Poll: What would you like freesat to focus on?

Poll: What would you like freesat to focus on?Freesat has made some radical moves forward in recent months to keep pace with the industries need to offer ‘interactive’ this and ‘on-demand’ that, but is that what the consumers want?

In our latest poll, we ask this very question. As freesat fans/consumers, what would you like freesat to focus their attention on? Is it to continue to roll out ‘broadband’ based services such as on-demand channels and apps, or to stick to ‘satellite’ based options concentrating on encouraging more SD and HD channels and improving the range.

To vote, simply select your preferred option from the left hand column and we’ll update freesat on the results once we have sufficient votes. The choices are:

On-demand – Keep pushing forward with the introduction of more on-demand services, such as the promised 4OD and Demand 5, and then focus on the continued pursuit for popular options such as Netflix and Lovefilm.

Applications – Most of us have downloaded apps thanks to our mobile phones right? Well with the new freetime service, based on the html5 platform, the possibilities are endless. Would you fancy Angry Birds on your freesat receiver, then maybe this is the choice for you.

PayTV channels – When people think PayTV, they naturally think sports and movies currently available from the likes of BSkyB (and BT). Well maybe this could be an option for the future; just think how many subscription based channels there are available, Sky Sports, Sky Movies, ESPN, British Eurosport! But does this take away from what freesat is all about, “free”.

HD channels – Usually a popular choice but has the television industry moved on? Are you still screaming out for more high-definition channels to satisfy you and your televisions needs for 1080i/p goodness? With enough momentum, maybe we could see Channel 5 HD and Film 4 HD on the platform (once existing contracts end).

SD channels – Possibly a long since forgotten tech, but standard-definition channels still hold their place as the most valuable asset to television platforms for bringing in the money, so would you like more SD channels to appear simply for choice, even if by its very nature that means more shopping, religious or entertainment channels.

Servers / NAS – Quite a niche market, but with more homes now networked up and many looking for a single server/NAS (Network-attached storage) type device to meet all their needs, should freesat be looking to incorporate such functionality within their freesat range of products? Imagine being able to watch your freesat recordings via another receiver in another room, whilst connected to your PC to stream your movies, music and holiday snaps.

Set-top box choice – With freesat’s decision to more towards improved compliance with their “G2” spec receivers (namely the Humax HDR-1000S at the moment), there has been somewhat of a void appear with limited choice of simple SD and HD receivers, and even less choice of the old style freesat+HD recorders. Would your vote be for bringing more manufacturers to the table to improve choice, technology and competitive prices.

Stick to basics – For some (maybe many), you could feel that a part of freesat is lost each and every time a new function is launched. Should freesat stick to what they are, a satellite television platform offering freely available standard and high-definition channels, plus the option to record. If you have no interest in turning your freesat set-top box into a robot that tells you what to watch and when, offers you more movies than you could possibly watch in a life time, and make your tea for you, then fire your vote this way.

Please discuss your choice and why; a bit of debate harms no one!

80 thoughts on “Poll: What would you like freesat to focus on?”

  1. “Al (Original) Says:
    March 9th, 2013 at 12:33 am

    More HD channels. Plain and simple”

    ditto, 59% are in agreement – but will freesat listen? Do they even care what the viewers want?

  2. John O Brien said:
    more movie channels and sony tv and RTE and TV3

    Unlikely, unlikely and 2X no chance 😀

  3. strangequarks said:
    “Al (Original) Says:
    March 9th, 2013 at 12:33 am
    More HD channels. Plain and simple”
    ditto, 59% are in agreement – but will freesat listen?Do they even care what the viewers want?

    Freesat are an enabler NOT a provider (for the umpteenth time on these forums!!!).
    It is up to the programme providers to decide if they broadcast on the Freesat platform not Freesat.

  4. Everyone who is voting for HD channels I ask you a simple question – where are all these HD channels going to come from? Putting aside HD channels tied to Sky encryption contracts what would you reasonably expect to see??

  5. Arise Network HD is a possibility as that one is already testing fta, but I cant see many more free HD channels coming along in the current economic climate

  6. Look 60% of respondents wish to see more HD channels, so what is the point of the poll if we are not allowed to express our opinions? Stop apologising for the lack of HD please, freesat has been stagnant on this front for way too long. We, the viewers, wish to have more HD channels added, the result of the poll is clear to see. It is up to freesat to secure the HD channels if they have any desire to provide what viewers actually want.

  7. Who is apologising? – Im making a very valid point. HD channels are expensive for the channels to launch & run, and they get little extra benefit from it. So answer my question – where are all these extra channels coming from that folk expect to see??

  8. As someone else alluded to earlier, many of the sd channels are unwatchable. For example; Horror, CNN, C5 family, the obscure moview channels, most music channels and sometimes ITV 2,3 & 4. Shouldn’t there be a minimum standard for broadcasters?

  9. That is a whole different kettle of fish

    C5 is very poor as they have all their channels squashed into one frequency.

    As usual its all down to money – increase bandwidth and it costs more for no extra benefit for the broadcaster.

