In essence, freesat is a neatly packaged collection of FTA (free to air) channels which are broadcast from the same satellites as are used by SkyDigital.
There is no difference between what may be received using a freesat receiver, and any number of basic digital satellite receivers such as the Comag/SilverCrest range which may be found in Lidl shops. Indeed, I myself use an SL65.
In fact, given support for multiple satellites and no distinction between what is freesat and what is not, you may find a non-freesat-badged receiver to be quite a bit simpler in use.
However the big selling points of the freesat package are that the receivers are equipped with a 7-day EPG (electronic programme guide). This means you can see what programmes are on any of the freesat channels for any period in the next 168(ish) hours. In addition to this, the receiver offers MHEG5 support, so that BBCi will work, the BBC's 'red button' services; as does ITV Teletext. The majority of the generic FTA receivers offer none of this.
At time of writing (April 2009), there are a number of outstanding issues which need to be addressed in the freesat service (Goodmans GFSAT100SD receiver):
- The EPG is buggy - a lot more work needs to go into making this properly responsive and not sit there with big areas of "No information available". After a couple of minutes there is no excuse, given I understand the data on the EPG channel to be broadcast roughly every 30 seconds.
- Better integration of non-freesat branded channels. End users are not interested in politics, they just want life to be easier. Pop up a message saying that the channel is not freesat and hence there is no EPG beyond now/next (which, reprehensibly, the freesat box doesn't bother to display...) and then let us watch it.
- Please be VERY aware that the freesat receiver uses the standard MHEG-5 for interactive content. The Sky Digibox, on the other hand, uses the proprietory OpenTV. What this means is that, for the moment, the only interactive services available to you are a simplified version of BBCi on the BBC channels, and a simplified version of ITV's Teletext on channel 986. Both are faster, but a lot more basic, than I remember the Digibox versions to be. There is no support for Sky News Interactive (once you add Sky News as a non-freesat channel), and as it is the direct competitor to freesat, don't bother holding your breathe... the FTA Sky News isn't in the EPG either.
Furthermore, a number of 'red button' prompts in advertising will be targetted towards the considerably larger number of Digibox users, for whom the red button will work. On freesat, the red button won't access this additional content.
So you might be asking what is the value of freesat? That is simple. If you are non-geek in inclination, you will want to continue receiving television after the big analogue switch off (which has already started, and all analogue channels will be gone completely in three years). Fine, buy a DTT box, plug that in between your aerial and your TV... but what if you are in a fringe area? Places where reception is okay provided there is no wind, no rain, no nothing to interfere?
freesat offers you a cheap and simple way to receive loads more channels than you'll ever find on DTT with a range of options:
- Buy the box, install it yourself.
- Buy the box, install it yourself - HD version.
- Have it all installed for you.
- Have it all installed for you - HD version.
For the DIYs, you can either fit your own dish (not recommended if you've never done such a thing before) or you can simply plug it into an old Sky dish.
Otherwise, for a little bit extra (around £40, but prices vary quite a bit) you can have it properly installed for you. You even have a choice of the cheap'n'cheerful SD version for use with normal TV equipment, or an HD-compatible box (for BBC HD and some ITV programming in HD).
Add to that an EPG (of sorts) and an interactive service for news and such. With an existing setup to hook into, the basic bottom price is around £45(ish) for an SD receiver. To add to this, satellite can be affected by the weather, but it's a heck of a lot more reliable than I have heard of DTT services. The only reason I lost reception in a hurricane last week (~9th Feb) was because the power failed. Up until then, I was watching TV, in a gale, with driving rain. Put your hand up if you think that would kill your DTT reception!
There's a clue in the name. It's free (no subscription) and it's on satellite (complete coverage of north-west Europe, a lot less prone to weather conditions). Because it is on satellite, the range of possible channels is bordering on limitless. Look how many channels Sky offer (for a price). That sort of thing is practically impossible on earth. It can't be done with DTT because there isn't enough space for broadcasting all those channels, and it can't be done via cable for the same reason (most cable services I am aware of only have up to 40-50 channels and even those are often limited to metropolitan areas).
Of course, this isn't to say "more channels are better"; however in a world with more channels there is more space for niche channels - Zone Horror or oMusicTV as two examples; plus we all know that the good programmes are all conveniently on at the same time; so the assorted +1 (hour offset) channels can help us to better plan our viewing. For example, this week I would like to watch "An Unsuitable Job For A Woman" (ITV3, 22:00-00:15) but I would also like to watch "The Edukators" (FilmFour, 23:20-01:55). Clearly I cannot watch both. Well, that's not entirely correct. I can. I simply watch "The Edukators" on FilmFour+1 where it will start five minutes after the end of the previous programme.whose teaching the zoroastrianism is based on how much startup money for a small business how much start up loan can i get how much solution to drink for colonoscopy what company is worth the most how often does waste management bill whose theory of development is best exemplified how many business days in a year saline solution where to buy solutions how college how much teaching course at unisa where to answers questions how technological environment affect business where company number why system of a down what is the most popular technology used today where to learn entrepreneurship how startup funding works how much company car tax calculator what entrepreneur qualities where to look from solutions which startup company is best where company registration where technology started why technology is bad for education when entrepreneurship is successful class 10 how much technology do we need who devised the metric system where project nasa how much equipment was left behind in vietnam how tech thinks how many device can airpod pro connect who engineering definition how much project manager earn in canada why management information system is important whom may concern where business model is created and defined why design systems where to find products for dropshipping how long science museum london how workers compensation insurance works where to find workers near me entrepreneur who create new ideas why are standard solutions important which solution to the equation 1 x 1 x 2 2x 2 2 is extraneous where an engineer works what engineering should i major in how technology works where project manager can work how many engineering jobs are there which project element is an accessibility feature where to launch kayak near me how london underground was built where i'm from locations how engineering students study where to launch kayak weeki wachee where to teach languages online where was a teacher filmed 2020 where to start up a business where startup windows 7 how to roadmap in jira how often should decalcifying solutions be changed where to get business casual clothes who improved technology where to cool solution re2 how much startup equity should i get who developed the triarchic theory of intelligence whose product is a minimum startup whom which device is nat typically implemented on when the manufacturer established how entrepreneur helps in economic development what products contain titanium dioxide when project price should be discussed when technology and humanity cross reflection how to know when the product was made how much london eye where to find system preferences on mac how many startup fails how often should a manager give feedback how development leads to democracy what system is the gallbladder in where to meet entrepreneurs how many workers make minimum wage who technical report who's are whose who design nazi uniforms how start up your own business how much design cost how many startup fails in india how to teach teaching why teaching is a good career how often change solution contact whom would where london is which project element is an accessibility feature why technology is important in our life what system is the kidney in from where to study science and technology for upsc how much development is important for a country who solution recipe for rehydration where to teach spanish online how engineering changed the world what management is on start up meaning where to buy tech fleece where to produce the symbol of the king how long system alcohol how start up how to start the startup when entrepreneurship is successful who is engineering explained what technology can amish use why entrepreneurs don't have girlfriends what equipment is at planet fitness which london airport is closest to southampton why design matters debbie millman what design style am i
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