It’s launched today FTA … the only new addition to this service is ITV HD.

For DVB-S PC card owners try:

DVB Viewer
coreavc H.264 codec

Free satellite TV service begins

A free satellite television and radio service from the BBC and ITV is being launched across the UK.

Freesat is available to 98% of homes, including those that are unable to receive Freeview through a TV aerial.

It will carry 80 digital TV and radio channels, including free high definition programmes, with that number due to rise to 200 by the end of 2008.

Users will make a one-off payment for a dish, set-top box and installation, but will not pay a monthly subscription.

The price of a box will start at £49, rising to £120 for a high-definition (HD) version. The cost of installation, including the satellite dish, will be a further £80.

The BBC, ITV and Channel 4’s digital services will feature on Freesat, with news and children’s channels among the others on offer.

TV viewing
The service will be available in shops including Argos and Comet

The BBC’s HD channel will appear on the service immediately, while ITV HD will launch soon.

ITV executive chairman Michael Grade called Freesat “the final piece in the digital jigsaw that will ensure that all viewers in the UK have access to free-to-air digital and high definition TV”.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said: “All the BBC’s digital channels, including BBC HD, will now be available to all licence fee payers wherever they live and however they choose to access them.”

Emma Scott from Freesat told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It’s only homes that really don’t have a clear line of sight to the satellite that can’t get it, or certain listed buildings.

“But unlike Freeview, you can receive Freesat across the country, which means that in those areas that at the moment can’t get access to free digital television this is the first time that you can get free digital TV.”

HD boost

The BBC’s media correspondent Torin Douglas said the BBC and ITV were hoping the new service would also increase interest in high definition television.

It is thought that around 10 million homes in the UK now have a television set capable of carrying HD, but most do not have a receiver or subscription.

Mr Grade said ITV’s HD service would launch “with an unrivalled line-up of premium football”.

The BBC Trust has said Freesat is guaranteed to remain subscription-free.

Set-top boxes will be available from high street retailers, who will also arrange installation.

Sky already offers a service that is also free to view once the equipment has been bought.

Channel Line up ( just the same as SKY FTV channels ) :

Channel 4
BBC Three
BBC Four
S4C Digidol
E4 (currently encrypted)
More4 (currently encrypted)
Zone Romantica
Zone Thriller
BBC News
BBC Parliament
Al Jazeera English
True Movies
True Movies 2
Wedding TV
Overseas property
Men and Motors
Chart Show TV
The Vault
Bubble Hits
B4U Music
CBBC Channel
Tiny POP
Teachers TV
BBC Radio 1
1Xtra BBC
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 4 FM
BBC Radio 4 LW
BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live Sport
BBC 6 Music
BBC Asian Network
BBC World Service
BBC R Scotland
BBC Radio nan Gaidheal
BBC Radio Wales
BBC Radio Cymru
BBC Radio Ulster
BBC London 94.9
Price-drop tv
Bid tv
Pitch TV
JML Lifestyle

This will be a godsend to those who are unable to receive free view or indeed standard Terrestrial television.
The only problem I can foresee is the cost of buying the set up. But all in all well worth it in my opinion given the number of channels and radio stations.

Your right, and it’s fairly cheap to setup an old SKY dish to pick up the broadcasts, receivers can be picked up at Currys, Dixons, Debehnams etc, plus the benefit of a strong stable broadcast signal unlike a TV aerial.


Euro 2008 to rule TV slots - UK

ITV and BBC braced for complaints from viewers - Soaps will be shifted to make way for matches

Viewers who had hoped they had seen the last of Cristiano Ronaldo for the season are set to be disappointed.

Football widows and widowers hoping for unrestricted access to the TV this summer due to the failure of the home nations to qualify for Euro 2008 are in for a shock. ITV and the BBC are bracing themselves for complaints next month when live matches will dominate prime time despite the absence of any domestic interest.

Thanks to the legislation under which major international football tournaments are reserved for broadcast on free-to-air television, they must all be shown live and in full on the main channels of the rights holders. Only when they are scheduled to show two matches at the same time can they move one to a digital channel.

