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Jul 22 2009

Lets hope so, as nothing appears to be happening in the world of Freesat at the moment!

We just wanted to let you know we are still here, still pushing for little nuggets of information to share with you.

It would seem that Freesat are presently spending quite a lot of time assisting in the Digital Switch-Over (DSO), which happens this year in the Granada, West Country, Borders and Welsh regions. Freesat’s primary aim is to ensure that those areas without access to terrestrial reception via Freeview have another option to avoid a blank screen come the end of analogue.

BBC iPlayer continues in its development and an Autumn launch still seems likely, although we’d expect a late Autumn launch given that beta testing is expected in August; of which we are hoping to be part of.

There appears to be a lack of additional FTA (free-to-air) channels coming forward on the Freesat platform of late, with talkSPORT the last to be introduced back on the 19th May. BET HD made an appearance most recently but only for the BET Awards 2009; but it gave us an insight into the potential opportunities for broadcasters that don’t have permanent high-definition channels in the UK to showcase specific events.

We await the latest quarterly figures for Freesat sales, although it has been hinted that 500,000 has been surpassed which is a fantastic achievement in little over a year.

ITV HD appear to be retaining a fairly regular appearance of programmes in high-definition, although still far short of that of the BBC with 9 HD hours per day. ITV sadly continue to avoid wanting to make comment on our fairly conclusive poll of 94% of voters (2,130 to date) longing for a proper ITV HD channel rather than the current red button.

As soon as we get just a sliver of news on Freesat we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, please do continue to visit other parts of our site including the digital box and television product pages, plus polls, channel listings and ITV HD schedule.

41 Responses to “No News Is Good News?”

  1. Peter (bobmarleypeople) Says:

    The issue with ITV is that they’re not doing too well on the money front last time I checked. A Freesat channel number is £500,000 (if I remember correctly). I think this red button service is ITV’s way of avoiding having to pay that charge.

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  2. admin Says:

    @Peter (bobmarleypeople)

    Your way off! An EPG slot costs £30,000, of which we don’t know if ITV would even need to pay it!

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  3. Tony Hales Says:

    £10K for a radio station EPG slot with only 500,000 customers is too expensive.

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  4. wayne Says:

    @Tony Hales

    We have 4 people in our house who listen to radio via freesat & only one receiver. expect that the majority of freesat boxes are in family homes that at least doubles viewing & listenining figures so 1m plus isnt so bad.

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  5. Peter Piper Says:

    Peter, it’s nothing to do with the cost. They are not saying they can’t afford it. ITV are saying their research shows we don’t want the channel and are happy with the red button service. According to the poll here that appears not to be the case at all.

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  6. sam Says:

    BORING !

    Channel, Channels, Channels. (HD HD HD) PLEASE !

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  7. Peter Piper Says:

    Here we go again with people complaining about what’s being discussed.

    Why do you poeple keep coming onto forums or comments pages? If it’s boring and you don’t care – don’t come here.

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  8. sam Says:

    Peter – My comments were more a slant at the direction this conversation was going, ie the same place as the last discussion.

    If you want to get picky and personal then my retort is for you to go put your ITV slander on the ITV slander discussion. This is a No News discussion…..

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  9. Peter Piper Says:

    If you look at the Paragraphs at the top written By Admin it says

    “ITV sadly continue to avoid wanting to make comment on our fairly conclusive poll of 94% of voters (2,130 to date) longing for a proper ITV HD channel rather than the current red button.”

    We are supposed to comment on what he’s just written so ITV talk is relevant here.

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  10. Jock Says:

    How about taking advantage of the lull in Freesat news to ask readers about their experiences in areas where analogue has been switched off? Does the Freeview signal now reach areas which were previously blind spots? What is Freeview like when it operates at full power? Is there any co-channel interference when all the relays are carrying Freeview?

    OK – I know this is the FreeSAT site, but Freesat will have more scope for experimental services if Freeview satisfies most of the viewers.

