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May 06 2014

Freesat, the subscription free satellite TV service, has announced a good start to 2014, adding 18,000 homes as budget-conscious consumers switched away from expensive pay TV packages.

Freesat, which celebrates the sixth anniversary of its launch this week, is now available in 1.84 million households, and is watched by more than 3.8 million viewers every week. During the quarter, the big hits with the Freesat audience included the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Call the Midwife, Gogglebox, Mr Selfridge and, of course, Sherlock.

Freesat’s continuing growth demonstrates the strong appeal of premium TV on a subscription-free basis. With a Freesat box, viewers have access to over 200+ TV and radio channels, more than with any other free-to-air provider.

Freesat’s connected TV service Freetime has consistently delivered strong growth since its launch in 2012. The latest quarterly figures highlight that it now accounts for 41% of all Freesat set top box sales, and sales of Freetime boxes more than doubled year-on year. The award-winning service offers access to On Demand players, and allows viewers to pause and rewind live programmes and roll-back the TV guide to watch shows from the past seven days.

During the quarter, Freesat also announced a landmark partnership with Panasonic, which means that Freetime is the preferred TV guide in the new range of VIERA TVs, now on sale in the UK. For the first time ever the benefits of Freetime are available to both Freeview and Freesat viewers. In addition, Freesat agreed a partnership with Vestel, the global TV manufacturer, which will see Freetime included on a wide range of televisions and set top boxes, including those sold by Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Argos. Vestel is also the biggest volume supplier to John Lewis and Dixons.

Demand for Freesat’s mobile app has been strong with total downloads of over 200,000 since launching just over 100 days ago. The app works as a remote control, acts as a guide to what’s on TV, and lets viewers set recordings remotely. The app was recommended as a ‘Best New App’ on Apple’s App Store.

Emma Scott, Freesat’s Managing Director, commented:

I’m delighted that Freesat’s strong 2013 momentum has continued into the first quarter of 2014. Free TV has never been so vibrant or compelling. TV fans are switching on to our Freetime service and switching away from pay TV and the expensive contracts that go with it.

I’m proud to see that Freetime has been adopted by leading television manufacturers such as Panasonic and Vestel, demonstrating that Freesat remains at the forefront of the connected TV market. The huge popularity of our award winning mobile app shows that Freesat matches anything available from pay TV companies.

67 Responses to “Strong quarterly growth for Freesat as pay viewers switch over to Freetime”

  1. Andy watts Says:

    maybe Emma Scott will also recognise that android users would also welcome the opportunity to utilise an app. It’s a disgrace they have only released it for iOS. Yes I know they say it’s in development. Emma said it would be available in the new year of 2014.

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  2. Lawrence pearce Says:

    Viewers may well be switching over to “Freetime”, but does that necessarily mean they are using Freesat? It is my understanding that Freetime is, or soon will be, available with Freeview on a whole range of Panasonic and Vestel equipment. Or am I wrong, and the Freetime package is just a Freesat add on?
    One thing’s for sure, if I am confused by the wording of recent press releases, then I bet everyone else is too…
    Also, 18,000 quarterly sales doesn’t necessarily represent growth – this could simply be churn as people replace broken or obsolete equipment. I’d consider it to be growth, if the number exceeded competitors’ sales.

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  3. Al (Original) Says:

    “Free TV has never been so vibrant or compelling.”

    Hmmm…is Emma Scot watching a different sat service to me?

    So far as I can tell, no major channels of interest and no HD channels have been added in a long time.

    Freesat has stood still for quite a while now so far as I can remember and BBC 3 or 4 is being taken off.

    Freesat have failed to properly implement a HD channel shuffle with only some HD channels, being blocked together and even then, not at the top of the epg. There’s no designated space for 4K or 8K and no minimum broadcast quality standards thus allowing some channels to still broadcast at despicably low resolutions / bit rate / on outdated encoders.

    C’mon Emma. It’s time to get together with Sky and get some of these channel shuffle / quality arrangements agreed across both platforms and implemented.

    It’s also far overdue to persuade some more major channels (not shopping or religious or music) to join Freesat and persuaded more channels to go HD or join with HD services.

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  4. Lawrence pearce Says:

    “Freesat have failed to properly implement a HD channel shuffle with only some HD channels, being blocked together and even then, not at the top of the epg”.
    This is just so important. What first attracted me – and I suspect many others – to Freesat was the availability of free HD viewing. But now Freeview, Youview etc now offers this, together with the convenience of grouping all the HD channels together so they can be prioritised in the Guide.
    Freesat’s new HD genre helps a little bit, but until Freesat does things properly, I’ll continue with my Youview viewing.
    HD channels need to be the default viewing if Freesat is to ever to be considered a premium viewing platform.

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  5. RichardC Says:

    Sounds like sales spiel though what else can Emma say when you think about it. Meanwhile Sky are claiming 74,000 new subscribers in the quarter so these must be people who can afford expensive tv packages.
    In reality 18K is probably some churn and some G1 people ungrading.

