Freesat Radio From The BBC

The BBC have posted an interesting article on their blog regarding radio channels accessed via the Freesat platform. Not personally a fan of listening to the radio on satellite, but sure many of you are and would benefit from the text updates provided on screen…or the screensaver if you prefer.

19 thoughts on “Freesat Radio From The BBC”

  1. I listen to radio via satellite rarely but I suppose any move forward in technology is good news.

    But, I do think the user interface for satellite radio is a BIG obstacle and usually requires turning on the TV, using the remote control and those using the TV for sound would need to leave it turned on!

    If satellite receivers had a tuning knob, a display and had more radio type functionality, like a radio tuner, perhaps more people would tune in?

    We’re used to RDS and DAB type front ends with display, information and preset memories with no need to remember that BBC7 is on 108, or whatever.
    Poking in a number blind with the TV turned off doesn’t stimulate me . .

    Anyway, that’s my view . .

  2. I listened to the Freesat Radio and thought the new display was great, But, Its just so easy to turn on DAB if you can get it.
    The sound quality through my Hi Fi System was good Via digital output.
    Some BBC7 programs may be in Stereo which it isnt on DAB and so I may listen or record them from Freesat or Freeview, if Stereo is important to the content. (Think Dirk Mags)
    Recording Radio with a PVR is an underated conveniance I think.

    Cheers, Chris

  3. I live in deepest darkest Wales where the only real opportunity to listen ( I listen all the time ) to the wealth of radio that is available is via Sat. Long may we be able to do so!!! If you are among the fortunate few who can receive DAB, don’t be too smug.

  4. Come to think of it, you should be ashamed of your ignorance to the lack of availability of radio to many people in the UK. I am rather surprised at the editorial ignorance of this unfortunate state of affairs and the fact that SAT Radio fills a very necessary gap in broadcasting. If you ever find yourself in Mid Wales and want to tune to Radio 5 on MW, you may reconsider your view.

  5. I totally agree with Jamie. I live in Norfolk and we have the same problem. DAB is very patchy and FM radio has very little choice. Thanks goodness for radio on Freesat and Freeview

  6. Come to think of it, you should be ashamed of your ignorance to the lack of availability of radio to many people in the UK. I am rather surprised at the editorial ignorance of this unfortunate state of affairs and the fact that SAT Radio fills a very necessary gap in broadcasting. If you ever find yourself in Mid Wales and want to tune to Radio 5 on MW, you may reconsider your view.

    Who’s ignorance James?

  7. I think Admin may be missing Jamie’s point. Steven states that the use of satellite radio is a big obstacle and Chris states that it is so easy to turn on DAB (I admit he does state if you can get it). What many people do not appreciate is that in places like Wales, Norfolk and many other rural areas, for many years our choice of radio has been, BBC Radios 1 to 4, one local BBC radio and one commercial radio. To have a choice that is on freeview and becoming available on freesat is an absolute blessing. When we visit place like London and turn on a radio, it is like being on another planet with the choice available. Anyone having this choice just cannot appreciate what it has been like just having a choice of 6 radio stations for many years. One also needs to bear in mind the negative attitude to radio via a tv that have been left on other threads. I trust Jamie will confirm what I have said.

  8. I’m enlightened and guilty, it’s easy to forget people with less than poor coverage when you’re spoilt for choice and take it for granted, like me.

    I still take the view that the ‘satellte radio interface’ could be improved and become more ‘radio like’.. I would certainly find that more involving particularly if there were no TV interaction required, like buying a satellite radio receiver if there is such a thing? And no licence required . .:-).

  9. Steve P. You put the point rather better than myself. I agree fully. Steven. Delighted you see the point. I agree with your comment re. a better interface. Also Sat radio has a golden opportunity to add detailed notes to programmes being broadcast and those to follow. Text as we know has a very small overhead and on this count could leave DAB gasping for breath.

  10. My Freesat box is hooked up to my amp for sound, anyway. This, combined with the fact that the channel number appears on the Freesat box itself, means that I don’t need to switch on the TV to listen to radio.
    As I get lousy reception on FM, DAB and any other airwave you can name, satellite radio at least gets me a clear signal, even if higher bitrates would be nice…

  11. Radio via satellite is certainly worthwhile, if only because the sound quality is generally a lot better than DAB.

    I’m not a frequent listener to satellite radio, but I do use it on occasion and am very glad of it, so much so that I took our none-too-good FM aerial down. It seemed a bit excessive having three aerials, one for TV, one for DAB – can’t get much DAB here without a roof-top aerial – and one for FM, not to mention the two sat dishes!

