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Sep 06 2012

<free time> questions answeredFreesat’s new service <free time> was announced on Tuesday and whilst the presentation gave us a good idea what the service will do, many questions were left for us all to speculate on. I’ve worked my way through all the comments posted here and on other forums and put the best of them to Freesat.

I did ask to make it somewhat of a quick fire round as I know they are extremely busy yet remain very generous to me with their time, including Emma who was getting on a plane to the IBC trade show at the time!

Freesat have kindly responded with the following which should hopefully cover most of what was asked. Actually impressed with the replies, very positive on the whole and looking forward to the new service:

Q. Will the fancy new EPG run off the satellite signal if no broadband connection available?

A. Yes, although the backward guide, On Demand services and the On Demand recommendations within Showcase would not be available without broadband.

Q. Will the on-demand services/EPG run off broadband when no satellite signal available?

A. The box requires a satellite signal at all times. EPG Updates are obtained via satellite but will switch to broadband if its available.

Q. Is there a HD category in the TV Guide?

A. There is no HD genre, but the short synopsis of programmes asks if viewers would like to view a programme in HD/SD HD filter; there is an automatic HD folder for recordings.

Q. Can you record from the on-demand/Youtube services?

A. Not at launch, but we are looking at this for the future. Boxes are capable of this, but it is dependent on the external services.

Q. Are the on-demand services HTML format so full iPlayer (like on PC)?

A. IPlayer is HTML-5 but ITV player is MHEG5 – for now. The beauty of the UI is that we can switch between our new HTML presentation environment and the MHEG 5 environment seamlessly.

Q. What is the minimum broadband speed recommendation?

A. 2mb per second as defined by the on demand services.

Q. Does the Humax support SRC (one tuner full functionality)?

A. The Humax box has been designed to support SCR, providing the home installation supports it too, but this functionality is not currently available but can be enabled via a future OAD.

Q. Will the HDMI port/cable carry 5.1 Dolby Sound?

A. Yes.

Q. Can recordings be transferred to USB?

A. <free time> does not currently support shifting content off the HDD to USB. However, this is not a hardware limitation and could enable it in future, whilst respecting the restrictions on content protection.

Q. Is DiSEqC supported? Which version if so?

A. Yes. The product searches DiSEqC automatically and it supports up to DiSEqC 2.0.

Q. Any plans for the included CI slot or that just a Humax addition?

A. CI+ is part of the defined specification. We do plan to offer additional and optional, pay VOD services in the future.

53 Responses to “<free time> questions answered”

  1. Andy Clayton Says:

    I don’t like the one about USB recordings. I was planning to move my existing Humax box into another room and then buy the new one for my main TV. I was rather hoping to be able to copy programs between the 2 boxes via USB stick from time to time if I wanted to watch something I’d recorded on one STB on the other one.

    That depended on the .ts file format remaining unchanged, however the answer to the question here (very helpful these, by the way, well done to all concerned) makes me think that there’s some kind of protection identifying the device it was recorded on and that stuffs up my plans.

    I’d still like to know if the Humax has any streaming functionality as that might have the seed of a way around this issue…

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  2. Mark White Says:

    Can I just say thank you admin for all the work that you have done this week to keep us all updated. I must say that I’m quite impressed with what I have seen and it’s great to see it launching. Whilst some people are moaning change is inevitable ro protect the viability of the platform. I personally think that should be good for the platform, bringing new viewers and in the end probably more free and paid services to go with it which ultimately should please both the ‘free tv’ and ‘pay tv’ camps.

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  3. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Hi All,

    I have to agree with Mark White @post 2 & say thanks to admin for providing us all with info about Freetime/G2 that even satellite professionals cant always get answers about, well done guys !

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  4. antony Says:

    hi, i would like to buy freesat tv’s for kitchen & bedrooms 26 or 32 inch, shame there are not more tv’s with freesat built in. will freetime be possible built in to a tv?

