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Dec 09 2013

Freesat, the subscription free satellite TV service, has today confirmed the launch of five new BBC High Definition channels on the 10th December and a new HD Genre in the New Year as it continues to strengthen its free HD offering. This will bring the total number of HD channels available on Freesat to 11 – more than any other free-to-air service.

The new channels are HD versions of BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC. These will join BBC One HD and BBC Two HD plus variants of the BBC One HD service for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are already available on Freesat.

With 11 free HD channels available to viewers, Freesat will also launch an HD genre in the New Year. Across all existing and new HD Freesat Set Top Boxes and IDTV’s, this new genre will help viewers find the biggest range of free HD channels, all in one place.

Emma Scott, Freesat’s Managing Director, said:

This is the perfect Christmas present for Freesat customers offering more great ways to watch what will be a bumper festive season, so you can see more of the antics from The Call Centre Christmas on BBC Three HD or enjoy the delights of Mouse and Mole at Christmas Time on CBeebies HD. And there’s more to come in the New Year with a Freesat HD genre on screen making it easier for viewers to find all this stunning HD content. We know that over 50% of homes in the UK are HD-enabled, and every week, more than four million viewers enjoy their favourite TV on Freesat.

This is part of our continued drive to deliver the best subscription-free TV service to the UK, as we continue to add new channels and On Demand services, delivered through award winning TV products.

90 Responses to “Freesat expands HD offering with the launch of five new HD Channels”

  1. Digiwatcher Says:

    Any news of which epg numbers they will take?

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  2. Anthony Says:

    This is great news! It’s time Freesat got a kick up the backside and gained more FTA hi-def outlets. But why are they dragging the sound side behind sonically? I would like to see outdoor live events on BBC News covered in 5.1 DD surround sound and lots programmes on the other channels also produced in 5.1 DD surround sound instead of straight DD 2.0 Stereo.

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  3. admin Says:

    Digiwatcher said:
    Any news of which epg numbers they will take?

    BBC Three HD 147
    BBC Four HD 148
    BBC News HD 212
    CBBC HD 607
    CBeebies HD 608

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  4. Richard Says:

    Digiwatcher said:
    Any news of which epg numbers they will take?

    We’ll find out tomorrow though I would expect HD to replace the SD numbers.

    Really pleased about the new HD genre in the guide.
    STV HD coming in April is not before time. I hope they add STV player to Freetime as it’s been available on TT UVU for ages.

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  5. Keith Cobby Says:

    Good news to end the year and my compliments of the season to you all.

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  6. Andy Says:

    Great news, although if BBC Alba were shifted down the EPG a bit then Three HD and Four HD could go right next to One HD and Two HD from 108-111. Sorry BBC Alba viewers but you know it makes sense!!

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  7. PhilO Says:

    Any more info on the “new HD Genre” coming in the new year?

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  8. admin Says:

    PhilO said:
    Any more info on the “new HD Genre” coming in the new year?

    As far as I know, it will just be a specific HD category you can access and all the HD channels will be listed so you don’t have to try and find them within the full EPG. This is Freesat’s way of getting around the problem of channels being all over the place. It is something Manhattan receivers have been capable of for ages and is a huge benefit.

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  9. Rob Says:

    New HD Genre great to see

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  10. PhilO Says:

    admin said: As far as I know, it will just be a specific HD category you can access and all the HD channels will be listed so you don’t have to try and find them within the full EPG. This is Freesat’s way of getting around the problem of channels being all over the place. It is something Manhattan receivers have been capable of for ages and is a huge benefit.

    Cheers, that’s what I thought it’d be but wasn’t sure..

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  11. ztoppe Says:

    Now been added to freesat EPG

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  12. Richard Says:

    There are further changes afoot next year which make more sense.

    http://www.a516digital.com/2013/12/bbc-hd-channel-information-freesat.html#more

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  13. ztoppe Says:

    Well it has on my Panasonic TV and also on my old Samsung PVR box.

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  14. Lawrence Pearce Says:

    This is good news though still not a perfect solution. For example it will mean multiple button pushes to access the HD EPG listings, also with some HD channels replacing SD equivalents (in the guide) I suspect that it may not be possible to record the SD variants which is sometimes useful in order top save disc space.
    But the availability of these extra channels might just be enough to persuade me to ditch my Youview box for regular viewing!

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  15. Neil Says:

    Great to see more HD on the platform, was sort of hoping we’d see the HD channels replacing the SD ones from the outset.

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  16. John H Says:

    Neil said:
    Great to see more HD on the platform, was sort of hoping we’d see the HD channels replacing the SD ones from the outset.

