BBC begins fresh Freeview HD TV trial
Freesat may have only recently launched in the UK, but the BBC has already begun testing the transmission of HD services over Freeview.
The broadcaster has started transmissions from a Guildford-based transmitter using the second-generation DVB-T specification DVB-T2. The trial could clear the way for the introduction of HD onto Freeview by December next year.
DVB-T2 is said to offer 30 per cent more data-carrying capacity as DVB-T under the same conditions.
Justin Mitchell, leader of the DVB-T2 modem development team at the BBC, said: “This is a big step forward in enabling the introduction of full HD terrestrial on Freeview by the end of 2009.”
The BBC added that the trial follows approval by the DVB Project – an industry-led consortium focused on designing open technical standards for digital TV delivery – of the DVB-T2 specification.
Freeview currently uses the ten-year old DVB-T standard. DVB-T2 was developed for "use in a post-Analogue Switch-Off environment". UK communications regulator Ofcom has said it wants to convert at least one of the nation's DVB-T multiplexes to DVB-T2 by the end of 2009.
A few years ago, the BBC ran a closed trial of DVB-T based HD content over Freeview. Bandwidth limitations and compatibility issues prevented a full-scale roll-out. In the end, the BBC HD channel ended up on Sky, Virgin and now Freesat.
More information about the current state of HD TV in the UK can be found in Register Hardware’s latest special feature here.
But while the beeb time on this...
there are us poor sods stuck up north, who are going to have our terrestrial signal turned off in January but still have no eta of when Freeview will ever become available. I have to admit, winding the feckless lot up when they take camp in there switch over bus trying to convert everyone is utterly histerical, but sadly shows typical governmental planning.
Am just looking forward to the big switch off, they are seriously cutting the get everyone converted locally to the last minute and can't wait to see how bad this all goes when no one has any kind of TV signal unless you bought Sky or FreeSat...if they ever decide to market that a bit anyhow. But then again, both of those suffer the problem for the retired folks and those straped of cash for costing alot more than a basic Freeview box.
As for HD Ready, not overly sure but think all it means it has a v1.2 or v1.3 HDMI port and able to decode HDCP with a screen capable of 720p or above. Don't think any kind of tuner was ever part of the spec. Partly what annoyed alot of folks who got Sky HD early on as there older TFT and Plasma's with DVI ports and not HD Ready we're being scaled down to normal resolutions. Bit of a sickener really.
A typical British cockup waiting to happen all this Digital and HD TV milarky. It's just waiting to go utterly tit's up.
You could always put the satellite dish in the attic, it's a bit more pricey but it works very well and gets rid of the ungainly thing on the side of the property.
As for the "HD Ready TV" comments, i've never used the internal decoder in my set, your TV can display a HD signal - however only Panasonic currently make something with a built in HD decoder so anything sold as HD Ready in the past few years merely means it can display HD content, most likely from an external source - i.e. Sky HD, Blu Ray or HD DVD player, PS3, XBox 360 etc etc
More like 45 % more capacity
"DVB-T2 is said to offer 30 per cent more data-carrying capacity as DVB-T under the same conditions."..... Not true !
Its like 45% more capacity for a UK multiplex (QAM64 CR2/3 2k GI1/32). The 30% was the initial minimum required before the standard was written. Where large SFN's are used the capacity can be increased even more (with about 65%).
Buying a analogue TV-set now, may well be the most sensible thing to do and add a £20 box now or wait until DSO and get the new DVB-T2 box.
And yes new hardware is necessary - Firmware will never work.
I have just bought a new TV with only an analogue tuner (saved 100 quid on the freeview one). When they turn analogue off I shall simply not watch TV. I shall connect it to the PC and use it for streaming and watching DVDs.
There's so little on TV now that I don't watch the current 4/5 channels let alone the repeats on freeview. They seem to miss that - people don't want more channels with simply the same stuff on them, even if they are in HD.
And moving to yet another standard is just stuffing the consumer yet again, look at DAB - they want new gear for that too now. Forget it - internet radio/tv is the future - software is upgradable easily.
For something really urgent, I'll settle for the perfectly watchable SD Freeview.
For everything else there's a good fat broadband connection and a TV with HDMI input.