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Freesat are the BBC in breach of Fair Trading?

oldbutnotdead

Standard Member
Below is an extract from letter sent to the BBC Controller, Fair Trading

Dear Sir/Madam,


I wish to complain regarding the provision of Freesat television by the BBC.
  1. With regard to the limited amount of choice regarding the number of manufacturers providing equipment on which you can view the full services provided.
  2. The monopoly situation regarding the equipment for recording these programmes to be provided only by Humax which is to be launch later in the year.
  3. That other equipment already exists to receive and record these services but that they are limited and cannot access all the services broadcast on the freesat platform. e.g. Limited electronic programme guide and no red button services to name but two.
  4. These services are available on terrestrial digital services and are not limited to using the same manufactures equipment you need for freesat.
Because of the above I feel you are in breach of your policy on fair trading in that...

A fair trading complaint is a complaint that the BBC has breached the principles or requirements contained in this Policy or one or more of the Competitive Impact Codes.
1. .....the Trust considers that the BBC has an obligation to deal fairly with other companies and individuals.
2. ......and comply with this Policy and the Fair Trading Guidelines and, in particular avoid distorting the market.

Extracted from your published policy on fair trading.

Also below was taken from the BBC Executive Fair Trading Bulletin
May 2008 to August 2008

British Sky Broadcasting ("BSkyB") and BBC promotions for BBC HD and BBC/ITVfreesat....
The promotions breach the Competitive Impact Principle and the
Competitive Impact Code on Cross and Digital TV promotion, specifically
the requirement that BBC promotions " treat digital retail television
services and/or digital platforms equally in respect of all aspects
mentioned, such as pricing, brand names, availability and packages."

I own an AB IPBOX 9000 HD satellite receiver/recorder and therefore do not appear to be able get a full service from the BBC freesat transmissions and therefore I am being treated unfairly and would like the matter rectified.

Any thoughts on this?
Best wishes,
oldbutnotdead
 
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ryart

Established Member
Is this a wind up?

If its serious, then it is a chicken and egg situation. Which comes first the HD broadcasting or the equipment to receive it? No manufacturer is going to make equipment for a potential service. Once HD broadcasting gets going more manufacturers will start making the equipment.

So congratulations to the BBC and Humax for showing the way. Without such enterprise we might all be watching B&W on 10 inch screens. If you want the latest technology be prepared to invest in what will almost certainly be a limited choice of equipment, if not then don't try to spoil it for others.

No it must have been a wind up - surely :rotfl:.
 

CanaryPhil

Established Member
Is this guy for real
With regard to the limited amount of choice regarding the number of manufacturers providing equipment on which you can view the full services provided.
During the developement of freesat, a No. of manufacturers were invited to collaborate. Only Alba, Sagem, Humax and Panasonic signed up. Sagem subsequently decided to withdraw, and of the remainder, only Humax were prepared to put the resources into developement of a PVR. Freesat are currently in negotiations with several other STB producers now that the technology is more developed.

That other equipment already exists to receive and record these services but that they are limited and cannot access all the services broadcast on the freesat platform. e.g. Limited electronic programme guide and no red button services to name but two.
The technology that has been created by freesat is so new that it hadn't been invented when the majority of current FTA recievers were designed.


These services are available on terrestrial digital services and are not limited to using the same manufactures equipment you need for freesat.
In the early days of Freeview, the situation was very much the same, an emerging technology developed with a small no. of companies help, then once a lot of the design work had been done, other, mass producers came into the market with compatible offerings.

I hope that the OP now understands why his posting was completely OTT.

Phil.
 

davemurgatroyd2

Distinguished Member
I suggest you actually do some research before putting paper to pen next time (or finger to keyboard).

The only restrictions in effect at present are the right to display the freesat logo on manufactured items and some software licenses for software to decode the freesat EPG.

A certain number of manufacturers (limited only by their willingness to apply for the license and undertaking to develop and produce products within a specific timescale) were granted a limited period of exclusivity to that license (six months) for daring to put their money where their mouth is and commit to developing a product for a platform that had not even launched.

