Feeds

Ofcom confirms three Freeview HD channels 'by end of next year'

If you live near Manchester

Top three mobile application threats

The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will each offer a Freeview high-definition channel over an upgraded terrestrial TV platform by the end of 2009, broadcasting regulators said today.

Viewers who want to watch the new services will have to buy a new set-top box compatible with the as-yet incomplete DVB-T2 standard, and with MPEG-4. The transmission and encoding upgrades will allow broadcasters to squeeze higher bitrates into the same Freeview spectrum.

The BBC Trust is yet to decide what service to offer over Freeview HD, but the Corporation already broadcasts a mixed bag of its biggest shows in high definition over Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media.

ITV will simulcast evening ITV1 on its Freeview HD service and sub-let the channel to others outside prime time. It also plans to offer coverage of major sporting events. Channel 4 will also simulcast its normal programming in HD, particularly films and documentaries. Ofcom said would a fourth possible Freeview HD channel would launch in 2010.

The switch on will be staggered by region. Granada viewers will be first to get Freeview HD next year, followed by Scotland, Wales and the West Country in 2010. Central, Yorkshire, Anglia and Meridian transmitters will offer high definition in 2011, missing out on the 2010 football World Cup*, while London, Tyne Tees and Ulster will have to wait until 2012.

Ofcom said discussions with manufacturers indicated new set-top boxes will be on the market in time for the Granada launch. Earlier this year a broadcast industry group criticised regulators for putting too much faith in unproven technology. ®

*Following publication of this story Ofcom got in touch to say it will shortly make an announcement on using spare spectrum as a potential way for viewers in non-upgraded regions to watch the 2010 World Cup in HD.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
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
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.