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Jan 26 2009

Well it was hardly surprising, but in conclusion of our recent poll – “What would you like to see next?” which has been running a few months, a massive 50% of you (2,762 votes) want to see C4 HD as the next service/channel to reach Freesat, beating iPlayer on 19%.

It just goes to show how many Freesat viewers have purchased on the premise of high-definition channels, and with the current shortage (BBC HD, ITV HD and *Luxe HD (*non-freesat mode)) C4 HD is so desperately wanted by many; especially considering that 60% of Freesat audience have HD digital boxes, this is a significant proportion.

So how likely is C4 HD? Well nothing much has been updated since our last post, so whilst we’ll possibly see some time this year, it’s unlikely to be the next service we receive, that honour will probably go to BBC’s iPlayer.

C4HD (50%, 2,779 votes)
BBC iPlayer (19%, 1,037 votes)
Fiver and Five US (16%, 872 votes)
Panasonic PVR/Blu-Ray (8%, 446 votes)
Sub add-on’s (Setanta…) (6%, 310 votes)
Metronic HD/PVR (1%, 80 votes)

Don’t forget to take part in our new poll, “What is your opinion of ITV HD?” (left hand column).

40 Responses to “C4HD Is Your Top Priority”

  1. Tone Says:

    are you saying you can get Luxe HD through the humax pvr?

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  2. admin Says:

    Yes, in non-freesat mode. Frequency 12643 H 27500 2/3

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  3. YASAR Says:

    CH4HD definitely is a channel we all would like to to see added to the Freesat list.But how about BBC and ITV’s other channels with HD content? May be with much disliked “Red-Button”??
    I know neither BBC nor ITV have perfected their HD broadcasts yet. But the competition in the form of SKY & Co are way ahead at the moment. And they have a lot of catching up to do.

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  4. Mark Says:

    Sky have bucket’s of cash which Freesat will never be able to match. If you want a HD service equivalent to Sky’s then your only option is to pony up and subscribe to Sky.

    CH4HD would be a great plus to the Freesat service though. I’m sure the BBC will steadily improve it’s HD service over the next few years too.

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  5. zag Says:

    Maybe its just me but I would love to see Iplayer working.

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  6. Dan Says:

    It would be great indeed to see Channel 4 sort out their contacting obligations with Sky and get onboard Freesat. The BBC iplayer will be interesting as regards it’s picture quality. As for ITV HD, sure the picture looks great, but how about DD 5.1 for films?

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  7. YASAR Says:

    Mark, it is a well known fact that Sky has cash to back up around 30 HD channels which BBC and ITV do not have. But BBC and ITV have to start somewhere to bring more HD content to the us mere mortals. I do not want to subsidise SKY empire with my cash either. But as with the digital revolution I would like to see BBC and ITV channels gradually going the HD route. When I bought in to the Freesat idea it was on the pretext that a good number of channels would be in HD fairly soon.
    Well I have had it for nearly a year. So far all I have got is 6hours of daily HD (some repeats) of BBC and approx 1 hour a day of ITV.
    I would not mind even 2 channels but with more time every day.
    That way more and more subscribers from SKY will defect. I know of 2 households that have already done so. But to lure more we need more HD!!
    CH4 definitely will be fantastic way to start it! as it will be a dedicated HD channel as well.

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  8. Terry Says:

    Just out of interest admin… Have you informed C4 of your poll? Have you sent them a link to this site? I just think that at the very least, if they are made aware of the poll, it may in some small way help to keep it in their minds!

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  9. Dave Says:

    Yes i agree, more HD content please, c4hd is what i’m waiting for. All thats available at the moment is bbchd and the odd programme on itvhd, oh and luxehd. I was told sky newsHD is also available on non freesat mode but i cant find it. Does anyone know more about this?

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  10. Paul D Says:

    I might have this wrong but I always thought Channel 4 had a public service remit and recieved government funding??? If thats the case then they have no business getting their HD channel in an exclusive contract with a pay TV provider like SKY.

    The general public should have free access to it.

