Join Freesat


Mar 05 2012

After many months (if not years!) of waiting, it would seem that STV HD and UTV HD (and their respective +1’s) have tied up a deal with ITV which could see them join Freesat once Ofcom approval is granted. Fingers crossed.

News story from Broadcastnow:

ITV will transform its commercial relationship with STV and UTV after the broadcasters negotiated new Channel 3 networking arrangements.

The deals, which are subject to Ofcom approval, will see the Scottish and Northern Irish broadcasters become “affiliates” of the network, meaning they will pay an up-front fee for the rights to broadcast ITV content.

Currently, the two licence holders pay a percentage of the Channel 3 network costs based on their share of qualifying revenue.

The new arrangements were described as “pay as you go” by on analyst, allowing STV and UTV to make payments for content at the point of broadcast, rather than contributing to programme costs ahead of the production process.

It means ITV will assume full responsibility for the costs of the network schedule and the fixed contributions it will receive from STV and UTV also cover digital rights, granting them permission to carry all ITV1 content on their VoD services.

Both STV and UTV declined to comment on how much they will pay to carry ITV programming, including The X Factor and Downton Abbey.

It brings to a close months of negotiations and, if approved, the refreshed arrangements will be put in place until the Channel 3 licence renewal at the end of 2014.

STV, which controls the Scottish TV and Grampian TV franchises in Scotland, will take the “majority” of the ITV1 programming as part of the agreement, but will continue to broadcast bespoke Scottish programming where appropriate.

An STV spokeswoman said it was:

committed to ITV’s flagship drama”, but would not comment on whether it will reverse a decision to opt out of ITV1 Sunday night drama.

STV still owes ITV £10.8m as part of its legal settlement last year and the new arrangements mean it will pay this off in programming stock, as well as cash.

Rob Woodward, STV Chief Executive said:

Today’s announcement confirms the stability and certainty of long term, commercially sustainable networking arrangements between the Channel 3 licence holders,

STV remains 100% committed to its public service broadcasting credentials, to delivering a distinct schedule for Scotland and to providing a platform for informed debate.

Under the agreement, UTV will secure distribution for UTV HD on Sky and Freesat, as well as Freeview following digital switchover. Furthermore, ITV will continue to handle UTV’s national advertising sales.

John McCann, UTV Chief Exec commented:

The proposed new agreements retain the strength offered by the original Channel 3 regional partnerships in the ITV Network but provide the flexibility required for public service broadcasters to operate more effectively in today’s market on all platforms,

Whilst ITV chief executive Adam Crozier added

This agreement, which is still subject to regulatory approval, represents a major milestone for us as it consolidates and simplifies the ITV Network.

58 Responses to “STV HD and UTV HD close to Freesat launch”

  1. Neil Says:

    Good news to finally get these two services HD variants (hopefully with their +1’s too) on the platform so those north of the border and in NI don’t loose out, that is those who’ve not put English postcodes in their receivers.

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  2. Al (Original) Says:

    “STV still owes ITV £10.8m as part of its legal settlement last year and the new arrangements mean it will pay this off in programming stock, as well as cash.”

    I find this quite worrying.

    Last time I was North of the Border, albeit a long time ago, I found STV the most mind numbingly boring experience I’ve ever had and couldn’t wait to get South again. I dare say if you’re Scottish, it has significance and is of interest but as an Englishman, it was awful. I just hope those programmes don’t make an appearance on ITV.

    This is a good deal for Scottish people though who will get many prime time ITV shows by the sounds of it.

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  3. patsy Says:

    Brilliant news if we in England can receive UTV especially HD. I know we can put in N.I. postcodes but this would be ace.

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  4. JamesB Says:

    Could not disagree more. STVs break from the national was a good decision. We received far better quality programmes made here in Scotland. STV have tapped into audiences they didn’t get with ITV programmes, where the audience wasn’t significant with the ITV programme.

