Briantist:Box TV channels now available online - CMU Complete Music Update http://t.co/rgjyIdo0vy Briantist:Read this! You know you want to... is out! http://t.co/iZRMlAut0g ▸ Top stories today via @SEOSeanUK Briantist:Media Talk podcast Woolwich attack coverage and Boris ban lifted http://t.co/qe1Ag4afdQ yorkshirewander:RT @Briantist: New Google maps has some interesting bugs. you have to take a bus to get from Victoria Station to Victoria Station! http://t.co/I5bspH6UZR Briantist:Victoria Station #fail for new Google maps ... http://t.co/t7uCQruyDz Briantist:New Google maps has some interesting bugs. you have to take a bus to get from Victoria Station to Victoria Station! http://t.co/I5bspH6UZR mapperz:RT @Briantist: From the archive: Want to see where a point on a line of sight on a map? Click on UK Free TV! Here's another ... http://t.co/Mx19ptoKdb Briantist:From the archive: Want to see where a point on a line of sight on a map? Click on UK Free TV! Here's another ... http://t.co/Mx19ptoKdb Briantist:Now picks up Freesat advertising business - Advertising news - Campaign http://t.co/rSLGNsOWnZ Briantist:Read this! You know you want to... is out! http://t.co/iZRMlAut0g ▸ Top stories today via @TamworthH
The BBC's service, which is now set to launch in spring 2008, will provide a "guaranteed non-subscription" digital satellite service.
The boxes will provide a HDTV satellite version of the popular Freeview service, with a number of BBC, ITV channels in high definition plus all the existing services that the current Freesat service provides.
Currently both Channel 4 and five have agreements with Sky which require their channels (with the exception of Film4) to require the use of a "Freesat From Sky" card. This means that you currently need to purchase a card from Sky Subscriber Services Ltd for 20 to watch Channel 4, five, Five US, Five Life and Sky Three.
Whilst this card is included as part of the 150 cost of Freesat From Sky, Sky have in the past invalidated the existing cards and demanded payment for a new one from Freesat users. Last time Sky did this the telephone number that was provided told customers that the must subscribe and mislead callers telling them no replacement cards were available!
The BBC/ITV service will have several potential uses:
a box-swap replacement to upgrade an existing Freesat from Sky or Sky subscription box for a box with HDTV services;
a multi-room installation with an existing dish fitted with a quad-LNB;
connection to a Windows Vista Media Centre or Windows Home Server;
Mark Thompson (BBC Director-General) said "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.
"Its primary purpose is to drive digital take-up in analogue homes, particularly in those areas which are out of digital terrestrial coverage. Freesat also offers a trusted free-to-view digital upgrade path that gives licence payers all the benefits of digital television (notably high definition capability) guaranteed free of subscription."
Michael Grade (ITV Executive Chairman) said "Freesat will build on the success of Freeview by offering viewers a simple and cost effective way of upgrading to digital TV. By filling in the current gaps in Freeview coverage, Freesat will ensure that a free-to-air, no strings attached option for accessing digital TV is available to the whole of the UK ahead of digital switchover. By offering HD capability we will future proof Freesat if, as expected, high definition television continues to capture the imagination of UK viewers."
What channels will be provided?
The current single-channel HDTV service for the BBC is only a test service. It seems reasonable that the BBC will provide the main channels in HD resolution. This will probably not extend to the BBC regional news services, and may not initially include the national variations in HD.
ITV1 is the only network of theirs with regional variations, so again a "Network" version of the channel will be provided in HD, with SDTV potentially regional adverts inserted. It seems reasonable that ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV will also broadcast in HD.
It seems that the other public service broadcasters, Channel 4, five and S4C will want to get on board. This will require E4, C4, More4, five, five Life and five US to change their broadcasts, or for the new BBC Freesat to simulcast these channels as HD.
Channel 4 told the Guardian that the channel "currently has exclusive [digital satellite] carriage deals in place with Sky Digital for the majority of its channels (other than for Film4, which is broadcast free-to-air). Under the Communications Act we would expect to become subject to obligations to ensure the availability of the core channel on all satellite platforms, which would require that Channel 4 was available on Freesat."
As for the other non-public service Freeview channels:
Ftn, The Hits, TMF, UKTV Bright Ideas, UKTV History are locked into Sky subscription agreements, but obviously it would be to the benefit of Freesat if these channels could be made available to the extra 2.5 million homes.
