Freesat to offer on demand services with new smart TV guide

Editor | 04-09-2012

Upping the ante considerably, not only with its large pay satellite rival but also with the likes of Freeview and YouView, Freesat, the UK’s free-to-air digital satellite television provider, is to make a new smart on-screen TV guide available in its next generation Freesat+ boxes.

The new 'free time' service, set for launch just before Christmas, is claimed to be able to offer experience-enhancing features in a “single, simple and easy to use guide”. Just like Virgin Media’s TiVo offering and the recently announced YouView, it will offer a backwards TV guide with a new Showcase section that offers recommendations on programmes to watch on the same day, in the coming week and on demand.

In another coup for the company on the back of its YouView success, Humax will provide the first 'free time' boxes priced at £279 and available at major UK retailers. Boxes from Sagemcom, Philips and Manhattan will follow.

Yet perhaps most significant feature, and rounding out considerably the whole Freesat proposition, is that 'free time' will support on demand TV from the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player with 4OD and Demand 5. 'free time' will also offer additional services and features in the future, including a companion app for smartphones and tablets to create remote control and remote record capability away from the traditional remote.

Commenting on the launch, Emma Scott, managing director of Freesat said: “TV is a simple pleasure that technology can make even better, not more complicated. Our new boxes with 'free time' give satellite viewers everything they get with Freesat today and so much more in a single, simple and easy to use on-screen guide. We want to help viewers find something great to watch the minute they sit down, so they can spend less time searching and more time watching the TV they love.”