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  6. RichardC Says:

    Sorry meant upgrading not ungrading. Sky’s 74K probably includes Now TV people.

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  7. Neil Says:

    RichardC said:
    Sounds like sales spiel though what else can Emma say when you think about it. Meanwhile Sky are claiming 74,000 new subscribers in the quarter so these must be people who can afford expensive tv packages.
    In reality 18K is probably some churn and some G1 people ungrading.

    Don’t forget though of that 74k that also includes Now TV subscriptions for Sky – linear TV and NOW are bundled together, basically to hide the low take up of Sky’s linear TV. I believe the linear TV numbers have been slightly better this quarter but nothing near Sky used to get.

    In Freesat terms, 18k homes is interesting as it’s more than 18k unit sales. I’m sure this research is pretty bonafide as they couldn’t simply pluck figures from thin air and don’t believe they do. Obviously, as with any FTA platform, measuring unit sales is always going to be tricky as there’s no relationship with the customer once the unit is purchased.

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  8. Michael Says:

    Lawrence pearce said:
    It is my understanding that Freetime is, or soon will be, available with Freeview on a whole range of Panasonic and Vestelequipment. Or am I wrong, and the Freetime package is just a Freesat add on?

    Freetime is just the name of the smart TV guide with roll back and showcase features which will be available on some new Freesat and Freeview TV’s and boxes.
    Im wondering if the planned Freeview Connect TVs & boxes will implement Freetime too.

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  9. Kate Says:

    The big problem with Freesat’s sales figures is that TVs are more likely to be being sold to users of other platforms!

    They really should release STB / TV sales figures.

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  10. jeremy Says:

    freesat is the best better than paying expensive subscriptions for repeats

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  11. DaveC Says:

    Which they’d get Dave & Quest. I miss them, sniff.

    And fix iPlayer so it’s less jerky. It’s as if the de-interlacers aren’t kicking in. Just me..?

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  12. Keith Cobby Says:

    The IPlayer on my Panasonic G20 through BT broadband runs very sweetly.

    I agree with the other posters can we have more HD channels please.

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  13. martin Says:

    Going back to sky

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  14. Ian Parsons Says:

    I’m sorry but I just don’t see how you can describe 18,000 new households as “strong” growth. From the point of view of manufacturers it represents very modest growth. In terms of relative share of the broadcast TV platforms again it’s very modest growth. The real growth area in TV is in streaming services which is an area Freesat has be slow to deliver with only Youtube and catch-up offered by Freetime. Freesat has struggled to get HD services but fortunately so far so has Freeview. The marketing campaigns continue to be terrible. Freesat shows no signs of the kind of growth it needs to get the pay on satellite but available on Freeview channels to drop their subscriptions and join the EPG. I’ve been with Freesat for a long time now and developments have been slow and not always positive such as the loss of the extra BBC Red button streams without giving access to “connected TV” services for the first generation boxes, I realise those are BBC decisions but as joint owners of the venture they and ITV had done very little for the platform it seems to me.

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  15. Al (Original) Says:

    Ian Parsons said:
    I’m sorry but I just don’t see how you can describe 18,000 new households as “strong” growth. From the point of view of manufacturers it represents very modest growth. In terms of relative share of the broadcast TV platforms again it’s very modest growth.

    I have to agree, it is modest. 72,000 per annum (projected forwards – 4 quarters by 18) is insignificant given previous growth figures which I seem to remember were in the hundreds of thousands.

    Ian Parsons
    The real growth area in TV is in streaming services which is an area Freesat has be slow to deliver with only Youtube and catch-up offered by Freetime.

    Not sure what services you are looking for here.

    Personally whereas I see the value of extended catchup tv, I don’t want to see a move away from broadcast. The internet is unreliable, at times slowed down and if it does go down, leaves you without PC or tv, so no entertainment.

    Might be a rare occurrence, but during road works a few years ago, (not even in my immediate area but between me and the exchange), a contractor digging up the road cut the main telephone / internet cable to the exchange – we had no broadband for 3 weeks. Imagine no tv for 3 weeks either!

    Equally, how many service drops do people experience, even if only momentary or how much does it slow at busy times as contention ratios kick into play?

    It also pushes the cost of reception onto you – if you can’t afford fast broadband, you can’t receive tv and that’s an open invitation for IP providers to push prices high as everyone then HAS to have broadband to have tv.

    A future consisting of broadcast with catchup over IP is the future in my opinion, although ultimately it probably won’t count for much amongst those that matter.

    Ian ParsonsFreesat has struggled to get HD services but fortunately so far so has Freeview. The marketing campaigns continue to be terrible. Freesat shows no signs of the kind of growth it needs to get the pay on satellite but available on Freeview channels to drop their subscriptions and join the EPG.