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  5. Kev Says:

    Won’t be rushing to retune my Freesat box. I have been using a Scottish borders postcode, which gives me BBC Scotland, and ITV1, the best of both worlds. I lost interest in STV when they insisted on broadcasting their own ‘quality’ programmes, instead of the main ITV output. I’m sure I’m not the only in Scotland that does this.

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  6. Richard Crichton Says:

    It’s neither here nor there for me as a Manhattan Plaza HD-S owner as I already have STV-HD on a HD favourites list as well as ITV1 HD (Granada). If UTV-HD becomes available I will simply add it to my faourites list. I use a central Scotland post code.
    BTW I don’t see anything that says STV HD is coming to Freesat but I’m not a subscriber to Broadcastnow.

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  7. James B Says:

    STV had to clear the rights, as they automatically get retransmission of ITV1 HD programmes via terrestrial due to existing license agreements. Anything else, like HD retransmission via satellite would need another change to the licence arrangements.
    ITV plc and STV have been locked into a legal dispute for about 2 years now, so HD was always a bargaining tool.
    The existing dispute ended at the end of 2011, they then looked at future rights arrangements, and they have made the agreement announced yesterday.
    TBH I didn’t mind any of the programmes they made. I’m not a fan of ITV drama or comedy. their documentaries were refreshing in the interim.

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  8. Conor Says:

    I hope the put there HD channel on before euro 2012 football finals in june so people in northern Ireland can watch it in HD on freesat

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  9. roger mellie Says:

    I use a borders postcode although i’m in the west of scotland, done this to avoid the drivel STV were showing. Good news, more HD is always welcome along with more choice for the viewer.

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  10. mediaman Says:

    It is good STV HD and UTV HD will finally be coming to Freesat along where their +1 channels but many think this is the end of opt outs sadly not. SMG has invested heavily in STV and now see Television broadcasting as their main business. STV has a cool 70 million gaining interest at 1 million a day and that does not include all SMG’s combined cash. Local programming and opt outs will continue especially after full DSO. There is also a deal in talks at the moment which will allow STV to take over part of the border regions which will allow both ITV and STV to encrypted their HD channels in each others countries in order to preserve both ITV and STV’s local advertising streams in the future.

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  11. James B Says:

    SMG doesn’t exist and hasn’t in a long time.

    Where did you get that 70 million from their profits are around 14 millions £ and they still require the bank to finance outgoings.

    STV is purely the channel 3 licence broadcaster and the production house.

    they sold the radio holdings and print business a long time ago at a loss.

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  12. Richard Crichton Says:

    I would like proof in black and white that STV-HD is coming to Frreesat. Where does it say that? There have been rumours that they are coming to Freesat ever since Freesat started and frankly I will believe it when it happens.

    Off topic:On Freeview as cousin in Dunfermine gets the Glagow new on STV at 6.00pm but on STV+1 at 7.00pm it’s the Edinburgh new

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  13. Richard Crichton Says:

    Off topic:On Freeview a cousin in Dunfermine gets the Glasgow news on STV at 6.00pm but on STV+1 at 7.00pm it’s the Edinburgh news. That’s how stupid Freeview is.

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  14. Richard Crichton Says:

    mediaman said” STV has a cool 70 million gaining interest at 1 million a day”

    Please can you tell me where they are getting such a fabulous interest rate so I can invest there.

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  15. hi Says:

    .14…even if it was written in black & white – that still doesn’t say its going to happen.

    I just wish that once statements have been made, they are kept true to their word instead of broken promises.

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  16. James B Says:

    @Richard:
    STVHD only carries the Glasgow regions on HD, they are looking into regionalising this at one point in the future.

    The STV+1 service is regionalised, so he will get the correct region. Dunfermline gets Edinburgh and the Lothians from Craigkelly.

