Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/19/freeview_hd_kit/
No Freeview HD kit in time for launch, warns telly exec
Full rollout timetable revealed
It's now clear that you'll need a new TV or set-top box (STB) to pick up Freeview HD. However, Register Hardware has learned that compatible kit won’t arrive in Blighty in time for the service’s debut early next month.
Richard Lindsay-Davis, Director General of the Digital TV Group (DTG), has admitted to us that “at this stage we can’t guarantee any [DVB-T2] receivers in the UK market before Christmas 2009”.
The news will come as a blow to early adopters living in London or Manchester, the first UK cities set to receive the Freeview HD signal, on 2 December.
While Freeview is based on DVB-T technology, Freeview HD uses DVB-T2 which uses the MPEG 4 AVC video codec. While manufacturers are developing STBs and TVs with the new tuner inside, Lindsay-Davis said that the DTG doesn’t expect such products to be available in the UK until at least January or February next year - and possibly later than that.
He also said that a Freeview HD STB – your only option if your don’t want to replace an HD TV with built-in Freeview – will likely cost “a little more” than an existing Freeview STB.
There is some good news in store, though, provided you’re a football fan.
Lindsay-Davis explained that, rather than a formal launch, the 2 December launch is essentially a test run for the service designed to ensure good quality of service and a strong signal in time for the 2010 World Cup. ®
HD Roll-out timetable
|Manchester||Winter Hill||2 Dec 2009|
|London||Crystal Palace||2 Dec 2009|
|Newcastle and Tyneside||Pontop Pike||Feb 2010|
|Leeds / Bradford||Emley Moor||March 2010|
|Liverpool, central Lancashire, Cheshire, north Staffordshire||Winter Hill relays||March 2010|
|Exeter, parts of Devon, Somerset, Dorset||Stockland Hill||April 2010|
|Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire||Mendip||April 2010|
|Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly||Beacon Hill, Caradon Hill, Huntshaw Cross, Redruth||Aug 2010|
|Cumbria and the Lake District||Caldbeck||Oct 2010|
Then Freeview HD rolls out with the rest of the switchover programme:
Bedfordshire, Berkshire (parts), Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia, East Midlands, East Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire (parts), Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands (remainder), and West Yorkshire (remainder).
Berkshire (remainder), County Durham, Greater London (remainder), Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Teesside, Tyneside.
|Cardiff, Newport||Wenvoe||March 2010|
|Swansea||Kilvey Hill||March 2010|
|west and central Wales||Blaenplwyf||March 2010|
|rest of Wales||Long Mountain, Moel y Parc, Presely||June 2010|
Wales will have switched over to digital and the roll-out of Freeview HD will be complete by the end of July 2010.
|Glasgow, central Scotland||Black Hill||Feb 2010|
|Orkney||Keelylang Hill||May 2010|
|Caithness, North Sutherland||Rumster Forest||June 2010|
|Lewis, Wester Ross, North West Sutherland, Western Isles||Eitshal, Skriaig||July 2010|
|Angus, Dundee, Perth, and parts of Fife||Angus||Aug 2010|
|Morayshire, Strathspey, and parts of Easter Ross||Knockmore||Oct 2010|
|South West Scotland||Caldbeck Scotland||Oct 2010|
|Inverness and the Great Glen||Rosemarkie||Oct 2010|
|South West Highlands and Islands||Torosay||Oct 2010|
|Scottish Borders||Selkirk||Nov 2010|
Freeview HD rolls out with the rest of the switchover programme so that the whole of Northern Ireland is switched over to digital and will be able to receive Freeview HD by the end of 2012.
|Isle of Man||Douglas||Oct 2010|
|Channel Islands||Fremont Point||End 2010|