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Freesat confirms upcoming addition of on-demand content from the BBC and ITV

by Parm Mann on 27 November 2009, 11:03

Tags: Freesat

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Free-to-air satellite service, Freesat, has confirmed that the BBC's on-demand iPlayer service will be made available to its users on December 7th, 2009.

BBC iPlayer will be available via all existing Freesat HD receivers, but will initially be rolled out to a select number of users who will be able to access the service using a code. The BBC adds that it hopes "as many Freesat viewers as possible" will be able to use the service in time for Christmas.

Highlighting its on-demand ambition, Freesat has also confirmed that ITV Player will also become available on the free-to-air service early in 2010.

"ITV and Freesat are working to launch ITV Player onto Freesat in the first half of 2010," said the company in a statement.

Despite an ongoing lack of HD channels, Freesat has witnessed strong growth throughout 2008 and has now become the fastest growing TV platform in the UK. In the three months leading up to the end of September, Freesat claims to have sold over 200,00 units, more than double the number of new Sky subscribers in the same period.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Does anyone know what quality of iPlayer via Freesat is going to be compared to say, iPlayer on the Wii?

I am currently using the Wii to watch iPlayer on my TV and, though watchable, the quality isn't that great.

I'm guessing the limited processing power of Freesat tuners is likely to limit the quality though… Any thoughts?
It would be good if you could download it to the HDD that some freesat boxes have and then watch it back in better quality.
Iplayer on your wii and computer and mobile phone all rely on bandwidth of the boardband connection and processor power of the device your using.

Iplayer and on demand services for the freesat would ‘I guess’ use a different method of receiving its video stream. So I guess if the video coding and compression was smart then a freesat box shouldn't need much power to decode and that the quality should be alot better, if not DVD quality.
The HD streams on iPlayer (available on a PC via the website, XBMC plugins plus others) is 1280x720 at around 3.2Mbps.

Quality is pretty good - certainly miles from equalling Bluray, but equally ahead of SD freeview.

I'm guessing the limitation on the Wii is the decoding complexity of higher rate H264 streams - given Freesat TVs have hardware decode for H264 at ten times that rate, i'm guessing it won't be a problem.

Freesat TVs and boxes have a lan port - the frontend (or the software to enable it) will be sent over the air, but the streams will come over your broadband connection and be subject to the speeds you can get on a PC.