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  11. MarkL Says:

    Whilst we have nothing new to discuss. Info for the Foxsat PVR owners. A few weeks ago I replaced the 320GB hard drive with a Western Digital “Elements” 1TB external hard drive. Just took both the machines apart and swapped them over. Easy. I then plugged the Segate drive removed from the PVR back into the PVR usb port. It let me copy back recordings – even ITV HD ones which are flagged as content locked. The Humax must recognise it’s original disk.
    Done lots of testing, recording BBCHD + ITV HD + watching a pre recorded HD file all at the same time . Works fine !! Got no warranties any more. But well its worked ok since last Xmas. Not passed 40% full yet even with the girlfriend recording just about anything broadcast regarding Michael Jackson!!

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  12. Lee B Says:

    @MarkL, well done on the drive update, I do think 320gb is too low for HD content, about time Humax either upgraded the drive to 750gig + or dropped the price of the HDR.

    Anyone else had good results with a drive upgrade and what model of drive did you use?

    PS Comet are selling the HDR for £244.99 today

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  13. Tony Hales Says:

    @Wayne

    It’s still a lot more expensive per listener/viewer than Sly (Sky) I think you’ll find.

    @ Sam

    Agreed, all channels should be in HD.
    SD is so last century and looks bad on large screens.

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  14. YASAR Says:

    HD is the way forward. No red button Please !!! And more HD on ITV on a dedicated channel like BBC.
    We need progress in our lives. HD gives you progress.
    Few years ago Digital TV was seen as the progress over analogue TV. Now it is HD over digital SD. BBC has taken the first step towards progress and should really follow it on with BBC2 , 3 and 4 as well. Everyone says it is a matter of costs etc.But just remember that when it is new it is expensive. Then it becomes cheaper. Let’s just hope that cost of HD introduction to the masses goes down sooner than later.

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  15. Mal Says:

    Thanks for informative site, I guess everyone is frustrated at the lack of programmes and channels in HD but, like the majority, I hope it improves over the coming months as it is a fantastic concept. I would have thought ITV would have jumped at the chance to go HD especially as it is hopefully going to grab a huge audience and thats what advertisers love.

    Anyway I will be happy with any HD channels at the moment as it is getting expensive having to keep buying Blue Ray disks so a to watch the fantastic picture. Keep the information coming guys because as you say no news is perhaps good news. Lets hope so !

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  16. Steve Cassidy Says:

    I tried freesat last year in my motorhome, portable dish, HD box, excellent reception, as long as you can see the sky (no pun intended) it works. I was converted. Came home, bought a Panasonic with the integral Freesat tuner and connected it up to a disused Sky dish, fantastic.
    I have seen the steady increase of HD content on BBC and some increase in ITV HD content.

    Would like to see a sports news channel on there but I understand why Sky wont allow it, perhaps ESPN (taking the Setanta slots) may offer something as a way into the UK market so that they can advertise their subscription channels on Freesat, who knows.

    As a relatively new user freesat has come a long way in the 11 months I have been viewing and long may it continue.

    For people like myself of limited means at retirement age its the only affordable way of viewing HD content as Sky subscriptions are simply not affordable

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  17. HD-Sceptic Says:

    #15 – Mal. You’ve confirmed my worst fears – HD enthusiasts watch the technology, not the content. Where HD content is mentioned, it’s just football.

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  18. Alex Says:

    Mal (15)

    why not get a lovefilm.com account for bluray movies. Its much of an affordable way of watching bluray movies.

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  19. glyn Says:

    I recently bought a humax freesat hd box and i think it is an excellent product.But i was thinking of buying a ci module for the cam slot in the pvr ,So i sent an e- mail to humax for some advice on the best module to buy. They returned an e- mail and said the cam slot was not active and would be activated in the future .So i think it is quite unacceptable that a product is sold that is not fully functional.

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  20. Ross Says:

    any news on 4hd

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  21. Jason Says:

    This is about Freesat, not world events, and we’re all waiting for a better service.

