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Apr 29 2014

As part of Freesat’s on-going commitment to deliver our great line-up of 11 subscription free HD channels, a dedicated HD category has been added to the channel category list, making it easier for you to find out what to watch in HD.

If you have got a Freetime box, select ‘list’ on your remote control when you’re in the TV Guide to see the list of channel genres.

If you don’t have a Freetime box, you’ll see ‘HD’ included in the list of categories when you open the TV Guide.

44 Responses to “HD Genre added to Freesat TV Guide”

  1. RichardC Says:

    Freetime still needs extra button presses to see it. Should be able to default to the HD list from box on. Still every little helps as they say.

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  2. RichardC Says:

    11 HD channels yes but 7 are BBC of which 4 are part time. Only four are non BBC two of which are non UK news. Not a great record how many years on by our commercial broadcasters is it. In fact it’s pretty pathetic some would say a disgrace. Thanks dark lord for nothing.

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  3. soul4real Says:

    Yes and the more you give some people, the more they want.
    Never bloody satisfied.

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  4. dpn Says:

    And not likley to be any new HD ch on freesat worth getting excited about, ever, so long as the viewing public remain largely apathetic about HD ch and broadcasters view HD as premium content to be sold of to sky/virgin and BT.

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  5. Dave W Says:

    RichardC said:
    11 HD channels yes but 7 are BBC of which 4 are part time. Only four are non BBC two of which are non UK news. Not a great record how many years on by our commercial broadcasters is it. In fact it’s pretty pathetic some would say a disgrace. Thanks dark lord for nothing.

    What a negative outlook you have.

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  6. Neil Says:

    Great stuff, glad we’ve finally got this, along with STV HD for Scottish viewers too. There will be more HD channels on the cards, watch this space.

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  7. SA Says:

    nice one .

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  8. Colin Says:

    This is absolutely brilliant. The trick is to explain it to my wife. Having done this and seen her look at me with suspicion, I have watched her play with HD channels and she is now delighted. If you want to sell HD to the Great British Public, involve the ladies.
    THEN the pressure will be on the companies to provide more HD…

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  9. Tom Says:

    Neil said:
    Great stuff, glad we’ve finally got this, along with STV HD for Scottish viewers too. There will be more HD channels on the cards, watch this space.

    Just spotted stv-hd brilliant!
    Been waiting for this since switching to freesat in January.

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  10. Andrew Morris Says:

    Spotted this feature yesterday.
    Great to have.
    Saves a lot of messing about.

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  11. Alvin Pritchard. Says:

    Good, another small but positive step forward for the Freesat platform.
    Just load her up with as many HD channels you can muster and give Mr. Rupert “money no object” Murdoch a run for his money. Lol.

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  12. Derek Says:

    I would like to see channel 5 in hd

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  13. Keith (original) Says:

    Slightly off-topic, perhaps…

    I was wondering what the relative viewing figures for BBC NI, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales (SD+HD) were in comparison to the World Snooker Championships? Whilst I’m sure these HD variants are welcomed in their respective parts of the UK (and all additional HD channels are to be welcomed on Freesat) – speaking purely personally, I finding the loss of the HD Red Button channel particulaly annoying during the snooker coverage when much peak-hours coverage is shunted off to SD RB-only when most of the time the non-English nations schedules appear identical to BBC1 England. Surely, until they could provide the same service to all English regions, it would have been better if they could have made the other nations channels temporary opt-outs and used the remaining capacity for UK-wide RB sevices? Much in the way CBBC and CBeebies share allocation with BBC Three and Four. Just a thought.

    I anticipate having the same gripe during Wimbledon.

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  14. clive Says:

    RichardC said:
    Freetime still needs extra button presses to see it. Should be able to default to the HD list from box on. Still every little helps as they say.

    What ? press another button, just too much effort.

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  15. pin Says:

    Also appeared on my ageing Fox-sat box!

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  16. Big Adam Says:

    Dave W said: What a negative outlook you have.

    “My capacity for happiness,” he added, “you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first”

    In my head, most of RichardC’s posts use the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android

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  17. pollensa1946 Says:

    clive said: What ? press another button, just too much effort.

    Well frankly anyone that thinks that the Humax R/C sequence…
    Guide/List/Up or Down/OK …to get a sub-genre is sensible, intuitive and all round OK has never used a decent sat receiver.

