Join Freesat

Jul 28 2011

News story courtesy of Broadband TV News – (thanks Gordon S Valentine for the link)

The BBC Trust has said the BBC can continue to play a part in Freesat following its approval of plans to include pay-TV content.

The Trust said proposals by the free-to-air satellite platform to introduce the listing of pay content delivered on-demand via broadband did not represent a significant change to the approval previously given in 2007. There was no need for a Public Value Test or for further regulatory process.

Under the plans some pay content, such as films, would be added to the Freesat EPG alongside the existing free-to-air content. However, there would be no adult material or live streamed sports coverage. The possibility of live paid-for linear broadcast channels remains open, but these were not a part of the approval.

Freesat itself will not supply any of the on demand content, but will allow third parties to do so through its EPG.

Some content will also be made available through existing channels using an on-screen prompt that would take viewers to an on demand environment. The plan is to use the upcoming launch of its next generation receivers – understood by Broadband TV News to include HbbTV – to add support for Digital Rights Management (DRM). Where technically possible paid for content will also be made available on existing receivers.

Freesat boxes are already used for on demand content, most notably the BBC iPlayer, and yesterday it was announced that ITV Player would be made available as an open beta. After plans for micropayments were revealed, ITV was yesterday forced to make clear that it would not be charging for content that is currently available for free on ITV Player.

The Trust says Freesat remains an important part of the BBC’s distribution strategy and is of relevance to licence fee payers. “Having considered the BBC’s position with respect to implementing this proposal on the Freesat platform, the Trust’s view is that the proposal to implement this function on the Freesat platform is consistent with, and will further the delivery of, the BBC’s wider distribution strategy.”

Between them the BBC Executive and Freesat consider that the proposal would create minimal market impact. It would add between 100,000 and 300,000 additional users and a small amount of incremental income over the next 3 years.

News story courtesy of Broadband TV News – (thanks Gordon S Valentine for the link)

96 Responses to “BBC Trust Approves Freesat Entry Into Pay VOD”

  1. ian Says:

    So i wonder if this is the start of something new with regards to Freesat along the lines of Freeview and the introduction of TopUp TV. The ‘rules’ changes to allow paid-for content on the platform would (IMO) suggest that was the case!

    @admin, did you ever get a reply from DS regarding why so many of your comments were removed? I noticed that some of mine have now been removed aswell… :(


  2. Phil Says:

    @ ian .. Could be the rocky road to TOPUP for freesat..


  3. admin Says:


    Top-up TV seems unlikely on Freesat as they stopped investing that route a while back. It might just mean the introduction of on-demand services like Lovefilm etc. Hopefully not channels.

    No reply from DS; professional eh!


  4. Tony Says:

    Is this going to be good or not ?. I am not convinced. When pay comes along it could influence channels to go this way which could hold back more open channels on freesat. I am sure most channels (quality) will think twice especially if they can make money out of subscriptions, which could mean we could be left with poorer quality channels and ones that nobody wants to watch.

    Make up your own minds.


  5. Tony Says:

    Lets hope it is for on demand services only……..


  6. Phil Says:

    @ 4.. Tony.. I’m with you on this… Could be a bad thing, but what do I know..


  7. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    So long as it’s additional and doesn’t dilute existing content I don’t mind.
    Lovefilm would be fine as I’m already a subscriber. :)


  8. WERT Says:

    In other news ITV has signed up another 3 transponders.

    Lots of HD possible…


  9. Jim G Says:

    How would this work on such a platform as Freesat… as in how would you pay for paid services on it and how would it work with the various boxes that are out there? Noob question most likely but had to ask. :p


  10. ian Says:

    #8 @WERT, i think thats something you will have to keep the dreaming going because thats all it is. ITV simply created ITV2,3&4HD channels for subscription income and nothing more. The hope they will go FTA is something i, and many, don’t believe will happen. And if you are able to get some ‘insider knowledge’ then you will be even less convinced of ITV2HD and so on, FTA soon, it won’t happen!! :(

    If this is only going to be VOD and S*VOD services, then i don’t see an issue with it and Freesat coming together. Its a good move IMO, but if its going to introduce things like pay channels, then no, because then you might as well take a Sky subscription and be done with it!
    (* = Subscription Video On-Demand–Think Sky Anytime service)

    @admin, yeah, very professional indeed..NOT! But its not like its the first time they pull stunts like this with no reasons as to why, just a shame they keep going back to the same old ‘bent’ antic’s !