    I’m very glad to see them launched, but disappointed to see that they will eventually replace the SD versions. With the SD versions anything I archive I can watch on any device; the HD content will only playback on the original device.

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  17. soul4real Says:

    New HD Channels already broadcasting on

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  18. soul4real Says:

    Sorry not true, they are on the EPG but no live broadcast

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  19. Barrie Says:

    Silly question but will Freeview get these HD channels?

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  20. footy Says:

    The more the better, however have never watched BBc3 or 4

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  21. Rosco Says:

    Barrie said:
    Silly question but will Freeview get these HD channels?

    Main transmitters only, many of which wont be on air until next year

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  22. Neil Says:

    John H said: I’m very glad to see them launched, but disappointed to see that they will eventually replace the SD versions. With the SD versions anything I archive I can watch on any device; the HD content will only playback on the original device.

    We don’t actually know if they will. It seems they may decide at a later date to LCN swap the SD with HD version but IMHO really don’t need the SD versions there too, especially not BBC News SD when we’ve got the HD version for HD viewers!

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  23. John Emerson Says:

    I have a Panasonic 2008 TV. I have noticed the new HD channels are not on the EPG yet. I am guessing I will have to re-scan is this the case? or will they automatically appear on 9/12/13

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  24. Keith (original) Says:

    Excellent news! I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that these weren’t due until the new year. Good news also regarding the later LCN re-numbering.

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  25. Keith (original) Says:

    Anthony said:
    This is great news! It’s time Freesat got a kick up the backside and gained more FTA hi-def outlets. But why are they dragging the sound side behind sonically? I would like to see outdoor live events on BBC News covered in 5.1 DD surround sound and lots programmes on the other channels also produced in 5.1 DD surround sound instead of straight DD 2.0 Stereo.

    I wouldn’t hold your breath for news coverage in DD5.1. There is a BBC technical blog (somewhere) which goes into quite some (technical) detail as to what a huge challenge providing 5.1 for live events, even planned relatively fixed/static events such as Wmbledon or Eurovision. It’s a little dated now but after reading this I found myself greatly admiring the skill and dedication of the unsung sound engineers and other technical staff who get this to work at all, let alone (largely) flawlessly in recent years.

    Nevertheless, it would be great if the BBC made more use of DD5.1 in dramas/series – and if ITV used it at all – especially films, no real challenge there (I would have thought).

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  26. Keith (original) Says:

    I’m so glad this happened ‘before’ Christmas.

    Has anyone heard any ‘whispers’ concerning whether this alters the likelihood of ITV 2, 3, 4 and/or C5 launching on Freesat any sooner?

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  27. Derek Says:

    Barrie said:
    Silly question but will Freeview get these HD channels?

    It is off topic for Freesat, but in London a new Freeview HD multiplex has appeared on Channel 33, so presumably it will be populated shortly.

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  28. Nick Green Says:

    You are spot on Andy with your idea of shifting Alba but that is such an obvious solution they will never think of it!

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  29. Richard Says:

    Barrie said:
    Silly question but will Freeview get these HD channels?

    All viewers with Freeview HD will be able to receive BBC Three HD and CBBC HD from tomorrow. Some viewers with Freeview HD will also be able to receive BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD, but coverage is limited to main transmitters.
    The BBC has now filled all of its own slots on Freeview HD. BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD also Aljazeera HD are using capacity on commercial operator Arqiva’s new Freeview HD service.
    By mid-2014, the service will cover around 70% of UK households.

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  30. Richard Says:

    Richard said: All viewers with Freeview HD will be able to receive BBC Three HD and CBBC HDfrom tomorrow. Some viewers with Freeview HD will also be able to receive BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD, but coverage is limited to main transmitters.
    The BBC has now filled all of its own slots on Freeview HD. BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD also Aljazeera HD are using capacity on commercial operator Arqiva’s new Freeview HD service.
    By mid-2014, the service will cover around 70% of UK households.

    Correction that should read from today not from tomorrow.

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  31. Ian Vallender Says:

    Had a scan through channels this morning Cbeebies HD Had a decent pixel count cause the picture of Octonauts a computer animated kids show looked amazing!

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  32. Dipper Says:

    Great news! BBC4 documentaries in HD as they should be.
    Seasons greetings everybody.