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  5. Steve Mackie Says:

    Andy Clayton said:
    I don’t like the one about USB recordings. I was planning to move my existing Humax box into another room and then buy the new one for my main TV. I was rather hoping to be able to copy programs between the 2 boxes via USB stick from time to time if I wanted to watch something I’d recorded on one STB on the other one.
    That depended on the .ts file format remaining unchanged, however the answer to the question here (very helpful these, by the way, well done to all concerned) makes me think that there’s some kind of protection identifying the device it was recorded on and that stuffs up my plans.
    I’d still like to know if the Humax has any streaming functionality as that might have the seed of a way around this issue…

    I can see that this will be down to the software, I wouldn’t expect one to cross over to the other. I bet the Video Converters will soon have a solution though. Good intial info, thanks team.

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  6. Muzer Says:

    In the future, it’s possible, yes, though not sure there will be smaller ones. In the immediate future? No.

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  7. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    antony said: hi, i would like to buy freesat tv’s for kitchen & bedrooms 26 or 32 inch, shame there are not more tv’s with freesat built in. will freetime be possible built in to a tv?

    Hi Antony,

    I’ve been banging on about this for some years now ! If Argos can sell a sd box with its own case psu scart lead packaging etc for £27 then why the hell cant Vestel / beko etc supply a smaller kitchen/bedroom tv with a freesat daughterboard fitted which would not require a case packaging scart lead psu etc for a reasonable price ?

    I cant see any reason why, other than the manufacturers are trying to force us all to buy premium grade kit if we want freesat, G2 kit will cost more but why a manufacturer cant get approval for a Freesat daughter board which could then be fitted accross a whole range of tv’s of different sizes & specs is beyond me

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  8. admin Says:

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said: If Argos can sell a sd box with its own case psu scart lead packaging etc for £27 then why the hell cant Vestel / beko etc supply a smaller kitchen/bedroom tv with a freesat daughterboard fitted which would not require a case packaging scart lead psu etc for a reasonable price ?

    But would you really want a Argos (Bush) board of any kind made up of used parts!!!! ;)

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  9. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    admin said: But would you really want a Argos (Bush) board of any kind made up of used parts!!!!

    Hi Admin,

    For the asking price I think they are a fair offer ! but what I would really like is more choice !

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  10. steve 1 Says:

    admin said: But would you really want a Argos (Bush) board of any kind made up of used parts!!!!

    Most average people just buy any box as long its cheap as chips certainly in these tough economic times regardless if its any good or not

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  11. Mark Dyer Says:

    will the remote from the Humax HDR work the box, have pre-ordered the box from Currys, i have my present Humax HDR in the front room and also have AEI DX2000 5.8GHz DigiSender connected to it and then in the back room tv, so i can watch recordings when i am at my PC in another room, i purchased a second original Humax HDR Remote so i didnt have to keep takin it from room to room, so am hoping with it being Humax it will work with the box

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  12. admin Says:

    steve 1 said: Most average people just buy any box as long its cheap as chips certainly in these tough economic times regardless if its any good or not

    Agreed, some of them are priced extremely low so customers buy them, but with the Bush/Goodmans/Grundig receivers having a return/failure rate of 80%, and all new boxes sold are re-builds of faulty bits, I’m surprised anyone bothers. Wouldn’t buy one even if it was free!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. admin Says:

    Mark Dyer said:
    will the remote from the Humax HDR work thebox, have pre-ordered the box from Currys, i have my present Humax HDR in the front room and also have AEI DX2000 5.8GHz DigiSender connected to it and then in the back room tv, so i can watch recordings when i am at my PC in another room, i purchased a second original Humax HDR Remote so i didnt have to keep takin it from room to room, so am hoping with it being Humax it will work with thebox

    Probably not, different coding but you could ask Humax. Pre-ordered from Currys? They’ll release at the rrp; you could probably save £30 buying from an independent like Satbuyer.

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  14. steve 1 Says:

    admin said: Agreed, some of them are priced extremely low so customers buy them, but with the Bush/Goodmans/Grundig receivers having a return/failure rate of 80%, and all new boxes sold are re-builds of faulty bits, I’m surprised anyone bothers. Wouldn’t buy one even if it was free!!!!!!!!!!

    I thought people would say its a snobbish comment but it true.if you are not into your gadgets I am afraid people will be buying these boxes.

