Free-To-View Increasingly Popular in the Broadcast Industry

Free-to-view (FTV) is a very commonly used term in the broadcast business. It refers to encrypted transmissions, containing audio or video content, that are provided to users at no charge. People tend to confuse it with free-to-air (FTA), but the difference is that transmission is not encrypted in the latter.

Since free-to-view services are always encrypted, they can only be viewed using special equipment for reception. These include a specific conditional access module as well as a viewing card. However, as the name indicates, the content is available for free. In other words, there is no need to pay a regular subscription to access the channels available on the service. Instead, access to the broadcast content might be available for a one time payment, if it is not offered for free.

It is interesting to note that a few services that offer content for a regular fee come under the category of free-to-view because they charge a fee for the delivery and not for the content. This makes them different from regular pay TV. Germany’s HD+ service is a very good example of this kind of service. It offers a package of popular TV channels in high definition and standard definition with the latter available free-to-view even though there is a service fee. The company claims that the service fee is not related to any particular content, either individually or as a package but to the acceptance of the offer.

Broadcast companies make good use of free-to-view systems especially to offer access to certain content based upon where the viewer is located. In case a satellite broadcasts channels over a wide geographical area that is not covered by programme rights then the broadcast company in question will give its customers viewing cards that will enable them to access the content. Once the companies move to a satellite with a narrow broadcast beam that targets the areas over which it has broadcast rights then it can switch to free-to-air from free-to-view.

ITV was one of the first major broadcast companies to move to free-to-view, but many other companies followed suit. The increasing availability of many satellites that provide a relatively narrow beam has made this possible.

There are quite a few companies that offer broadcast services only for the UK. The best known of these are Sony Entertainment Television and 4Music. While most people have a Sky Videoguard receiver as well as a Sky viewing card to receive them, others have made use of the highly affordable Freesat from Sky package which is available for a one time payment.

One of the most popular free-to-view networks in Europe is Freesat from Sky that offers a bouquet of around 240 TV channels as well as Sky EPG, all of which is available for a one time payment that gives users a satellite dish, receiver, and also cards to install and view the content. German speaking audiences can opt for HD+ whereas French Speaking ones can choose Fransat and Italians can sign up for Tivù Sat.

Fresh Meat

One of the few comedy drama which captured the imagination of many British folks. Written by Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain Tony Roche Penelope Skinner, Tom Basden, Fresh Meat bought a fresh idea on the TV space, Fresh Meat was broadcasted for the first time on channel 4 Wednesday, September, 2011. This show marked the debut of many comedians who would made it big in the days to come. Comedy stars such as Jack Whitehall, Kimberely Nixon and Joe Thomas made it big with this show. After the thunderous success of the first seas, a second season was started on 2012. The show was again featured for a third season which started airing on November 4, 2013.

The Storyline

The story revolves around 6 central characters of Manchester Metropolitan University, all of whom are college fresher’s. Due to late admission, Vod, Oregon, Josie, Kingsley, JP and Howard share a house instead of college residence. The theme includes Howard’s eccentricities, Oregon’s relationship with the professor, Tony and Vod’s care free attitude and JP’s failed attempt to impress girls.

Central Characters

Vod: Vod is a student of literature and comes from a family of former forces. She has anti establishment views about almost everything. She is basically insecure in life and the care free attitude is a wall to hide her insecurity. She loves to drink and can cheer up any party with her presence. Her grades are extremely poor and Oregon helps her in her assignment. In later episodes it was revealed that Vod’s insecurity comes from a troubled incident with her mother in her younger age.

The only non fresher in the group who changed his course to geology after an argument with his professor. Howard has very few friends other than his house mates. This is the only character that has very little interest in politics. This lad has many ill mannerisms too.

Josie: She is a student who lands up in pharmacology after subsequent switch from zoology and dentistry. In the initial episodes Josie came across as a sweet and polite girl but soon it was revealed that she is actually very short tempered and have problems related to alcohol. She shares a complicated relationship with Kinglesey.

Oregon: She is a literature student and comes from a rich and noble background. She is paranoid about how others weigh her. She is closely knitted with Von and the two are best buds. She is also the most enthusiastic party goers among all the house mates.

Owen: A drama student, Owen comes across as someone who is polite and charming. At the same time Owen has been portrayed as someone who is not confident and make rash decision only to regret soon.

Critical Response

The show got mixed reviews after the first episode and it only got better with subsequent episodes. While most newspapers positively reviewed the show, many at the same time were skeptical about its success in the long run. But, that all were withered away with the phenomenal success in the subsequent seasons. Although the start of the third season wasn’t great by Fresh Meat’s standards but it picked up the pace as the show progressed. The finale received a lot of positive reviews from the critics and various radio channels.


