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ITV, Channel 4 and five can apply for Freeview HD

Ofcom has announced that public service broadcasters can apply for space on Freeview HD

Ofcom has announced that public service broadcasters can apply
published on UK Free TV

Ofcom has "officially" announced today the availability of multiplex B (or PSB3) as a high-definition DVB-T2 service. This capacity is being created by reorganizing the existing multiplexes:

The BBC will provide one of the services. It has invited qualifying broadcasters to apply to provide other services for this multiplex. These broadcasters are:

Ofcom's timetable is
  • 2 July 2008: The 2008 Order came into force on , Ofcom publishes its statutory notice constituting the ITA
  • 13 August 2008, 5pm: ITA process closes (responses to be published on website soon afterwards for public inspection)
  • End October 2008: Ofcom issuing draft licences
  • End of 2008: Ofcom expects to issue licences
  • November 2009: Services expected to be launched in Granada region

Ofcom's criteria for the service are:
  • Efficient use of spectrum
  • Public service content
    • high quality well-funded and well-produced;
    • original new UK content, rather than repeats or acquisitions;
    • innovative breaking new ideas or re-inventing exciting approaches, rather than copying old ones;
    • challenging making viewers think;
    • engaging remaining accessible and enjoyed by viewers; and
    • widely available if content is publicly funded, a large majority of citizens need to be given the chance to watch it
  • Range and diversity of High quality TV
The services are expected to start on the 30Mb/s DVB-T multiplex with two HDTV 720-line services in 2009, with a third "later".

Ofcom is particularly interested in the proposals for the "Evening Peak" (6pm-11pm) period. It expects that applicants may wish to provide a simulcast service (with regional elements replaced by other programming); a non-simulcast service (same content on a different schedule); over-night downloads (in the style of Top-Up TV Anytime, between 11pm-6am) in HD or SD; or a mixture of all three. Overnight downloads could possibly be "rented" to other broadcasters.

The Ofcom application document: Notice of Invitation to Apply for DTT Multiplex B capacity Statutory Notice

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