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Nov 26 2009

Freesat has announced that sales have passed 750,000 units since the service launched in May 2008, and the targeted one million mark could be hit during early 2010.

At the iPlayer conference yesterday, Emma Scott, Managing Director of Freesat, confirmed that the company sold over 200,000 units in the three months up to the end of September. These results surpass Sky’s reported 94,000 new subscribers for the same period, making Freesat the fastest growing TV platform in the UK.

Emma Scott said that 80% of Freesat sales are for high definition equipment, half of which are receivers manufactured by Humax; whilst surprisingly only 20% have PVR functionality.

83 Responses to “Freesat Sales Pass 750,000”

  1. Lee B Says:

    Fantastic news for freesat, and with the launch of Iplayer & ITV player soon I can only see these figures increasing. Now that Humax HDR’s are fully available and prices seem to be dropping I would imagine PVR sales will go up as well.

    I’d just like to see a HD channel or 2 launch now….

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  2. Soul4real Says:

    Very go indeed especially with the minimum amount of advertising, which i am sure i read Freesat was to run a new ad campaign this month or the last, which i saw nothing of. I wish Currys and Comet would make a greater effort but they seem to be promoting $ky left right and centre, mybe the brown envelope is fat!!!!

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  3. Trevor Harris Says:

    These are good figures for freesat considering the picture quality fiasco on BBC HD. I wonder if a large number of the boxes are being bought for second televisions and 80% are not PVR. For me a PVR has become an essential since BBC and ITV often clash their best programs. I have 3 sky boxes not on subscription and I was considering replacing one with an HD Freesat box but it isn’t realy worth it for one substandard HD channel.

    I know that many Freesat viewers want more HD channels. All three comercial companies are in financial trouble at the moment so I think it is unlikely to see any expansion in the near future.

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  4. Lee B Says:

    @ Trevor, I’d go for a freesat box if I were you, I could not stand scrolling though pages of encrypted channels without the ability to delete them on a non subscription box. Also losing the ability to record on a non subscription box is a major pain.

    The BBC HD picture should be the same on Sky and Freesat, it’s 90% of what it was but given some more bitrate the new encoder has the potential to beat the old picture quality, that’s down to the BBC though. If the 40% drop is to give space for a dedicated ITVHD channel then i’ll be happy.

    You say expansion is unlikely but ITV are launching ITV player and BBC are launching Iplayer, so the freesat service is improving all the time, not bad for a subscription free service.

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  5. derek500 Says:

    @admin At least you’re quoting the statement correctly. The BBC and Guardian have both said households not units.

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  6. derek500 Says:

    @ Lee B You just need to put the channels you watch (up to 50) in favourites. They’ll have their own EPG then.

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  7. Brian Lees Says:

    I have been using Freesat with the Humax HDR for just over 11 months now and I am incredibly impressed. The HD content will surely increase but currently I think you could only complain if you are comparing with the offerings on Sky where you have a significant subscription and ongoing commitment. The quality of the SD picture is generally very good and I find HD quality to be excellent. I am only aware of a debate on the picture quality on these boards and my experience is quite the contrary. On the whole, the combination of a PVR and the currently available HD content keeps me very satisfied with my viewing. For me the imminent arrival of iPlayer on the platform will make it an indespensible service.

    P.S. I was a full service Sky+ Premium multi-room subscriber but don’t find that any of the family miss the content at all

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  8. admin Says:

    @derek500

    Agreed, there is no way of quantifying households like with Sky, Virgin etc. These are unit sales, so nothing to say that each home doesn’t have two or more.

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  9. Peter (bobmarleypeople) Says:

    @Soul4real left, right, centre AND the rest! I went in to Currys to actually buy my Freesat box, and they kept persuading me to switch to Sky. In the end, I told him to f*** off and went down the road to Comet, who were more than happy to sell it to me (one employee even said that he had Freesat himself and he loved it).

    I probably won’t be shopping at Currys much any more.

