back to article Freesat BBC iPlayer beta gets red button access

Humax and the BBC have extended their iPlayer offering to all of the manufacturer's Freesat set-top boxes, making the catch-up service available through remotes' red buttons. Both the Foxsat-HD and Foxsat-HDR need to be connected to the internet through a wired link to your broadband router. Once tuned into a BBC channel, …


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  1. Magnus Ramage

    Works well on cable

    iPlayer via the red button on Virgin cable (or using the native CatchUp service) is completely brilliant. TV on demand works so much better when viewed at a TV screen rather than at a PC. So if it's coming to other platforms, all the better.

  2. Richard Brown

    Wot no wireless?

    If the Wii has wireless access to the internet and an iPlayer channel for ages why are Humax still relying on cables?

    1. Gordon 10
      Thumb Up

      Because the freesat spec doesnt require wireless

      And it would up production costs on somethign you can get get for £70. If it offends you that badly get a Ethernet to Wireless Dongle or a couple of homeplugs.

      I have homeplugs around the house where I dont have a pc and it works a treat.

  3. Alex Walsh

    Get a blinking move on

    My Freesat HD Panny telly wants to make use of the homeplug thats housed next to it.

    Honestly, Freeshat are are shower of bastards.

    1. David Adams
      Thumb Down

      Not Freesat

      It seems to be Panasonic that are holding up the rollout.

      Sony are on the Beta and I think Technisat will be in the next week or so.

      Those of us who jumped in early with the first integrated Freesat tellys just have to sit and wait.

  4. Greg J Preece

    Been using this for a month or so

    And it's pretty good, actually. Saves me loading up the PS3, at any rate, though it's a while since i had to type phone-style.

  5. MJI Silver badge

    Tested it yesterday

    I fitted a very small hub in the living room, and wired up the HDR and the PS3 (took it off WiFi), yes it does work, quality was not too bad, but it was very slow to get operational.

    Now what do I watch IPlayer on?

  6. markstickley


    I hope they fixed it since a week ago when it crashed my Freesat box. Of course since the box doesn't have a power button I had to fight my way through the forest of cables behind the TV to pull the plug on it.

  7. Mark C Casey


    Good thing I own a Foxsat box, since the only (good quality) method of accessing iPlayer on my tv has been via XBMC which the BBC broke on purpose. (which ironically didn't stop the pirates at all)

    Think I'll give it a go tonight, I hope the higher quality streams are available and not the crappy low quality ones you get on the PS3.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    TunerFree MCE

    I've been using a Media Center PC and the brilliant, free TunerFree MCE. Developed in the UK by Andrew Millmore, it allows free access to not only iPlayer but also on demand content for ITV, Channel 4, 5 and MSN. You can also access Hulu if you wish - but you'll have to pay for a VPN connection - the website contains details.

    I've been using this for well over a year through my TV and even my preschoolers can use it via a Media Center remote. I don't see the need to buy dedicated hardware for a limited system from Humax - just plug in a PC and download the software here:

  9. Shinobi87


    why is this not wireless! all new devices of this type that rely on the web should support both. Id rather not drill through 3 walls and rip up 3 sets of flooring to get Iplayer on a freeview box, it would be cheaper to buy a WII and use the Iplayer chanel on that

    1. Bassey

      Re: agreed

      > Id rather not drill through 3 walls and rip up 3 sets of flooring

      Or you could spend £40 on a pair of homeplug adaptors? Just a thought!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      why not wireless....

      I can think of a few reasons why not wireless....

      1) cost.... why push the price up and include a wireless adaptor for a device that is predominantly for watching live television signals.

      2) when the boxes were put on the market, the network connection was still "unused" or "for future expantion" sowhy push up the costs for a feature that may or may not ever hapen

      3) wireless is not the best for streaming video at the best of times. it is popular opinion that for streaming video a wired network is best, so why push up the price when in all probebility people will use a wired network anyway.

      4) wireless encription is a nightmare, and wiresless is only secure if using wpa2 on a radius server or a very long encryption key using bothe uper and lower case letters, numbers and extended character sets and change passwords frequently . the set up of this will be very difucult with a remote control. and is likely to instigate a lot of expensive phone calls to the customer help desk by the non technical savvy ultimately pushing the price per unit up.

