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Dec 23 2008

It is believed that Alba Group, who currently manufacture all Freesat standard-definition digital boxes (Grundig, Goodmans and Bush) are struggling to meet the demands of their products. Supply has been massively strained over the last few weeks with many of the major retailers and independents now without stock.

In addition, it’s also suggested that Alba Group have increased their trade prices by more than £10 per unit to cover demand/manufacturing costs so expect to see retail prices rise soon to in the region of £60.

If you are looking to purchase a standard-definition Freesat Digital Box, now may be the time to buy, before either they run out everywhere, or the price increases.

Let’s hope it’s only a temporary issue as the supply has been very good for the past 8 months and the price is at an acceptable level for the products.

25 Responses to “Low Stock And Price Hikes For Freesat SD Receivers”

  1. Keith Jones Says:

    Let’s see what happens when the Sales start after Christmas.
    It will a brave retailer who tries to raise prices rather than reduce them!!

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  2. Tony Says:

    If the Alba Group raise their SD prices by around 20%, and Humax keep their HD prices steady, it looks like no contest. As Keith Jones says, it will be a brave retailer (or a fool) who raises prices in the current economic climate. Let’s tell them now _

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  3. Tony Says:

    If the Alba Group raise their SD prices by around 20%, and Humax keep their HD prices steady, it looks like no contest. As Keith Jones says, it will be a brave retailer (or a fool) who raises prices in the current economic climate. Let’s tell them now – WE AIN’T GONNA PAY!

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  4. Brad Says:

    Well…. if the manufacturer puts their prices up to the wholesaler’s, their prices will be adjusted accordingly. not many points are made on HD freesat boxes due to the demand at the moment, so you can guarentee if the prices go up it will effect the price you pay through retailers. Period

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  5. Kevin Says:

    Why is demand outstripping supply 8 months after freesat started. This suggests Freesat is an unqualified success and is bad news for Murdoch.

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  6. John_M Says:

    @ Kevin

    I think you are tyring to see ‘good news’ where there isn’t any :o)

    Fressat (and its partners) have ‘not had the best time of it’ with the launch and subsequent marketing if its products and services (in my opinion as a mere consumer LOL).

    At best I suggest this latest news regarding SD machines is just another sign that Freesat’s market research has failed to deliver accurate demand forecasting. Though alternatively, freesat could give 2 hoots for SD boxes when there are alternative HD boxes available for a few pounds more.

    Do we know if anyone is working on the IPlayer functionality? And now that the BBC is suggesting that it might make the IPlayer technology available to other broadcasters are we going to find the ethernet connection to be ‘very worthwhile’? I hope so :o) Though C4 and Five have there own platforms, so they might take some convincing, LOL

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7777679.stm

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  7. Steve P Says:

    After all this time, I would say it is a matter of under production todate on their behalf due to the economic climate and being scared of having stock that they cannot sell and they have underestimated the demand. Probably over produced on the HD machines, but buyers are being carefull and buying SD machines due to the initial attractive price.

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  8. Al (Original) Says:

    I was going to buy a 2nd box after Christmas but only if they came down in price. If the prices go up, then my money’s staying exactly where it is now, in the bank.

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  9. Stevie G Says:

    It looks like most consumer electronics will be going up in price in the new year, due mainly to the poor state of Sterling, especially against the Euro and USD.

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  10. Al (Original) Says:

    Then my guess is a lot of stores / manufacturers will be going to the wall.

    I’m not buying anything in the New Year sales that isn’t 50% off its current price and I have cash not credit.

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  11. Al (Original) Says:

    @ John M, does anyone really care that much about the iplayer?

    Streamed quality can’t even come close to broadcast quality because it doesn’t have the bandwidth.

    eg BBC HD is transmitted at 16mbs. 8 MB Broadband delivers a download rate of 400 kbs max or 1/40th of the broadcast rate and thats assuming you have the full 8mb which most people don’t.

    Even 100mb Broadband isn’t going to deliver 16mbs streaming. (40x8mb=240mb).

    So iplayers are almost certain to deliver vastly inferior picture quality in my opinion.

    Also, broadband frequently suffers drops out / momentary pauses, Are you really going to be happy with pauses and glitches in your tv?

    To me the move towards Internet TV is the biggest mistake ever and something I’ll never embrace. I’d much rather have broadcast reliability than internet frailty.

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  12. The Duke Of Hunslet Says:

    But I think the idea of the iPlayer is you download the content and watch it after it has downloaded – rather then watch it streaming. So you should be able to get a half decent bit rate.
    Certainly the idea of switching on my box, using it to surf BBC.co.uk, telling it what I want to watch this week and then then leaving it to do its thing and letting me know when its finished downloading sounds like a ‘killer app’ to me. Especially if I’ve missed something and want to ‘catch up’ with it. And if the BBC join forces with C4 and ITV as has been floated then iPlayer has got quite a future.

    Ordered my Freesat+ from Argos today. I have also complained to the BBC today. It appears the schedulers at BBC HD think that having spent squillions on the xmas special of Jonathan Creek we don’t want to watch it in HD only SD. They will be showing Last Of The Summer Wine in HD that day though…

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  13. luke Says:

    AI i dont get your maths i just tested my mums speed (the laptop im on) and im getting 3018kbps. belive it or not on a two meg line. so i dont get your 400kbps thats under 1/2 mbs . at home i get just under 6000kbps on my 8mb line or am i not seeing something.

    if the bbc could upload at 6000kbps than thats the speed at which i would recive it. the bbc upload at such bad bitrates to stop lag for people with slow conections and to keep the isp’s off there back.