Between June 7, when the tournament kicks off with joint hosts Switzerland playing Czech Republic, and the final on June 29, the two channels will show 27 live games on BBC1 or ITV1, plus a further four on the digital channels BBC3 and ITV4.

Of those, 23 will kick off at 7.45pm in the middle of prime time, necessitating the rescheduling of soaps and other shows.

On June 7, for example, ITV’s prime-time Saturday night schedule will be dominated by Portugal v Turkey. And on Thursday June 12, EastEnders will make way for Austria v Poland on BBC1.

Scheduling requirements have already caused problems for ITV, which provoked complaints last month when it dropped the second episode of the US import Pushing Daisies to shoehorn nine episodes into eight weeks before the tournament started.

The decision annoyed many viewers who had been looking forward to the heavily trailed show, which stars the British actor Anna Friel.

Pushing Daisies follows Ned, a man with the ability to bring the dead back to life. Friel plays his childhood neighbour and the object of his first crush, who is resurrected by Ned.

An ITV spokesman said the station bought dramas in six or eight parts, adding: “Unfortunately, given the high-profile nature of the 9pm Saturday slot, we only have eight windows at the moment.”

Last time England failed to qualify for a major tournament, the 1994 World Cup in the US, most games kicked off outside prime time.

But both broadcasters are confident that viewers will tune in and that excitement will build, citing the familiarity of British audiences with many of Europe’s top players thanks to expanded coverage of the Champions League and the fact that many of the biggest stars ply their trade in the Premier League.

They point to a combined audience of 20.5 million for the last World Cup final between Italy and France and suggest that the lack of home interest will allow for a different take on the tournament.

“There won’t be the swell of optimism that there has been at previous tournaments, which is a shame. It’s a big blow that England aren’t there. But there is enough quality there for a very exciting football tournament,” said BBC pundit Alan Shearer.

“It just goes to show how lucky we are to have the likes of Torres, FÃ bregas and Ronaldo in the Premier League and be able to watch them every week.”

But ITV, already counting the cost of £10m to £12m in lost advertising revenue due to England’s failure to qualify, could lose out further if peak-time audiences are hit and has scaled back its plans.

It will have commentators and reporters on the ground in Austria and Switzerland but anchors Steve Rider, Matt Smith and Craig Doyle will host the games from a studio in the UK. The BBC, meanwhile, will send a full team, including Steve McClaren, the former England manager who lost his job after failing to qualify for the tournament, who has been signed up as a co-commentator by Radio 5 Live.

UEFA has been looking into the possibility of challenging the “crown jewels” list that reserves all matches in European championships for free-to-air broadcasters. While it accepts that games involving the home nations and the latter stages should be reserved for terrestrial free-to-air television, it would like to open up the earlier rounds to more bidders.

Thanks for the info :wink:

Great to see the broadcasters going their own way for the EPG as this will also help get more non-Sky boxes into consumer’s homes. Hopefully this will also encourage more broadcasters to go FTA than stick with Sky. The advantage of being on the same satellite is that if one decides to quit Sky, they can get a better receiver for the FTA without the need to reposition the dish as well as with extra features such as PVR capability that does not require a Sky+ subscription.

DVB Viewer is also my preferred satellite tuner software and well worth the registration cost. Unlike ProgDVB, it very rarely crashes out and supports DVB-S2 on my Hauppauge HVR4000 card.

I agree with you regarding DVB Viewer, I use it with my Technisat Skystar 2 DVB-S card and also with a KWorld DVB-T 100 card … two different cards one application … excellent value for money :slight_smile:

Have not managed to view ITV HD using dvbdream, dvbviewer, progdvb etc, even not withmy standalones. :frowning:

I just after trying the channel here in DVB-Viewer 3.9.2 and it comes in with sound on my Hauppauge card. :slight_smile: Like BBC HD during the day, it is just showing a loop of HD previews with the channel logo appearing periodically:

Going by the audio & video information in DVB Viewer, the video is H.264 at ~16Mbps and the audio is AC3 at 384kbps. Just like the BBC HD channel, the video resolution is 1440 x 1080.