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  11. admin Says:

    Terry, yes, C4 have seen the poll and responded with the comments made to us on the previous C4 HD post here:

    http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/index.php/c4-hd-this-year

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  12. Soul4real Says:

    Bring Lux over, it all counts to me even if it is demostration programmes, would you not welcome lux instead of more gambling and porn?

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  13. admin Says:

    Luxe HD are required to pay the £30k annual charge for inclusion on the Freesat EPG. It’s totally in their control to decide upon this and reach more viewers. Not sure I’m aware of any porn channels on Freesat but given that inclusion on the EPG costs money, it’s got to be considered in the assistance of developing Freesat as a platform.

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  14. Paul D Says:

    The gambling and porn gets a very bad press. Perhaps if the gambling and porn went HD people would be happy!

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  15. Soul4real Says:

    Umm yes i could very easily be persuaded

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  16. Nigel Whitfield Says:

    Channel 4 doesn’t actually get government funding; yes, it’s a public corporation, but it’s entirely commercially funded at present. And as such, it has to do what it thinks is in its best commercial interests.

    That, so far, has led it into the embrace of Sky, because it was a good way to get someone else to pick up the tab for at least part of the running costs of the HD channel. It may be a dance with the devil, but I can understand precisely why they decided to do it at the time.

    It’s looking less likely now, in fact, that C4 will receive public funding in the way that most think of it – and certainly not via the licence fee. Exactly how it survives will depend on the outcome of the ongoing PSB review.

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  17. YASAR Says:

    Good point Paul D. If that is the case with the public service remit. Then it is like BBC being exclusive to Virgin or Sky. This is what I found at below link:
    “The Channel’s primary purpose is the fulfilment of its public service remit, which was most recently defined in the 2003 Communications Act. This states that “the public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular:”
    (a) demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and content of programmes;

    (b) appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;

    (c) makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and

    (d) exhibits a distinctive character.”

    More on “http://www.channel4.com/about4/overview.html”

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  18. Paul D Says:

    YASAR didnt we have a situation before freeview when the BBC did the same thing? I seem to remember the BBC had digital channels that were only viewable on the pay tv services SKY digital and ITV digital, because there wasnt a free digital service. Im sure I remember grumbling that my license fee money was funding a service that I couldnt watch for free.

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  19. Daniel Says:

    Yes C4HD would be my most anticipated next feature on freesat – i can already get bbc iplayer on my PC!

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  20. YASAR Says:

    Paul D you are right. This must be the same. I guess all we can do is grumble and make our point on these forums. May be if there is enough of us doing it we may be heard!!!
    After all the situation is quite different now. The market is saturated with HD ready tv’s. Almost every other person has one nowadays. And we have a big freesat community that both BBC and ITV is supporting. I hope!

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  21. Phil Says:

    Yes C4HD is my top priority, closely followed by the iPlayer (OK so we can watch on our PCs but I want easy access on my telly without having to turn the PC on).

    As for ITV-HD. As far as I am concerned, they need to up the bitrate to that similar of BBC HD and include 5.1 surround sound – then, if they can get more content it might be worth it!

    Incidentally (and I’ve not seen it myself) but a friend with Sky HD says the quality of the HD channels is not as good as BBC HD. Is this because they (like ITV) use a lower bitrate or do they upscale or is my friend just wrong?

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  22. Paul D Says:

    Yes the market is saturated with HD TV’s. That alone should make the broadcasters pull their finger out. People really want free HD and commercial broadcasters could potentially pull in advertising revenue by taking viewers to HD channels. I keep hearing that there is no profit in HD, I find that hard to believe. Advertisers want their products shown in HD and there are millions of HD Tv’s currently not being used for HD. Channel 4 and Channel 5 in particular should get their act together and get HD channels on freesat ASAP.

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  23. HD Sceptic Says:

    How come, if 2779 people want HD, only 80 want another HD PVR to provide competition in the market? The HD TVs, with which the market is saturated, are only HD displays and they still need a Freesat or Sky box to drive them. And how many of them are true (1080p/24p) HD receivers?

    It also seems as though people voted to get C4HD added, but they don’t like the quality, or what is being shown! Can’t the HD freaks get their kicks from Blue-Ray recordings?

