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A Review Of UK Freesat

Sep 3, 2008
BBC and ITV have released FREESAT. This is FREEVIEW but provided by Satellite and is available to over 98% of the UK.

So What Is Freesat?

Freesat is a joint venture between the BBC and ITV and currently offers over 80 digital TV and radio channels. Including high definition (HD) programmes from the BBC and, ITV all for free. It is a non subscription service all you need to do is buy a receiver and Installation (not required if you have a Sky Dish).

Freesat is available to 98 per cent of UK homes, using a standard 45cm minidish and is great news for anyone who wants to get free digital TV, particularly if you can't get Freeview or you want to watch BBC HD this decade.

It is broadcast from the same Astra satellite as Sky and from the Euro bird satellite so at least 98 per cent of the UK's population are located within its ground footprint.

How To Receive Freesat And How To Get The Most Out Of It.

BBC director general Mark Thompson says, "The BBC's objective in launching Freesat is to support Digital Switchover by providing another way for licence payers to receive digital television channels and radio services, subscription free from the BBC and ITV.

The concept is simple: -

Buy a cheap box from a high street retailer like Argos, Comet or an independent, either hook it up to an existing Sky digital dish. Alternatively, spend about 80 pounds for a man in a van to come round and supply and fit a dish, plug in and start watching around 80 free to air TV channels, including HD channels.

It offers a great choice of channels from entertainment and childrens to movies and music. With allegedly 200 channels by the end of the year the service is gradually picking up steam.

However, some channels on the same transponders e.g. ITV2, ITV3, ITV2+1, ITV3+1 have to be scanned twice, because ITV1 and ITV2 are placed on the programme list automatically on set up, but if you wish to have ITV2+1 and ITV3+1 these have to be manually set up as non-Freesat channels are placed on the non-Freesat channel listings.

So What Satellite Does It Use?

To get set up with Freesat you will need a satellite dish (you can use you old SKY dish but please check first). Setting the box up is incredibly simple, just connect the satellite feed, plug it in and off you go.

Going forward, the service may even provide a gateway for over-the-air movie download delivery, satellite broadband and more.

So In A Nutshell.

Freesat is a brand new digital satellite TV service from the BBC/ITV and is the only way forward for public broadcasting, simply because HD and Super HD are the future and 4 channels of potentially low quality HD as to be available on Freeview simply is not going to cut it.

It is the first platform to offer subscription free HD services, enhanced HD interactive services and future feature expansion including the addition of broadband internet applications.

In addition it is seen as another key service in ensuring the digital transition happens as smoothly as possible on the final switchover date in 2012. The channel are beamed down the same satellite "Astra 2 A, B, C, D" as sky channels if you can pick up sky then Freesat is no problem.
About the Author
J Johnson writing about Freesat Equipment and Installations. Information provided by SmoothLinking and produced by DNETS .
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