Both ITV iPlayer and BBC's popular iPlayer video on demand services will be available on the rapidly growing Freesat Free to air satellite service over the next few months.
The managing director of Freesat, Emma Scott, has confirmed during a briefing with the press today that the VoD service from ITV will be available to HD users on Freesat in the first six months of 2010 without giving a more precise window.
BBC's iPlayer will debut, in beta mode, on the 7th of December and the catch-up service will be gradually rolled out to all Freesat HD boxes and television sets currently on the market; around one million households are currently Freesat HD Ready.
Unfortunately, you will need to connect your box to a wired broadband connection (unless someone releases a WiFi Freesat HD box soon) and the content will be standard quality rather than HD.
The option for HD programmes will be considered once the average broadband speed become significantly better than the 2mbps required for smooth playback. Apparently around 19 days of content will be available at any time.
The announcement comes on the day that TiVo announced its re-entry in the UK broadcasting market thanks to a strategic partnership with cable giants Virgin Media.
Freesat is perfect for those who do not have a regular to strong signal and its Freesat HD service is already available while Freeview HD is only scheduled to be released in 2010. Furthermore other video on demand services like Canvas are unlikely to provide with the depth of programming.