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Freesat - Finally Competition to Sky?

Discussion in 'Freesat Forum' started by Epicurus, May 6, 2008.

  1. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    Come on, anyone who predicts the destruction of SKY in their first post on AVF should be applauded, not taken seriously of course and certainly not taken advantage of in terms of money:D
  2. hdsport

    hdsport Member

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    Damm you people with scruples :D I fancied second a
    SKY HD box:smashin:
  3. mrbleu

    mrbleu Member

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    I guess quite a few people are maybe in a similar position to me. I have a Sky subscription and have recently bought an HD ready TV (10 million of us have one now according to the BBC today). As I don't subscribe to the premium channels (just 6 mix + multiroom) I cannot justify the cost of buying a SkyHD box, and adding to my suscription, around £300 plus another £10 a month.

    But I can save £30 a month, flog my Sky box on flea bay, and buy a shiny new Humax HD PVR that will pay for itself in less than a year, and still get almost every channel we currently watch. And get HD channels I can't get now.
  4. Floodstev

    Floodstev Member

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    With you on that one, that is the exact reason I just cancelled my subs with Sky and lucky for me the contact just ran out this month.

    In the end it is going to be competition for Sky which should be good for the end consumer.
  5. Bachstrad

    Bachstrad Active Member

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    If it helps to remove all the religous, shopping and other naff channels from the Sky platform and on to Freesat, then Freesat will be great competition as a distribution service AFAIC. :smashin:

    ATB

    Max
  6. gavan

    gavan Active Member

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    Indeed. I no longer have Sky but use Virgin Media.

    I've got a HD-capable telly and would like to get HD TV channels. I don't however want to pay a lot of money for it and certainly not on an ongoing basis.

    I'm not about to get a HD box from VM (crap choice and too expensive) but Sky is no longer my only choice for HD. I can pick up a Freesat HD box for a reasonable amount and get two reasonable HD channels for 'free'. Wouldn't be surprised if Channel 4 join them in HD at some point in the future too.

    Sky looked set to hoover up the HD market by default and gain a dominant position in that like they did with SD DSAT and almost did with SD digital as a whole. Now there's a choice that is cheaper and will probably become more popular for HD.
  7. 2003bluecat

    2003bluecat Member

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    Agreed
    See post #14 :smashin:

    Agreed
    See post #12 :smashin:

    Everyone should be happy really, whether you want to pay for tv or not, after all, we're all getting more choice now :clap:
  8. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    I'm not happy because Freesat could have been so much more and not made any practical difference to it's core purpose of bring non-subscription Dsat and DVR's to those without DTT coverage or those who are forced to pay for SKY for services that should not be charged for.
  9. 2003bluecat

    2003bluecat Member

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    Would you rather there was no freesat then? Most things could be better. What improvements/differences would you have liked from freesat?
  10. Radiomike

    Radiomike Member

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    There is definitely a market and a need for a platform which allows access to the maximum number of channels without the obligation of taking a subscription and in that light Freesat is a good thing. However I view it as complimentary to rather than as a competitor to Sky in that its appeal is mainly to those who at present have no desire to obtain or cannot afford a Sky subscription. As such it will primarily appeal to those who would not be likely customers for Sky in any event.

    The important thing is that it is good for the viewer in that they now have another option for multi channel viewing.

    The idea though that it is bad news for Sky or will ultimately erode their base is a little naive even if that thought keeps the anti-Sky lobby here happy. Let me tell you one way in which Freesat is good for Sky. Everyone who signs up for Freesat will now have a dish on the side of their house and cables to the freesat box. The dish and cables are not platform exclusive. Every Freesat customer thus becomes a potential Sky customer - all that is needed is a simple change of box. No new unsightly dish, no more holes in walls. The decision in due course to upgrade to Sky thus becomes a whole lot easier and I imagine in due course Sky will target them with tempting offers.

    Also Sky has 9m existing subscribers. It has them for a reason. It offers a product they want. It will always lose the odd customer along the way but it will gain them as well. It may be overpriced to some but nonetheless unless a competitor can offer a comparable product at a lower price it will always have those who want that product. Freesat does not intend to compete in premium service delivery so realistically not many are going to give up the current choice and range of subscription channels for what is really a satellite equivalent of Freeview without the capacity limitations. however much the anti Sky brigade wish it were otherwise.

    If you don't want Sky or don't want to pay for it that's fine with me. Applaud Freesat as serving your needs. But why all the anti Sky sentiments. It should just be about giving everyone a choice. Noone has ever been forced to subscribe to Sky.
  11. gavan

    gavan Active Member

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    He's just cheesed off because Sky face competition.
  12. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    Nope, I think having this type of service is better than having only a generic FTA receiver option without a full EPG or interactive layer.

