Update UK’s Freesat goes Blu-ray -
UK’s Freesat goes Blu-ray
Freesat’s technology offer is beginning to improve. While there are now a growing number of appealing receivers able to deliver – and record – HDTV, Panasonic says it will combine a Blu-ray recording device with built-in Freesat tuners.
Panasonic’s snappily-named DMR-BS850 has all the bells and whistles needed for satellite reception, plus Firewire and the BD-live function, with a half-Terabyte hard drive. Its twin-Freesat tuners means users can watch one channel while recording another.
Freesat’s latest data shows that some 250,000 homes are turning in to Freesat signals, and MD Emma Scott says this is terrific in barely 9 months of activity. “Our research shows a third of viewers watch more programming once they see it in HD. It’s an evolution in quality, like going from black and white to colour.”
But perhaps an even more appealing attraction will take Freesat boxes to a completely new level. Panasonic, at the London launch of its Blu-ray/Freesat combo let slip that the BBC’s massively popular iPlayer functionality will be added to Freesat devices later this year using its built-in Ethernet port. Panasonic spokesman Matthew Billing says the iPlayer would arrive once a sheer “lack of manpower” at the BBC had been overcome. “The iPlayer will appear on Freesat this year,” he confirmed.