Free satellite TV service begins in the UK

A free-to-view satellite television and radio service from the BBC and ITV is being launched across the UK.

Freesat is available to 98% of homes with a satellite dish, including those who are currently unable to receive Freeview television. It broadcasts 80 digital TV and radio channels including the main ones, and will rise to 200 by the end of 2008. Users make a one-off payment for a dish, set-top box and installation, but will not pay a monthly subscription.

Emma Scott from Freesat told BBC Radio 5Live: "It's got 98% coverage across the UK and it's only homes that really don't have a clear line of sight to the satellite that can't get it, or certain listed buildings.

"But unlike Freeview you can receive Freesat across the country, which means that in those areas that at the moment can't get access to free digital television this is the first time that you can get free digital TV."

View: BBC News

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whats the difference between this new service, and freesat from sky which has been availble for years ?

"A free-to-view satellite television and radio service from the BBC and ITV is being launched across the UK."

Get the headline right.

A free-to-air satellite television and radio service from the BBC and ITV is being launched across the UK.

Big difference.

I'm happy with freeview atm, so I'll wait and see how this pans out. I'm sure the cost of the receivers will come down over the next 12/18 months, and the list of channels will hopefully grow. I'd wager we'll see freesat boxes with similar capabilities as Sky+ and Virgin too.

I've already got a Sky dish on the side of my house, so that's one less thing to go and buy!

Why is everyone saying e4, more4, c4 are not there? they all are. read the brochure. it also mentions 5 joining this year.

i think there were talking about sky, who magically today made those channels free to view, i think they feel threatened

(BBinder said @ #21.1)
i think there were talking about sky, who magically today made those channels free to view, i think they feel threatened

nah i was talking about people like this one:
(mad_onion said @ #1)
yeah, until this has all the channels that freeview is. i can't really see this working. it doesn't have e4 and more4 or even five!!! yet although i think it will sometime later this year. but still it won't have virgin 1 which has ALL the star trek so it's kinda lame. maybe when those issues are dealt with it will be a good choice.

So it's not free.

You have to pay for the equipment, you have to pay for it to be installed and the big booby, of course the TV licence that funds the bloated broadcasting corporation.

If you pop to lidl or maplin you can get a kit thats for caravan users so you can get tv for zip.

It comes with great instructions and a piece of kit that will line you up perfect with a satellite.

Maplin b-grade they had a few at £49.99 and the better ones upto £99.99

Lidl around £65 to £70 so why the need for freeview and the rip-off installation?

(leesmithg said @ #19)
If you pop to lidl or maplin you can get a kit thats for caravan users so you can get tv for zip.

It comes with great instructions and a piece of kit that will line you up perfect with a satellite.

Maplin b-grade they had a few at £49.99 and the better ones upto £99.99

Lidl around £65 to £70 so why the need for freeview and the rip-off installation?


Who says you need to pay for installation for Freesat?! And, shock horror; you need to pay for the equipment!! Next you'll get your knickers in a twist about the electricity you need to watch it.

As i said you don't need to pay for installation for Freesat either, and better still if you get a 'Freesat' approved box you get a fully functional EPG, MHEG and interactive functionality. And also, what's Freeview got to do with it?

Yeah because you don't have to pay for Freeview boxes, either. Nor do you have to pay the license fee if you use one.
Oh wait, sorry I was in the magical land of inconsistencies and nonsense, now that I'm back in the real world where things (don't) make sense, everything you've just said is rubbish.

Really the only valid point you had there was the cost of installation, but if you want a PROPER TV Ariel that goes on your roof, then you'd better be prepared to pay for that as well, unless you fancy getting the ladders out (in which case you could just install a bloody dish).

Free Satellite has actually been available in the UK for quite some time now. The reason this is so important is that it's run by the BBC and will eventually have all the terrestrial channels you get on freeview (as well as some more).

But for those of you who are interested, there's a whole world of DIY satellite equipment out there. If you get the right stuff, you can easily get several thousand channels.
Now I know some skeptics are thinking "yeah but they're all french/german/etc," but you'd be very surprised. What's more, it's ideal for sports fanatics. Are you paying a monthly subscription to Sky, Virgin or Setanta(sp?) so you can get all your football games? Well, they're being broadcast for FREE and in ENGLISH somewhere in Europe and you could easily get them with some basic equipment. Why? Because local matches here don't matter outside this country.

That's just one example, though, the DIY kits are far above and beyond anything Sky will ever sell you (For example, you can get models that let you plug in any 2.5" HDD you can find for the ultimate PVR machine). I do hope that the freesat initiative here will broaden the availability of this stuff, so that I can walk into a local store and have a selection of decent receivers so that I can, with the help of a bit of Jiggery-pokery, can get HD freeview AND a few thousand other channels - all for free, instead of having to buy it from dubious looking websites and ebay.