  11. WERT Says:

    Yeah ITV are just signing up 3 transponders just for the fun of it… that has to be a first. with these in dvb-s2 config (like BBC) you are looking at 12 HD channels, though they could move some sd channels aswell and get even more room upto 2 transponders free’d easily.

    i suppose they might want ITV2-4 HD, & the stv1hd & itv1hd (2x) currently with sky on transponder they own, i never said they are launching on freesat, but not being on a sky transponder should make it easier when they want to ditch the encryption…

    ITV 3D (test has been done, will probably be showing Rugby World Cup)
    6x ITV1 HD (some are missing of the licensed regions)
    1x STV HD

    Also 1 ITV1 HD channel allread has space on the BBC transponder, and if sky let them keep using the 2d transponder sky use for itv/stv stuff, even better as that is 3 channels less to find new room for….


  12. Muzer Says:

    When they want to ditch the encryption? That should be an “if” – it’s highly likely that they won’t, sadly enough.


  13. Phil Says:

    Going off subject….. Official news on 1N

    The reconfiguration work and the checkouts on the Ariane 5 ECA launcher are now complete. Arianespace has decided to resume the operations for Flight VA203, Ariane 5 ECA – ASTRA 1N – BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R.
    Friday 05 August at 06:53 p.m., local time in Kourou, French Guiana,


  14. ian Says:

    Also news of it on the SES Astra Facebook page aswell that i saw


  15. Alvin Pritchard Says:

    *BEWARE* This could be a revenue generating machine to supplement the Beeb’s shortfall in the frozen TV licence fee.

    BBC themselves need to confirm that this is NOT the case.

    Owners of Freesat will feel conned if my suspicions prove to be correct considering the BBC was one of the main players in promoting Freesat!

    Get them to buy the machine and then start charging them is unacceptable practice.

    Freeview and Freesat must be just that, …….Free platforms!


  16. Jono Says:

    So are all boxes compatible?


  17. Muzer Says:

    @Alvin: again, the BBC aren’t charging, and the proposal does not cover channels becoming pay. All it means is that video on demand services, for example Lovefilm, that cost money can appear on Freesat, which to be honest I am perfectly happy about.

    In other words, it’s not likely at all that you will start having to pay for services on Freesat that you already get for free.


  18. Martin Says:

    Think this is a good thing why take uk gold for instance dave yesterday is part of that company so they will put them on freesat as a carrot to pull people in to subscribe to them so will other channels as well and let’s face it you don’t have to subscribe to the just enjoy the benefits if discovery was on there you ll get quest free well that’s what I think


  19. peter jannece Says:

    What about the more than one million of us Brits living in Spain.
    Why cannot we have the iplayer there?
    Can someone please tell me>


  20. Neil Says:

    I am more than happy for this proposal too. It paves the way for some inovative value added services like LoveFilm and if 4OD does appear, possibly Film4OD which has pay per view films. Some will take the opinion that this takes away the ‘Free’ from Freesat but in my opinion it’s like top-up TV, just adding value added services which I think will provide good competition for the likes of Sky and Virgin. How many subscribers to Sky Movies who want the occasional film but watch mainly FTA channels might make the move if they knew this was an option? Lets see how long Sky make a sing and dance complaint about this as they seem to detest competition in any way, shape or form!

    WERT: Good news on the ITV TP front as this will mean most of their ITV1HD regions are likely to go FTA. The press release discusses a ‘progressive’ increase so although they’ve reserved capacity for three extra transponders and I do think ITV’s 2-4HD will be on one of them, don’t expect this in the short term though.I can’t personally see ITV’s 2-4HD going FTA unless advertising can outweight Sky’s subsidy, alternatively if Archie and Crozier decide to leave and are replaced by someone else with different thinking then who knows what might happen.

    Back to the VOD stuff and we can hope that if this has been waiting for the BBC Trust to approve before Freesat press ahead with it, then as it’s involving paid for content by premium providers then it might come to fruition quicker than it took ITV Player to finally launch!!


  21. Mediaman Says:

    What about the more than one million of us Brits living in Spain.
    Why cannot we have the iplayer there?

