Freesat has always found it hard to be mentioned in the same breath with the other free terrestrial programme platform Freeview, even though it appears as an option on hundreds of different television models.

YouView is also more widely known, it seems.

Yes, you need a satellite dish for Freesat, rather than an aerial, which somewhat puts it at a disadvantage over rivals. But it's also considered a more stable platform, with all the channels you want. Until now, that is.

A massive blow to Freesat comes in the form of an announcement by major TV broadcaster Channel 4. Due to rising fees to host its services, it is pulling 4HD, the high definition version of its channel plus the All4 catch-up app from Freesat, putting it at a distinct disadvantage to every single other TV broadcasting format out there - free or paid.

It's a massive step backwards.

From Thursday 22 February, Freesat viewers will not be able to see 4HD. The standard definition version of the channel will remain - it's a mandatory requirement as part of the broadcaster's licence - but no HD.

In addition, you will not be able to catch-up with Channel 4 content on Freesat set-top-boxes.

"We’re disappointed Freesat is changing its charging structure, leading to a very significant cost increase for Channel 4, which ultimately takes funding away from our content investment budget," we were told by a Channel 4 spokesperson.

"To reduce the overall burden of our Freesat costs and make internal savings we have regrettably given notice to withdraw All 4 and C4 HD while we consider our long term relationship with Freesat."

Most TVs with Freesat come with Freeview HD and/or their own smart TV platforms, so you should still get All4 and 4HD through other means, but it is a rather distinct nail in the coffin for a platform already struggling for recognition.

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