Future Freesat HD channels

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Lynton.Bell, Jun 17, 2009.

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  1. Lynton.Bell

    Lynton.Bell
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    Hi guys,

    I've run a google search on Freesat HD channels and not come up with much on the future of freesat HD and what we can expect to see in the next couple of years. I guess I am doing what most people thinking of buying this box do in weighing up the cost\benefit of getting it.

    At present the only two channels are BBC HD & ITV HD but it would be nice to know if there are plans in the pipeline for more in future. Does anyone have any inside knowledge on this?

    Thanks,
    Lynton
     
  2. nwhitfield

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    It's anticipated that 4HD will come to the platform, but that will be subject to its contract with Sky, so may be some months yet. Five have won a licence for an HD channel on Freeview, and so it's likely that they will also broadcast that on Freesat, but it won't launch until 2010.

    In both cases, capacity needs to be found on the satellite that's regarded by rights holders as having UK only coverage, otherwise the cost of material may go up.

    There aren't many other people who could product a free to air HD channel really. And given the downturn in advertising due to the recession, I wouldn't advise holding your breath. When even ITV is rumoured to be considering making some of their channels into pay services, who's going to be able to fun an HD channel entirely from ads?
     
  3. Michael

    Michael
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    Hang on a second, I was under the impression that the Beeb was discontinuing reigional Tv on freesat?

    Wouldn't the loss of 20 mp2 slots make room for a couple of HD channels?

    Also, I'm putting my money on BBC1+BBC2 HD launching, with the majority of shows being produced in HD format, and reruns being pushed to BBC 3 or 4, or possibly on a permeanently available service on iPlayer
     
  4. Starburst

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    Where did you read/here that?
    I can't really believe that the platform neutral BBC would slash the regional output on Dsat which is received by over 10 million homes in favour of DTT alone, it would be a very dangerous precedent at a time when the license fee is under threat. ITV are ripping regional programming to shreds though and if they announced a single national ITV1 that wouldn't surprise me one bit.

    I doubt the Trust or the BBC finances would sanction expansion of the BBC HD lineup simply due to the political issues atm with proposals to bribe commercial (ITV in other words) to comply with the PSB remit.
    The BBC way back did say they were going for 100% HD production by 2010, well that ain't gonna happen and they have publicly back tracked on those earlier statements.
     
  5. nwhitfield

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    I've heard absolutely nothing about the BBC killing regions on satellite - and remember they can't do it on Freesat without doing it on Sky, otherwise there'd be no capacity saving. They would, as Starburst points out, be mad to do it at a time when they're the only people presently committed to regional broadcasting. Are you sure you're not thinking of the rapacious bean counters over at ITV, who seem dead set on stripping every last shred of regionality out of their network?

    It will be a while before the two main BBC channels warrant simulcasts; remember that statements about what was aimed for by 2010 were made before the current economic downturn, which was far faster and deeper than many people imagined.

    There will need to be a pretty large installed base of not just HD-ready sets but HD receivers to drive them, before the BBC launches more HD channels in my opinion. Remember people used to claim they should pay a lower licence fee because they didn't get Freeview; that idea wasn't a flyer, and I don't think an HD supplement to the licence (or an SD discount) would be viable either. No one wants to pay more, and cutting it further won't help the vast majority of viewers who want more new material, not less.

    So, pouring money into not one, but two HD channels, largely for the benefit of early adopters, is not something I anticipate happening. More channels will come, in time, but I honestly don't think you'll see more BBC ones until a) other PSBs have launched theirs (to forestall grumbles of "it's not fair, they can do it because they get the licence fee") and b) far more people have HD receivers (forestalling the moans "why are they spending all this money on things only a minority can watch").

    Nigel
     
  6. derek500

    derek500
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    There is still no where near enough original HD programming from BBC1 and 2 and ther won't be for a long time yet. Don't forget a large percentage of BBC HD's output is from the four other BBC channels.
     
  7. wellsyke

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    moving to HD is not the only way of improving picture quality.
    While I generally want more HD (I was working on HD equipment designs over 10 years ago!) at the moment I would be happy if they upped the bitrate of SD material instead.
     
  8. Starburst

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    Which would move broadcast SD closer to DVD quality which is still not optimal for HD res flat panels and overkill for the majority of CRT's, the balance with SD was always to make it acceptable to an average sized CRT so anyone with any more exotic display was irrelevant.
    The problem with upping the bitrate for SD is that it would require the same expense in leasing bandwidth as offering a HD channel and unlike the SD approach the HD has a genuine demographic to offer up to the Trust as a reason for the expense.
     
  9. wellsyke

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    Unfortunatly, IMHO, it's well below acceptable now. Regrettably those of us who care about image quality seem to be in the minority.

    I accept your point about demonstrating demand and I may just have to accept that for joe public HD is a label for better picture quality.
     