The inability of your receiver to make use of freesat present features is a result of that manufacturer's own commercial decisions not to apply for a license and implement those features in their product perhaps because their receiver does not comply with the requirements for a freesat license. Two choices have limited your experience of BBC programming here your choice of the receiver you purchased and that manufacturers decision not to apply for a freesat manufacturing license.
 

ian-d

Established Member
This has to be a wind up, or someone with far too much time on their hands!

1. Freesat haven't limited the number of manufacturers, no exclusive agreements are in place, it's just that most manufacturers didn't want to be the test bunny for the new service.
2. No monopoly, again, no exclusive agreement, just that Humax have put themselves forward to develop one. Don't forget that Metronic are releasing one shortly after.
3. Welcome to the world of EPG's, far more technical than just allowing every generic box access, and given that prices of official Freesat boxes aren't far off those of other generic brands, it doesn't matter.
4. Why was Freesat created? Because terrestrial is not an option for a proportion of the UK. Freesat fills the gap.

I hope they bin your letter, it's worthless in my opinion.
 

forrestgump

Established Member
Old yorkshire saying................there's one born every minute
 

ryart

Established Member
I hope we aren't sounding too hard on on OldbutnotDead; after all it is only his/her second post - so welcome to the forum :hiya:.
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
1. Freesat haven't limited the number of manufacturers, no exclusive agreements are in place, it's just that most manufacturers didn't want to be the test bunny for the new service.

Whilst I agree with the sentiment of your post - I believe that initial manufacturers of kit were granted an exclusivity clause for the first 6 months, in return for signing up and developing kit for the launch of the new service.

Freesat HAD to launch with a proprietary EPG - as if they had used an open EPG it would, apparently, have interfered with the Sky EPG... (The proprietary EPG also allows for compression - which means less transponder space is required for the same speed of EPG distribution - which is important when most transponders have to carry information for both platforms?)
 

ian-d

Established Member
Whilst I agree with the sentiment of your post - I believe that initial manufacturers of kit were granted an exclusivity clause for the first 6 months, in return for signing up and developing kit for the launch of the new service.

A 6 month deal was given to major retailers to stock Freesat receivers, but there was never an exclusive manufacturers contract in the end, they decided against it and sign ups were based on the brave, and those meeting the financial criteria.
 

nwhitfield

Prominent Member
Sounds to me like someone's a bit confused - as said, anyone could have signed up. There is no restriction.

The fact that some kit doesn't work with the Freesat EPG is down to the free market - which on the face of it, is something the original poster thinks a good thing - and decisions taken by manufacturers.

Unfortunately, as we've seen with other aspects of the free market, it doesn't always do what you want it to, or what you think it should. Complaining to the BBC about decisions taken by other commercial organisations isn't the right solution.

Complain to those organisations instead - they're the one's shafting over a barrel while they worship at the altar of "shareholder value."

And if the people who made your satellite receiver don't want to license Freesat info, and update the software in your existing box to take account of brand new features and a new service, because they don't see any profit in it for them, well that's the free market at work.
 

oldbutnotdead

Standard Member
I would like to start by thanking everyone who replied with useful information.

My original post was the result of me wanting to watch and record free to air HD programmes and when the BBC announced the launch of Freesat with HD I started looking for information on how to receive these. My first avenue was the freesat web site which appears to me says that you must buy a freesat box and there is limited choice of these and only the Humax will have recording facilities and this is still not available.

On doing future research it became obvious that freesat and free to air are not the same thing. Freesat would appear to be a commercial satellite programme access package that the BBC have entered into. That equipment already exists that will allow you to watch and record these programmes but does not seem to be widely known amongst the general public.

Given the BBC is funded by the license fee and is in fact pay to view public broadcasting puts them in a unique position. The fact that a fair trading code exists and a complaints procedure is in place recognises this and should be a safeguard. I chose use this for the reasons stated.