    There is going to be an international version of Iplayer which will cost roughly £6.99 but will also carry a back catalogue of BBC programming. The money will go back to the UK license fee.

    I think the info I have given is right but I have been busy for a while. If not someone will correct it.


  22. Mediaman Says:

    An edit option would be good on here.

    Additional information

    The initial launch includes only countries in Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. Plans are in place to bring the global iPlayer to the U.S., Canada, and Australia by the end of the year. The price will work out at $72 for a yearly subscription and will also be available on many mobile devices including IPad.


  23. Al (Original) Says:

    Beginning of the end of a decent Freesat service as I see it.

    Once quality channels realise they can join as pay for view what incentive is their to join FTA anymore?

    Also, what about existing channels?

    Now channels such as ITV can encrypt across all platforms, there’s nothing to stop many major currently FTA channels switching to pay to view eg Film 4, ITV 1, More 4, E4, and even staples like Ch 4 itself and FIVE.

    This is the worst move Freesat could have made.


  24. Muzer Says:

    @Al: Like many people, you’ve made the mistake of not bothering to read the full text.


    In other words:

    Planned paid-for extensions to ITV Player: COVERED BY THIS PROPOSAL
    ANY NORMAL TV CHANNEL being encrypted (Film4, ITV channels, etc.): NOT COVERED BY THIS PROPOSAL


  25. Al (Original) Says:

    OK Thanks Muzer. :)

    Still don’t like this slide down the slippery slope though.

    eg. What if ITV decided to withdraw ITV 2, 3, 4 from the epg and put them on demand only? Result could be the same.


  26. Tony Says:

    @ Al 25
    I cannot see itv pulling the plug on itv2,3,4, on freesat simply because at the moment they are getting the best of both worlds. Publicity on all platforms and subsidy from sly for the hd content . They are in an all win situation. You wont see these channels on freesat in hd for the foreseeable future on this platform.
    I also cant see them going to vod , simply because the programming is not of the highest quality or new (mainly repeats) and who in the right mind would pay for them anyway ?


  27. original steve Says:

    On demand not a worry to up tv hasn’t harmed freeview.I am with you on this one tony


  28. Neil Says:

    ITV wouldn’t pull ITV’s 2,3 and 4 from FTA as they are growth services for the broadcaster!

    As Muzer says and explains well, this is only for extra VOD propositions which won’t affect linear channel offerings.


  29. Russ Says:

    Sorry it’s off topic but I was dismayed to read that F1 has joined the dark side. Sky have just secured the rights for F1, they will be showing live coverage of all F1 practice, qualifying and races. The BBC will now show only half of the F1 calendar live. In the words of Queen ” another one bites the dust ”


  30. admin Says:


    A massive loss to me personally as a huge F1 fan. If BBC cannot afford to keep F1 fair enough, but it should have remained FTA. F1 will lose out massively from this announcement.


  31. Tony Says:

    I agree with Russ & admin , Sad for all F1 fans in the uk, on the plus side you can see every race via free to air on certain other satellite platforms even though it could be in a foreign language .. great if you have a motorized system… Its not surprising linux box sales are soaring.. But we won’t get into that subject !


  32. Lee Sartin Says:

    I think people need to read the article again and realise that it is only for VOD servces!! I think it’s an important decision to allow paid for VOD content on Freesat in this very competitive market. Freeview already had a top-up TV service for premium channels, but this hasn’t come at a cost by losing other channels to this – merely just paying for a few extra channels encrypted by Sky. Like Freeview, Freesat will have these services available at a price should someone want to watch them, likewise if you don’t, then don’t pay for them!

    As for the ITV channels – ITV have just announced a good half years trading and increased turnover in their interim results. ITV are mainly supported through advertising revenue. Adverts for channels are commissioned and placed in slots relevant to the content being shown on tv. These slots can make millions of pounds for itv, especially when selling off ad space for say the X Factor etc. If channels were encrypted by them, they would lose viewers thus advertising revenue as companies would not be interested in paying much money to place adverts on channels that not as many people watch. It’s business sense, and if itv encrypted channels, they would be making a backward step in terms to turning the business around after a few years of losses.


  33. Richard Crichton Says:

    Very bad news about F1 joining the dark side. Make you pay for what you once had for free. Another nail in the coffin of FTA sport on TV.
    Sky- believe in dearer. What gets me is the British public sit still for this sort of thing and just pay up.


