Join Freesat

Jul 13 2010

Five HD today launched on both the Sky and Virgin Media platforms; unfortunately though Freesat isn’t expected to gain this channel any time soon.

Many, including Five themselves will tell you that the reason for the lack of Five HD (as well as Fiver and Five US) is because of space available on the narrow Astra2D beam required to broadcast in the clear as a UK broadcaster.

In reality, the reason is that Sky pay Five a nice sum of money to remain encrypted, ensuring they are the only satellite based platform with these channels. Until a time when Freesat has a sufficient number of viewers (so advertising revenue accounts for more), or Ofcom some how force Five into broadening their access, it looks like we’ll be without.

If anything changes on this, or we get an official response from our questions to Five, we’ll let you know.

137 Responses to “No Five HD For Freesat”

  1. andrew Says:

    another reason to go back to sky.


  2. Peter Shillito Says:

    Anyone else considering getting “Freesat from Sky”?


  3. Phil Owens Says:

    Those who won’t be seeing Emma Bunton presenting Don’t Stop Believing in HD anytime soon are Freeview HD and Freesat customers, with Virgin and Sky HD being the only services to broadcast the high def channel for the foreseeable future. Five writes on its FAQ page: “We are exploring options to launch Five HD on Freeview and Freesat in the future, but we do not have a timescale for when this might happen at this time.”


  4. James Says:

    Is this the same reason we don’t get 4HD?

    If so, would it be an idea to start a petition either directed at the broadcasters or perphaps towards Ofcom to get our voices heard?


  5. Phil Owens Says:

    @ 1.. Peter Shillito .
    If they drop the Sky + charge, maybe, but that’s a very big maybe…


  6. Mark S Says:

    Watching 4 and Five hd on a £50 second hand sky hd box with viewing card :) Humax has been unplugged.


  7. Phil Owens Says:

    @ 3 James….
    And learn a pig to fly….


  8. Peter Shillito Says:

    @Phil Owens – good point. I forgot they have a monthly charge to record stuff.


  9. peterhb Says:

    Yes very odd! perhaps Freesat should be doing more to attract these additional HD channels. Looks like C4HD is available on Freeview while Five apparently turned the option down after being offered a slot for their HD channel.
    I know this has no bearing on Freesat but comparisons are inevitable


  10. zach_manchester Says:

    I refuse to hand over money to Murdoch. And to be quite honest, 5 HD will just be as dreadful as 5 SD. I do wish that C4HD would come aboard.


  11. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    So sky hog 2d capacity & use it for encrypted channels (channels that can be broadcast from any satellite at 28.2e as they are encrypted) to prevent channel4hd / five hd / five usa / fiver becoming available on freesat, then offers them large amounts of money to tie them into contracts to keep them off of freesat should capacity become available, have i missed anything ?

    I just wondering if now that bt & virgin have gained access to sky sports 1 & 2 someone is suddenly going to publish a hack for their encryption systems to try & undermine / bankrupt their tv services just like they did with itv digital !

    Now that the government has been changed (to one supported by news international) & theres talk of ofcom being kneecapped I have to wonder if anyone is able to stand up for the public who are not interested in paying a subscription for tv.

    Mark Aberfan Aerials


  12. admin Says:

    @ Mark

    Not quite accurate; it is perceived by many that the reason they won’t broadcast in the clear is because of space on 2D, when in reality there has been sufficient space with a bit of juggling around for quite some time now, even taking those encrypted Sky channels into account. It all comes down to money, and Sky can offer enough to encourage to FTV at the very least.

    I suspect things will only change when potential audience figures from Freesat increase to a point where advertising revenue will overtake encryption revenue gained from Sky…or that ‘someone’ orders them to be available FTA.


  13. Paul S Watts Says:


    There is NEVER a good reason to go back to the Dirty Digger.

    Frankly, the non appearance of the Five stable on Freesat means nothing to us here. There is almost never anything on the cluster that is worth holding your breath for.

    So, no worries!



  14. Wouter Says:

    @admin: chicken and egg. If no more HD channels -> I won’t be recommending people to use Freesat, and more might go for other alternatives. No more people -> no need to provide extra HD content on Freesat, and Freesat will die a slow death.

    I am very disappointed with Freesat and the lack of new channels joining. Now we see migration to HD, and Freesat is even unable to get the basic 5 on HD (i.e. no CH4/Five in HD). This means Freesat is turning out to be very mediocre.

    I don’t want to pay a monthly fee as I’m satisfied with what I get from my tv license money, i.e. the basic channels on Freesat, IF at least I do get the HD version once the broadcasters upgrade to HD.

    If BBC/ITV/CH4/5 are part of the basic channels, shouldn’t the same rules apply for their HD counter parts, and therefore all platforms technically able to provide these channels should also make the HD variation available? Is this not why I pay TV License for?
    (sorry, I’m just getting more and more disappointed now that 2 HD channels are left out)



  15. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    So what happens when Sky buy Five, as they want to? In that case maybe even the sole Five will be removed from Freesat?


  16. admin Says:

    @ Wouter

    There is little Freesat can do other than encourage them to join, but if they are receiving a better offer elsewhere, which is likely given Sky’s encryption offering, their hands are tied. Bare in mind Sky is a business with plenty of money to sway the decision; Freesat is a non-profit organisation.

    You pay your TV license for BBC, the others are commercial and strictly speaking can do anything they want (within reason).


  17. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Hi admin,

    Thanks for the update on the capacity situation, so its purely a paid for spoiling tactic just like buying up itv shares to stop virgin buying them, It would be tragic if the outcom was similar with massive losses & fingers burned !
    I hope ofcom survives to keep things in order.

    Mark Aberfan Aerials


  18. Llew Says:

    would only go back to sky if they reduced their rip-off charges


  19. Rob H Says:

    err ok, why is Five HD soooo essential? I can live with Five in SD thanks.


  20. KevIn Says:

    Why the big moan about HD.
    Have a Panasonic HD box and LG plasma all channels super quality and much better than any Sky + box that I have had.
    Freesat is what it is free.
    Don’t keep moaning is HD that important I don’t think so.
    Do your sums I had sky full package and when freesat came along with great HD Boxes, in my opinion better than Sky I cancelled Sky.
    Sky costs you thousands of pounds over several years I know.
    I am more than happy with freesat and it gets better all the time.
    If your not happy pay Sky.