Fresh Meat received a lot of nomination and awards in its short journey. It has on a total of 8 awards namely best new comedy, best TV show, Funniest TV show, best scripted comedy, best writer, Best comedy, best British comedy drama, best European comedy TV series and best British comedy TV drama. Chunk of the awards were received for the first season leaving the last one. There were various nominations that the show received, namely Best Comedy Drama, Best TV Comedy Actor, Breakthrough Award, Best Comedy/Entertainment, Breakthrough Talent, Situation Comedy and YouTube Audience Award.

UK Broadcast Giant Freesat Offers Wide Range Of Programming

Freesat, launched in 2008, is a very big player in the broadcast business in the United Kingdom. BBC has entered into a joint venture with fellow broadcasting industry behemoth ITV plc to offer this free-to-air service as an attractive option to Freeview which offers a number of channels on its digital terrestrial television service and also to Freesat from Sky.

Freesat offers an impressive array of digital satellite programming thanks to its large capacity, and it also broadcasts HD programmes from a number of popular channels such as Channel 4 and RT UK in addition, needless to say, to the BBC and ITV.

Both the BBC and ITV offer their digital programming through any of three options. Content is available free-to-air via satellite or terrestrial and for a subscription via cable. Both companies used to encrypt their channels initially since they used satellites that broadcast over parts of Europe that they did not have broadcast rights over. UK based customers were therefore required to buy the right equipment in order to view the content.
The BBC’s decision to use a satellite with a narrower footprint that focused on the United Kingdom enabled it to do away with encryption. ITV was also able to do the same and both companies offered their channels free-to-air in 2003. It is possible to receive these channels using a standard digital satellite receiver, preferably one that is licensed by Freesat.

Freesat is a very important development in the UK broadcasting business because it provides users with a fully managed service that contains a number of interactive features. There were plans to roll it out in 2006 but delays in approvals meant that it was finally unveiled two years later.

Freesat now offers a wide range of high-definition channels but it initially launched with BBC HD only (this was later replaced by BBC Two). ITV HD was quickly added to it, but only as a “red-button” interactive service. It took about a year for this service to become a full-time channel. BBC followed this up with BBC One HD. Soon, Channel 4 HD and NHK World HD were also added. Additional channels have also been included from time to time, such as during the 2012 London Olympics and the following Paralympics. Freesat continues to get additional channels, with the latest ones being Drama, Yesterday and Really.

Future plans for Freesat include the addition of pay content, especially so that films could be broadcast (as long as they did not have adult content). However, this comes with a stipulation that live streaming of sports would not be permitted. It is understood that this content would be managed by a third party.

Television companies have been quick to offer television sets with in-built HD Freesat receivers. Companies such as Panasonic, LG and Sony offer these television sets in many attractive size options. Interestingly, there is quite a bit of demand for Freesat in Ireland and parts of continental Europe. In fact, Eastern Europeans are also able to capture Freesat’s content since they tend to have very large dishes.

Coronation Street

Coronation Street is the longest running soap opera in the history of television. The show first went live on 9 December, 1960 on Granada Television. Created by Tony Warren, the show revolves around the lives of a group of folks based out of Coronation Street, Weatherfield (fictional). According to the show’s narration, the street came into existence in the early 1900’s and derived its name from King Edward VII. In the 60’s the show became one of the most loved shows in the history of the British television.


The first season was commissioned for 13 episodes and the critic review wasn’t encouraging at all. Some insider even predicted that the show won’t last 3 weeks but all the prediction was blown away as the show started rolling. The 60’s predominantly portrayed the story of Kenneth Barlow-who got a place in the university and his working background embarrassed him. Ena Sharples was also the centre piece for many stories in the 60’s. The story throughout the 60’s revolved around a mysterious poison-pen letter. Although Coronation Street became very popular in this decade but it was criticized for portraying out of date urban class culture.


This decade was a rough one for the Coronation team, for the sudden departure of many core members. The comic nature of the show was also dying down and the TRP for the show started going down. In an endeavor to save the show, many new characters were introduced by Bill Podmore, the new producer of the show. Some of the highlights of this decade were warehouse fire, Tracy Langton’s birth, Ernest Bishop’s murder, Rover’s return and the wedding of Gail Potter and Brian Tisley. The end of the decade saw the show rising in the chart and there were little competition from other prime time show.


