Freesat launched

The free-to-air satellite service operated jointly by the BBC and ITV has officially been launched. The new platform offers 80 television programme services although many of these are regional flavoured broadcasts from the same providers. However it has also been announced that around 30 new channels will be added each month as agreements with providers are concluded. It is expected that the final total will be approximately 200 channels. The platform also hosts the new BBC HD Channel, which will be joined by other HD services as they become available.
Coverage is expected to be 98% of the UK and boxes together with dish antennas and installation are available for around £130 for SDTV only and £200 for versions including HD decoding.
The transmissions are DVB-S2 format using MPEG-4, part 10 (H.264, AVC) coding.
Main source: Freesat
Item added: 12th May 2008