Freesat, the free UK satellite TV service, launches today. The free service, established by the BBC and ITV, will reach an impressive 98% of the population including many people that have been previously unable to receive freeview through their terrestrial TV aerial. Prices start at £49 for a standard box, plus £80 installation and set up, with no monthly charges following that payment.
A High Definition version is also available, costing a little more at £120 for the box – installation remains £80. All viewers will initially receive the full 80 channels on offer, and this figure will rise to more than 200 by the end of this year. Both the BBC and ITV hope that the new service will especially encourage an icnrease in HD TV viewing.
Pretty much all new TV sets are HD ready, but few people either have access to HD channels or are willing to pay extra for an HD subscription. With the new Freesat service this should be less of an issue and the service will launch with a BBC HD channel included. ITV HD is set to follow shortly.
The only people that will be unable to receive Freesat are those that do not have a clear line of sight of the satellite, and those that live in listed buildings and therefore cannot erect a satellite dish on the outside of their homes.