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  10. Lee B Says:

    Looks like Sky are fire fighting from every angle currently, losing subscribers to freesat in its current form with many improvements on the way, Freeview HD around the corner, massive improvements in the Virgin media network and a tie up with Tivo and then Project Canvas in the future. No wonder Sky are posting on here.

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  11. footy Says:

    Very pleased with my Humax HD box-great pics.The pic compared to my sky box which we use for recording is far better on the Humax.

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  12. Andrew M Says:

    @Lee B. “No wonder Sky are posting on here.”

    I must have missed this. Name names please Lee.

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  13. Llewellyn Says:

    if sales continue to increase ,Then I reckon other channels will want a piece of the action. Like maybe dave and 4 music etc.

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  14. Littlenige Says:

    I read all the moans about the bitrate on BBC HD.Compared to SD it looks great to me. I just wish there was more HD content on Freesat. I’m sure there will come a time when everything will be shot in HD but in the meantime a bit more would be nice. I’m sure that more HD content would drive up sales. Chicken and egg?

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  15. David Says:

    I think Freesat and the Humax PVR are superb. One question though..why do you need iplayer when you can programme the PVR to record any programmes you want to watch. How often are you going to miss one?

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  16. Chris Says:

    @David

    iPlayer will be available on non-PVR boxes too.

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  17. Chris Says:

    ..and it could also be useful for looking up something that you hadn’t though of recording.

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  18. Kevin Says:

    …or getting to watch a program which you have missed because the TV company has switched the weekly timeslot without warning!

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  19. derek500 Says:

    @ Lee B I would think that some Freesat viewers have since upgraded to Sky HD, no doubt frustrated by the lack of content, especially HD,

    It must be frustrating for rugby fans watching in SD on BBC to know that the Autumn international are in HD at the same time on Sky. The same with Andrew Murray’s recent tennis matches.

    Also, don’t forget that the 200,000 is unit sales not households. Many would have bought more than one box.

    It can’t be compared to Sky’s 94,000 (net growth). For example in the same quarter, 61,000 people upgraded to multiroom, so that figure can be added to the 287,000 who upgrade to HD in the same quarter. That’s a lot more unit sales in the same quarter!!

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  20. Kevin Says:

    Derek500, this forum is for discussion of freesat, not Sky. Dont you have your own home to go to?

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  21. derek500 Says:

    @ Kevin Why was Sky mentioned in the article? Why did Lee B bring Sky into the discussion?

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  22. Lee B Says:

    Andrew M, I don’t think you need me to tell you the name of the Sky troll now. Why they feel the need to pay their employees to hang around on freesat forums bigging up Sky all day and putting down freesat is beyond me, I can only think that they are really worried.

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  23. oyodi Says:

    In past posts I have read that it is not the fault of the TV companys that there has not been any additions of new HD channels, and that the reason is that FreeSat have no room. I have read on the CH4HD website that this is the case until a new satilite has been launched next year. Does any one know when this will be?

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  24. admin Says:

    @Lee B

    derek500 isn’t employed by Sky, not unless they are now allowing access in Spain ;)

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  25. Lee B Says:

    Reports of ITV1HD test cards and upscaled SD content on Digital Spy…..could this be tests before a dedicated ITVHD channel launch on freesat?

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  26. Trevor Harris Says:

    Freesat is very closely associated with Sky and so are bound to enter the discussion. Freesat uses Sky’s infrastructure for transmitting their EPG and would not be economically viable without Sky. Freesat is not realy in competition with Sky as they just provide a different service and the viewer benifits from having a choice. By the way I am not a Sky employee just a pensioner who watches too much tv.

    There is a real problem in the “Free” tv world. The three main commercial channels are in financial difficulties and it looks as though the BBC are going to do some downsizing. New ways need to be found to finance these channels. I think most people don’t want the licence fee to be increased as this would affect the poorest in society. Direct government funding for the public service element is one option. The only problem is the massive debt the goverment has incured would really limit what is possible. ITV seems to be planning to make some of thier channels pay channels. I think the BBC already do this though channels like Gold.

