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Freeview Catching up Sky

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by steverb, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. steverb

    steverb
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    I read in the paper today that for every subscriber to Sky there are 10 buying Freeview boxes. It is estimated that in a year there will be more watching Freeview than Sky. I wonder if this is because Freeview is free, and most of what you pay for on Sky is not worth watching.
     
  2. the_sanguine

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    Most of what I watch on Sky was also on last month, and the month before!
     
  3. Orwella

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    Unless you love football Sky is not worth it. Sadly for my wife I love football, even tho I support West Ham.

    Sky+ is good tho.
     
  4. Starburst

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    DTT/Freeview is the direct replacement for analogue terrestrial, failure to penetrate more homes that a £41 (SKYworld) subscription service would be beyond a joke:)

    Quicker we reach the magic 75%(?) of housholds the better, get rid of analogue and increase the power and coverage of DTT along with a couple of new muxes for a decent subscription service and/or high def/dolby digital.
     
  5. Starburst

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    I would disagree but that's what personal opinion is all about:)
     
  6. Nick_UK

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    A lot of people buy Freeview boxes because they're cheap, and then find that they have to spend double the cost of the box to upgrade their aerials. The Sky system is technically superior.
     
  7. ianh64

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    Betamax was technically superior to VHS
    CD is technically superior to MP3
    DVD-A/SACD is technically superior to CD/MP3

    Even if Sky was technically superior to Freeview, and PQ wise, I don't believe that it is, on past performance, Sky may well end up as the niche product and Freeview will be for the masses.

    As for replacement aerials, how many of them are bought in response to sales pressure or an installer wanting to make a few extra bucks?
     
  8. MartinImber

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    :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

    A restricted system with forced design of remotes, epg, infact everything.

    Haven't seen Sky as good as my TV on its internal tuner :rotfl: :rotfl:
     
  9. Starburst

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    I replaced my 30 year old aerial becasue it would only pick up 1 or two muxes and it was only fed to a single room.
    Without the substaintial investment in a good quality rooftop aerial and distribution DTT would have been totally useless to me, now I have something that should serve me well for as long as I live in this house.
     
  10. Nick_UK

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    Not many. I have both Freeview and Sky, and Sky wins hands down. I "won" a Freeview box on an internet auction (it was still OnDigital in those days), and although my aerial system was more than adequate for analogue TV, it was no good for OnDigital. So I spent about £100 putting up a bigger aerial so that I could watch something other than a red dot.

    The only people who buy Freeview boxes are those who believe the hype of how many more channels you will get. The reality is that all you'll get is a few more BBC channels, and a handful of other channels that nobody would pay to watch.
     
  11. Nick_UK

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    Based on the assumption that bandwidth is everything, I suppose ?

    Yes, terrestrial will give a "sharper" picture because of the slightly higher equivalent bandwidth, but what about noise, ghosting, co-channel interference, ringing, and colour noise ? All I can say is that the Sky installations that you've seen must have been pretty dire, because I'm quite happy to trade half a meg of bandwidth for the lack of all the other terrestrial problems.
     
  12. MartinImber

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    What noise, ghosting, co-channel interfearance ect?

    My TV picture is superb, on a high bit rate channel it is as good as you can get with SDTV
     
  13. ianh64

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    My new elderly nextdoor neighbour recently had freeview installed as he was getting severe ghosting on analogue. As part of the purchase, he paid for a new aerial as 'if you have ghosting, freeview won't work unless you have a new aerial'.

    I told him that I has replace my ageing analogue aerial 10 years back due to severe ghosting - due to taller buildings in the line of sight. This was long before OnDigital/ITV/Freeview. It was replaced with a better design to reduce reflected signals. Cost me under £30 plus my time to install, about 1/2 hour. Whilst it did not solve my ghosting, it was much much better.

    When the installer came to do the install next door, I pointed out to him that my Freeview worked fine, even though we had ghosting, and that I thought that the new Freeview box should be tested with the existing installation prior to installing a new aerial. He refused stating that it may work now but wouldn't when the weather got bad.

    I don't know what went in, but I know what came out. It was the same make and model as mine since I recommended it to the previous neighbours 10 years ago. £100+ was spent without even surveying the old equipment just because the shop and installer insisted that he needed a new aerial.

    The ironic thing is that there is a perfectly functional Sky dish on the household. The reason why it was not used was that Sky was 'too expensive and not as easy to use as his sons Freeview'. I guess this sums up the reason why Freeview will ultimately surpass Sky.

    -Ian
     
  14. BOFH_UK

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    I'm sorry but this is the most ridiculous thing I've heard for... hmm, so long I can't remember when. I should perhaps point out that I've never understood the fan boy wars over Sky and Freeview. They're two very different services these days after all.

