April 04, 2008 — Article
Freesat is a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, it’s intention is to bring free programmes to UK homes without a subscription. This may also include High Definition programs for the launch in May but at this time this is unclear.
Viewers will have to pay for a digital set-top box, satellite dish and installation, but that’s all.
Freesat was set up to ensure that all UK households have the opportunity to access digital TV and Radio, subscription-free. The Public Service platform will include high definition programmes – without having to pay a monthly subscription.
Freesat was formed in May 2007 as a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, and includes many of the same people behind Freeview.
Freesat is funded 50/50 by ITV and the BBC, and is run on a not-for-profit basis.
Channel 4, Channel 4 HD, E4 and More4 will be joining Freesat as soon as its contract expires with Sky in October 2008.
Five, Five Life, Five US, Virgin 1 and Dave, which are free on Freeview, have no current plans to join the new service. All these services are currently encrypted on satellite, Five may well opt to join Freesat when its current contract with Sky expires.
High definition channels are likely to be available on free terrestrial television and Freeview plan to launch three HD services late next year or in 2010. And more should follow in 2012.