  21. KevIn Says:

    Forgot to say why is 5HD so essential, thanks Rob H


  22. Gordon S Valentine Says:

    Why everyone goes on and on about HD I have no idea. I love Freesat and all the extra channels it gives me. I am more than happy knowing that BBC1 is going HD. Since the BBC slows the best HD stuff. The World Cup, Top Gear, Waterloo Road and so many other great things.


  23. chrislayeruk Says:

    I am trying to remember the last time I watched 5 …………………. nope, cant remember, so no loss there then. There is more in life than TV viewing anyway especialy in the summer…..Perhaps 5 could be a winter sport.


  24. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    At the moment Five are currently losing money and the station is up for sale. As such it is unlikely it would want to commit to any new expenditure. In fact they have just announced dropping out of the Canvas project.

    I would imagine no major decisions will be made until the new owner is in place. If Sky buy Five there is little chance that Five HD will join the Freesat platform and Canvas would not be reconsidered. It might be a different scenario if ITV take over.


  25. Richard Crichton Says:

    Bit of a non article this one. Must be the summer silly season.


  26. admin Says:

    @Richard Crichton

    It isn’t great to post news about a channel not coming to the platform this site is based on…however, we’ve received the same question about Five HD maybe 100 times today already following the launch, so it was easier to catch most of those asking in a single post.


  27. Oyodi Says:

    I have a Freesat Humax PVR for recording, but its a good job I still have my freesat from Sky as well, as even thou I cannot record with my Sky HD box, I can still get FreeSat from Sky which includes all the free HD channels like BBC HD, ITV HD, Ch4HD and now Ch5HD, for no monthy fee !!!


  28. Oyodi Says:

    @20 Kevin
    I dont know what size your TV is, but on my Pioneer 50″ the differance between SD and HD is quite remarkable to the point that I only now watch HD.


  29. steven valentine Says:

    ch 5 hd so what . most is shot in HD These days and even thou on freesat its not a bad picture in sd . More will come to freesat in time
    Sky don’t have BBC iplayer or itv player coming I think that all the winging old boys should keep an eye on who’s winning out there
    on new takers its hard to get hold of most freesat boxes at the moment as many people getting away from sky.

    My question is to the people that what free tv get freesat and if you want to pay
    Extra money each month off you go to sky .


  30. steven valentine Says:

    Before people ask 42 inch panasonic pz85 with humax hdr and technisat boxes both upscale fantastic for my 2020 vision


  31. Neil Says:

    To add my tuppence to this thread:

    Five HD may have launched but it really isn’t a great loss not having the service at present. Only Neighbours and Home and Away are apparently in HD, together with a small handful of films and whilst the number will grow, I for one really never watch hardly anything on Five anyway. It seems I’m not alone either as must be the sole reason the channel is loosing money hand over fist and why RTL want rid of it.

    From what I hear the SD upscaling isn’t as good as that of ITV’s and as Freesat’s SD Five is fairly high bitrate anyway, people are reporting seeing little difference between upscaled HD and SD on their non-HD programme content (i.e. most of what they currently broadcast). Richard Desmond is the front-runner in the Five bidding process, he’s the tycoon who owns The Express, Star and Ok mag and has potentially big plans to turn the channel in to some sort of showbiz outlet.

    People say Freesat may not have a massive viewer base but in HD terms you can’t compare 1m Freesat units to 10m Sky subscribers. Compare say, 900,000 HD freesat unit sales with 2.1m Sky HD subscribers and the differences are less. You could therefore argue any HD channel launching on Sky only could increase their viewing base by just under 30% going FTA on Freesat, obviously the same isn’t true in terms of SD and that 10m figure still applies. It has been rumoured too potential buyers of Five may have actually wanted it to be FTA to capture a wider audience.

    SES have recently launched Astra 2B to their 23.5E slot, this has released Astra 1G which this weekend arrived at 31.5E to thus release Astra 2C which will make a return back to 28.2E. I’m hoping that SES, the satellite operator, intervenes and can migrate Sky’s 4 remaining TP’s from 2D to 2C as this will free up narrowbeam capacity as they must be acutely aware there is a need for some by existing broadcasters.

    So we’ve not got Five HD, I’m sure 4HD will arrive before not too long and with BBC1HD on it’s way it means by the autumn that the most viewed PSB channels will have HD Freesat carriage. Freesat sales are very healthy and ultimately it will be the broadcasters who loose out not being on board – trust me!


  32. mediaman Says:

    Rumours circulating SKY are thinking of dropping their Freesat service after DSO or possibly charging a small monthly fee.


  33. KevIn Says:

    oyodi my LG plasma is 50 inch must be your HH box that let’s you down.


  34. KevIn Says:

    Or even HD box


  35. aybeeseaa Says:

    a) The “Five” family are minority channels

    b) Freesat’s” promised HD content is dire when seen in the context of this site’s own FAQ

    c) Even FreeView HD has outstripped FreeSat regarding HD choice

    I’m having to wait for 2012.



  36. Alan Says:

    There is’nt much on Five, hardly ever watch it. No great loss.


  37. Jon Says:

    I would much rather see “new” channels before HD versions of ones I already have. Five HD would be nice, but not as nice as Fiver or Five US.


  38. Andy H Says:

    Be wary of Skys “Freesat” beacuse it isn’t, my mother in law changed to freesat a while ago but Sky very recently wanted £20 or £30 (cant remember) for a new card which doesn’t sound like free to me. Every hour or so the box would flash up on screen “you need a new card” which was very annoying. She put that money towards the cheapest freesat receiver in the end….


  39. Liamo Says:

    For the Record i would like to make the following points:

    1.For months i for one have known FIVE-HD would not be coming to freesat or Freeview – This is not news to me – And yet there are already a large quantity of users seemingly upset by this revelation:

    2.Five-HD is in the same bracket as E4-HD and is only available by subscription – As fare as i am aware neither station is available on freesat from sky:

    3.Anyone who is considering going over to freesat from sky, obviously that is your choice, and in all honesty i see the logic – However i have also seen it in operation and im not that impressed – most of the “extra” channels are in fact the channels which i can manually add to freesat – also the EPG is full of encrypted stations – The obvious reason for freesat from sky is to keep people in a situation where they may end up subscribing for an actual sky package: this brings me to a question – Can anyone confirm whether 5HD is available on FREESAT From Sky – Because as far as i can tell – it aint!