    Freesat had to be proprietary to include a full working EPG and Interactive layer that goes without saying so that sets it apart from generic FTA boxes. However the missing CI slot (so common on millions of EU receivers) was a mistake as that would have offered a very viable stepping stone to an alternative PAY offering for the UK which the likes of Setanta, VM, Viacom etc could use and get out from under SKY's thumb without impacting on the basic FTA aim of the venture (in the same manner as Freeview but less so thanks to the capacity of Dsat).
    Other things like multi-sat use, expanded DVR functions (TIVO functionality), server/client, IPTV, SATA/LAN etc may come in time so that's not a discussion for today:)


    I wanted the UK to have what the EU has had for a decade, in one aspect we have something better but in another something more restricted which it seems is being exploited by ITV for their own reasons.

    Damn shame a UK FTA channel can not be picked up by FTA capable receivers owned by UK residents:(
  13. gavan

    gavan Active Member

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    Actually, the reverse is likely to be more the case:

    People who have a Sky dish on their house can just pick up a cheap-ish Freesat box and plug it in to get a large range of SD digital satellite channels with a great EPG plus up to three HD channels for no ongoing cost.

    One of the biggest objects to the takeup of Freesat would be the cost/hassle of getting a suitable dish fitted. It's definitely a deterrent to people even though it's no more hassle and often no more expensive than fitting a decent conventional TV aerial.

    However, thanks to years of Sky's 'razor blade marketing' where they positively encouraged people to leave Sky dishes on their houses even when they moved, there are many people out there who already have a suitable, unused dish and cabling :thumbsup:
  14. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    Not at all.
    I want SKY to have genuine competition, as a subscriber it would likely benefit me in terms of costs and overall service levels.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. robfosters

    robfosters Member

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    Simple choice for me i'm afraid. I can't live without my premier league, so as good as freesat looks. It's a no-no i'm afraid.

    What amazes me is how many people counter this with "why dont you go to a pub and watch the match?" OK, i'll go to the pub, have 3 pints, thats £9. The i'll have a pack of pork scratchings, cheesy moments and scampi fries. Another £2. Or nip round Londis for a 4 pack of Fosters and a tube of pringles for a fiver. Maybe some Doritos dip if i'm really flush :smashin:

    SKY begins to look like a bargain. However, it's looking tempting as a bedroom system. I would just like to know you can share a dish between sky and freesat?
  16. gavan

    gavan Active Member

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    Sky now do have genuine competition for regular digital satellite television. No need to get a Sky box and card just to watch the basic basket of digital channels off of satellite and looking a be a decent basic HD service too. No ongoing cost, wide choice of manufacturers. Lovely.

    As for pay TV, not interested personally. If someone wants to set up their own proprietary service to rival Sky's in order to make the public pay even more for telly then good luck to 'em.
  17. mrbleu

    mrbleu Member

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    Yes, if you have a quad LNB (which you get with Sky+), just run a cable from the dish to your bedroom and you're away. If you don't have one, they are pretty cheap to buy and install.
  18. Bachstrad

    Bachstrad Active Member

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    Perhaps you could explain why people wouldn't get Freesat fitted and then realise that better content could be had by plugging in a Sky box? Anyone who's getting Freesat for HD will certainly be brassed off with Luxe HD after about ten minutes. BBC HD since the end of the 'trial' has gone down hill rapidly, unless of course you're a rabid Bleak House and Jools Holland fan. There's no valid reason why Freesat couldn't be a stepping stone to Sky either IMHO.

    ATB

    Max
  19. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    Since SKY don't make any direct revenue from "free" channel viewers I don't really define that as competition, Setanta, TUTV, BTV and VM are direct competition in the PAY market.
    The upcoming non-subscription DVR for satellite use is excellent news, long awaited and that could certainly impact on those that pay just the tenner or take 1 MIX to get the SKY+ thrown in.
    Saying that there is a little competition in specific areas just not in the scope many posters seem to imply:)

    I've said many times the UK should have had a EU type FTA market back in 1998, this day is most welcome but it's been soured by a single broadcaster p*****g over what FTA is all about.




    That's fair enough:)

    However in the real world one of the complaints is that SKY are so big, the market so expensive there will never be genuine competition in the PAY market and thus prices will not fall and perhaps make PAY tv far more attractive to everyone. The Freesat project could have very easily included a CI slot (not an embedded CAM) and at a stroke given UK residents the freedom tens of millions of EU residents have had for years in terms of selection in STB and PAY services.
  20. gavan

    gavan Active Member

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    Sure, they could later decide to pay a minimum of about 200 quid a year (for the most basic Sky package) or at least 300 quid a year (for the most basic Sky HD package) up to over 600 pounds a year for the top subscription if they decide that what they are already getting for 'free' already isn't enough.


    I think it's more likely though that a person with an existing Sky dish on their house might decide to pick up a cheap box and get 'no ongoing cost' telly including three HD channels ... especially as times are getting tight.