Sky Sports News is a subscription service on satellite and Sky Three would have to go free-to-air, which may happen to show Sky's benevolence.
Hi, I have just connected up a Humax Foxsat HD unit and am very impressed. It also nicely fills the gap left by my broken (non subscription) digitalskybox.
When using the 'I' button an information bar appears at the bottom of the TV screen,which along with the program info, shows two bars which indicate signal strength and signal quality.
When in Freesatmode both the bars indicate 100% across all channels, but when in non freesat STB mode they vary and can both drop down as low as 80% ? ,depending on which channel is being viewed. Both bars are still within the green area on the indicator bar.
Q . Is it worth tweaking the dish to even out the signal strength/quality differences which I presume are due to the programs coming from two different satellites - or am I wrong and this difference is because the freesat programs are affected less by all this bad weather.
I have a 3 or 4 year old 600mm oval shaped dish (unknown make) wired up with one uninterupted length of ct125 cabling from the LNB into the rear of the box.
Brian--- No immediate problems re: lip-sync with my Humax but will monitor this aspect particularly with live outside broadcast comment. Standard definition not up to my Manhattan though which I would say is as close to HD as one could get. I live in a rural are of Dumfries and Galloway and have opted for Satellite rather than what even with Freeview reception will be a limited service via a relay transmitter. My set up is a 1.25 meter dish driven by a 36 volt Jaeger motor and a backup static 60cm Triax both located in my back garden and self set up and installed using top end LNB's.
both dishes have twin cable to the respective receivers should I opt in the future for a PVR although I can record to the Manhattan's 160gb HDD meantime. May try the Humax on the motor dish (currently on the Triax) and compare standard picturequality between the larger and smaller dish reception.
Brian -- Hear what your saying, but there are several factors that determine eg;
signal strength and picturequality. Size does matter as far as the dish is concerned. As does the Low Noise Block Amplifiers rating in dealing with static signal noise suppression and finally the receivers build quality tuner range and software. A few years ago the Panasonic TU-DSB 50 was much sought after by ex pats in Spain, Portugal and the Canaries because of its build quality and its tuner range in determining the end result. So for me all or nothing simplifies the end result.
Les Nicol: With digital, all that matters is if you can decode the bitstream. Either you can - perfect data - or you can't. I've written an article about it all. It still needs pictures, I'll post it asap.
I see that it is projected that the Humax PVR will be in the shops for the Christmas season. It is also confirmed that the analogue component out as is with the current receiver will be dropped from the PVR.
Although the component out is being dropped from the Humax PVR it is reported that it will have a USB port that will allow archiving to an external HDD over and above the onboard HDD recording facility.
Les Nicol: Sounds sensible. I've never really understood why this wasn't standard on PVRs, it is hardly an expensive add on.
Tell you what I would REALLY like. A combined Freesat+ and Freeview+ box with say two tuners for each in it, with a SINGLE EPG. That would be amazing... you could get your HD from satellite and still have Dave and UKTV History. Having four tuners with automatic locating the "best" one (say, highest bitrate) would be good!
Brian, The Technomate 6900 PVR has two Sat Tuners plus a Freeview tuner. The problem is that although you can get the BBC HD channel which is listed in the channel selection software and their EPG it doesn't have "FreeSat" and that of course denies access as yet to ITV HD currently red button access.----------Pity!"
Brian. That's why it's a "Pity" that "FreeSat" hasn't been opened up to other manufacturers than a select few. Apart from Humax (with some historial pedigree), who are obviously "tooled up" both at the drawing board and the manufacturing end, Others equally capable seem to be "off the map" as far as "FreeSat" is concerned. So how about some competition here!
Brian ----Uplinking arrangements re FreeSat's EPG. Where does Sky come into this? I perhaps mistakenly understood that the BBC/ITV and others had broken the link with SKY and were now contracting directly with ASTRA and EUTELSAT
Les Nicol: The Sky EPG data is carried in the transport stream of all transponders that carry any channels that are carried at least one channel that appears in their EPG. This is necessary because the at least a days worth of EPG needs to be accessible whilst you are watching TV. On a Sky Digibox when you press the "TV GUIDE" button the box tunes to the "default transponder" so that the full EPG can be accesses to give the multiple-day listings. So, even when companies like the BBC and ITV uplink their own channels, they have to add in the Sky EPG data into the transport stream.
The Freesat EPG is carried in the same way as the Sky one, but is in a "different table". For both systems to EPG for the same channels, both EPGs have to be provided on the transponder.