  34. Richard Crichton Says:

    Below is a post from the Telegraph website.
    “There is one way to get free F1 coverage. A cheap FTA sat receiver and second dish or second LNB pointed to Astra 1 at 19.2E. Watch German RTL coverage with Radio 5 live commentary. Bit heavy on advertising, but anything is better than shelling out a cent to the Dirty Digger. And a small price to pay for keeping BBC4 with its music coverage.”
    Thank you very much for that suggestion, great idea if you have a Technisat HDFS which is DiSEqC capable. No need for a second box.


  35. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    @Tony 26, “I also cant see them going to vod , simply because the programming is not of the highest quality or new (mainly repeats) and who in the right mind would pay for them anyway ?”

    I do watch this content from time to time. However, I don’t value it sufficiently to pay for it by subscription or VOD.


  36. monkeymaniac Says:

    Russ @ 29

    Apparently according to the news & radio news, Sky are showing F1 in 3D coverage that’s all, bbc will still be showing it on it’s FTA as usual, not unless the above has got this wrong, just saying what the news is saying.


  37. Muzer Says:

    @monkey 36: Just saw it on BBC One headlines, apparently the BBC will be showing half the races live and Sky the other half. The BBC’s coverage will include Britain and Monoco. Presumably both channels will have highlights.


  38. admin Says:


    Taken from BBC website (

    Sky Sports will show every race, qualifying session and practice live.

    BBC Sport will broadcast half the races live, as well as the qualifying and practice sessions from those races.

    Both companies will broadcast in high definition.

    Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said:

    We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.

    The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a 10-year high and the BBC has always stated its commitment to the big national sporting moments.

    With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.

    How do they figure it is remaining on the BBC then and the coverage will continue for license fee payers hmmmm


  39. admin Says:

    Basically how I read it is that BBC will have half the races with all practise and qualifying for them and Sky will have absolutely all races with practise and qualifying. So unless I’m mistaken those of us with FTA will have ready access to 10 of 20 races so a reduced amount from the BBC that claim we’ll have the same! huh!


  40. Russ Says:

    The BBC will show half the races and qualifying live. And highlights of the remaining races. Link from the article in the guardian below.


  41. monkeymaniac Says:

    Muzer @ 37

    Just like the Cricket then, they split that in half, now it’s only the highlights, F1 will go the same sooner or later.


  42. ian Says:

    BBC: They gets 10 races out of the 20 a season to broadcast live and in HD with the practice and qualifying live on the BBC aswell.
    The races they do not cover live, they will offer a highlights packaged show (thanks to a source of mine at the BBC) no later than 2 hours after the race has ended.

    Sky: They get all races live and in HD with qualifying and practice all live aswell.
    There will be NO 3D as the race coverage is provided by FOM*-TV and they have only just moved into providing a HD feed.
    (*FOM = Formula One Management)


  43. Al (Original) Says:

    @ Steve 27 Quote; “On demand not a worry to up tv hasn’t harmed freeview.I am with you on this one tony”

    Yes but you have to remember that before without subscription on Freesat, many FTA channels couldn’t go pay for view or VOD because they were in the free on Freesat. Allowing VOD on Freesat puts all platforms on an even footing and could in theory at least allow channels to go Encrypted and PTV on Freeview and be removed from broadcast but go VOD on Freesat as it would be possible to remove them from Free Viewing across the board.

    I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen but its certainly a danger.


  44. Al (Original) Says:

    I too agree on Formula 1, its was a bad decision. I think it should be added to the protected sport list.

    All major national sporting events should be free and in Britain that means International Rugby, International Football, Wimbledon and Formula 1 as all are British institutions.


  45. patsy Says:

    Going back to VOD – does this mean for example that Premier Sports (On Sky channel 433) could come onto Freesat? I know that they are trying to get onto Virgin and BT. Basically I just like Gaelic Games.


  46. Neil Says:

    On the subject of F1, I for one too am very disappointed in the BBC for giving in to the hands of Sky. Another FTA sport goes partly behind a paywall! Whilst I’m not a big F1 fan I do hugely support the fact it’s FTA and for those who do enjoy it which now have to either pay Sky or just watch half of the races.

