Sales of Freesat set top boxes have significantly increased reaching as total sales in the last quarter of 2008 have doubled to reach 200,000 - the rise is largely attributed to the launch of Freesat+.
Freesat, the alternative satellite service, is barely one year old and this joint venture between BBC and ITV will allow people who cannot receive Freeview services to benefit from a similar programme choice after the digital switchover happens. But unlike Freeview, Freesat also offers HD programmes now (Freeview HD is expected to debut this year).
Sky recently dropped the price of its HD box to £49 although the annual cost of getting HD programmes exceeds £300. Sky HD still have the upper hand when it comes to the number of HD channels available but it is only a matter of time before Freesat HD offers the breadth of content of Freeview.
Freesat HD currently offers two HD channels while Sky offers three HD sports channels, 10 movie channels and 18 entertainment channels.
While a number of Freesat boxes are available at under £100, the only PVR Box that can capture Freesat HD is the Humax Foxsat-HDR, a £299 box that cost twice the price of Freeview boxes with a similar set of features.
But expect these prices to fall down significantly over the new month as other brands launch Freesat HD recorders and the credit crunch forces more households to reconsider their SKY subscriptions.
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In addition, Freesat HD does not need to have a phone line installed if you want Sky+ and the Freesat HD feed is unencrypted. This means that in theory, one could potentially record movies using a DVB-S compatible PCI-e Tuner card using a computer.