Feeds

BBC HD channel gets green light

Only on satellite and cable

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The BBC's governing body gave a thumbs-up today to limited plans for a high definition TV channel over Sky, Freesat and cable.

Terrestrial TV viewers will be frozen out until at least 2009 because regulators and industry are yet to decide how to divvy up the spectrum freed by switching off analogue transmitters.

Ofcom has indicated that it favours a technology-agnostic auction, and using superior compression to squeeze HD programming into the existing Freeview band.

The plan is being resisted by some TV companies who want to retain the spectrum. It would let viewers who want HD get it sooner, rather than wait for the analogue switch-off to complete in 2012, as well as help open up the airwaves to new uses such as low-power wireless broadband.

The BBC board had suggested it broadcast four hours of HD using the existing Freeview MPEG2 compression standard until new spectrum regulations are decided. The independent BBC Trustees bounced the idea on grounds it could confuse consumers and mean they buy gear that could quickly become defunct.

Shows for the channel will be culled from across the Beeb's current range of channels and include up to 20 per cent movies and sport. It'll go on air for nine hours from 3pm until midnight. A trial version is already running, and the Trust said it should be made available to terrestrial viewers as soon as the spectrum arguments are settled.

Diane Coyle, chair of the BBC Trust Public Value Test Steering Group said: "High Definition will eventually become a significant broadcasting standard and, as with all BBC services for which everyone pays, it is essential that this is universally available as soon as possible."

Ashley Highfield, the man in charge of the BBC's new media efforts, is pushing for HD over broadband. ISPs say the UK's current internet infrastructure makes it unfeasible, and have even publicly complained about carrying relatively poor quality iPlayer downloads. The Trust said there would be public value in HD over broadband, but repeated its view that the amount that could be broadcast would be "very small in the short to medium term".

Today's BBC Trust announcement is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.