    4.Anyone considering actually paying for Skys basic HD package – Fine, your welcome to do so obviously: As for me…. well

    Freesat equals FREE – as i put it to a converted friend of mine – Zero a month and locked into a Zero month contract!

    That does me!

    PS: PLEASE REMEMBER FOLKS – C4HD will be coming to Freesat, as too will Fiver and FIVE-USA – This is fact (Unless Five actually close or are sold to sky of course – But i doubt it)

    Also of Sky keep buying TV Providers and stations they may find themselves before the dreaded MONOPOLY COMMISION! We can only hope


  40. Liamo Says:

    Additional: I have finally gotton through to My FSFS using friend, and he has confirmed it is present on his EPG – I cant understand this as it is obviously not on Freeview!


  41. Neil Says:

    Liamo – well put!

    Sky’s strategy is purely about making money, I’ve heard stories too about expired subscription cards which supposedly become FTV and after three or so Months keep flashing up annoying on screen messages which only disappear if you purchase another ‘Freesat From Sky’ card.

    Freesat should introduce a cheap SD box marketed at exactly £25, the price of the viewing card!! As far as I’m aware, Five HD is FTV and not part of any subscription package.


  42. Al Catraz Says:

    I can’t remember the last time we watched five (or any subset thereof) so no great loss.
    I agree with 13 – there is never going to be a good reason to want $ky.
    As for the HD channels, they’re nice to watch occasionally but not an essential part of viewing enjoyment.


  43. Anders Says:

    I have a Freesat From Sky card (FTV card)… and in this moment i’m watching Five HD in DVBViewer so it is FTV…


  44. saltydawg Says:

    Changing the subject completley,
    Anyone know why everytime I try and tape anything on ITV1 HD it doesnt tape?


  45. Iain.d Says:

    I think it all comes down to programme content. If you crave 5HD and want to pay for it then the platform is available. If, like me, you have no interest in the channel then it’s no loss.


  46. Oyodi Says:

    @ 39 Liamo
    I have a freesat from sky card and I also can view CH5HD & CH4HD but cannot access E4HD


  47. Dan Says:

    Once again a segment of people start the ‘not enough HD moan’

    Freesat was never started as a platform for a multitude of free HD channels, but asa way of people revieving free to air channels if they had problems recieving Freeview. The fact that we do get some HD channels is a bonus and remember that after you’ve purchased your equipment, all the channels you recieve you do so free of charge.

    I could subscribe to Sky’s HD package and get loads of HD channels, but I don’t wish to spend that kind of money every month and I’m very happy with the HD content I get for free.


  48. Stephen Says:

    Reference SKY….. I got fed up of watching programs that were repeated every 6 hours cyclically. To make matters worse I got fed up of paying to watch adverts. Hey! I can watch them for free on freesat and the repeats as well.
    There are many channels on sky however in this big bad world there is a finite amount of quality programming.
    Personally the BBC and ITV channels provide enough quality programs to keep me going.
    The BBC sets the standards that the whole world would love to get close to. All for under £150 per year. And how much to you may SKY ?????
    You would need to have the IQ of a squid to enjoy all of Rupert’s offerings.


  49. Soul4real Says:

    Admin! talk to freesat please we are being left well behind with the likes of BT Vision and Talk Talk (Tiscali)
    why can’t they get Five, Film 4 and the other broadcaster to come on board with a red button service like ITV did early last year, i hated it but it was something.
    The BET awards 2009 was on the epg for four days last year it was a temporary HD channel and freesat said they hope to do more of this type of venture in the future, well the 2010 awards was a week ago and SD and have never done this again with any other channel since, come on freesat your not there anymore because freeview can’t transmit all over the u.k you are now an alternative wether you like it or not, you have become more successful than you intended and now unable to deal with that success, with the BBC’s power you must be able to pull some strings


  50. Liamo Says:

    BT Vision, Talk Talk, Virgin, Sky Digital, Top up TV….
    They all have one thing in common. THEY ARE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES:

    ie… $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Freeview and FREESAT do what they say on the Tin! FREE!!!

    We will be getting C4HD at some point in the near future. Until then Freesat still kicks Freeview’s Ass in terms of channel numbers and coverage – and that’s if you don’t count the multitude of FTA stations available for manual tuning:

    FREESAT from Sky is not technically free as you have to buy the Card – For me the big downside of FSFS is the EPG which includes every sky station available – And scrolling through hundreds of $ub$cription Encrypted stations to get to the FTA one’s is not my idea of a good time…….

    If you want hundreds of extra premium stations please do the obvious thing… and pay for them$$$$$


  51. aybeeseaa Says:

    I believe FreeView HD is as “free” as Freesat. I SUPPORT ALL “free” platforms. It’s NOT a Sky discussion.

    Though I enjoy Freesat for HD (because I can’t receive Freeview HD yet) is there a commercial or even technical differentiator (OK maybe it gives 5% more coverage) to Freesat’s existence?

    Unfortunately tough times ahead for this platform.

    At least update the FAQ, @admin!



  52. Iain.d Says:

    To echo Dan #47 and Stephen #48 – if you want more then put your hand in your pocket. If you value content and substance over quantity then Freesat provides that.


  53. admin Says:


    Updated, let me know if there was a particular answer in there you feel is inaccurate that has been missed.


  54. aybeeseaa Says:

    BTW here’s the FAQ which especially needs updating

    “What about HD?
    Watching TV in high definition (HD) is an incredible experience. With five times as much picture detail as standard TV, HD makes a massive difference to your enjoyment of TV.
    The BBC currently has one HD channel (BBC HD), where you can watch live sport, national events, stunning natural history, landmark drama, world-class documentaries and more. ITV also have a channel (ITV1 HD) showcasing a number of premium films, prime-time drama’s and sporting events such as Champions League Football. Visit our ITV HD Programme Schedule for latest programmes available. BBC HD’s schedule is available from their website. As the HD revolution progresses, more HD channels and services will be added to freesat over time.
    11 million households already have HD-ready TV sets but until now haven’t been able to access HD programmes for free. Freesat will give you high definition programmes, guaranteed free from subscription.
    If you have an HD-ready television, or are thinking of buying one, Freesat is for you!”



