Freeview HD may launch before switchover in London and other cities
The plan for Freeview HD, which turns one of the three public service broadcasting digital multiplexes into a three-channel high definition service, was planned to roll out with digital switchover.
This would have meant that big cities, such as London, would not get the service until April 2012, missing three years of broadcasts.
Ofcom has proposed today (see Temporary assignment of UHF analogue interleaved frequencies - Ofcom) that temporary frequencies be found for the service before switchover.
If the consultation is accepted, the Freeview HD multiplex will broadcast from the Crystal Palace transmitter to London and surrounding area on C31 (at up to 20kW) for the 38 months prior to switchover.
The document also provides the costs of Freeview HD boxes as 150 in 2009 falling to 110 (2010), 90 (2011) and 80 (2012).
It is expected that frequencies can be found for other densely populated areas, such as Birmingham.