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  17. Richard Crichton Says:

    James B said:
    @Richard:
    STVHD only carries the Glasgow regions on HD, they are looking into regionalising this at one point in the future.
    The STV+1 service is regionalised, so he will get the correct region. Dunfermline gets Edinburgh and the Lothians from Craigkelly.

    He gets Glasgow news on STV SD at 6pm and Edinburgh new on STV+1 SD at 7pm. His aerial is an old grouped aerial for Black Hill but it is pointing at Craigkelly which requires a wideband aerial to get all the Freeview channels.
    The Black Hill transmitter is further away but more powerful than Craigkelly. Lots of people in Dunfermine only get Black Hill and Glasgow news.

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  18. Richard Crichton Says:

    James B said:
    @Richard:
    STVHD only carries the Glasgow regions on HD, they are looking into regionalising this at one point in the future.
    The STV+1 service is regionalised, so he will get the correct region. Dunfermline gets Edinburgh and the Lothians from Craigkelly.

    He gets Glasgow news on STV SD at 6pm and Edinburgh news on STV+1 SD at 7pm. His aerial is an old grouped aerial for Black Hill but it is pointing at Craigkelly which requires a wideband aerial to get all the Freeview channels.
    The Black Hill transmitter is further away but much more powerful than Craigkelly. Lots of people in Dunfermine only get Black Hill and the Glasgow news depending on their elevation.

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  19. ian Says:

    LMAO….
    Sorry, back to being a professional..

    Where on god’s greed earth did you get that pile of tosh and crap from @mediaman?!! Im sure you’re Joshua Welby who post’s on DS, he talks c… too..
    Best laugh ive had all day :)

    Great news for Freesat viewers, finally getting STV HD & UTV HD in the near future, as it has to happen now with ITV Network putting the bad of the past well and truly to the bottom of the ocean.

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  20. Richard Crichton Says:

    OOPs sorry about the double post admin.

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  21. James B Says:

    Off Topic @RichardC
    Yes, I know the Dunfermline situation well. Before Craigkelly went online, most aerials were pointed to Blackhill, but all aerial installers should point the aerial to Craigkelly’s beam.
    There is considerable overspill between the transmission areas, and a considerable number of people getting Glasgow, west coast news.

    Satellite and Cable have helped to keep that at a minimum and the DSO probably has switched people correctly.

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  22. James B Says:

    ian said:
    LMAO….
    Sorry, back to being a professional..
    Where on god’s greed earth did you get that pile of tosh and crap from @mediaman?!! Im sure you’re Joshua Welby who post’s on DS, he talks c… too..
    Best laugh ive had all day
    Great news for Freesat viewers, finally getting STV HD & UTV HD in the near future, as it has to happen now with ITV Network putting the bad of the past well and truly to the bottom of the ocean.

    OFF TOPIC
    STV are not in a good position still, but better than they were 18 months ago, when it was widely reported (at the time) about restructuring, deals with creditors and utility companies at the door seeking payment!

    ITV didn’t want to buy them then, because of the debt. Now it is a leaner proposition…

    ON TOPIC

    Can’t wait for STVHD to be on freesat…

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  23. mediaman Says:

    From various sources including STV and The Gaurdian
    Scotland’s digital media company announced pre-tax profits had increased by 12% in 2011, reaching £14m. It was bolstered by sharp growth in its digital business which saw revenue up 69% to £7.1m gaining interest of £1.m a day.
    STV now has Scotland’s most popular commercial website with an average of three million browsers accessing 17 million pages each month in the final quarter of 2011.STV has also seen a rise in viewers and ad revenue since it’s controversial opt out policy.

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  24. Barry Williams Says:

    A question re postcodes and Freesat.
    I recently purchased a Samsung 8000 series TV which has a Freesat tuner on board.
    Will this receive and upgrage the Freesat channels for ROI viewers (who naturally do not have a “UK postcode.?
    Is there a way to sidestep such a problem?