This service sounds very interesting.
We have Sky+ digital in the house and i’m sure the dish has a quad LNB. Does these mean i could use one of the two spare ports on the LNB and feed a signal to the PC into one of these Hauppauge HVR4000 cards and view the Freesat channels on the PC?

I also notice that this card has DVB T. I use DVB T at the moment, but the signal is poor and next of no chance of getting a better signal. But would i be right in thinking, i could have both DVB S/S2 and DVB T available?

Yes you can use a feed directly from the quad LNB feeding into your Hauppauge HVR4000 to view back.

However the ITV HD channel is only exclusive to FREESAT set top boxes and in their most recent PR update they claim they will be adding 30 channels per month.

ITV HD should be on fully next month is my understanding.

In relation to the card, it would be pointless using the DVB-T option as they will only broadcast a limited number of channels and you have mentioned to do not have a good signal. You’d get a better signal/more channels etc using the satellite option to view the channels on FREESAT.

ITV HD launch scheduled for near future

ITV HD is scheduled to begin broadcasting its regular schedule on Freesat, accessible solely via ITV’s red button interactive services, in “a few weeks”, it was confirmed today.

Freesat managing director Emma Scott said ITV would be releasing further details of its high definition channel, and commence full broadcasting, in “hopefully a few weeks time”.

She confirmed it would be accessible via the red button rather than given an individual EPG slot and that it would initially be viewable exclusively on Freesat equipment.

ITV executive chairman Michael Grade said: “We will launch our HD service with an unrivalled line up of premium football including the FA Cup, England internationals and UEFA Champions League from next season.”

Grade did not rule out negotiations for carriage on Sky in the future, however, and said: “We are a commercial organisation and won’t give it to Sky for nothing.”

Humax, whose Freesat personal video recorder is expected to be the first available when it is released some time in the summer, said it would be able to record ITV HD.

Freesat plans 30 new channels a month

An additional 30 channels are expected to launch each month as the free-to-air satellite platform Freesat builds its initial line-up of 80 channels to around 200. The waiting list includes channels that have already signed to the contract and subscription free service. Others are said to be taking a “wait and see” approach. Postcode recognition ensures the correct regional programmes are received, though not all of the various BBC and ITV sub regions have so far been included.

The pioneers include a full set of national channels from the BBC and ITV. Channel 4, which has switched off its encryption in the past few weeks is also there, but Five remains conspicuous by its absence. The same applies to Channel 4 HD, which Freesat managing director Emma Scott described as a “commercial decision” by the so-called public service broadcaster.

The news genre includes EuroNews and Al Jazeera English; Shopping QVC, Price Drop TV and JML Lifestyle. Five movie channels include Film 4, True Movies and Movies for Men.

[QUOTE=Dee-27;2054196]But would i be right in thinking, i could have both DVB S/S2 and DVB T available?[/QUOTE]
My HVR4000 card has 3 separate antenna inputs - One for FM Radio, one for DVB-T, VHF & UHF and the last one for DVB-S/S2. So far RTÉ has not launched DVB-T up in the North West for me to do any DVB-T testing, but I can confirm that the card can be used to tune in channels from all three inputs without the need to disconnect / reconnect cables. However, it is not possible to tune two channels simultaneously, for example, if you are recording a channel from DVB-T, it is not possible to watch a DVB-S broadcast as the same time.

The DVB-T and DVB-S appear to work with all widely available satellite software that support BDA. DVB-S2 only works with with the included Hauppauge media center suite and DVB Viewer from my testing. I have tried ProgDVB (30 day trial DVB-S2 version), DVB Dream, Alt-DVB and all were unable to tune in any DVB-S2 broadcasts. On the other hand, assuming ITV HD and BBC HD continue using the legacy DVB-S signalling, you can use any BDA-capable satellite software that supports H.264 HD channels.

Thanks for the information [B]chrome307[/B] and [B]Seán[/B].

