Join Freesat


May 04 2012

Following the huge response we got in the Ask Emma Scott a question (2012) post, we have the responses.

Just want to say a massive thank you to all those who contributed a question(s), I hope that most of them have been covered. Apologies to anyone whos question has been missed, but I needed to ensure a broad range of questions whilst not submitting too many. I managed to scale down the questions from around 200 to 28, and looking at them again now, it is no surprise it has take Emma such a long time to go through them. Sadly some questions posed at the time have now been answered, but that ultimately is the result of a fast moving industry.

Also can I extend huge thanks to Emma herself for taking the time to answer each and every one; as well as the Freesat team (namely Jo Bleasdale) for facilitating and putting up with my constant reminders ;).

I hope the responses give a little insight in to the future of Freesat, so sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy.

High-definition

1. Q. One of the key value propositions behind Freesat was free access to HD channels. Since this is a market into which Freeview is now moving, how does Freesat intend to differentiate itself going forward?

A: Innovation is part of our DNA. We’re building on Freesat+ and our current offering of five HD channels, plus BBC iPlayer and ITV Player. We’re also going to have 24 additional HD channels courtesy of the BBC, for the whole period of the Olympics, covering every live televised event. And the launch of our next generation Freesat product this year will, I believe, deliver some new and truly special features, for free. So watch this space…!

2. Q. When are Freesat (and the Trust) going to tackle the neutrality restriction placed on Freesat that allegedly results in its quality of transmission being lowered to match that of Freeview? Can Freesat not force broadcasters to retain a higher bit-rate to further enhance the Freesat experience?

A: That’s not the case. We’re under no restrictions of the kind from the BBC Trust or ourselves. Freesat sets the minimum standards for HD quality for all channels, and broadcasters manage their own technical delivery for their HD channels – so it is the BBC which sets the transmission rate for its HD services.

3. Q. Is there any way in which the five HD channels can be grouped together? i.e. EPG slots in a row, or as many have suggested, within a HD category?

A: As you can imagine, the EPG listing has to be managed carefully and within a clear policy. We do treat this very seriously and always consider channel and viewers needs. An HD genre certainly is something that we could do in the future and we’ll certainly take your suggestion on board.

Channels

4. Q. Have any discussions taken place with regards to the inclusion of Channel 5 HD this year, given their original plan to launch on Freeview in the summer, which subsequently has been retracted?

A: We work very closely with Channel 5, and are confident that in the future, if they make C5 HD available for free, we’d have it on Freesat.

5. Q: Do you believe Freesat have received a large enough number of sales yet for existing subscription channels (on Sky) to consider the move to FTA? Most requested are of course those available on Freeview from UKTV (Dave, Watch, Gold etc). Is there any glimmer of hope that this transition is starting to take place, following the transfer of CNBC to FTA?

A: We’ve had strong growth over the last four years, and the bigger we get, the easier it’ll be for channels to make the decision to join us as they can make more money from advertising sales as a result. The UK has a vibrant and unique range of FTA TV channels and Freesat has been instrumental in helping them to reach new audiences. We hope to gain more quality channels over time.

6. Q. What is being sorted with ITV to offer the correct regional TV for the relevant postcode area? It would appear that many ITV regions still remain hidden behind the pay wall (encrypted).

A: Work to add more ITV regions on Freesat is already underway, thanks to the availability of a new UK-targeted satellite (Astra 1N). The work will continue over the next couple of months and we expect this change to be complete by the end of summer 2012, if not sooner. The changes will be announced on the Freesat website and on Freesat Information on EPG 999 as soon as the work is complete.

It’s worth saying here that when a regional change takes place, existing recordings for that channel will need to be re-booked so we encourage viewers to keep an eye on Channel 999 and the Freesat website for information over the coming weeks.

7. Q. According to the poll on Joinfreesat, the most wanted high-definition channel is Film4 HD (51%, 2,576 Votes). Will this launch on Freesat this year?

A: It’s great to see our customers are so passionate! We’ll certainly highlight this research in our discussions with Channel 4 and like you, we’d certainly love to see the channel join the platform.

8. Q. Are there any plans to overhaul the Freesat Information Channel, perhaps linking it closer with the website or even your Twitter account at the backend side, so that information is kept up-to-date and relevant? For that matter, do you have any information on how many people actually use it, as it’s not particularly prominent and shockingly out of date?

A: Updates on the Information Channel are updated regularly with Freesat news and channel launches and it is designed to be an additional source of information to our website. We’re always looking to improve our service however and your feedback is welcomed – we’re definitely looking at how we might evolve the channel in the future. The social media side of our communications is a focus for us in 2012, so watch this space…

9. Q. What are Freesat doing to actively encourage existing FTA/FTV channels to launch on Freesat? There are still quite a significant number still to join including most noticeable Sony Entertainment Television, Motors TV, Viva (all currently free to view) and the Travel Channel, Sky News (currently free to air).

A: We want to ensure that as many high quality, great channels are available on Freesat as possible and we do work very hard in our channel relationships to get the right channels on board. We would welcome all of the channels you mention who are free to view on satellite becoming free to air channels.

10. Q. Currently you have a ‘News and Sports’ category with no sports channels in it. Is anything being done to resolve this?

A: We’ve got the best summer of subscription-free sport on TV ever this year, from Wimbledon to the Olympics, and we’re delighted that Freesat viewers will be able to enjoy the 24 HD Olympic channels from the BBC, plus select 3D content too. They will be available via red button and in a specially created Olympics genre. Please keep and eye on our website for news as it happens.

G2

11. Q. What are the plans surrounding the G2 version of receivers, what are the key reasons for the revision and when are the first receivers likely to roll-out?

A: Plans for next generation Freesat products are progressing at great pace. It’s all top secret at the moment so I can’t divulge any new details at the moment, but rest assured that joinfreesat fans will be among the first to hear about all new news. It will definitely be worth the short wait!

On Demand

13. Q. Was it a mistake on Freesat’s part to advertise ITV Player as “coming to other devices” when certain manufacturers had no intention of offering the service? Many customers with effected boxes feel aggrieved by this.

