Feeds

London could get HD Freeview next year

Ofcom considers Operation Spectrum Juggle

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Freeview viewers in London and other major metropolitan areas could get high-definition TV next year under spectrum juggling plans being considered by regulators.

The BBC has applied to Ofcom to temporarily use so-called "programme making and special events" frequencies for high definition broadcasts until the national switch off of analogue transmitters is complete in 2012.

If approved, the 2010 football World Cup would be available in better picture quality to millions, if they buy new receivers. Freeview high-definition broadcasts will be encoded in MPEG 4 and transmitted using the as-yet incomplete DVB-T2 standard.

The new channels, reported here, will occupy multiplex B, a data stream operated by the BBC. Granada viewers will get high-definition Freeview signals first, late next year. Ofcom is now considering letting the BBC broadcast the channels in big cities, on a case by case basis, over other frequencies until analogue systems are junked nationally.

In the four-week consultation launched today, Ofcom specifically examines the effect of the proposed broadcasts in London, where spectrum is most constrained. The capital isn't scheduled to get Freeview in high-definition until the tail end of the analogue switch-off. If the plans are approved, however, its very likely that other big cities will see high-definition early too.

It's also hoped that increasing the number of homes able to receive HD broadcasts early in the analogue switch-off will encourage consumer electronics manufacturers to launch new set-top boxes.

The consultation paper is here (PDF). ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
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 says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.