Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by STFC, Jan 13, 2008.
Wow that looks good! Will all channels be in HD? Im stuck with sky till the end of this year tho
It's generally considered that Dsat SD channels from the main 3 broadcasters (Five has the edge on Dsat) are inferior to those on Freeview (assuming good reception for both types of signal) and Freesat boxes will receive exactly the same SD channels as a SKY box.
Nope, just like SKY HD only a fraction of the channels will be in HD.
Right now you will certainly get BBC HD and it's almost a given ITVHD will be a launch channel and Luxe HD may be on the EPG.
CH4 HD will probably not be on Freesat until Oct 2008 when their encryption contract is due to end with SKY and the whole CH4 family are FTA on Dsat.
No word on Five offering a HD channel.
By the time your contract with SKY ends Freesat should have sorted itself out so any surprises early on will probably be fixed and a greater selection of STB's as well and hopefully cheaper prices as the market grows.
Do you have a definitive source for this claim?
There's a lot of confusion about the extent to which the yet-to-launched Freesat is essentially a repackaging of some existing channels with a new EPG, plus a bit of extra HD. But why does it have to be the case that current Sky SD bitrates are maintained for channels on the new platform?
My (very limited!) reading on the subject suggests that it is the broadcaster, not Sky, who determines the bitrates used. Presumably they pay money to Sky for space on their platform, and are charged accordingly. Might they not make different choices on a different platform, with different charges?
If I'm missing something obvious, please let me know!
Nope but I should have specified FTA channels.
However the main FTA channels will all be there and it is a logical and reasonable assumption that none of the current FTA channels (200ish) at 28.2 and 28.5 would remove themselves from the SKY EPG and only be carried on the Freesat EPG (which is only 80(?) channels at launch) or that any new FTA channels that launch in tandem with Freesat would pay to be on the Freesat EPG and ignore the SKY EPG.
SKY do not own any satellites so it is the broadcasters themselves who decide how much capacity they lease and how many channels use that capacity, SES and Eutelsat are the operators of the satellites. So for example the BBC leases directly from SES and then broadcast FTA (in the clear) to the UK with some overspill. SKY receivers pick up those signals and the BBC pay SKY for the EPG slots and use of the interactive applications and regional postcode mapping, same for ITV. Now for Freesat just replace the SKY receiver with a Freesat receiver and everything else is the same, the channels you watch via SKY boxes are the same channels you'll watch with a Freesat box or even a generic Dsat receiver.
It would be fantastic if the FTA broadcasters chose to increase the bitrates since both Freesat and SKY hardware users would benefit.
The big difference is that Freesat has it's own EPG and it's own version of the interactive system that SKY and Freeview operate and as such should be far more modern and flexible compared to SKY's GUI. The Freesat DVR options will not require a subscription (unlike SKY+) and HD boxes should be offered at launch which can access the BBC HD channel and ITVHD if indeed it's a launch channel.
Yes, I realised that, but I had assumed that Sky bought a chunk of capacity and then resold it. Your post makes it clear that "the platform" is the Sky EPG plus interactivity features, so thanks for clearing that up.
Do we know how much that costs them, or is it a commercial secret? I'm trying to get a feel for how much cheaper the Freesat (non-Sky) platform might be, and thus how it might develop.
I'm also interested to know what the ultimate capacity of the satellite transponders is, and how much of that is currently in use.
From what I've read a Freesat EPG costs £30,000 per annum (no idea if that is the only cost since SKY also charge for access to other functions and charge for the "value" the channels get by being on the EPG).
At launch the Freesat EPG is limited to 80 FTA channels (200 or so are listed as being on freesatfromsky which is radio and tv) but it's pretty much a given that the Freesat EPG has plenty of room for expansion unlike the SKY EPG which at 10 years old is hitting the end of the road.
Transponder costs are irrelevant really since right now the FTA channels already lease them and it doesn't make any difference if 1 person watches or a 1 million. A new FTA channel would probably look to be spending around £1 million a year for a whole transponder (estimate based on SES average costs) but could be higher as FTA channels have been partially restricted to Astra 2D as it has a tighter footprint over the UK. Broadcast rights holders are touchy about channels buying rights just for the UK and then broadcasting in the clear across western Europe
There are currently about 90 satellite transponders in use (compared to 6 DTT muxes) with varying load levels and with the new satellite (2C) another 30 could be added but some of them will be for redundancy.
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