BBC HDTV green light - but not on Freeview
The BBC Trust today announced their final decision on their HDTV services, after reviewing the 911 responses to their consultation, on the whole from concerned members of the public.
There is little surprise about the daily nine-hour (3pm to midnight) service, costing 21.4 million a year that will start in spring 2008 on cable and free (and Sky) satellite.
However, the proposed interim overnight service that proposed to deliver four hours of content by closing down BBC Parliament, BBC Four and the interactive news services from 2am-6am has been junked after researched found that the public would be confused by the offering.
A Freeview HDTV BBC channel will appear either after switchover is complete on a reconfigured PSB3 multiplex once switchover starts (using the existing 64QAM transmission standard), or by using the Ofcom multiplex reconfiguration plan that will use the DVB-T2 standard (in 256QAM mode).
Any HDTV BBC channel on Freeview will not now cause the BBC Parliament channel to be shut down.
It is expected that both IPTV operators and the BBC iPlayer will offer HDTV content in the "short to medium term"
The BBC HD channel will show simulcast BBC One HD programmes and other content during news and regional programmes. Up to 20% of the content will be films and sports.
The BBC expects to move to full HD (1080p) with "minimal disadvantage to consumers", and the Trust will review the HD services in 2013, following the completion of terrestrial digital switchover.
See Trust decision on HDTV Public Value Test for more information.