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  15. steve 1 Says:

    I know I am a hate figure on this site(over the top comment)now I am on freeview but I still think freesat is a great platform. I was a former user I have a humax t2 freeview hd 1tb pvr now and you can buy a WiFi dongle but only for freeview humax.good idea but why alienate freesat? If you got hspda super 3g on your mobile is it good enough to run the humax dongle? On my HTC Desire s you can turn it into a wi fi hot spot could I run the humax off it?

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  16. steve 1 Says:

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said: Hi Admin,
    For the asking price I think they are a fair offer ! but what I would really like is more choice !
    Mark Aberfan Aerials

    Hi Mark could you shed any light on my questions @ no.15 thanks

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  17. Craig Says:

    Its a shame that for those of us that dont have broadband speeds of 2Mb that there isnt an option to download the ondemand content onto the HDD in the humax box to watch once downloaded rather than it being streamed. A bit like what BBC Iplayer have just released for mobile devices like the ipad etc.
    Oh well, maybe in the G3 spec…….

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  18. Mark Dyer Says:

    admin said: Probably not, different coding but you could ask Humax. Pre-ordered from Currys? They’ll release at the rrp; you could probably save £30 buying from an independent like Satbuyer.

    yeah i will ask them and see what they say and also i saved £10 from currys with a discount code and free delivery and also got cashback from topcashback so all in all not a bad deal…..

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  19. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Hi Steve 1

    Re@15, I don’t see why not as long as you have decent reception & speed, I use my galaxy note as a hotspot regularly & stream tv using its broadband. I haven’t used it exactly as yoou describe as I no longer have a Humax, but streaming tv is a similar use.

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  20. steve 1 Says:

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said:
    Hi Steve 1
    Re@15, I don’t see why not as long as you have decent reception & speed, I use my galaxy note as a hotspot regularly & stream tv using its broadband. I haven’t used it exactly as yoou describe as I no longer have a Humax, but streaming tv is a similar use.
    Mark Aberfan Aerials

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said:
    Hi Steve 1
    Re@15, I don’t see why not as long as you have decent reception & speed, I use my galaxy note as a hotspot regularly & stream tv using its broadband. I haven’t used it exactly as yoou describe as I no longer have a Humax, but streaming tv is a similar use.
    Mark Aberfan Aerials

    Ok thanks mark

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  21. Keith Cobby Says:

    New ‘bells and whistles’ – an interesting way to move backwards and forwards through the SAME content.

    Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for some new HD content now that the summer of sport is nearly over.

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  22. Mark Dyer Says:

    Mark Dyer said: yeah i will ask them and see what they say and also i saved £10 from currys with a discount code and free delivery and also got cashback from topcashback so all in all not a bad deal…..

    Emailed humax and received reply as below.

    We cannot confirm at present until we have further details sent over to us from management.

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  23. steve 1 Says:

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said:
    Hi Steve 1
    Re@15, I don’t see why not as long as you have decent reception & speed, I use my galaxy note as a hotspot regularly & stream tv using its broadband. I haven’t used it exactly as yoou describe as I no longer have a Humax, but streaming tv is a similar use.
    Mark Aberfan Aerials

    I emailed humax and they say it won’t work I am confused as you can stream you tube etc.and I have WiFi hotspot on my phone and I do have 3g at home

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  24. Martin Says:

    I too would like to thank admin for the great work they put in to bring us all the updates available on freesat I would recommend this site to anyone who was interested in buying freesat once again thanks

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  25. Richard Crichton Says:

    Yes thanks for the great work this week admin.
    BTW 3 more BBC1 HD’s coming soon. See update scan.

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  26. Mark Dyer Says:

    can i ask 1 further question, as i am upgrading to the box i have recordings on my humax hdr is there any way i can transfer them to usb pen, some are in HD and therefore will possibly exceed 4.1GB…..

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  27. Muzer Says:

    HD? Definitely not. SD? Perhaps, but quite possibly not.

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  28. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    steve 1 said: I emailed humax and they say it won’t work I am confused as you can stream you tube etc.and I have WiFi hotspot on my phone and I do have 3g at home

    Hi Steve,

    I dont know why they have said that, It’s possible that customer service did not understand the question.
    As far as I know a hotspot or wifi router is just a hotspot or wifi router, it does not matter if 3g /4g / wimax/cable/fiber optic supplys the broadband internet service, the way it comunicates with dongles tablets etc is std wifi & that is pretty universal.

