Speaking exclusively to DigitalSpy, James Atkins, Freesat Trade Marketing Manager has said that providing more HD channels is without doubt on the agenda for Freesat, citing high-definition as a “key benefit” of the platform.
Freesat has been running since May 2008 initially launching with just BBC HD, and since adding ITV HD on an exclusive red button service. Now realising there is a huge call for more high-definition content, Freesat are urging broadcasters to consider launching HD channels. James Atkins said;
So we are very much actively building with our channels to say ‘come on guys, 80% of our sales are for HD products, there are 15 million HD TVs sold in the UK and there is a big appetite for HD. You guys need to be stepping up to the plate and putting some stuff on in HD’. So that is something that we are actively getting involved in.
When asked about the recent announcement of ITV1 HD launching on Freeview by the end of the year, James stated that whilst ITV have not confirmed their channel will be available on Freesat (we had been told differently by another member of Freesat’s team) as a replacement service to the red button, they would expect it to be so given ITV is an public broadcaster;
I think that we would expect to receive a full simulcast of ITV1 in high definition, although there is no commitment at this stage, […] But as it’s from a public service broadcaster then we would expect it to become available.