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Freesat signs fourth hardware maker

Not a big name

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UK free-to-air satellite TV service Freesat has recruited another hardware maker: French digital TV receiver specialist Metronic.

The manufacturer will offer Freesat HD set-top boxes and put them on sale by the end of the year, Freesat said today.

Freesat launched back in May with standard-definition receiver hardware from Grundig - under its own name, and Bush and Goodmans brands - and HD kit from Humax. Soon after, Panasonic introduced as trio of plasma TVs with integrated Freesat tuners.

Interestingly, Humax's box is called the Foxsat HD. This is no generic brand - it's the name of the Australian digital TV service the box was developed for. Humax clearly couldn't be bothered to change the name, though it has slapped a 'Freesat' on the unit.

As yet there's still no sign of the promised Humax Freesat DVR. Ironically, if Register Hardware readers are anything to go by, it's precisely digital video recorder technology that punters are waiting for before tapping into Freesat.

Will Metronic step into the breach? Neither the electronics company nor Freesat revealed what the French firm will offer.

Freesat did say it "expects to announce the next wave of partners by the end of the year". What it needs are more big-name suppliers.

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