    Yeah Freesat marketing is terrible. Not a patch on Freeview adverts, most people don’t realise what Freesat is or what content it provides and when they do appear, the budget appears so small that you only get 1/2 a dozen adverts and then that’s it for another year or two.

    HD is the fault of the epg order, the blocking of the channels and the rules as is the quality issues with many of the channels. Sky needed to co-operate here along with some common sense approaches by Freesat / BBC Trust, in my opinion.

    I mean where is 4K? TV’s launched, being advertised on tv and widely sold, no services or even reserved blocks of slots. Yep standards haven’t been agreed yet but whose fault? It’s not as if the broadcasters didn’t know other formats were on the horizon.

    Ian Parsons I’ve been with Freesat for a long time now and developments have been slow and not always positive such as the loss of the extra BBC Red button streams without giving access to “connected TV” services for the first generation boxes, I realise those are BBC decisions but as joint owners of the venture they and ITV had done very little for the platform it seems to me.

    The 1st generation boxes not getting the extra services has nothing to do with the BBC as I understand it. The boxes themselves don’t contain enough memory or processing power to handle the new streaming services. I believe Humax said that themselves about the HDR – that it couldn’t handle the Freetime services and the HDR was one of the best 1st gen boxes out there.

    Most boxes are made to a cost which means they get the lowest possible processing / memory spec that will run the services required and that means no room for the addition of more power hungry services later.

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  16. Shane Says:

    Turner brings TruTV to UK and Freesat this summer.
    Turner Broadcasting is returning to free-to-air broadcasting with a UK launch for entertainment network TruTV.

    It’s understood the channel will be available across Freeview, YouView and Freesat platforms with distribution on Sky and Virgin Media under negotiation.

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  17. Neil Says:

    Shane said:
    Turner brings TruTV to UK and Freesat this summer.
    Turner Broadcasting is returning to free-to-air broadcasting with a UK launch for entertainment network TruTV.
    It’s understood the channel will be available across Freeview, YouView and Freesat platforms with distribution on Sky and Virgin Media under negotiation.

    Interesting. Whilst I think this will be another sort of CBS Reality type channel it’s good to see a new FTA channel launch and on Freesat too. Perhaps a sign of an improving economy? It’s going on to Freeview as well, we may however also get a +1 on DSAT.

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  18. martin Says:

    Been with freesat for a long time now but its time to put the box in to storage now gone back to sky geting next week be nice to have one box with all the free to air uktv channels on as well as other paid channels to go with it pity freesat didnt listen to its viewers and get uktv on board

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  19. admin Says:

    martin said:
    Been with freesat for a long time now but its time to put the box in to storage now gone back to sky geting next week be nice to have one box with all the free to air uktv channels on as well as other paid channels to go with it pity freesat didnt listen to its viewers and get uktv on board

    Therein lies the problem, you have switched from free tv to subscription tv. Of course you are going to get a better range of channels!

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  20. RichardC Says:

    martin said:
    Been with freesat for a long time now but its time to put the box in to storage now gone back to sky geting next week be nice to have one box with all the free to air uktv channels on as well as other paid channels to go with it pity freesat didnt listen to its viewers and get uktv on board

    Churn happens both ways but I will never return to sky.
    Very happy with my Roku2 got Netflix for my US series and films for a very modest outlay (frozen for 2yrs at £5.99 pm). Watched all 62 episodes of Breaking Bad in less that a fortnight and will be starting on House of Cards soon. Freesat should get the Netflix app on board to spice things up a bit. Can cancel the sub at any time and rejoin at will unlike a sky sub so good luck with that martin.

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  21. Keith Cobby Says:

    I too will never return to Sky. It must be 10 years now and the only thing I have missed during that time is the Ashes cricket.

    All I want are a few more HD channels particularly Film4HD.

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  22. Michael Says:

    martin said:
    pity freesat didnt listen to its viewers and get uktv on board

    Is it really Freesat not listening or is it just the fact that UKTV would rather have your money on top of the ad revenue they get?

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  23. david Says:

    Talktalks youview service now claims one million subscribers. Seems budget pay tv is what a lot of us want. Choice at minimum cost.Seems freesat is stuck on starters orders whilst youview is galloping ahead.Maybe freesat should consider some type of low cost subscription as an add on for those who prefer satellite tv to freeview/iptv but who dont want longterm contracts.

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  24. admin Says:

    david said:
    Talktalks youview service now claims one million subscribers. Seems budget pay tv is what a lot of us want. Choice at minimum cost.Seems freesat is stuck on starters orders whilst youview is galloping ahead.Maybe freesat should consider some type of low cost subscription as an add on for those who prefer satellite tv to freeview/iptv but who dont want longterm contracts.

    Those figures are basically useless; the boxes have been supplied free of charge with many talktalk/bt services that it isn’t a clear indicator of actual usage. In my view, YouView would have failed completely if it wasn’t for their tie-in with this company.