A: It’s fair to say that ITV Player has taken longer to roll out to other boxes and TVs than we wished, and we do understand how frustrating that has been for some customers.
ITV Player joining Freesat was promoted in good faith. From the first press release in late 2009 up until ITV Player launched on Humax boxes, we understood our other manufacturing partners would be planning on bringing ITV Player to their range of Freesat HD receivers. Unfortunately as you know this hasn’t been possible for all HD receivers. As soon as we were made aware of this we updated our website and other marketing. The last thing that we would ever want to do is mislead customers.
The good news is that ITV Player will become available across more receivers as more manufacturers finalise bringing it on board and we will update on this front soon.

14. Q. Why do we still not have ITV Player on the majority of boxes? What are the major hurdles and can we expect roll out on the remaining boxes early this year?

A: We remain committed to giving all Freesat customers the best possible service. For some manufacturers, integrating ITV Player has been more technically challenging, but we continue to work very closely with them to make this happen whenever possible.

15. Q. Have any discussions taken place with Lovefilm or Netflix to bring their services to Freesat?

A: Without going into specifics, the Freesat team talk to a range of content providers and will continue to do everything we can to bring the best mix of channels and services to our customers.

16. Q. Is Boxoffice365 here to stay or being used a test bed for new interactive services as in all due respect cannot complete and has an uninspiring library of films?

A: The BoxOffice365 beta trial has had some positive feedback from our customers, which has provided useful viewer research for Freesat. We continue to keep a watching brief on BoxOffice 365’s plans for development.

Pay TV

17. Q. What are the chances of having access to Sky Sports on Freesat? Is this a possibility or dead in the water given the rivalry between the two platforms?

A: It’s fair to say that it’s unlikely we’ll see live Sky Sports on Freesat anytime soon, but you never know…

Interactive

18. Q. Many Freesat receivers require you to access a category page when pressing the guide button, before accessing the full listing, resulting in two remote control presses; are their plans to make it just a single click?

A: For next generation Freesat, we’re focussing on making it as simple and easy as possible for people to find the TV they really love, quickly and easy.

19. Q. Is it possible to change the EPG slot numbering to tidy up the order? Does your EPG contract with the broadcasters make provision for this or is it forbidden to change a broadcaster’s channel number?

A: We organise our EPG numbers to make it as easy as possible to watch all channels, but also leave space for future new channels. The EPG listing has to be managed carefully and within a clear policy. We do treat this very seriously and always consider channel and viewers needs.

20. Q. Why has the EPG download become progressively slower and are there any plans to improve this? This issue seems to be getting worse and affecting most boxes, especially from Humax, TechniSat and many of the Freesat HD TV’s.

A: We do know that this has slowed for some customers, and are working hard with our partners to improve it. Freesat sets a minimum speed for the EPG data to load and although we’re well within the limits, we do know this is of concern to some customers and we’re working to optimise the broadcast of our EPG data as we enhance the service going forward.

21. Q. With regards Freesat Listings, any chance of an app for apple, windows or android mobiles/tablets? I know freeview have one. Could it be possible to use this to record programs like the sky one?

A: Apps are something we’re most definitely exploring, as it’s the logical extension of our service. Like the majority of TV viewers, I often have my phone or tablet nearby when watching TV and I can really see how the ‘second screen’ trend is beginning. Naturally we’d like to be able to offer the very best to Freesat viewers so it’s something we’re looking at.

Manufacturers

22. Q. Why did some manufacturers like LG and Panasonic stop supporting their Freesat products? Was it simply a case of their disinterest in the platform, or were the contractual requirements from Freesat in the early days simply not up to scratch to enforce support, updates, services etc? How can you guarantee uniformity on the G2 spec to prevent this happening again?

A: It can be more challenging for global TV manufacturers to integrate UK specific services into their products and provide the ongoing support and development investment needed. For our next generation of products we’ve deliberately chosen widely-used open standards that will make ongoing development and support even easier. It’s worth saying that we’ve always had terrific support from Panasonic since launch and they remain committed to Freesat, as do Samsung, both of whom have increased their ranging of Freesat IDTVs for 2012.

Advertising

23. Q. Do you feel the current Freesat tv advertisement adequately conveys the features and key appeal of Freesat? The general consensus online is that it has tried to be quirky and remember able (adj.) rather than informative which is needed whilst Freesat is still an unknown brand name for most UK homes; has the excellent Freeview ad (with the balloons) made Freesat consider a re-think on future ads?

A: The last campaign featuring Freesat1 aired in January, and was designed as an entertaining ad with a simple message: that there is a simple way to get satellite TV, no catch. Freesat offers satellite customers an easy way to enjoy brilliant TV, catch-free. It’s just not possible in one TV ad to cover off all of the key information about Freesat, but we do know from our research that we reached a lot of people who otherwise would not have known about Freesat, and that our web traffic saw a great increase so we think it worked. That said we’re currently planning our new TV ad which we’ll unveil in the next few months and we’ll make sure joinfreesat gets a look early doors.

24. Q. Has Emma considered advertising via Radio? The biggest holdback for the platform has in the past been the lack of awareness and whilst it’s been good to see programme sponsorship deals (Charlie Boorman etc) I do think Freesat could increase awareness further by using the power of radio advertising as well as it’s TV campaigns. Radio, as opposed to TV, is cheaper and during breakfast/drive periods reaches as many, if not more, people than TV. Also, when listening in cars, people don’t and can’t fast forward through the ads (granted they can change station) but think it’s something Emma should really give thought to. Sky haven’t bothered with radio advertising historically but did run a campaign across the major groups before Christmas.

A: As a TV service, we obviously believe that TV is a brilliant way to reach people, but we do agree that radio advertising can also be effective. We’ve run radio advertising campaigns since launch, with a particular focus around Digital Switchover, and we still believe it’s an important factor in driving our growth. So yes, radio advertising is something we’ve always done, and will continue to do so.