  55. aybeeseaa Says:

    We crossed over.

    Whilst I understand the rationale behind this site and I support its philosophy, it would be fairer to point out FREE the free alternative for HDTV viewing. I will never again pay a commercial broadcasting organisation a subscription.

    I just would like to see equanimity.

    On the other hand, I certainly don’t want more shopping channels than my brain or credit card can handle. Don’t know which one takes priority.



  56. Jason Says:

    Why is the revenue model for Five HD different from Five SD? I don’t understand how people pay for a channel that also has adverts to fund it. Why is Five SD available to view on the free platforms, given that Sky could also pay them not to broadcast that either?

    As with a lot of HD topics, it seems like it’s an excuse to change the way the game is played – like for example added DRM to the stream.

    While I’m here – does anyone know why F1 at Silverstone wasn’t broadcast in HD when it was apparently being filmed in HD to show in cinemas? I remember reading that the reason it wasn’t HD on BBC was that it wasn’t being filmed in HD. Being paranoid I think we are being fobbed off again


  57. dave smith Says:

    so its all about money and sky?
    so how come not long back both ch4 hd and 5hd were refused slots on the freeview hd network! this was on ofcom decission as they didnt deem them to be of the standard required.i dont like sky,,too expensive, but folks if you have the chance of a good deal on virgin media take it.sorry freesat but you dont measure up.


  58. dave smith Says:

    oh look just when its seemed it couldnt get any worse….digital spy has announced film4 hd launches on july 20. well on sky and virgin anyway.


  59. roly384 Says:


    Further to your point about Freesat viewing numbers ultimately swaying broadcasters to join the platform, any idea when we can expect an update on sales figures?


  60. Dan Says:

    @Jason #56 The reason F1 is not broadcast in Hd can be laid firmly at Bernie Ecclestone’s feet. Local camera crews are used for each venue and may or may not be using HD cameras, however all footage is then passed on to F1 Ltd who own the broadcasting rights and have done bugger all about updating their end.


  61. admin Says:


    Will ask Freesat and post if I get the figures.


  62. WERT Says:

    @58 where are you seeing that its launching on sky? from what i’ve heard they are keeping of sky for a few months in order to help renegotiated 4HD conract, potentially even includes launching Film4 HD on freesat.


  63. DanOS Says:

    Have to say I only watch the gadgetshow on five (mondays), but that would be brilliant in HD, as when they review HD cameras and HD camcorders you would actually be able to see the full quaility for yourself instead of a SD image of HD Material.
    Which makes it hard to tell in the camcorder etc is any good.


  64. DanOS Says:

    @56 Jason

    I found out while listen to infomation in the practice session.
    That Forumla 1 is being recorded in HD, the whole 2010 season.

    But FOM wants to get a whole year of HD usage under there belt’s, before bringin it to the public.

    I also heard that they where testing 3D cameras at the European Race.
    (which Piss#s me off since they dont even have F1 HD out the door yet!)
    But sky is the only platform with 3D, and Bernie is always looking to make $MONEY$ so i wouldnt be surprised if he sales the HD & 3D right to SKY last minutes a Fu#ks over BBC.

    But on a brighter note; I heard a rumour that the FOM HD footage that they are shooting now could end up in an end of year “Forumla 1 – 2010 Race Review Bluray”.


  65. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:


    If channel4 hd or five hd were on freesat wouldn’t they gain higher viewing figures on freesat compared to pay platforms as there are far less hd & sd channels to compete with ?
    I thought that all bbc channels itv1 channel4 five s4c are public service channels & as such should be available to all on all platforms, so why should their hd versions be any different.? are they not psb’s ?

    While on the subject of hd channels, is there any chance that freesat hd viewers will get a option to have bbc1 hd on 101 & itv1 hd on 103 with the local sd versions on 108 & 119 (a red button link to the local sd versions could be useful ) it seems silly not to have the hd versions in pole position on hd boxes

    Mark Aberfan Aerials


  66. DanOS Says:

    @56 Jason
    Heres the link to the statement I read


  67. Bobp Says:

    Just migrated from SKY to FREESAT (along with FREEVIEW) – to date pretty satisfied but I do miss the the entertainment pack that is available on the subscription channel)

    Admin – excuse my ignorance (fresh fish that I am) but is there ANY chance of getting dedicated documentary programmes similar to HISTORY – NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – etc etc etc ????


  68. Neil Says:

    @58 – Film4 is exclusive to VM for a while.

    @62 – Interesting comments, is this from a substantiated source? Film4HD on Freesat would be great, as would C4HD although Sky won’t be chuffed! Channel 4 said in their annual review that HD was a source of growth and revenue for them, Film4HD would be an instant hit FTA on Satellite. The fact they’ve not jumped in with Sky, as with E4HD, is promising so fingers crossed we’ll at least hope to possibly get C4HD by the year end.


  69. Greg Says:

    Will Freesat come out and say what HD channels we can or maybe get in the near future.Or will they keep silent so as to lure other new customers to them with a promise of quality HD channels and SD channels that are not coming ?. My point is Freesat are not open as to what new channels are coming . Want the latest news? .Dont ask Freesat go on a chat forum and not on there nice looking Freesat site it tells you very little.


  70. admin Says:


    Not too much chance at the moment, they take revenue from Sky for being a subscription channel on satellite which will likely bring in far more money for them than being available for free across all satellite platforms.

    There is hope for the future though, as Freesat increases in popularity, more channels may make the move; just like CNBC did.


