Feeds

TV channels demand free-to-air future for HD on Freeview

Ofcom must act to prevent subs-service domination

Top three mobile application threats

Broadcasters the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, along with manufacturers Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and Alba, and Dixons owner DSGI have begun lobbying UK regulator Ofcom to guarantee bandwidth on the Freeview digital TV system for HD broadcasts. And they want consumers to help.

Centered on the HDforAll website, the campaign calls for punters to register their demand for free-to-air HD TV on Freeview, and to contact Ofcom to express their views.

It's an argument about bandwidth. The HDforAll coalition maintains that HD can't be delivered over Freeview's existing spectrum without dropping a number of services that are currently available on the network. There's simply not enough space for all the standard-definition channels and HD ones too.

When the analogue channels are turned off by 2012, there'll be room aplenty for HD services, but the HDforAll folks don't want to wait that long and, more to the point, fear that broadcasters with deeper pockets will be able to outbid the free-to-air channels in the auction Ofcom is proposing to host to divvy up the spectrum made available by the digital switchover.

Now, we'd note that there are plenty of channels we'd happily ditch to make room for HD: Freeview bandwidth is already taken up with too many scrambled channels you have to pay for, running contrary to the whole freeview ethos, not to mention the various channels existing only to offer viewers cheap jewellery...

HDforAll appears to want to avoid that particular debate, preferring to push Ofcom to ensure free-to-air HD TV has a future. While the group didn't say as much explicitly, it's clear they want Ofcom to give them a place at the table no matter what. Given the 9m homes have Freeview receivers, and the system has been promoted so strongly as the main way for consumers to 'go digital', it should get one.

Special Report HD TV in the UK

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.