25. Q. It’s difficult (if not impossible) to find a newspaper or magazine that focuses on FREESAT channels in their TV listings publications. Do you have plans to “encourage” (I presume that would require money) the publishers to feature freesat channels in their own section and, if so, when? At the moment, all we have is the online “zingzing” guide, but that’s no good when you’re settled in the armchair browsing the TV mag!

A: We agree that it’s frustrating that we’re not listed in all of the TV Guide magazines, however we do talk to them all on a regular basis and will continue to do so. Freesat’s TV Guide is one of the most visited sections on our own website, so we know that there’s a real appetite for recommendations of what to watch. The Radio Times lists Freesat channels very clearly in their listings, and this is something that we’d like to see more of across the board.
General

26. Q. Do you have concerns that moving in the direction of offering pay services is against the key ethos of Freesat?

A: Freesat will always remain free at heart, but we do think that in the future, viewers will expect the freedom to choose to pay for things if they’d like to. What we won’t ever do is phone our customers up every week to sell them associated products and services.

27. Q. We see many comments by satellite installers asking whether Freesat will firm up support for CAI registered members to help encourage Freesat installations? Many are struggling to obtain assistance from Freesat and gaining approval to use the Freesat logo on vans, advertising etc; they would like an official channel of communication.

A: We’ve worked closely with the CAI to put a process in place that allows CAI registered installers to use the Freesat logo on their vans, listings (i.e. Yellow pages ads), websites and local press ads. We have issued guidance and requirements for CAI registered installers who can now contact Freesat to obtain a Freesat logo and then request approval for artwork using the email address approvals@freesat.co.uk

28. Q. (admin) As well as hundreds of questions submitted on joinfreesat, we have also had hundreds of very good suggestions. If we create a suggestions page on joinfreesat, will Freesat use it for future development?

A: Feedback is incredibly valuable in helping us to understand exactly what our customers are looking for. We’re always very happy to hear from Freesat customers, so any comments submitted will be taken into consideration (but I can’t promise we’ll use them all!). Also please feel free contact us via our website – we’d love to hear from you and you’d be surprised how many suggestions made are swiftly acted upon here at Freesat

Thank you for all your questions – I hope my answers have been useful. We’ve been hugely grateful for your feedback and support over the last four years! Emma Scott, Managing Director, Freesat

86 Responses to “Response: Ask Emma Scott a question (2012)”

  1. RogerD Says:

    She didn’t give much away did she?

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  2. cotswoldred Says:

    I’m not sure I learned anything new there.

    Far too vague to be of any use, unfortunately.

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  3. Jack Says:

    Sort of felt disappointed by it really… would have liked it if she revealed more!

    I thought she was supposed to have updated us on the official sales of Freesat aswell – or did I miss it?

    admin said: Official sales are 2.5 million but believe they are well beyond this now.

    So what is it now?

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  4. admin Says:

    Jack said:
    I thought she was supposed to have updated us on the official sales of Freesat aswell – or did I miss it?So what is it now?

    Figures are most likely calculated quarterly so don’t have a better indication that 2.5m at the mo; suspect Freesat will keep it quiet until they announce 3mil sales, which shouldn’t be too long. Very impressive sales for a young platform in a crowded industry.

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  5. cotswoldred Says:

    A big thanks should go to admin. My only feeling is most of the questions could have been answered/predicted by any of the users of the site.

    I guess this is no surprise – with almost all key news driven by contractual arrangements, almost nothing can be conveyed up front.

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  6. Nick H Says:

    Poor show by Emma, thought she would have told us some thing new. Kind of shows a lack of respect for the hard work of this site not to give any exclusive info.

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  7. admin Says:

    cotswoldred said:
    A big thanks should go to admin.My only feeling is most of the questions could have been answered/predicted by any of the users of the site.

    I could answer a great number of those questions in some detail, with a good indication of what is to come this year, but unfortunately as a result I’d lose all the support from Freesat, all the backing of my contacts telling me things in confidence, plus the loss of respect (if I had any in the first place ;)) of the readers should any suggestions not make it to fruition.

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  8. admin Says:

    Nick H said:
    Poor show by Emma, thought she would have told us some thing new. Kind of shows a lack of respect for the hard work of this site not to give any exclusive info.

    It would have been nice for some news to be released as part of these answers but unfortunately this industry is all about cloak and daggers and with most platforms now competing for space in the next generation television arena, it is hardly surprising that news is being kept quiet until the last minute.

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  9. Kate Says:

    admin said: Figures are most likely calculated quarterly so don’t have a better indication that 2.5m at the mo; suspect Freesat will keep it quiet until they announce 3mil sales, which shouldn’t be too long. Very impressive sales for a young platform in a crowded industry.

    Didn’t Freeview HD recently announce sales of 4.4 million!

    Why are people still going with Freeview rather than Freesat … :o(

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  10. Jon Says:

    Well that was a total waste of time 4 months and these are the answers she comes up with. Thanks for your effort Admin, I bet you could have answered the questions better than she did. ;-)

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  11. Keith Gillham Says:

    When if when ? will Freesat welcome 4oD.

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  12. Saltydawg Says:

    Well, that was all rather jolly!………..

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  13. Neil Says:

    I think we should congratulate Emma for taking the time to put these questions across, even if it’s taken a while. There was a slight hint there may have been something ‘given away’ by the delay but certainly wasn’t expecting anything and am not surprised there wasn’t. People need to understand this industry is bound by secrecy and contractual type stuff but even so I think she’s answered a few things.

    ITV macro and micro regions still not on the platform will be sorted by the summer, bringing it in line with Sky’s regionality. This is something a few people comment about and whilst I agree it’s not the biggest thing people want but will make a difference.

    Kate: Freeview HD is a de-facto platform and every TV has a DTT tuner within hence higher sales however you can bet your bottom dollar that probably about a third of that 4.4m figure will probably be actually using the HD element of the internal TV’s tuner, the rest will have Sky, Freesat or VM!