Wow only 2 HD channels? ITV and BBC HD? Would of thought with as littel channels as there are on that sat they'd of given you guys more HD

No free SAT in Canada.... At least in Quebec, only choice of Bell ExpressVu or StarChoice.

Then again, I prefer to pay for digital cable TV. I can watch TV when the weather is bad outside, unlike SAT that can lose the signal from time to time.

(xSuRgEx said @ #15)
the whole freesat and freesatfromsky is going to confuse some people.

And make no mistake, that's exactly why Sky have chosen to use that name.

(beardedwonder said @ #15.1)

And make no mistake, that's exactly why Sky have chosen to use that name.

Who named theirs first - Sky or BBC/ITV?

I have Sky+ (the best invention!!) and couldn't honestly live without it, only pay ~£20 p/m and thats for eveything other than Sports and Movies, full package is close to £50 nowadays, remember when it was around £30-35 when it first launched back in 1997. If you live in a Sky LLU area they offer some great value packages - my mate has Sky Broadband, Sky TV and Sky Talk for £16 p/m!!

BBC did afaik.

As for Sky Plus, we have the Virgin "alternative", V+. As much as I loved Sky Plus, I wouldn't go back - virgin's system, while unorganised, is so much better.

The one thing that's puzzling me with this is, what's stopping me going and buying a £29.99 receiver from maplin or a £20 one from ebay that does the same thing?

what for the sky one or regular? with freesat from sky you still have a decoder to get channels like five.

but yeah i guess you can just buy any dvb-s tuner and it will get all the unencrypted channels.

(bbfc_uk said @ #15.2)

Who named theirs first - Sky or BBC/ITV?


In September 2005, the BBC and ITV announced that they would collaborate on a free-to-air satellite service to complement Freeview. -http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/4221722.stm
Freesat from Sky, launched by Sky in October 2004 -http://www.dancewithshadows.com/media/bbc-free-digital-satellite-tv.asp

It's most likely that Sky already knew that this would happen, and did this on purpose.

I have Sky+ (the best invention!!) and couldn't honestly live without it, only pay ~£20 p/m and thats for eveything other than Sports and Movies, full package is close to £50 nowadays, remember when it was around £30-35 when it first launched back in 1997. If you live in a Sky LLU area they offer some great value packages - my mate has Sky Broadband, Sky TV and Sky Talk for £16 p/m!!

They didn't invent the PVR, another con that BSkyB have foisted on the British public, along with Sat = Sky, FTV channels, and Sky+ is the only PVR.

I've got a much better PVR than Sky+, and pretty much anyone with a PC can have a better PVR. Also through a subsidiary Sky have patented lots of basic PVR functions, which is unfair to other manufacturers of PVRs; yet another tactic that isn't too surprising!

I've had free sat from sky for over almost a year.

I couldn't get freeview in my area without some big aerial so I decided to go with freesat.

I paid a one off £150 for installation and box. Now I have lots of free to air channels. Including Channel 5 but not E4 and more4.

How is this new thing any different from I have now?

this has e4 and more4 and it will have five by the end of the year. so if you want e4 and more4, wait until five is avaliable and then you should change.

(mad_onion said @ #14.1)
this has e4 and more4 and it will have five by the end of the year. so if you want e4 and more4, wait until five is avaliable and then you should change.

E4, E4+1 More4, More4 +1 all went FTA today at 10:30am on the Freesat (from Sky) platform. Channel 4 and C4+1 may follow soon. Film4 and Film4 +1 have been FTA for a while now.

(artnada said @ #14.2)
Film4 and Film4 +1 have been FTA for a while now.

No, Film4 has been FTA (Ch 32) "for a while now". Film4+1 is only available through cable or satellite, neither of which are free.

I thought this had been around a long time? I remember reading about being able to buy a £50 card from Sky which allowed you to view free to view channels via your Satellite box. Although to be fair it wasn't HD content at the time.

*Edit*

Ah here it is... http://www.freesatfromsky.co.uk/

So if you have a Sky sub you cannot get this?

You have to go out and buy a new freesat box to receive it (�120 for the cheapest budget model) [SOURCE]?

Even existing dish installations may not be able to use it.

What if I already have a satellite dish on my house?

If you currently use this dish to receive services such as BBC Three and ITV2, your existing dish is probably suitable for receiving freesat. Once freesat is available you might wish to contact your local installer to see if this will work for you.