    Did the Beeb (who are trying to make savings) or the FIA not look to other FTA broadcasters? Channel 5 had mooted they’d be interested in F1, maybe a deal could have been struck between the two of them to split the races between them? It’s a pity that when broadcasters are struggling in this sense, Sky (now with their £1billion pre-tax profits) can muster money out of thin air to steal the show.

    I suppose the worse thing for all of this is that the whole lot could have gone to Sky, at least half of it is now safe in FTA hands until 2018.


  47. original steve Says:

    I can’t believe we don’t get more comments than this considering how many people got freesat


  48. Dean smith Says:

    We all pay a licence fee so it’s not fta it’s a subscription . We pay once then sky comes along and guess what we all pay again . This is freesat and not to support more subscription channels . Channel 4 take the gamble with new programs then sky nick them and we have to buy them on DVD . Which we can sell on again and in so cases watch it for free . so support freesat only as we will all pay more In the long run .


  49. Richard Crichton Says:

    The people who already have Freesat are very unlikely to get these VOD services without buying the Freesat mk2 type box which is not available yet so perhaps that is why they are underwhelmed.


  50. Neil Says:

    Richard: It also mentions in the press release about them trying to make this available to existing users products where possible. I guess the 2nd generation products will have much more support for this however market penetration is going to be pretty low for at least the first 12 to 18mths after launch so hopefully at lease some of it will be made available to existing users.

    “Where technically possible paid for content will also be made available on existing receivers”.

    I’d be happy to pay for the occasional film streamed via LoveFilm etc, providing it wasn’t at shockingly low bitrates!!


  51. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil I don’t expect to get ITV Player anytime soon (if ever) with my Technisat as it isn’t on the ITV player list of boxes they are going to support so I’m not hopeful about getting Lovefilm etc either. Not really bothered as I like my movies projected in HD with DTS HD 5.1or7.1 Master Audio as found on Blu-ray discs.
    My next box will probably be a YouView compatible one if it ever get off the ground with Freesat.


  52. Lee Sartin Says:

    Richard, I have a Technisat HDFS receiver. I emailed both Freesat and ITV and both companies have confirmed that ITV Player will be making its way to the Technisat.


  53. Neil Says:

    I was under the assumption that all STB’s/TV’s now supporting iPlayer will also support ITV Player and future VOD/on-demand services.

    Richard, I know what you mean about BluRay, you can’t beat quality but if there’s ever a time I just fancied watching something ‘on impulse’ then I’d possibly pay for a one-off streaming version providing the quality at least matches good SD video.


  54. Richard Crichton Says:

    Thanks Lee, that’s good to hear. It’s just strange the Technisat as one of the best HD boxes out there isn’t on the ITV list but lesser makes are.
    Don’t know about that Neil. It depends if we get a download or not. Technisat don’t seem big on developers listings. Fingers crossed though.


  55. Neil Says:

    Panasonic aren’t listed either but Freesat (via someone at their call centre who was pretty knowledgeable) told me last week that Panasonic are apparently the next to have ITV Player enabled. Makes a difference from being one of the last with BBC iPlayer!!

    I’m pretty confident the Technisat will get it, seems whoever at ITV wrote that webpage probably wasn’t furnished with the full range of Freesat products!


  56. original steve Says:

    No news is good news I hope you are right.even comments have dryed up.


  57. anthony Says:

    Freesat should resist any paytv offering and stay as it is-otherwise,what is the point of it being free? I personally would say no to the addition of pay tv on freesat,it is not necessary.


  58. Nat Says:

    Freesat is great at what it does and The iPlayer is a nice bonus but thats about as far as it should go with Video On Demand via broadband.
    If this is something that you would like, just do the job properly and get an Apple TV box. It is the perfect add on to Freesat, my Humax HDR remote even works with my Apple TV so I don’t have to have another controller.
    A lot of the best stuff is free on the ATV – Podcasts, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and all the photos and music from your own computer. If you do want pay for content there is so much to choose from and it works so well.
    Don’t wait for a half-baked effort in the distant future, get on it now, it’s fantastic.


  59. Richard Crichton Says:

    What does the Apple TV box do that a computer connected to my plasma TV dosen’t do? I’m not into paying Apple for content so don’t see much advantage in it.


  60. Nat Says:

    @ Richard Crichton 59

    Its all about ease of use. Just look at the simple remote on the ATV and then at the keyboard/mouse of a PC (Thats why Google TV failed).
    Its got to be usable and enjoyable for all the family and thats what the ATV is (and its only £99!)