  71. Simon Says:

    It’s a shame as the more HD channels the better for Freesat. However what Five HD would of brought is not particularly great TV so I’m not that bothered.
    What Freesat needs is more HD channels as its behind Freeview HD as already pointed out.
    I’d never go back to $ky as their pricing and customer services is shocking.
    Overall I’m very happy with Freesat and am strangely confident that other HD channels will be forthcoming soon…


  72. paul s Says:

    I dont understand why a lot of people are whingeing about the lack of HD channels and the non appearance of the 5 stable etc -give it rest .Freesat is free!!….geddit? I think Freesat combined with my humax hd pvr and my Pioneer tv gives me a fantastic selection of all the tv i could possibly watch!I would never ever go back to the money grabbing ,complaint ignoring,squeeze every last penny out of it’s customers,SKY


  73. ugly jon Says:

    Anyone considering going to SKY, must have more money than sense. Until OFTEL demand more competition, SKY will continue to monopolise the airwaves. Also you pay for repeats galore. Pity we have not got car stickes? shouting ” GO FREESAT” And anyway the difference between SD and HD, is hardly noticeable. I’m still amazed the number of people who dont know the difference between, FREESAT, SKY, VIRGIN, etc. Let me tell you.. FREESAT is FREE. and provides plenty of viewing stations. After all you can only watch TV for 24 hours a day.


  74. aybeeseaa Says:

    FreeView HD both complicates and potentially dilutes “FREE” HD delivery platform competition in the UK.

    You don’t “pays your money” but you certainly “makes your choice”.



  75. Graham Hall Says:

    It’s not what i call positive news,but at least you guys at Admin are keeping us in the loop? Anyway i would sooner stick with Freesat, and all it’s teething troubles than pay Sky exorbitant subscription fees!


  76. sa Says:

    5 HD , neigbours.
    ha ha ha tee hee hee,oh stop it hurts .
    anyway erm tee hee hee hee heeeeee, neighbours HD arrrgghhh ha ha ha. sky you can keep it .
    ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
    thanks for the laugh any way,blaaaaaaaa ha ha ha.
    oh dear i need a lie down now.


  77. Mark (North Wales) Says:

    Well to be honest flicking through the EPG on SKY HD there are only 2 regular HD programmes, Home & Away and Neighbours and the occasional film. Got freesat in bedroom and Sky HD in lounge, shame its not on both but compared standard Five on 105 (Sky) and Five HD on 171 (Sky) looks better upscaled. About time the government stepped in a forced the main uk tv channels to be availible in HD on all platforms. Come on OFCOM grow a back bone and do something about it!!!!!


  78. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    I was under the impression that the CSI series have been produced in HD for a while and the same applies to Law and Order? Other programme also made in HD include my wifes favorite Greys Anatomy.


  79. Roger Says:

    Just a thought:

    When the Murdoch empire has to PAY a channel to go exclusive with their encrypted corral, than you get a sense that they are looking uneasily at the “competition”.

    Just for the record, I don’t buy the Murdoch press and I don’t even watch their teaser channels on Freesat (or was it Freeview? I forget). Anyhow, I see they made their “free” sports news PPV and turned the free transponder into one of those useless +1 fillers for Sky 3.


    Why do people always fall for scammers and shysters?


  80. Paul D Says:

    Don’t be disheartened by sky tactics.

    Freesat has iplayer, it will soon have BBC1 HD as well BBC HD, and it is getting ITV player soon. Many freesat users can also get freeview HD which will get cheaper, and that will get them 4HD and eventually 5HD.


  81. Phil Owens Says:

    Well, off topic, sort of.
    Just come across this are to launch 3 film channels in the UK. On this site it says “Sky, other platforms and online”
    More here this link says on Sky.
    We can live in hope…
    @ Admin.. Any news your end on this,,,?


  82. Neil Says:

    How amusing would it be if the BBC announced next week that the launch of BBC1HD was going to be exclusive to Freesat and Freeview (i.e. not on Sky’s EPG) for the first year along with a BBC marketing campaign! Obviously it would go against the BBC charter to do such a thing as they have to make their services available on all platforms but would be great to see Sky’s reaction to that!


  83. Phil Owens Says:

    @82.. Neil…
    Good idea, but Sky would spit their dummies out..


  84. aybeeseaa Says:

    Maybe we can talk about CONTENT. Quality AND quantity.

    Freesat simply can’t deliver it.

    I’ll say again, I’m neither a Sky Subswcriber nor can I get FreeViiew HD in my area.

    FreeSat — WAKE the BEEP UP! You will cease to have relevance otherwise.



  85. Iain.d Says:

    @ 83…Phil…Now that I would pay money to see!

    Seems like more and more folks are looking towards substance and content over quantity. I’d far rather have fewer higher quality programmes than crap diluted over multiple pay channels. As the prophetic Bruce Springsteen sang in 1992 ….

    ” Well now home entertainment was my baby’s wish
    So I hopped into town for a satellite dish
    I tied it to the top of my japanese car
    I came home and I pointed it out into the stars
    A message came back from the great beyond
    There’s fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”

    I am of course referring to Sky here. Freesat is free so no need to complain.


  86. Jason Says:

    Thanks DanOS #64,66


  87. Paul D Says:

    If sky are deliberatly preventing channels going onto freesat, why can’t something be done by ofcom?

    Perhaps the BBC and ITV should retaliate by making some of their channels freesat exclusive. If they pulled BBC3 BBC4 BBCHD and ITV HD off sky then sky would surely be forced to back down.

    I have sky, but my contract ends on 26th July. I qam not overly impressed with the content anyway so this crap that sky are pulling might just make me cancel. When I phone cancellations I shall tell them why. Sky is massively overrated. The only thing worth having is their broadband and phone service, which I must admit is excellent.


  88. Trevor Harris Says:

    It seems to me that Five’s decision is purely an economic one. Five is loosing money at the moment and Freesat and Freeview are just not viable at present.

    @Niel I don’t think that Sky will worry too much about not having BBC 1 HD after all they have 44 other HD channels on offer.


  89. Phil Owens Says:

    Sorry to go off topic again. But RTE are to launch a FTA service.
    From Digital Spy

    Sounds to me it will be on a spot beam though. So maybe not a chance of us in the UK getting it.


  90. Richard Crichton Says:

    @88″@Niel I don’t think that Sky will worry too much about not having BBC 1 HD after all they have 44 other HD ”

    I’m not so sure Trevor. BBC1 is the most watched channel in the UK and I’m pretty sure that the HD version will be the most watched HD channel.

    There is no use having 44 HD channels if no one is watching them because they are watching BBC1 HD instead.