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  18. RichardC Says:

    This week the number of non BBC HD entertainment channels for my Freesat postcode has increased 100% from 1 to 2 after a 4 year wait with the arrival of STV HD. Great but no big deal. So which HD channels are we likely to get in the future Neil.?
    Clive pressing an extra button then scrolling a category list then pressing ok may not sound like much but the non freetime epg is easier in this respect as you may know.

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  19. RichardC Says:

    Bye the way who is marvin the paranoid android and is he available in ios and windows phone as well :)

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  20. TonyL Says:

    This is great as far as I am concerned! a far better way to organise HD viewing.

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  21. richardc Says:

    Off topic breaking news Viacom is buying ch5 for £450 million. What prospect of 5hd on freeway now?

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  22. John Hereford Says:

    I see that Viacom have bought Channel 5. I don’t know as to how that would affect any chance of Channel 5 HD coming to Freesat.

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  23. John Hereford Says:

    richardc beat me by one minute!!

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  24. Keith Cobby Says:

    It is useful to have a separate category but it is not difficult to remember the 11 channel numbers for HD. I don’t think RichardC is being negative because HD on Freesat is slow. What would satisfy me is to have the rest of the Channel 4 line up especially Film4 and Channel 5. The ITV channels seem less likely.

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  25. Mike Howell Says:

    Good news that HD channels now easier to locate. However,I still cannot get ITV HD on my new Humax Freetime box. I have read that a manual tuning is necessary but cannot find what I need to do. This is my main gripe with Humax;there seems to be no comprehensive instruction manual either in print or on line.b

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  26. AndyC Says:

    Keith (original) said:
    Slightly off-topic, perhaps…
    I was wondering what the relative viewing figures for BBC NI, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales (SD+HD) were in comparison to the World Snooker Championships?Whilst I’m sure these HD variants are welcomed in their respective parts of the UK (and all additional HD channels are to be welcomed on Freesat) – speaking purely personally, I finding the loss of the HD Red Button channel particulaly annoying during the snooker coverage when much peak-hours coverage is shunted off to SD RB-only when most of the time the non-English nations schedules appear identical to BBC1 England.Surely, until they could provide the same service to all English regions, it would have been better if they could have made the other nations channels temporary opt-outs and used the remaining capacity for UK-wide RB sevices?Much in the way CBBC and CBeebies share allocation with BBC Three and Four.Just a thought.
    I anticipate having the same gripe during Wimbledon.

    Still slightly off topic so I’ll make this brief.

    I have to agree with you there, Keith. In fact, I was so hacked off with it that despite having a perfectly usable Foxsat HDR (first generation Humax box) I went out and bought a Humax Freetime box just so that I could get the BBC Sport On Demand service. It has an HD option (you need to activate it when you first go into the stream) and it’s clearly a lower bit rate HD, but it’s better than Red Button SD. And you get to whichever table you want to view. Fast broadband required, of course, which for me (luckily) isn’t a problem.

    And before you all say what a waste of money, I bought the 1TB version so no longer have to worry about my box being 80-90% full all the time and I’m expecting the World Cup, Wimbledon and Commonwealth Games to have useful on demand stuff later in the year. Have to say my wife doesn’t like the Freetime interface, though. She thinks it’s way more complicated than the G1 interface.

    Right. Let’s get back on topic…

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  27. John B Says:

    Certainly easier to see what is on offer, which is much better than it used to be but,frankly, not that brilliant because there are just not enough channels.
    We go to Spain a lot and watch Spanish terrestrial TV. All the main channels, and there are a lot, are in HD and free to air including a very good sports channel. Most offer dual language soundtracks on films and many other progs in HD……..but of course, there being no TV licence to pay, all channels are full od ads. But then so they are here.

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  28. Neil Says:

    RichardC said:
    This week the number of non BBC HD entertainment channels for my Freesat postcode has increased 100% from 1 to 2 after a 4 year wait with the arrival of STV HD. Great but no big deal. So which HD channels are we likely to get in the future Neil.?
    Clive pressing an extra button then scrolling a category list then pressing ok may not sound like much but the non freetime epg is easier in this respect as you may know.

    There’s talk of new C4+1HD and 4Seven HD services (Ofcom licensed but yet unconfirmed for launch) which was part of C4′s deal to grow Freeview HD. It’s hoped that once these do launch in the future they’ll be available on all platforms. Maybe it’s not the channels we’re hoping for specifically but the more the merrier.