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  14. Ian O Says:

    BBC iplayer is basically already here, BT Vision deliver a lot of the content and for free. Quality wise it looks very good to me, its certainly as good as any satellite / terrestrial SD picture and its is there when you want to watch it, i.e. you don’t have to wait for it to download to your box. I believe Tiscali have a similar box. There is some HD content but you have to pay for that and you have to download it in advance

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  15. Paul D Says:

    Ian, I have Tiscali TV and yes it has iplayer, indeed it was the first TV service to have it, but it is limited. Not all the programmes that you get on the web iplayer are on it. Tiscali claims that this is because of licensing and is entirely down to the BBC and what they will let tiscali show.

    It is a very good service though. If you turn on to a catch up programme half way through it actually gives you the option of joining the live stream or watching from the beginning.

    I cant recommend tiscali enough actually. Great on demand content and very cheap packages.

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  16. anonymo Says:

    This must be EmpireDirect’s fault, they’re selling the Grundig GFSAT200HD for only £49.99, they’ve probably bought up a lot of the stock. http://www.empiredirect.co.uk/content/products/details/index~modelcode~GOO-GFSAT200HD~dept~ctv~subdept~FREESATBOX~brand~goodmans.htm

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  17. John_M Says:

    Thanks for the support on the IPlayer :o)

    @Al (Original)

    I’ve watched a few programmes through the IPlayer and though I would say the streamed picture is not up to the standard of the broadcast picture, it is very watchable (and not vastly inferior, LOL).

    Maybe you could expand on what you mean by “…broadcast reliability than internet frailty”? Where I live I can’t get analogue TV, Freeview or cable. Also, I tend to get blocky satelllite reception (if I’m lucky) when it rains heavily; but I get the internet fine ;o)

    Merry Christmas.

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  18. Andrew1 Says:

    The ownership of the Alba and Bush brands is in the process of moving to Argos. Alba plc – to be renamed Harvard International plc – will make the Goodmans and, under licence, Grundig brands. I expect this could lead to cheaper prices sooner than later.
    http://miranda.hemscott.com/servlet/HsPublic?context=ir.access&ir_option=RNS_NEWS&item=71148280745611&ir_client_id=1687

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  19. Unimpressed Says:

    This freesat ripoff is getting boring. Restricted epg licensing, with the licence fee payers bbc backing it, limited goods, etc, etc. Why there isn’t a simply twin tuner that can be scarted into existing VCRs and TVs instead of watching people jump up and down happy to now be able to pay a big 300 quid record what they mostly should be able to get for barely fifty to seventy quid, I don’t know.

    Free to air my foot. Buying a quad lnb receiver is understandable, that’s new. An 160 Gb twin tuner PVR for freeview, a hundred quid in the supermarkets. An SD freesat twin tuner with two scart outlets? Not allowed. Might upset virgin and sky by taking their customers away, no doubt.

    Full scale ripoff. And now some moron is insisting the same for DAB, make everyone ensure they sell DAB radios in cars etc, even if the UK is again using abysmal already out of date systems, and chose a format different to everyone else in Europe so economy of scale on the receivers is much reduced.

    These aren’t technical reasons, someone has just decided it’s going to be that way, and take up isn’t simple. The BBC’s own sites give a great deal of emphasis towards virginmedia and sky as digital takeup routes.

    Ridiculous. If it was a choice, fair enough, but switch over will come, and freesat is supposed to be for those without much alternative. Yet it’s the hardest route unless one can afford to shell out serious money. A HD PVR need a HD TV. £100 for quad LNB install, £300 for HD PVR, probably more than £600 for HD TV. A grand just to watch the telly that was watchable anyway.

    Typically only we British would fall for such

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  20. Al (Original) Says:

    @ Luke, the speed of your broadband is entirely different to the speed to of your actual throughput. The throughput is only a fraction of you line speed.

    Try downloading a large file using a right click then Save As and look at the download rate in the dialogue box. You’ll find that on a 3mb line you”ll get around 200kbs down when the rate settles.

    Here’s a screenshot of me downloading a file for you. My line is currently showing 5mb ADSL. Note the actual download rate: 383kbs.

    http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/5443/speedme9.jpg

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  21. Paul D Says:

    Tallking of the empire direct offer…..I bought the bush box in argos 3 weeks ago for 120 quid. When I saw the empire direct offer today I went straight in bought the goodmans box for 49.99 and took my bush back to argos and reported it as faulty (technically it is because the sound goes if you change channels too quickly ;-)) Argos changed it without a quibble, so effectively I have got a 70 quid refund and a better box (better because the goodmans remote works from all angles and the bush one was annoying me).

    Im pleased as punch. Best crimbo present I could have wished for.

    My sincere thanks to the poster at digital spy who made me aware of this offer this afternoon.

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  22. darnall 42 Says:

    Price Increases in the time of falling sales and a recession?,sounds a little dubious to me,hope they keep the prices down to the end of feb when i leave the murdoch lair and go the freesat route :) Anyway its great to see freesat doing well

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  23. Michael Says:

    I can’t believe people blogging on Christmas Day! I think the BBC HD service was brilliant. Wallace and Gromit had to be the stars.

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  24. Paul D Says:

    Is blogging on crimbo day any different to blogging on boxing day micheal?

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  25. Tony Says:

    Michael – what is there about an animated cartoon that needs HD?

    And Al (Original)’s typing on Christmas Day doesn’t make it clear if he understands the differrence between bits and bytes. Broadband line speeds are quoted in bits (Mb) whereas download rates are quoted in bytes (MB). A byte is 8 bits and. together with start and stop bits, there is a factor of about 10 between the line speed and the download speed. Not something you want to get too involved in while enjoying the finest excesses of Christmas (or Saturnalia).

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