Freesat inks new STB deal

May 27, 2014 10.23 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Freesat’s long-term partner Manhattan Technology intends to manufacture a new line of Freetime set top boxes. It will join Humax, Vestel and Panasonic, who already work with Freesat to deliver the award-winning Freetime service.

Manhattan is the largest UK-owned manufacturer of set-top boxes and supplies thousands of independent retailers via its sister company Eurosat, as well as all the major retailers and supermarkets, including Dixons, Argos, John Lewis, Amazon and Tesco.

Owners of the new Manhattan Freetime range will be able to use Freetime to roll back the TV guide for the past seven days, access all the major On Demand services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, and Demand 5, and watch Showcase, Freesat’s programme recommendation service. The Freesat mobile companion app will also work in conjunction with the Manhattan Freetime set-top boxes, offering the ability to plan, record and manage programmes to watch and directly control the TV.

According to the latest quarterly figures, Freetime accounts for 41% of all Freesat set top box sales, and sales of Freetime boxes more than doubled year on year.

Emma Scott, Freesat’s MD, commented: “We’re delighted to confirm that we are working with another Freetime manufacturing partner, following the recent Freetime announcements with Panasonic and Vestel. Having worked with Manhattan for five years now, they are an important partner for us and it’s great to see our Freetime service proving so popular amongst both industry and consumers alike.”

Abbas Arbab-Zadeh, chairman and CEO at Manhattan Technology Ltd, added: “Freesat’s Freetime technology provides a world class TV experience, with access to a roll back guide and multitude of On Demand services, so we’re delighted to confirm this news today. Freetime puts Manhattan at the cutting edge of the UK television industry and we look forward to releasing a full range of high-performance Freetime receivers Freetime On Demandand recorders, all with integrated Wi-Fi. ”