The 80’s saw some of the biggest changes in the history of the show. A lot of exits and entry took place. Although the ranking of the show remained consistent but it started facing growing competition from Channel 4 and a new show known as the EastEnder. Channel 4’s Brookside was also causing headache to Coronation Street. The major highlight of the decade was Ken’s marriage with Deirdre. This episode was witnessed by a record number of audiences in England.


Although the show kept doing well in this decade too but there were growing criticism from various platforms about the show. Some major changes took place in this decade. The first non-white family-the Desai family was introduced and a lot of young characters were newly introduced. Brian Parks took over the show as a producer in this same decade. One of the best episodes of this decade took place around ’98 when Rashid was wrongfully imprisoned. Even the then President of England took interest in the episode.

2000 and On

These 2 decades saw many changes as well. During this time the show touched its 50th year. A special episode was aired in honor of the show. Some of the major incidents of these 2 decades were the return of Dennis Tanner, Tony Gordon’s escape from prison, Molly Dobb’s pregnancy and Tina O’Briens departure. Even the opening narration of the show was revamped as part of the makeover plan.

Awards and Accolades

In its 60 year of journey, Coronation Street has received numerous awards and nominations. The award included from both national and international circuits. A total of 85 awards and 285 nominations is a glowing testimony of how popular the show has been in the UK and other countries across geographies. The show is not showing any signs to slow down any time soon.

The Top 10 Movies of 2014

#1-The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Movie Spiderman was always known for the struggle of a common guy Peter Parker with his inner fears and to face his identity as Spiderman. The latest installation in Spiderman series “The Amazing Spiderman 2” the Spiderman is seen facing his most challenging opponent Electro, who is far stronger than Spiderman. Also realization struck him that Spiderman is not only being a hero and loving Gwen, it is indeed much more than that. Spiderman is the only hope for all the New Yorkers, who is born to save them from the evils in town. He is indeed facing troubles which have one common link and that is Oscorp. This movie is directed by Marc Webb and Produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. The screenplay is done by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and Jeff

#2-The Other Woman

This story is about the revenge. When the girl discovers that her boyfriend is married, she plans to meet his wife. When the wife learns about his affair with this girl Carly, they both team up. Both together further discovers his yet another affair, and all these three women plan against him to take a revenge with a strong mutual purpose with this three timing SOB. This movie is directed by Nick Cassavetes and Written by Melissa Stack.


Set in background of the time in AD around 79 AD, this story tells us life of Milo, who is a slave who transforms into a gladiator and finds himself set on a trail, where he fights for his love against the time, racing with it. Milo has to find a way out in save his love. This movie is directed by Paul W.S Anderson and it is written by Janet Scott Batchler and Lee Batchler.


The characters of Tarzan and Jane Porter has to face the acquisitive army that is being remitted by the villainous CEO of Greystroke Energies, this company originally belonged to Tarzan’s parents, who died in a plane crash accident. This movie is directed by Reinhard Klooss, Written by Reinhard Klooss and Jessica Postigo and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

#5-Rio 2

It’s a dense jungle for Blu, Jewel and the three kids who has crashed over Rio de Janeiro amidst the wild environment of the Amazon. As Blu keeps trying to adapt to the surrounding he goes deep inside the wilds with Nigel and confronts the most fearful challenger of all and that is his father-in-law. This movie is directed by Carlos Saldanha, Written Don Rhymer, and Carlos Saldanha.

#6-Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Steve Rogers is trying hard to come in to terms with his life and find his place in the contemporary world and on top of that also prepares to fight a new danger from ancient past: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. This movie is directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo and Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.


God has selected a man to embark on a significant operation of liberation of all people, in advance of an apocalyptic flood that will be the end of the world. This movie is directed by Darren Aronofsky, Written by Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel.


The chief investigator in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) employed to build a responsive device that combines the united intelligence of all the things known to have a full range of human sentiments. His exceedingly debated research has made him well-known, but it has also made him the main aim of anti-technology radicals who will do anything it requires to divert him. However, in their effort to terminate Will, they unintentionally become the facilitator for him to succeed-to be a partaker in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their vilest doubts are recognized as Will’s desire for knowledge advances into a seemingly pervasive pursuit for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming alarmingly clear is that there can be no seams to stop him. This movie is directed by Wally Pfister, Written by Jack Paglen.


He faces the threatening in his process of confession. The journey begins when the priest has to fight all the evils and dark powers which is around him, close to him and is behind him. This movie is directed and written by John Michael McDonagh.


Sam and Fordy plan a credit card deceit, but when they steal from the wrong man, they have pulled themselves into loop hole as being threatened by a vicious gangster. They must raise £5m and run a courageous diamond theft to fulfill their liability. This movie is directed by Julian Gilbey, Written by Julian Gilbey, Will Gilbey.