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Dec 29 2008

With 2009 fast approaching, what can we expect from Freesat in the new year? Our poll which continues on the left hand side would suggest that more than 50% of you want C4HD as a priority, but in reality will that happen? We know that C4HD is currently tied into agreement (encrypted) with Sky so unless they can terminate early, or the contract concludes in 2009, can we expect this channel at all in the coming year! We will continue to try and find out the in’s and out’s of the contract, but if anyone knows linked to C4 or Sky, let us know.

So what is more likely to appear in 2009? Well BBC are still promising the on-demand iPlayer, directly linked to your Freesat digital box via the Ethernet port. This seems likely to go ahead around spring time, assuming no further delays. Kangaroo looks dead in the water at this point.

Will we see more manufacturers on board? Possible, talks are on-going with a number of large manufacturers although given the current economic climate, this could be a little longer than expected. It’s certain that Metronic will have their HD digital box out soon, although retailing at £150 wouldn’t result in many sales. Metronic’s PVR receiver is also due within the first quarter of 2009, although again, this could be delayed given that the HD receiver from them already has. Alba Group are said to be developing a PVR too, but no timescale as yet, and rumours of Panasonic working on a combined PVR and Blu-ray player/recorder just won’t go away, although the official PR release at this stage is that nothing is in the pipe-line.

So what about other channels? Well Freesat’s target of 200 channels has not yet been reached, so the remaining FTA channels can certainly be expected in the coming months, although will this include FTA channels such as Sky News, we are still awaiting confirmation (don’t forget Sky News and others can be added in non-freesat mode). Will channel Five manage to find space on 2D to bring us Fiver and Five US, lets hope so. As for other channels, well many still expect that the line-up should/will match Freeview, but that’s highly unlikely, as channels such as Dave, UK Gold etc are tied into subscription contracts on DSAT with Sky, so unless these channels/networks can find ways of raising revenue through advertising rather than subscription, it’s not going to happen unless Freesat’s viewing audience substantially increases.

Most will no doubt agree that ITV HD need to drastically improve the quality and quantity of HD programming, at the very least to match a constantly improving BBC HD. Would ITV HD benefit from having a separate channel than using the existing red button facility? Maybe, but the possible downside of this would be access to the channel via Sky, which in-turn could reduce Freesat’s potential viewing figures.

Rather than expected, we hope that BBC and ITV can improve the quality of sound on Freesat, with many, if not all programmes being broadcast in stereo, rather than Dolby 5.1 allowing us to enjoy films etc in surround sound quality. This must surely be a priority?

The platform thus far has been largely successful, but lets hope for an even better year ahead for Freesat, with increased popularity and exposure.

Happy new year from all involved with joinfreesat.co.uk and thanks to all of you that have contributed over the past year.

44 Responses to “What Should We Expect From Freesat In 2009?”

  1. brian mayo Says:

    7 months down the track & I guess that 5/10 would be a reasonable grading at this stage, F.Sat have not delivered what they said they would not, but what they have given is largely unexciting, but now we know in reality they are puppets of Sky that is not surprising.
    Ex: Sky subscribers & HD hopefuls (that’s me!) took the promise of “jam tomorrow” & now we stand at the brink of a new year I hope we can see some innovation in 2009, if not I feel many will resort to Murdo’s empire as a better “all round” technical offering & consider the price worth paying.
    If by the first anniversary they have not significantly improved the offer then many inc. me will consider it a “second class” offering which will be sad,
    as anything to divert income from the Dirty Diggers pocket is worthwhile ( a good reason for not voting Tory next time around is Thatchers legacy to Murdoch through B Sky B monopoly ) sorry dont want to get political, but so many are unaware of Murdochs monopoly in U.K. TV & press and the influence gifted to him by a batty woman.