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  33. soldierboy001 Says:

    I am a bit confused here because it appears that we are eventually going to lose SD channels from our PVR receivers judging by what has happened to Russia Today. Is this true? and if so this is a backward step as I go away for long periods and record a lot of programs and that will take up more space on my Humax meaning an upgrade to a larger HDD box to be able to accommodate my recordings. Whilst I have had my PVR box from the very first issue I don’t wish to have to discard a perfectly good box. Please tell me this will not be so

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  34. Gary M Says:

    We don’t need an HD genre. Unless there is a difference in content (e.g. regional BBC One), no-one with an HD receiver and TV set would want to watch the SD version in favour of the HD version of a particular channel. The BBC and other broadcasters should take the lead from NHK World, and have the HD version of a channel replace its SD version on its original SD channel number.

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  35. Michael Says:

    soldierboy001 said:
    I am a bit confused here because it appears that we are eventually going to lose SD channels from our PVR receivers judging by what has happened to Russia Today. Is this true? and if so this is a backward step as I go away for long periods and record a lot of programs and that will take up more space on my Humaxmeaning an upgrade to a larger HDD box to be able to accommodate my recordings. Whilst I have had my PVR box from the very first issue I don’t wish to have to discard a perfectly good box. Please tell me this will not be so

    Pretty much yes that’s what’s gonna happen.
    Why the need to discard the box, you could always look into installing a larger hard drive.

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  36. Denis Says:

    Any guess as why Ch 111 and 133 are not used on the EPG

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  37. soldierboy001 Says:

    Michael said: Pretty much yes that’s what’s gonna happen.
    Why the need to discard the box, you could always look into installing a larger hard drive.

    Not sure if I am competent to do this how hard is it and how do I get the right HDD or are they all the same. I mean as in will they fit any machine and are the contacts the same as in PC towers.

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  38. soldierboy001 Says:

    soldierboy001 said: Not sure if I am competent to do this how hard is it and how do I get the right HDD or are they all the same. I mean as in will they fit any machine and are the contacts the same as in PC towers.

    Well bit the dust and ordered a WD 1TB because one other person on the site I purchased from said he had done it and it worked perfect and was easy so just got to find out now how to transfer any recordings from old HDD if that is possible.
    Sorry to take up space on this page but was not sure how to go about finding out previously but did a bit of research that worked for me.

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  39. Keith (original) Says:

    Gary M said:
    We don’t need an HD genre.Unless there is a difference in content (e.g. regional BBC One), no-one with an HD receiver and TV set would want to watch the SD version in favour of the HD version of a particular channel.The BBC and other broadcasters should take the lead from NHK World, and have the HD version of a channel replace its SD version on its original SD channel number.

    Speaking as someone who almost never uses the genre (I have it defaulted to the normal list) I can think of one situation where an HD genre would ocassionally be useful on the guide – when setting recordings and checking for potential conflicts. Even when the BBC rationalise the channel numbers, ITV and C4 will still be quite a distance apart in the listing.

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  40. Keith (original) Says:

    In the same vein, it would be nice if ITV and C4 followed the BBC’s lead and reshuffled their HD channels into 103 and 104 respectively in the new year.

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  41. Row Says:

    Do you think we’ll see BSkyB put Sky News HD for free in retaliation to BBC News hd?

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  42. Neil Says:

    Gary M said:
    We don’t need an HD genre.Unless there is a difference in content (e.g. regional BBC One), no-one with an HD receiver and TV set would want to watch the SD version in favour of the HD version of a particular channel.The BBC and other broadcasters should take the lead from NHK World, and have the HD version of a channel replace its SD version on its original SD channel number.

    Alix has replied in her blog that the SD versions of both channels WILL remain on the EPG, they will ultimately swap places with the current SD versions on LCN 106, 107, 600, 601 and 200 respectively for all simulcast HD services. The same will be the case with BBC One Wales, Scotland and NI, plus BBC Two England which the simulcast HD version will move to 101 and 102 respectively. Channel 4 have licensed with Ofcom 2x new services, 4seven HD and C4HD+1, which most likely will appear on all platforms, if so then the existing 4seven SD will presumably move to the end of the EPG unless C4 want to go down the RT route which makes more sense to me.

    All this means that future channel additions (should UKTV finally get on-board one day!!) in the Entertainment genre will be shunted further down the EPG – their fault for not joining sooner I guess!

    Row said:
    Do you think we’ll see BSkyB put Sky News HD for free in retaliation to BBC News hd?

    I think Sky News HD will go FTA but only after any Encryption contracts with Cisco (nee NDS) are through. Even Sky get tied in to Encryption Contracts – with the Encryption provider! Don’t hold your breath it will appear on any other platforms than Sky and Freeview though! Compared to the ultra sharp BBC News studio footage and graphics, Sky News looks crap!!