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  14. Paul D Says:

    I would still like to ask her why she called freesat customers who were concerned about BBC HD picture quality “geeks”.

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  15. admin Says:

    Neil said:
    Kate: Freeview HD is a de-facto platform and every TV has a DTT tuner within hence higher sales however you can bet your bottom dollar that probably about a third of that 4.4m figure will probably be actually using the HD element of the internal TV’s tuner, the rest will have Sky, Freesat or VM!

    Agreed, Freeview figures are hugely inflated by built-in TV’s; technically I have contributed 2 sales to that figure, but don’t use the Freeview tuner in either television.

    Freesat can be incredibly proud of their sales figure, especially given the economic climate and the competition.

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  16. Richard Crichton Says:

    Kate said: Didn’t Freeview HD recently announce sales of 4.4 million!
    Why are people still going with Freeview rather than Freesat … (

    Simple explanation All new tv’s sold now have Freeview/HD built in and (for example) over 9.5 million tv’s were sold across the UK in 2010 so it’s no suprise that in 2012 Freeview HD numbers are increasing more rapidly than Freesat. Only Panasonic and Samsung expensive top end models include the Freesat platform. Still when we are watching the 24HD Olympic channels that won’t be on Freeview we can invite non Sky friends round to marvel at our good fortune and admire our foresight in choosing Freesat.

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  17. Keith Cobby Says:

    All of us posting here are enthusiastic Freesat supporters who want new announcements daily and we will just have to be patient.

    The big picture is, I think, very encouraging. Soon to be 3 million users, while Sky must be reaching saturation on their new/net subscriber numbers. In this age of austerity cancellation of Sky is an easy way to cut expenses.

    The extra HD channels for the Olympics must also be good news.

    I am grateful to Emma for her remarks and am optimistic for the future of the platform.

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  18. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    That was a load of rubbish. The old saying “Nothing ventured nothing gained” comes to mind although I believe this was “Everything ventured nothing gained” I think Emma took a course in Polital Answering. What a wasted few months that was, And as Admin said that everything is so secretive in the industry why did he get the Q & A thing set up. It’s no wonder that some of the manufacturers are stepping back if that load of bumf we just had is any reaction of freesat to our questions. Was one single question answered without a caviat. The motor industry lets out information to the public to get people interested in their next product to keep people interested and want what is next so learn something here Emma or go down the PAN.

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  19. stigbeater Says:

    Emma would make a great MP never answering questions, but at least she is giving some sort of feed back even if its not much use.
    i hope there is some news soon its been very quiet lately.
    could do with some more new channels just seems to be losing them at the moment.

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  20. Muzer Says:

    Paul D said:
    I would still like to ask her why she called freesat customers who were concerned about BBC HD picture quality “geeks”.

    Because that’s what we are? Be proud, don’t try to hide it! Times have changed, vocabulary has shifted so that “geek” is no longer derogatory, and it can in fact be a compliment nowadays.

    Anyway, no surprise on vagueish answers, but we did learn a few things, and it all at least sound encouraging, so I live an optimist as far as Freesat goes. And I’m glad my question about the info channel got submitted ;). Don’t take it out on Emma Watson, it’s less her fault and more the fact that she’s contractually obliged not to give much away. Would you expect anyone else to sign a contract with Freesat if she were to have broken five or six simultaneously when answering a fan site? ;)

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  21. Muzer Says:

    Er, Emma Watson? Emma Scott! Getting my Emmas muddled up, obviously I’ve been watching too much Harry Potter ;)

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  22. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Hi all,

    It was good to hear Emma’s response & understandable that some things cannot be answered due to constraints of contracts etc.
    It may be because of the way the question was phrased but it appeared that it was taken for granted that professional riggers are CAI members, while there are many fine riggers that are CAI members there are many old hands that arn’t including a well known industry expert who contributes to wot sat if I remember correctly.
    I have a question regarding Freesat access to the extra olympic channels, if these channes are behind a red button, will it be possible to schedule recordings of events on these channels ?

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  23. admin Says:

    Muzer said:
    Er, Emma Watson? Emma Scott! Getting my Emmas muddled up, obviously I’ve been watching too much Harry Potter ;)

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  24. admin Says:

    Mark Aberfan Aerials said:
    I have a question regarding Freesat access to the extra olympic channels, if these channes are behind a red button, will it be possible to schedule recordings of events on these channels ?
    Mark Aberfan Aerials

    They will have proper EPG slots just with added bonuses via the red button.

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  25. Paul. Says:

    Whinge, whinge, whinge as usual. It’s a TV platform, not life or bloody death.

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  26. Rosco Says:

    Full agree Paul (post 25).

    Emma was never going to be able to give away any juicy nuggets of information – anything interesting pertaining to new channel launches or the like is commercially sensitive until the agreed day of release.

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  27. ian Says:

    LOL At the Emma mix-up :)
    Just be glad its not an ex and the mrs lol

    I understand the secrecy and why it has to be kept under wraps.
    Yes, telling people would attract them, but giving away trade plans and works in-progress when asked to keep it on the sly is how broadcasting works and always will.
    Yes, Admin could let many cats from a bag he has, but then this site would die in 6 months, as the support from Freesat is vital and without that link, it would be almost impossible to work.
    Be patient and you will be happily surprised when things come your way.

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  28. Goldtop Says:

    Been following the post on this site for a couple of months to get an insight as to what is available. (Been a “cable” customer for the last 15 years but latest price increases beyond a joke). It is goodbye VM and hello freesat. Been following the Manhattan Plaza HDR-S box, (but think I’ll be cut off before it appears), but having read the responses to the questions posed, while not much has been given away, will be joining the lists of converts to FREESAT in the not too distant future. Not being a technophobe these forums give me an insight as to what is available and will help others like myself whose knowledge finishes at the on button!!!

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  29. Al (Original) Says:

    Not sure about the reply to question 2 as I’m pretty suer on the BBC Blogs Platform Neutrality was always the excuse tendered for not having a better quality of picture on Freesat than Freeview.

