BBC Freesat. Has anyone installed,is HD any good

  newts 09:37 18 May 2008

I am thinking of buying and installing the new BBC Freesat with dish. Main reason is to receive HD TV but also because freeview digital ITV picture is so varied where I live. There does not appear to be much comment at the moment as to whether the High Definition picture is good, although I have seen that some boxes have been recalled for adjustment!!! whatever that means. There does not appear to be any PVR boxes available yet but some seem to have been promised later this year, again whatever that means!!! Any experience?

  amonra 13:30 18 May 2008

Newts, I'm thinking along the same lines as you. Reception in my neck of the woods is terrible and Freesat seems to be the answer. Unfortunately there seems to be a distinct lack of set-top boxes. Argos have some in stock but I would like to see a bigger range from different manufacturers. I have been told unofficialy to hang on a while, things are in the pipe line !
Sky have monopolised the satellite market and I think manufacturers are loth to start making a new range of boxes whilst demand is low. The Beeb need to publicise the service a bit more, stressing the FREE aspect. Dont rush !

  newts 14:03 18 May 2008

Thanks for comments. Without some review or comment generally it is difficult to judge whether it will be worth the expense. Comet my local firm said it is good but also have no boxes and could not show a demonstration. I think I will wait until a PVR box comes out. Maybe Sky will retaliate and do a deal.

  oresome 22:42 18 May 2008

I read somewhere that there had been software issues with some of the early STB's for Freesat and they had to be withdrawn.

Perhaps explains the lack of choice at retailers at the moment.

  Stuartli 00:04 19 May 2008


click here

click here

click here

to keep up with equipment etc news.

At least two brands of STB receivers were withdrawn initially by Argos due to problems, but are apparently now available again.

A certain well known consumer magazine has tested a Freesat Humax PVR machine, which will be on sale in the near future.

Another review at:

click here

  sconedd 00:06 19 May 2008

Read in yesterdays Daily Express about the most suitable kit for you, and the prices. very interesting. Hope this helps.

  newts 17:07 19 May 2008

Thanks for the comments. I think I will postpone a decision for a month or so and see how it goes.

  dwaynedibbly 11:42 20 May 2008

I`ve just installed an HD sat box.
Having been with SKY for several years, on a variety of packages, I realised I was paying for a service which I wasn`t using. What with work life etc just don`t have the time to watch that much t.v.

When I saw the Freesat launch anouncement, I thought great this could be just what I`m looking for.
However as others have stated, getting your hands on a Freesat box is nigh on impossible, due to high demand.

Looking through the internet forums etc I realised you don`t need a dedicated Freesat box, and so long as you are happy using a third party EPG. Then any HD box should suffice.
So I contacted a company on the web, purchased a Pace HD box for same price as a Freesat one.
Replaced the SKY Digibox with it, and hey presto glorious HD.
Okay so its only on one channel at the moment, BBCHD. But the picture on an HDTV via HDMI connection is staggering.
Was watching the FA cup at the weekend, and all I can say is that the makeup departments at the BBC have really got their work cut out, when it comes to making the presenters look human.
I`m sure Alan Hansons tan is fake.

Been watching Planet Earth re-runs on HD as well, and all I can say is it leaves you open mouthed.

I`m looking forward to the service extending, and as its all free, then it doesn`t come any better.

  al7478 16:14 20 May 2008

and you can use the sky dish...? Did it all setup/tune in easily? Did you have to inform sky of what you were doing...?

  dwaynedibbly 19:55 20 May 2008


Yep the Sky dish works fine.
From what I`ve picked up on the forums, apparently (and correct me if I`m wrong) the Sky dish points at the Astra 2 satellite at 28.4 degrees East.

The new HD sat box has a variety of user defined settings for scanning several named satellites. You simply carry out an auto scan for all free to air channels on that satellite, and bingo, it locates them. You then arrange them via the built in EPG to whatever order suits you.

I spoke with a Sky customer services rep, and informed him I was cancelling my subscription. He did try to entice me with free Sky for next four months, but I decided to bite the bullet and cancelled outright.
I`m now getting set for a little bit of Later Live with Jool Holland in glorious HD and 5.1 surround all courtesy of BBC HD, better still I`m not paying 35pounds a month for something I dont use.

  Stuartli 23:22 20 May 2008

>>better still I`m not paying 35pounds a month for something I dont use.>>

Which is always something that has puzzled me about Sky subscribers.

Why pay so much money per month for dozens of channels when you can only watch one - perhaps two - at any given time?

I can understand those subscribing to Premiership football or top films, but the rest seems a complete waste of time...:-)

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