    Denis said:
    Any guess as why Ch 111 and 133 are not used on the EPG

    It’s thought 111 is reserved by the BBC, now probably for BBC One+1, 133 is reserved for 5Later, probably was 5HD once but that isn’t going to happen any time soon! Then there’s also local TV, that may occupy 111 or 110 with BBC Alba shunted off to the end of the EPG? Having those BBC services now at the end of the EPG has messed up the lovely arranged EPG layout but we all knew it would never stay neat and tidy forever!

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  43. Rosco Says:

    Keith (original) said:
    I’m so glad this happened ‘before’ Christmas.
    Has anyone heard any ‘whispers’ concerning whether this alters the likelihood of ITV 2, 3, 4 and/or C5 launching on Freesat any sooner?

    ITV 2 3 4 HD channels unlikely
    C5 HD no chance at all for a few years yet.

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  44. Rosco Says:

    Gary M said:
    We don’t need an HD genre.Unless there is a difference in content (e.g. regional BBC One), no-one with an HD receiver and TV set would want to watch the SD version in favour of the HD version of a particular channel.The BBC and other broadcasters should take the lead from NHK World, and have the HD version of a channel replace its SD version on its original SD channel number.

    Word from a chap who works in broadcasting is that the HD only move has been a big mistake for NHK – the viewing figures are very low.

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  45. Neil Says:

    Never say never in regards to ITV’s 2-4HD!

    Makes you realise how much SD viewing is still done – maybe they’ll resurrect an SD variant of their channel once more?

    Freesat have done ok gaining an extra eight LCN’s, assuming FilmOn.TV, Rishtay and Colors are added later this week. That’s an extra £288k+VAT in EPG revenue!

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  46. Andy Says:

    Not happy with the Sudbury Transmitter as I cannot receive the other 4 HD Channels.

    “The Sudbury (Suffolk, England) mast is not one of the extended Freeview HD (COM7 and COM8) transmitters, it does not provide these high definition (HD) channels: Al Jazeera HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD.”

    Does anyone know if this would be upgraded in 2014 or never will?

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  47. Tim Says:

    I am very pleased with this development since it gives added value to the Freesat platform and makes Freesat a more attractive TV option. :)

    Keith (original) said:
    I’m so glad this happened ‘before’ Christmas.
    Has anyone heard any ‘whispers’ concerning whether this alters the likelihood of ITV 2, 3, 4 and/or C5 launching on Freesat any sooner?

    Sorry, Keith, there’s no chance of any ITV HD channels coming to Freesat in the foreseeable future because ITV have tied in their HD channels with Sky for long term revenue raising as part of their multi-income diversification strategy so that they’re not wholly dependent upon the ups and downs of advertising revenue. Whilst that policy is unfortunate, it is an understandable one from their point of view.

    Similarly, there’s also no chance of C5 HD joining Freesat since that channel’s now only available as part of Sky’s Entertainment Extra package and again it was done for revenue raising purposes.

    We do have UTV HD as well and STV HD is set to join next year. I daresay that over the next 18 months, Freesat might get one or two other HD channels as well (although not any from CBS as far as I know).

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  48. Tim Says:

    Correction: C5 HD is actually only available on Sky with the (even) more expensive Entertainment Extra TV pack at £32 a month. O_o

    Incidentally, that C5 HD move and the lack of notice does appear to have successfully brassed off quite a few Sky customers. :D

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  49. Tim Says:

    *Entertainment Extra+ TV pack! – d’oh

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  50. Neil Says:

    Tim said:
    Correction: C5 HD is actually only available on Sky with the (even) more expensive Entertainment Extra TV pack at £32 a month. O_o
    Incidentally, that C5 HD move and the lack of notice does appear to have successfully brassed off quite a few Sky customers.

    It’s completely deflated what was credibly left of “Freesat from Sky” too so those hanging in just to get C5HD may have second opinions and in a strange way the move could earn Freesat a few more sales!

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  51. Mark White Says:

    Andy @ 43

    There are no plans for the Sudbury Transmitter to be upgraded to include these, all the more reason for Freesat to flourish hopefully…

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  52. Al (original) Says:

    admin said: BBC Three HD 147
    BBC Four HD 148
    BBC News HD 212
    CBBC HD 607
    CBeebies HD 608

    Thtat’s an absolute disaster!

    Whatever happened to the promised EPG reshuffle with HD channels being grouped together?

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  53. swjoduk Says:

    According to an article I read Freeview HD will be adding 13 new HD channels in 2014 which includes the recently launched BBC HD channels and I think they had Al Jezeera HD.