    I know from these blogs there is a craving for more “Free” HD channels but the economic situation will restrict HD expansion. The viewing figures for BBC HD are very low compared with the number of HD boxes and TV’s. Again it is a chicken and egg situation, the more HD viewers the more HD programs etc. BBC HD is particularly weak on sports and films.

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  27. Dr Sat Says:

    If the PSB’s can free up space on the severely cramped Terrestrial spectrum for the upcoming Freeview HD service, surely freeing up space on the massive Satellite spectrum current used by the PSB’s is not the issue at the end of the day. We need to partly consider the Legalities involved for PSB’s in what is to be broadcast, but also consider who is to maintain those uplinked signals at the end of the day, and unless I am wrong the latter falls back into Sky’s hands.

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  28. AndrewM the first Says:

    @derek500: Actually, the figures can be compared. Even if you assume that only 60% of Freesat unit sales are new Freesat households (a rather conservative estimate, I would think, although admittedly it’s an educated guess), that still gives you more than 120,000 new Freesat households in Q3 2009. So in terms of platform growth, Emma Scott is correct in saying that Freesat is now the fastest-growing TV platform in the UK.

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  29. derek500 Says:

    @ AndrewM the first. I’ve not seen Emma Scott’s actual statement, who has?. So I don’t know if she actually mentioned Sky or it’s just appeared in editorials of some ‘tech’ websites. None of the newspapers I’ve read have quoted the comparison with Sky.

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  30. admin Says:

    Emma Scott confirmed it and used Sky as an example at the conference!

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  31. AndrewM the first Says:

    Also, even if she hadn’t specifically made the comparison, as long as the sales figures reported by Freesat and the new subscriber numbers reported by Sky are both correct (and we have no reason to believe that they aren’t) and my 60% estimate is at least in the ballpark, it would still be true.

    And in case anyone’s interested, Virgin Media added 37,800 subscribers during Q3 2009.

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  32. admin Says:

    Regardless of the comparisons, it just goes to show that Freesat is as popular in uptake as the alternative digital television platforms and once that one million milestone is reached, we might see an increase in channels considering as a viable option; though I suspect a few million more will be needed before channels like Dave, Gold etc will be interested.

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  33. derek500 Says:

    @31 We beg to differ!! But it’s like comparing apples with oranges.

    Freesat sold 200,000 boxes and Sky sold over 300,000 in the same quarter. Sky win.

    Freesat don’t have subscribers, so all we can do is guestimate households so say 120,000 to Sky’s net growth, 94,000. Freesat win.

    The sad thing is the decline in BBC HD’s picture quality. Gavin and Stacey which used to be showcase material, was appalling last night.

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  34. Lee b Says:

    Do not feed the sky troll he will leave no hair unsplit!

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  35. Nat Says:

    Great to see Freesat growing so fast.

    I’ve had my Freesat Panasonic TV for 1 year this week and I’ve just added the Humax PVR and it all works so well – much better than the Freeview it replaced. The HD programmes are a great bonus, I’m not so worried about bitrates or whatever, its more about the content for me. Gavin and Stacey was superb last night wether it was on the HD or SD channel. I’m sure the Christmas schedule will be filling up my Humax hard-drive with goodies too.

    Its interesting watching the whole Freesat project take off, I think the next key stepping stone will be the World Cup next year. Matches on iTV HD and BBC HD will be a big selling point for Freesat and by then the built in iPlayer will be running too making the whole thing a very tempting package.

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  36. derek500 Says:

    @ Nat I’m not so worried about bitrates or whatever, its more about the content for me. Gavin and Stacey was superb last night wether it was on the HD or SD channel.

    Of course G&S is going to be an excellent programme in SD or HD. It’s just so sad that the PQ was so poor this time compared to earlier series.

    If they’re going to spend the extra money on producing it in HD, surely the end user should benefit from it?

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  37. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    Oh two people have posted with the same name! Message 20 is from another Kevin. To avoid confusion I have decided to add Ver1 to my name. Maybe the other Kevin should add Ver 2?

