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.

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