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  25. clive Says:

    if freesat is part bbc one and itv why is sky getting itv new channel and not freesat

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  26. david Says:

    One million T/T subscribers pay for tv, and as there tv boosts are on a month to month basis it seems unlikely that anyone who pays dosent view.Freesat claims three million viewers based on sales from the past six years.How many of those stbs are still in use and how many have returned to pay tv? Freesat offers a good basic fta service but is a niche platform that will never be mass market.As for youview it will grow as a pay tv and fta platform.Unlike sky youview boxes still function as a pvr after your contract is up which seems like a good way to get a free tv recorder.

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  27. Neil Says:

    For family reasons my other half’s sister wants to cancel her Sky sub, basically because her husband and her are splitting up. He’s a bit of a lay around and was told to do it, inevitably he didn’t and so she gave me all the usernames and passwords so I could call in his name.

    What pleasure it gave me on Tuesday morning to speak to retentions and cancel a £60.25pm subscription with Ent, Sports and one multiroom STB! In fairness the guy on the phone this time was pretty reasonable, dealing with the Livingstone call centre last time I did it for someone else was a complete nightmare!!

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  28. david Says:

    Maybe we should remember that freesat was intended as an alternative to freeview not pay tv?

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  29. RichardC Says:

    clive said:
    if freesat is part bbc one and itv why is sky getting itv new channel and not freesat

    The same reason sky gets itv 2,3,4 hd and not Freesat. sky pays them to be only on their satellite platform. Same reason uktv is on sky and not Freesat.

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  30. Saltydawg Says:

    I’m not sure what the purpose of all the moaners are. Freesat is FREE service, FREE, at this moment in time, and until contracts end with sky other channels cannot migrate over to Freesat and many won’t because of broadcast rights. The only thing Freesat should try and improve is their advertising to get more people on board. Let’s face it their marketing department is useless, limited budget or not.

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  31. david Says:

    Saltydawg said:
    I’m not sure what the purpose of all the moaners are. Freesat is FREE service, FREE, at this moment in time, and until contracts end with sky other channels cannot migrate over to Freesat and many won’t because of broadcast rights. The only thing Freesat should try and improve is their advertising to get more people on board. Let’s face it their marketing department is useless, limited budget or not.

    No amount of advertising will convince the great British public to convert to freesat as freesat offers nothing they dont already get from freeview and the rest want premium content and dont mind paying for it.So what does freesat have to offer to convince millions to sling a dish on there wall and ditch the ariel? What does it offer sky subcribers to ditch there subscription? Answer, not a lot.

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  32. admin Says:

    david said: No amount of advertising will convince the great British public to convert to freesat as freesat offers nothing they dont already get from freeview and the rest want premium content and dont mind paying for it.So what does freesat have to offer to convince millions to sling a dish on there wall and ditch the ariel? What does it offer sky subcribers to ditch there subscription? Answer, not a lot.

    3 million sales would suggest otherwise! Many can’t get Freeview, many would prefer to put a dish up instead of a aerial, as a preferred option, or even to future-proof. Many had Sky and decided that they no longer could see worth in the subscription so turned to Freesat. For those reasons, Freesat is the most versatile of all the platforms.

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  33. Neil Says:

    RichardC said: The same reason sky gets itv 2,3,4 hd and not Freesat. sky pays them to be only on their satellite platform. Same reason uktv is on sky and not Freesat.

    Sky made ITV a good offer with Encore and Crozier wants ITV to become a pay/FTA channel operator so decided to take up their offer. As for UKTV, they are pay on DSAT due to historical reasoning, don’t forget that most, if not all their channels were pay at some point. It’s since they’ve been on DTT they have also become more of a pay/FTA operator. I remain convinced that the DSAT situation will one day change for UKTV as Freesat penetration increases, plus the logistics of them moving to a Satellite that allows UK spot TP’s.

    Currently they are on Astra 2A, expected to migrate to 2G once it launches. One interesting and promising thing for Freesat is that SES appear to have illuminated a TP carrying a BBC Commonwealth Games test card which is in the ex-Eutelsat 11.4-11.7GHz band and on a UK spot TP. This means, when the ex EB1 TP’s, including that of Freesat’s, is novated to SES craft, there’s a possibility of this going on the UK Spot antenna and would allow Freesat to lease some of their unused capacity to broadcasters wanting to get on board but with no UK spot capacity at present.

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  34. RAM Says:

    Supposedly UKTV signed a 5 year deal with BSkyB in 2009. Anyone heard anything about this?