This means that Sky can claim they need to roll out the channels slowly so they can "test" the Freesat data, but it is a bit of a bogus claim as it well within the DVB-S specification for multiple EPGs to be carried.
Brian Understood, but one has to ask the question as to why these two non-standard epg's have a particular broadcaster acting as gatekeeper rather than the management of this aspect being undertaken by the Satellite operators, in this case ASTRA or EUTELSAT.
Les Nicol: The satellite operators do not provide EPG information, they form part of the transmission multiplex on each transponder which is the responsibility of whoever it is under long-term loan to. SES Astra, for example, monitor that the satellite and transponders are operating correctly, but do not provide any services directly. Sky gave undertakings to the ITC and DTI (as they both were) to allow full and at-cost access to their EPG, so they would not lock other companies out, but they seem to have 'forgotton' that. The Freesat EPG is open and free-to-air, the Sky one is not.
Les Nicol: It depends on the transponder owner. The BBC and ITV certainly don't (they use BT's Madley Earthstation and London Teleport etc) and it is Aquiva who are the other main uplinker. I think that there must be some free channels on Sky owned (well, rented) transponders that get uplinked from Southampton. It is a "free market" and there are many players!
Brian --- New players in the receiver market about to launch----METRONIC Spec---- composite and RGB enabled with twin scart. and spdif. Full HD reported at 1980 x 1080 equating to Super High Vision (SHV) also from the same stable New DTR for Release mid January 20009. Again seems a completely new and unknown player other than producing IT components eg: budget lower end computer mainboards.
Hi, Metronic make recievers suitable for a german pay tv package if i remember right they also make/sell the the freeviewscart recievers marketed in the uk under various other names. they also make a satellite version but its quite rare in the uk, so not totally unknown to those in the trade !, It was the same with humax at first they were only known to motorised sat fitters & a few other hobbiests, but look at them now ! Mark Aberfan Aerials
Mark Aberfan/ Brian- Have you seen the new nokia n96, its supposed tp have a dtt receiver and a pvr capable of 40 hours of storage. Some leap forward for a phone, know what my next phone is going to be. Wonder how good it would be at checking the output of tx's...
Brian--- Is there any likelihood of the BBC World News Channel currently outputting on Eutelsat's Hotbird at 13degrees East and others; or is this a NO NO by virtue of the fact that this channel is operated by the BBC's commercial wing and has ads. Secondly out of interest does Sky have the same "Gatekeeping"/"Monopoly" in respect of Eutelsats' Eurobird Hotbird and others or is this something that is specific to Astra's group of satellites at 28degrees East or does this also include the others at 19degrees East.
Les Nicol: BBC World News carries adverts and is therefore banned from the UK. Sky has the 'gatekeeper' status on all transponders that its EPG is carried on, which includes the Hotbird satellite as well.
Brian Thanks for that. Sky's EPG on HOTBIRD I presume is linked to there Italian Sky services/channels of which there appear to be many. It is likely my limited knowledge in this area that makes me wonder why FreeSat with a non standard DVB-S EPG couldn't have been set up on another transponder not carrying Sky's EPG.
Les Nicol: UK channels are on Eurobird 1 at 28.5°E, a Eutelsat satellite. The Eutelsat Hotbirds (6, 7A and 8) are in a different orbital position, they have no relationship to Sky UK. The EPG information has be carried on all transponders otherwise you would only have access to the EPG whilst tuned to that transponder. The Freesat EPG IS standard, it is the Sky one that isn't.
Ihave a 15inh tv, a video player, and a free sat box SD, If I connect he scartcable, from the sd box to the tv, I only have one scart connection on the tv, and the 2nd scart from the sd box, to the video player,the video will not function, I THEN PURCHASED A TWIN SCART CONNECTION BOX,RESULT THEVIDEO PLAYER WORKED BUT ALAS NO FREESAT TV PICTURE, CAN YOU HELP
KENNETH: Use one SCART from the Freesatbox port marked "TV" and then use another from the Freesat's SCART marked VCR to the VCR. Put the satellite box into standby to see the VCR. Nothing else is needed.
Brian and anyone interested. ---- Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Skybet are being received unscrambled on my Manhattan FTA. These channels are listed twice on my EPG on this receiver and the other listings remain scrambled as they are on SKY boxes.(Checked this out with a friend with a SKY box) Not sure if this is a fault with SKY's encryption or not. Some Freesat boxes appear to be getting these as well but SKY sports isn't scanning into the Humax in STB mode.