    So no news is NOT good news.

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  22. Deano Says:

    ADMIN : you do a wonderful job with this site and the information you give us , but this time you have got it wrong NO NEWS is NOT Good news !!

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  23. admin Says:

    True enough, the title has a question mark to suggest that this isn’t good news, but we didn’t want to just come out and say it, after all, we wish to promote Freesat and its success. It isn’t good news that nothing is happening, this is when Freesat should be pushing the hardest and we’ve said this to them time and time again. Our words were “you now need to be focusing as much on the existing customers as the new”. Hopefully things will pick up soon, I suspect most of Freesat’s 20 strong team are focusing on iPlayer and DSO.

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  24. TassieKev Says:

    re: iplayer on freesat – does anyone know if this will be the FULL iplayer? ie. including radio. thanks

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  25. Soul4real Says:

    I personally am not interested in iplayer, you get to accustom to streaming shows before you know it your service provider will start charging you for usage. where not going to get anymore channels for now, “credit crunch” lux tv are not coming over as they would have done so already, so we just have to hope we get more Hd programming with the channels we have, not keen on upscaling but if 4hd came i suppose it would be a welcome bonus! all jokes aside i still love freesat they have given me the opportunity to watch hd for free! plus channels i had never heard of and news from around the world it’s a more than what freeview have to offer, what can freeview give you that is so great? Dave! virgin1, even fiver and five US after awhile you don’t miss it, i feel the five siblings will come next year for sure.
    Have you noticed all the good news is with freeview, hd by the end of the year, hd boxes soon in the shops channel 5 and 4 talking about going on the platform but where not hearing that from freesat, thats what i would call good news not silence or iplayer.

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  26. Alex Says:

    service provider will start charging you for usage???
    I download around 60+GB a month on my internet and i don’t get charged?
    BT Unlimited Total Broadband Option 3. Please tell me if your on this package and you get charged. (i know this isn’t a internet forum but it would be interesting to know)
    Anyway i would be interested in iplayer as i can then save space on my HDR for just HD content, instead of bbc SD recordings.

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  27. Joe Says:

    Doh…Admin at 2. You mean “you’re”. “Your” is the possessive form of “you”. You are trying to say “you are” which is shortened to “you’re”. God if I had a pound for everyone who got this wrong!

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  28. Deano Says:

    I think iplayer will be a great cant wait for it . i already use it through my pc so it will just make life that little bit easy if its through Freesat.

    I am like are ALEX a heavy downloader and haven’t had a problem ,but i do know about my isp’s FAIR USE POLICY thats why i do most of it between 12 – 6 am ..

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  29. towny Says:

    ITV delivers its HD content via the red button because it’s the only way they can keep the channel off the Sky EPG. Doing it this way means they can wrap the H.264 video inside an H.222 data stream. Result: Sky has no way of making its boxes automatically sniff out the channel, so they can’t give it an EPG number. And let’s make no mistake here, Sky wouldn’t think twice about putting ITV-HD in its line-up, even without ITV paying for it.

    Sky recently got an update out to its HD boxes that does now allow for manual tuning but it’s doubtful that most Sky+HD owners even know they can do this, much less have tried it.

    So, it’s not surprising ITV is in no hurry to launch a full channel, regardless of viewer opinion, and it’s not surprising they don’t want to come on here and be interviewed about it.

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  30. derek500 Says:

    @ towny “ITV delivers its HD content via the red button because it’s the only way they can keep the channel off the Sky EPG.”

    What rubbish!!! The only way ITV HD can keep their channel off the Sky EPG is by not paying Sky to be on it!!

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  31. Alex Says:

    soul4real, Sorry if i’m making this a internet broadband forum. But i live in a area with only about 5 houses by me, but yet we have our own exchange less than 0.5mile away.
    The bt woman told me, that because there are limited houses in my area, i wouldn’t been capped for heavy downloading, as it won’t affect many people.
    Thats why i can get at-least 6.5mb all day long, and even touch 7mb in the morning :)

    Also does anyone know if the iplayer will work if i use them power line ethernet adapters, as my homehub is not in the same room as the freesat. Cheers…..