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  35. david Says:

    Neil said: Sky made ITV a good offer with Encore and Crozier wants ITV to become a pay/FTA channel operator so decided to take up their offer. As for UKTV, they are pay on DSAT due to historical reasoning, don’t forget that most, if not all their channels were pay at some point. It’s since they’ve been on DTT they have also become more of a pay/FTA operator. I remain convinced that the DSAT situation will one day change for UKTV as Freesat penetration increases, plus the logistics of them moving to a Satellite that allows UK spot TP’s.
    Currently they are on Astra 2A, expected to migrate to 2G once it launches. One interesting and promising thing for Freesat is that SES appear to have illuminated a TP carrying a BBC Commonwealth Games test card which is in the ex-Eutelsat 11.4-11.7GHz band and on a UK spot TP. This means, when the ex EB1 TP’s, including that of Freesat’s, is novated to SES craft, there’s a possibility of this going on the UK Spot antenna and would allow Freesat to lease some of their unused capacity to broadcasters wanting to get on board but with no UK spot capacity at present.

    As uk tv reaches 50% of the population via freeview I can’t imagine there busting a gut to arrive on freesat anytime soon.The misguided belief that freesat is going to penatrate mass market is almost laughable.

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  36. david Says:

    Freesat claims 3 million sales.How many of these stbs and tvs are in actual use today? Many freesat viewers may have more than one stb, many will have upgraded to freetime! Many will have ditched freesat for other platforms! So I suspect freesat has around one million hardcore viewers.So many of these try to convince themselves that they are the future of tv, sorry you aren’t, that belongs to youview and iptv.

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  37. admin Says:

    david said: As uk tv reaches 50% of the population via freeview I can’t imagine there busting a gut to arrive on freesat anytime soon.The misguided belief that freesat is going to penatrate mass market is almost laughable.

    Yet you are spending your time on here trying to disprove the success of the platform!!!

    david said:
    Freesat claims 3 million sales.How many of these stbs and tvs are in actual usetoday? Many freesat viewers may have more than one stb, many will have upgraded to freetime! Many will have ditched freesat for other platforms! So I suspect freesat has around one million hardcore viewers.So many of these try to convince themselves that they are the future of tv, sorry you aren’t, that belongs to youview and iptv.

    Given that Freesat is a non-subscription service, it is hard to know the actual figures nor how many are being used per household, but Freesat have barb figures of 1.8million households. Freeview is more skewed because of the inclusion of the platform in so many televisions, for many years. YouView is restricted by terrestrial limitations so long term has to focus on the Internet based services, which in itself can be accessed via many different devices. Ultimately, in 10+ years time, Internet television is likely to be the platform of choice for most, but Satellite will certainly outlive Aerial!

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  38. david Says:

    Freesat would be closed if it were a private company.http://companycheck.co.uk/company/06250097 At least freeview isnt drowning in debt http://companycheck.co.uk/company/04435179/DTV-SERVICES-LIMITED/group-structure

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  39. Dave W Says:

    david said:
    Freesat claims 3 million sales.How many of these stbs and tvs are in actual usetoday? Many freesat viewers may have more than one stb, many will have upgraded to freetime! Many will have ditched freesat for other platforms! So I suspect freesat has around one million hardcore viewers.So many of these try to convince themselves that they are the future of tv, sorry you aren’t, that belongs to youview and iptv.

    Hmm.. not really sure what your point is. AFAIK the original thinking behind Freesat was to plug the coverage hole for people who couldn’t get a digital terrestial signal (Freeview). I can get both but I chose Freesat because I can get the best of both worlds with BBCScHD and ITV (for the football) plus there’s far greater potential for expansion. Everyone will have their own reasons. I can get iPlayer, 4oD and Demand5 and so can people using other platforms. So what? Satellite TV isn’t going away so get over it.

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  40. Neil Says:

    david said: As uk tv reaches 50% of the population via freeview I can’t imagine there busting a gut to arrive on freesat anytime soon.The misguided belief that freesat is going to penatrate mass market is almost laughable.

    So, for example, is that the same attitude Viacom had when they wanted to put Viva, one of their FTA DTT channels, also FTA on DSAT and on the platform? The answer is no!

    I agree that Freesat isn’t going to penetrate mass market, that’s partly due to Sky’s ‘gatekeeper’ tactics. Don’t forget those Sky churners who are happy without recording facilities who would also benefit from a higher selection of FTA channels.

    I think the platform has done very well to get to where it is, considering we’ve just been through the worse recession in peace time, plus the severe market pressure Sky has been playing to prevent channels, sometimes at any cost, joining the platform.

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  41. david Says:

    Dave W said: Hmm.. not really sure what your point is. AFAIK the original thinking behind Freesat was to plug the coverage hole for people who couldn’t get a digital terrestial signal (Freeview). I can get both but I chose Freesat because I can get the best of both worlds with BBCScHD and ITV (for the football) plus there’s far greater potential for expansion. Everyone will have their own reasons. I can get iPlayer, 4oD and Demand5 and so can people using other platforms. So what? Satellite TV isn’t going away so get over it.

    As a freesat viewer I wish it success, just enjoy the stalinist zeal for freesat on this forum.Cries of heritic ring in my ear for pointing out simple truths.Yes freesat is an alternative not a replacement for freeview or sky.With freeview been the platform of choice for 25 million homes vs freesats 3 million homes its clear freesat is not a choice that most people want.