  61. Richard Crichton Says:

    I’ve got a Keysonic handheld wireless keyboard with mouse pad also the Microsoft remote control and the IBM P4 3.2Ghz PC was only £80. Think I’ll pass on the Apple thingy thanks all the same for your suggestion.


  62. Jock Says:

    I basically agree with all of those who say that Freesat should stay free. However, I can switch my Humax box out of Freesat mode and access a lot of other channels. Those channels do not cost Freesat anything in terms of bandwidth etc. If there happened to be a Pay-per-view (PPV) option (either within the Freeview estate, or as a separate entity) then those who were so minded could opt to pay for a particular event.

    It would be essential that it did not steal programmes from Freesat and dilute what is currently available for free. There are already several options on my Humax box which I do not use and PPV could just be one more.

    The problem is that viewers who are happy to pay for the occasional programme have to look elsewhere because their Freesat box won’t let them do it. We all want Freesat to grow – to get lots of viewers so that additional channels find it worthwhile to migrate to our platform. Most of us are adamant about not paying. Should be block the facility (on the right terms) for those who are willing to pay?


  63. Russ Says:

    The ad campaign for freesat has always stated that it is subscription free TV, nothing more to pay, ever. Why change a winning formula ? Freesat is still the fastest growing TV platform, and I am sure that is down to the fact that it is a free, no strings attached service.


  64. Al (Original) Says:

    @Jock, the problem is once you start to allow PFV there’s no way of stopping existing channels switching over to PFV. Especially as once Freesat is encrypted, all broadcast mediums are encryptable eg. Sky, Freesat, Virgin and Freeview. Once in that situation, any broadcaster that appears on all mediums and so couldn’t currently go encrypted has the green light to do so.

    If people want to pay for the occasional programme then their best option is to go for Freeview.

    It’s far to better to keep Freesat subscription free than to introduce some system and find free channels switching wholesale resulting in BBC Skysat. Given the alleged reported financial difficulties of some channels,it would be quite easy to foresee a large number of free channels jumping ship if encryption became available, and free tv returning to the main 5 channels plus shopping!


  65. admin Says:

    This is approval for pay VOD services, not channels.


  66. Matthew Says:

    Any kind of VOD or pay service goes against the nature of the name freesat. Freesat at its core is meant to be a free service, yes it will be a free service regardless, but itl be a free service with a pay tv addon bolted on for viewers who want to take up the optional service.


  67. Al (Original) Says:

    @ Amind # 65, I know sorry to go off topic but Jock # 62 was suggesting Freesat should adopt a PFV system as well


  68. Al (Original) Says:

    My #67 post above should have read admin, my typing sucks!


  69. Tony Says:

    I think a lot of people are still not getting this…… Freesat will always remain free. The only thing which has been approved are VOD services. These are like lovefim etc .Video On Demand services are completely separate to channels you receive from freesat. I, like many other people were very worried at first , but after reading the facts nothing will change to the channels. They will remain FREE. You will only pay for extra services streamed through the likes of i-player etc..
    I do hope this clears things up..


  70. peterhb Says:

    I think an issue which has been raised is that if the VOD streams take off on Freesat and generate another income stream for their providers then it’s not beyonthe boundsof possibility for some of the main stream channels to go that way in the hope of more income.
    Something along this line has already come with ITV 2,3,& 4 HD going to Sky to bring in more money, they might also go VOD on Freesat?
    I seem to remeber reading that a worst case scenario could be that we end up with just the basic five terrestrial channels as free on Freesat


  71. steven Says:

    for those interested

    Arianespace Flight VA203 – ASTRA 1N & BSAT-3c / JCSAT-110R
    Launch slated on the night of August 6, 2011

    The weather conditions being now favourable in Kourou, Arianespace has decided to restart the launch chronology of Arianespace Flight 203 with ASTRA 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R aboard.

    Saturday 06 August at 06:53 p.m., local time in Kourou, French Guiana,
    05:53 p.m. in Washington DC,
    21:53 UTC,
    11:53 p.m. in Paris

    watch live


  72. steven Says:

    astra 1N

    up up and a way its now up there should be fully active mid Sept
    fingers crossed.


  73. Neil Says:

    A great launch, third time lucky!!

