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FreesatWelcome to joinfreesat.co.uk, the unofficial Freesat news site. Find out the very latest information on the Freesat satellite television service, available throughout the UK. This site includes all the latest news, reviews and product details, plus where to buy online at the best price...

Freesat is a UK digital satellite TV service from the BBC/ITV which launched in May 2008. Freesat has no monthly subscription, just a one-off payment for the digital box, satellite dish and installation. It even comes with subscription-free, high-definition TV programmes. As Freesat is broadcast via satellite, it’s available to almost every household in the UK.
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Aug 10 2011

View21

News story courtesy of Digitalspy

Harvard International has today announced the launch of a new range of high definition set top boxes, offering web services and integration with mobile devices.

Bearing the branding View21, the Freeview HD and Freesat HD receivers are aimed at customers who want to “future proof their TV experience” without having to switch to pay-TV. …read more »


Mar 23 2010

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 ;)


Mar 03 2010

BBC iPlayer on TechniSat, Harvard

We have been tipped off that TechniSat will be receiving BBC iPlayer as part of their new software update due for release on the 16th March 2010.

In the same week, and maybe on the same day, Harvard Group is expected to also launch new software to give access to iPlayer, though at this stage we do not know if it will be their entire HD range of Grundig, Bush and Goodmans.

According to What Hifi, Sagem receivers will also have BBC iPlayer on the 15th.

iPlayer is currently available on Humax receivers and Sony IDTV via the red button home page or using page 7001.


Nov 17 2009

Harvard International today released version 1.8.1 of their software for the Bush, Grundig and Goodmans Freesat HD receivers; curing the problems from the previous software release.

It took Harvard International a few weeks originally to acknowledge the problem, followed by a large scale process of collecting and replacing customers receivers; and now finally a software update has been made available for download (OTA) which seems to resolve the original problems in just 5 minutes!

We managed to obtain a couple of units suffering from the initial update of which the Bush has now been updated and appears to be working fine. We will report back on how the Grundig fairs shortly.

So if anyone is still in posession of one of these faulty units, set it back up and providing it will operate for a short time, make sure the software update option is set to automatic within the menu, then return to standby; the download should automatically happen within a few minutes.

Let us know your results.


Oct 26 2009

Following our post regarding the software Update which caused some Goodmans, Grundig and Bush Freesat boxes to fail, Harvard International have released the following statement:

As a result of a recent over-the-air download to Goodmans, Grundig and Bush Freesat HD digital boxes, some boxes have experienced problems. Whilst the number affected is limited, the cause of this problem is nevertheless under urgent and active investigation by Harvard International in conjunction with its suppliers.

Meanwhile, Freesat viewers who have reported this problem are each being contacted and arrangements are being made to ensure they can continue to enjoy the full Freesat service. This process is ongoing and will be completed by Sunday 25th October.

This issue concerns Goodmans, Grundig and Bush Freesat HD Digital Boxes only. Freesat viewers and owners of these boxes who are experiencing this problem, and who have not already provided their details, should contact the Harvard Helpline T: 0871 230 1777. We can assure all affected customers that they will receive a satisfactory resolution based on their specific requirements.

Harvard International wishes to apologise sincerely to the Freesat viewers and users of its Bush, Goodmans and Grundig Digital Boxes who have experienced this problem, and who have been inconvenienced by not being able to access the Freesat service.


Oct 15 2009

A software update carried out on all Bush/Goodmans/Grundig Freesat receivers on Tuesday 13th October 2009 has caused a large number of them to fail.

The faults include inability to change channel, loss of picture and/or sound, , no satellite signal, constant rebooting, to the extreme of unable to switch on at all.

Harvard Group (previously Alba) who are responsible for these brands are aware of the problem and have been telling customers to expect a new software download in the next few days, though that leaves many without viewing until then.

Freesat have released an official statement as follows;

Freesat has been made aware of a problem with a recent automatic update made to Goodmans, Grundig and Bush freesat HD boxes causing a number of boxes to freeze. The box manufacturer is working hard to resolve the issue as soon as possible. No other freesat boxes or TVs are affected.


Jul 25 2009

Goodmans Freesat+ PVR Digital Box
Click to enlarge

Harvard PLC have finally confirmed the launch of their new range of Freesat+ PVR’s, to compete against the Humax FOXSAT-HDR which has been available for almost one year uncontested.

The initial models to launch will be the Goodmans GFSDTR320HD offering a 320GB hard drive to match the Humax; and the Goodmans GFSDTR500HD with a much needed larger 500GB hard drive for those who constant run out of space recording standard and high-definition programmes.

Information on these models is presently limited, but prices are expected to range from £300 to £350 depending on hard drive size. These prices are an RRP so expect lower, as Harvard PLC (also known previously as Alba Group) actively reduce trade prices where ever possible; whilst Humax generally retain an unmoveable trade valuation.

There is also expected to be like-for-like versions with the Grundig and Bush name too, with matching specifications.

Argos currently have both units displayed on their website:

Goodmans GFSDTR320HD Freesat+ PVR (320GB)
Goodmans GFSDTR500HD Freesat+ PVR (500GB)