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  2. Oyodi Says:

    Hi,
    Managed to get a Freesat PVR just before Christmas, and must say the BBC HD & ITV HD channels just blew me away, in fact, we was so taken with the picture quality that we hardly watched any other channels. So let’s hope for some more HD channels for 2009 from the other free to air broadcasters.

    I must say thou, that like myself, many people are buying into Freesat mainly because of High Definition, so why are some of the movie channels still broadcasting in 4/3, When viewed through the HDMI cable the picture is stretched, making everyone overweight with big shoulders, and when zoomed to make the picture correct it is so bad on a 50” TV that its unwatchable. (I know old shows were made this way, but when the broadcaster corrects this before transmission, the result is a must higher quality picture) but I’m talking mainly here about films which are made in widescreen anyway.

    So come on broadcasters, more HD and at lease broadcast in widescreen.
    But my dream would come true if, wow, Film 4 HD, now that would be a feather in the Freesat Cap.
    Oyodi

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  3. Andy Clayton Says:

    With all due respect to Brian@1 I don’t see the point of comparing Freesat to a paid for service such as Sky. The only valid comparison is to the other free digital tv service: Freeview. On this basis, Freesat does come up short on the list of available channels, however this will be down to existing contracts. It can only be a matter of time before Freeview channels like Dave find their way onto Freesat.

    Just 7 months since launch and with a feature rich Freesat+ PVR plugged in at home I can say I’m very pleased with the service so far and am looking forward to it improving, as it certainly will, only the coming weeks and months.

    I sincerely hope that the iPlayer offering via Freesat’s ethernet port comes sooner rather than later as this will certainly be a feature not currently available via $ky (Virgin Media customers have it already, of course). I’m also hoping that it’ll be possible to stream video to other Freesat STB’s around the house once they become network aware.

    On one point I will concede, though. It’s true that Freesat needs more HD and this can’t come soon enough IMHO.

    Let’s hope 2009 is a good year for free digital telly via a dish!

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  4. Niall Says:

    I think this year will see a big uptake in FreeSat.

    Its no secret that people are struggling financially. I think alot of people will see people giving a two fingered salute to their Sky Direct Debit, buying a Freesat box and hookin it to their existing dish.

    To really hit it on home and become mainstream is the need for a major advertising campaign. When Freeview launched, the world and its mother knew about it. People havnt a clue what Freesat is. At best theyll ask “oh, that £20 one off payment sky package?” Raise awareness that its a system in its own right.

    Also, they need something very major to give it an edge too. Hugely increased HD content will be one. If they could score C4HD and possibly get exclusiveity with Five HD they would be able to brag HD content from all 5 main broadcasters.

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  5. Rob H Says:

    Leaving Brian to one side….. I think a lot of people will go for Freesat – my feeling is the HD element needs to be pushed. Personally I’d be surprised if C4HD arrives as I reckon contracts will prevent this. Must admit when I voted in the poll I went for Sub Add-on’s I don’t use Sky because I’m paying £17 for channels I don’t watch! Just like the BT Vision advert, who’s heard of Birdsong tv (Birdsong radio is great however). If it’s about choice, my choice would be to pay for Eurosport 1&2 and another channel i would actually watch! So bring on 5HD and lets hope Freesat goes from strength to strength.

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  6. Clive Williams Says:

    ITV really need to get their HD act together. They had no HD content on Christmas Day, and there is none this week until footy on Saturday. Pitiful.

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  7. Tony Powell Says:

    As someone who has been watching FTA via a computer (MacMini) for the last 3 years connected to a 1080p Full HD TV, I have been very pleased with the steady advance of Freesat. I now have all the main terrestrial channels (I can’t get DTV where I live). It has offered a true alternative to $KY and just seems to get better all the time.

    I would agree with a lot of the posts above, especially in relation to the advertising, more ITV HD content and better sound and transmission in widescreen format.

    However I am more interested in BBC, ITV, etc.. producing much more quality content (script and acting wise) and much less dross. How much original drama does $KY commission BTW? I did read a press release that they were financing a new production of Blake’s 7, but nothing since then.

