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FreeviewHD or FreesatHD

Scainer

Active Member
Struggling to find out any information and this is probably because freeviewHD currently is still testing but could soon be commercially available.

Anyway I thought i'd try to gather some information here in the hope that others will add any relevant information.


Unconfirmed user base

Freeview - 18+ million
Freesat - 750,000 - 1,000,000 (http://www.techwatch.co.uk/2009/11/27/freesat-announce-750000-customer-base/)


Bandwidth
Freeview - Limited
Freesat - Lots more but not unlimited


Quality
Freeview - More strictly governed offering better
Freesat - Offer cheaper prices than freewiew (for the provider) but could be at lower bitrates


Quantity
Freeview - Due to bandwidth the channels are more or less fixed
Freesat - Potentially more channels, but with a low user base slow growth


Tech
Freeview - Might offer ipTV functionality from the big 4
Freesat - Might offer more than Freeview and other VOD services.


Cost (costs are essentially equal if starting from scratch)
Freeview - Might need aerial upgrade + equipment
Freesat - Need a dish (possibly multi connection for PVR) + equipment


Reliability
Freeview - If set up correctly and analogue switched off should provide a solid feed
Freesat - If set up correctly it can still be environmentally effected.






Opinion: Why Freeview is better than freesat - Crave at CNET UK
Freeview is quite limited in bandwidth because there's only so much space in the spectrum. That places some restrictions the quality of broadcasts.

Satellite is different though: there's much more space available and it's also considerably cheaper to broadcast via the Astra satellites -- the main reason is you need just one satellite to cover the whole of the UK, whereas a transmitter network consists of dozens of expensive masts. Despite this, it appears broadcasters are generally doing a better job with their over-the-air Freeview broadcasts than their extra-terrestrial freesat ones.

If you compare Channel 4 on Freeview to the version available on freesat, you'll notice that the average bit rate is much lower on the freesat version. It's also using a smaller frame size on freesat: 544x576 pixels compared to 704x576 on Freeview. ITV is guilty of the same thing, with a freesat frame size lower than its Freeview version.
 
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Gavtech

Administrator
Other pros and cons should be taken into consideration.

Such as - Aerial or dish considerations.

For many users, an existing aerial will receive HD, but if deciding to opt for Freesat, it would require a dish installation.

Same problem in reverse, perhaps for those with no aerials but who are 'leaving sky' and have a dish installed.

Some users may not be able to install one or the other... or either.
 

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
On Gavtech's last point, some homes will be in an impossible location for digital terrestrial TV reception or served by relays that won't carry the HD service; that leaves them with satellite only (unless cable TV is available at their dwelling).
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
I'm 99% certain that all uk terrestrial broadcast transmitters will eventually carry the single currently planned HD multiplex. This is why there are only 2 PSB standard definition multiplexes in post DSO areas.

Some locations can't receive from terrestrial transmitters but some locations can't receive from satellite (shielded by trees, buildings or terrain). Some places (rare) are unserved from either platform!.
 
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Geofbob

Well-known Member

Quantity

Freeview - Due to bandwidth the channels are more or less fixed
Freesat - Potentially more channels, but with a low user base slow growth


.

In fact, as of now, Freeview has more "mainstream" channels than Freesat - Fiver, Five USA, Dave, Sky News & Sky Sports News are all on the F/view EPG, but not the F/sat. Though, in fairness, F/sat has more foreign news channels & niche movie channels (True Movies 1 & 2; & Movies4Men 1 & 2).

But are the F/view channels more or less fixed due to bandwidth? The impression is that the channels are increasing, but to the detriment of PQ.

IMO it is currently very difficult to make an objective judgment as to which of the two services is superior; & practical considerations (like those mentioned by Gavtech & Chris Muriel) will dictate choice.

As for F/view HD - in a few weeks time, some intrepid & impatient forum members will no doubt buy F/view HD boxes, & will let the rest of us know what they think of it, & how it compares with F/sat HD.
 

Scainer

Active Member
I thought the HD bandwidth was available because the analogue is switched off, freeing more airwaves, rather than lowering channel quality to squeeze more in.

1 HD channel = 4 SD channels.


I know BBC HD is on Mux B, but i think that could only accommodate 2 channels (BBC ITV), yet there will be four HD channels by the end of the year. They would have to get rid of 8 channels if the bandwidth isn't increased.
Who be interesting to find out the actual facts behind all this.


Select your region
http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.c...x&col=LNTMC&grp=&hist=&data=&pr=&disp=1&oair=
 
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gbjbaanb

Active Member
I thought the HD bandwidth was available because the analogue is switched off, freeing more airwaves, rather than lowering channel quality to squeeze more in.

1 HD channel = 4 SD channels.

no. whilst HD has 4x as many pixels as SD, that doesn't mean it takes up 4x as much bandwidth. HD broadcasts use a newer compression algorithm that means it takes up roughly twice as much bandwidth than a SD channel, that's 6 mbps v 12 for top-quality broadcast, though they both tend to be transmitted with less - I understand it'll be dropped to 3.4mbps for SD (from 4.7) and 9.5 for HD.

the BBC does have information about it, like on this blog
 

Scainer

Active Member
Just read the BBC blog and it states that Mux B will have an increase of 67% capacity with the new technology offering 4 - 5 HD channels.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Just read the BBC blog and it states that Mux B will have an increase of 67% capacity with the new technology offering 4 - 5 HD channels.
Yes DVB-T2 for HD has 256-QAM with 32k carriers to provide this enhanced capacity of 36-40Mbit/s.
They are squeezing the PSB SD channels and reducing the BBC interactive service into two DVB-T channels (64QAM 8k carriers, 24Mbit/s) to allow the old planned BBC mux B frequency allocation to become mux HD. Pre DSO both BBC muxes are 16QAM, 2k = 18Mbit/s.
 

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