Feeds

Free BBC HD satellite TV service given green light

Sky alternative to launch 2008

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The BBC has been given the go-ahead to partner with ITV to launch a free-to-view digital TV service transmitted by satellite. The service will include HD programming.

The BBC currently sends out all its channels via satellite in an unencrypted form. Satellite broadcaster Sky offers more than a hundred other channels free of charge, but requires customers buy its set-top box to decode them.

The free service the BBC and ITV are planning would allow viewers to tune into a wider range of channels by buying a one-off set-top box or a TV with an integrated tuner, and having a dish installed. It would replicate the terrestrial digital service, Freeview, but make use of the greater bandwidth to deliver more channels and HD programming.

Right now, HD on Freeview is considered too hard to do, and most broadcasters are waiting for the end of analogue transmissions to free up bandwidth that can be used for HD. Broadcasters are lobbying regulator Ofcom to free up spectrum to allow them to transmit HD programming sooner.

The BBC recently proposed an alternative way of using Freeview to transmit HD content by using spatial multiplexing techniques - the same used to accelerate mobile phone download speeds and the basis for high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi - to boost Freeview's available bandwidth. However, much more testing is required before such a system could be put into service.

Some Britons are in areas into which Freeview currently can't be broadcast because the signal is too weak to reach them. The satellite service is seen by the BBC and ITV as a way to bring free-to-air digital TV to these viewers.

Dubbed Freesat - the same name, incidentally, as Sky's free package - the service is set to go live in Spring 2008.

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate
Belay that toil, me hearty, and park your scurvy backside
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.