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  42. david Says:

    admin said: Yet you are spending your time on here trying to disprove the success of the platform!!!Given that Freesat is a non-subscription service, it is hard to know the actual figures nor how many are being used per household, but Freesat have barb figures of 1.8million households. Freeview is more skewed because of the inclusion of the platform in so many televisions, for many years. YouView is restricted by terrestrial limitations so long term has to focus on the Internet based services, which in itself can be accessed via many different devices. Ultimately, in 10+ years time, Internet television is likely to be the platform of choice for most, but Satellite will certainly outlive Aerial!

    Because freeview will shut down to free up the airways? It will be a brave politician who seeks to deprive the nations oaps(majority of freeview viewer’s)of there free tv.Try telling them they will have to install a dish.Still suppose it suits the stalinist zealots to force freesat on those who dont want it?

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  43. admin Says:

    david said: As a freesat viewer I wish it success, just enjoy the stalinist zeal for freesat on this forum.Cries of heritic ring in my ear for pointing out simple truths.Yes freesat is an alternative not a replacement for freeview or sky.With freeview been the platform of choice for 25 million homes vs freesats 3 million homes its clear freesat is not a choice that most people want.

    Did you really expert any different from a website focused entirely on the success of the Freesat platform? Kind of ironic is it not to slam Freesat as a lesser platform, yet you are one such viewer? Freesat was intended as an alternative to Freeview for those that couldn’t access it, yet has proven much more successful and turned into a platform capable of standing on its own two feet, as a direct competitor, which it is. Will it ever overtake Freeview in terms of sales, no chance, but it is the more future-proof option, but largely depends what you want.

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  44. admin Says:

    david said: Still suppose it suits the stalinist zealots to force freesat on those who dont want it?

    No one has done this on here, but chances are, if someone finds this website, then they are interested in the platform anyway. You are starting to put subtle insults in your posts so I suggest we leave this point here (I’ll allow one response in the interest of fairness ;)). It is almost the weekend, I don’t want to be moderating posts, so end of…have a good weekend.

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  45. david Says:

    No offence intended.long may freesat and freeview prosper.I am not attacking freesat just some peoples unrealistic expectations of free tv in general.

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  46. Rich Says:

    I left freesat after a few years to go back to Sky as they’d moved their equipment along a hell of a lot since the white Sky+ box days, and I didn’t have a couple of hundred £ to upgrade my Foxsat HDR to one of the Freetime boxes. It so happens via a cashback site I was able to get Sky to pay me to have their service for a year; so seemed a good idea to try it again. No cost, no strings. When the free bit ends, I may return to Freesat. However it seems the same old issues are still there.

    My ten penneth on Freesat is probably the same as everyone elses, and yes I understand it’s not all down to them, there’s other forces at work etc but from a consumer perspective, I don’t give a monkeys about the back story. Freesat should:

    1. Get the UKTV channels onto it. I don’t care why they aren’t there, they’re a glaring omission. Be nice if there was some indication from Freesat that they’re trying to get them onto the platform; that they’re applying some pressure or having discussions, or not as the case may be.

    2. To get the new boxes to have some kind of “light” pay tv option; get Netlix, Lovefilm, etc onto them. It could be done very easily, it’s only an app after all. I know those services are available on many other devices, but I don’t want to have to have many other devices to watch stuff. I want the box under the telly to do it all.

    3. Get their Android app sorted. I can’t believe it’s still not there. If they knew anything about demographics, they’d realise those with money to burn on overpriced Apple tech wouldn’t think twice about having a Sky subscription. Cost conscious consumers opting for Freesat will (in the main – not everyone – but most) will have more budget friendly handsets and contracts that won’t include iPhones and iPads. Developers usually focus on Apple apps first as their users are more likely to buy things than Android users. Given the apps free, it should be more about targetting where the bulk of users are.

    A few points anyway.

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  47. Al (Original) Says:

    david said: No amount of advertising will convince the great British public to convert to freesat as freesat offers nothing they dont already get from freeview

    How about no issues with bandwidth for the future or consequential channel number restrictions or quality constraints (beyond those which the broadcasting authorities might see fit to impose), and a signal that is more robust and reliable in many fringe areas than Freeview. Lets see if you’re still singing Freeview’s praises in 2018 or so when the temporarily freed mobile bandwidth allocated to Freeview to expand between now and then is removed or when 4k arrives to broadcast and needs 30mbs of bandwidth per channel.

    Up until 2010, there wasn’t enough bandwidth for any HD channels, only the advent of better codecs helped:

    http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2010/02/sneak-preview-of-hd-on-freeview/?lang=cy

    Here’s an article about the temporary space:

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tech/news/a456778/freeview-could-get-ten-more-hd-channels-under-ofcom-proposal.html

    david and the rest want premium content and dont mind paying for it.