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  32. towny Says:

    @Derek … calm down dear, it’s only a blog discussion. ;)

    As I said, Sky would love to have ITV-HD on its EPG. It would love to have it so badly that it would put it there without ITV paying it. As usual with Sky, its advertising is about quantity, not quality. It wants ITV-HD, pure and simple.

    For proof, witness the lengths its techs went to in order to get a patch out to Sky+HD boxes that allows them to manually tune to ITV-HD.

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  33. derek500 Says:

    @ towny.

    Sky could easily put ITV HD on the EPG, but they can’t. It’s up to ITV to decide whether to go on or not and agree terms with Sky.

    Out of interest what lengths did the techs go to in order to get ITV HD on the new EPG?

    The various DVB card and FTA box manufacturers sorted it out pretty quickly.

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  34. Nigel Whitfield Says:

    Sky almost certainly wouldn’t put ITV HD on the EPG without charging them for it. They’d end up in a tremendous amount of hot water from Ofcom, amongst others.

    The principle of access to an EPG is that it should be Fair, Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (FRND). When you have told some channels that they can’t launch because the queue is closed, and others have unsuccessfully fought court cases trying to have the fees reduced because they couldn’t afford them, turning round and saying “Oh, we think we’ll pinch this channel and put it on the EPG without even charging them a penny or asking their permission” is just not going to happen.

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  35. towny Says:

    @Derek – prior to the patch deployed to Sky+HD boxes earlier this year, it was not possible to manually tune a Sky+HD box to ITV HD, due to the way the channel data is wrapped and broadcast. There’s no reason why other FTA box manufacturers should have had a problem with it, because such equipment is designed to be flexible. Sky boxes on the other hand tend to be well locked down.

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  36. Scott Says:

    Hi Alex, in answer to your iplayer question, I use the power line adapters, and they work fine with my satellite receiver, though not sure how well with freesat receivers. You do lose some download speed though, but you probably won’t notice as you have download speeds similar to my own.

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  37. derek500 Says:

    @ towny

    Do a search on DS of “ITV HD PID” and you’ll find loads of posts about upgrades to software, new firmware etc. for non Sky boxes.

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  38. towny Says:

    @Derek … I don’t need to do that search – I’m not saying non-Sky boxes couldn’t be made to tune to ITV-HD. I know for a fact that they can. What I’m saying is that *official* Sky boxes could not, when ITV-HD launched, be made to tune to that channel. It simply wasn’t possible. No official Sky box could be made to scan for it because it is broadcast in a deliberately non-compliant fashion.

    Now, well, since late March/early April, it suddenly *is* possible. Sky has updated the software in its HD boxes so that they can scan for precisely the same non-compliant broadcast method that ITV-HD uses.

    Isn’t it funny how Sky suddenly decides there’s a need to allow its subscribers to manually tune their boxes in a way that they have never before considered necessary? Isn’t it just a teensy, weensy bit coincidental that a matter of months after ITV chooses a very unusual way of wrapping and broadcasting its HD channel, Sky adds the ability to sniff out and add a channel delivered in just that way to its menus?

    My original claim was that Sky wants ITV-HD badly enough that it would list it officially in its EPG for free. I have offered the lengths they have gone to to patch their own boxes in order to make it appear for free as proof of this. Effectively, they have already done it, so far as it is possible.

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  39. Tony Hales Says:

    Frankly who cares. ITV-HD is a joke. They put out five shows a week one of which is a repeat.

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  40. James Says:

    I belive that freesat is not trying that hard to get new channels. UKTV channels should be added F

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  41. James Says:

    I belive that freesat is not trying that hard to get new channels. UKTV channels should be added Five HD, Five US and Fiver.

    Sorry clicked Submit Comment to early!!!!!!!!!

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