If there are no restriction to joining Freest then is the software used open to everyone to use and if so where it can be obtained?. The hardware already exists and is in use.

Manufactures will always try to make their products more attractive than their competitors and some will join together to stifle other competition. Laws are in place to try to stop this and protect the public. But with regard to any unregulated market I feel we all loose in the end.

In the end you pay your money and take your choice I did and the result is that I’m watching and recording the programmes I want without buying a Freesat box or Sky package etc. whilst others are still waiting to be able do this. I already own a TV with Freeview and Humax Freeview PVR so have ample access to EPG and red button services.

I have also written to the AB who make the equipment I’m using regarding this and if the software is freely available then some company or individual my choose to write some additional programmes to add even more features to digital broadcasting.
Once again thanks for the information.
Best wishes
oldbutnotdead
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Freesat, like Freeview, has a licensing procedure that is required for a manufacturer to use the Freesat (or Freeview) logo in their marketing and packaging.

This is to guarantee that the receiver works correctly with the broadcasts - and supports things like the EPG, Press Red services etc. It also guarantees that receivers will continue to work. (There are problems now with non-Freeview licensed DTT receivers being rendered obsolete by changes to the UK DTT broadcast spec)

Any manufacturer can submit their receiver for testing, and can request the specifications they need to comply with , though both of these may require a fee.

The BBC has openly admitted that FTA reception of their satellite broadcasts is possible - and whilst not recommending it for the average viewer (no EPG, no uniform channel numbers etc.) they didn't aim to restrict reception.

If anyone can be accused of restriction - it is ITV HD - but it appears that is for rights reasons.
 

nwhitfield

Prominent Member
There may be equipment that will record FTA broadcasts, but without a functioning EPG, it would be far too complex for many people to use. If you had a choice between Sky+ with it's simple recording from the EPG, and a Freesat box that had to be programmed with date and time like an old VCR, without even VideoPlus, which would you go for? An EPG is essential for a modern service to achieve significant uptake, outside of a hard core of technical users.

Equipment sold elsewhere in Europe, where there isn't a single dominant satellite platform can simply be sold with a standards-based EPG, making it easy for users to schedule recordings. For technical reasons, it's not possible to transmit such an EPG alongside the Sky broadcasts. So there are two choices for Freesat - they could either set up a whole parallel system of broadcasts, doubling the transmission costs for anyone who wanted to be on both platforms, or they could device an EPG system that worked alongside Sky's, so the same broadcast streams can be used, with two EPGs co-existing.

Hardly surprising they took the second option. And since they were creating it from scratch, they've also specified other functionality, to ensure the platform is viable in the future, like the interactive services, and the requirement for boxes to have an ethernet port, potentially enabling IPTV in future. That helps ensure that if people do buy a Freesat box, it's not going to be obsoleted for a long while.

Having done all this work, a fair of the technical side of which will have been funded by the license fee, they don't give it away; they allow manufacturers to license the specs and other info they need, and have a testing regime, so that equipment that bears the Freesat branding performs in a certain way, and has certain features - partly as a result of the problems with Freeview boxes varying so much.

The MHEG spec for interactive is an open standard anyway; I'm not sure of the degree to which the add-ons for Freesat are incorporated in the standard yet. But certainly basic interactivity could be done by any box manufacturer who was minded to buy in an MHEG engine, so I can't see that there'd be any competition issue there.

The EPG is a substantial amount of work, and had to be done since it would have been impossible to use a standards-based one for the reasons I mentioned above; it also supports advanced features like series link that a completely standard one would not, and of course the collation of data requires considerable effort and is, technically at least, copyright material. There's also a UI element to the spec as well.

In the world of receivers, there are license fees payable for many things; to be a member of the DTG and get the specs for Freeview costs you money. To have Dolby decoding in your STB costs you money; to have MPEG decoders costs you money - intellectual property in every set top box requires payment of royalties and licensing fees, at various levels.

Building a Freesat box allows manufacturers to benefit from the brand marketing undertaken by Freesat, which includes promotions on BBC and ITV, as well as in the press.

Do I think they should be given all the info to do that, without having to give any undertakings about the quality and testing of their equipment? Absolutely not.

Do I think they should get it all free, leaving the BBC and ITV (and by implication, license fee payers) to pick up the cost of developing and testing the system and receivers? No to that as well.

Technically, Freesat is a pretty advanced platform; there will likely be considerable benefits to manufacturers who do built kit for the platform, especially as take-up improves. I think it's entirely reasonable that, along with the fees for the other technologies they use, they pay for the right to brand their boxes as Freesat.

If some companies decide they don't want to do that, that's a commercial decision for them. I honestly can't see how Freesat is anti-competitive in any way; and if it were, it wouldn't have got the go-ahead from the regulators.
 

oldbutnotdead

Standard Member
Thanks again for the information.

Regarding the development of software and how it is used. If the license payer did pay for the software then yes I feel it should offered for free. The BBC is in a unique position and to compare it with ITV, Sky etc. you are not comparing like with like. Why not turn the question around and ask why should the license payer should help fund other commercial broadcasters to gain advantage over their competitors? The only way to stop the license fee payer from continuing to be exploited is for software to be made openly available to all.

There appears to be different approaches to this and is perhaps best illustrated with the Microsoft operating systems/programmes and Linux based operating system/programmes. Microsoft you have to pay for and many Linux ones are free. I recently downloaded and installed ubuntu and ran it from a DVD I made to try it without having to install it and was amazed at how easy it and how quickly I was browsing the net and all for free

The Linux way appears to be open access to software code and allows individuals and groups to develop and improve it and its applications and is therefore inclusive. The other approach appears to be exclusive and is designed to limit access and has led to high profile law cases where company(ies) have incurred large fines for doing this.The recent success of bands offering their music free to download clearly shows that you can offer things for free and still make more money than selling it in the conventional way. If I was paid by advertising revenue I would want the widest possible audience to see my broadcasts and restricting programme information would appear to go against this.

With regard to EPG I personally use a listing magazine to see what is on and end up programming my recorder because it is much quicker than waiting for the EPG to load. In an age where more people have the inputting skills than ever before (computers, mobile phones etc.) they may not find it too difficult to do given the choice.

I cannot see why the BBC is operating in the way it is. It does not seem to be in the best interests of the license payer and seems to be restricting access to the programmes and information it broadcasts.

Freesat still appears to be a branding exercise in which they set their own standards but this does not mean that it is not possible to produce equipment that meets or exceeds these standards without it having to be branded Freesat

I am still asking myself why the take up by manufacturers already producing equipment that is capable of receiving/recording HD appears so small given the potential size of the market in the UK?

Once again thanks for the information.
Best wishes
Oldbutnotdead
 

swedish cook

Established Member
.... Microsoft you have to pay for and many Linux ones are free. I recently downloaded and installed ubuntu and ran it from a DVD I made to try it without having to install it and was amazed at how easy it and how quickly I was browsing the net and all for free

The Linux way appears to be open access to software code and allows individuals and groups to develop and improve it and its applications and is therefore inclusive. The other approach appears to be exclusive and is designed to limit access and has led to high profile law cases where company(ies) have incurred large fines for doing this.....

I do like Linux, don't get me wrong, but how many years has it taken to get even close to mainstream use ? A large part of that is because there hasn't been the commercial drive behind it.

I'd like a satellite platform that will be useful to me before my children, now in primary school, leave university.

Bravo BBC, bravo Humax for putting taking a punt which, fingers crossed for them, looks like a good one.
 

nwhitfield

Prominent Member
You can equally argue, why is it good value for license fee money to be spent on developing something and then give it away free, for other people to make a profit out of? That's effectively subsidising companies who haven't bothered to do any R&D and come up with something like this beforehand, and would surely be an utter waste of your and my money.

By licensing the technology they actually ensure that while there's an initial risk to the license payer in developing something, that cost is recouped through license fees, and the net result is a better service for everyone.