    That’s what Sky is for. There’s plenty of good content for free on Freesat. Could be better for sure, but its not bad for a free service either.

    david So what does freesat have to offer to convince millions to sling a dish on there wall and ditch the ariel? What does it offer sky subcribers to ditch there subscription? Answer, not a lot.

    Freeview answered above.

    Sky subscribers, substantial financial savings.

    Obviously, 3 million people agree.

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  48. miffo Says:

    Admin – off topic, but can you please update your best freesat prices to reflect the following – Amazon.co.uk
    HDR 1000S 500g £189.95 free supersaver del.
    HDR 1000S 1TB £209.00 free supersaver del (which is the cheapest I have found for this version)

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  49. admin Says:

    miffo said:
    Admin – off topic, but can you please update your best freesat prices to reflect the following – Amazon.co.uk
    HDR 1000S 500g £189.95 free supersaver del.
    HDR 1000S 1TB £209.00 free supersaver del (which is the cheapest I have found for this version)

    Done, thanks for letting me know, been meaning to update them all so have sorted the HDR-1000S to start with.

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  50. david Says:

    Al (Original) said: How about no issues with bandwidth for the future or consequential channel number restrictions or quality constraints (beyond those which the broadcasting authorities might see fit to impose), and a signal that is more robust and reliable in many fringe areas than Freeview. Lets see if you’re still singing Freeview’s praises in 2018 or so when the temporarily freed mobile bandwidth allocated to Freeview to expand between now and then is removed or when 4k arrives to broadcast and needs 30mbs of bandwidth per channel.
    Up until 2010, there wasn’t enough bandwidth for any HD channels, only the advent of better codecs helped:
    http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2010/02/sneak-preview-of-hd-on-freeview/?lang=cy
    Here’s an article about the temporary space:
    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tech/news/a456778/freeview-could-get-ten-more-hd-channels-under-ofcom-proposal.htmlThat’s what Sky is for. There’s plenty of good content for free on Freesat. Could be better for sure, but its not bad for a free service either.Freeview answered above.
    Sky subscribers, substantial financial savings.
    Obviously, 3 million people agree.

    Missing my point, im not pro or anti any tv platform, pay or fta.As I have said, there is much speculation about the future of freeview in its current format.There may be a slimming down of channels to make way for future mobile bandwidth, but shutting down completely would mean a new digital switchover and few freeview viewers have a dish already. As the majority of freeview viewer’s are elderly, or of limited finances who is going to pay for there sat equipment or isp charges if freeview is iptv only . Freeview may survive in its current format with a max of 50 plus ch from the psbs.That will probably surfice for most of freeviews 25 million households who arnt fussed about platform politics or whether freesat is superior in quality to freeview.

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  51. david Says:

    Oh and as for the 3 million quote 3 million sales over 6years dosent equate to 3 million regular viewers today.As I said, how do you know that a % of those haven’t since switched to virgin, BT, or heaven forbib back to sky as individual finances improve . Remember many people have left sky due to a downturn in earnings not because they love free tv. If you want to watch game of thrones, hannibal, bates motel etc then your going to opt for pay tv.Yes theres netflix, blinkbox, amazon where you can buy individual episodes or boxsets but its no cheaper than a pay tv package in the long term.

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  52. david Says:

    Maybe I should explain that much as I love freesat I really dont think that it will ever be more than a minority platform, appealing to sat enthusiasts and pay tv refuseniks. The population at large dont think that deeply about how there tv picture arrives at there screen,where It comes from, or whether there’s an alternative to how they watch tv.Some on this forum seem almost evangelical in there devotion to freesat and snooty attitude to freeview in particular is baffling to me.How many of your friends and family has anybody convinced to switch to freesat. Would love to know?

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  53. admin Says:

    David, you were kindly asked to stop debating this point and agreed, yet have continued to do so. When I closed the commenting option on this particular news story, you carried on on other pages instead! I’ve had to put a stop to this, not because your view isn’t valid, but because you have a clear agenda given you failed to respect the request of the site.

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  54. david Says:

    Admin.ok, just debating the merits of freesat vs freeview and pay tv, if censorship is your answer to this then thats your privilege. Seems a sore point to point out facts and truths so people can make a informed decision based on this and not the anti everything else present on this forum.Love freesat, hate the political agenda present here.Of elsewhere, free of censorship. Understand if I was offensive, I wasn’t, just deliberately provocative.

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  55. miffo Says:

    Can ‘David’ not be binned privately?

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  56. admin Says:

    I’ve allowed David’s last point to be added here, but this has been discussed at great length with him and the obvious reasons why as a Freesat exclusive website, the opinions of myself and others are going to be largely in favour of Freesat! David has posted a number of comments promoting YouView on this and other non-relevant pages after he had been asked (and agreed) to stop. YouView has its merits, just like any other platform, but ultimately we are not here to tell visitors to buy another platforms services, but to point out the advantages of Freesat and what it has to offer.