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  29. steve 1 Says:

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said: Hi Steve,
    I dont know why they have said that, It’s possible that customer service did not understand the question.
    As far as I know a hotspot or wifi router is just a hotspot or wifi router, it does not matter if 3g /4g / wimax/cable/fiber optic supplys the broadband internet service, the way it comunicates with dongles tablets etc is std wifi & that is pretty universal
    Mark Aberfan Aerials

    I think they was airing on the side of caution they might of meant a landline will work more smoothly and a mobile network (3g) is asking a lot to run a faultless connection

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  30. steve 1 Says:

    steve 1 said: I think they was airing on the side of caution they might of meant a landline will work more smoothly and a mobile network (3g) is asking a lot to run a faultless connection

    I do have the fastest 3g (hspa)

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  31. Al (Original) Says:

    USB 3.0 would have been nice considering there are lots of drives that now support it.

    Also, I think PTV services are a bad idea. Slippery slope to Sky Mark II and good bye free channels.

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  32. domb Says:

    steve 1 – I have had good results with iPlayer etc in the past using a 3 HSPA+ Mifi device (E586). In our rural village it would reach 6mbit/s quite happily. Mileage will of course vary.

    This was not a freetime box, but I cannot see the requirements differing greatly.

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  33. steve 1 Says:

    domb said:
    steve 1 –I have had good results with iPlayer etc in the past using a 3 HSPA+ Mifi device (E586).In our rural village it would reach 6mbit/s quite happily.Mileage will of course vary.
    This was not a freetime box, but I cannot see the requirements differing greatly.

    Hi what do you mean by not a freetime box?I just want to be clear.also living in a rural area are you on 3 mobile by any chance?

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  34. steve 1 Says:

    steve 1 said: Hi what do you mean by not a freetime box?I just want to be clear.also living in a rural area are you on 3 mobile by any chance?

    Sorry you did say 3

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  35. steve 1 Says:

    domb said:
    steve 1 –I have had good results with iPlayer etc in the past using a 3 HSPA+ Mifi device (E586).In our rural village it would reach 6mbit/s quite happily.Mileage will of course vary.
    This was not a freetime box, but I cannot see the requirements differing greatly.

    I did live out in the country and 3 was the only network to have 3g hspa at my old home address

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  36. Muzer Says:

    BTW, just noticed there was never a story about The Deal Channel launching (replacing Ideal & More) – ah well.

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  37. Muzer Says:

    Fashion One has been announced as launching on Freesat and Sky. It is currently testing off-EPG on the FS home TP.

    http://www.fashionone.com/press/2012/07/28/fashion-one-london-correspondent-search/

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  38. Rosco Says:

    Muzer said:
    Fashion One has been announced as launching on Freesat and Sky. It is currently testing off-EPG on the FS home TP.

    Lets hope they get the aspect ratio sorted out prior to launch on either platform :D

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  39. John H Says:

    Mark Dyer said: can i ask 1 further question, as i am upgrading to the box i have recordings on my humax hdr is there any way i can transfer them to usb pen, some are in HD and therefore will possibly exceed 4.1GB…..

    If you format the USB device as ext3 rather than FAT then you’ll be able to transfer files onto it that are greater than 4GB. The HD ones will only play back on the device you recorded the program originally though. I doubt you’ll have many SD files over 4.1GB…

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  40. Mark Dyer Says:

    John H said: If you format the USB device as ext3 rather than FAT then you’ll be able to transfer files onto it that are greater than 4GB. The HD ones will only play back on the device you recorded the program originally though. I doubt you’ll have many SD files over 4.1GB…

    Cheers for that i shall endeavour to try that out…. so even tho i transfer them to USB they wont play on anythin but the humax it was recorded on, will i not b able to transfer it to my new freetime box when it arrives…

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  41. lawrence Pearce Says:

    I can certainly play SD files from my Humax HDR on other devices – and also play them back on the same Humax machine when they have been returned to the hard drive. Whether they will play back on the new freetime box, that is the question.
    I have never managed to play back HD files on other devices, so I think that it’s very doubtful that these could be transferred.
    That said, moving files on and off these boxes is painfully slow, so even if it was possible to transfer them to the new freetime box, it might be more trouble than it is worth….

