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(Pocket-lint) - The UK's Freesat is about to get direct competition later this year with the launch of new free satellite service Real Digital.

Those wanting the channel choice without paying for Sky's or Virgin Media’s subscription packs could find themselves looking to the new platform that launches on 1 September, instead of the already established rival.

The idea, the company’s MD, David Henry, told Pocket-lint, is that Real Digital will offer 400 standard definition free-to-air channels, and five HD channels, including BBC One HD, BBC HD, Channel 4 HD, ITV HD amd NHK World.

Beyond the basic channel offering, users will also be able to pay to get get Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2, with the promise of further Pay TV options later down the line.

The company has already confirmed there will be two boxes on the market from day one - each coming with a standardised remote (it works for Sky), be Internet-ready for further upgrades or connected content, and have twin tuners. You will, of course, also need a satellite dish to receive the signal.

No word on pricing as yet, but with a UK launch in the next couple of months, Real Digital tells Pocket-lint there will be plenty of announcements in the coming months.

Stay tuned.

Is another free satellite service needed? Let us know in the comments below...

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 16 April 2013.
Sections TV