back to article Freesat to get BBC iPlayer on 7 December

Freesat, the free-to-air satellite TV service, has said BBC iPlayer support will be introduced on 7 December. That's just five days after the Freeview HD begins transmitting, and the Freesat iPlayer is arguably no more of a full launch that the terrestrial hi-def service is. What's coming on 7 December is the beta release, …


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  1. Alex Walsh
    Thumb Down

    Oh no it isn't

    "What's coming on 7 December is the beta release, which will initially be made available only to "selected journalists and partners" who will be able to "access the service using a code""

    So Freesat isn't getting iPlayer in any meaningful way that us people who actually have the damn thing can appreciate on 7 December then? Way to get my hopes up :(

  2. JeeBee

    Fixes a consumer desire, mostly.

    So basically it's offering the iPlayer listings via the red button, and they link to content that will be downloaded over the internet?

    Why not just have software that gets the iPlayer UI (slow rubbish MHEG - why not fast, featureful HTML?) and listings from the internet in the first place?

    Still it does fix the important point - people often want to catch up on their (shiny, large, HD) TV. This is where the Virgin Media boxes have been winning for quite some time, as they can just download over the Virgin cable internet interface built into the receivers. Winning, that is, until the box seizes up - but I haven't had a problem since the old purple box was replaced.

  3. James Hughes 1


    Pretty sure I already get this sort of feature using the new iPlayer channel on the Wii. Seems to work pretty well. Quite impressed with the whole iPlayer thing to be honest. Now, if only there was something worth watching on.....

  4. Patrick 17

    Hope it's better than the Wii version

    I've got a Humax Freesat HD box with an ethernet port, so will be looking forward to trying iPlayer out on that. Hopefully at least some programmes will be available in HD.

    I did try emailing a few weeks back but they responded and said the trial was only open to a "very small" number of participants.

    I downloaded the Wii BBC iplayer channel last night and was disappointed - video and particularly sound quality is poor.

  5. Joe Blogs

    " IDTV with a built-in active Ethernet port"

    Is that a DLNA TV like the Samsung LExxB650 Range? Please say yes (but don't say yes if the answer is actually no as that would p*ss me off even more).

    1. Jas 1

      Freesat Ethernet


      All freesat receivers have the ethernet port. It was in the spec from the start because they knew they were going to do iplayer on it. Nothing to do with DLNA, although some devices may support both.

      I don't think it actually uses the sat for any of the downloads as it is on demand.

      It's just a convenient way to get iplayer on your TV. If your TV has built in freesat then you'll effectively have built in iplayer assuming you've hooked up the network.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Title

    I'm not an expert, but shirley in order for iplayer to work you will need some sort of uplink to the Beeb or the Freesat people? How would this be provided, is it via your existing broadband? If so couldn't you just access iplayer over your broadband?

    All this talk of iplayer on various platforms raises the BT Vision issue again. BT provide some BBC programs on demand through BT Vision, but you have to pay for them. Shirley either BT or the Beeb or more likely both are up to no good here. How the ferk does this fit in with the "unique way that the BBC is funded"? The shows are paid for by the licence fee, so how come BT are allowed to charge for them? Are the Beeb getting a cut? I'm willing to bet they are. Sounds like BT are trying to jump on the dirty digger's "no content should be free" bandwagon.

  7. It'sa Mea... Mario


    "The BBC online catch-up offering will be joined on Freesat by its ITV equivalent sometime during H1 2010, it was revealed"

    (As the 'required' title already alludes too..) What about 4OD?

  8. Jon Press

    Humax only (for beta)

    And, I believe the beta will be further restricted to people with the Humax STB.

  9. Mark Richardson

    Sky and iPlayer

    Any hope of getting this functionality on my Sky HD box ? or are they noticeably under powered compared to the Humax Freesat boxes ?

    Having Sky makes me feel dirty but it does at least have a decent amount of HD content. It'd be nice to be able to watch catch up services through the box as well not least because it's such a ball ache to connect my laptop to the TV.

  10. StooMonster

    When's the real release date?

    Looking forward to this, but wondering what kind of performance we're going to get.

    According to BBC Internet Blog, the iPlayer uses 1500Kbps 832x468 for SD (that the larger size, the small window size uses 800Kbps ) and 3.2Mbps 720p for HD. The downloads, and new WMV files for use on Windows Media Extenders are of similar quality. The Wii version is limited by CPU and only does 700Kbps 480p and is horrible.

    BBC reckons 1500Kbps 832x468 for SD is similar quality to over-the-air Freeview, so I am hoping this is what we'll get in Freesat boxes (maybe HD too) as the box has hardware decoder built in.

    It's not long before we get to see Sky's IPTV service in Sky HD set-top-boxes too; although I bet there's some kind of fee involved.

  11. Greg J Preece

    Awesome, now fix the box

    Network settings are still majorly b0rked on my Foxsat HD (very common box) and I can't find an upgrade for the firmware to fix it. So that'll be useful then.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Jolly good?

    Or jolly not as the case might be?

  13. Nigel Jones

    Good news

    This is making freesat HD a more compelling offering -- although not sure 1Mbps is fast enough for decent quality streaming........

    I am using the new WII iplayer at 700 kbps which seems to work pretty well, although it's between vhs and sd in quality.

  14. Geo


    Will it work on ps3's Iplayer?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are you asking if iplayer for freesat works on the ps3?

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