Feeds

EU sets ball rolling on ominous telly spectrum review

If we're going to kill TV, let's all do it together!

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Electronic Communications Committee, Europe’s continent-wide guardian of radio, has kicked off a "major study" of the TV broadcast bands with a view to presenting its findings at the World Radio Conference in 2015.

A new Task Group will look carefully at the band, which runs from 470-694MHz and is earmarked for broadcast TV across Europe. Mobile phones are much sexier than TV, so the result will no doubt be a revaluation of that earmarking to let government flog the bands off to the mobile networks.

Not that it will matter much in the UK. By 2020 our own Freeview broadcasters will likely be paying £240m a year for the frequencies it uses, which is a serious hit to a non-profit organisation.

By 2018 Freeview is also expected to have shuffled down the dial to make space at 700MHz for iPad-friendly 4G, something France today announced it would be replicating.

France plans to get the 700MHz band onto the auction block by the end of 2013 in order, and - just like the UK - it hopes shifting to MPEG4 and DVB-T2 will enable its broadcasts to fit more services into the reduced spectrum.

Once that shuffling is done, the UK, France and most of Europe will be running broadcast TV between 470 and 694MHz, with little option for greater efficiencies without a significant reduction in services.

Narrowband services, delivered over the internet, may reduce some reliance on broadcast frequencies. But as long as Corrie and EastEnders are pulling in 10 million viewers apiece, the efficiency of broadcast is hard to dispute.

Shifting viewers to satellite would help Freesat and Sky use far higher frequencies, which propagate well though a vacuum, and over line-of-sight, but are less valuable on Earth.

The Task Group (snappily named TG6) has only just been formed, and will spend a year deciding if terrestrial TV is worth keeping.

It's strange to think that broadcast TV, probably the most significant technical development of a generation, will likely have an operational span of less than a human lifetime. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.