    Someone recently pointed out that there are some 22 million households in Britain. If less than 3000 of them are calling (loudly) for HD, how much notice should we take?

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  24. Steven Says:

    It’s interesting to note the Channel4 London is also being broadcast on Astra 2A, as well as Astra 2D. The 2A north beam covers virtually all Europe and gives good coverage as far as Greece to the east and probably as far over as Cyprus and to North Africa (Morocco & Algeria) with a big enough dish probably.

    http://www.lyngsat-maps.com/maps/astra2a_north.html

    Astra 2A 28.2’E 12480V 27500 2/3

    The channel is FTA.

    Therefore, it doesn’t appear that there is an issue with Channel4 covering only the UK only as it already broadcasts to virtually all Europe and beyond.

    So I can only conclude from this that Channel4 are simply waiting for a big enough ‘slot’ to fit in an HD output anywhere at 28.2’/28.5’E perhaps? Otherwise if space is available perhaps it’s simply down to cost or being tied to a contract with $ly/$ky?

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  25. Paul D Says:

    HD Skeptic the 3000 figure is just people who have logged on this website, how many people feel the same way who dont come on here.

    “HD freaks” as you put it, do not want their kicks from blu ray. BD’s are extremely expensive and so are the decent players. It isnt an either/or situation, people want their favourite programs in HD, you wont get that from blu ray. Anyway, blu ray is a doomed format.

    Why exactly does it matter how many HDTV’s are 1080p24? The vast majority of people wont notice the difference of a 1080p set and id bet that 90% of HD users havent got a clue what the 24 means.

    How exactly are you a HD skeptic? Do you not believe it exists? It is the future of all television broadcasts. Were you a “colour skeptic” back in the late 60’s?

    You keep watching your black n’ white portable and the rest of us will enjoy progress.

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  26. HD Sceptic (with a 'c') Says:

    As the 2779 figure is just 60% of people who log into (and choose to comment on) a specialist web site we don’t have the faintest idea how many people feel the same way. That’s the point I was making. The poll was fun, but meaningless.

    If the future of TV is HD then, surely, we all need the proper 1080p version so that we can make the most of our wall-covering screens. The concensus seems to be that SD is OK at 37″ and below – and how many modern lounges are comfotable with screens bigger than that?

    I was not an early adopter of colour. I waited until the programme content had built up to the point where it became an attractive proposition, the bugs had been ironed out and the prices of sets had fallen and then I joined.

    Much of the current material broadcast would look fine on a B&W set. Are you enjoying Kipps this afternoon? Enjoy your progress.

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  27. Steven Says:

    People just want a ‘fair’ service don’t they? Currenly the situation is definately NOT fair. The licence fee is the same regardless of what services are available or you can afford.

    The Freeview line-up is FAR superior by miles compared to Freesat, without HD.
    I am fortunate enough to have both.

    It’s looking like there will be 4 HD channels available on Freeview when services become available, I wonder if Freesat will have the same by the time this is implemented or will there be more unfairness?

    Personally, I blame $ky . . ;-) . . Time to break out the B&W portable . .

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  28. AndrewM Says:

    @Steven: KingofSat shows Channel 4 as being encrypted on Astra 2A, is that site wrong or was it perhaps only FTA temporarily (like when they’re moving things around)?

    http://en.kingofsat.net/sat-astra2a.php

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  29. Steven Says:

    @AndrewM: Yes, I can definately confirm, I’m watching it right now, that Channel4 London is FTA on Astra 2A – 12480V 27500 2/3 . .

    Looks like KingOfSat is incorrect.. It’s been there for quite some time in the clear, months in fact. I’m viewing on a FTA receiver . . I wonder why it’s there? It’s on 2D, so why 2A as well?

    Perhaps it’s the remains of a $ky contract that Channel4 are having to cough up for ’till it expires?

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  30. derek500 Says:

    @ YASAR . “When I bought in to the Freesat idea it was on the pretext that a good number of channels would be in HD fairly soon.”

    Why did you think that? You must have been reading too many forums!!