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  8. Scott Says:

    I don’t understand why don’t the makers of freesat just make their own HD TV channels???

    It’s hard getting channels that are already in a contract with sky, so it would be better to create like 30HD channels to match SKY HD. Then add hundreds of HD movies and TV series to these channels, couldn’t that be possibly done????

    Many thanks in advance

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  9. admin Says:

    It’s a fair question Scott, but where would the funding come from? Ultimately it all comes down to cost, and HD channels are expensive to run, broadcast, produce etc. Freesat’s budget is so small it only just covers the continual development of the brand, they don’t even have sufficient money aside for marketing/advertising.

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  10. fred ford Says:

    Hi,
    I hope for more hd content in 09, and i also hope for more channels.But i also understand that a contract war over hd programs with Murdoch is going to be a tough one.
    Also with BBC HD i can decode surround sound through a multi channel amplifier but when i listen to ITV HD, the sound only gets decoded in stereo.
    Come on ITV HD get your act together, HD AUDIO AS WELL AS HD VIDEO PLEASE.

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  11. Tony Says:

    OK Admin – if Freesat can’t afford to advertise, why don’t we do it for them? If everyone who is hooked were to tell their friends and relatives about Freesat – and ask them to pass their experiences on – that would be the best recommendation. Who else remembers the old saying “A good wine needs no bush”?

    Freesat is walking a tightrope. If lots of people buy the gear and watch. extra channels will want to join. If we just sit here wingeing, they won’t. HD is a new service which is expensive to provide and expensive to receive. It will take time to build up and the early adopters have two real choices – pay Murdoch or wait. The broadcasters need to be confident that there is a big enough audience to justify the investment. There are also issues about finding capacity on narrow beam transponders because of the galloping paranoia among copyright holders.

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  12. admin Says:

    Tony – word of mouth advertising is very important for the future increase in audience figures via the Freesat platform, but advertising through television and radio similar to how Freeview was first made aware is also important, albeit outside of Freesat’s available budget. We can however all do our bit to help, this website for example reaches more than 10,000 unique visitors a day, so that certainly must help promote and encourage digital adopters into considering Freesat as a good option.

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  13. Paul G Says:

    Its about time Sky had competition, its also about time Free Satelite was made available to everyone, afterall the signals are wizzing about our heads where ever we go and its only the rich bods that can afford to tap into it. Sky has had a monopoly long enough, just like the telephone service. Now that many people have satelite dishes with compliments to Sky for installation, the switch over to freesat with the appropriate receiver has been made easy. I have just bought a Humax HDR and have found it to be awesome, in every aspect. Having all the Free to Air channels in one list is so much better than searching throught the Sky list, having access to HD is a wait I have longed for and am now blown away with how good it is, unfortunately this uphoria is is cut short when one finds that one channel is all there is. But, I guess that’s the next step and it will come.
    About Freesat, – I didn’t realise it was a business that required funding? Ok so it does, so when these TV/broadcast manufacturers sell this product do they not give by default some kind of payment to Freesat? I thought most new movies were filmed in HD now so how is it more expensive to sell if its there anyway?

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  14. Steven Says:

    What should we expect from Freesat in 2009? A very good question indeed.

    I actually think there’s a better choice of programming on Freeview if we ignore ‘channel count’, unfortunately not everyone is able to receive Freeview hence Freesat.

    Why bother with Freesat at all, just use a FTA receiver like others have all over the World for years? Us English are pretty ignorant in that department.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Freesat fan and Freeview and FTA satellite user, all compliment each other nicely.

    So what does Freesat give us? Yes, a 7 day EPG, ok, automatic interactive ‘red button’ services and……what? Ok, PVR now as well (Freesat+), been around on Freeview for a long time but only recently marketed as Freeview+ as if it’s something new. There’s not much more to add is there?