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  38. Tony Hales Says:

    @24 admin
    Sky operates in many countries not just the UK in any case he could be on holiday in Spain so that proves nothing.

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  39. shane Says:

    @Tony Hales 37. Its sad enough that he is on various freesat forums constantly on about how great sky is! Sometimes i wonder when he has time to watch sky! But it would be VERY SAD if he was on holidays in spain and still banging on about Sky. Get a life comes to mind….
    Anyway for his sake, i hope he is not on Holidays…

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  40. Tony Hales Says:

    I had Sky for 15 years. It’s not great. I watched about two shows a week of their exclusive content and the rest of the time it was free to air broadcasters so changing to Freesat was a no brainer for me.
    Perhaps we should all go to a Sky forum and bang on about Freesat. Soon be banned I would think.

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  41. AndrewM the first Says:

    @Kevin Ver1: I had to add ‘the first’ when another AndrewM (but with a space) showed up ;)

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  42. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    I opted for Freesat because I wanted to use my HD TV as intended and Freeserve does not offer HD at present. The other reason is because my local terrestrial transmitter only broadcast a few Freeserve channels and reception is poor as my aerial is in the loft. However I do intend to put up a new aerial pointing at Bluebell Hill which transmits far more channels. The problem being it is difficult gaining access to the wall the aerial needs to attached to.

    Overall I am very impressed with the Freesat as it does offer a wide variety of programs. There are only a handfull of programs I would like to watch on Sky (Stargate, 24, Battlestar Gallactica and House) but I prefer to buy the box sets. Why pay a subscription only for the programs to be ruined by adverts!

    I find that Freesat is more resiliant to interference than Freeserve. When my wife was using the paper shredder it causes the picture to breakup on the Freeserve channel despite the fact I use satellite grade cable between the aerial and TV! But it is a good option to have both as backup and to give more program choice.

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  43. derek500 Says:

    @Kevin Ver1 You don’t have to pay to watch C4 HD, which would double your choice of HD viewing. Also, today E4 HD has started testing on a Sky transponder, don’t know whether it’ll be FTV or pay though.

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  44. Galvatron Says:

    derek500: How can I watch C4 HD without paying?

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  45. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @derek500

    Don’t you need a sky box to watch C4 HD? I was under the impression it is encypted at the moment and you need a sky card to watch it. It may be free but it is not classed as FTV.

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  46. Lee b Says:

    @Kevin derek is our local sky rep always looking to covert people to the dark side!

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  47. Paul Says:

    99% of the stuff on SKY is dross, and the best decision I made a couple of months ago was buying my TechniSat box.

    I’m very pleased with Freesat’s content and I think the BBC HD picture quality is superb, along with normal SD, and anybody who doesn’t think so should purchase a better TV/Sat receiver or, dare I say so, visit SpecSavers!

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  48. derek500 Says:

    @ Kevin Ver1 C4 HD is FTV, BBC HD is FTA.

    @ Galvatron Buy a new or secondhand Sky HD box and a viewing card.

    @ Paul I would suggest that if you think that the current BBC HD PQ is ‘superb’ it’s you who needs a trip to SpecSavers. Have a look at the poll on here and you’ll see that you’re in the minority.

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  49. Lee b Says:

    I think the BBC hd picture is about 90 % of what it used to be the 40 % bit rate drop was just to much for the new encoder to make up for. I just think we were spoilt by seeing how good it could be with 16 Mbps of bandwidth. But I believe the reduction was to make way for itv1hd so maybe not so bad.

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  50. Tony Hales Says:

    @derek500

    Are you living in Spain and somehow subscribing to Sky Uk? If so you are breaking Sky’s term and conditions for subscribers. I wonder what your precious Sky would say about that. If I wanted to hear about Sky I would visit a Sky forum (if such a thing exists). I do not want to hear about how wonderful Sky is on a Freesat forum.
    Murdock is moaning about the BBC website because he wants to be able to charge people to read the news on his internet sites.He is the kind of person who wants to kill sport on free TV. As for CH4 HD since it is a public service broadcaster subsidised by me it should be on Freesat no question. There is no question of me going back to Sky now. I could afford it but Its against my principles. I refuse to pay extra to watch HD TV.