    Will Freesat being adding a similar number do we know?

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  54. swjoduk Says:

    Al (original) said: Thtat’s an absolute disaster!Whatever happened to the promised EPG reshuffle with HD channels being grouped together?

    Explains here

    http://www.a516digital.com/2013/12/freesat-bbc-hd-channel-substitution.html#more

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  55. Al (original) Says:

    swjoduk said: Explains here
    http://www.a516digital.com/2013/12/freesat-bbc-hd-channel-substitution.html#more

    Ah OK Thanks.

    When it does finally happen I hope they group ALL HD channels together and not just BBC though.

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  56. Keith (original) Says:

    Is it slightly odd that Al Jazeera HD is on Freeview yet not on Freesat (yet?)?

    Not that any of my kit handles Freeview HD.

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  57. Neil Says:

    swjoduk said:
    According to an article I read Freeview HD will be adding 13 new HD channels in 2014 which includes the recently launched BBC HD channels and I think they had Al Jezeera HD.
    Will Freesat being adding a similar number do we know?

    There’s another potential seven slots available on DTT, who and what they will be for we don’t know yet but it’s assumed C4 will launch two services and (can’t see any reason why not) they will launch them on DSAT too.

    Who gets the rest and what other platforms they appear on we don’t know – Al Jaz have got a DSAT licence now for Al Jaz HD so guess it’s only a matter of time before we see it on Freesat.

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  58. Richard Says:

    Keith (original) said:
    Is it slightly odd that Al Jazeera HD is on Freeview yet not on Freesat (yet?)?
    Not that any of my kit handles Freeview HD.

    It didn’t do NHK much good allegedly so perhaps that’s why.
    It does look good on my free TT-UVU box though. :D

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  59. Terry Says:

    Keith (original) said:
    Is it slightly odd that Al Jazeera HD is on Freeview yet not on Freesat (yet?)?
    Not that any of my kit handles Freeview HD.

    It is a bit odd. Seems inevitable that they will move to HD on satellite, though. Maybe they just jumped at Freeview because getting a low-numbered slot was first-come first-served.

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  60. Paul Says:

    Neil said: …. but it’s assumed C4 will launch two services and (can’t see any reason why not) they will launch them on DSAT too.

    C4 could launch More4HD and E4HD on DTT without having to set up any new channels.

    If they did set up brand new channels (and I struggle to see what genres they would fill) C4 have previous form in taking the HD versions of their non-PBS channels behind the Sky wall – the aforementioned More4 and E4.

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  61. scott Says:

    great to have now 11 hd channels on freesat and more to come in 2014. looking forward to hd section too. thinking of getting freetime box after xmas as will need bigger hard drive. does anyone know if the bugs are now fixed now on freetime boxes.

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  62. Andy Says:

    Yes. It is great to know that there will be more HD channels added in 2014 only if the transmitter mast is capable of extended Freeview HD.

    “The Sudbury (Suffolk, England) mast is not one of the extended Freeview HD (COM7 and COM8) transmitters, it does not provide these high definition (HD) channels: Al Jazeera HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD.”

    Yet again priority goes to Norfolk rather than Suffolk. (This seems to be the way with most things around here) The Norfolk Transmitter is Tacolneston (Norfolk, England) which can transmit extended Freeview HD.

    A big thumbs down for Sudbury mast and the BBC

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  63. Chazzer Says:

    Has anyone noticed that the Red Button HD channel has now disappeared?

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  64. Paul Says:

    Chazzer said:
    Has anyone noticed that the Red Button HD channel has now disappeared?

    Indeed. The satellite capacity that RB HD used is now being used by BBC News HD.

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  65. Mike Says:

    Andy said:
    Yes. It is great to know that there will be more HD channels added in 2014 only if the transmitter mast is capable of extended Freeview HD.
    “The Sudbury (Suffolk, England) mast is not one of the extended Freeview HD (COM7 and COM8) transmitters, it does not provide these high definition (HD) channels: Al Jazeera HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD.”
    Yet again priority goes to Norfolk rather than Suffolk. (This seems to be the way with most things around here) The Norfolk Transmitter is Tacolneston (Norfolk, England) which can transmit extended Freeview HD.
    A big thumbs down for Sudbury mast and the BBC

    There were plans to launch up to three extra multiplexes and operate Sudbury as part of a so-called “single frequency network” with neighbouring transmitters. These plans were shelved following an international frequency planning conference (World Radiocommunication Conference 2012), with Ofcom now preparing the way to clear more terrestrial TV frequencies for “5G” mobile services.

