BBC Red Button Video Service On Freesat

Article taken from BBC Internet Blog.

2008 saw the launch of a brand new digital TV platform, with the BBC instrumental in delivering both channels and interactive content on to Freesat.

The BBC Red Button offering on the new platform was not quite the same as that on our existing platforms such as Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview and this has generated some comments since then. In particular, Freesat viewers have been keen to enjoy the same video content that was made available on other platforms. I want to update these Freesat viewers on some exciting developments. Continue reading BBC Red Button Video Service On Freesat

Updated: BBC Launch IPTV Exclusive To Freesat

(originally posted 06 Dec 2010)

The BBC have introduced a range of new IPTV streams, initially, exclusive to Freesat.

The streams, which are accessed via the red button on your Freesat receiver connected to the Internet, will give you access to much more content as the bandwidth available is so much greater than that of the available satellite space/frequencies. Continue reading Updated: BBC Launch IPTV Exclusive To Freesat

BBC One HD Channel To Launch 3rd November 2010

The BBC today confirmed that BBC One HD will launch at 7pm on Wednesday 3rd November 2010 across all HD platforms: Freesat channel 108, Freeview channel 50, Sky channel 143 and Virgin Media channel 108.

The new high definition (HD) channel kicks off at 7pm with a series of programmes made in true HD: The One Show, followed by Wallace and Gromit: World of Inventions (the new series brought to you from award-winning Aardman Animations), as well as some food for thought with Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers and Jimmy’s Food Factory. The Apprentice and Film 2010 will also show in HD that evening.

It is also announced today that the BBC’s award-winning continuing drama EastEnders broadcasts in HD for the first time on Christmas Day, allowing viewers to catch all the drama in Albert Square in even more vivid detail.

EastEnders follows Holby City which made the move to HD on 18th October 2010. It will be shown on the BBC’s existing HD channel, until BBC One HD launches in November.

The new HD channel will simulcast a network version of the BBC One schedule, with the majority of peaktime programmes in HD, including The Apprentice, Strictly Come Dancing, Children in Need, Antiques Roadshow, Countryfile, The Graham Norton Show and The Royal Variety Show.

Jana Bennett, Director BBC Vision said;

Whether it is seeing the flicker of irritation on Lord Sugar’s face in a boardroom showdown or watching the beads of sweat fly from the dancers on Strictly, BBC ONE HD is the biggest sign yet that HD viewing is now part of the mainstream.

Danielle Nagler, Head of HD & 3D says;

It’s incredibly exciting to begin the official count down to the launch of the new channel, and we’re delighted to be launching with BBC One’s popular flagship programe, The One Show.

The arrival of the UK’s favourite channel in HD – as a second HD channel from the BBC – will increase the range and choice of HD programming we can offer the ever growing HD audience.

“The existing BBC HD channel has been hugely successful. It will continue to show programmes from across all BBC channels, to allow all HD viewers to find programming they can enjoy. And it will now have space to accommodate more hours of new HD programmes from the BBC.

Bryan Kirkwood, Executive Producer EastEnders says;

Christmas Day in Walford is traditionally, turkey, tinsel and turmoil for the residents of Albert Square. This year will be even more spectacular with viewers having the opportunity the watch the festive drama unfold in HD for the first time.

*Those shows which aren’t made in HD – including EastEnders up until Christmas Day – will still be on BBC ONE HD – but will be upscaled.

The BBC HD Channel will continue to bring programming such as Top Gear, Wimbledon, children’s programming, golf coverage, great drama, comedy, music and factual programmes from BBC TWO, THREE and FOUR throughout the week. We can also announce that this year we’ll bring viewers some of the last races of this year’s Moto GP in HD as a trial run for the sport on the channel.

The Autumn launch is the first stage in delivering BBC One in HD. The majority of programmes in the BBC One network evening schedule will be available in HD at launch, and by 2012 it is expected that the vast majority of all BBC One titles across all hours will be in HD. In time the channel will evolve to bring all programmes, news and current affairs to viewers in the nations and regions.

Follow the progress towards the channel launch on twitter @naglerHD.

Panasonic iPlayer Update Available On 2009 Freesat TVs

Panasonic appear to have quietly (until now!) released a software update for their 2009 Freesat built-in televisions (V10/G15) that open up a working version of BBC iPlayer.

The update isn’t available via the normal Freesat route (satellite signal download), but instead through the VieraCast facility available on all these models.

To update, connect your television to your broadband router (network cable), then access by pressing the VieraCast function button on your remote which should prompt you to update the software; click ‘yes’ and the software will download via your internet connection.

Hey-presto, you should now be on version 2.303 and have iPlayer via the ‘red button’ on BBC1.

Thanks Nigel and a few other joinfreesat followers for the heads up on this one.

LG Offering Freesat Receivers For iPlayer

Following on from our previous post regarding the lack of BBC iPlayer on LG televisions with Freesat built-in, it would seem that LG are now offering customers of the LG LF7700 television a free Freesat digital box, so that they can receive iPlayer.

This would strongly suggest that LG have no plans to make iPlayer available on their now discontinued LF7700 range, choosing to supply all customers who ask with a separate receiver; maybe it is cheaper to buy receivers than develop their software for iPlayer, or they simply cannot get it to work; either way, this does seem an acceptance of blame which they have denied for so long.