    I was starting to wonder when 1N was actually going to get off the ground and to be honest, as the launch window came to a close hope was starting to diminish – that was until I saw green!

    Lets hope now that she’s up and running mid-Sept as the SES promotional video on the launch programme discussed.


  74. Jock Says:

    #67 – Al (Original)

    Thanks for that. One thing has been bothering me though. A recent poll on this site revealed that about two thirds of visitors to the site had Freeview as well as Freesat. Freeview has been offering paid-for services for many years without any of the nasty side effects predicted by some contributors to this debate. Sure it uses up some of the bandwidth, but it helps Freeview to pay their bills and to keep the service evolving. In spite of the lost bandwidth, Freeview offers many more viewable channels than Freesat – Dave, Yesterday, Quest, Really, 5USA, 5*, Pick TV are examples. Why should channels migrate to pay TV on Freesat when they’ve not done so on Freeview? Unless they’re facing bankruptcy and it’s a survival option. Pay TV on Freeview has had absolutely no effect on my viewing.

    The reason why channels are on Freeview and not Freesat is mainly to do with copyright and licensing issues. Sky has got most of them by the b*lls.

    My original post here was to suggest that, if Freesat boxes had the ability to deal with Pay Per View (PPV) offerings, people who were prepared to pay for the odd event could do so without having to buy another set-top box. Those of us who believe that free means free would be totally unaffected by this. The jump from PPV to subscription services is quite major and not something I would advocate.


  75. Al (Original) Says:

    @ Jock the reason is as I said above. They couldn’t go PTV on Freeview because they were in the clear and FTA on Freesat.


  76. sam Says:

    i actually wish they would allow pay channels. make the current channels stay free and allow new channels to be pay. That way ITV2-4HD could be added for say £2/month. ESPNHD could be added for £8/month etc. pay a small amount a month instead of having to have an expensive subscription to sky or virgin would be much better.


  77. steve 1 Says:

    Sam that is a slippery slope its a very bad idea freesat should be that


  78. Jock Says:

    #76 sam

    All Freesat boxes have a “non Freesat” mode and I believe all Freesat boxes have a CAM slot, allowing a viewing card to be used. Your wish could partially be met by keeping Freesat free and allowing any subscription services to operate outside Freesat mode.

    I say “partially” because I do not see your suggested subscriptions being met. Sky has got your suggested channels under contract. It would not make sense for Sky to allow such channels to be viewed for a lower subscription than they are already charging.


  79. steve 1 Says:

    Jock I agree if freesat was charging less than sky everybody would be leaving them


  80. Richard Crichton Says:

    All Freesat boxes don’t have a cam slot and those that do don’t have a CAM reader they just use the same case.


  81. Neil Says:

    A fair few TV’s have CAM slots but also without a CAM itself your pretty stuck. Saying that, I believe Top Up TV are launching a CAM for Sky Sports subscriptions this Month so not impossible I suppose.


  82. Jock Says:

    #80 – Richard Crichton

    My understanding is that the CAM module slides into the CAM slot on the receiver (TV or STB). The CAM module is specific to the service to which you subscribe. The service provider then issues a viewing card which slides into the CAM module, allowing you to receive the subscription channels.

    If this is the case. then enabling it in non-Freesat mode would allow people with money to burn to stay with their Freesat receivers and remain part of the Freesat family.


  83. Nat Says:

    This post relates to VOD on demand via broadband.
    I don’t think we’ll ever see a broadcaster asking us Freesat users to buy a CAM reader for our box or TV set just to watch their encrypted channel.
    The only thing that you can’t (easily) access via broadband is Premiership football. It would have to be something as huge as that before we (as Freesat users) start equipping our boxes with CAM readers.


  84. Al (Original) Says:

    If you have money to burn then just go with Sky. You can get as many PTV channels as you want then and the boxes are free with subscription. Its hard to see any reason why Freesat would want to seek to retain people on Freesat who wanted full on pay tv.


  85. Nat Says:

    I think the only thing this is pointing to is that LOVE Film would be allowed to offer their subscription service via broadband on Freesat equipment.


  86. Nat Says:

    …just out of interest, what are you guys using to get Video On Demand on your TV set at the moment?
    I’m using the Apple TV, Richard Crichton has his PC connected to his TV but there must be some more of us.


