dms05 10:06 20 Apr 2008

Well we are almost at the launch. Various reports click here suggest John Lewis will be offering Freesat from May 7th. Comet briefly displayed the Grundig High Definition STB with a simple spec, but that has now been pulled. However the basics seem to be:

Freesat launch 7th May
Initially both SD and HD versions will be offered
SD box from Grundig £49.99 with £100 extra for installation
HD box will be £149.99 plus £100 installation
The installer will be Sky
The Freesat dish size will be 60cm, so perhaps existing Sky mini dish installations might not work correctly.

PVR's are expected in a few months.

With the Sky current £75 offer (Digibox, installation and free Sky TV for 4 months) it seems the equivalent Freesat offer will be £150 without free Sky.

Sky don't offer a simple HD box so theirs no direct comparison with Freesat. However for the £250 installed Freesat price you can have a Sky HD PVR installed and a lot more HD channels.

It will be interesting to see how the new Freesat EPG handles PVR. Sky currently do that so well you hardly need to look at the manual. Lets hope the Freesat EPG is as good when PVR's eventually arrive.

The published pictures of the Freesat EPG look very good but quite what the finished product will be like, when used by a consumer, only time will tell.

  Kemistri 14:16 20 Apr 2008

I assume that you're referring to the new BBC Freesat with HD channels? I have been using Freesat for over three years, so this is getting kind of confusing. I wish they had the imagination to come up with a different name and not just copy Sky.

  dms05 14:41 20 Apr 2008

I believe the 'Freesat' name is registered to Freesat and Sky carefully call their service Sky Freesat.

Difference is the *NEW* Freesat will have it's own EPG and that will only be viewable with STB's carrying the Freesat Logo.

It's a FTA service from the BBC/ITV and others.

The Sky version will continue unchanged.

The HD versions offer an alternate, perhaps cheaper route, to HDTV. Sky only offer a sophisticated dual tuner PVR for HD. This new route lets you buy a single tuner, subscription free STB.

One oddity is Freesat are proposing to use the older style, larger and ugly satellite dish after Sky have offered their compact mini dish for almost a decade.

  anskyber 14:45 30 Apr 2008

It appears that the BBC/ITV Freesat will now launch on 6th May.

  dms_05 15:54 30 Apr 2008

It looks like been a very low key launch. At this stage the only HD channel will be the BBC HD trial channel. ITV hasn't yet made any announcement about its own HD channel(s). C4 HD is contracted to Sky at this time, as is FIVE and it's spin offs, so they all remain encrypted.

All the channels due under the Freesat EPG will also be available FTA on any digital receiver.

Pre-launch Freesat EPG is available if you have a Freesat receiver.

  birdface 16:06 06 May 2008

From PCA today click here

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