    I know I sound cynical but it all seems like a huge ‘stepping stone’ to me and being realistic it actually is just that, a stepping stone.

    With broadcasting there’s always huge difficulty in moving forward with technology. Legacy systems (a term for out-of-date hardware and/or software still in use) equipment has to be supported for years and severly hampers advance. 405 line VHF TV (definately NOT HD or colour) was shut down in January 1985, not really that long ago although in terms of technology it’s a few millenium, in real terms it’s only 24 years, a lifetime in technology terms.

    Converting to DVB-T2 and MPEG4 is the answer but we have this ‘Legacy’ problem and Mr $ly/$ky Murdoch is not going to replace his non DVB-T2/MPEG4 compatible receivers with new ones free-of-charge anytime soon. So, we’re stuck without a short term answer to increase capacity for more HD channels for Freesat simply because of bandwidth availability restricted by old technology.

    Freesat could have an edge however, it’s Internet connectivity will be appealing especially when the BBC iPlayer and others systems come on line. I’m certain this advance is the KEY to Freesat’s success.

    Just a thought.. Why is the Television Licence the same price regardless of service, income or even services you can afford? It really needs to be called a BBC licence and it’s worth every penny, or course, not joking..

    Conclusion: If your rich or daft enough to subscribe to premium TV from $ly/$ky an increase in TV Licence fee should be compulsory . . . . He he . .

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  15. Stephen Garside Says:

    Freesat for me is a winner with not living in a freeview transmission area. After 12 months with Sky paying for channels I never watched Freesat is the way to go. As was commented elsewhere I would like to think that the sound quality could be improved as my Sony TV is being wasted in this respect. Any new channels would be welcome even though it doesn’t sound like we will be getting some of the bigger names or even more HD content. Even so, keep up the good work Freesat!

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  16. Steven Says:

    Correction: Read DVB-S2, not DVB-T2 . . Although technology advance equally applies in terms of ‘Legacy’ to Freeview as it does to Freesat..

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  17. Al (Original) Says:

    I think better quality ITV HD content (I couldn’t see the difference on Attack of the Clones – picture was awful for HD), ITV HD off the red button to solve the recording problems and make it more user friendly, better sound quality – there’s far too much stereo on films and of those that do have the promised DD, a fair proportion apparently have Pro Logic Dressed up in a DD wrapper through the use of “Dolby Stereo”.

    Come on, films were made in Dolby 5.1. The platform’s capable of 5.1, give us 5.1!!!

    I’m sat here with my cinema system on stereo most of the time during films as are many others – its very annoying especially when analogue tv has surround for films albeit Dolby Stereo. What the hell is wrong with giving us DD 5.1.

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  18. Waumo Says:

    Film4 HD, now that would be fantastic, and would make freesat a more attractive purchase. I know it is expensive creating a new channel, but it wouldnt be difficult to do. Films are created in a far better resolution than HD anyway, and they can be transmitted with Dolby 5.1. I would be just as happy if they adopted the red button facility like ITV so they didnt have to go through the paperwork and cost of creating a new channel, but it would be better if freesat HD recievers automatically switched to the HD stream for viewing purposes when it is available on ITV, without us pressing the red button (sometimes its nice to have the option of recording your programs in SD when hard disk space gets low on the HD-R).

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  19. Ian Says:

    How about F1 coverage in HD now that the BBC has the rights again? A lot of fans who already own an HD television wouldn’t think twice about buying a receiver to go with it.

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  20. Deano Says:

    1. More HD content
    2. more > decent channels
    3. more advertising

    ITV Need to pull there finger out , and supply MORE, GOOD QUALITY HD CONTENT because at this present time BBC are flying the FreeSat HD flag..

    AS others have mentioned why dont FreeSat have there own MOVIE CHANNEL with HD and SD content ????
    Cus of the cost ???? Cant they get a sponsor or 2 ???
    How did $ky start off ???