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  25. Rosco Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    Off topic:On Freeview a cousin in Dunfermine gets the Glasgow news on STV at 6.00pm but on STV+1 at 7.00pm it’s the Edinburgh news. That’s how stupid Freeview is.

    How do you think the residents feel in the Scottish Borders? ITV1 is basically Tyne Tees now ever since the Carlisle studios were closed down & demolished, whilst ITV1 +1 is bloody Granada – which is 200 miles away!! (Personally I havent watched ITV since the F1 finished a few years ago)

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  26. James B Says:

    @Rosco and soon Ofcom will force an accommodation and the Peebles broadcast area switches to Scottish;)

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  27. James B Says:

    mediaman said:
    From various sources including STV and The Gaurdian
    Scotland’s digital media company announced pre-tax profits had increased by 12% in 2011, reaching £14m. It was bolstered by sharp growth in its digital business which saw revenue up 69% to £7.1m gaining interest of £1.m a day.
    STV now has Scotland’s most popular commercial website with an average of three million browsers accessing 17 million pages each month in the final quarter of 2011.STV has also seen a rise in viewers and ad revenue since it’s controversial opt out policy.

    Media Man, ill informed.
    The debt is significant, the profits slim

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  28. ian Says:

    mediaman is one of those that says what they ‘think’ but wants everyone to believe it as reality, when it couldn’t be further from the truth.
    Its an unfortunate side effect of forums and places where you can post a comment, you get the odd one that is like that..

    Anyhoo, back in the real world..
    STV HD & UTV HD, waaayyyyyyy :)

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  29. hi Says:

    Emma’s answers to the Q & A’s ?

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  30. admin Says:

    hi said:
    Emma’s answers to the Q & A’s ?

    Coming soon hopefully, there was quite a lot of questions put forward!

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  31. Martin Says:

    Good news for freesat but I wish freesat would launch a channel of their own just like sky did that would be the best advert for freesat it would be on all platforms including sky virgin ext the best advert they could ever have

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  32. Pingu Says:

    Barry Williams said:
    A question re postcodes and Freesat.
    I recently purchased a Samsung 8000 series TV which has a Freesat tuner on board.
    Will this receive and upgrage the Freesat channels for ROI viewers (who naturally do not have a “UK postcode.?
    Is there a way to sidestep such a problem?

    it appears to have a generic satellite tuner which will capture any FTA (free to air) channels. There is no such thing as a ‘freesat tuner’.
    No problem to receive the ‘freesat’ channels – these are all FTA – and others from 28.2 E sat.
    It should find any FTA channels on the sat your dish is pointing to but it will not update in case of any change in frequencies and you will get no 8 day freesat EPG. If any frequencies change, you will need to rescan for any missing channels.
    There is no need to enter any postcode at all.
    Pingu

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  33. Lee S Says:

    Sorry, an off topic comment. I spoke to Harvard with reference to a HD box I have and apparently ITV player is imminent. I have been told by an advisor that the launch is sometime during March (which we are in now). Should be rolling out very soon if they stick to their guns.

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  34. Richard Crichton Says:

    Martin said:
    Good news for freesat but I wish freesat would launch a channel of their own just like sky did that would be the best advert for freesat it would be on all platforms including sky virgin ext the best advert they could ever have

    Freesat is a BBC/ITV public service setup to cover gaps in the DVB-T network (Freeview) . I don’t think the BBC Trust would allow what you are suggesting and frankly I don’t see the need since Freesat is not in direct competition with anyone.There are already far too many channels on satellite. What we need are more quality programs instead of all the cheap to make stuff we are presently served up with on the non BBC channels and even the BBC have gone downhill since the licence fee was frozen.

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  35. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Freesat is a BBC/ITV public service setup to cover gaps in the DVB-T network (Freeview) . I don’t think the BBC Trust would allow what you are suggesting and frankly I don’t see the need since Freesat is not in direct competition with anyone.There are already far too many channels on satellite. What we need are more quality programs instead of all the cheap to make stuff we are presently served up with on the non BBC channels and even the BBC have gone downhill since the licence fee was frozen.

