Freesat ITV Player out of beta
Service goes official on Humax boxes
Freesat has added ITV Player to its selection of catch-up viewing services.
Freesat set-top boxes with an Ethernet port that's hooked up to a user's broadband connection can access ITV Player on Channel 903. From there, users can view previously broadcast shows from ITV, ITV 2, ITV 3 and ITV 4.
Well, we say 'Freesat set-top boxes', but in fact the service is limited to Humax-branded machines. Freesat promised more boxes and Freesat-capable TVs will gain ITV Player support "over the coming months".
ITV Player is being automatically added to boxes' EPGs.
Freesat's catch-up line-up currently includes BBC iPlayer. ®
I must be one of the lucky ones - mine works seamlessly with iplayer. In fact recently the menu lag has all but disappeared. A few months back I'd have to wait 10 seconds for a menu to update, but now it's nearer 2... Ethernet cable connected direct to my router (through a network switch).
What is the technical issue?
Given that it's part of the Freeview HD and Freesat HD spec that the boxes be capable of playing H.264 streams over IP and that iPlayer already works on Freesat by means of an MHEG page with links to Internet-based content, what is the technical obstacle restricting ITVplayer to only one set-top-box?
As far as I can tell, the only thing stopping iPlayer working on Freeview HD is that there isn't an MHEG service to carry the start page so box makers are obliged to hard-code a "home page" in their firmware.
All this content-on-demand should, in theory, be delivered without any changes to STBs and yet it's rolling out in a flaky, patchy and incompatible mess.
So what's the real issue? Is it technical, or is it a lack of planning and management?
Now how about adding Channel 4 On demand?