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  31. YASAR Says:

    Well Derek500 , when at the beginning Freesat was being launched and they only had 70 or so channels (including radios) the “word” was that:
    There would be nearly 200 channels before the end of the year and that there would be more additions to the HD channels. Gradually more and more HD channels would become available as more BBC and ITV channels converted to HD.
    These were not forum info. But Freesat sales pitch that myself and friends understood.
    We know that conditions change. But as the technology is there it is possible to introduce more HD channels provided cash or finance is available.
    I guess with spam channels contributing and more and more of us joining in, the time will come to introduce more HD channels when the channels realise that the public wants it and freesat is the digital TV address of the country.

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  32. HD Sceptic Says:

    So, $ky are still boosting their subscriber base and churn is reducing. With the $ky+HD box reducing to £49, surely this is the best route into an HD multichannel service. The £250 you save on not buying the Humax PVR would go some way to paying the $ky subs – and you’d get what you want.

    Later, when both contractual and technical issues have been sorted out, come back to Freesat HD. In the meantime it would be nice to see see some of the Freeview-only channels migrate to Freesat in SD.

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  33. admin Says:

    But for those not interested in subscription channels or contracts, even at Sky’s new low price it wouldn’t make sense. Sky would cost £49 plus £16.50/month minimum package, plus £9.75/month hd package, minus one months hd package as part of the deal, so £354.25 over a one year period. If you then decided to cancel just to retain the free HD channels, you’d still not have access to the record functionality so would then either have to pay £10/month, or buy a Freesat+!

    Of course if anyone wants more HD, or more channels, then the Sky deal is a good one.

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  34. Paul D Says:

    So “HD Skeptic” is now advising the masses to pay sky 37 quid a month for sky HD. I had a feeling he wasnt skeptical of SKY’s HD service,only skeptical of Freesats HD.;-)

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  35. Paul D Says:

    Admin I know you have warned me before about bickering on these threads. I apologise, im just sick of the sky fanboys trying to rain on freesats parade.

    The fact is they are upset that they cant get ITV HD.

    ITV HD is the reason I will be sticking with freesat. Its by no means perfect but in the 7 weeks since ive bought a box ive watched 7 HD football matches.

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  36. Al Says:

    yet again i had to explain to my uncle and auntie that it was no point switching to TV mode to watch shameless “In HD” as its not on there yet and just keep it on the sky box. itv has been horrendous for years. so jealous when i see the amount of HD material ch4 broadcasts

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  37. Nigel Whitfield Says:

    The BBC services have always been free – even in the days of ITV digital, they weren’t encrypted.

    The problem at the time, of course, was that there weren’t any standalone receivers available; you could buy an IDTV, but they were very expensive; if you had one, you could have watched the BBC digital services (BBC Choice and BBC Knowledge, from memory) free.

    The first free to air adaptor (from Pace) appeared just before the collapse of ITV/On Digital; more had appeared by the time Freeview rose from the ashes.

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  38. Matt Says:

    Thanks HD Sciptic ( with a C ) and Paul D VERY entertaining, more Bickering please.
    Admin glad you pointed out what Sky HD would cost & what you end up with when you stop paying.
    Hope some of the Rugby ( 6N ) will be in HD ……….

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  39. Nigel Whitfield Says:

    Yasar said: “Gradually more and more HD channels would become available as more BBC and ITV channels converted to HD. These were not forum info. But Freesat sales pitch that myself and friends understood.”

    That was certainly not the Freesat sales pitch. No one at the BBC has ever suggested that they will be launching more HD channels – it’s not on the agenda now, has not been in the past, and won’t be for quite a few years at the very least.

    Freesat has never suggested it, in any material I’ve ever seen.

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  40. derek500 Says:

    @YASAR “when at the beginning Freesat was being launched and they only had 70 or so channels (including radios) the “word” was that:
    There would be nearly 200 channels before the end of the year and that there would be more additions to the HD channels”

    No, you’re mistaken as were many others. Emma Scott actually promised “More HD Content”, which was I assume referring to the expanding hours of BBC HD.

    She never said more HD channels.

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