Freesat is the first platform to integrate BBC iPlayer’s ‘Watch from Start’

Freesat has announced that it will be the first TV platform in the UK to integrate BBC iPlayer’s ‘Watch from Start’ feature into the TV guide.

Available from today, the new feature will allow Freesat customers with a connected set-top-box to restart live programmes on all BBC channels without waiting for the programme to end.

The launch comes in time for the live coverage of the Wimbledon finals this weekend on BBC.

Harvard To Launch New Freesat HD Receivers

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. Continue reading Harvard To Launch New Freesat HD Receivers

(Updated) Echostar Freesat Receiver Still Going Ahead

Echostar Plan Freesat+ PVR With Slingbox Feature

Following the announcement we made back in July 2010, Echostar have today confirmed that they will be launching their Freesat receiver from 1st April 2011, with pre-orders accepted from tomorrow, 23rd March 2011.

The Echostar HDS-600RS will not only include Freesat+ PVR functionality from the 500GB in-built hard drive, but also offer the Slingbox feature; allowing you to watch your TV from anywhere in the world via your PC, Mac, or handheld device such as the iPad (providing you have a Internet connection of course). Continue reading (Updated) Echostar Freesat Receiver Still Going Ahead

Panasonic Hold Off On New Product Range

Panasonic DMR-BS850, BS750 XS350 iPlayer Update

Panasonic have put on hold their decision to launch any new Freesat products this year (usually in March); instead choosing to continue with the existing range of Freesat receivers and built-in televisions.

They have stated their reasoning behind this is due to waiting for the new technical details of the second generation Freesat products which all manufacturers must comply with. Continue reading Panasonic Hold Off On New Product Range

Panasonic Offer “Tentative” Release Date For iPlayer

Panasonic DMR-BS850, BS750 XS350 iPlayer Update

Update (16/02/11) – There was clearly no love in the air at Panasonic when they missed the 14th Feb software update, but have now released a revised date of 21st Feb (network) and 22nd Feb (over the air) for their DMR-BS850, DMR-BS750 and DMR-XS350EB iPlayer update. Whilst these continual delays are frustrating, at least they have presented us with a new date which hopefully means they are getting closer!

Original post (25/01/11) – Panasonic have updated their FAQ section today to suggest a another “tentative” release date for BBC iPlayer on their previous Blu-ray/DVD models (DMR-BS850, DMR-BS750 and DMR-XS350EB); their date set in jelly is Valentines day (14th Feb 2011), could love be in the air for those still waiting? Continue reading Panasonic Offer “Tentative” Release Date For iPlayer

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:
http://www.freesat.co.uk/index.php?page=iPlayer.WhatYouNeedProduct

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

LG Customer Services,
PO Box 645,
Huntingdon,
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.