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BBC to add hi-def channel but not for Freeview

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 20 Nov 2007 11:09 User comments (4)

BBC to add hi-def channel but not for Freeview Yesterday the BBC Trust announced plans for a high definition Channel to be available on the Sky satellite service. Despite calls from some for the BBC to broadcast 4 hours of Freeview hi-def content per day, the governing body decided against that course because it would require equipment that would likely be obsolete after the official Freeview HDTV standard is complete.
Diane Coyle, BBC Trustee and Chair of the Public Value Test Steering Group said "The Trust is pleased to approve the new HD television channel on all platforms. After considering all the evidence we are satisfied that the public value generated is sufficiently high and there is unlikely to be a negative impact on the market.

"High Definition will eventually become a significant broadcasting standard and, as with all BBC services for which everyone pays, it is essential that this is universally available as soon as possible. This means the Trust will consider in spring 2008 the timing of the launch on Freeview, when there should be greater clarity on HD broadcast standards and the spectrum capacity available for the channel."

"The Trust is very grateful for all the responses we received to our consultation, and in particular to the question we asked about the potential for a four-hour interim service on Freeview. The responses from the public and commercial stakeholders led us to conclude that it was not in licence-fee payers' interests to launch a four-hour overnight service at present. We believe there is currently too great a risk of confusing consumers due to the need for upgrades if an HD service launches before there is equipment which allows viewers to access both the interim service and new services after switchover. An interim service might become an option later in the process of digital switchover when those boxes become available."

Source: Press Release

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4 user comments

120.11.2007 11:58

This is already common knowledge that because of the bandwidth sell off by the government, once the digital switch over is complete there will not be enough space to air many, if any Hi Def channels via freeview, so all you people that have your nice LCD or Plasma 40" + screens can watch telly in poor quality with blocking and digital smearing because of the stretched picture, unless you are willing to pay the hefty premium and receive content via cable or satellite!

please remind me again why the digital switch over is better for the consumer? great to see the bbc monopolising when all British people fund the bbc via their television licence, this reminds me of the sell off of the public funded uk infrastructure to private companies in the 80's which was supposed to be better for the consumers but all that happened is the cash was milked away services suffered and we ever increasingly pay extortionate rates!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Nov 2007 @ 12:06

223.11.2007 13:22

I agree it's a real bummer that HD freeview is not looking like a big future prospect
(but that may change as people realise & protest this).

Generally tho I'm all for a BBC HD service (I don't see how they are "monopolising" anything in this, there are several other high def TV channels).

In fact the current BBC HD channel I get on my satellite box is often the best looking of all the HD TV channels as they often use notably higher bitrates in their broadcasts than many of the others in the UK.
I hope this continues from the current 'trial' channel to their 'regular' one.

324.11.2007 10:11

I look forward to the BBC,1,2,3,and4 ,and ITV1,2,3 and 4, later joined by Channel 4(as soon as their encrytion deal with SKY is finished,joining together with Di-Def programmes on Satellite via Freesat. By this time next year those who paid out for a HD ready TV should be able to enjoy Nine hours a day -just from BBC, with ITV promising more also.
The picture (on satellite) is not so bleak.

419.12.2007 18:55

Well at least high def has come although paying is another thing all together.

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