Alba Freesat boxes may get manual tune

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Alba is "looking into" making manual tuning available on its Bush, Goodmans and Grundig Freesat set-top boxes, the company has told Digital Spy.

At present users of the equipment are unable to watch the hundreds of free-to-air satellite services which are not listed in Freesat's electronic programme guide.

Alba said manual tuning was "already technically possible via an undisclosed menu". On whether the function would be made public, a spokesman added: "We are looking into the best way to do this."

Some DS forum members have complained about the closed nature of the subscription-free service and reader Martin Curry wrote to Freesat. Curry, a Liberal Democrat councillor in Bromley, believes the receivers must be capable of viewing all FTA satellite broadcasts under European Union legislation.

He wrote to Freesat: "If your specifications do not provide a means for FTA signals to be received, even if it is in the convoluted manner associated with the Humax receiver, then my understanding is that they conflict with the directive...

"I would be grateful for an assurance that Freesat will ensure that the reception of FTA channels is enabled in all Freesat branded STBs."

A Freesat representative, following an email exchange, appeared to confirm manual tuning would be made available. He said: "We are assured by the manufacturer that the products [made by Alba] will soon be able to provide the functionality you describe."
 
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