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  21. Steven Says:

    Patience, patience everyone! It really is going to be AGES before we see any radical changes, I’m certain. So we have the new toys and nothing to play on it?

    15 years ago we probably had only 4 channels, now we have hundreds and still nothing to watch? But ‘We want HD’?.. In truth we are experiencing the launch of a new era and the gestation period is going to be a long one, probably longer than that of an Elephant (which is 22 months). The eventual ‘birth’ will be worth the wait, I’m sure.

    The only sure alternative for now is to shell out £45.00 a month to $ly/$ky if you are that desperate or even have the time to watch or justify the cost ;-) . .

    I watch TV about 3 hours a day which, if I subscribed to $ly’s expensive package It’s about 50p an hour not including the Licence fee, I’ll put a tin by the TV. :-)

    To be honest 99% of my viewing is from the 5 main broadcasters family of channels, the rest are basically a waste of valuable space, spectrum, bandwidth and energy in my book, why are they there?

    I think I’ll be patient and wait as the $ky 50p an hour scenario is not an attractive alternative .. :-)

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  22. Oyodi Says:

    Once upon a time Film 4 was at the forefront of broadcasting, I was one of the subscribers when they were showing films in widescreen, when $ky were still broadcasting their films in cut and cropped 4/3.

    Film 4 has the opportunity to become one of the premier channels once again with Film 4 HD,
    All their content (Films) are already made in High Definition and Dolby surround & 5.1 Dolby Digital, so its just a case of the transmitting HD costs, surly the advertising revenue would increase substantially, As surveys in the USA show people are crying out for HD content especially now with all the cheap HD TV’s being offered for sale.

    So come on, if only the boffins at Freesat and Film 4 could get together, the benefits to both would be enormous.

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  23. ChrisA Says:

    To Ian @ 19: I believe the BBC are trying to secure HD feeds for the F1, but it’s up to Bernie Ecclestone’s travelling TV unit that now produce the coverage for most of the races (only the Monaco and Japanese GP’s were produced by local broadcasters this year) to provide them with a high-definition world feed.

    If nothing else, with the BBC getting the rights we will have extra coverage via the Sport Multiscreen via the red button, including for the first time live coverage of every session including the Friday and Saturday practice sessions (*cough* unless of course you had Eurosport in the early 1990s ;))

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  24. Ben H Says:

    What Freesat needs, after a solid – if unspectacular first year – is some exclusive HD content. An Aussie mate of mine watches F1 in HD down under, so there must be an HD feed available. It would be a coup for Freesat if the BBC if they could get F1 in HD, and would help boost take-up. Like many others here, I’d also really like to see Flim4 in HD. Integrating the BBC’s i-player will also help win others over.

    However given what we’ve seen in its first year, I’m expecting more of a slow-burn from Freesat, with incremental improvements (new channels, more HD content) rather than any quantum leaps. Here’s hoping 2009 will bring us more HD!!!

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  25. DIB Says:

    Recently got Freesat+ and loving it. It’s just so nice to have more than 4 channels because I can’t get freeview so it’s a very good platform for me. Hope 2009 brings more goodness.

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  26. Rob Says:

    So far, so good but still lots to do in 2009. I’ve been blown away by the quality of BBC HD coupled with the Humax PVR technology allowing me to record so much more television content recently than I would have ordinarily. Having done the maths comparing $ky+ basic subscription vs Freesat utilising the Humax PVR, it is a no brainer so round 1 to Freesat.

    I am now however finding that I have watched the often repeated BBC HD content & am craving more of the normal BBC transmissions in HD (ditto for ITV however they appear to be much less commited than the BBC).

    HD must surely be a fantastic showcase for the ordinary terrestrial channels & I feel that greater commitment by BBC & ITV will definitely be the way forward for Freesat. Imagine F1 coverage in HD not to mention the other fast moving sports which can be frustrating to watch in SD.

