Freesat Launches HD Service in U.K.

Today, the BBC and ITV are launching Freesat, a digital satellite-based television service that's offering free high-def television to U.K. consumers.

The offering has no monthly fee, and requires a single payment for the digital box, satellite dish and installation. The companies involved said Freesat is available to just about every U.K. household.

According to Freesat's Web site, more than 80 channels are available through the service, most of which are available in high-def all organized into categories and can be accessed via an on-screen guide. Programming includes channels from the BBC and ITV as well as key content properties such as Euro 2008 matches and this summer's Beijing Olympics.

Freesat is a 50/50 joint venture between the BBC and ITV.