No manufacturer had the balls to step up and put their money on the line and create a free satellite service - because they couldn't do it on their own. It took the BBC to drive the project, but they can't get into the equipment manufacturing business. The specs are available for anyone who wants to license them - and that's just like MPEG4 decoders, and lots of the other parts.

This isn't analagous to Linux/Microsoft. The BBC aren't refusing to let people have stuff, point blank. And Linux developers aren't funded by a fee levied on every single TV viewer.

For Freesat to succeed against a well developed platform, it needs robust technical standards, and a consistent interface. Without those, it would be still born. No one else was going to pay for those standards to be developed, so the BBC did.

There's been nothing anti-competitive about it. If companies don't want to license the technology, they don't get to use it. Just like they don't build boxes with Dolby decoding unless the license that, or even MPEG4 decoding.

A hand out of license fee money to manufacturers, so that they can build kit on the back of work done by someone else, and not even adhere to the spec properly would not be a good use of money in my book. Especially not when they'll be riding on the back of considerable publicity for the Freesat brand.

Just because some companies didn't take part in the process or have decided not to invest does not make anything anti-competitive. It makes them cautious, or short sighted, perhaps.

A few manufacturers signed up at first because Freesat was pretty clear on what it wanted - equipment at fairly specific price points, in a certain time scale, built to specs that meant you probably couldn't just take an old design and slap new firmware in it.

Some thought it worth it to be in at the beginning, with a short period before a second licensing round, others didn't - perhaps they were unsure of how much they would sell; one reportedly dropped out because they didn't believe they could manage the appropriate price points.

I honestly can't see how you imagine that the BBC spending lots of money on something and then giving it away free with no restrictions, for anyone else to make a profit from, is actually good value for the licence payer.

And I can't see, either, how you equate that with "why should the license payer should help fund other commercial broadcasters to gain advantage over their competitors" which seems a nonsensical suggestion. No money is going to other commercial broadcasters. It's gone into the development of the freesat platform.
 

GaryB

Distinguished Member
I am still asking myself why the take up by manufacturers already producing equipment that is capable of receiving/recording HD appears so small given the potential size of the market in the UK?

The initial takeup was small because, as was mentioned earlier, it took very large gonads for those manufacturers who were in at the beginning to commit lots of development money to something which may have been a complete flop. Now Freesat is proven, many others will join in, but developing the products isn't a five minute job, so you won't see the results for a while.
 

Ambient Fish

Established Member
The BBC has a remit to develope and maintain a modern current broadcast system for delivery to the license payer. One example would be the NICAM stereo sound broadcast specification researched and developed by the BBC and used by the major manufacturers in TVs and VCRs from the late 80s onwards.

There was also a system for surround sound from two channel stereo which was actually broadcast as a test to an apathetic public who couldn't be bothered tuning their radio and turning down the sound on their TVs, I did and was amazed when my then stereo AV suddenly sprouted additional speakers to the side and rear, cutting edge research well ahead of the first Dolby Pro Logic recievers with little recognition from the general public but well regarded in the industry.

There are also speakers designed by the BBC which are still in production more than 30 years later, I rest my case I get a bit annoyed at people who have a pop at dear old antie Beeb when they haven't a clue what they are talking about.:mad:
 

DavidDB

Standard Member
A lot of hoo hahh about the vast costs involved in R & D and costs of software and freedoms and needs to show a profit. I could not agree more with many of those points and would encourage far more action than words

Times have changed for the consumer, when money is tight, they are bewildered by format wars of one kind or another and at the end of the day being offered a lousy deal in the High Street.

And almost every TV salesman I have talked to on a recent shopping expedition was being downright dishonest to get a sale. (Pointing to a supermarket 720p set with "Freeview", - That TV there sir has the same screen as that £3,000 model over there, but its our own brand. ( Bargain then! ).

Putting FREEVIEW on a High Definition TV, even on entry level models is like a Windows 3 user putting "Go Faster" lights on his PC,
In the brocure it looks great to add FREEVIEW as a plus - its free - and is true plug and play.

