Tuesday, 20 May 2008


The register reports that iPlayer could be used to watch Freesat programs within the next year. For those that don't know, iPlayer is the BBC's online service that basically lets you watch TV programs that have already aired over broadband. Television shows up to 7 days old are available on iPlayer. You have to pay your TV license to be able to watch shows for free and shows expire after 30 days.

So theoretically, within a year, we will be able to watch Freesat HD shows over our broadband connections. There are already ethernet ports in the back of all Freesat digital boxes (currently not in use, but there for future proofing). The biggest problem though is the huge amount of data and bandwidth an HD movie would consume. Internet Service Providers would struggle to offer cheap broadband solutions if everyone maxed out their downloads and pulled HD movies down everyday.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Which Freesat Box Should I Buy?

So, which freesat digital box should you buy?
It depends on your budget. There are several options available; SD, HD and soon a PVR version and integrated into your television.

The SD box is the entry level option, but don't let that fool you. They still have the following great features

  • 7-day on-screen programme guide
  • Digital text
  • Interactive service
  • Audio descriptions and Digital subtitles
  • Parental controls and child lock
The SD box is probably for you if you TV is not HD ready, or you just want a simple box for use in the bedroom with your second TV. The Bush BFSAT01SD Freesat SD Digital Box From Argos is a great choice if you just want a simple box. Alternatively, the
Goodmans GFSAT100SD Silver Freesat SD Digital Box From Argos
is also a great choice.

If you prefer a High-Definition (HD) box, then you should be sure you TV can support HD. Look for the HD ready image on your television or in your instruction manual for your TV. An HD digital box will allow you to take full advantage of freesat's high definition television. A great box for HD is the
Humax Foxsat HD Freesat Set Top Box
which also has the added advantage of allowing you to control a motorised satellite dish.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

High Demand for Freesat HD Boxes

Freesat's website has issued a small update, pointing out that there is a shortage of freesat HD boxes available for sale.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Freesat teething problems

Freesat is today coming under fire for keeping a tight lid on the Freesat specification. Thus only selected manufacturers can make Freesat equipment. Furthermore, any channels which are already free to view on satellite will need to pay a carriage charge and sign a contract with Freesat before they will be included in the electronic programme guide. According to the Freesat specs, any non-Freesat channels that are free to view must be seperated out from the Freesat channels in the user interface of the Freesat digital receivers.

Freesat is set up as a not-for-profit company. BBC and ITV are its joint shareholders and will each put in £3m per year into the company. Obviously both ITV and the BBC will be marketing Freesat onscreen.

Meanwhile, for consumers, getting hold of Freesat receiver boxes has been difficult. Currently, you can only purchase your receiver from Argos, Currys, Comet and John Lewis, and many stores are out of stock of all boxes. Not to mention the online shopping arm of the stockists have been very slow to update pages with the products. Only Argos has a consistently update page of products.

Further teathing problems include some rumours that all Grundig, Bush and Goodmans Freesat receivers have been recalled.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Humax Foxsat Freesat digital set top box

Humax Foxsat HD Freesat Set Top Box

The Humax Foxsat-HD digital set top box is available from several retailers. You can purchase it from Argos for £149.99. The HD box comes with an HDMI cable, scart lead and remote. It has a seven day EPG and an intuitive "find" function. There are also parental controls so children can be prevented from watching inappropriate content.

There is an Ethernet port which is currently disabled, but in the long term will allow users to receive additional content via IP.

Freesat Official Press Release

The official BBC press release for freesat can be found here.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

BBC Freesat Video

BBC video reporting on Freesat highlighting the fact that freesat should solve the problem that many of us face in not being able to get a digital signal in our areas. Also points out that Sky might have a similar free satellite service though the BBC contends that Sky's free service is simply there to lure people in and convert them into paying customers.

BBC HD Freesat promo video

Here's a promo video from the BBC touting the HD capabilities of the new Freesat service:

BBC's Mark Thompson introduces Freesat

At the press conference earlier today, Mark Thompson of the BBC introduced the new Freesat service. Check out the video clip.

He notes that one of the aims of Freesat is to make digital television available to people who do not want to pay a subscription; obviously, alluding to Sky's subscription based satellite service without actually naming his competitor.