    I agree that was what Freesat’s original intention was about when the beeb and ITV put proposals together originally however it is now slowly becoming obvious (although trying to be concealed from the masses) that Freeview will not have the bandwidth ‘going forward’ for more HD variants and new channel launches without serious compromise of existing channel picture quality.

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  36. Big Adam Says:

    Frankly even if it was viable, if a “Freesat” channel exhibited the same content quality as recent “Freesat” adverts, I think it would swiftly end up on my deleted list.

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  37. Big Adam Says:

    Big Adam said: Frankly even if it was viable, if a “Freesat” channel exhibited the same content quality as recent “Freesat” adverts, I think it would swiftly end up on my deleted list.

    ……………together with it’s “Freesat+1″ and “Freesat HD” sister channels!

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  38. Jim Says:

    I agree with Kev, I am sticking with my fictitious Borders postcode.
    STV is generally rubbish.

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  39. Rosco Says:

    James B said:
    @Rosco and soon Ofcom will force an accommodation and the Peebles broadcast area switches to Scottish;)

    Thats Selkirk transmitter & its relays not Pebbles!

    Great so we end up with bloody weegie tv. Id rather have London news on than the weegie rubbish

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  40. ian Says:

    Rosco said: Great so we end up with bloody weegie tv. Id rather have London news on than the weegie rubbish

    Isn’t that when someone yanks your undies up?!

    :)

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  41. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said: I agree that was what Freesat’s original intention was about when the beeb and ITV put proposals together originally however it is now slowly becoming obvious (although trying to be concealed from the masses) that Freeview will not have the bandwidth ‘going forward’ for more HD variants and new channel launches without serious compromise of existing channel picture quality.

    It depends how the government flog off the freed up analog spectrum.
    Following a consultation, in September 2011 Ofcom stated that an auction for the 600 MHz band will most likely lead to channels 31-37 being used for three new TV multiplexes. Nothing is set in stone yet as I understand it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_terrestrial_television_in_the_United_Kingdom

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  42. Richard Crichton Says:

    I notice that when the BBC mention that such and such a program is available in a specific BBC region they say viewers in other regions can watch it on iPlayer without mentioning that Freesat viewers can also get it. It’s almost that the BBC are banned from mentioning Freesat on other platforms that carry BBC services (for a fee). Yes that means Sky.

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  43. mediaman Says:

    If STV are doing so badly as you claim how come they are working on 2 major drama productions with a US distribution deal in place. Wallace which is a tv series based on the film braveheart already generates interest amongst US networks.
    Wallace will look to draw on the success of Spartacus and Game of Thrones and will depict the freedom fighter’s story, including his battles with King Edward the Longshank and relationship with rival Robert the Bruce. The idea was originated by Kent Dalian and Seoras Wallace, who was an advisor to the Oscar winning film Braveheart, while Eleventh Hour scribe Mick Davis will pen the series, as well as picking up an executive producer credit.

    The second is Rogue Nation. A political thriller penned by STV boss Alan Clements is set to be transformed into a major TV drama. In the story, Scotland doesn’t just go independent, it completely flips sides — with the country’s First Minister striking a deal with Russia to store THEIR nuclear arsenal in return for cheap energy. There are already 2 major channels in the UK fighting for this drama but negotiations at the moment are secret.

    STV are far from the poor house and have been working closely with many worldwide production teams.

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  44. ian Says:

    So you think that by possibly, note the use of the word ‘possibly’, producing 2 drama’s, that they are as healthy as you wildly claim they are?
    And by the way, posting all this after reading it on the Guardian website or where-ever you got it from still doesn’t change the fact that you still no nothing of what you are on about and say what you think and expect us all to believe it as fact.
    Get real, so-called ‘mediaman’!!!