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  51. Galvatron Says:

    derek: so there is no way I can see C4 HD with new equipment, only 2nd hand? How much does it cost for a sky HD box and a viewing card?

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  52. Richard Crichton Says:

    @Lee b

    What evidence do you have for saying the BBC reduced their bitrate to make way for ITV1 HD? I think ITV HD will continue as a red button service on Freesat but with more programmes when their Freeview HD ITV 1 similcast begins in December.
    I think the BBC reduced their bitrate because they could no other reason.

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  53. Paul D Says:

    I must admit,I think Derek’s continued trolling of these threads is actually putting people off reading them now.

    Free speech is one thing, but I can’t understand why admin allows one disruptive person like that to dominate threads and constantly promote sky here.

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  54. Richard Crichton Says:

    @Galvatron
    You need a used Sky HD box from Fleabay and a FTV card £20ish from $ky.

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  55. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    Looking at my posting no 45 I realise I should have written that C4 is not FTA. How much is a second hand Sky HD box? I doubt that it would be worth shelling out £20 plus just for one HD channel which could turn up on Freesat next year. Channel 4 upscaled looks pretty good on my current TV.

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  56. Paul Says:

    @derek500.

    No problem with my eyesight matey. All my family think the picture quality via our TechniSat box is better that the crappy Sky box we were using up to a couple of months ago.

    Suggest you get back to your SKY forum!

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  57. Mike B Says:

    I just wonder how many of these 750,000 units have got trashed by the appalling mishandling of OTA updates.
    Just remember, the number of people who read this site and have found help/comfort/information/advice here is a tiny proportion of the customer base for the various units.
    The average member of the public who bought a unit that has now failed have had little or no widely available public information about why their box is sitting there no longer working correctly, or not working at all.
    Those whose boxes were in warranty and who contacted their retailer might well have been faced with the problem that the retailers had no official information about what had happened for far too long, and frequently denied that there was a common problem across the country.
    And sadly, those whose boxes were out of warranty may well have assumed that there was nothing they could do about its inexplicable breakdown, and either gone (back) to Sky, or bought another box.
    The powers that be at Freesat have little reason to crow about the success of their enterprise. Yes, I know Freesat is not responsible for manufacturers’ failings, but Freesat does not exist in isolation – it is entirely dependent on the boxes which deliver its product, and should have brought immediate pressure to bear on the manufacturers to make public statements in the press and on TV/radio about the nature and scale of this debacle as soon as it happened so that everyone, not just those who visit helpful websites, could get their product working again at no cost to themselves.
    Instead of this, the whole affair has been a sad tale of evasion and incompetence and reflects the total lack of care these companies have for the customer.

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  58. derek500 Says:

    @ 53 Where have I been disruptive?

    @ 55 Less than £100. I’ve been saying for nearly two years now that C4 HD is a long way off coming on to Freesat. I’ve been proved right, but that seems to make me a pro-Sky-Freesat hater that I’m not.

    It’s all down to economics. FTA HD channels don’t gain anything by going HD. They still get the same number of viewers, watching the same programmes. But it costs a load more to broadcast them.

    With E4 HD now testing on Sky and no doubt C5 HD going down the Sky route, a second hand Sky HD box and viewing card is IMO a good investment, if you want to increase your free HD viewing and who doesn’t?

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  59. Paul D Says:

    You know exactly how you have been disruptive.

    Derek, you may have been proved right about 4HD but you certainly weren’t right about ITV HD when you said, on the million forums you post on, that ITV HD would not be freesat exclusive at launch.

    To claim that you are not anti-freesat is just bizarre. That is what you do on every forum. And now it seems you subscribe to sky from spain???

    There are posts of yours on digital spy which show exactly your agenda. Posts like “Freesat users are the type of people to get excited about piss poor movie channels like movies4men”.

    Do you deny you say these things?

