Free-to air satellite tv


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Aug 10, 2019
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How about an article about freesat tv services? At present, we can only access HDTV if we either pay money to Rupert Murdoch or are lucky enough to live next to a bit of cable in the front street. It seems unlikely that we will have access to HD services via terrestrial freeview in the foreseeable future. At present, there is freesat access to a trial of BBC HD broadcasts, and I've read an article suggesting that BBC and ITV are hoping to launch a frre-to-air service in spring 2008.

Is this likely to happen? What kit is out there to receive it? I'd like to know more!

Andy Clough

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Apr 27, 2004
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Hi there

You're right, the BBC did conduct trials of a free-to-air HD service last year, and we covered this in the Ultimate Guide to Digital TV in April . We were part of the trial and were able to receive the BBC HD service using an i-Can 3800T receiver via a standard rooftop aerial. However, the trial (from Crystal Palace) was only in London, and has now finished.

The only other way to receive the BBC HD feed for free now is via satellite using a Freesat box such as the Humax HDCI-2000. This will cost you £299, plus a £20 Freesat viewing card.

As to when the BBC and others will launch a free-to-air HD service, that's currently the subject of fierce debate. The HD-for-All campaign is urging the Government, and industry regulator Ofcom, to allocate some of the spectrum to be sold off after the analogue TV switchoff (from 2008-2012) specifically for free-to-air HD services. But this issue has still to be resolved.

Let's hope the Government and Ofcom see sense. The BBC wants to offer free-to-air HD, and I'm sure many viewers, like you, want be able to receive it.


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