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Freesat to get BBC iPlayer from Dec 7

Initial trial will be available to select few

The BBC is making iPlayer, its TV-on-demand service, available to Freesat viewers next month.

To receive iPlayer, Freesat viewers must connect their HD Freesat TV or HD box to their broadband router via an Ethernet cable or homeplug, and then press the red button to get to the BBCi menu.

Viewers will also need an actual broadband speed of 1Mbps to watch BBC iPlayer or 2Mbps to watch in high quality. Freesat advised viewers to test their broadband speed first "because actual speeds can vary from those advertised".

The roll-out will begin on December 7, although initially it will only be available to a select few who will need to input a special code to watch iPlayer. Freesat said it hoped "as many viewers as possible will be able to use the service by Christmas and without the need for a code".

Around 450 hours of programming will be available each week, including popular programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear, EastEnders, and Gavin and Stacey.

Emma Scott, Freesat's managing director, said: "We're delighted to be able to offer BBC iPlayer to our viewers. All the HD receivers that have been bought and will be sold in the run up to Christmas will deliver BBC iPlayer so there'll no need to buy any new receivers.

"BBC iPlayer has been fantastically successful online so being able to offer viewers the ability to watch it in their living room on a subscription free TV service for the first time will be transformational."

ITV also said it was working with Freesat to make the ITV Player available on the satellite service in the first half of 2010.

Broadband speed test

See also: BBC iPlayer comes to Freesat

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