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BBC and ITV?s free-to-air satellite TV service hits the airwaves

Freesat goes live today

Freesat, the Sky-rivalling TV service from BBC and ITV, goes live in the UK today – and with it comes the hope that HD technology uptake will surge.

Retail has been heavily promoting high definition plasma and LCD TV’s for several years now, but the volume of available HD material still remains limited.

Currently consumers have two options when it comes to broadcast HD material – Sky’s HD service and Virgin’s limited ‘+’ subscription.

But Freesat allows users to access a limited amount of HD material without a monthly subscription. All that is required is the cost associated with the purchase of the set-top box and installation of a satellite dish.

Freesat launches with 80 channels, though 200 are expected to be available by the end of the year. The drive is part of the BBC and ITV’s push to get users to switch to digital before the analogue switch-off in 2012.

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