    That said, to suggest that the only people that buy Freeview is those that "believe the hype" is, well, hype. Just to give a few examples of other reasons for buying freeview:

    1) People who don't WANT 200+ channels when all they watch is available on the 20 or so offered by Freeview
    2) People who live in appartment blocks or tall buildings where the dish would be more than two (or three depending on the installer) floors above the ground and therefore can't get Sky installed.
    3) Those who DON'T WANT TO PAY SKY £40+ for the service. And yes, I know that you don't have to have the full package but the pressure to buy it is considerable these days.
    4) People like me who just want a decent quality signal to run through their home theatre rigs and provide decent DVD recordings.
    5) People who want the convenience of an EPG. Once this is available in all Freeview boxes expect it to become a major selling point.
    6) People who want to run more than one TV in different rooms in the home and want a good quality signal to all of them. For example, to run a TV in the living room, study and two bedrooms would cost an extra £48 a MONTH, plus installation costs of £125 as a one off fee, through Sky for a service that might get very little use.
    7) Those who don't want the extra complexity of Sky over Freeview. Granted there's not THAT much difference, but as the post above mine shows, it is enough of an issue for some to base their purchasing decision on.
    8) Those who don't want a minimum subscription of 12 months.
    9) Those who don't necessarily live in one home for more than 12 months and want at least a vague chance of being able to move their digital TV with them to their new home.

    I'm sure there's a lot of other examples. On the other hand, if you watch a lot of television and have the money then Sky is a superior service simply because of the choice it gives the consumer. Then there's Sky+ which is still some way ahead of the freeview PVR's but expect that gap to shrink as consumer demand rises.

    In other words, some people are better suited to one, some people to t'other so where's the love? :p
     
  15. sdc395

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    Can't speak for anyone else but I bought Freeview for...

    • proper widescreen,
    • the EPG,
    • a few more channels,
    • some digital radio,
    • external tuner for use with surround amp and monitor...
    ...and not because of any "hype" that must have passed me by.
     
  16. Xstyle

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    What is EPG?

    I am in a dilemna ... I love footy and want Sky+, but can't afford it if splashing all out on my home cinema system!!!

    SO will Freeview show me my footy, like on ITV2??

    What channels exactly do you get with Freeview ... and will I miss Sky much?
     
  17. Philly112

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    Don't have Sky, only Freeview, but basically if you're a Premiership footy fan you'll need Sky, full stop. Don't think there's any live premiership football on any of the Freeview channels, but I think that they do show some European matches (eg tonight I think Liverpool v Monaco is on ITV2, BBC3, or something).
    EPG is Electronic Programme Guide I think, but not sure if my box has it. Or maybe it does and I never use it - seems to make most sense if you have a hard disc recorder as in Sky+
     
  18. plaver

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    As in the above post, if you want football, then it has to be sky and they will take few quid from you for run of the mill games anything a bit special then it's pay per view.

    EPG, now this is excellent if you have Freeview box that will commuicate with your VCR, just select the program from the menu you want to record, the box and the VCR do the rest, no programming, the downside is you have to watch normal terrestrial tv while you are recording, if went with the new generation PVR's these have Twin tuners, Hard Drives, these do all sorts of wonder things like recording two channals at the same time, rewind live TV, etc etc

    The most popular of Fusion, Thompson, and the yet to released Panansoic,

    If you want to read up more on PVR's etc then go to this forum
    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/
     
  19. plaver

    plaver
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    There has been some strange comments on this thread regarding SKY tv and PQ, most of the other threads here when watching SKY complain of the poor PQ.

    I don't have SKY and would never have it based on the PQ I have seen on Friends TV's whether they are all singing all dancing plasma'a or CRT, it's total :censored: for the money your paying.

    One other thing, before I got Freeview I had only 5 channels of Rubbish to flick through now I have over 30 the only benifit is improved PQ for the TV programs I do watch, why should I pay for 200 TV channels of Rubbish with :censored: PQ.
     
  20. Philly112

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    Although I can't comment personally wrt the Sky pictures, I have to say I have generally not been too impressed with what I have seen at friends and relatives houses. This could well be down to poor TV's though. The ONLY reason we have Freeview over terrestrial is widescreen pictures, and it seems that these are of good quality. Any watchable channels are a bonus.
    However, sky seems to have more mucky stuff late at night, so, on second thoughts, I'll get it installed at the weekend and let you know.
     
  21. chachi

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    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Assuming a good aerial and sufficient signal, a £40 investment in a freeview box as a one-off is amenable to most people (as everyone knows one will HAVE to have one in the coming years anyway) and the added channels are broadly distributed so as to offer a little something for "everyone in the family" as it were and get everyone interested for now.