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  57. Neil Says:

    There’s a new channel joining on the 10th June, Forces TV, run by SSVC (who run BFBS Radio and TV) and will be available on the platform. Not sure which genre this will go in to as they’ve not confirmed EPG number yet.

    https://twitter.com/forces_tv

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  58. Al (Original) Says:

    david said: Missing my point, im not pro or anti any tv platform, pay or fta.As I have said, there is much speculation about the future of freeview in its current format.There may be a slimming down of channels to make way for future mobile bandwidth, but shutting down completely would mean a new digital switchover and few freeview viewers have a dish already. As the majority of freeview viewer’s are elderly, or of limited finances who is going to pay for there sat equipment or isp charges if freeview is iptv only . Freeview maysurvive in its current format with a max of 50 plus ch from the psbs.That will probably surfice for most of freeviews 25 millionhouseholds who arnt fussed about platform politics or whetherfreesat is superior in quality to freeview.

    It’s going to happen eventually as it’s inevitable in my opinion. Once 4K and 8K become common place, where is the bandwidth going to come from on terrestrial?

    From memory I’m sure I read somewhere that 4K requires 30mbs. Isn’t the current HD rate around 8mbs and SD around 4mbs?

    If so, that may mean 4 HD channels or 8 SD channels are lost for every 4K channel added unless substantial codec gains are made once more.

    For 8K channels I think in NHK tests from this it was around 85mbs so you’d probably have to lose 11 HD channels or 22 SD channels for each 8K channel at that rate.

    I think it’s likely therefore that Freeview will switch to IP TV services in the future, something which will potentially then affect the elderly and those without internet in the same way.

    Personally, I’m a fan of broadcast. Once your reliant on the IP providers for your tv, its a licence to put internet service prices up through the roof in my opinion.

    Just my opinions though, nothing more nothing less.

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  59. RichardC Says:

    Don’t forget HEVC/H265 is twice as efficient as MPEG4/H264 so twice as many HD channels could use the same bandwidth as now and who is to say even more efficient codecs won’t appear.

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  60. David Says:

    Al (Original) said: It’s going to happen eventually as it’s inevitable in my opinion. Once 4K and 8K become common place, where is the bandwidth going to come from on terrestrial?
    From memory I’m sure I read somewhere that 4K requires 30mbs. Isn’t the current HD rate around 8mbs and SD around 4mbs?
    If so, that may mean 4 HD channels or 8 SD channels are lost for every 4K channel added unless substantial codec gains are made once more.
    For 8K channels I think in NHK tests from this it was around 85mbs so you’d probably have to lose 11 HD channels or 22 SD channels for each 8K channel at that rate.
    I think it’s likely therefore that Freeview will switch to IP TV services in the future, something which will potentially then affect the elderly and those without internet in the same way.
    Personally, I’m a fan of broadcast. Once your reliant on the IP providers for your tv, its a licence to put internet service prices up through the roof in my opinion.
    Just my opinions though, nothing more nothing less.

    4k tv delivered on any platform is unlikely. Probably be internet only in my opinion

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  61. Neil Says:

    David said: 4k tv delivered on any platform is unlikely. Probably be internet only in my opinion

    That’s not true as you’ll find out in due course. 4k can and will be delivered by Satellite, as Richard says above HEVC Coding offers much more efficient ways of delivering services at high bitrates. This is all still a fair while off so not much point really discussing it.

      Quote

  62. david Says:

    Neil said: That’s not true as you’ll find out in due course. 4k can and will be delivered by Satellite, as Richard says above HEVC Coding offers much more efficient ways of delivering services at high bitrates. This is all still a fair while off so not much point really discussing it.

    Possible, but not likley, but as u say its a long way of so we will wait and see!

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  63. Chris Guest Says:

    David said: 4k tv delivered on any platform is unlikely. Probably be internet only in my opinion

    Eutelsat are already testing 4K…

    http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2014/05/26/eutelsat-steps-up-ultra-hd-activity/

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  64. RichardC Says:

    For the average consumer it’s hard to convince them that Blu-ray is a step up from DVD, a lot of people think it is just another gimmick to part people from their money, so 4k/UHD is going to be an enthusiast platform for a long time to come and is likely to be expensive when it does arrive.

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  65. RichardC Says:

    Freesat has confirmed a new line of freetime boxes from Manhattan.

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  66. Neil Says:

    RichardC said:
    For the average consumer it’s hard to convince them that Blu-ray is a step up from DVD, a lot of people think it is just another gimmick to part people from their money, so 4k/UHD is going to be an enthusiast platform for a long time to come and is likely to be expensive when it does arrive.

    Couldnt’t agree more, especially when Sky start marketing it too!

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  67. peter Says:

    David said: 4k tv delivered on any platform is unlikely. Probably be internet only in my opinion

    http://www.whathifi.com/news/ofcom-outlines-plans-for-the-future-of-digital-terrestrial-tv
    maybe the death of freeview is prematurely announced?

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