    SD can look lovely – Im currently watching an SD feed of the Celtic game, and with the video running at over 7100 kbps its a gorgeous picture

  10. barrie said:
    As someone else alluded to earlier, many of the sd channels are unwatchable. For example; Horror, CNN, C5 family, the obscure moview channels, most music channels and sometimes ITV 2,3 & 4. Shouldn’t there be a minimum standard for broadcasters?

    Horror channel is fine for SD, the issues are the transfers esp US tv series. Monsters looks like 100th gen VHS copy. Films are fine as a rule.

  11. @57, Rosco. Well, there is one I can think of. RT Documentary HD (perhaps now called RT D) is available FTA on Hotbird on the same frequency as RT English HD (and the Italian Super Tennis HD – but that’s another matter). Perhaps Freesat could see about getting RT to add (or move) this to 28e, thus allowing it to be added to Freesat? I suspect there are cost implications, with Eurobird possibly cheaper (?), and 13e is a more Euro-centric satellite. Nevertheless, it would be nice to know if Freesat actively investigate such opportunities given that they previously seemed unaware of RT HD. It would at least be another HD (news) channel.

  12. Rosco said: So answer my question – where are all these extra channels coming from that folk expect to see??

    Of course we are going to vote for more HD channels. Who would say “no” if given the option of an extra £1,000 a week in the pay-packet?

    If the possibility of more HD channels is such an impossibility, then it should not have been a choice in the poll.

    As it was an option in the poll, then it is not for voters to question how the channels will be provided. People who are not experts can only assume that it is a valid alternative.

    Imagine having a non-existent political party on a General Election voting paper then complaining that people voted for it.

    Having read the arguments that there are unlikely to be more HD channels, I would change my vote to “stick to basics” but try and improve picture quality on some of the poorer channels. If that is at all possible of course.

    Thanks admin, a very interesting discussion.

  13. Rosco said:
    That is a whole different kettle of fish
    C5 is very poor as they have all their channels squashed into one frequency.
    As usual its all down to money – increase bandwidth and it costs more for no extra benefit for the broadcaster.
    SD can look lovely – Im currently watching an SD feed of the Celtic game, and with the video running at over 7100 kbps its a gorgeous picture

    Sorry to appear thick but where do you find the 7100kbps figure? I saw part of the game and wasn’t impressed with the picture quality.
    Thanks

  14. barrie said: Sorry to appear thick but where do you find the 7100kbps figure? I saw part of the game and wasn’t impressed with the picture quality.
    Thanks

    I have a linux receiver that has a bit rate plug in . I was watching the feed on Eutelsat 7A at 7E and the pic was superb

  15. Keith (original) said:
    @57, Rosco.Well, there is one I can think of.RT Documentary HD (perhaps now called RT D) is available FTA on Hotbird on the same frequency as RT English HD (and the Italian Super Tennis HD – but that’s another matter).Perhaps Freesat could see about getting RT to add (or move) this to 28e, thus allowing it to be added to Freesat?I suspect there are cost implications, with Eurobird possibly cheaper (?), and 13e is a more Euro-centric satellite.Nevertheless, it would be nice to know if Freesat actively investigate such opportunities given that they previously seemed unaware of RT HD.It would at least be another HD (news) channel.

    Thats a good point about RT Doc. Admin – please suggest to your contacts at FS this would be a worthy addition to the FS lineup if they can persuade RT to launch it on 28E 🙂

  16. Two Pen’orth said:
    If the possibility of more HD channels is such an impossibility, then it should not have been a choice in the poll.

    Then Admin would have had a thread full of complaints saying “where is the option for more HD channels 😀

    More HD services are not impossible – but the ones folk want (ITV 2 3 & 4 / & those from the C4 & C5 stables) are just unlikely in the current economic climate.

    Theres also the sad but true fact that most people dont give a flying fig about HD – how many times have you seen friends & family watching tvs where the aspect ratios are all screwed up? Or back in analogue days pics with less than perfect reception leading to ghosting?

    As long as they can watch the footy and Eastenders most folk dont care what the picture is like.

  17. The decision to include a HD option in the poll was essential. Whilst it is obvious that freesat don’t produce HD content, nor can magic them out of thin air, the point being raised is “should freesat be focusing their energies/funding on encouraging more HD channels to the platform”. Whilst there is only so much requesting they can do of the “missing” HD channels, if money was focused on that particular area, it might be possible to pursued some more. It might be the harder option for freesat to implement, as much of this is out of their direct control, but it clearly is what most are passionate about.

  18. “Theres also the sad but true fact that most people dont give a flying fig about HD” is simply not true, can you not read the poll figures?

    More HD is what viewers want, the onus is on freesat to supply it. Certainly more HD channels would attract many new viewers to the platform, & an increase in subscriber numbers might tempt further HD channels – a virtuous circle.

  19. strangequarks said:
    “Theres also the sad but true fact that most people dont give a flying fig about HD” is simply not true, can you not read the poll figures?
    More HD is what viewers want, the onus is on freesat to supply it.Certainly more HD channels would attract many new viewers to the platform, & an increase in subscriber numbers might tempt further HD channels – a virtuous circle.