    As such, a more limited and possibly temporary set-up is now being rolled out. The extra multiplex capacity is being created by Arqiva – the BBC’s own terrestrial TV capacity is full, so coverage of BBC Four HD is out of the hands of the BBC.

    Freesat on the other hand offers a free-to-air alternative to get all BBC HD channels in almost every corner of the country and a greater stability of service, given potential future changes on terrestrial TV.

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  66. Neil Says:

    Andy said:
    Yes. It is great to know that there will be more HD channels added in 2014 only if the transmitter mast is capable of extended Freeview HD.
    “The Sudbury (Suffolk, England) mast is not one of the extended Freeview HD (COM7 and COM8) transmitters, it does not provide these high definition (HD) channels: Al Jazeera HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD.”
    Yet again priority goes to Norfolk rather than Suffolk. (This seems to be the way with most things around here) The Norfolk Transmitter is Tacolneston (Norfolk, England) which can transmit extended Freeview HD.
    A big thumbs down for Sudbury mast and the BBC

    Why don’t you gain all those HD channels now, plus a shiny new Freetime PVR and join us all on Freesat. Higher bitrates, better PQ (both for some SD and HD channels), plus a neater EPG – beats DTT any day!

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  67. Andy Says:

    Neil @ 62

    I have Freetime too. I use the Youview box for BTSport HD and would have liked all the available HD channels on that box too

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  68. Tim Says:

    Neil said: It’s completely deflated what was credibly left of “Freesat from Sky” too so those hanging in just to get C5HD may have second opinions and in a strange way the move could earn Freesat a few more sales!

    That’s indeed a valid point, Neil, since that HD channel meant that some viewers stuck with freesat from Sky just to get it. Now, that difference is gone and Freesat has the added bonus of free recording so I expect that some viewers will cross over to Freesat.

    The addition of the new BBC HD channels makes Freesat that bit more attractive as a TV option and that, in turn, will attract more Freesat customers. These incremental improvements will all help to generate a positive feedback cycle generating more customers and so more channels will join Freesat in due course, etc.

    Personally, I’d love to see Freesat overtake Virgin Media to take third place in terms of digital TV platform popularity and that’s possible within the next few years. In the meantime, we can enjoy the quote below from a former Sky customer who was upset over the unannounced loss of C5 HD:

    “Hello again, well looking at all the comments just shows how many people hate being ripped off, no warning at all. WELL I went looking at freesat+ and you get loads of stuff and pause rewind so buying 2 freesat+ boxes and can use sky dish. O and cancelling sky package saving over £30 and also two members of family have cancelled last night as well cause prices going up and not getting anything extra. Sorry SKY but your upsetting customers.”

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  69. Neil Says:

    Tim said: That’s indeed a valid point, Neil, since that HD channel meant that some viewers stuck with freesat from Sky just to get it. Now, that difference is gone and Freesat has the added bonus of free recording so I expect that some viewers will cross over to Freesat.
    The addition of the new BBC HD channels makes Freesat that bit more attractive as a TV option and that, in turn, will attract more Freesat customers. These incremental improvements will all help to generate a positive feedback cycle generating more customers and so more channels will join Freesat in due course, etc.
    Personally, I’d love to see Freesat overtake Virgin Media to take third place in terms of digital TV platform popularity and that’s possible within the next few years. In the meantime, we can enjoy the quote below from a former Sky customer who was upset over the unannounced loss of C5 HD:
    “Hello again, well looking at all the comments just shows how many people hate being ripped off, no warning at all. WELL I went looking at freesat+ and you get loads of stuff and pause rewind so buying 2 freesat+ boxes and can use sky dish. O and cancelling sky package saving over £30 and also two members of family have cancelled last night as well cause prices going up and not getting anything extra. Sorry SKY but your upsetting customers.”

    Couldn’t agree more, getting these new BBC HD channels on-air before Christmas will potentially be a big plus for the platform.

    I’ve read some of the angry viewer responses to the whole C5HD thing, I too saw a few similar to the one you quoted, if only people would wake up and realise how much Sky is one big rip-off if sports and movies are not your cup of tea!

    It would be fantastic if FS did overtake VM. The inclusion of smaller channels now, including niche Asian channels, despite not being to everybody’s taste, does show that as well as the economy starting to pick up once more with advertising on the up, the platform sales figures on the increase too therefore more smaller channels deciding to join.

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  70. fatbloke Says:

    soldierboy001@35
    I put WD 1TB drive in over two years ago and it’s still working fine. Just make sure it’s for video and not for a PC.

