With a minimum of fuss, the BBC has bolstered the capabilities of UK subscription-free satellite TV service, Freesat, with an IPTV backchannel.
It was a very quietly launched service, with little or no fuss or advertising.
The Freesat streams, accessed via an Internet-enabled Freesat receiver, will potentially offer vastly more content than that is currently available using the currently supplied red button services.
Christina Scott, the BBC’s general manager of IPTV revealed that the Freesat IPTV service began, discreetly, with the latest edition of hit show Strictly Come Dancing, and that viewers would be able to see backstage interviews and have access to previous episodes.
She said: “IPTV is really bringing the web to TV…the possibilities are endless and there is lots of room for innovation.” It is thought that comedy, music and sport will figure among the next bath of content available.
A Freesat spokesperson said: “The extra red button content from the BBC is available to all Freesat Humax and Sony connected receivers. This is a great addition to Freesat and allows viewers to watch exclusive Strictly Come Dancing content such as backstage interviews and previous programme content, and will also be available for other viewing events in time. All Humax and Sony Freesat customers need to do to get started is to connect their HD receivers to their home broadband.”
Obviously this content will not be available directly to Freesat users in Spain. To use the Freesat IPTV service you will be required to connect your Freesat receiver to a router that is using a proxy or VPN service to connect to a UK internet provider / server. Otherwise you will get the “This service is not available in your area” message.