      5) the set up of the box appears to be simple enough for anyone to install,,, why complicate it by anything more than plug a network cable in..... additional kit to convert wired networks to wireless via dongles or powerplug networking the set up and instalation is coverted by their own instalation guide and customer services. thus keeping the unit cost down....

      6) not wanting to install a wired cable is not humax or any other manufactures problem, your floors and walls are your problem. why push the unit cost up for the people that are so anal that a wire showing is the worst thing ever !!!

      personaly, several years back when i decides wireless networking was a nightmare and was only ever going to get worse, I installed wired network points around the house as I was redecorating. at the time, i had a xbox under the tv, so i thought to put a network point by the tv. and thinking of future expantion, i put two sockets by the tv. most rooms i have at least two network points to connect computer kit too if needed.... all wires are hidden in walls pr under flooring and connect to a 24port switch in my basement connected to a UPS..(along with a few other bits of computer kit) and a couple of servers...... in the loft is a wireless access point and in the space between the living room ceiling I have another wireless access point. laptops work perfectly, and if large files are needed to be moved, just plug in.... i also have a old 11b wireless access point set up with mac filters and with WEP encription so my daughter just has to plug it in and switch it on if she wants to play on her nintendo ds lite on wifi play....its all about advanced planning and intergrating a system that you need to live your life the way you want to... it works for me and would proberbly be a good system for most people who have more than say 3 computers in hte houshold...

      penguin, because i know what i am doing !!!

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Here we are on a page dedicated to a product whose name matches "iP*" and no-one has yet bothered to mention how the iPad/iPhone that they don't own is rubbish and how they won't be buying one.

  11. Cameron Colley

    Am I the only one that thinke this is removing "sat"?

    What with this effort, and Sky's move into broadband, how long until the "sat" is cut out altogether?

    I recently overheard a colleague moaning about Sky* not doing TV on demand and I'm sure ther are others moaning about the same thing -- but doing so would stop them being "Sky" and turn them into "road trench" surely?

    *not the same as Freesat, I know, but the same technology.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Amusing thought.

      Yeah. It'd be funny if the "Sky" side of SKY's audience ended up as only the expats who, of course, they don't provide a service to at all. Perish the thought.

      Roll on the EU turning their Lidless Eye onto the artificial cross-border restrictions on telly / VOD reception which are so blatantly in contravention of everything they stand for*, but heavily lobbied for by the meejah companies. If they actually grew a spine and addressed this I might start to think of it as having a purpose, rather than just being a talking shop for a bunch of self-serving parasites.

      Anon, 'cos I like watching TV and I'd be upset if it went away.

      *"Free movement of goods and *services*".

    2. ksb1972

      Freesat BBC iPlayer beta gets red button access

      Actually the "Sat" has already been cut out all together. Media Centre on Windows 7 already includes something called "Sky Player" which (for an extortionate) subscription (surprise surprise) lets you watch Sky content "On-Demand".

  12. Old Tom

    Smug, moi?

    > Id rather not drill through 3 walls and rip up 3 sets of flooring

    Get a cellar. Makes this sort of cabling trivial.

    And you can keep plenty of, er, essential supplies down there.

  13. heyrick Silver badge


    I wonder if it will use the same geolocation as the website? If/when my Goodmans freesat receiver gets iPlayer capabilities (trust me, I'm not holding my breath), it'll be interesting to plug it in to see how far I get before "WTF? Where are you?" appears on the screen.

    Trust me BBC, I'm probably closer to the Channel Islands than you are! <smirk>

  14. Campbeltonian

    Somewhat ironic

    I've had a Foxsat HD box for a while but more recently have been using Tiscali/TalkTalk TV. T(T)TV is all IP-based but the catch-up/on-demand stuff isn't technically part of the iPlayer, and only offers a small subset of what is on offer using the Freesat box.

    Of course, if I'm going to be using this more often then I really need to think about running another cable from the router (I could use a switch but it means another device that needs powered), but I'm still firmly in the 'no WiFi' camp. It's not so much the added cost of the parts but also the added complexity. Wireless bridges exist, if it's such a big deal, as do homeplugs.

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