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  45. JamesB Says:

    @mediaman lack of any substance.

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  46. roger mellie Says:

    I’m so glad i used a Borders postcode for my Freesat, even though i reside just west of glasgow, i’m not a massive ITV fan but their recent dramas- whitechapel, kidnap+ransom,scott+bailey have been excellent viewing. All of which are unavailable to STV viewers. Their delusion of “opting out of ITV schedule” seems to be at an end after the recent agreement was reached (although STV will never admit to any mistakes) How could they possibly say that viewers preferred the likes of “billy connolly on a bike” or some old Aussie drama to the likes of Downton Abbey etc? Clowns

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  47. Richard Crichton Says:

    Anybody having problems with the sound on STV SD at 6.00 from the Edinburgh newsroom? It’s been badly distorted for the last two nights.

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  48. mediaman Says:

    STV HD sound is fine on my Samsung PVR . UTV are thinking of selling their television business which could further delay UTV HD’s arrival on the platform. UTV have trouble making a profit and a few companies are showing interest.

    This link from the Gaurdian was all I could find to confirm.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/utv-may-sell-its-tv-unit-in-northern-ireland-7579333.html

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  49. JamesB Says:

    That was a vague possibility not a certainty. Anyhow UTV have a commitment to launching the service via freeview after DSO and that should include a freesat launch.

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  50. Richard Crichton Says:

    mediaman said:
    STV HD sound is fine on my Samsung PVR .

    Distorted sound only happened on the 14th and 15th of March. Been fine since then.

    I’m not sure what close to Freesat launch means anymore. I will believe it when it actually happens. Close to in my book means a week or so but other may have a different understanding.

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  51. Conor Says:

    ulster tv are a joke now RTE2 hd is on both sorsat and sky and cable in rep of ireland somebody need to strip ulster tv of there channel 3 licence in northern ireland

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  52. Conor Says:

    wee are only place in the world whitch can not watch euro 2012 in hd on freesat or any other platform know RTE2 HD is on sky epg sorsat irish freeview and cable

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  53. Conor Says:

    yet again ulster tv can not get there Hd on to FREESAT so wee will miss another sporting event in hd I think all the people who read this have to phone ulster tv and push them in to geting there hd channel on to freesat before june 2012 by calling all the people who pay them for there adds and hurt them in there pocket

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  54. Kenny McCullough Says:

    The vision in ulster tele…….. Appears to be missing ….get a grip with the 21st

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  55. tom wylie Says:

    Any sign of STV coming up on free sat?

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  56. James Says:

    ONE YEAR LATER… still no sign of the UTV and STV HD services on Sky/Freesat. Very very poor indeed.

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  57. MAC Says:

    STV are a joke. The scheduling over “Downton Abbey” being a typical example.

    It’s now three years since they offered HD on Freeview and they are still “working with ITV” to deliver it on Freesat.

    I’ve stopped enquiring, it’s just a waste of time.

    Actually, for all intents and purposes, viewers in Scotland are FAR better served by permanently tuning to an English region postcode (we watch Granada) to view or record ITV in HD.

    My (Humax) box can also be easily tweaked to take BBC1 Scotland and BBC 2 Scotland as the local BBC programmes on channels 101 and 102, whilst still retaining UK BBC1 HD and BBC HD on channels 108 and 109.

    On the very few occasions we need to watch STV (news etc.) I simply tune in to the regular Freeview channel 3.

    As somebody mentioned earlier, most of the alternative homegrown programmes that STV inflicted on us were embarrassing drivel.

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  58. Jim McLean Says:

    I have a Humax Foxsat box and live in London. if I go to Menu, Settings and change SBT from Freesat to Non Freesat, one click, then I can access ALL STV, BBC, Welsh and Northern Ireland regional channels … only three clicks in all and it’s so easy to reverse the procedure.

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