Freesat Resolve Product Availability Problems

In a conversation between James Atkins, Freesat Trade Marketing Manager, and DigitalSpy, Freesat have admitted to problems in the past with product availability and that stock is “now fully available”.

We’ve made comment on here a number of times following readers emailing us experiencing problems obtaining stock, and until now Freesat haven’t really acknowledged that it has been an issue and the reasons why. Stock when Freesat initially launched back in May 2008 was hard to obtain, in both SD and HD formats; then in late 2008 Humax were unable to meet the high demand of the Freesat+ (FOXSAT-HDR) receiver.

Following on from early 2009 until around May 2009, access to standard-definition stock from the only manufacturer (Harvard Group – Grundig, Bush, Goodmans) was difficult due to Harvard not wanting to commit production without firm orders. James Atkins confirms this fact by stating that Freesat didn’t have a commercial involvement in the availability of manufacturers stock at that time;

We were outside of that loop, so a lot of the stock issues were due to retailers not knowing how successful Freesat was going to be and manufacturers not wanting to take a risk in terms of production, […] There had to be a bit of history in terms of sales for them to order with confidence, safe in the knowledge that the products were going to sell through. So it was very well documented that we were very light on SD and HD boxes, and even a few weeks where we were completely out, which was very frustrating

Read more on this story over at DigitalSpy

Freesat Calls For More HD Channels

Speaking exclusively to DigitalSpy, James Atkins, Freesat Trade Marketing Manager has said that providing more HD channels is without doubt on the agenda for Freesat, citing high-definition as a “key benefit” of the platform.

Freesat has been running since May 2008 initially launching with just BBC HD, and since adding ITV HD on an exclusive red button service. Now realising there is a huge call for more high-definition content, Freesat are urging broadcasters to consider launching HD channels. James Atkins said;

So we are very much actively building with our channels to say ‘come on guys, 80% of our sales are for HD products, there are 15 million HD TVs sold in the UK and there is a big appetite for HD. You guys need to be stepping up to the plate and putting some stuff on in HD’. So that is something that we are actively getting involved in.

When asked about the recent announcement of ITV1 HD launching on Freeview by the end of the year, James stated that whilst ITV have not confirmed their channel will be available on Freesat (we had been told differently by another member of Freesat’s team) as a replacement service to the red button, they would expect it to be so given ITV is an public broadcaster;

I think that we would expect to receive a full simulcast of ITV1 in high definition, although there is no commitment at this stage, […] But as it’s from a public service broadcaster then we would expect it to become available.

Read more on this story over at DigitalSpy.