat, Five said it was working on bringing Fiver and Five USA to Freesat. It is now 2010 and still no sign of either channel.
    I have tried contacting Five, but no reply, what progress has been made, or must we continue to watch on Freeview or Sky?

  121. Derek (Original) Says:

    To Emma Scott
    Please can I have the option to add any non Freesat channel in Freesat mode and not just those that Freesat thinks I may want to watch.

  122. ANDREW Says:

    i player freezes alot and sometimes does not work at all , when will we see an improvment PLEASE

  123. Rod Markham Says:

    Dave is a fantastic channel but is not yet available on Freesat even though it’s on Freeview. Are you likely to have this channel soon? if not why not? or is it just worth waiting for the Freeview signal to be increased when they turn the analogue signal off?

  124. admin Says:

    And still the question regarding channel Dave comes up despite answering that above. Dave along with many others is a subscription only channel on DSAT platform so they won’t be available on Freesat. We have a question compiled which essentially asks whether any channels have discussed the possibility of becoming FTA from SUB; like CNBC did!

  125. alexander c povah Says:

    (1) Change the regional channels to country channels : ie BBC ENGLAND, BBC SCOTLAND, BBC WALES, BBC NORTHERN IRELAND, BBC ALBA and BBC CYMBRA. this should release some bandwith. This means that some changes to programes will have to be made such as local news.

    (2)a) When is the new astra/eurobird with spot beam on britain? will FREESAT obtain all the space so that it can improve the system.

  126. BSJA Says:

    When is bbc iplayer coming to freesat SD

  127. d thompson Says:

    when will five usa be available on freesat

  128. d thompson Says:

    when will fiver be available

  129. Oyodi Says:

    I would like to ask Emma if a limited subscription service on FreeSat is at all possible, for channels like Eurosport HD, Discovery HD, etc, a bit like the old Top up TV which use to be available on freeview, this would be a great way to expand the HD service on FreeSat, and be a great alternative to Sky.

  130. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    Compared with what I had before Freesat is fantastic. I have two questions for Emma.
    1. When then new Astra satellites are launched from 2012 does Freesat hope to be able to offer more channels in HD?

    2. Why is it that the vast number of programs on the EPG seem to have warnings on the contents of the program? They are just annoying especially the that states some viewers may find the content distressing. The problem is that I have yet to see a program with that warning I find distressing, however programs such as the X factor which would distress me do not have one!

  131. elo laugesen Says:

    complained to my dealer about the Panasonic Freesat Issues… no answers?? No Iplayer upgrade???

    Peter Tyson Panasonic Shop in Carlisle pursued this and received the following reply from Panasonic…

    ” have just contacted Panasonic who assure me that the Panasonic ‘G10′ ‘G15′ and ‘V10′ models will be updated via an over-air update in June and the
    ‘LZ81′ and ‘PZ81′ models in November.”

    not good but at least a reply.. Elo

  132. Keith Marriott Says:

    Why is there only two ITV channel, ITV London, ITV W. I live in the east midlands and I don’t want to know the weather or news and sport is in the west midlands.
    That is the reason we watch BBC 1 east midlands to see our local news.
    Also it’s been said before but when will Channel 4 HD come to Free-Sat.

  133. Kevin Millican Says:

    Do you think it’s fair that early adopters of Goodmans / Grundig / Alba HD boxes are being asked to pay for an upgrade to be able to view iplayer, even though support for IPTV services is part of the Freesat specification and advertised from day 1 ?

  134. matt Says:

    i’d like a internet browser built in to freesat it would be great to browse the web while listening to the tv in the background save turning my laptop on also it would be nice if the software could learn what we watch and record stuff for us which were interested in i think tivo does it and i’d like widget’s

  135. terrykl Says:

    Hi Emma,
    Like previous posters I had hoped for more HD channels by now,and more quality channels as opposed to shopping and soft porn channels.If space is so limited why oh why fill it with junk?However trying to be different my question is this: The Foxsat HDR incorporates a slot for a CAM and card,was this a requirement in the Freesat specifications,and if so do you intend to use it in any way as part of Freesats offerings?

  136. admin Says:

    @terrykl

    As per previously comments made, the inclusion of soft porn and shopping channels has no baring on the limitations of access for others; they are simply taking an EPG slot, not bandwidth on the narrow beam required for UK broadcasters to broadcast in the clear.

  137. ASK Says:

    If she can’t give a satisfactory answer to my post at 42, all other questions are academic.

  138. terrykl Says:

    Thankyou for your explanation Admin.I do hope that my actual question is relevant though.

  139. admin Says:

    @terrykl

    Your question is very much the same as comment #5 which will be put to Emma

  140. admin Says:

    Thanks everyone that contributed with questions; we’ll now go through them and pick out those we feel are most likely to get answered. We have at least 50 unique questions though that may be an excessive amount for Emma to answer, but we’ll try.

    Once we have the answers back, we’ll publish on the site as a new page.

    Thanks again, sorry we couldn’t leave this open longer, but the response has been huge and we had to stop somewhere ;)

  141. Response: Ask Emma Scott A Question | Join Freesat Says:

    [...] on from the huge response we got in the Ask Emma Scott A Question post, we have the [...]

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