    I’m also worried by the reply to Q26 about Pay TV stating that She expects Freesat customers to demand pay services in the future. I see this as the death of Freesat because once you introduce PFV, it becomes Sky and all the good channels will simply swop to a PFV model as its more profitable.

    Freesat should be kept free in my opinion and if people want pay services, then they know where Sky is!

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  30. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    We will allways have the FREE in freesat but the pay channels would be a bonus and you would only pay for what you want probably not a package at a distorted price just to get one channel you want and loads you will never watch. Looks good in the advert “over 120 channels for just £23 per month” and you only want 1 of those channels. Always been my beef with Sky.

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  31. Nick Green Says:

    I am sure she is a lovely lady but her answers are so diplomatic she should be in politics!

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  32. Martin Says:

    Emma wrote: ‘Apologies to anyone who’s (=who is) question has been missed’.
    What? Want a proof reader?

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  33. admin Says:

    Martin said:
    Emma wrote: ‘Apologies to anyone who’s (=who is) question has been missed’.
    What? Want a proof reader?

    Thanks for the correction Martin…how’s life out in the country we are all bailing out ;)

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  34. Al (Original) Says:

    Soldierboy 001 said:
    Wewill allways have the FREE in freesat but the pay channels would be a bonus and you would only pay for what you want probably not a package at a distorted price just to get one channel you want and loads you will never watch. Looks good in the advert “over 120 channels for just £23 per month” and you only want 1 of those channels. Always been my beef with Sky.

    The problem is though once you introduce pay you don’t just end up with bonus packages from the likes of Sky but what you end up with is premium channels on Freesat deciding that they should be pay.

    The potential result therefore is that the good free channel like Film 4 , 4HD, ITV HD all deciding to switch to a pay model leaving free Freesat with only a few basic FTA channels and the rubbish and all the better channels only being on subscription. That can easily be done because the Freeview supports pay options and so its possible to take currently free channels completely off the FTA model once both platforms have PTV systems.

    The potential result is very quickly you end up with a return to the free tv of the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s with the basic BBC channels, ITV SD, 4SD and 5SD plus the more modern shopping and porn channels.

    However, all the more premium channels would potentially leave FTA.

    By the same token you also discourage premium channels from joining for free. Eg would 5HD ever join free if they could join on a pay model? I doubt it and the same could be said of any new premium channel.

    For this reason I don’t think there’s any place for pay tv on Freesat. Freesat should be kept free and those wanting extra pay services should hunt out those from other providers.

    Pay tv will be the death of Freesat as we all know it now.

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  35. Rich Says:

    Nice of Emma to take the time to answer our questions, even if vague!

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  36. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    Al (Original) said: The problem is though once you introduce pay you don’t just end up with bonus packages from the likes of Sky but what you end up with is premium channels on Freesat deciding that they should be pay. The potential result therefore is that the good free channel like Film 4 , 4HD, ITV HD all deciding to switch to a pay model leaving free Freesat with only a few basic FTA channels and the rubbish and all the better channels only being on subscription. That can easily be done because the Freeview supports pay options and so its possible to take currently free channels completely off the FTA model once both platforms have PTV systems.The potential result is very quickly you end up with a return to the free tv of the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s with the basic BBC channels, ITV SD, 4SD and 5SD plus the more modern shopping and porn channels.However, all the more premium channels would potentially leave FTA.By the same token you also discourage premium channels from joining for free. Eg would 5HD ever join free if they could join on a pay model? I doubt it and the same could be said of any new premium channel.For this reason I don’t think there’s any place for pay tv on Freesat. Freesat should be kept free and those wanting extra pay services should hunt out those from other providers.Pay tv will be the death of Freesat as we all know it now.

    Where is the proof in your self-opinionated argument which does not neccessarily reflect the views of others. Quite a lot of people I speak to would be prepared to pay for certain types of programing without being tied to the likes of Sky and without having to hunt around and extra expense to be able to get them, i.e. motorised dish and such like. Your thoughts in that respect are selfish and belong to the minority and do not subscribe to JF because they are either ignorant of the fact it excists or are happy to let things go and receive what they are given. People on this site want sport but these days not much is free so they would be quite happy to pay for it on free view I assume. If your argument has any credability how come Dave etc. do not charge on Freeview etc. and the other channels haven’t gone PPV?

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  37. Conor Says:

    I think all channel coming to freesat have to be hd not sd channels ass sd is geting phazed out and bbc1 hd bbc2 hd and itv1hd and channel 4 hd have to be made 101 hd 102 hd 103 hd 104hd and when channel 5 hd comes 105 hd on hd boxes only

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  38. Rosco Says:

    Conor said:
    I think all channel coming to freesat have to be hd not sd channels ass sd is geting phazed out and bbc1 hd bbc2 hd and itv1hd and channel 4 hd have to be made 101 hd 102 hd 103 hd 104hd and when channel 5 hd comes 105 hd on hd boxes only

    SD wont be going anywhere for quite a few years yet – there are far far more SD satellite boxes out there than HD boxes. Any channel that launches in HD only immediately severely limits its potential audience.

    The PSB HD channels cant go on 101 etc yet because of the regional problems – why should the folks in Wales or Scotland get London HD? Are they second class citizens as far as HD is concerned??

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  39. Two Pen'orth Says:

    Soldierboy001, your views also do not necessarily reflect those of others.

    Everybody posts their own ideas unless they are an official spokesperson.

    This forum would be meaningless if all we want to read are official announcements.

    This is just my opinion of course.

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  40. Conor Says:

    I mean only on hd boxes not sd boxes and sd boxes are not being made any more by any body they are only making hd+ boxes at the moment because sd is on its way out the door and hd and 3d are coming to fill the gap any body that dose not have hd with in the next 4 to 6 years will be left behind that is progress and that is what no body can stop well that is my opinion any way

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  41. admin Says:

    Conor said:
    [..]sd boxes are not being made any more by any body[..]

    This isn’t correct, but might be the case in by next year.