    Yes I can read the poll figures as well as you can.

    However this poll is actually from an unrepresentative sample of people / enthusiasts who care enough about whats happening with FS to have found the site out for info. I would have been amazed if more HD hadnt won this poll hands down.

    And you forget FS are nothing more than an epg service who aggregate content. Its up to the *broadcasters* to provide more content, so if you care about more fta HD content so much you should be contacting them..

  20. Trippy said:
    ……. especially as there is no RF out, like on Sky.

    The lack of RF out on a Freesat box is easily overcome with SCART to RF modulators which are readily available from Maplin and Amazon to name just 2 places

  21. I would like to see less emphasis on connected tv and catch up via connected-stb-thru-broadband-phone-line connections and more actual on-air satellite tv and radio services.

  22. It would be nice to have more HD fta services but as things currently stand;none of those under Sky/VM’s remit will relinquish those services to us unless they choose to, or say “adios” to Sky/VM.

  23. I voted for more HD channels but would settle for higher-bit-rate SD. Both the old “Superbit” DVDs and several recent TV boxsets like Game of Thrones that similarly keep the number of episodes per disc down to push up the bit rate demonstrate that for screen sizes common in UK homes high-bit-rate SD plus a decent upscaler can be a pretty decent compromise if you can’t have HD/BluRay.

    While I appreciate there are non-Freesat branded receivers tuning into the same broadcasts as we do, I’d also be interested to know just how many people would now lose an SD channel if it shifted to MPEG4, allowing higher-resolution in the same bandwidth? With so many units supporting either timeshifting or watch-again, wouldn’t MPEG4 SD simulcast now be a better use of bandwidth than +1 channels?

  24. Anthony said: It would be nice to have more HD fta services but as things currently stand;none of those under Sky/VM’s remit will relinquish those services to us unless they choose to, or say “adios” to Sky/VM.

    I agree too, its up to Broadcasters, what is to stop the likes of CBS broadcasting in HD? Answer-nothing, they are a huge U.S. conglomerate and could easily give us viewers HD if they wanted.

  25. i agree with @paulie about the lack of “free hd tv” on freesat although the likes of ch5hd,e4hd,more4hd,itv2/3/4hd are already on the astra2/eutetelsat28a/b platform but tied in with ” the gatekeeper” and encrypted and not even on the ftv card either and theres film4hd on cable also….. imo its a farce, not to mention the uktv stable partly owned by the licence fee payers bbc commercial arm. i also think freesat should remain free with no pat tv channels whatsoever and the same goes for freeview… “free should mean free” and i think the should be a tight leash on the rubbish smut/phone-in stations aswell. lastly on the whole i think the freesat platform is a excellent idea and will only go from strength to strength and see no reason why every ex sky tv subscriber with a working dish on astra2 shouldnt come on board.. its a no brainer!!!!

  26. Dave L said:
    I voted for more HD channels but would settle for higher-bit-rate SD. Both the old “Superbit” DVDs and several recent TV boxsets like Game of Thrones that similarly keep the number of episodes per disc down to push up the bit rate demonstrate that for screen sizes common in UK homes high-bit-rate SD plus a decent upscaler can be a pretty decent compromise if you can’t have HD/BluRay.
    While I appreciate there are non-Freesat branded receivers tuning into the same broadcasts as we do, I’d also be interested to know just how many people would now lose an SD channel if it shifted to MPEG4, allowing higher-resolution in the same bandwidth? With so many units supporting either timeshifting or watch-again, wouldn’t MPEG4 SD simulcast now be a better use of bandwidth than +1 channels?

    I agree there are too many SD channels squeezed into mpeg2 bandwith resulting in inferior gritty noisy pixellated poor quality images.

  27. paulie walnuts said: I agree too, its up to Broadcasters, what is to stop the likes of CBS broadcasting in HD? Answer-nothing, they are a huge U.S. conglomerate and could easily give us viewers HD if they wanted.

    Wonder what happened to the CBS bid to launch HD versions of their channels? It seems Ofcom has either delayed the decision or CBS has had other thoughts. Also some of the programmes broadcast may not look brilliant on those because some of the programmes are on NTSC-PAL standards converted tape copies for UK PAL transmission;soft detail, lots of standards conversion flicker and mushy picture noise that translates to gritty noisy digital artefacts thru MPEG-2 DVB encoding in 576p res from analogue to digital.

  28. I think they should just try and get some of the channels like dave-yesterday-quest-maybe few others this will bring more people to joinfreesat.co.uk

  29. Do agree with those who are saying freesat doesn’t have the power on what channels join the platform. Realisticly the only HD channels that are likely to appear in the near future on Freesat are more news channels and maybe some shopping channels if they go HD.
    Where Freesat can add content is in their on demand selections. We now have all the main broadcasters catch up services on freetime but what I would like to see now is services like Netflix and Lovefilm being on there. Having them in full HD with Dolby Digital sound would be great. The rumours of Netflix being added last year never came true so hopefully it will sometime soon.

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