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Freeview/Freestat

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Freeview/Freestat

Being a Sky user, I know very little about Freeview or Freestat, except versions of them exist on my TV (actually Samsung's version at this time) or DVD players etc.

A colleague has asked me to advise her on these.

Given the above...

Which is the one to go for?

Is there such a thing as a PVR with either of the above that combines a DVD player? If not it doesn't matter she'll just have to have one of each.

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
22 REPLIES
Baldrick1
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Re: Freeview/Freestat

It all depends on reception. Freeview will be cheaper as you only need an aerial and all TVs include terrestrial tv receivers. Freesat requires a satellite aerial and only the more expensive TVs come with Freesat receivers. However if terrestrial TV reception is poor then Freesat can be the only solution. So providing reception is OK go for Freeview. There are plenty of Freeview DVRs that include DVD players, try Panasonic https://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/home-entertainment/hdd.html.

Freesat DVRs with a built in DVD player are more problematic and I'm not aware of one.

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Re: Freeview/Freestat

@petlew  Another thing to check is the number of actual "entertainment channels".... Freeview boast 100 channels, but many are "shopping channels"...  being cheapskates ( ! ! ) we have Freeview, and generally only watch about 4 extra entertainment type channels, ( most of which are showing repeats/old progs/old films ).. so eventually you get repeats of the repeats of the old progs being repeated... 

Freesat... May,.... may... have a wider selection of entertainment channels and more channels in number, overall...

Worth checking on line to see what the programming is for both.

( both should provide BBC1  BBC2  ITV and Ch4 and Ch5... as standard.  i think ).

Baldrick1
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Re: Freeview/Freestat

I have both but to be honest only Freeview is used in our household. If you want to see what programmes are available then put your address in here:  https://www.freeview.co.uk/channels-at-your-address

Freesat Channels are here  https://www.freesat.co.uk/whats/full-channel-list/

To be honest it comes down to cost and the quality of terrestrial TV reception, if it's good then this is the most practicable option. This is a useful web site to check what you can expect at your address.http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/operations/about_the_coverage_checker

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Re: Freeview/Freestat

As @Baldrick1 has already mentioned there are a number of panasonic PVR's with DVD players.

We have a Panasonic DMR-EX97. Not only can it play DVD's but also CD's and it is claimed you can burn a recording on to a DVD providing of course it's not protected, must admit I have not used that facility but having added a soundbar to the TV it's handy to play music CD's rather than having a seperate system.

No nothing about free sat but I once read you could only record one program at a time with freesat, not sure if that is correct but with most PVR's using a arial you can record 2 programs whilst watching a third.

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Re: Freeview/Freestat

We spend more time watching All4 that other channels as there are some good films and series on All4 virtually all have subtitles which suits us fine as we are both hard of hearing.

Others have suggested headphones to solve the problem but we are happy keeping the cash in our pocket for the time being.

Wink

RobPN
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Re: Freeview/Freestat

Some TVs have a built-in recording facility (probably requiring an external HDD - mine does) and how many channels you can record and/or watch simultaneously usually depends on the number of tuners the TV has.

My own Samsung apparently has 2 tuners but it has 3 inputs - i.e. one terrestrial aerial input plus two satellite inputs.

I've only used it on Freeview which then allows me to simultaneously record two channels and watch a third, but that depends on how many multiplexes the desired channels come from, which I believe is limited to two.  e.g. if two of the desired channels are on one multiplex, then they use the same tuner which leaves the second tuner free for a third channel .

 

The same tuners on my TV are used for terrestrial and satellite, but as I haven't used the satellite inputs I don't know how many satellite channels could be recorded and/or watched simultaneously, although as there are two inputs I'd say at least two channels.  I don't know if the TV has the ability to extract more than one satellite channel per tuner as is possible with terrestrial, but I believe satellite and terrestrial sources can be used simultaneously.

 

Having said that the TV has a built-in recording facility (which I've obviously only used on Freeview not Freesat) for which it is simplicity itself to set recordings from the EPG, I prefer not to use it as I don't like the way the recording start and end times depend on the signal broadcast by the TV channel which sometimes leads to a few seconds missing form the beginning or end of recordings due to the signal not being synchronised accurately.  It's possible to change start/end times manually but I find that too much of a chore.