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  42. Keith Cobby Says:

    I agree with Al(Original) about Freesat not having any subscription channels (even sport and movies) because it would take away the ethos of the platform, and, I am sure much reduce the likelihood of new HD channels.

    It might be interesting to have a poll on this site to gauge opinion.

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  43. admin Says:

    Keith Cobby said:
    It might be interesting to have a poll on this site to gauge opinion.

    Already did, http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/about-us/pollsarchive?poll_page=3 (half way down)

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  44. Cynic Says:

    What a waste of time, nothing informative at all, Emma should consider politics…it’s enought to make me consider going back to Sky !

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  45. peterhb Says:

    Answer to question 22 suggesting Panasonic and Samsung as principal supporters of he Freesat services conradicts the reality.
    Panasonic have said that they will not offer support for ItV player on existing equipment. I know I’ve got one.

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  46. Conor Says:

    freesat need to give there viewer a 3d channel not this part time 3d from bbc.BBC ITV and channel 4 and 5 need to get in on 3d channel to put the one finger up to sky and more HD channels from ITV Channel 4 and Channel 4 And bbc on to freesat And i mean only freesat I think ITV And channel 5 should bid for prem leauge and split it between them

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  47. admin Says:

    Conor said:
    freesat need to give there viewer a 3d channel not this part time 3d from bbc.BBC ITV and channel 4 and 5 need to get in on 3d channel to put the one finger up to sky and more HD channels from ITV Channel 4 and Channel 4 And bbc on to freesat And i mean only freesat I think ITV And channel 5 should bid for prem leauge and split it between them

    hahaha, even between them all, they couldn’t afford the rights to football that BSkyB can! Nor is 3D required, waste of time imo.

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  48. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    Two Pen’orth said: Soldierboy001, your views also do not necessarily reflect those of others.Everybody posts their own ideas unless they are an official spokesperson.This forum would be meaningless if all we want to read are official announcements.This is just my opinion of course.

    Never said they did but if you read and digest what I said and also read the comments of others on the various forums here on JF you will realise that a lot of people want sport and the only way to get top sport these days is to have to pay for it. If they did put pay to view on Freesat I’m not saying I would subscribe but I do subscribe to Abu Dhabi Sports, so I do go elsewhere but not everybody can afford to go in that direction. So give them a break eh.

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  49. Billy bass Says:

    No news is good news,freesat may pick up after the summer sport fest, id for one would welcome ppv channels on freesat !

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  50. Al (Original) Says:

    Soldierboy 001 said: Where is the proof in your self-opinionated argument which does not neccessarily reflect the views of others.

    Given above in the poll posted by admin, a majority are against pay tv and when the subject comes up on Digital Sky there’s an almost overwhelming majority.

    The person I see being selfish here is you. You come to a free service and then want to change that service so you can have premium services. The fact is there are many ways of getting premium channels that don’t include Freesat eg Freeview if you’re in a reception area, Virgin, Sky and now a pay to view IP film service.

    There’s simply no reason to change Freesat and potentially ruin it for the majority so you have premium services you could pay for elsewhere.

    As for proof, simply look at what’s happening. ITV has taken its new HD channels PFV rather than put them on Freesat because it sees the potential of a better revenue stream. 5HD hasn’t come to freesat yet becasue in the messages I’ve had they prefer PFV. Sony has just bought the Movies 4 Men channels and is supposed to be closing them down to launch PFV channels on Sky. At the end of the day almost any channel that can make more money for its shareholders than it does currently will take the chance to do so. Introduce a PFV system to Freesat and you give the opportunity for any channel to go PFV whereas previously it was more difficult for many channels because if they went PFV on Freeview they were still available free on Freesat / Sky. Make Freesat PFV and you remove that barrier.

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  51. Al (Original) Says:

    Soldierboy 001 said: Never said they did but if you read and digest what I said and also read the comments of others on the various forums here on JF you will realise that a lot of people want sport and the only way to get top sport these days is to have to pay for it. If they did put pay to view on Freesat I’m not saying I would subscribe but I do subscribe to Abu Dhabi Sports, so I do go elsewhere but not everybody can afford to go in that direction. So give them a break eh.

    The best way to get sport on Freesat is for its user base to increase to a point where it becomes far more attractive from an advertising perspective. At that point maybe you’ll get someone such as Extreme joining – the latter is always a possibility as its owned by CBS who already have channels on Freesat.

    I believe you can also get free or cheap sport from foreign channels using a multi arm setup and pointing the second LNB to another satellite. I’m sure others have reported free sport on other sats obtainable in non freesat mode from abroad. Also, didn’t the London pub landlady that was taken to court by Sky obtain Premier league from a Greek subscription channel?

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  52. Brian Damage Says:

    Re: ITV Player support on Pansonic TV’s

    Not sure when this started (and I don’t remember reading anything to announce it) but this is definitely working now on my 2011 model.

    ITV Player is not listed on the EPG, but appears after selecting channel 903.

    The picture quality is a little soft – like some of the more compressed Freeview channels – but is definitely watchable,

    (I’m liking this – and hope it’s still working when I try it again tomorrow!)

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  53. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    Ref pay TV see questions 17 & 26 to Emma and also 15 are not those film services by payment? I did not say I wanted it but am prepared for minority viewers to have their choice and as I said that it is only the geeks that come onto these sites that want to force their opinions onto those that don’t contribute to JF or DG so can not join the poll.
    If the question of pay TV was not one of the top questions submitted why did Admin include it.
    Please try to read all that people write and not selective bits.
    P.S. I include myself in the geeks statement.

      Quote

  54. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    admin said: Already did, http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/about-us/pollsarchive?poll_page=3 (half way down)

    43% for pay TV and 51% against That does not seem like a small minority to me, their is only 8% difference. The don’t knows would probably just shrug their shoulders and carry on watching “corrie”.

      Quote

  55. Expat Says:

    What a shame Emma had nothing new for Freesat, no concrete information, just what we all already know.

