Freesat plans Ultra HD ‘next generation STB’ upgrade
Freesat is seeking manufacturing partners to develop a “new range of innovative set-top boxes” that will include Ultra HD support and multiscreen streaming.
The free-to-air UK satellite operator said it is seeking proposals for its next generation consumer product and aims to announce manufacturing partners in the autumn, with a view to bringing the set-top box to market “as soon as possible”.
The platform provider said that the new devices should be ultra high definition-ready for encrypted broadcast and IP; should offer “fast channel change”; and support HBBTV 2.0.1 applications.
Other key features should include: in-home multiscreen streaming to allow users to watch TV across multiple set-top-boxes in the home; and additional tuners to help customers plan their recordings and avoid programme clashes.
“We’re thrilled to announce plans for Freesat’s next generation product,” said Freesat managing director, Alistair Thom.
“The requirements for our set-top box have been developed with the customer in mind and our aim is to continue to bring UK audiences the best subscription free TV service, and a fantastic alternative to pay TV.”
The product requirements will be based on an open technical specification set by the Free TV Alliance, which is a collaboration between four major European digital satellite television broadcasters: Fransat (France), HD Plus (Germany), Tivusat (Italy) and Freesat (UK).
Freesat said its request for proposals signals the Free TV Alliance’s ongoing commitment to create “common standards for free-to-view satellite TV services and technologies across Europe for the benefit of viewers, manufacturers and broadcasters.”