    The C5 sale will be interesting too, maybe, just maybe, we might finally see all terrestrial PSB’s FTA in HD!

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  29. Andrew Morris Says:

    RichardC said:
    This week the number of non BBC HD entertainment channels for my Freesat postcode has increased 100% from 1 to 2 after a 4 year wait with the arrival of STV HD. Great but no big deal. So which HD channels are we likely to get in the future Neil.?
    Clive pressing an extra button then scrolling a category list then pressing ok may not sound like much but the non freetime epg is easier in this respect as you may know.

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  30. Andrew Morris Says:

    Aye. STV HD – but no STV +1
    More second class stuff from north of the Border.

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  31. Michael Says:

    richardc said:
    Off topic breaking news Viacom is buying ch5 for £450 million. What prospect of 5hd on freeway now?

    John Hereford said:
    I see that Viacom have bought Channel 5. I don’t know as to how that would affect any chance of Channel 5 HD coming to Freesat.

    Probably zero chance considering apart from Viva and BET all of viacoms other channels are on the pay platform.

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  32. RichardC Says:

    Neil said: There’s talk of new C4+1HD and 4Seven HD services (Ofcom licensed but yet unconfirmed for launch) which was part of C4′s deal to grow Freeview HD. It’s hoped that once these do launch in the future they’ll be available on all platforms. Maybe it’s not the channels we’re hoping for specifically but the more the merrier.
    The C5 sale will be interesting too, maybe, just maybe, we might finally see all terrestrial PSB’s FTA in HD!

    Agree. What about Community HD which is on Freeview as a possible? Viacom could give us MTV ( the talk one) or Comedy Central even the SD versions would be better than nothing. Long term even a Sky HD channel once they are plugging 4K as the new standard.

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  33. Chris Says:

    Also BBC are going to close done BBC 3 shortly

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  34. Neil Says:

    Andrew Morris said:
    Aye.STV HD – but no STV +1
    More second class stuff from north of the Border.

    Still not sure why STV haven’t launched their timeshift on the DSAT platforms when its been transmitting off the EPG now for over 3yrs!

    Chris; it’s not a foregone conclusion that BBC Three is closing down, it may not be approved by the trust and personally think it’s a PR exercise in respect of licence fee settlement.

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  35. RichardC Says:

    This from A516digital.com regarding C5 HD -” a review by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is looking at giving HD versions of the main terrestrial networks the same “PSB” or public service broadcasting status as their standard definition counterparts.”
    This could presumably require Viacom to provide 5HD fta on all platforms.

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  36. AndyC Says:

    I wonder if there’s anything we can do to ask Viacom to remove Channel 5 from Freesat altogether?

    [That was a joke]

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  37. Keith (original) Says:

    AndyC said: Still slightly off topic so I’ll make this brief.

    I’ll try to continue the brevity… That’s a good point. I have the original Foxsat, so that isn’t an option, but the BBC Sport app is also available on the PS3 – although its HD is 720 and the lowish bitrate makes it appear only slightly better than SD. Sadly, the iOS version doesn’t support Airplay.

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  38. AndyC Says:

    Keith @ 37. The BBC Sport app on iOS does work with AirPlay now. I’ve been using it to stream the snooker to my AppleTV in the kitchen from my iPad. I don’t think it’s been working like that for very long, though, so I can understand why you think it’s not an option. Stating the obvious, perhaps, but you need to make sure that your devices are all running the latest updates (there was one for the AppleTV recently when iOS 7.1 was released).

    Sorry, that was off topic. So to make up for it, I was sceptical about the new HD genre, however since the BBC HD channels moved (especially One HD so far away from Two HD) I found it more annoying than anything else – would’ve been better left where they are until such time as (english) regional versions of BBC One HD become available on 101. The HD genre goes some way to removing the unwanted SD channels from the EPG so it gets a thumbs up from me.

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  39. Dave W Says:

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  40. Neil Says:

    Dave W said:
    Some interesting things in the pipeline for Freesat – http://blogs.strategyanalytics.com/DMS/post/2014/05/02/Freesat-Targets-DTT-Viewers-With-Discovery-and-Aggregation-Strategy.aspx

    Cheers for that link Dave, very interesting. The name David Mercer rings a bell, not sure where from but I have heard of him. Interesting developments for Freetime as a service too, also confirmation there will be at least one pay TV service launch on the platform – possibly Lovefilm (but unlikely to be NOW TV!).

