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Update UKs Freesat goes Blu-ray - 26-February-2009, 12:00

UKs Freesat goes Blu-ray

Freesats 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.

Panasonics 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.

Freesats 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. Its 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 BBCs 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.
   
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