Free digital from Freesat

In Industry News On

Freesat, the new, free digital satellite TV service, became available nationwide at the beginning of May. For a one-off payment and no subscription, Freesat provides viewers with over 80 popular digital TV, radio and interactive channels, including high definition (HD) programming from the BBC and ITV.
Due to a breakthrough, last minute agreement reached between retra and Freesat, independent electrical retailers will be able to sell the free-to-air satellite service from June, subject to signing a service level agreement.
The first wave of Freesat products are made by Panasonic, Humax and Alba (under the Goodmans, Grundig and Bush brands), with a wide range of products that will cover standard definition and HD digital boxes, digital TV recorders (DTRs) and integrated digital TVs (IDTVs).
As Freesat’s channels are broadcast from the Astra and Eurobird satellites, it is available to almost every home in the UK (98% of households). So those currently unable to get digital television through an aerial from Freeview will be able to go digital for free with Freesat. As well as BBC and ITV programmes, Freesat viewers will receive Channel 4, E4, More 4, Film 4 and a wide range of children’s, news and music channels, with further channels being added month by month.
For a one-off payment set by the retailer which will vary depending on the equipment purchased, viewers will receive the receiver, satellite dish and professional installation. Only Freesat-approved products will have received a Freesat trademark licence and will be able to display the Freesat logo.
All Freesat receivers will feature a seven day on-screen programme guide, interactive services, plus subtitles and audio description, as well as high-speed digital text and enhanced interactivity. The portfolio of TV and radio channels and interactive services will be continually updated, with around 200 channels available by the end of the year.

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