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  41. RichardC Says:

    Neil said: Cheers for that link Dave, very interesting. The name David Mercer rings a bell, not sure where from but I have heard of him. Interesting developments for Freetime as a service too, also confirmation there will be at least one pay TV service launch on the platform – possibly Lovefilm (but unlikely to be NOW TV!).

    I hope it’s Netflix which is very good. Used to have Lovefilm and got disconnected during movies at peak times but with Netflix it’s been rock solid plus the UI is A1 .

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  42. Neil Says:

    RichardC said: I hope it’s Netflix which is very good. Used to have Lovefilm and got disconnected during movies at peak times but with Netflix it’s been rock solid plus the UI is A1 .

    Sorry, forgot about Netflix! Yep, would definitely be a better bet. It wouldn’t surprise me once freetime is rolled out on new devices that more on-demand services will launch, dare I even say, Now TV, especially if it takes off on DTT. It’s a clever move by the platform.

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  43. Al (Original) Says:

    RichardC said:
    11 HD channels yes but 7 are BBC of which 4 are part time. Only four are non BBC two of which are non UK news. Not a great record how many years on by our commercial broadcasters is it. In fact it’s pretty pathetic some would say a disgrace. Thanks dark lord for nothing.

    This is where a properly organised EPG, a high minimum broadcast standard requirement (in conjunction with Sky so as to not disadvantage Freesat (it’s also in Sky’s interest)) and incentives for going HD through the EPG position would help.

    dpn said:
    And not likley to be any new HD ch on freesat worth getting excited about, ever, so long as the viewing public remain largely apathetic about HD ch and broadcasters view HD aspremium content to be sold of to sky/virgin and BT.

    Big problem is people are lazy.

    Whilst ever the SD channels are at the top of the EPG in the prime slots and the HD channels are distributed all over, most people will opt for the easy option of turn the TV on and watch, instead of searching the epg or sorting by channel type to find HD alternatives. The human animal is lazy by nature…

    clive said: What ? press another button, just too much effort.

    Unfortunately it is for most.

    This is why the HD channels need to ALL be blocked together from 101 down, with slots below this reserved for 4K / 8K (maybe to be swapped with HD positions later), and SD channels blocked furthest down the epg.

    That way, HD channels are there when the TV is switched on (given most leave the TV on one of the major 5 channels when switching off), the broadcasters have a really good reason for going HD – eg lower channels could potentially climb tens of places by going HD under a HD block re-shuffle thus increasing their advertising revenues and thus providing an incentive to go HD (popularity order could still be retained under the HD block).

    I personally reckon that if all the major channels were to go HD and occupy the top slots as currently, HD viewing would increase by about 90%.

    That might fall with them not grouped together as currently, but grouped by broadcaster eg BBC 1,2,3,4, ITV1,CH4, FIVE – HD’s in that order, but it would be worth it to inject some logic into the epg.

    Blanks slots could be left to allow for future additions.

    So what’s needed is HD blocked 1st then 8K then 4K, with SD blocked lowest.

    To get back more on topic, personally I never use the channel search function and I’m sure most don’t either, although I welcome the HD catgeory for the very rare occasion when I might use it (not very likely).

    The only real way to push forward HD / 4K / 8K and make the epg easy to use for those formats is to block the newest formats at the top and in blocks relegating older formats down the epg.

    Freesat also needs to get together with Sky to push broadcast standards upwards eg native resolution only, certain encoders permitted only, minimum (high) bit rate standard for each encoder, etc etc. by setting high minimum broadcast standards across both platforms for all formats SD, HD etc. People will only see the quality when the quality is there and TBH the quality of some channels is disgusting!

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  44. Ben Thomas Says:

    I have to completely agree with Richard C and Keith Cobby

    I actually find it staggering how poor the HD setup is. There are plenty of HD channels currently being broadcast via satellites and Freesat have virtually none.

    At the very least you would have thought by now we would have the five principal channels (in one block as mentioned) and the addition of some others. Film4 and E4 would be a start.

    I’m sorry to jump in with my ha’penny bit here, but it does feel prehistoric.

    3D is already becoming current, and yet we are still messing about with HD, pathetic… It actually makes you want to go to Sky, even though I find it detestable. We are 2nd Class citizens, stuck out in Bangladesh.

    Somebody needs to give it an almighty kick up the backside…. I mean honestly…

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