Freesat, the joint venture between the BBC and ITV offering free, digital satellite television has reached 100,000 sales within just five months of launching, according to its own sales figures. Which? has a guide to freesat and reviews of freesat and Freeview STBs including details of our latest Best Buys.
Sales of high definition freesat boxes may have been helped by a summer of major sporting events in high definition such as Euro 2008, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. With an autumn schedule boasting UEFA Champions League, England World Cup qualifiers and FA Cup football on ITV HD exclusive to freesat, and dramas and entertainment including Heros and Strictly Come Dancing from BBC HD, strong sales look set to continue.
Consumer confusion over HDTV
Emma Scott, MD of Freesat, said: ‘There’s no denying how much people enjoy watching in high definition once they see it for themselves. Unfortunately there are still a lot of people out there who think they’re already watching in HD because they have an HD ready TV – but they aren’t. If they already have a satellite dish installed, they may simply be able to take a freesat digital box or integrated [freesat] TV home and plug it straight in.’
As well as the range of freesat HD digital receivers, freesat standard definition digital boxes are available for under £50 – a cost-effective option for a second room and homes that cannot receive Freeview.
Future plans for freesat include the launch in November of a PVR, dubbed freesat+, and increasing both the number of manufacturers and retailers involved with freesat products. New channels and services will be made available on a monthly basis, according to freesat.
Which? technology expert Mike Briggs said: ‘It’s a promising start for freesat and we’re happy to see the extra choice for digital TV watchers. Not least because those with HD-ready TVs will finally be able to watch high-definition TV without costly monthly subscriptions to Sky or Virgin.’
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