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  42. John H Says:

    lawrence Pearce said: That said, moving files on and off these boxes is painfully slow, so even if it was possible to transfer them to the new freetime box, it might be more trouble than it is worth….

    You’d probably only transfer them once on to the USB drive. Once they’re on the drive you can play them back without transferring them on to the box. That’s how I archive my stuff anyway; bung it onto an old drive in a USB enclosure and then plug it back in when I want to watch anything on it. This works for HD broadcasts as well as I’m playing back on the machine I recorded it on. I imagine (for SD) that would work on the new box as well. It does take time to copy files on to the drive though. If it’s a few movies and a series of stuff then I leave it overnight. I can’t remember even copying stuff *back* onto the Humax box though; it’s never seemed necessary…

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  43. Mark Dyer Says:

    does any1 know the exact release date for the freetime box yet, have had mine on order for almost 2 weeks… impatient i know but cant wait to check it out :D

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  44. Mark Dyer Says:

    seems i got my answer, received email from Currys today stating been delay and they not receiving stock till week commencing 8th august… may have to cancel and get refund and see if can source it cheaper elsewhere…. think some1 mentioned another place earlier in this thread will look back :D

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  45. Dave w Says:

    Hope it’s not August as stated above thats 11 mts away

    And on another quick point why is it on SKY freesat they have sony and pick tv and on our freesat we don’t

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  46. Mark Dyer Says:

    Dave w said:
    Hope it’s not August as stated above thats 11 mts away
    And on another quick point why is it on SKY freesat they have sony and pick tv and on our freesat we don’t

    oops typo mant October lol :D

    have cancelled order with Currys and have re-ordered via Satbuyer…and they have also informed me release is week commencing 8th October, but i do believe it will be cheaper than i had it pre-ordered with Currys :D, and yes i always wondered y freesat dont have pick tv, freeview have it but the sky basic box has pick tv and +1

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  47. Andrew Says:

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said: Hi Antony,
    I’ve been banging on about this for some years now ! If Argos can sell a sd box with its own case psu scart lead packaging etc for £27 then why the hell cant Vestel / beko etc supply a smaller kitchen/bedroom tv with a freesat daughterboard fitted which would not require a case packaging scart lead psu etc for a reasonable price ?
    I cant see any reason why, other than the manufacturers are trying to force us all to buy premium grade kit if we want freesat, G2 kit will cost more but why a manufacturer cant get approval for a Freesat daughter board which could then be fitted accross a whole range of tv’s of different sizes & specs is beyond me
    Mark Aberfan Aerials

    Cello, the UK TV manufacturer is planning a range of small-screen satellite-receiving TVs, not sure they will be formally Freesat. http://www.celloelectronics.com/news/details/23/Not_all_TVs_travel_this_well

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  48. Jeff Says:

    Hi,

    Will freetime work on a box that is based outside of the UK? Obviously computers outside the UK cant use BBC iplayer etc…..
    Just want to know if anyone knows the answer to this?

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  49. admin Says:

    No wifi built-in for the 1TB version.

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  50. Stephen Wood Says:

    I have panasonic Freesat tv. tx32lzd81, what do i need so i can receive Freetime

    regards S. Wood.

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  51. dave Says:

    can i use a samsung freesat smt s7800 in spain with my 1.9 metre dish

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  52. The voice of reason. Says:

    admin said: But would you really want a Argos (Bush) board of any kind made up of used parts!!!!

    A couple of years ago there was a wide range of Tv,s in various sizes made by at least 2 manufacturers with Freesat built in i should know i bought an LG 32″ with Freesat(!Bush?never seen one).They were available from all the major high street retailers including Argos,obviously some corporate bright spark realised that they weren’t maximizing profit by selling Tv’s with Freesat built in and far more profit could be made by making Joe Public go out and buy a seperate box.

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  53. Graham pert Says:

    Will it be possible at some time in the future to have Freetime streamed through my Freesat built-in TV.

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