      Quote

  56. admin Says:

    Soldierboy 001 said:
    [..]and as I said that it is only the geeks that come onto these sites that want to force their opinions onto those that don’t contribute to JF or DG so can not join the poll.

    Not entirely true, those that post on here are very much the tech fans, but only contribute to a very small number of visitors to the site and those that place their vote on the polls. JF receives up to 10,000 unique visits per day probably only 100 of those are regular contributors.

    I think your opinions are just as valid as the rest, just maybe your original post was a little more agressive and rubbed some up the wrong way.

    Pay TV isn’t the right way to go for a free platform, but ultimately in this day and age where broadcasters are struggling for money and take the best deal, having added services which mainly centre around interactive are paramount for a platform to continue to grow. Freesat has done very well to gain (well) over 2.5mil sales in 4 years…I suspect that is much more than any other platform if you exclude the fact Freeview televisions contribute an unrealistic volume of sales.

      Quote

  57. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    Thanks Admin a good response but my response to Emmas’ answers I think was the only agressive due to my disappointment as others have posted but less agressively.
    My comments @30 I thought were quite calm and I apologise if were thought to be agressive, but must admit things warmed up as the posts went along. I try not to be agressive or abusive so as not to get banned and my reference to “geeks” was a paraphrase of what Emma said. Meant as a Joke.
    Sorry if my English is not very articulate but I got A “Z-” at school due to the fact that I did not want to learn it as I could speak it.
    End of my posts on this subject, Thanks for the joust to the usual contributors.

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  58. Southern Geordie boy Says:

    I really like the way freesat is at the moment free of contracts and subscriptions , But being an avid football fan .I would like the option of getting it, even if I have to pay for it,the reason for me not to be on sky is,I don’t want the bullony that comes with it, prices changes ,third party insurance phone calls,and many repeating channels that you pay for in the package you sub to.

    Thank you Emma for taking time to reply to the questions and look forward to the up coming launch of G2

      Quote

  59. Al (Original) Says:

    Everybody’s view is valid, you just have to appreciate that people will spring up to defend something that’s a potential threat to the service and that is something that Pay TV is, in that once you let the cat out of the bag and make it possible, it opens the way for many currently free channels to jump ship.

    BTW I know its not the same as a dedicated sport channel, but there’s been quite a lot of football on 4 and 5 recently as well as 2 good programmes on America’s Cup Sailing. 4,5 and CNN are worth watching for sport.

      Quote

  60. admin Says:

    Soldierboy 001 said:
    Thanks Admin a good response but my response to Emmas’ answers I think was the only agressive due to my disappointment as others have posted but less agressively.
    My comments @30 I thought were quite calm and I apologise if were thought to be agressive, but must admit things warmed up as the posts went along. I try not to be agressive or abusive so as not to get banned and my reference to “geeks” was a paraphrase of what Emma said. Meant as a Joke.
    Sorry if my English is not very articulate but I got A “Z-” at school due to the fact that I did not want to learn it as I could speak it.
    End of my posts on this subject, Thanks for the joust to the usual contributors.

    Keep contributing, have no issue with your opinion, all are valid.

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  61. ChrisK Says:

    Now would have been a good time for a Freesat ad campaign with something like “All the Olympics available in HD on Freesat”.

    Simple and straight to the point.

      Quote

  62. Brian Damage Says:

    It goes without saying, but it would have been nice if there was something new for Emma to announce in this.

    The “working hard with our partners” but lack of popular new content seems to be contradictory. The BBC’s 24 channel coverage of the Olympics is hardly a Freesat coup seeing it as it’s not exclsuive to Freesat, nor (as I understand it) in any way sponsored by Freesat.

    I find the disconnect with the viewer demands (Film HD) to be extraordinary.

    Furthermore, the suggestion of good things to come with G2 is insulting to those of us who have already invested in G1.

      Quote

  63. cotswoldred Says:

    ChrisK said:
    Now would have been a good time for a Freesat ad campaign with something like “All the Olympics available in HD on Freesat”.
    Simple and straight to the point.

    Exactly. If ever there was an opportunity, this is it.

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  64. Dan Says:

    Well I don’t think I learned much from Emma’s responses.

    If Panasonic are so supportive of the platform, why did it take so long for them to implement iPlayer across the range, with some of us having our sets swoped/replaced by retailers in order to have the interactive services promised in their original advertising. The same thing has happened with ITV player!

      Quote

  65. S.E. Says:

    ChrisK said:
    Now would have been a good time for a Freesat ad campaign with something like “All the Olympics available in HD on Freesat”.
    Simple and straight to the point.

    Unfortunately, it is never going to be that simple.

    Unless the company is sponsoring the Olympics, then they are NOT even allowed to mention the Olympics in an advert.

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  66. Conor Says:

    I have funny felling the both 5Hd and Film4 HD nad E4 HD might come after the olimpics have finished to freesat plus I think freesat has to get more channels in hd and sd eg Quest and Dave and the bbc and itv have to do more 3d to push freesat as a platform of choice abd make freeview look very poor and for the people in northern ireland get rte1 rte2 and tg4 ftv on freesat also with a northern Ireland post code also pluss freesat should get sponcers for hd channels on freesat that is a way round the money issue eg SAMSUNG PS3 AND XBOX AND OTHERS product placement on freesat only channels

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  67. Richard Crichton Says:

    Freeview IS very poor in comparison to Freesat especially with one button FTA via the Manhattan boxes. Over three hundred channels to choose from including STV HD, Travel Channel ,Horse and Country and Sky News. There is no comparison.

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  68. cotswoldred Says:

    S.E. said: Unfortunately, it is never going to be that simple.
    Unless the company is sponsoring the Olympics, then they are NOT even allowed to mention the Olympics in an advert.

    Surely the BBC is going to promote the fact it has 24 HD channels available and how they can be watched. Given the BBC part-owns freesat I see no reason why they can’t keep reminding viewers that this platform is one way to watch the olympic channels. Should have a similar net effect.