  91. Daniel Murphy Says:

    After having freesat for a good while now I can say that I’ve been pretty disappointed with the lack of new HD channels, so I’ve been looking at getting a Sky subscription but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m a big football fan and the prospect of watching the Premiership in HD is a little tempting I’ll admit, but I refuse to be a mug.
    But I find the older I get the more conscious I become about doing more worthwhile things with my time and thus, I’m starting to lose interest in football, as a lifelong fan I never thought I’d say that, but I am. It was the World Cup that finally tipped me over the edge, I’m sick of the way the players behave, and their blatant greed, I would rather spend that money on my family.
    Anyway back on topic 😛
    I will stick with freesat, and I’m even going to upgrade my Humax HD box to the PVR version. I’m not too bothered about Five HD, the only program I watch is the Gadget show anyway. I do think the BBC and ITV need to put more effort into their HD coverage though, their World Cup broadcasts were littered with audio/video errors.


  92. aybeeseaa Says:

    OK I’ll motivate myself one more time and take on board the “shut up” messages.

    Is there really a big deal here? Well it could be a mis-managed opportunity.

    “FREE” HD in UK is a shambles.

    Watch this space. (At least it’s better than CSI but not as good as Luxe TV HD).



  93. Paul D Says:

    Trevor, you say that sky wouldn’t be bothered about not getting BBC1 HD, but they certainly spat their dummy when ITV HD was announced as freesat exclusive.


  94. sa Says:

    lets face it peeps
    money talks
    sky’s got it
    everybody else loses out
    they have the monopoly .


  95. Oyodi Says:

    My gripe with FreeSat has nothing to do with $ky, but that FreeView has Ch4HD and FreeSat still has not, and I know they say it’s coming, but from past experience, coming soon in FreeSat speech means a year or more!


  96. Trevor Harris Says:

    There are several reason why I don’t think that Sky is too worried about getting BBC 1HD. When digital satellite started ITV refused to put any channels on satellite for several years. This had no impact at all on the expansion of Sky and ITVs Ondigital went bankrupt owing over 800 million pounds. Secondly the picture quaility on BBC HD is not much better than SD because they use the substandard 1440×1080 and very low bitrates. Thirdly even the BBC Trust has described BBC 1 as boring!.

    As far as I can see the BBC’s main reason for supporting Freesat was to provide a fill in service to those people who cannot get DTT. Of course Freesat publicity people pushed “Free HD” which was rather misleading. Other HD channels are unlikely to join Freesat until it is economicaly viable.


  97. liz Says:

    I saw an advert on Channel 4 last night saying that Film 4 HD was going to be exclusive to Virgin … ah well ! (sorry if someone has mentioned this already)


  98. Liamo Says:

    SO! Here we are again – Everyone moaning about their FREE tv service not having enough HD content – I spent 15 years with 4 analogue stations. Now i have 140+ stations….

    My only question is will you people EVER stop moaning about HD. freesat is FREE.

    If you want your C4HD then go get freeview….. then assuming you live on an area which has all of the stations transmitting you’ll get 40+ stations, not nearly as many news stations, not as many music stations, not as many entertainment channels…..etc etc etc etc etc




    Seriously i really hate the negativity of these threads – Everytime an announcement goes up about a new station being added there are moans and groans of pain – basically for the following reasons:




    Get with the facts people – when it comes to FREE TV, Freesat is the best option – way more channels, way more potential, and almost 100% Coverage –

    and by potential i mean the following:

    When all of the FTA stations start switching over to HD, which they are bound to do, freeview people will be crying into there tea…OK many will probably be upscaled but hey….. THERE FREE!

    You want more HD now, this minute, today???

    PAY FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  99. Damian Johnson Says:

    This is exactrly what I’ve said about Freesat for some time. Pathetic. No decent new channels since launch and now there will be fewer HD channels than Freeview. What is the point of Freesat other than for those that cannot get a Freeview reception. My message to Freesat: Get a grip!


  100. Shane Says:

    I am very happy with Freesat, it is much better than my old sky box! I am more than happy to wait for more HD channels, it is inevitable over time that there will be more HD channels, it is a natural progression. They say patience is a virtue, it will happen, but slowly and not today!!


  101. Oyodi Says:

    @98 Liamo
    Like it or not, HD is the main reason many people buy FreeSat, as can be seen in previous polls here on this forum, not because of the 140+ stations, most of which are shopping or god channels. Therefore to really succeed, FreeSat does at least have to match FreeView, otherwise what’s the point of FreeSat, is it only for people who can’t get FreeView !!!!!


  102. cid Says:

    humax freeview+ hd with i player and sky player, “freesat is going” I’ve had it over a year and apart from bbci no improvements. in the area i live I will get far more from freeview, I just wish I’d known about freeview hd before shelling out 300 for my freesat. anyone want to buy it!!!!!


  103. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    101 Oyodi, “Like it or not, HD is the main reason many people buy FreeSat”

    Which I don’t understand. When those polls were conducted Freesat had one and a bit HD channels. Why would you buy Freesat just on the strength of one HD channel?

    In any case I’m not one of those people as I don’t even have HD yet.

    “is it only for people who can’t get FreeView”

    That’s what the original rationale was whatever Freesat customers may now want. Personally I just wanted more channels than the 5 I got on my creaky analogue cable system.

    You say most of the 140 are God or shopping channels. That may be but there is still more content on Freesat than I have time to watch. There might be even more on other services but Freesat serves my needs for now.


  104. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    @98 Liamo, Suppose Freesat gets Ch 4 and Five HD in a couple of years time. Then I bet the HD moaners will find something else to whinge about – e.g., no 3D on Freesat. :)


  105. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @cid 102
    Why get rid of of your Freesat equipment? It still works? Even if I switched to Freeview it would be sensible to have a reserve system in place for example if the TV transmitter breaks down.


  106. Neil Says:

    All the non-HD moaners come out of the woodwork again…!

    C4HD WILL arrive on Freesat at some point! See post 62 regarding Film4 and Channel 4’s possible contract renegotiations.

    I’m not really disappointed C4HD isn’t yet on Freesat as it wasn’t on there when I made the investment in two new Panasonic Viera TV’s + my Panasonic Viera BluRay PVR. What I did know when I purchased all of this is that Satellite has, in the lifetime of this equipment, much higher potential for increased number of channels available be it HD or SD over Freeview and in 9mths this has proven to be correct. SD bitrates are also better via Satellite than DTT which was also an important consideration.

