Freesat satellite service from BBC and ITV will rival Sky
Manufacturers are preparing products for receiving free satellite TV services, including high-definition programmes, which are due to launch within weeks.
Freesat will offer about 80 channels, some of which are already available to anyone with a dish aerial capable of receiving Sky from the Astra 2 satellite. Dishes pointing at the nearby Eurobird satellite should also be able to receive them.
Channel Four is under contract to Sky and until recently could be received only by buying a £20 conditional-access card. But the channel is reported to be freely available on Astra 2; Channel Five is expected to be available later this year.
Today Hauppauge announced a USB2.0 device capable of receiving Freesat, including HD content. The £79.99 Nova-S USB2.0 can also be linked to an optional module providing access to paid-for satellite channels if you slot in the appropriate payment card.
It comes with software for viewing and recording standard TV; Win TV software version 7, which will be freely downloadable in the next few weeks, will support HD. But the card will work with third-party HD-enabled software.
Freesat will compete with Freesat from Sky, as well as Sky's subscription channels.
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