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freesat_logoFreesat has today announced the launch of a BBC iPlayer trial on its service, with the test starting from 7 December 2009. It was also confirmed that ITV Player will launch onto Freesat in the first half of 2010.

“This marks the first time that viewers will be able to receive a full version of the popular BBC catch-up via subscription-free TV, direct to their television set,” a spokeswoman told Absolute gadget.  

“All existing Freesat HD television equipment will be able to receive the BBC iPlayer service so consumers will not need to buy a new box or TV; new products will roll-out over time.”

The BBC iPlayer service can be accessed by connecting a HD Freesat TV or HD box to a home’s broadband connection using an Ethernet cable or homeplug.

“Alternatively, you can arrange for a professional to connect BBC iPlayer for you, either as part of full install if you have just bought Freesat or separately if you already have Freesat installed,” Freesat’s statement said.

According to the instructions, viewers will need an actual broadband speed of 1Mbps to watch BBC iPlayer or 2Mbps to watch in high quality.

During the initial beta test stage, selected journalists and partners will be given a code to access the service. However, Freesat said it hoped “as many Freesat viewers as possible will be able to use the service by Christmas and without the need for a code”.