    As I’ve said before, when BBC1HD joins in the autumn we’ll have the two most popular UK PSB channels in HD + existing BBC HD too. Knowing Freesat’s recent sales figures (confidentially) I can’t see why C4HD won’t want to be on there. Sky have helped them in HD start-up costs guess by the fact Film4HD has gone straight to Virgin Media means it’s being kept away from Sky for a reason, possibly with freeing up some 2D bandwidth too.

    Sky recently announced their ‘Real Lives’ services to close on August 19th, three of which use a 2D transponder. Whilst we know Sky don’t assist the competition, it appears ITV cut a compromise with them to free up another 2D TP for more ITV1 regions and STV HD. Maybe C4 will give Film4HD to Sky in return for C4HD carriage on 2D or better still we’ll get both if Sky cleared a TP totally (can’t see this though!).

    Lets stop all this negativity and be more positive!!


  107. Oyodi Says:

    @ 103 Kevin
    You say you don’t understand the recent poll, but it clearly shows 63% of voters like me brought FreeSat to be able to access Free HD channels. I have been with FreeSat since the HD PVR was launched in December 2008, and have been very happy with it, but my point is that this poll shows how important HD channels are, because if those 63% who brought FreeSat for HD were to buy their boxes now, surly they would go for FreeView, us 63% of voters are not moaners, in fact I would love FreeSat to go from strength to strength, but I believe this issue will have a big impact on FreeSat sales


  108. aybeeseaa Says:

    As referred to in the FAQ on this site, Freesat was launched on the promise of its capacity for providing future HD services. I’ve been “attached” to Freesat for two years on that basis.

    Big FAIL.

    Big SUCCESS – another dog channel. How do you feel? “Ruff”.



  109. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    I feel that the Freeview HD adverts could be construed as misleading as only a proportion of the country has currently or will have HD Freeview. If you can get Freesat then you are guaranteed HD (provided you have HD equipment).

    I think it is about time the Freesat doubters stop peddling negative comments as it could became a self fulfilling prophecy, which would please the Murdoch’s.


  110. Neil Says:

    There must be a lot of people who sack off Sky and once finding their Sky+ functionality is inhibited look at purchasing a Freesat+ PVR. Read Amazon’s reviews of the Humax Foxsat and you’ll see loads of comments along these lines. Buying a Freesat PVR and connecting to an existing dish is just as easy, if not easier, for a non-technical literate user than connecting up a Freeview HD+ PVR.

    Sky’s prices are going up in Sept and for the first time the whole package lot will break the £50+ price barrier, a psychological figure which I think might increase their churn. With about a 10% annualised churn that’s a lot of people (970,000) who leave per year.

    Those Freeview HD ads have actually done Freesat a favour too as, lets say, a bloke in Northampton walks in to his local TV retailer asking for a HD set top box, to be told “sorry it’s not available around here until mid next year”. “Oh”, he says, “what’s my other option then”? The retailer then points him in the direction of Freesat and thus assuming this consumer does not want to pay a subscription thus won’t have gone down the Sky route.

    There’s talk of STV possibly being added to the EPG in the coming week too although unconfirmed.


  111. HD-Sceptic Says:

    #107 – Oyodi

    “if those 63% who brought FreeSat for HD were to buy their boxes now, surly they would go for FreeView”

    I doubt it! If they now accepted what has been obvious from the start – that the build-up of HD channels on Freesat would be slow – they would go for cheap(er) SD boxes. Most modern TVs do a good job of upscaling SD to suit the native resolution of the screen and give a very good viewing experience. Freesat is doing very well what it set out to do. As Freesat is only a “retailer” of channels, it cannot offer us services which it cannot attract to the platform (for whatever reason).

    As I understand the position with regard to Freeview (a cousin of Freesat), the HD channels will only be avaiable from the main transmitters. The relays will only have the capacity to carry about 15 TV channels and I do not believe that includes any HD. Freesat was set up to fill in the gaps in terrestrial cover and offered the prospect of using spare capacity in creative ways – like HD. There are still several channels missing from Freesat which have long been available on Freeview. Contractual arrangements and restrictions are powerful forces in determining what programmes can and cannot reach our screens.

    I guess it’s more fun to have the standard bleats about HD and bit rates than to use a bit of common sense and think things through!


  112. Neil Says:

    @111 – The HD Mux is available universally to all main and relay transmitters, it’s the three Commercial ‘Freeview’ multiplexes that relays don’t carry. Even when an extra Multiplex is made available for Freeview in 2012 I doubt more than main stations will be covered as it will cost the operator of this multiplex an arm and a leg to gain 98.5% coverage.

    Word is that they aim to get all five PSB channels on to the single HD mux with ‘improvements in coding technology’ from 2012’ish, i.e. reducing the bitrates! In terms of quality I believe Satellite will inevitably therefore offer higher quality HD pictures than DTT. The BBC HD bitrate brigade who’ve been complaining will, I presume, mostly be watching via Satellite anyway.


  113. crislow Says:

    So a majority of viewers joined FREEsat to get HDdid they?
    Not this old buzzard!!
    Having subscribed to Sky for 7 years (at a cost of around £3000!!) I decided that with the creeping increase in annual cost together with the aggravation of adverts on repeatedly broadcast programmes (I spent ages clicking around trying to find something new and the grandkids had all the cartoons off by heart) it was time to ditch the overpriced monthly subscription and opt for a “FREE” system.
    I would add that the SD pictures I receive via my HUMAX box (on a 12yr old Panasonic Quintrix ) are better than anything I have seen in 70yrs!!
    HD if I live to see it will be a small added bonus!!
    Keep up the good work FREEsat!!


  114. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    @ crislow, “I would add that the SD pictures I receive via my HUMAX box (on a 12yr old Panasonic Quintrix ) are better than anything I have seen in 70yrs!!”

    Mine’s about 8 years old. And yes Freesat + Humax gives me an excellent picture on most channels – way better than what I had previously. HD (when I get a new TV) will be a mere added bonus.


  115. aybeeseaa Says:

    Having more shopping and cartoon channels for free appears to be essential to some.

    Let’s not forget “music TV” (surely a contradiction).

