Freesat – answer to our HD Freeview prayers?

On 31 May the Beeb's HD Freeview trial comes to an end. 'What Freeview HD trial,' you ask? Well if you weren't one of the 450 chosen ones who were giv

On 31 May the Beeb's HD Freeview trial comes to an end. 'What Freeview HD trial,' you ask? Well if you weren't one of the 450 chosen ones who were given a beta trial box you wouldn't have known much about it.But, hey, after much backslapping for a successful beta, it should just be a matter of months before free HD is rolled out to the rest of us, right? Wrong. For starters, the only current Freeview box to receive HD signals is Evesham’s iPlayer (pictured) and secondly there isn't the bandwidth available to transmit them 'til at least 2012.The answer might be Freesat. Just given the go-ahead by the BBC Trust, the joint ITV/BBC venture is being touted as a way to get digital TV to homes that won't have Freeview in time for the big analogue switch-off starting next year. With satellite coverage practically 100 per cent it would mean everyone could go digital without bunging a wedge to Sky or Virgin.Bandwidth rich satellite is also the perfect way to deliver HD content – thus solving the current Freeview/HD conundrum, and potentially giving us HD channels for nowt extra. We're still waiting for news on when the service will launch, with current guestimates ranging from between next year and way off in 2012. We do know it won't cost anything, save the initial cost of the equipment. So hurry up BBC/ITV. Our HD-ready tellies need you.

Essentials

Freesat Price: £TBA On sale: 2008-2012 Contact: BBC, ITVRelated stories: Now you see HD, now you don't