Freesat ready for launch

If you want HD TV here in Blighty, you need to fork over a hefty chunk of your hard–earned to Mr Murdoch for the privilege. But as of today, you

If you want HD TV here in Blighty, you need to fork over a hefty chunk of your hard–earned to Mr Murdoch for the privilege. But as of today, you can do your bank balance a favour and snag top-notch pics via Freesat instead.

The free–to–air service, a tie–up between the BBC and ITV, offers HD pics, over 80 channels and 98 per cent coverage. Makes its Freeview cousin look somewhat pathetic, no?

The new service will costs punters £60 for installation, plus £50 standard def. Want HD and you’ll have to shell out £150 for the receiver. Both boxes are Humax branded, so no moody makes here.

There are some caveats mind. We’re not talking 1080p here, more like 1080i. And if you want multiroom, you’ll need to grab another receiver.

Unlike Sky’s free offering, you won’t see the encrypted channels you can’t get. Talking to our pals at What Hi–Fi, Richard Lindsay-Davies, Commercial Director of Freesat, said, “We think our user interface is better, because you don’t get confused by the presence of channels that you can’t actually watch. You also don’t get free HD with Sky.”

There’s no Channel 4 as yet, although Freesat says it’s working on getting them on board. Hopefully they’ll be included in the 150 channels rolling out by the end of the year.

Okay, you won’t get Premier League footy, but it sure beats Freeview’s claims of hi–def by 2009.

Read our Freesat: first impressions

Essentials

Freesat

On sale: Now

Contact: Freesat