Why Didn't Freesat Take Off?

anotheruser

Active Member
Why didn't freesat really take off?

I've been fitting a new aerial for freeview recently and it seems small movements in the aerial can mean the difference between picking up a channel and not. While I understand transmitters have been given a huge boost in power, it still seems a little antiquated, especially in areas with poor reception or really bad weather affectig reception.

Yet Freesat seems to solder on through anything and everything and is more accurate for those on the border of country areas - for example if you live in one area but the nearest transmitter is in another, you won't get local tv channels.

I wonder if it barely matters now as many people will bypass broadcast TV in favour of Virgin / TalkTalk / BT / Sky boxes, which will only increase?

Just wondering.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
It probably did among the tiny proportion of the country that had a blocked line of sight to the transmitter or was in the wrong region.

For everyone else it meant a more restricted choice of TVs or the need to have an extra box and didn't provide any benefits. It was typically only used by those with an ex-sky dish.
 

Ron Hilditch

Well-known Member
Freeview reception is iffy around here, four of us share a dish with an octal LNB. Reception is 100% all year around and we got rid of four unsightly aerials. As you said it limits the TV you can buy, to ones with a Freesat tuner. Looks like Samsung have stopped making them.
 

NatTheGooner

Well-known Member
Weirdly they never marketed the fact that it was the solution to poor Freeview reception. So many homes have dishes just waiting to be used but people don’t know that Freesat is compatible. My in-laws have terrible issues with reception and we’re going to pay for an even longer pole with a bigger aerial. I had to explain that the old dish on their bungalow wasn’t just for SKY and got them a Freesat recorder and they love it.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Seems all platforms are shedding numbers? {the total number of households in the UK is not reducing}. Streaming? not watching TV at all? Discuss.

freesat does OK for what it was intended for - churning $ky subscribers and those outwith good Freeview reception (e.g. old Self-Help transmitter schemes), and those wanting more channels cf the 3-mux Freeview 'Lite' transmitters. Satellite is subject to rain fade (and sun outage) issues: the BBC uplink got zapped due to a rainstorm over TVC once... (some very red faces over that ;) ).

I went freesat a year or so before DSO in order to watch HD programmes and still use that PVR to record and watch stuff.

TV makers often don't want to pay for the extra accreditation and testing to use the freesat proprietary epg etc.,. and then the logo. Some just don't advertise the presence of sat tuners whether freesat or not!
TV All | Richer Sounds has over 100 TVs with "freesat tuner"

C4 SD quality isn't too bad - I could record using my TV to USB HDD if I wanted, but if the programme content is good enough SD will do for me.

The complications (and expense) around Freesat distribution to multiple sets in a dwelling cf a terrestrial aerial mean that most will by default use terrestrial... only seeking the other platforms when they have to.
For many Satellite = $ky = Pay TV and they discount it flat.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I disagree about the C4SD PQ. It looks appalling to me. I’m now only really keeping hold of a dish to get access to BBC4HD, which on Freeview COM7 is now iffy where I live. The fate of the channel is unclear, depending on what the BBC end-up doing to it, and with the pending demise of COM7 I may well go without. My wife wants the dishes (we have two, long story) removed and TBH, I’m inclined to agree with her.

It’s a pity about Freesat. It could have been so much more. I can’t recall the last time that I saw an ad. in/on any media promoting the service. Streaming is the way forward, even for linear TV. I just wish that the quality of the UK streaming apps. would improve.
 

Ron Hilditch

Well-known Member
Lack of HD channels, C4 messing about, lack of hardware.
Are there more HD channels on Freeview? Always assumed apart from Channel 4 they were the same as Freeview. Bought a a Sky HD box from the local charity shop for £6.50, now watch that most of the time. My Samsung TV has a dual LNB inputs and I assumed it had two tuners. You can't watch and record different channels at the same time, so obviously it hasn't. Use the TV's internal tuner for recording.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I think that Freesat offers more HD channels, but they seem to be news/factual related, rather than entertainment.

If the merger of Freeview and Freesat takes place later on this year it might prompt the return of C4HD and All4 to the platform, which would be welcome. Sadly, be it Freeview or Freesat, we seem to be stuck with poor quality SD channels for the most part, both in terms of their video/audio and content. Hardly surprising that there’s been a big swing to non-UK streaming services, which offer better PQ/SQ and more choice, albeit at a price.
 

NatTheGooner

Well-known Member
I subscribe to All4 and you get HD Channel 4 and most of the programming is also HD on the app.
Its £3.99 pm but its actually worth it.
Lots of channels are broadcast in HD exclusively on SKY but not on Freeview and Freesat. On their apps the content is in HD.
According to Which? the HD quality is noticeably better on Freesat and there may be 4K content on Freesat too maybe a BBC UHD channel (they did a BBC HD channel when Freesat launched).
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
The All4 app. was withdrawn from Freesat when C4 withdrew C4HD due to fees, or something like that, some time ago now. All4 is available in both free (ad-infested) or paid (ad-free) modes. Sadly, the app. only offers 720p HD PQ and stereo audio, which is pretty rubbish, like good ol’ iPlayer. The only reason that I can see for using All4 is to get a bit of a PQ lift when watching stuff that would have aired on the SD channels More4, E4, etc, which only broadcast in a 576i PQ.
 

archie2000

Active Member
As you said it limits the TV you can buy, to ones with a Freesat tuner. Looks like Samsung have stopped making them.
It is in the Samsung 2021 TV range
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung HW-Q950A Soundbar Review coming soon to AVForums.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom