Feeds

Free BBC HD satellite TV service given green light

Sky alternative to launch 2008

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.