OFFICIAL FREESAT DIRECTIVE.
The following information is now in the public domain and is very important to any one considering future purchases of FREESAT equipment and we have been screaming from the rooftops advising everyone to make sure their new equipment is 100% FREESAT LOGO'D.
freesat is a new free digital satellite TV service launching in spring 2008. Any free-to-air channels
carried on Astra satellites may be part of both freesat and Sky. The transmissions will be shared by
the two platforms. This means two different sets of channel information “metadata” must be carried in
the same transmission. The new freesat data must not affect the millions of Sky receivers already in
use. BBC Research & Innovation have designed the architecture and system specification so that
freesat data is effectively invisible to non-freesat TVs and set-top-boxes.
freesat metadata includes the information needed to display an EPG such as program names, times,
and descriptions, and to indicate the presence of subtitles, audio description, and interactive
elements. In addition it also carries the following:
Genre information for both channels and programmes.
Guidance information for each programme which enables the receiver to display a warning of
the level of violence/language/sex and to allow the user to restrict viewing of certain
Content management to control copying and export of content.
Regional information, to ensure viewers in different areas receive the appropriate regional
variant of each programme.
Triggers and data which enable accurate recording and series linking to work.
To reduce the bulk of all this data we have designed a compression method which will speed up
transmission of all this data and thereby improve the user experience.
Current and future work
The main thrust of work is in two parts:
Firstly, maintaining and updating the system management section of the freesat specification, while at
the same time conducting our own internal proof-of-concept testing and validation.
Secondly, collaborating with other organisations to help them implement the specification. For
Manufacturers who will create freesat TVs, recorders, and set top boxes.
DTG Testing Ltd who will provide the receiver conformance testing which products will have
to pass if they are to carry the freesat logo.
This statement may also highlights why anyone trying to pick up test signals cannot, because any other satellite receiver may not see the signal.