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BBC iPlayer comes to Freesat

Trial to begin in November

The BBC will be making iPlayer - its online TV catch-up service - available to a number of Freesat viewers at the end of the month.

Freesat is a free satellite-based TV service that was launched by the BBC and ITV last year.

The Freesat service has no monthly subscription fee. Instead, users must cough-up a one-off payment for the digital box, satellite dish and installation.

Freesat also claims that those with a satellite dish already will only need to fork out for the digital box, which will be available through a number of high street retailers.

The BBC's move is part of a trial of the service, which is expected to be made available to the whole of the UK in 2010. The BBC said all Freesat HD boxes will be able to receive iPlayer.

As well as being available online, the BBC iPlayer can also be accessed by Virgin Media viewers and gamers with Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 consoles.

"I expect to start a Beta deployment by the end of November using capable Freesat devices," said Rahul Chakkara, Controller of TV Platforms at the BBC, in a blog.

Chakkara also said a quarter of iPlayer viewers watch the service via Virgin Media.

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See also: PS3 favoured by 10% of BBC iPlayer viewers


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