NEWS: Freesat launch set for May 6

John Lewis, one of the UK's largest online and high street retail chains, has apparently confirmed that the launch date for Freesat in its stores and online will be May 6th 2008.

The news was reported today on

However, a spokeswoman for Freesat's London PR agency, Firefly, says the official launch date for Freesat has still to be confirmed.

John Lewis says it will be selling the HD receiver for a price of £149, plus optional £100 installation. But there's no news on whether this will be a Grundig or Humax box yet.

And surprisingly it would seem that John Lewis and its partners will be working with Sky to roll out the new service, as Freesat does not have its own installation service agreed yet.

Humax is expected to release its new Freesat HD receiver, the Foxsat-HD, to coincide with the launch the launch of the Freesat service on May 6th.

The specification for the Foxsat-HD box is as follows:

- Receiving HDTV signals (MPEG-4 AVC/H 264 and MPEG-2)

- Under 1w power consumption in standby

- HDMI digital interface for transmission of picture and sound

- Simultaneous playing of transmissions over HDMI, YPbPr or Scart

- Easy installation and operation

- Resolution format: 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i

- DVB-S2 and DVB-S compatible

- Ethernet support

- Full colour, high resolution electronic programme guide

- Dolby digital audio output

- Automatic software upgrade via satellite

- Improved SDTV on a HD LCD TV

- Audio description / One-touch subtitles

- Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth): 28 x 4.5 x 20cm

- Weight: 1.5kg

Technorati Tags: Freesat, Humax Foxsat-HD, John Lewis

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.