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May 05 2009

Following on from our announcement back in March that Metronic were developing a PVR for launch around mid-2009, we have now been informed that delays will force the launch date to be pushed back to the end of the year at the earliest.

Metronic, who had already done the initial ground work for the development of the PVR are disappointed that approval from Freesat has not happened, due to reasons undisclosed, but hope to revisit approval in around 4 months time.

In the meantime Humax remain the only manufacturer with a PVR on the market, with Panasonic expected to launch their Blu-Ray/DVD versions in June. No further news has come from Alba Group on their rumoured Freesat recorder; nor TechniSat who are expecting to launch a single tuner HD receiver towards the end of this month after their final DTG testing is completed.

15 Responses to “Metronic PVR Delayed”

  1. Tony Says:

    This is sad. In spite of the success which Freeat has enjoyed, there has been no widening of the range of retailers and no significant increase in the number of firms building boxes to receive Freesat. It’s almost as though Freesat have a death wish!

    My local Tesco store has offered Freeview boxes for a long time now. They have a big display of LCD TVs and they’ve recently started running a split-screen display comparing SD and HD services. There are, of course, no Freesat boxes on offer. Instead, there is a big display promoting $ky (did anyone see Watchdog, about t$ky call centre response times?). This seems typical and leads to the situation reported on the DTG website :-

    “Sky+HD gained 243,000 new customers in the quarter ending 31 March, putting the service in over 1 million UK homes. Sky said that HD was a key driver of new customers, with around 25% of HD additions in the quarter being new to Sky. Sky also announced Sky+ surpassed 5 million households with 406,000 net additions in the quarter. Sky as a whole received a net customer growth of 80,000, up 43% from the prior year, to reach 9.318 million households”

    Why isn’t Freesat pushing as hard as $ky? And if manufacturers like Metronic find it so difficult to get Freesat type approval, the situation is bound to get worse.

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  2. Andrewe Morris Says:

    I think that Freesat is either working to a hidden agenda which is holding them back – but goodness knows why – or they are not employing enough dynamics within their structure.

    The potential here is absolutely mind blowing but no one within Freesat seems to care.

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  3. derek500 Says:

    @ Tony.

    It’s far more attractive for a consumer to shell out £49 and get up to 33 HD channels, than to hand over up to £400 for one and a bit!!

    It’s the psychology of sales.

    Freesat is a very small operation run on a non profit basis by a small team. It will never be able to compete with the might of Sky, which of course, is something it wasn’t designed to do.

    Every cloud has a silver lining though. The more licence payers having HD capability will mean the more money the BBC will invest in their HD service.

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  4. Oyodi Says:

    I think its because of a lack of HD content from other channels that perhaps they believe there is no point now to promote Freesat when Freeview have more watchable channels (Virgin 1 will soon expand their service, Dave, Five, Fiver, Sky3, History, etc, etc) and also Freeview will transmit HD content from the main 5 channels from 2012 (In time for the Olympics).
    Unless Freesat can expand now, their soon wont be any point from 2012!!!!.

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  5. derek500 Says:

    @ Oyodi

    Freesat’s main reason for existence is to give coverage to areas where Freeview is unavailable or limited after DSO, so after 2012 it will come into its own.

    .

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  6. Richard Crichton Says:

    Freeview HD will only be in 720p and carry BBC HD, ITV HD, CH4 HD with no room for further expansion. Freesat HD is 1080I and can expand its HD offering ad infinitum.
    Freesat has put on 200000 in the last quarter with no advertising or bribes like HD boxes for £29.99. Also how many people left Sky in the quarter.

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  7. derek500 Says:

    @ Richard Crichton

    Every quarter people leave Sky, the important thing for them is that more people join than leave.

    Freesat haven’t put on 200,000 in the last quarter!! They had sold 233,000 units by the end of last year. Emma Scott says they have now reached 400,000 in its first year, which makes 167,000 in four months.

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  8. admin Says:

    Regardless of what Sky may or may not be up to (they have an impressive 9% churn), Freesat has managed 400,000 sales in a year, of which approx. 80% are HD receivers, so 320,000, which is on a par with the number of HD units Sky sell per year.

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  9. HDSceptic Says:

    #8 admin – have you ever tried to buy an SD box? If so, you’ll understand why 80% of the sales achieved were HD. It’s not only the shortage of SD boxes but also the sales patter used by certain retailers who ought to know better.

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  10. derek500 Says:

    @ admin

    There were 465,000 HD subscribers as of March 31, 2008. A year later there were 1,022,000, an increase of 557,000 about 75% more than the number Freesat HD boxes sold in a year.

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  11. admin Says:

    @HDSceptic – I’m aware of the shortages from a distributor, retailer, and site owner point of view, they are hard to obtain which has been explained in previous posts…Alba Group have the entire market and will only build to order. It is a problem that Freesat need to address, but maybe they are happy with this approach to help push HD boxes. Only they will have an answer to this.

    @derek500 – Wasn’t aware of such an extensive increase, it is impressive, but then it is a subscription service so has more potential audience with no choice but Sky if they want that level of HD content.

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  12. HDSceptic Says:

    #6 – Richard Crichton says “Freeview HD will only be in 720p . . . “.It seems as though 720p is better suited to fast movement, such as sports coverage. Posts in this forum only ever seem to refer to football and darts, with interest growing in the forthcoming Olympics. This is all ideal 720p material.

    1080i is recommended for more static material like landscapes and nature shows, where it is capable of offering more detail. Every display has its own “native” resolution and material is upscaled or downscaled to suit the screen. The results can vary according to how (and where) it is done. If you go to a lot of expense to get a 1080i receiver/recorder, and find some 1080i transmissions, you will not get the full benefit if your TV is only capable of 720p. In any case, I would bet that 99% of the population would not be able to tell whether they were watching 720p or 1080i; 70% would not discriminate between HD and SD.

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  13. Davei Says:

    HDSceptic, it’s not that difficult to see the benefits of 1080i over 720p (on a full HD display) – the difference is quite obvious. Arte HD (the French/German arts channel) only transmits in 720p, and the picture is noticeably softer than every other HD channel I’ve seen (all of which have been 1080i). And yes, I know a lot of the stuff on Arte is upscaled – I’m only referring here to their genuine HD programming.

    The anticipated Freeview 720p service is, of course, a compromise aimed at conserving bandwidth. Freesat already does far better, albeit with fewer channels. Hopefully, the economy and (freed-up) Astra 2D bandwidth permitting, Freesat will be able to offer more HD channels by 2012 too.

    Of course, what we really need is 1080/50p…

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  14. HDSceptic Says:

    Hi Dave. No – we do not NEED 1080/50p. Some of us might fancy it, but that’s completely different matter. As I understand it, 50p only benefits those watching HD movies and who want to eliminate every last trace of the flicker which characterises the cinema experience. Are you sure your own equipment can handle 1080/50p?.

    As I said before, 720p seems to handle fast movement best, and so is better suited to sport. The only content which has been referred to by the HD addicts on this forum is sport.

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  15. Alan M Says:

    Just watched the Metronic HDMI with 2 year warranty on Ideal World £119.99

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