Freesat has today confirmed the principal manufacturer for the service’s next generation set-top boxes.
Sagemcom (Sagem Communications) is the tech firm in question, who already produce a number of Freesat boxes, as well as Freeview and Freeview HD boxes.
Sagem’s offerings include a budget HD Freesat box, the DS186HD, which retails at £100 but has no recording facility. The higher end DTR94-500S boasts a 500GB hard drive that can fit up to 250 hours of programmes, which is obviously more expensive at around £230.
The next-gen Freesat boxes are expected to have some form of added Internet functionality, but it’s not clear what the new features will be yet. Prices will likely be in line with existing models, topped with a bit of a premium, naturally.
Sagemcom’s first next-gen models will be out early next year, and Humax has also been confirmed as enlisted to produce boxes later on in 2012.
Emma Scott, Managing Director of Freesat, commented: “Freesat has worked closely with both Sagemcom and Humax in the past and we are pleased to be partnering with them again on our exciting next stage of product development.”
“We have now hit the 2 million sales mark, beating our original projections and adding more homes each quarter than any other TV platform. An important part of our success to date has been the quality of our technology and the manufacturing partners we work with.”
Freesat is a subscription-free satellite service which offers in excess of 150 channels, TV, radio and interactive services such as the iPlayer. Some HD channels are on board, too.
According to its own figures, Freesat is the fastest growing TV platform in the UK. It’s outpacing Sky considerably, picking up 88,000 new households in Q2 of 2011, compared to Murdoch’s company which bagged 40,000 new subscriptions. Pay TV is expected to plateau over the next few years.