So, if you have an LG LF7700 LCD television with Freesat built-in, contact LG on 0844 847 5454 (01753 491300) for further information. If LG agree to supply you with a receiver, they’ll need a few details from you including your original purchase invoice.

Please do let us know what they say to you, what brand they offer, and when/if it arrives.

Below is a copy of the communication received by MCMLXXIII and Phil, joinfreesat readers just in case you need to back up your phone call:

Thank you for your email.

There are technical difficulties in ensuring that the LG Freesat TV is fully compatible with the BBC iPlayer. As a gesture of goodwill LG will provide a set top box to enable your LG Freesat TV to work with both the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player

We require contact details (if not already provided), the serial number and a copy of the proof of purchase in order to process the claim, once received the Freesat box will be delivered within 7-14 days. Please call our Customer Service Team on the below number with these details.

Best Regards,

LG Electronics UK Helpdesk

No Deal Yet Reached Between LG and BBC (iPlayer)

There has been quite a mix of reports coming from our readers over the past few months regarding LG and their plans to launch BBC iPlayer on their range of Freesat enabled televisions.

From the email communication below between a joinfreesat reader (Stewart B) and LG, it doesn’t seem that LG even have an agreement in place yet, let alone are working on the software for a launch any time soon.

In our opinion, we have to question the likelyhood of this ever happening, especially as LG have now dropped the Freesat range, but hopefully we are proven wrong and Freesat/BBC put pressure on LG to introduce the on-demand service across their Freesat range, so all those customers who purchased can enjoy the same facilities as the rest.

Here is Stewart B’s email to LG;

…having made enquiries of you before, and having been advised that BBC iPlayer for Freesat would be available in July, this has obviously not happened. I purchased plug in ethernet adaptors to allow this to function and now find them redundant.

Can you advise, once and for all, whether your company has now abandoned a whole cohort of your customers by deciding not to proceed with this, or when (with accurate indication please!) it will happen. It is now very frustrating to see a red button EVERY time I click on a BBC channel saying “get BBC iPlayer” when I cannot do so despite previous assurances that my equipment would do so.

If you cannot give me these assurances please give me the name of the senior manager in your department or the department responsible for this decision in order that I can write to them to formally complain and request some form of compensation. thank you…

The response from LG’s UK helpdesk is;

The software for iPlayer is released by the BBC. As of yet there has not been a deal reached between BBC and LG to allow software for iPlayer to be added to LG televisions. As soon as a deal has been reached, the expected released date will be broadcast to the public via our website. This is as much information as we have regarding this matter at the present time.

We are also not aware that this unit was ever advertised by LG as having BBC iPlayer on it, nor that it would ever be available on the set. If you have evidence that says BBC iPlayer was going to be added to this particular unit please forward it to us so that we can investigate this matter further.

To reiterate as of yet there has been no deal reached between LG and BBC to enable LG to add iPlayer to their televisions, as soon as there is any news on this it will be available on our website.

For more information please visit the following link:

We would advise you to put your concerns in writing to:

LG Customer Services,
PO Box 645,
PE29 6YU.

This is the only way to pursue an issue that falls outside of procedure.

Best Regards,

LG Electronics UK Helpdesk

If we get any further response from LG, or from Freesat/BBC, we’ll add to the post.

Metronic Set For iPlayer Launch

We have it through unconfirmed sources that Metronic plan to launch software on or around the 24th May which will include BBC iPlayer. This will be for their only Freesat receiver, the SATHD100.

Metronic are the last of the Freesat ‘receiver’ manufacturers to launch the BBC iPlayer service, with only Panasonic (schedule here) and LG remaining with their IDTV’s.

The Metronic SATHD100 is very much a middle of the range Freesat HD Digital Box, though availability of the product seems to be diminishing with John Lewis recently selling for just £79 on clearance. If Metronic read this, maybe they can contact us with news on their plans, as we’ve been unable to get any response from them!

Panasonic Confirm BBC iPlayer Schedule

Following a prompt from joinfreesat reader James, we have received confirmation from Panasonic that the following schedule is in place for the launch of BBC iPlayer on their Freesat enabled televisions and Blu-ray/DVD receivers:

2010 manufactured Viera televisions: Available already
2009 manufactured Viera televisions: End of July 2010
2008 manufactured Viera televisions: End of September 2010
2010 manufactured Blu-ray/DVD receivers: End of September 2010
2009 manufactured Blu-ray/DVD receivers: October 2010

*the schedule is subject to successful testing and software stability

This will no doubt come as great relief to many Panasonic owners feeling left out by the recent inclusion on so many of the other brands.

BBC iPlayer To Launch On TechniSat, Harvard (pt2)

BBC iPlayer on TechniSat, Harvard

Following on from the disappointing delay of BBC iPlayer onto TechniSat and Harvard receivers, it looks likely that the service will be added over the course of the next week or two.

TechniSat have confirmed a scheduled inclusion on the 25th March 2010 with Harvard Group (Grundig, Bush, Goodmans) and Sagem expected to follow on the 30th March 2010.

Panasonic receivers (DMR-BS850, BS750 and XS350) have an update happening tomorrow (24th March 2010) though we don’t know whether this includes iPlayer; unfortunately we have absolutely no news on Panasonic and LG televisions yet!

Note that iPlayer will only be available on Freesat HD and Freesat+ receivers/idtv’s.

Hopefully all will go according to plan this time 😉