The BBC and Channel 4 have outlined proposals for additional HD channels to be added to Freeview.The decommissioning of analogue TV (digital switchover) left spare capacity in the 600MHz and 800MHz bands of airwaves. 800MHz is being used for the 4G mobile phone networks which is currently being rolled out by EE and later the other providers such as Vodafone and O2. However this leaves spare capacity at 600MHz end of the spectrum, which could be used for new Freeview HD channels, as recommended by the BBC, C4 and broadcasting transmitter operator Arqiva.
The BBC and Channel 4 have proposed that additional HD channels should be added to Freeview. The channels would use spare capacity in the spectrum, recently cleared during the digital switchover.
The switch off of analogue TV left spare capacity in two parts of the airwaves: in the 600MHz and 800MHz bands. 800MHz is being used for 4G from 2013. This leaves vacant space at 600MHz, which could be used for new Freeview HD channels, as recommended by the BBC, C4 and broadcasting transmitter operator Arqiva. New Freeview HD channels may include a third BBC high-def service, extra Red Button content (accessed in a similar way to the 2012 Olympics) and one or two extra HD channels from C4’s line-up.
This may be temporary until approximately 2018, as Ofcom is under pressure to harmonise parts of the spectrum with the rest of the EU so mobile networks operate on the same bands. This would mean less space for Freeview channels in the spectrum. A solution to this problem is to switch to the DVB-T2 standard by this time saving around 30-50% of spectrum in space. However this could leave a significant amount of users “going dark” as in effect this will be similar to the digital switchover just experienced.
Would you like to see new HD channels on Freeview or do you think satellite, cable and IPTV are more efficient ways of delivering high-def TV?