    The moment analogue broadcasts cease and that portion of the spectrum are reallocated and licensed ... now THAT'S when the real fun begins for digital terrestrial.

    thinking of becoming a nightly news fan again? :laugh: :smashin:
     
  22. Spok

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    Picture quality in a digital system is going to depend mostly on the bitrate. The bitrate used for Freeview channels is higher than for the same channels on Sky. Therfore the picture quality on Freeview is superior to Sky - and by quite a bit IMO. Quantity not quality is Sky's moto.


    Spok.
     
  23. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    The bitrate is chosen and paid for by the individual channels. The quality of channels other than Sky One, News, etc are the responsibility of the individual broadcasters. Good quality pictures are possible on Sky - the Sky Movie subscription and PPV movie channels demonstrate that.
     
  24. zag2me

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    I just plucked up the courage to end my contract with sky(after taking the 3 months half price offer of course!!), my main reason was waiting for the HDTV broadcasts in 2006 and I gave this as the reason for leaving to the telphone operator.

    One of the other reasons I left was the quality of the ITV channels over sky. The picture quality is absolutly awfull imo and watching football is a nightmare, so much blokyness and pixelation. Since the champions league is on ITV this was very important to me.

    So I replaced it with a freeview box from dabs. Really pleased with the quality on the digibox compared to sky for the channels I watch. I do miss bravo, sky sports news and of course sky sports 1, but I dont miss the £38 a month subscription (£456 a year!!) :)

    All in all, im happy I converted to the Free to air revolution. Sky has had a monopoly too long. I will re-asses this decision when High density TV becomes available.
     
  25. hi_robb

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    You can get Sky Sports News on freeview m8y, my Sony Digibox picks it up quite happily.

    Dave
     
  26. zag2me

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    hehe yeh i saw, It used to be that you lost sky sports news on sky if u didnt subscribe to the sky sports premium channels. Not sure if its the same today, as I still have a month notice period to serve on my sky contract.
     
  27. Xstyle

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    Wow.. really?? That woulkd keep me happy!!

    My freeview is via the Pioneer Plasma 435's media box
     
  28. Fordy

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    If Sky wants to survive long-term, it needs to strip out the crap (most of the shopping channels, demi-porn, the pointless radio stations no-one listens to, the pay-per-play video channels) and lower its basic subscription charge, or create more charge levels. I.e. Basic (BBC,ITV,4,5 Sky, Bravo, Sc-fi. etc) :£14. Basic + extra package (music or shopping) £16 etc then the normal premium packages. Soon they would realise what is worth keeping live by who pays to watch it.

    This may seem a little extreme to some who like shopping channels, sorry.

    Aside from comedies and drama on sky1, mix, bravo, e4 etc. it doesnt offer much more. The odd blast of MTV aside i barely touch any of the other channels.
     
  29. Nick_UK

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    BSkyB made £122m profit in the last 3 months (to 30th September), and it added another 62,000 customers in that 3-month period.

    I think Sky's future is pretty secure :)

    Source
     
  30. Starburst

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    Indeed.
    If Freeview had turned up within a year or two after SKY D launched while SKY were busy racking up nearly £2 Billlion of debt then they would have been in serious trouble, thankfully On/ITV Digital were totally inept:)
    SKY have virtually repaid all of that huge debt and has made a profit for the last 3 or 4 quarters allowing them to pay a dividend and then increase it. With profitabilty comes flexibility both in pricing structures to subscribers and content providers.
    Of course that still doesn't mean we will see a totally alacarte (I know that spelling is wrong) service, not only would that be an administrative nightmare but only perhaps half a dozen of the current channels would get enough subscribers to cover costs and make a profit. That is not what multi-channel TV is all about however times are a changing and SKY will have to change as well, they do not have any right to survive and have to earn their money every single month by convincing enough people to subscribe.

    Tony Ball when he was boss said that to hit the 10million subscriber mark they would have to bring in more flexible and cheaper packages, it's all a bit of a juggle though. Cheaper packages to bring in new customers are just as likely to lose SKY money as existing subscribers downgrade. Tricky tight rope to walk:)
    Of course SKY are a equal partner in Freeview so it's not as if they don't have direct access to a potential 22million household coverage digital platform in the years to come and when the Freeview license expires analogue is likely to be gone thus increasing DTT capacity and the likelihood of a serious PAY service via the aerial.
    For the mid-term SKY will increase it's services by introducing High Def television, portable recorders/viewers and server type systems all of which should if attractive enough generate more revenues from their core subscribers and can also be used to increase the perceived value of existing premium (high margin) packages.
     

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