      Quote

  69. kate Says:

    admin said: Agreed, Freeview figures are hugely inflated by built-in TV’s; technically I have contributed 2 sales to that figure, but don’t use the Freeview tuner in either television.
    Freesat can be incredibly proud of their sales figure, especially given the economic climate and the competition.

    If that is the case they should make televisions with just Freesat why make people pay extra.

    Freesat is about saving money and they should do their part to get manufactures to help.

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  70. cotswoldred Says:

    kate said: If that is the case they should make televisions with just Freesat why make people pay extra.
    Freesat is about saving money and they should do their part to get manufactures to help.

    Increasing the number of tv models increases manufacturers unit costs. They obviously feel Freeview on its own makes sense. Freeview together with Freesat will appeal to Freesat customers but it doesn’t cut off the majority of their customer base.

    I assume the market for Freesat just isn’t big enough to warrant the additional models … yet.

      Quote

  71. Al (Original) Says:

    cotswoldred said: Surely the BBC is going to promote the fact it has 24 HD channels available and how they can be watched.Given the BBC part-owns freesat I see no reason why they can’t keep reminding viewers that this platform is one way to watch the olympic channels.Should have a similar net effect.

    The BBC allegedly has a policy of neutrality which allegedly doesn’t allow them to favour one platform over another. Thus maybe promoting Freesat exclusive offerings might be seen as favouring Freesat over Freeview.

      Quote

  72. Dan Says:

    Of course they could promote Freesat to the one million households which will lose their Freeview signal when 4G is launched.

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  73. Phil Says:

    It sounds as if all the ‘goodies’ will be going to G2 purchasers.

    I wish I held off buying my Freesat+ box now.

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  74. Kevin Says:

    Not very helpful why have a sports section with no sport?,ok there’s abit of sport on this summer because of the olympics. You must be able to get some good sport all year round eg football on freesat even if you make it a ppv channel.

      Quote

  75. Tony Says:

    Hi all ,
    Not been on the site for a while and looking back over previous threads ,not a lot has changed . As for the comments made by Al (Original) , I’m once again fully behind all his comments concerning ppv , we all had our own opinions on this subject but mine won’t change.
    It’s one thing freesat can live without and a path that should not be taken. The whole freesat thing was free tv at no extra cost , as soon as that changes so does the whole meaning of the platform.
    I think it would be a disaster if this route was taken.

    Regards

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  76. Ben Says:

    I had sky tv for a number of years I had all the channels sports, movies ect.. I got fed up with everything going wrong with the boxes and having to pay for a new box which cost over 300quid. Not to mention the sky high ( no pun intended) prices. Then freesat came along. Four years down the line I got my first freesat hd box just the other weekend. And I am very happy with all my free channels. Anyway the point I’m trying to make is that there is no sign of a sky sports channel or anything related to sky which makes me very happy:)

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  77. ChrisK Says:

    Your on the button there Ben@76, I too had Sky HD from its birth (only way to get a HD receiver then) but having the OH give me a lug hole of “all these channels and nothing to watch” every other day it just had to go.

    With that and the fact that the Sky HD HDD was mostly filled with stuff that was FTA anyway.

    My FoxSat will have it’s forth birthday this year so that’s a saving of £32 (last rate I paid) x 12months = 384 x 4years = £1,536 less £299 for HDR = £1,237.

    I’ve probably saved a fortune using the HDR in low power stand-by over the years as well not to mention the inflationary increases in Sky monthly…

    I love it.

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  78. Stephen Rodway Says:

    Hello i would like to have freesat as i currently subscribe to sky obviously i already have a dish but it is a communual dish. I would like to cancel sky and have freesat is it possible to have my freesat standard definition box installed by a professional installer even if i do not need a dish.

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  79. Mark Says:

    I would argue that we have had “terrific support” from Samsung.

    SMT-7800S are STILL waiting for their software update that stops our boxes recordings all getting trashed. Samsung support acknowledge the problem and simply tell nothing about if or when it might be fixed.

    I have never owned a product with such shocking lack of support as a Samsung FreeSat box.

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  80. jevvy Says:

    The reason nearly all T.V.s have built in FREEVIEW is because most of the country use this platform.I for one cannot see this changing at all.Alot of the extra channels on FREESAT are plus 1 (which can be handy) and alot more shopping channels and not forgetting NHK ie you.r interested in Japan.

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  81. admin Says:

    jevvy said:
    The reason nearly all T.V.s have built in FREEVIEW is because most of the country use this platform.

    No they don’t, approx. 9 million use freeview, compared to 9 million from Sky, 2-3 million from freesat and what ever from virgin; that isn’t the majority. The only reason most televisions have freeview built in is because most basic aerials installed from the days of analogue when there was little choice are already in place.

      Quote

  82. jevvy Says:

    Point taken admin,don,t get me wrong I have FREEVIEW @ FREESAT but sky digital dishes have been on peoples walls since 1999 so to me there should have been a more evenly balanced number of t.v.sets with FREESAT tuners or more hybrid sets.

      Quote

  83. admin Says:

    jevvy said:
    Point taken admin,don,t get me wrong I have FREEVIEW @ FREESAT but sky digital dishes have been on peoples walls since 1999 so to me there should have been a more evenly balanced number of t.v.sets with FREESAT tuners or more hybrid sets.

    Agreed, but ultimately the decision for in-built freesat receivers is down to the television manufacturers themselves and many have decided it isn’t commercially viable at this time.

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  84. jevvy Says:

    Admin,what do you think.Will FREEVIEW & FREESAT survive in the long term or do you think the sattelite system is the way to go bearing in mind the cost of running terestial high power transmitters.

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  85. admin Says:

    jevvy said:
    Admin,what do you think.Will FREEVIEW & FREESAT survive in the long term or do you think the sattelite system is the way to go bearing in mind the cost of running terestial high power transmitters.

    Both will survive for as long as broadband connections continue to be strangled in this country, but beyond that, who knows. Both have enough audience to continue operating successfully despite the obvious bandwidth restrictions etc.

      Quote

  86. jevvy Says:

    Good to hear Admin thanks for your interest.

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