    When a platform HAS bandwidth, then please Mr. Platform, NEGOTIATE to ASSIGN IT. For improved QUALITY.

    “Free” is good. But not free “shopping”.



  116. Oyodi Says:

    @ 113, 114
    HD quality is so fantastic, I feel sorry for you guys with old CRT tv’s, as you really seem to have no idea the differance it makes, the world cup HD picture quality was awesome, and Wimbledon was remarkable, but oh, you can’t see this!!! Well done BBC & ITV, Can’t wait for BBC1HD.


  117. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    One great advantage Freesat HD boxes is that you get scaled up SD. I have a TV with SD Freeview receiver and the picture quality is lower on Feeview than Freesat. I cannot justify spending money on a new HD Freeview box just to gain one more HD channel, especially if you factor in the cost of a new aerial.


  118. HD-Sceptic Says:

    #116 – Oyodi

    A friend with an HD setup has let me watch some programmes with him in the hopes it will de-scepticise me. I found that. if I got interested in the programme (certainly not football!), I quickly lost track of whether I was watching in SD or HD. It was only with boring programmes, or programmes not really suitable for HD treatment, that i started to look for differences between SD and HD. It was an interesting experience but I remain a sceptic.

    #115 – aybeeseaa

    The junk channels do not use bandwidth on the satellite tightly beamed on the UK. Therefore they are not competing with, say, ITV-HD for resources. They benefit us by giving Emma £30,000pa each for EPG listings – money which Emma can use to attract prestige channels to the platform. If $ky has got channels tightly tied up contractually, ain’t no way we’re going to get them on Freesat until and unless they can get out of those contracts. Be patient. All good things come to him who waits!


  119. aybeeseaa Says:

    I’ve been waiting 2 years since Freesat’s inception.

    How much patience is needed?



  120. Sparky Says:

    Well I think I’ve given up waiting now. Been with freesat from the beginning.
    Still only 2 HD channels. Popping to tesco to buy the technica freeview HD box. Wifi, iplayer, plus pay for movies online. 320gb and £200.


  121. Dan Says:


  122. aybeeseaa Says:

    Very interesting.

    Quote “Recently, it has come under fire for missing out on a range of channels (particularly high-definition ones) that have gone to other broadcasters such as Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision and Freeview.”

    So Freesat “could” become a version of PaySat!

    Ah well, a noble stance initially but the virtues were not, it appears, to last.



  123. Damian Johnson Says:

    Inferior range of HD and SD channels when compared to Freeview, poor quality SD (when viewed on a 52 inch HD ready set) compared to Freeview, clunky EPG, no picture in picture to keep eye on a tv channel while scanning EPG. The only positive development has been BBC’s i Player but even here I don’t use Freesat. I use either my laptop or my PS3! So I gave my Humax HD Foxsat to my parents.


  124. Alan M Says:

    Dear Alan

    Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding Five HD.

    We are exploring options to launch Five HD on Freeview and Freesat in the future, but we do not have a timescale for when this might happen at this time.

    If there is anything further we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Thank you for your interest in Five.

    Yours sincerely



  125. cid Says:


    Fair comment I agree


  126. aybeeseaa Says:

    Some talking about watching TV on games consoles or on computers???

    There can be NO hope for requesting and receiving technical quality.



  127. Keith Says:

    Reading through these posts, it seems obvious to me that a gripe that a lot of people have is the lack of HD channels. Can I just remind folk, that as well as the HD that is on the main channel, there are a few HD channels available on the non-freesat menu, namely, STV, ITV1 (regional version) Luxe TV,its a crap choice, but everything has to start somewhere. There is an old saying, that patience is a virtue, more HD will come, but we will just have to wait for it if we want it for free. If you want it now, as a previous poster has said, GO TO SKY!


  128. aybeeseaa Says:

    Freesat DID start – two years ago. I’ve had patience for that two years and counting. Dunno about you.

    Notice on the top right-hand side of this page how many Freesat HD devices are advertised?

    It becomes a big why.



  129. Tony Says:

    One thing I don’t think has been mentioned . A lot of people are going on about five hd or the lack of it… Who knows in the future if sky ends up buying the channel who says they might take it off freeview & freesat altogether and make it a pay channel… Thank your lucky stars you still have it in sd for now as you cannot guarantee it in the future.. just like virgin 1 which will soon be a thing of the past..


  130. Phil Owens Says:

    Looks like the sale of FIVE is almost a done deal


  131. aybeeseaa Says:

    It WAS a done deal. Well spotted though.

    An organisation which publishes a particularly high standard in all its media has purchased another organ to fulfil the same high quality on broadcast television.



  132. Antz Says:

    I think the real news is that the Murdoch empire is gradually taking over all our media… this is the frightening thing – along with a Government that is in their pocket…


  133. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @ Antz 132

    Surely Murdoch evil empire taking over is not news but modern history? 😉


  134. Valerie Bate Says:

    I ,too was under the impression that more hd channels would follow,but two years on and we are still waiting.Why doesn,t the television watch dog do something about sky hogging all the bandwidth?


  135. admin Says:

    See comment 12, nothing to do with bandwidth, despite what they would make you believe.


  136. HD_Sceptic Says:

    Reading all these posts, I reckon the salesmen in TV shops have got a lot to answer for! I’m sure Emma has not deliberately built up expectations to this level.

    When I bought my SD box a couple of years ago, I had to shop very carefully because, at the launch of the service, the shops only stocked HD. The HD boxes were a lot dearer and obviously it suited the salesmen to push as many HD boxes into gullible customers as possible.

    My understanding has always been that HD on Freesat was a “best endeavours” project. There are very many difficulties, not least contracts and money, stopping HD channels migrating to Freesat.

    There are plenty of HD channels out there, but you’ve got to pay for them.


  137. conor mcdermott Says:

    Both channel 4 and five should grow a set and tell sky wee are going to put our hd channels on to freesat and freeview and to stuff there mony and channel 4 and five will get stronger in long run plus people do not knoe this that sky is putting there hd sub up at end off next year to £20 a month and a ten percent rise on there sub prices during a recession plus sky is strangiling freeviewhd and freesathd sky should be band from buying any more sat space for few year to make it a even playing field for freeview freesat and virgin and others what do yous think


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