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  60. Paul D Says:

    I have found the specific post Derek, here is what you said about freesat users:

    “Considering Freesat customers are the sort of people who get excited over p**s poor 4:3 movie channels like True Movies, Zone Horror etc. I would think, cropped to 16:9 would be par for the course.

    How was Wimbledon shown on ITV HD? Sky Movies showed the 2.35:1 version.”

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showpost.php?p=25946043&postcount=133

    See? Criticising freesat and its customers AND bigging up sky in the same post on the digital spy FREESAT forum.

    Why do you do it Derek? Genuine question.

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  61. derek500 Says:

    OK, but that was more a dig at the cheapo FTA channels (that are of course available on Freesat and Sky) and the showing of films in the wrong aspect ratio and at a very low bitrate. I’m surprised that anybody would want to watch such poor quality TV, whether through Sky or Freesat.

    That’s my only agenda. I want quality and now BBC HD has gone AWOL the only way to get it is by paying.

    .

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  62. Paul D Says:

    How exactly do you pay for such quality when you are in spain????

    BBC HD hasd not gone AWOL. The picture quality is only marginally worse than it was. Still looks great on my TV.

    ITV HD certainly hasn’t gone AWOL, it is about to drastically increase it’s output and already gives top quality football coverage of at least 40 matches per year as well as the world cup next year. All FREE.

    Freesat is a great option, it gives free HD from the BBC and ITV, and the world cup alone will justify the cost for many people, and it allows free satellite users to record free from a good epg, aswell as giving people the option of adding non epg channels.

    The figures speak for themselves derek, freesat is the fastest growing platform in the UK.

    I am sure you will try and tell me that the 200,000 buyers in 3 months were just getting it for a second room, but you will, as always, sound a little bit silly.

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  63. Lee b Says:

    @derek500 are you paid by sky? I can’t believe anyone would spend the hours you do bigging up sky and negative about freesat on the various freesat forums.
    You also have access to lots of sky sales data and seem always prepared to argue the sales numbers. You even argue the wording the news papers use to describe sales, seems very suspect to lots of people.

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  64. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @ Derek post 58.

    I cannot see value for money paying out approx £100 just to get C4, E4 and Five in HD when I can already watch those channels in SD (albeit scaled up). I note that Five having a HD channel soon is just an assumption on your part.

    I also question your logic about the channel not wishing to output HD on Freesat due to cost. Surely it costs as much to show HD content on the Sky platform? At the moment TV channels are desperate to retain viewers. HD is a very useful marketing tool to retain and increase viewers, otherwise Sky would not be plugging HD so much in TV ads.

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  65. derek500 Says:

    @ Kevin Ver1 C4 HD and the forthcoming E4 HD are broadcast by Sky, who no doubt make it financially attractive.

    If they move to 2d they will have to foot the bill themselves.

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  66. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @ derek500

    E4 HD is not broadcast by Sky at present. However if your assumption that Sky is making it financially attractive to C4 for C4 HD not to move to Freesat then I believe that Sky is guilty of an abuse of power.

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  67. AndrewM the first Says:

    @Kevin Ver1: Five HD is scheduled to launch in late 2010 on Freeview (and hopefully Freesat as well):

    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/media/features/fivehighd

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  68. Trevor Harris Says:

    @AndrewM

    That Ofcom document is interesting and makes it clear that Five HD is not a certainty. Five have said that their service will be limited to the evenings and also dependent on finding a partner for the mornings. the three main commercial companies have financial problems at the moment. It looks as though if Five HD was to launch on Freeview it will have very limited HD content. Transmiting HD on freeview is quite expensive and so Five might choose to go with satellite only. On satellite I think Five HD might make it a pay tv channel if they go on satellite at all.

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  69. Richard Crichton Says:

    There is no space on Astra 2D narrow beam for any more HD or even SD be it 4 or 5 so there is absolutely no chance of them coming to Freesat in 2010.
    Simples.

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  70. Lee B Says:

    @Richard Crichton, could they not offer a red button service on freesat like ITVHD?