  10. Lynton.Bell

    Lynton.Bell
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    Guys thanks for all of your inputs. A bit of healthy debate and it has cleared up matters somewhat on the future of freesat HD (for now!) One thing is for sure and that is that technology and progression is relentless and will never stop, and given a bit more time and the recovery from the recession, as well as built-in freesat HD becoming more and more prevalent in todays displays, we should see Freesat HD become the norm one day. Probably sooner than later!

    Cheers,
    Lynton
     
  11. GasDad

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    Why ? - freeview in the medium terms is likely to have the same 4 or 5 HD channels available - and for the majority that can receive it, it provides a better (at least more elegant) solution- certainly in terms of multiple TV's in the house.

    Freesat isn't about HD, it is about providing coverage for those that won't be able to get Freeview after the DSO.
     
  12. runas

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    With the announcement that Sky will have HD news, I can't see the BBC letting its flagship service take second place. With much of News 24 being studio based using some reports from broadcasters who already have HD services, it would be a fairly simple introduction. The US news services started their HD offerings with mostly SD ENG inputs, but studio originated programming was all HD including graphics which are so much part of news broadcasting today.
    Also, C4 Horseferry Road is currently getting a major equipment upgrade from Tandberg TV, all of which is HD capable. So expect a drive to secure both Freeview and freesat HD slots when they can release themselves from Sky. As far as their output is concerned, Film4 wouldn't require studio kit and much of what is shown on E4 is already made in HD.

    runas
     
  13. derek500

    derek500
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    The BBC Sport's dept. doesn't mind taking second place!!
     
  14. GasDad

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    And the transponder space for both BBC news, and in particular Film 4 is going to come from where exactly?
     
  15. Michael

    Michael
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    Film4 can absorb bandwith by dissolving film4+1, giving nearly enough bandwith for a hd channel, and the same with E4.

    Come on, you don't seriously believe the +1 channels where for your convenience?

    Also, I noticed that BetHD managed to appear then disapear again, so there must be some spare room.
    Also, if BBC/ITV/4 needed to, they could cease regional broadcasting over freesat, freeing up channels, without paying extra.

    Any extra bandwith can be bought off all those shopping channels :thumbsup:
     
  16. GasDad

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    Possibly.
    Err no they couldn't - it would break the terms of the BBC charter.

    But those channels are are on wide beam transponders - Film 4, in particular would for rights issues, need to be on a narrow (UK only) transponder.

    And who exactly is going to pay for all this ???
     
  17. Starburst

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    Nothing in TV is for our benefit when you get right down to it and the +1's probably generate more revenue and advertising than a HD channel would especially for the millions without a PVR.

    The main problem as indicated earlier is the need for 2D carriage to meet the rights issues for FTA Dsat broadcasting and that is at a premium.
    Ultimately we always come back to HD costing a broadcaster a small fortune and not bringing in significant new revenues, it simply moves viewers from the SD channel to the HD one.
     
  18. Spookyville

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    When does the contract C4 have with Sky finish?

    Must admit getting tired of BBc only and a bit of ITV here and there - want more HD NOW!!!!! :D
     
  19. GasDad

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    No one seems to know or rather no one is willing to tell.

    Just because the contract finishes with Sky, don't assume C4HD will suddenly appear on Freesat. C4 may decide to renew the contract with sky, as it (presumably) reduces their costs.
     
  20. Sorter

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    In the latest Which? Mag. They state that the current set top boxes and the current TV's will not be able to receive HD on freeview if and when it becomes available. I for one, was not aware of this.

    I now have a Panasonic with built in Freesat, and the HD is excellent. Shame I won't be able to get HD on Freeview!
     
  21. Starburst

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    That became clear when OFCOM set down the DTT HD spec based on mpeg4 and DVB-T2, it's a shame that just like before HD Ready was introduced many a retailer and media concerns who should have known better were sprouting nonsence in terms of long term future proofing of products.

    You can always buy a set top box and given the need to record HD in HD then a HD PVR for Freeview HD is probably going to be the device of choice for the early adoptors with cash to burn:)
     
  22. Spookyville

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    well seems they can sign up with Virgin as well.

    Digital TV - News - Virgin Media to carry Channel 4 HD - Digital Spy

    can someone remind her about freesat then...
     
  23. derek500

    derek500
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    Sky have added another 291,000 HD customers in the last quarter. That's more than Freesat have achieved since launch!!

    Not much of an incentive to give up Sky's help, is it?

    Getting under the skin of HD strategy | In-depth | Broadcast
     
  24. Bachstrad

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    An interesting link Derek, thank you for posting it.

    ATB

    Max
     
  25. CaptainPugwash

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    I agree with the above comments. As an engineer with 40 years experience it does matter to me. I would be exstatic if the standard definition of digital even approached what is possible on an analogue with CRT.

    I use a Toshiba 32" LCD and even on that the analogue reception has more definition than digital

    And they call it progress:eek:
     

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