Freesat Guardian Unlimited Reports

The Guardian Unlimited has reported on the new Freesat service being offered by BBC and ITV with reports that the BBC has ambitious plans to offer on-demand programming via broadband TV services.

The Guardian reports that Mark Thompson outlined his plans at the press launch of Freesat today. Set top boxes will feature built in ethernet connections which will allow them to connect to the internet.

Offering broadband access through Freesat boxes would be available to all households within "months".

Freesat website updated

To celebrate the launch of Freesat, the Freesat website has been updated. It now has a new look and information about the Freesat service. Including information about the available channels (over 80 of them) and the on-screen programme guide.

There is also information about the various retailers that are offering the Freesat set top boxes, and some info about the boxes themselves (there are different versions - HD, non-HD, integrated PVR, Integrated TV).

Here's a screenshot:

Freesat Launch Day!!!

Today is the day! Freesat is launching at last.

Freesat set top boxes should be available from Currys, Dixons, Comet, Argos and John Lewis from today. Installations should be available from the same retailers, but if you already have a sattelite dish installed, you may just be able to plug the set top box in and get freesat without having to pay for installation.

Freesat is to remain subscription free according to the BBC.

The official launch time is at 12:30pm, and a press conference is due to take place on BBC Radio. The freesat website should also be updated today.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Freesat When Is It Due To Launch?

Freesat will be launching on the 6th May.

Once freesat has officially launched, you will be able to purhase your freesat equipment from one of the authorised sellers.

Look out - freesat is launching next week! Can't wait!

Freesat Channels

Freesat brings you great entertainment and a host of TV channels for free!

You will get great movies, drama, comedy, children's shows, reality TV, sport, news, shopping and much much more with freesat.

You won't need to choose a package like with Sky. With freesat, all the TV channels are included free.

There are more than 80 channels available on freesat so you will always have something to watch.

Initial reports suggest that many of the following channels will be available:

101 BBC 1
102 BBC 2
103 ITV1
104 Channel 4
106 BBC Three
107 BBC Four
108 BBC HD
113 ITV2
115 ITV3
116 ITV3+1
117 ITV4
120 S4C Digidol
122 E4 (presently encypted)
124 More4 (presently encrypted)
135 Zone Romantica
138 Zone Thriller
200 BBC News
201 BBC Parliament
202 S4C2
203 Al Jazeera Eng
204 Euronews
300 FilmFour
302 True Movies
303 True Movies 2
304 Movies4Men
306 Movies4Men2
402 Wedding TV
411 O’seasproperty
450 Men and Motors
500 Chart Show TV
501 The Vault
502 Scuzz
503 Bubble Hits
504 B4U Music
600 CBBC Channel
601 CBeebies
602 CITV
603 POP
604 POPGirl
605 Tiny POP
650 Teachers TV
700 BBC Radio 1
701 1Xtra BBC
702 BBC Radio 2
703 BBC Radio 3
704 BBC Radio 4 FM
705 BBC Redio 4 LW
706 BBC R 5 Live
707 BBCR5LiveSport
708 BBCR 6 Music
709 BBC 7
710 BBC Asian Net
711 BBC World Sv
712 BBC R Scotland
713 BBC RnGaidheal
714 BBC R Wales
715 BBC R Cymru
716 BBC R Ulster
718 BBC London94.9
800 QVC
801 price-drop tv
802 bid tv
803 Pitch TV
810 JML Lifestyle
951 BBC 1 Cl
954 BBC 1 East (W)
957 BBC 1 NI
960 BBC 1 Scotland
964 BBC 1 Wales
969 BBC 2 NI
970 BBC 2 Scotland
971 BBC 2 W

Feesat What Is It?

Freesat is the new free HD sattelite TV service in the UK. It is being brought to you by the BBC and ITV. There is no extra cost for freesat. You will not have to pay a monthly subscription (unlike other sattelite services such as Sky). All you need is a sattelite dish and an appropriate sattelite receiver.

Soon you will be able to purchase a freesat dish and receiver from some of the authorised retailers, have the dish installed and begin watching some fantastic free HD sattelite TV courtesy of the BBC and ITV.

HD TV gives you better experience because there is 4 times more picture detail than regular TV. You will get fantastic pictures, great sound and wonderful colours from your freesat HD sattelite reception.