 

I don't have a PVR but use a 'Media PC' with a quad-tuner TV card and the free MediaPortal program (Windows) which then allows me to record all required channels (more than four if necessary) from up to four different multiplexes (one multiplex per tuner).

Edit 2:  This method also gives much more flexibility in other ways too, e.g.  I have set a default of  three minutes pre-record and five minutes post-record which mostly eliminates the problem described above.  Overlapping end/start times are not a problem due to the number of tuners available and the possibility of two overlapping recordings being made from the same channel.

 

Edit: MediaPortal link added.

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Re: Freeview/Freestat

Having spoken to my colleague after these comments (thank you guys) she tells me the previous owner of her house (she hasn't long moved in) had Sky, but didn't remove the dish, which now seems to be part of the fixtures and fittings. I have read earlier today that a Sky dish can be used with some Free sat set top boxes, can anyone confirm this?

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Freeview/Freestat

First thing that comes to mind, is the answer to your query , depends on if SKY and FREESAT are using the same satellite... i.e. the dish needs to be "orientated" towards the correct satellite for optimum reception of signals.

 

Luzern
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Re: Freeview/Freestat

Yes.

Boxes

Channels and catch up info Some are paid

Channel 4 excludes HD and All 4 in its line up.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Luzern
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Re: Freeview/Freestat

One matter not often considered is flexibility.

My main transmitter is obscured by a hill, and the local relay is Freeview Lite.  To watch other than main channels I have to get out of region Mendip, near Wells, 73 km by crow. With Freesat you can watch other areas' output. handy if you have widely spread relatives and want to see their local news. One can use time difference too to avoid clashes.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
RobPN
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Re: Freeview/Freestat


@Luzern wrote:

 

 

Channel 4 excludes HD and All 4 in its line up.


That got me thinking as I remembered and just re-read this thread started by @Infinity back in February where it was announced that Freesat were dropping Channel4 HD Channel4 were dropping Channel4 HD from the Freesat EPG..

ICBW as I can't check myself because installing (a) satellite dish(es) is one of the jobs I haven't got around to (even though I have satellite tuners available Roll eyes ), but isn't it a case of Channel4 HD is still being broadcast on satellite, but that Freesat are too tight to pay for carrying the details in their EPG Channel4 are too tight to pay for Channel4HD to be included in the Freesat EPG?

I might be reading out of date information, but this site lists Channel4 HD under its 'Non-Freesat mode' section (scroll down) as still being broadcast from the same satellite (cluster).

 

Therefore, possibly depending on your receiving equipment, wouldn't it be possible to still view that channel?  I guess recording wouldn't be as convenient as setting from the EPG.

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Re: Freeview/Freestat

In hot weather I can lose the BBC channels on Freeview temporarily and I then switch to Freesat for these.

I use my Freesat to record stuff off air for later consumption as my Freeview TV doesn't have the facility.

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Baldrick1
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Re: Freeview/Freestat


@RobPN wrote:

@Luzern wrote:

 Channel 4 excludes HD and All 4 in its line up.


I might be reading out of date information, but this site lists Channel4 HD under its 'Non-Freesat mode' section (scroll down) as still being broadcast from the same satellite (cluster).

Therefore, possibly depending on your receiving equipment, wouldn't it be possible to still view that channel?  I guess recording wouldn't be as convenient as setting from the EPG.


This is sounding far to hard for the average consumer.

It seems to me that Freeview has all the channels the average consumer requires and comes as standard on all modern TVs (read for free apart from a cheap aerial, which is normally already installed in houses). In my opinion there's no advantage and therefore it's not worth the expense of going for Freesat unless terrestrial reception is poor.

RobPN
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Re: Freeview/Freestat

Slightly OT, but something which can affect Freeview reception, and which is probably overlooked by many people, is that due to the government selling off portions of the UHF bands for other non-TV purposes, the TV Muxes end up being moved to different broadcast channels.  In some circumstances this can then result in the original aerial being unsuitable for the new Channel Group.

Whereas previously you may have had good reception of all available multiplexes, you may at some point have found that after a re-tune some channels were missing from your line-up, or perhaps you were never able to receive certain multiplexes which may have been possible with a different aerial.

 

For those unfamiliar with this, see here or here for example.