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Sky to offer HD Box as standard receiver

Sky today announced that HD receivers will now be given, as standard, free of charge to subscribers taking out the HD Pack offering.

This follows the year end results which show Sky have over 2 million HD subscribers, an increase of over 480,000 on the previous year.

Sky also used the occasion to comfirm this weekend will see the first 3D broadcast – to clubs & pubs – using the exisiting HD service. The football match between Arsenal & Manchester United will be filmed in 3D.

Sky claim their 3D service will work with existing HD boxes, once connected to any new (as yet unrelased) 3DTV.

We are a little confused by this a Sky HD Boxes are fitted with an HMDI V1.1 output. The HDMI Group have only just confirmed the spec for 3D over HDMI connections & this requires a new, faster standard of connection – HDMI V1.4. When we have more details we will post them.

If you would like to join Skys HD service or wish to upgrade your existing Sky receiver please give a call or Contact Us here

Freesat BBC iPlayer beta release for Sony TVs

Freesat have now released a beta trial verison of the BBC iPlayer service for owners of Sony Freesat TVs.

The TVs need to be connected to Broadband internet , via a router. Once restarted the TV will give access to the iPlayer service, as part of the BBCs ‘Red Button’ MHEG5 system.

BBC Trust approve Project Canvas

The BBC Trust – the governing body of the BBC -has given their provisional approval for the continued development of Project Canvas.

Project Canvas is backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & Five. Talk Talk – the Telecomminication division of the Carphone Warehouse have expressed their desire to join the project.

Project Canvas is the working title of the project, which itself has risen from the ashes of Project Kangaroo. The ‘Brand’ name for the service is still in discussion.

The aim of the project is to make all the ‘on-demand’ content from the partners avaliable under one one roof, all accessed from one set top box, via IPTV – Internet Protocol Television. It is expected that initially only free content will be offered, such as 4oD, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player.

Freesat release BBC iPlayer to public

Following the successful beta closed trial, Freesat have released the coding required to enable connectivity to the BBC iPlayer service.

The service is now avaliable on Humax Foxsat HD and PVR receivers. Viewers need to connect their Humax receivers to a Broadband service of at least 1Mbps.

Access to the iPlayer is via the “Red Button” service.

It is expected that the roll out to other Freesat HD receivers and TVs will quickly follow. There is over 450 hours of programming available, which will be updated daily.

ITV Player to join Freesat

ITV have confirmed they are to make their Catch Up service – ITV Player available to Freesat HD customers, alongside the BBCs iPlayer service.

As with the BBCs service it is likely to be accessed via the Red Button Service. The Freesat HD receiver will need to be connected via Broadband to the internet.

The service should launch early in Q1 2010.

BBC iPlayer to join Freesat

Freesat have confirmed the roll out of BBC iPlayer to their HD Boxes.

Humax appear to be the first with Software Updates to prep their receivers ready for launch in early 2010. The update was available from early December 2009.

The service will only be avaliable to Freesat HD viewers, as SD boxes do not have the required network socket.

When launched, the service will be seen under the “Red Button” service. There will be approx 450 hours of content released on launch.

All HD receivers, including Freesat TVs from Sony, Panasonic & LG are planned to support the service along with the Freesat+ BluRay Recorders from Panasonic.

Freeview HD Launches – Allegedly

With little fan fair and small “closed door” demo to selected trade insiders and journalists Freeview HD has been launched.

The broadcasts, using the new DVB-T2 standard – are only available from Winter Hill (Granada Region) and Crystal Palace (London) transmitters.

The demo ran on prototype receivers – as no retail boxes are yet being manufactured. It is expected they will be available from Q2 2010.

The initial broadcasts, on the cleared Mux B, are currently broadcasting BBC HD and ITV1 HD. Channel 4 is expected to join before the end of 2010. C5 also have a licence to broadcast on the multiplex, but are unlikely to start broadcasts for the foreseeable future, due to funding restraints.

Sadly, no one can as yet, report on the quality of picture and reliability of reception, as there are no receivers available!

As soon as we receive a working production model, we will test it and post our results here.