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  71. Trevor Harris Says:

    @Lee B

    The red button service is not secure. Sky boxes with the new EPG can receive ITV HD and so is not a long term solution. Also ITV HD will become an upscalled version of ITV 1 and so the red button would be more difficult to manage. My guess is that the BBC will sublet part of their transponder to ITV. ITV is reducing the number of regions they have which could free up space. Also if ITV2, 3 and 4 go to pay tv these could be transfered off 2D.

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  72. derek500 Says:

    @66 It’s free market, they can do what they want. It’s pretty obvious that C4 and now E4 (currently testing) found it more advantageous to let Sky handle their HD transmissions, rather than rent their own transponder as they do for their SD channels. And of course they can’t move to Freesat even if they wanted to as there’s no room on 2d. But as they’re already in the vast majority of HD enabled homes I don’t suppose it’s top of their spending list.

    The BBC handle C5′s FTA channel on 2d, is that an abuse of power? I’m sure it’s more financially advantageous to let the BBC do it for them than by doing it themselves.

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  73. admin Says:

    Sky offer an option to these broadcasters that is very tempting, as cash incentives at a time when broadcasters are struggling is very attractive. The problem is however that space on 2D is limited because Sky hold many of the slots for their encrypted channels that don’t need to be there, but ofcom don’t seem interested in forcing them to move; presumably because they have no legal right to ask them too, or no pressure is coming from the FTA broadcasters.

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  74. Lee B Says:

    Bit monopolistic of Sky to have a stranglehold on Astra 2d and also “hack” into the freesat exclusive ITVHD, thus meaning the red button service is no longer secure. Maybe the BBC and ITV should extend the spec for freesat HD boxes to use the lan port to access some sort of encrytion or location check, thus solving rights holder issues and blocking Sky boxes from “hacking” the service.

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  75. derek500 Says:

    @ 74 The ‘red button’ ITV HD hasn’t been secure, as you put it, since it launched. Way before Sky released the new EPG, generic FTA boxes were able to pick it up,

    It’s never, ever been a ‘Freesat Exclusive’!!!

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  76. ardy Says:

    if I were Freesat I would be careful about flaunting their success. Sky are actively criticising the BBC at the moment. I would hazard a guess that they envy the Beebs position re the coffers of licence fee.

    Does anybody remember the demise of the OnDigital set top box system. The viewing card codes issued every month were leaked by a software house. As a result their income all but drained away and they went bust.

    Anyway in the meantime I wish Harvard would get their act together and sort out my Bush freesat box update

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  77. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    The sooner ITV ditch the red button, the better it will be for users. It is clumsy and an irritant as it takes time to switch over and switches back before the credits have finished.

    Getting back to the stanglehold that Sky has on Astra 2D, I think the main reason Ofcom do not challange Sky is because News International is so powerful none of the political parties have the guts to do anything that might lose the support the Murdoch family.

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  78. Degs Says:

    @ardy I remember the fuss over the ondigital boxes. Didn’t they put it down to industrial sabotage? Surely you’re not suggesting that your freesat box has been nobbled by the opposition?

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  79. Tony Hales Says:

    Kevin Ver1
    On what basis could they challenge Sky. They were on 2D before Freesat.

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  80. Tony Hales Says:

    Kevin Ver1
    On what basis could they challenge Sky. They were on 2D before Freesat.
    ITV have made it clear today that the red button will continue even though there is a standalone ITV HD on Freeview from today in London and the North West.
    However there are no boxes available yet so no one can watch it.

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  81. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    The point is that Ofcom is a government agency and should in theory be neutral in its dealings with the media, however I would suspect that their political masters make it plain that News International should be treated with kid gloves in case Murdoch uses his considerable influence to discredit the Government.

    There are signs that the Government is starting to take a harder line against Sky by insisting that Test Cricket should be on FTA terestrial TV, however it is too little too late as there will be a change of Gov’t next year and Cameron will have favours to return.

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  82. Tony Hales Says:

    It remains to be seen if there will be a change of government next year.There could be a hung parliament with Labour still in power until there is a vote of no confidence.

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  83. Tony Hales Says:

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