iPlayer For Freesat Imminent

Freesat
Image via Wikipedia

There are, believe it or not 600,000 Freesat users in the United Kingdom. In the run up to Xmas there will be a renewed awareness campaign for the free-to-air satellite cousin of Freeview (the free-to-air via your TV aerial digital service).

Xmas Bonus

Freesat owners will be getting an early Xmas present with the arrival of the BBC iPlayer service for Freesat boxes that can connect to the Internet. Mostly this tends to be for HD boxes that already have the requisite ethernet socket.
Also a small number of (OK two) locations will be enabling HD content for Freeview itself as the first generation HD capable Freeview boxes go on sale. Expect to see existing non HD set top boxes and PVRs drop in price as old stock is cleared.

Blank Canvas

Meanwhile the BBC trust has been told that Project Canvas, the joint venture between BBC,ITV, Five and BT to bring on demand content to viewers via  suitably enabled TV sets and Internet enabled set top boxes will likely cost more than £115 million in the first fours years of its operation with £17 million recouped via revues the service will bring in at the end of this period. Questions remain as to what extent ITV and Five would be in a sound financial position to afford the estimated £25 million a piece that they’d be required to put into the funding pot.

Project Canvas has been a contentious undertaking in that it allows non-public service broadcasters to become partners with the bbc which was not the case when originally conceived. BSkyB would be welcome to provide services on the platform but cannot become a partner in the project.

Kangaroo Court

Canvas also has to walk carefully in the shadow of the now defunct Project Kangaroo which proposed a consolidated video on demand (VOD) platform with content from BBC Worldwide,ITV.com and Channel 4’s 4OD which was planned to launch in 2008 but was eventually blocked by the competition commission this year.

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4 thoughts on “iPlayer For Freesat Imminent

  1. Kangaroo has been bought by Arqiva, (the former broadcasting arm of NTL), what they are going to do with it, no one is really sure.

    Unfortunately the Competition Commission did no good whatsoever in the blocking of Kangaroo other than keep the pitch clear for Hulu to sail in from the US to corner the market in the UK. Obviously the reason Sky protested strongly about Kangaroo, had nothing to do with it’s parent company also owning a 27% stake in Hulu.

    • Yes Hulu UK was due to launch about now wasn’t it but is seemingly delayed until next year. I saw a batch of Sky Picnic (Skys Freeview type rival platform that got blocked) enabled freeview boxes being sold off a short while ago. Mind you look what happened to Joost in the UK. Quality content and easy accessibility is the key I feel.

    • Yes the Beeb have rolled out the iPlayer beta to the Humax freesat boxes only at the moment. No idea if Beeb cutbacks will slow down the roll out for other boxes which may or may not be reliant on software updates being made available on each respective freesat box.

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