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  71. fatbloke Says:

    John H @15
    Buy a cheap DVD recorder like I did and record the HD programmes to that. It’s not HD when you play it back of coarse, but play it using a Blu-ray player and it looks very good.

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  72. CMD Says:

    admin said: BBC Three HD 147
    BBC Four HD 148
    BBC News HD 212
    CBBC HD 607
    CBeebies HD 608

    These HD aren’t in bold like the other HD channels are in the Channels page on this site

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  73. Rosco Says:

    swjoduk said:
    According to an article I read Freeview HD will be adding 13 new HD channels in 2014 which includes the recently launched BBC HD channels and I think they had Al Jezeera HD.

    Not everywhere they wont. Only 30 odd main transmitters are being equipped for the extra muxes needed for some of these & if you are on Freeview Lite from a relay – you can forget many of these extra HD channels.

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  74. Neil Says:

    Three channels have been added today:

    Film On TV – 410
    Rishtay – 661
    Colors – 662

    Loveinthetelly was spot on once more with his LCN predictions :)

    Sonlife has been removed from 695.

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  75. Tim Says:

    Incidentally, we should congratulate Freesat on their improved PR and self promotion which has noticeably improved this past year. Everything worked well and the website update and publicity were perfectly and synchronously timed. On the other hand, Sky are still saying that only 6 free HD channels are available to Entertainment and Entertainment Extra pack viewers… :D

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  76. Saltydawg Says:

    Am I on the wrong forum? Many of these posts seem to be about Freeview…..what’s that?

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  77. Barrie Says:

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  78. soldierboy001 Says:

    fatbloke said:
    soldierboy001@35
    I put WD 1TB drive in over two years ago and it’s still working fine. Just make sure it’s for video and not for a PC.

    Hi fatbloke, Didn’t realise their was a difference I got a WD10erzx from Amazon because somebody on the review pages said that was what he used in his Humax.Asked the question on the sellers page but have no reply to date do you know if this is suitable because it’s not listed at all on Astra 2 suitability page?
    Won’t be doing anything yet as it is waiting for me in England for me to pick up and bring back to Spain over the Christmas period.

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  79. Keith (original) Says:

    Paul said: Indeed.The satellite capacity that RB HD used is now being used by BBC News HD.

    Ah! Hadn’t noticed that. That is a pity since it has proved rather useful on occasion. May restrict options a little come Wimbledon – unless they get creative and add temporary channels.

    Nevertheless, if I had to choose, I prefer to have BBC News HD.

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  80. Kyle Says:

    Hi

    I now only have BBC RB 1 on Freesat, channel 981. Is this right or do I need to add/alter anything else? I have the Humax box.

    Thanks
    Kyle

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  81. fatbloke Says:

    Soldierboy001 @75
    My drive was a WD10 EVDS but I think it’s no longer available. Some of the WD drives work but you have to have a jumper on pins 5 & 6 to make them work, not sure about the model you mention. Jumpers are cheap, but this to me would indicate there not really meant for PVR’s. If I was replacing mine now I’d get the Seagate ST1000VM002 1TB which is designed for CCTV and PVR’s as it has seamless streaming. Hope this helps.

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  82. Kyle Says:

    @61 @60 Paul/Chazzer

    Just read your comments above, so that’s that answered!

    Kyle

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  83. al2098 Says:

    Seems to me that some of the BBC news HD is slightly out of focus or not so sharp as NHK or RT. I noticed this with Cbeebies compaired to CBBC.
    Can’t be because of upscaling, because I am referring to the news readers. Is the bitrate low for BBC? Anyone else noting this?

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  84. Anthony Says:

    Keith (original) said: I wouldn’t hold your breath for news coverage in DD5.1.There is a BBC technical blog (somewhere) which goes into quite some (technical) detail as to what a huge challenge providing 5.1 for live events, even planned relatively fixed/static events such as Wmbledon or Eurovision.It’s a little dated now but after reading this I found myself greatly admiring the skill and dedication of the unsung sound engineers and other technical staff who get this to work at all, let alone (largely) flawlessly in recent years.
    Nevertheless, it would be great if the BBC made more use of DD5.1 in dramas/series – and if ITV used it at all – especially films, no real challenge there (I would have thought).