    I guess we shall see which is the more likely scenario - Personally, I'd expect Sky to start pulling their socks up before they really haemorrhage too much business.
  21. robfosters

    robfosters Member

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    Oh right. I already have that cable. So it's literally just plug a box in and save myself £120 a year?
  22. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    I take you have multiroom as the £120 cost?
    If so then surely you are paying multiroom to get the PAY channels on the second SKY box and not just the free channels?
    I hope you are otherwise everything I have just said to Gavan goes out the window:D
  23. Freetochat

    Freetochat Member

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    I was one of those looking forward to this launch. Heard the radio slots this morning, so tried to follow up. Went in to Curry's Superstore. Staff didn't know what I was talking about, then tried to sell me Sky's free package. Went into Comet. Big sign at the entrance, free sky plus box for all new customers who sign up for one premium package and all display tv's running sky demos and adverts. Again queried with staff. After much discussion and debate amomgst staff, one done an internet search and found reference to a stb. Check back in a week to see if any stock has arrived was the advice.

    It was interesting to hear the Freesat representative on radio saying that the launch has 80 channels and this will grow to 200 by the end of the year.
  24. mrbleu

    mrbleu Member

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    Over 1 million "free" channel viewers, who have the ability to buy Box Office movies, use the interactive services, vote on big brother, shopping, etc... They do make quite a lot of money directly from them.

    And they also have everything in place to turn them into £600 a year subscribers at the flick of a switch and the completion of a direct debit, and you can bet these 1 million get plenty of "offers" to entice them into taking up the service.

    If they were freesat "customers" Sky would not be able to make a cent out of them, they wouldn't even know who they were... So yes, I think freesat does represent competition for Sky.

    This comment from the ITV press release caught my eye today:

    This hits at the heart of Sky's crown jewels - Football :)
  25. Bachstrad

    Bachstrad Active Member

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    I'm afraid there are many people like me who consider £2 a day for multiroom, Sports & Movies and 17 HD Channels to be very good value for money. ;)

    ATB

    Max
  26. hdsport

    hdsport Member

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    Not really SKY whilst they would of liked to have kept England/FA Cup games they were not essential. They became a minor partner in the last deal to the BBC as they realised a lack of benefit for them.

    I am surprised they didn't get any away games and they've been pretty canny in picking up the pivotal games in recent times e.g. Russia. Instead Setanta got their act together very quickly to snap them up.

    For SKY the Premier League and Champions League are their main interests. These are the things that drive subscribers.

    Their new Champions League deal gives them more games only 1 game per round of matches will not be live on SKY.

    They still have all the big Premier League games and unless that changes their business model seems pretty sound.

    Freesat is not competition unless they find between them £1bn+ for PL rights!
  27. Freetochat

    Freetochat Member

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    This point has been discussed many times, and comes down to personal choice and watching requirements. £2 per day is expensive if you are able to make little use of the service due to repeats etc. Sky movies are repeated so often, and are rarely up to date, and have little value. Sport I can see is of value. But then, that's how I view it's suitability for my circumstances.
  28. basilmalaise

    basilmalaise Member

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    Same 'ol same 'ol. The Guardian has a piece about ITV's attitude to competition back in 1989 - it's worth a glance, and includes a full page ad ITV ran about Sky. You've gotta laugh at ITV moaning about Sky "turning Acacia Avenue into a cross between Jodrell Bank and GCHQ.:D
  29. davepuma

    davepuma Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it, Sky's coverage of the football and CL (multi-view) is second to none. ITV, Setanta are very poor in comparison both in terms of picture quality, presentation, camerawork etc. Even the BBC can't cut the mustard when compared to Sky. Football is probably where the bulk of Sky's budget goes (after outbidding C4, BBC2 for Lost/24 etc.!). I could have easily added Setanta to my Sky package to get the SPL but after watching about 2 minutes of it, I quickly realised that I could not pay for such a sub-standard service. Ok, ITV's coverage of the FA cup and English internationals will be free but they don't interest me.

    I couldn't do without my weekly dose of Soccer AM either so Freesat will not be of any interest to me.

    The only thing to get me to buy a HD box whether that is Sky or Freesat will probably be the F1 in HD.... We can dream....
  30. Bachstrad

    Bachstrad Active Member

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    I agree, it just depends how you value your entertainment and as TV is our main source of entertainment £2 a day isn't expensive IMHO.

    Your comments about Sky Movies however are totally untrue. Have a look at the listings for Sky Premiere to see how many new films are broadcast every week in HD & SD. If it's repeats you're after, BBC HD beats Sky hands down IMHO, especially as it only broadcasts about 4 hrs a day right now!

    I'm not suggesting everyone should subscribe to Sky, I'm merely pointing out that not all Sky subscribers are gagging to jump ship for Freesat, which is being portrayed here. For anyone who can't get Freeview or who doesn't want to pay for their TV service, Freesat will be great. The content just doesn't appeal to me and IMHO many others like me.

    ATB

    Max

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