    So for me, continued momentum in Freesat expansion + further manufacturers of TV’s & set top boxes embracing Freesat in 2009 would be great & I look forward to continued viewing enjoyment.

    Finally. A huge thank you to the administrators of & contributors to this website for all the facts provided & assistance given. I wish everyone a peaceful 2009.

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  27. Andy Says:

    I just bought the Humax HDR pvr recorder for £289, and I now have twice as much quality TV to watch because I can record it all! I simply would not have time to watch all the other rubbish $ky channels anymore as I dont have to miss any programmes from the main channels.

    BBC HD is superb, better quality and content than the rest of skys HD channels put together. We do want channel 4 HD of course, but we all know that will come in 2009. Come on Fiver and dave, and goodbye $ky which now only has a market for some sport (who needs or has time for their rubbish movies and channels of USA repeats)

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  28. Thor's Hammered Says:

    Hi guys, love the site, everything I could ever need to know is here! It seems that I’m one of the few who is over the moon with Freesat! Being in the southeast of Ireland means that without digital tv I’d be stuck with our shoddy Irish terrestrial channels, and some UK ones too but a brutal reception. I don’t like Sky. I think its overpriced and overrated. Freesat is for me! And to top it off I ain’t got no fancy box like the rest of ye! No sir! I have a Humax CR-5510, straight from the dark ages, but works a treat!

    I am in agreement with most of whats said here tho, with my preference being to see Fiver & Five US being put up! I’ll hold my breath! The HD channels don’t really bother me (as my box obviously was born many many many years before such things!), but I guess it would be nice to see some of the footie matchs in HD.

    Anyways keep up the good work guys, and a Happy New Year to everybody!!!

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  29. Allan Robson Says:

    Hi there, can you help please.
    I currently have $ky+ and have just bought a new TV. I want to upgrade to receive HD channels but don’t wish to pay £10 per month. If I get a Humax Freesat box will it work with my $ky dish? or, if I get the $ky HD box can I receive all current HD channels? Thanks in advance.

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  30. Dave G Says:

    I totaly agree with the comments re: self advertising, I belong to the seniors section of my local golf club and it is very difficult to get the old boys to understand the difference between freeview and freesat, which requires an ariel and which requires a dish, some get it and between us there are about 6 or 7 who have bought, or trying to, the humax pvr.
    This is a wonderfull bit of kit. I have been on Sky since the year dot and goodness knows what I have paid to Murdoch’s empire. I am having trouble setting up the Dish though, Sky’s original didn’t seem to bring in the channels so bought a 60cm with a Sky quad LNB, still not right, as I have lost some of the Freeview channels through the Sky Box. seems I need a General Purpose LNB

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  31. Al Catraz Says:

    Dave G – if your $ky box worked, the standard $ky dish and LNB should have worked fine with the new humax pvr (although you’d need a second feed from the dish for the pvr to work fully – see feedback page for the humax pvr for full details). Sounds like you have a more serious problem with your freesat box or some duff conections somewhere if you’ve now lost channels from the original $ky box too…

    …if you’re running the $ky box AND the pvr, you need separate LNB conections for each box (1 for $ky and 2 for the pvr)

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  32. Tony Says:

    Dave G – I guess you realise that not all of the Freeview channels are available on Freesat? Dave, Virgin1, UK History, Fiver. FiveUS are some that come to mind. If the Sky dish/LNB were set up correctly you should only need to swap the digibox out and the Humax in to watch the Freesat channels. As Al Catraz says, you would need a second LNB feed (from a twin or quad LNB) in order to record 2 channels and watch a third simultaneously. If you had Sky+, you should be ready to go.

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  33. Dave G Says:

    @ Al Catraz and Tony, Happy new year to you both and to you all out there. I was trying to install a 60cm dish, got the co-ord’s wrong and lost freeview via the sky box, all ok now, with a bit of help from a mate. thanks for your replies….

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  34. Tango Says:

    Hi people do you know what channels can be picked up in non freesat mode ?