    You just need a Dolby Digital capable file playout suite for films and a Dolby Digital capable file playout suite for general programmes shot on HD format SDXC memory card broadcast camcorders. HD-Betacam tape recording/playout is only capable of 2 channel stereo with matrixed Dolby Surround possible;films are generally transferred from telecine to HD Betacam tape which isn’t really capable of 5.1 DD Surround playback and can only do stereo with matrixed Dolby Surround. Many production houses which produce programming for the BBC/ITV/Channel4/Channel5 etc only use HD-Betacam camcorders/recording-editing equipment for filming recording dubbing and editing which is only capable of 2-channel stereo. Unless they upgrade to modern video shooting/editing equipment that’s capable of shooting recording editing on Dolby Digital 5.1 and unless the broadcasters upgrade their recording/playout equipment to DD5.1 capability the sound side of HD will always lag behind.

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  85. Paul Says:

    al2098 said:
    Seems to me that some of the BBC news HD is slightly out of focus or not so sharp as NHK or RT. I noticed this with Cbeebies compaired to CBBC.
    Can’t be because of upscaling, because I am referring to the news readers. Is the bitrate low for BBC? Anyone else noting this?

    Yes, a few days ago I thought News HD looked soft.

    The graphics looked sharp enough with no artifacts around the words as there was during the perion od upscaled testing, but the main picture was bad enough for me to wonder if the studio output was upscaled.

    Haven’t had the chance to eyeball it closely in the last couple of days.

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  86. Keith (original) Says:

    Anthony said: You just need a Dolby Digital capable file playout

    That’s very interestng and informative. By ‘matrixed Dolby’, would that be what my sound system calls ‘Prologic’?

    I guess I was thinking that 5.1 would really require fixed microphones, but I guess there’s no real reason why a newsgathering camera couldn’t have four or five in-built directional microphones – even many hobby-ist camcorders have had built-in stereo microphones for some time.

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  87. Anthony Says:

    Keith (original) said: That’s very interestng and informative.By ‘matrixed Dolby’, would that be what my sound system calls ‘Prologic’?
    I guess I was thinking that 5.1 would really require fixed microphones, but I guess there’s no real reason why a newsgathering camera couldn’t have four or five in-built directional microphones – even many hobby-ist camcorders have had built-in stereo microphones for some time.

    Keith, there are indeed dolby digital 5.1 surround capable domestic hd camcorders around that can give the full experience sonically and visually and these eminantly be suitable for hd broadcasts and newsgathering combining full hd picture quality with full on Dolby Digital 5.1 surroundsound for broadcasting purposes. Most hd broadcast camcorders are only capable of stereosound its a real travesty broadcast equipment manufacturers arent equipping their hd broadcast camcorders for DolbyDigital 5.1 with onboard 5.1 mics as the midrange and topflight domestic models from sony panasonic and canon have.

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  88. Anthony Says:

    Keith (original) said: That’s very interestng and informative.By ‘matrixed Dolby’, would that be what my sound system calls ‘Prologic’?
    I guess I was thinking that 5.1 would really require fixed microphones, but I guess there’s no real reason why a newsgathering camera couldn’t have four or five in-built directional microphones – even many hobby-ist camcorders have had built-in stereo microphones for some time.

    Keith matrixed Dolby Surround from stereo only output on the hd channels is indeed interpreted by your equipment as Dolby Pro Logic Surround (or even Dolby Pro Logic II Surround if your equipment is equipped and can reproduce it). Dolby Pro Logic II is much better with more spatial separation of the channels particularly rear channel effects and a wider stereo soundfield separation at the front.

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  89. Neil Says:

    Paul said: Yes, a few days ago I thought News HD looked soft.
    The graphics looked sharp enough with no artifacts around the words as there was during the perion od upscaled testing, but the main picture was bad enough for me to wonder if the studio output was upscaled.
    Haven’t had the chance to eyeball it closely in the last couple of days.

    I’m convinced the BBC soften the BBC News output to not make the presenters look too vivid on-air. World News output overnight on BBC One (now on BBC News too) always looks better than the daytime output. The Sports Desk and Sportsday from MediaCity look very sharp so presume it’s a BBC decision to do this. Andrew Marr and Sunday Politics also seem to suffer this same softening!

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  90. Gary M Says:

    Rosco said: Word from a chap who works in broadcasting is that the HD only move has been a big mistake for NHK – the viewing figures are very low.

    That’s a seperate issue. I’m not suggesting the BBC discontinue their SD broadcasts. I’m suggesting that, for example, BBC Four HD should appear at channel 107 on HD boxes while BBC Four (SD) continues to appear at channel 107 on SD boxes. Why would anyone with an HD box make a deliberate choice to watch the SD version, unless it has localised content? Having a seperate block of channel numbers for HD channels only makes the situation worse as no doubt the numbers will get even higher.

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