FREESAT however which carrys and controlls fantastic HD content we have allready paid for with our TV licences is nowhere to be seen, Or only at a hefty premium above an equivalent model without the tuner.

Sure some TV manufacturers are coughing up for a Freesat Licence but at what coist to us the consumer?
I simply dont understand why any 1080 set is sold with "built in" FREEVIEW" when the world has moved on.

Whatever the excuses from Freesat, The BBC, The Regulators, retailers, Manufacturers or some Euro Quango - Sort It Out!

:nono: TV BUYERS If you can hold out on going "HIGH DEFINITION" wait, let these shelves full of "Almost High Definition Televisions" gather dust and choke the supply lines, In a short time ALL but the very low end bargain bucket TVs in the high street will have FREESAT built in.
 

Strawbs

Established Member
A lot of hoo hahh about the vast costs involved in R & D and costs of software and freedoms and needs to show a profit. I could not agree more with many of those points and would encourage far more action than words

Times have changed for the consumer, when money is tight, they are bewildered by format wars of one kind or another and at the end of the day being offered a lousy deal in the High Street.

And almost every TV salesman I have talked to on a recent shopping expedition was being downright dishonest to get a sale. (Pointing to a supermarket 720p set with "Freeview", - That TV there sir has the same screen as that £3,000 model over there, but its our own brand. ( Bargain then! ).

Putting FREEVIEW on a High Definition TV, even on entry level models is like a Windows 3 user putting "Go Faster" lights on his PC,
In the brocure it looks great to add FREEVIEW as a plus - its free - and is true plug and play.

FREESAT however which carrys and controlls fantastic HD content we have allready paid for with our TV licences is nowhere to be seen, Or only at a hefty premium above an equivalent model without the tuner.

Sure some TV manufacturers are coughing up for a Freesat Licence but at what coist to us the consumer?
I simply dont understand why any 1080 set is sold with "built in" FREEVIEW" when the world has moved on.

Whatever the excuses from Freesat, The BBC, The Regulators, retailers, Manufacturers or some Euro Quango - Sort It Out!

:nono: TV BUYERS If you can hold out on going "HIGH DEFINITION" wait, let these shelves full of "Almost High Definition Televisions" gather dust and choke the supply lines, In a short time ALL but the very low end bargain bucket TVs in the high street will have FREESAT built in.

:suicide:

Next time a salesman tries to sell you a TV you don't want, say "no thanks" and tell him what you do want, simples.

All formats of TV broadcasts are required by law to carry the BBC's channels so we can be charged licencse fees simply for owning a TV. Freeview is being built into TV's because it will become the minimum requirement to recieve digital broadcasts after the switchover! without it you would have to buy an STB and put it next to the set before you could recieve pictures. Having freeview already in the set is practical, cheap, environmentally friendlier and a damn sight prettier than the second option.

I can't believe that the BBC has helped with a technology that gives us the opportunity to break our reliance on subscription TV services and all we see are folk moaning about the cost to licencse fee payers. If Freesat is taken up by the masses, SKY & Cable will have to lower their subscription charges to compete - I fail to see how free HDTV can possibly be a bad thing.

And for the record - I'm with Ambient Fish
I get a bit annoyed at people who have a pop at dear old antie Beeb when they haven't a clue what they are talking about.
 
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Starburst

Distinguished Member
If Freesat is taken up by the masses, SKY & Cable will have to lower their subscription charges to compete - I fail to see how free HDTV can possibly be a bad thing.




The hugely successful Freeview has done very little to dampen the rise and profitability of PAY telly and I really don't see how Freesat could even come close. There will still be a very definite difference in the level of service for HD between PAY and Free services and as with Freeview driving digital and opening the door to more homes for pay telly then both free DTT and DSat HD will simply sell more Pay HD.

I'm totally with you then we need a decent lineup of license fee and advertising funded HD channels, the more HD there is the more there will be and maybe in a decade or so we can see it become the standard.
 

