Why Has All 4 and Channel 4 HD Left Freesat?
In perhaps the most surprising and disappointing decision since Sky Sports News left Freeview, which every aerial and satellite engineer still reminisces about. Channel 4 HD and All 4 (formerly 4OD) are both set to leave the Freesat platform on 22nd February 2018. Obviously due to the nature of the programmes only subscribers to Freesat HD with a compatible smart set top box will be affected.
Why Is All 4 and Channel 4 Leaving Freesat?
If the recent press is anything to go by then it’s all to do with the amount that Freesat has decided to levy the carriage fees to Channel 4 which are suggested to be significant. I myself couldn’t comment on such things after all as I’m just an owner of a small aerial and Satellite Company in Eastbourne and active blogger in the sector. But a spokesperson from channel has released the following statement.
“We’re disappointed Freesat is changing its charging structure, leading to a very significant cost increase for Channel 4, which ultimately takes funding away from our content investment budget. To reduce the overall burden of our Freesat costs and make internal savings we have regrettably given notice to withdraw All 4 and C4 HD while we consider our long term relationship with Freesat.”
I know putting communication satellites up in space for TV purposes is not cheap but who would have thought that with every owner of a TV in the UK having to pay a TV licence to the BBC that this alone would not be enough money? It seems they believe Channel 4 should be paying more.
Will Freeview, Freeview Play & Youview Lose All 4 & Channel 4 HD?
The answer is no. As Channel 4 themselves are a partner in Freeview together with BBC, ITV, Arqiva and Sky believe it or not I can’t see any reason why this should ever be affected at a later date. Freesat is a joint venture between ITV and the BBC so naturally Channel 4 aren’t so much the decision makers when it comes to Freesat.
How To Carry On Receiving Channel 4 HD?
You can still receive Channel 4 HD for free on Freeview, Youview & Freeview Play as all of these services receive Channel 4 HD via a TV aerial and not a satellite dish. Subscribers to BT Vision, EETV which also use a TV aerial will also not be affected, nor will subscribers to Virgin Media and Sky.
How To Carry On Receiving All 4
The loss of All 4 on via Freesat is particular disappointment as one of the triumphs of modern digital TV has been the combination of live TV via a TV aerial or satellite dish and on demand content provided via a broadband connection. Combine this with an integrated hard drive recorder (HDR) and you have everything you need in a single unit. No need to pick up multiple remote controls or switch between equipment it’s all there for you. This does seem like a step back regretfully.
You can of course continue to watch All4 via you PC or laptop. If either has a HDMI out connection then you can of course have this display on your TV. Alternatively you could download the All 4 application and watch it on your smart phone or tablet. I’m the wrong side of 30 now so if you’re anything like me I can’t be doing with watching TV on such a small screen and I don’t know how the youngsters do it. I actually struggle to watch TV on anything less than a 32” TV. If you have screen mirroring facilities between your TV and smart phone then you can of course beam this up to your TV easily. Manufacturers such as Samsung generally has this facilities as standard between their TV’s and Smart phones these days.
Aside from this you are actually blessed with places you can otherwise watch All 4. If you have an Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3 or Playstation 4 then just download the application and you can watch it there. You can also watch All 4 on your Chromecast Stick, Roku and Amazon Firestick and is built into most Smart TV’s these days.
The service will also continue on Sky and Virgin Media. More information can be found here:
What Do You Need To Do When All 4 & Channel 4 Leave Freesat?
Nothing really they will disappear as if you never had them. You should though if you have any recordings scheduled for Channel 4 HD reset them so that they are recording from Channel 4 SD.
Are Any Other Channel 4 Services Affected?
No you will be able top receive Channel 4 SD, E4, 4seven and all the +1’s completely unaffected.
Hopefully the BBC/ ITV and Channel 4 can patch things up and judging by the statement on Channel 4’s website they have left the door slightly ajar for a return. Here is what they said on their website:
“We remain committed to bringing Freesat customers the very best content and hope to see the channels return soon”
Until then it does seem that Freeview Play has a slight edge over Freesat now in the TV market and going forward I think that I will be recommending this service over Freesat to my customers. On which note if you too are disappointed with this, are based within East Sussex and wish to leave Freesat for Freeview then please do get in touch and I will be delighted to help you make this transition.
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