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  35. Steven Says:

    Tango, Take a look at the URL below.

    http://www.lyngsat.com/28east.html

    Anything with an F in the ‘system encryption’ column you should be able to receive. This list does, of course, include everything on the Freesat EPG also . .

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  36. Tony Says:

    Dave G – As a golf club senior you’re entitled to a few “senior moments” like that! Are you genuinely confused about the difference between Freeview (via your rooftop aerial) and Freesat (via your dish)? Are you aiming to keep the Sky digibox and add a Freesat receiver?

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  37. Dave G Says:

    @ Tony. I am ok with the diferences, I am a young 74 year old but have been with comps and video whatsits for about 30 years, Its some of the OLDER old boys that I have trouble with!! yes, I am keeping my, very expensive, Sky digi box and have installed a quad LNB to enable my freesat PVR, as I have said, everything is ok now and I am viewing the Preston-Liverpool game as I type this, in HD, super, By the way isnt that Kean bloke a waste of space!!

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  38. steve clifford Says:

    Have just put a bush freesat box into my lads bedroom and am awaiting it to tune in. I have been told it will be done by morning. However I am currently tied into a virgin box until july, when I will look at options like freesat,
    Lets face it wether its sky, virgin or freeview or freesat, tv programmes come around and around again and again. So why pay sky or virgin all that money for most channels that you can get free?

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  39. kevin otten Says:

    Hi, to you all, on December 22nd I bought the panasonic 50 in plasma tv with freesat built in and on the whole pleased , the quality of the hd programmes are to die for but I do agree that not enough channels available, if it does not get a lot better by nov 2009 switchover for this area I will go with freview

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  40. Tony Says:

    Re: #37 Dave – What Kean bloke? And what’s the point of HD if you’re going to to be involved in a PC session while it’s on? You might as well listen to the radio. What’s the point of football anyway?

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  41. Nathan Jones Says:

    Does anyone know if we will be able to obtain the News and Weather Multi Screen via the Red Button rather than just the sports multi screen. BBC news 24 are always referring to it but we cannot get it? Is this likely to be added.

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  42. Ian Says:

    4 HD would be good but Freesat should start it’s own channel. Buying in programmes is a lot cheaper than making them and there’s plenty of good programming from Europe Australia,America etc that ‘s not showen in the uk and it could be funded by shopping channels using a 1am to 7am slot with the actual channel broadcasting from 6pm to 1am to start off with then expanding when the channel becomes popular therefore generating more ad revenue that can go back into the channel and the Freesat Platform. If the channel offers something different than whats on other channels then it should become more popular.

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  43. Matt Langley Says:

    Just got the Humax HD PVR, and BBCHD is awesome (when it is HD!).

    I am a little shocked that after all the one off expense and a spending some time up a ladder, you only get one HD channel (well, 1 and a half when I finally see someting HD on ITV red button).

    Dave and (to a lesser extent) Virgin 1 being tied to Sky is a pain as well because I can’t PVR ‘em. And Film Four is only available as a non-Freesat channel which means I have to go into menus to get to it, and then go into menus to change it back to FreeSat mode.

    I’m thinking I should have considered paying the man for the full range (I think it would roughly have cost the same in the first year), but decision made now. At least I now have 1 HD channel and no monthly fee.

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  44. Matt again Says:

    I paid the man!

    I have to say it was well worth it, my eyes have really been opened. It’s like I’ve never used them before! Discovery HD Nat Geo HD and History HD are well worth it. Channel 4 HD is often very good for less high brow stuff, and I’m salivating at the thought of Stargate Universe on Sky One HD!

    Sky HD box is ridiculously low capacity though so you can store less than 24 hours of HD programs on it! You have to keep watching to make room for the following day’s stuff which misses the point of a PVR, or delete stuff unwatched which is worse than missing it!

    I think the Humax was slightly better quality and presentation too.

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