  87. Richard Crichton Says:

    @82 jock
    Interesting that but the Technisat HDFS for one dosen’t have a CAM slot can’t speak for the other boxes.


  88. barrie Says:

    Nat@86 I’m looking to buy a Samsung BluRay to stream Lovefilm and others plus use it as a media centre. I tried to use my Foxsat HDpvr with a hard drive attached to stream music and photos but it was so slow.


  89. Tony Says:

    @ peterhb 70

    As for ITV 2,3,4 hd as I have mentioned before , they have now the best of both worlds. Having seen their hd versions , I can tell you now we are not missing a great deal. I cannot see them changing what they are doing now. Yes , more channels might stick with s*y for hd channels just for the money but I can’t see this affecting freesat as sd versions will still be available. I don’t think we will ever get to the 5 channel scenario. Let’s not forget freesat has been growing from strength to strength since it began & it really is the place to watch great quality FREE tv!
    I still think vod will not affect freesat viewing in the slightest and lets remember not everyone will be able or be prepared to spend (especially in this climate) for extra viewing they do not need.
    Just look at 3D , from what I can gather from people I know in the retail business it’s been an almighty flop with no signs of it getting much better. Betamax & video 2000 springs to mind… People are still trying to get their heads around HD.
    So all in all I don’t think we have to start worrying just yet….


  90. Richard Crichton Says:

    Congratulations to BBC News 24 for the real reality TV from two nights ago. The helicam shots from the news copter were superb.


  91. Barrie Says:

    Off topic – Interesting article in our local (Sussex) paper stating that next years switch over to digital will reduce Freeview channels drastically to around 20 channels or less due to the relay stations. Apparently if they increase output it will clash with French tv – unquote.
    Good time to promote Freesat?


  92. Jock Says:

    #91 – Barrie

    The (analogue) relays have always been low power in order to serve small communities without causing interference in neighbouring areas. This remains true after DSO. The digital signal seems more robust, so the intended audience should receive good steady pictures at what seems like silly transmission powers. Many of the relays only had 4 analogue transponders as most of them did not bother to add Channel 5. Viewers of these relays could only receive four channels and reception quality varied a lot.

    After DSO there will be four multiplexers – one for the BBC, one for ITV and one for some extra channels, Viewers who have had to put up with just four analogue channels for years will now get 15 – 20. The icing on the cake is that all relays will carry four HD channels (the same four you got on analogue!). And you can get an HD STB fro Tesco Direct for £30!

    You should find that the main transmitters which drive these relays carry the full range of digital channels.(~75) Where possible they will work within the same frequency groups as the analogue service, so that no changes to aerials will be needed. In special cases – like those of you who shake hands with the French – it might be necessary to fit a rooftop array which works in a different frequency group. If that is the case, you will be given plenty of warning by the DSO people.

    The more people who join the Freesat family the better, but Freeview still has a lot going for it.


  93. Mediaman Says:

    Harvard are releasing a new range if Freesat boxes which are compatible with internet and companion device (smart phone or tablet computer) functionality. The STBs will be sold under a new brand, View21 and users will be able to stream live and recorded content from the box and schedule recordings, through a smartphone or tablet app. Apparently Freeview are getting similar boxes as well.


  94. Nat Says:

    @Barrie 86
    It’ll be amazing once you get your music, photo’s and home movies streaming to your TV. We definitely look at our photo’s a lot more since getting the Apple TV. The other thing that has changed is that we BUY hardly any films anymore ( just a couple on Bluray) we just rent them from iTunes in HD when we choose. I’ve got a US iTunes account and we can even rent films that are pre-cinema releases. The cost can add up if there are a lot of good films released at once but some months we don’t rent any. Either way I think that Freesat + online content is a far better option than paying for SKY.


  95. barrie Says:

    @Jock 92
    Thanks for clearing that up. Our local fishwrapper is not known for its accuracy!
    @94 Nat 94
    Much as I like LoveFilm the lack of titles from Universal is very annoying and detrimental to a really good service. So I may look into your set up!


  96. Nat Says:

    @Barrie 95
    Just Google setting up a US iTunes account. We’ve just rented RIO in HD, I think it’s on at the cinema over here now. If you want to see whats available just change your iTunes store on your computer to the US store.
    I’ll stop banging on about how good the Apple TV is now.


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