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Ofcom ploughs ahead with miserly Freeview HD plan

April 4th, 2008 · No Comments

Ofcom has controversially announced that it will accelerate its own plan to bring high definition to the Freeview terrestrial TV platform, with services due to start in 2009. Despite howls of protest from CE manufacturers, the watchdog has decided to shuffle spectrum in such a way as to only allow four channels of 720p high-definition. Critics have suggested that it should have chosen an option that could have created many more channels.
The Four HD channels will only be available in those areas which have completed switchover, and when viewers have invested in new reception equipment able to decode the new MPEG-4 DVB-T2 transmissions. Hi-def will be assigned its own multiplex, and be split between the BBC, ITV, C4/S4C and Five.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards says: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to upgrade digital terrestrial television. It offers benefits for broadcasters, who will be able to launch new services without using any new spectrum, and viewers who will have access to new channels and services on free-to-air.”

Tags: Broadcasting · High definition TV · Trade

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