Freesat adds YouTube to free-to-air service

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Freesat to offer YouTube access through set-top boxes

Free-to-air broadcaster Freesat has announced it will add YouTube to its set-top boxes in March, giving viewers access to YouTube’s four billion hours of video from its range of set-top boxes.

Although Freesat’s set-top boxes won’t be the first offering YouTube access, Freesat said in a statement that its users would be the first to access YouTube’s "very latest iteration", through its electronic programme guide.

Freesat’s managing director, Emma Scott, said in a statement that Freesat’s viewers would get "an exclusive, first view of [YouTube’s] latest version", based on HTML 5 and optimised for watching on TV sets.

As with the company's Free Time catch-up and on-demand service, access will come via a connection to a home broadband connection. The service features as-you-type search, access to YouTube’s HD content, and the ability to pair a smartphone with the service to select and start playback of videos on a TV.

The news comes as the four-year-old broadcaster announced that it has sold its three millionth set-top box, and added 55,000 new households in the third quarter of 2012.

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