January 29, 2009

Freesat numbers double

According to this story, Freesat installations doubled over the last quarter, now over 200,000 for the fledgling satellite "Freeview and then some" from the BBC and ITV. Quickly catching up with BTVision, that's hugely impressive given the lack of hardware, especially the PVR, on the retaillers' shelves.
So what's attracting punters? Well it's not the channel line up (it doesn't even boast Fiver or Five US yet) and the SD picture is by some accounts even worse than that of Freeview. So what could it be?
Well, apparently 61% of a "customer panel" said that the availability of high definition content was their "primary reason" for opting for the sub-free service.
Hello? Mr Berkett? Anyone home??

14 comments:

demented said...

Precisely. If wasn't in a cabled area I'd go for freesat as sometime in 2009 they'll have 3 HD channels. In 2010 it'll be 4 channels. Ditto freeview (not in my region though).

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The downside with Freesat is the high cost of entry. Freesat PVRs are expensive and you have to factor in installation too. Plus if we're being honest, the channel line-up, HD included, is very poor and totally over-run by rubbish.

And what on earth was the 2nd poster (anonymous) talking about? Is it even in English? Please learn to talk before you're let loose on the internet again.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say it, but you're wasting your time if you really believe that cable is the way for HD.

Unless you really need the on demand, Sky is the way to go here

(I say that as someone who's had both and found on demand largely irrelevant when you found you had a PVR full of content you wanted to watch)

Nialli said...

I don't think many believe that cable is "the way to go for HD" at the moment under the current management. But many have either cable out of choice (for other factors) or because they don't or can't have satellite. VM has promised HD for a number of years and the platform is capable of delivering.

Alexei said...

Just had a phonecall from Virgin Media after i emailed a complaint. Saying i wasnt the first to complain about the lack of HD. She was a bit sketchy and said in a suggestive manner that something was in the pipeline short term but couldnt give me dates or details? it kind of like nudge nudge wink wink say no more! anyone else get any hinting phonecalls?

Atticus said...

Does anyone know what Richard Branson thinks about VM's tardiness/reluctance/whatever over HD? Or does he have no say in this issue? He's always seemed to be a progressive sort of chap. Does he really rate a possible short-term money-spinner like VOD above the inevitable 100% demand for HD, with 3D riding on its back (as it can only do) and becoming available within two years?

demented said...

Someone on DS reckoned that they were told Setanta HD would be one of the four. That made me laugh out loud.

Nialli said...

Setanta's play out facilities are via Sky. I don't know whether the appalling bitrates are caused by commercial restraints or Sky being very, very naughty. Setanta's bid to launch an HD channel was scuppered by Sky's unwillingness to accommodate it.
If Setanta was serious about HD, ot could serve notice on Sky and move to RedBee or similar (like C4 has)

demented said...

The bitrates on setanta are very high. Urban myth that they aren't. Still the worse picture quality in the known universe but that's another matter...

Interesting idea about redbee.

MattCaffeine said...

This isn't really about freesat but thougt you may be interested in a conversation I've just had with a VM customer complaint officer. I'd e-mailed that I was considering the unthinkable and switching to $ky purely because I was very frustrated about the lack of HD, and especially that there was no news about SkySports HD or Movies HD. The rep who rang told me that there was being a major upgrade of HD channels in the "next few months" and when challenged confirmed that Skysports and Sky Movies in HD would be available in my area (Sheffield) in the next few months as some testing work had been done. Now I've either misunderstood, which I doubt cos i pretty much triple checked what he was saying, but if this is the case, it's a great breakthrough, but why aren't VM shouting from the rooftops to stop the mass migration to $ky??? I've asked the rep to e-mail confirmation which he promised he would, but nothing as yet, When (if) it comes in I'll let you know.

demented said...

MattCaffeine can I ask what number you used to complain (or if anybody else knows)? I'm going to either complain or leave.

MattCaffeine said...

Demented, I just used the e-mail complaint form from the customer zone:
https://help2.virginmedia.com/assets/customer_zone/complaintformCZ.html

or you can phone frm a VM phone on 150, or 0845 454 1111 from any other line.
Hope this helps.
Matt

demented said...

Thanks very much! Complaint in.