[SOURCE]

Probably better just sticking to Freeview if you are not already a Sky/Virgin subscriber IMO, I mean whilst it would be nice to see some shows in HD on ITV like ... erm ... umm ... ahh .. Well I can't think of anything on ITV that I watch actually unlike BBC HD (Hustle, Torchwood, Robin Hood etc), its not just not worth it

If your on a sky sub then you already get pretty much every channel on this list.
Freesat is mainly just a way of providing an EPG to non sky box's

The only channel you may not have access to is ITV HD at launch as at the moment it looks like that is exclusive to the freesat EPG. However I don't see this lasting long as ITV are denying themselves 500,000 viewers by doing this.

unfortunately there arent many details about this still, the bbc has announced this in the news yet the freesat website gives no details of channels or dates, pcworld/dixons dont have any info on their site about the boxes or ordering a dish/installation, they have done no advertising as nobody knows any details and very few people have heard of freesat.

They screwed up the launch badly. I think the service is great, lots of nice channels for free and ITVHD + BBCHD, just hope some more HD channels come on board soon and that they are all in MPEG4.

Its a situation most people used to be happy with.

A lot of people don't watch the BBC anymore I know I certainly don't but I still have no choice in the matter. And with them harping on about it going up everytime they decide to do something daft like launch another mundane kids channel full of repeats it kind of gets your goat a bit.

On what's satellite is this on?
Nevermind I found the answer:

For the technically-minded amongst you, although the freesat service uses Astra 2 at 28.2� East, a similar 45-60cm dish pointing at the nearby Eurobird at 28.5� East

I need a huge-ass dish to pick that one from Spain :(
I wonder what are they going to do to prevent people from other countries watching it? I mean, don't you have to pay for the BBC in the UK? Is it free as in unencrypted free?

lol, there's nothing they can do. and yeah we do have to pay for a license to watch tv which is pretty ridiculous. but as long as you have a big enough satellite dish you'd be able to technically.

(atari800 said @ #7.1)
There are FTA (Free to Air) satellite channels being beamed down in the US

True, some sat channels are free, but with a commercial satellite tv contract.

We'll probably be going the freesat way for digital when we upgrade our TV. Would be paying near £150 for an aerial and fitting anyway and from what I've read there will be many more channels available compared to freeview. So this sounds good to me.

well it seems like e4 and more4 might be avaliable but five isn't. so that's ok as long as you never watch five.

but it doesn't have virgin1 which is a bit of deal breaker for me, but maybe not for all. but it does have Al Jazeera and Euronews. so if you like news....

Freesat
List of channels on freesat

(mad_onion said @ #6.1)
well it seems like e4 and more4 might be avaliable but five isn't. so that's ok as long as you never watch five.

but it doesn't have virgin1 which is a bit of deal breaker for me, but maybe not for all. but it does have Al Jazeera and Euronews. so if you like news....

Freesat
List of channels on freesat

Channel Five are going to be joining it this year. Some people (at digitalspy) say a couple of months, others say near Christmas and Comet just says "this year". The chances of them not joining are pretty slim.

yeah, until this has all the channels that freeview is. i can't really see this working. it doesn't have e4 and more4 or even five!!! yet although i think it will sometime later this year. but still it won't have virgin 1 which has ALL the star trek so it's kinda lame. maybe when those issues are dealt with it will be a good choice.

Yup up untill tuesday to get channel 4 you had to have a card to decript and with e4 and more 4 you had to have the entertainment mix on sky to recieve via satilight but as of tuesday morning that is no longer the case and you can get them all free! Channel 5 should be moving over to fta soon! Theres only a few channels you can only get on freeview but not freesat such as sky three and dave, the hits as well.

As many commercials that are implanted on U.S cable & satellite TV channels, it would be nice to get them for free too..... I'm not paying for TV anymore, but more or less a massive commercial network.

I'm glad that people who have been unable to get freeview now can.....but that's about the limit of my happiness at this.

Great that it's carrying HD channels. Will HD ever be available from a normal aerial? Wonder how much it will cost

(furby said @ #1)
Great that it's carrying HD channels. Will HD ever be available from a normal aerial? Wonder how much it will cost

Yes one day, but for the UK Ofcom currently doesn�t have plans to set aside any of the freed up frequencies for HDTV usage.

Despite a successful trial run in London during 2006, where HD was delivered over Freeview, the only available ways currently to watch HDTV is via Sky satellite, cable and now Freesat.

I'd personally consider freesat as both Sky & Virgin are scum.

(magik said @ #1.2)
Digital is not to be confused with HD. But it does look like they plan to offer some HD programs.

Who's confused?, we know they plan to offer HD, that's what we said.