  12. Fortunately in the Bath area we do have a choice as even with a simple indoor ariel the reception from DAB is good, despite the hilly terrain.

    My only concern about satellite radio through the tv speakers, is the environmental issue, especially as most of the modern flat panel sets use more energy.

    I think the point about a FTA satellite radio set option is a good one . If I recall there was a German system on Astra many years ago which was very popular with classical music fans.

  13. It would be interesting to hear what $ky would have to say if you requested a ‘Radio Only’ installation?

    I believe there is a satellite radio system running Michael called Worldspace, I assume it’s still operational.

  14. I use Sky ‘Freesat’ (the single £20 payment card) and a sky digibox (£20 from ebay) to listen to radio thro my Hi-Fi (I inherited the sat dish). I agree with the others – what is needed is a Freeview or Freesat ‘tuner’ with a small display for the Channel ID and ideally the text (similar to most DAB radios). This could be a STB without TV out (if it made it significantly cheaper).

  15. Lets face it guys talk as much as you like about terresrially transmitted signals of any kind, we all know these are doomed. I have now given up with all ideas of using these and gone totaly over to freesat and once commited to this I need a stand alone freesat radio. I want to listen to radio in the kitchen my pvr box is in the lounge why do people assume that I would have my tv in the same room as my radio.

  16. With digital radio as the next hurdle there are some of us in the Highlands and Islands who have little or no am reception and variable fm reception and I expect that the same problem in other places. Myself I can manage using a laptop but my wife wants a “Radio Set” at her bedside that she can tune in
    herself. We have freesky and hebrides broadband and could get freesat so a set on wifi or sky gnome from ebay might work. Any better ideas???


  17. BBC world service on shortwave in Europe already switched off. Radio 4 Longwave an uncertain future after 2015 if the analogue switchoff goes ahead. Need a portable Freesat radio only facility in the future to keep up with test match special when on holiday in rural Europe away from WiFi hotspots. Small freestanding dish feeding box similar size to typical DAB radio would be great. Would encouraging reception of UK only rights content eg 5 Live football be an issue that prevents this hapenning

  18. We have Free-Sat at home and it’s great. However we don’t want TV in our bedroom but would like to use one of our spare dish terminals to have a fixed radio channel receiver in our bedroom for reveille. There don’t seem to be any simple such receivers on the market.

  19. Having been so upset over Classic FM and Radio 4 FM being jammed out of existence
    in the foothills of Co Dublin in recent years, by the wave of new Irish pop stations, I firstly tried out
    internet radio but soon discovered its limitations of requiring a deciant internet connection. When the internet speed became slow especially in the evenings, I now refer to it as intermittent internet radio and not to mention waiting for it to load between stations.
    Because of the recent demise of analog TV, a friend asked me to set up her Lidl sat kit as she could get no further then opening its box, which introduced me to radio via satellite. To cut a long story short, I have set up around 30 “Heath Robinson” sat radios, which consist of a Lidl or Aldi sat decoder plus a fitting to connect the phono outlets to laptop speakers. At first, connect to a tv so I can see the menu and download only radio from Astra 2 Satellite, then select the eight radio stations I require. So far I have always assigned the stations in the same order so to correspond with the same number on each box. I have Radio 4, as number 1 and Classic Fm as number 5. All my sisters numerous radios now collect dust in her attic, as I have satellite cables connecting every room in her house to the
    eight way LNB on her 32 inch dish in her garden. I have lately set up a dish concealed in a plastic compost bin, which now provides sat radio in sixteen rooms
    of a large house via a multi switch. Unlike internet radio, I can change between my eight radio stations in as many seconds and have pleased a lot of friends. As long as I can connect up to Astra 2, with a decent signal strength, the sat radio should work anywhere within its foot print.
    The only downsides I am aware of are, when they change the frequencies on the satellite, I have a lot of retuning to do and unlike the American system is of no use in the car.

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