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Freeview and Freesat to merge

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 announce plans to integrate Digital UK and Freesat

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AB
AcerBen
I suppose it's just a shame that, considering how much more bandwidth is available, that Freesat isn't better than it is.
TV
TV Times
Isn't the picture quality on SD channels slightly better on Freesat than Freeview?
MarkT76, bkman1990 and IanJRedman gave kudos
IS
Inspector Sands
I suppose it's just a shame that, considering how much more bandwidth is available, that Freesat isn't better than it is.

That's up to the channels themselves, and whether they can be/want to be free-to-air, and whether they want to be on Freesat. To a certain extent they can only work with what they've got.
I don't know how much extra they charge a channel for an EPG placing.
IJ
IanJRedman
Isn't the picture quality on SD channels slightly better on Freesat than Freeview?

In theory, channels should be slightly less bit-starved on Freesat, yes.
OV
Orry Verducci
For clarity, as others have alluded to, Digital UK is responsible for the management of the UK digital terrestial platform. This means they're responsible for things like technical standards, the EPG, channel number allocations, service data, etc. With Freeview Play they're now also responsible for the discovery of on-demand services and the new internet delivered CLM EPG which allows IPTV services to seemless appear on the Freeview EPG. They're not responsible (as far as I'm aware) for the Freeview name or marketing, although they are closely connected to it, nor do they own the multiplexes or are responsible for the content on them.

With them bringing DUK and Freesat together I suspect they will be looking towards moving them to a single operation and technical platform, in which Freeview and Freesat use the same EPG data, the same on-demand services, a same IPTV services using a single backend, etc. In the long term they could also introduce a single channel number plan for both platforms, if they can get the broadcasters on board.

Hopefully this will means broadcasters won't have to come to two separate carriage agreements going forwards, one to be on Freeview and another to be on Freesat. Currently you have to pay to be on the Freesat EPG, whereas DUK have to give LCN's to anyone with mux carriage. This has created the situation where disputes or cost constraints have resulted in channels being missing from Freesat even though they are FTA on satellite and sometimes Freeview (e.g. Channel 4 HD). If they start to negotiate single agreements for both platforms, operating to the DUK model, that should hopefully result in the addition of the missing channels to the Freesat EPG.

So in the short term, not a lot will change probably, but in the long term we could be looking at Freeview and Freesat essentially becoming the same service but delivered via different means. It does also open the doors for hybrid receivers, which could show a single guide picking up some services terrestrially and others via satellite depending on what's the best option/quality for each channel.
MA
Markymark
It does also open the doors for hybrid receivers, which could show a single guide picking up some services terrestrially and others via satellite depending on what's the best option/quality for each channel.


I've actually got a 150 quid LG 24inch telly that has both Freeview and Freesat built in (and all the popular non linear services). It's clearly designed to be used routinely on one platform, or the other, because switching between to the two modes is a cumbersome task. Future models will hopefully combine both platforms into a single EPG
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GO
gottago
It does also open the doors for hybrid receivers, which could show a single guide picking up some services terrestrially and others via satellite depending on what's the best option/quality for each channel.


I've actually got a 150 quid LG 24inch telly that has both Freeview and Freesat built in (and all the popular non linear services). It's clearly designed to be used routinely on one platform, or the other, because switching between to the two modes is a cumbersome task. Future models will hopefully combine both platforms into a single EPG

It's the same on my Samsung TV. You certainly have to know where the switching option is, it's somewhat hidden away and requires a few too many clicks.
RI
Richard
It does also open the doors for hybrid receivers, which could show a single guide picking up some services terrestrially and others via satellite depending on what's the best option/quality for each channel.


I've actually got a 150 quid LG 24inch telly that has both Freeview and Freesat built in (and all the popular non linear services). It's clearly designed to be used routinely on one platform, or the other, because switching between to the two modes is a cumbersome task. Future models will hopefully combine both platforms into a single EPG


If it's anything like my model (from 2017) you can hold down one of the number keys and it will save the channel (like on most car radios - older digital ones anyway). You can do that for both Freeview and satellite channels and it will switch modes when required. Similarly. you can add channel shortcuts by pressing the home button, moving to the far left and adding channels in that way.
Last edited by Richard on 13 February 2021 12:03pm
MA
Markymark
It does also open the doors for hybrid receivers, which could show a single guide picking up some services terrestrially and others via satellite depending on what's the best option/quality for each channel.


I've actually got a 150 quid LG 24inch telly that has both Freeview and Freesat built in (and all the popular non linear services). It's clearly designed to be used routinely on one platform, or the other, because switching between to the two modes is a cumbersome task. Future models will hopefully combine both platforms into a single EPG


If it's anything my model (from 2017) you can hold down one of the number keys and it will save the channel (like on most car radios - older digital ones anyway). You can do that for both Freeview and satellite channels and it will switch modes when required. Similarly. you can add channel shortcuts by pressing the home button, moving to the far left and adding channels in that way.


Many thanks Richard, I didn't know that, it's not mentioned in the non existant manual (or at least I've never been able to find any sort of detailed one) I've added the Freesat versions of ITV HD and Sky News SD to 3 and 7, and Freeview HD versions on 1,2,4,5, but I can't work out how you access the quick access versions of 1 to 8 rather than the 'normal' 1 to 8?
CW
Charlie Wells Moderator
I wonder if it's realistically possible/practical for Freesat and Freeview to eventually use the same channel numbers. (Looking it in TV guide Freesat's numbering doesn't even match up with Sky. It might help make it easier to remember, and encourage a few more people to try freesat.

Personally I've recently ditched Virgin Media for a Manhattan T3-R Freeview Play recorder. Whilst Freeview Play does require Internet access it does give me most of the free catchup services. One advantage with Freesat is that it's appeared to offer catch up services from day one, I think without needing the Internet.
NG
noggin Founding member
One advantage with Freesat is that it's appeared to offer catch up services from day one, I think without needing the Internet.


No - all non-PVR/DVR (i.e. non-linear recording) catch-up services need an internet connection?

Freesat integrated IP catch-up services and a backwards EPG significantly earlier than Freeview ISTR (but not on day one) - but to allow access to iPlayer via streaming (whether you access these streams via HbbTV, MHEG5 etc.) you need an Internet connection (just as you do for Sky's download-based catch-up platform)
NG
noggin Founding member
I'd be surprised if they tried to harmonise EPG numbering or combine the two line-ups (there are too many differences between the two line-ups for it to make huge sense) - my guess is that the linear aspects of the platform will remain separate (though they do both use quite similar proprietary EPGs - Freeview only for HD, Freesat for all channels, and the same DVB subtitle platform, they differ in how they handle Audio Description) but that they will find a way to run a single catch-up platform - and will try to make them appear as similar as possible.

I wouldn't be surprised if they also allowed for increased 'integrated IP delivery' on a harmonised platform - so that IP-delivered channels became even more seamlessly integrated into both platforms - particularly as IP is likely to be replacing DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S/S2 longer term. (I can see IPTV being the replacement for BBC Four HD and BBC News HD on Freeview HD for instance, once COM 7 is closed)

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