Strawbs

Established Member
The hugely successful Freeview has done very little to dampen the rise and profitability of PAY telly and I really don't see how Freesat could even come close. There will still be a very definite difference in the level of service for HD between PAY and Free services and as with Freeview driving digital and opening the door to more homes for pay telly then both free DTT and DSat HD will simply sell more Pay HD.

...

I never said Freeview will "drive" anything. :eek:

The fact is that the BBC has a requirement to provide television services to every UK television set with or without an stb. It cannot justify charging a licence fee for simply owning a set, if it isn't capable of recieving BBC services. Freeview (built-in or not) will be the minimum requirement after the digital switchover. Some people don't want subscription tv & 5 channels are enough for them, some can't afford it, but they'll still have to pay their licence fee and for that they can expect some form of BBC television picture! Freeview is the fulfilment of the Beebs minimum requirement. FreeSat is the bells & whistles optional extra that some will prefer to subscription tv, and the more freesat units sold, the more channels will join the party - advertising revenue will be where the channels expect to make their profits.
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
I never said Freeview will "drive" anything. :eek:



Yep I said to clarify a point that a free platform has already proven incapable of denting the takeup of PAY telly so why would another free platform which is mostly reliant on already free content be any different?


The fact is that the BBC has a requirement to provide television services to every UK television set with or without an stb. It cannot justify charging a licence fee for simply owning a set, if it isn't capable of recieving BBC services. Freeview (built-in or not) will be the minimum requirement after the digital switchover.



Yep, iafter DSO if you have an analogue tuner TV you won't need to pay the license however if you have a digital STB you will and by then a broadband connection will also require a license as it can access Iplayer.



Some people don't want subscription tv & 5 channels are enough for them, some can't afford it, but they'll still have to pay their licence fee and for that they can expect some form of BBC television picture! Freeview is the fulfilment of the Beebs minimum requirement.


Yep millions of them if you consider PAY telly is in only half the UK households at this time. The BBC have to be platform neutral so that's why their minimum commitment is currently analogue, dtt, dsat and ana/digi cable platforms.
The emergence of DTT HD from perhaps 2010 onwards will probably quickly overtake Freesat sales, DTT is simply the more user friendly and higher significant free content platform and it's unlikely to change.



FreeSat is the bells & whistles optional extra that some will prefer to subscription tv, and the more freesat units sold, the more channels will join the party - advertising revenue will be where the channels expect to make their profits.



Sorry but I think you've got the wrong idea of Freesat.
The BBC and ITV themselves have said Freesat is mainly to provide the 25% of the nation with non-sub services that do not and won't have DTT coverage by 2012 (at least 2% will never have it).

Exactly will all these new viewers comes from?
Do you think there are millions of people not watching the free channels now on analogue, dtt, dsat or cable that are suddenly going to buy a Freesat box and rapidly increase the viewing audiences of the likes of ITV?


Think about it in terms of Britain's Got Talent, would it have gotten more than the19million viewers if it was not on Freesat or would the existing analogue, dtt, satellite and cable coverage been enough to hit that mark? In terms of HD would a HD version of a programme simply have moved viewers from the SD broadcast to the HD and maintaining roughly the same audience thus generating no extra revenues.

Freesat will not suddenly bring a glut of new viewers (over 10million already were watching free telly via satellite using SKY hardware) that would be required to move existing channels from PAY to advert driven or make launching significant brand new channels on free satellite commercially viable.
 

Strawbs

Established Member
...

Sorry but I think you've got the wrong idea of Freesat.
The BBC and ITV themselves have said Freesat is mainly to provide the 25% of the nation with non-sub services that do not and won't have DTT coverage by 2012 (at least 2% will never have it).

...

The above being true, I think you may be right. I had no idea that freesat was a stop gap measure and wrongly believed that freeview was already in its final format. I wasn't aware it is still being developed to carry HD content - I assume that's your meaning.

Thanks for the heads up though. :lesson:
 

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