I decided i could do without the DVB-T part and i found another card that supports DVB S2. The [B]Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-HD-S2[/B], it’s cheaper than the HVR4000 card and comes with Cyberlink PowerCinema 5.1 and drivers are available for Vista 64 bit which i also need…

E4, E4+1, More4 and More4+1 are now freely available, at least at this time of writing. :smiley: The Channel 4 test tunes in as an unnamed station on our receiver (which I titled “CH-4 Free” below), but matches up with the terrestrial version we pick up:

The tuning information is as follows:

[B]Frequency: [/B]10729V, S/R: 22,000, FEC: 5/6

[li]Channel 4 - SID 8350 - PID 2338 - AID 2339 - PCR - 2310
[/li][li]More 4 - SID 8350 - PID 2361 - AID 2362 - PCR - 2311
[/li][li]More 4+1 - SID 8310 - PID 2353 - AID 2354 - PCR - 2307
[/li][li]E4 - SID 8305 - PID 2327 - AID 2328 - PCR - 2306
[/li][li]E4+1 - SID 8300 - PID 2343 - AID 2344 - PCR - 2305

Yay, good news on Astra2D then too!

Also ITV changed something so ITV HD is now visible using DVBViewer and also using Vantage 6000/7100 after little soft-mod.

I think there is more in the pipe, because blindscanning reveals interesting stuff!!!

I got hold of a Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-HD-S2 and have it fitted and running good under Windows Vista 64bit, using the supplied Cyberlink PowerCinema 5.1 (BBC HD screenshot below).

I’d would have liked to have experimented with DVBViewer, but no damn trial version and i’m not sure it will even work in Vista 64?

Hi,[quote=Dee-27;2061144]I got hold of a Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-HD-S2 (…)
I’d would have liked to have experimented with DVBViewer, but no damn trial version and i’m not sure it will even work in Vista 64?[/quote]The card is supported (, and the nonavailability of a trial version is their policy ( --> the last one)
About Vista 64 support:

  		I'm running DVBviewer 3.9.2 with a TT S2-3200 on Vista 64bit without problems.

my rig runs just fine with DVBViewer v3.9.x + 64bit Vista + Hauppauge HVR-4000 all together

I do own a license of DVB Viewer and never regretted to buy it. But I prefer DVB Viewer GE, which is a more sleek version :slight_smile:


Yea the ‘TransEdit’ tool is effectively just the tuning module that will act as a test to see that the card drivers are working under the OS. That’s the important bit: if they are fully BDA-compliant, then it’s pretty much guaranteed that the full DVB Viewer program will work.

I used to prefer the GE version of DVB Viewer too, as previously it was the only one that could handle multiple cards. I think it is their development tool and always gets the updated and new features to try out, before they move them into the main application.

Edit: The [U]Hauppauge Support page[/U] for Nova-HD-S2 drivers indicates they are WHQL for Vista/XP 32/64 bit (first link)

As ITV HD still only seems to be able to be tuned in by manually entering all the individual parameters, such as SID, PID, etc., I have exported an ini file of this channel I’ve set up here. This .ini file can be imported into DVB Viewer which adds the ITV HD channel.

Download: ITV_HD.ini

To import this channel in DVB Viewer:

[li]Go into the channel menu, then select Channellist
[/li][li]Click the “Channel Editor” button at the bottom.
[/li][li]Click the bottom left icon titled “Import a channel list”
[/li][li]Select the “ITV HD.ini” file and open it.
[/li][li]Go into the top level channel group “Astra 2 HD” -> Video -> ITV UK and click ‘ITV HD’.
[/li][li]This channel may be dragged to another group, such as the main Astra 2 video group.

Assuming you have a H.264 codec installed, the channel should appear with a smooth image. If the channel comes up regularly freezing, check the Directshow setting or try another H.264 codec. From my experience, DVB Viewer does not seem to work well with CoreAVC or FFDShow’s own H.264 codec, but seems to work fine with Cyberlink’s H.264 codec.

My TT 3200 came with PowerDVD7 and the necessary H.264 codec. The Skystar HD is a TT3200 rebadge, the newer Skystar HD2 is a Twinhan Clone.
The Arcsoft H.264 is another option.