Freesat adds YouTube to “free time” on-demand service

Chris Davies - Feb 11, 2013
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Freesat adds YouTube to “free time” on-demand service

YouTube is set to arrive on UK free-to-air TV service Freesat, though you'll still need an internet connection in order to actually watch streaming videos. The new access, which will be added as part of Freesat's <free time> on-demand/satellite hybrid system, will offer a new UI designed for use on TVs, along with the promise of a more responsive experience.

Announced last fall, <free time> blends live and on-demand content with a "backwards" EPG that allows users to look at what shows they missed as well as what's upcoming. Those titles - assuming Freesat has a deal with the provider - are then pulled in streaming form from iPlayer and other web services, within <free time>'s HTML5 interface.

Freesat says [pdf link] that it's that HTML5 platform which makes enabling YouTube so straightforward, since the official Google app is also made in HTML5. Of course, it also means you need a web connection to your Freesat set-top box in order to access the streaming services.

According to Freesat, which launched back in 2008 as a subscription-free way to access satellite content, the company has seen its 3 millionth sale recently. It also claims growth is considerably outpacing rival UK services, such as Sky and BT Vision, with 55,000 new households supposedly signing up in Q3 2013.