Press release "Next generation set-top box to deliver HD channels to terrestrial households". Some interesting points in bold.
At this year's IBC, leading developer of digital TV technologies Pace plc, will
unveil its next generation set-top box based on the DVB-T2 transmission
standard. The Pace set-top box, expected to be one of the industry's first to
market for Freeview HD, will be available through retail distribution enabling
UK viewers to take advantage of the HD experience made possible by the DVB-T2
standard as part of a nation-wide enhancement to the digital terrestrial
television (DTT) platform.
By optimising bandwidth in the network, DVB-T2 allows broadcasters and service
providers to bring HD content to the home terrestrially for the first time. Pace
has worked closely with UK free-to-air digital TV service provider Freeview and
UK broadcasters, including the BBC, to develop the new set-top box and to ensure
that it complies fully with the DVB-T2 standard. Set for market launch in the
first half of 2010, Freeview hopes to achieve up to 50% HD coverage across the
UK by the time the World Cup begins in June next year, well ahead of the 2012
Commenting on the new DVB-T2 box, Mathias Hautefort, President of Pace France
said; "The launch of DVB-T2 represents an important transition for DTT
broadcasting in the UK and a hugely exciting step forward for digital consumers.
Through our partnership with Freeview we are bringing a next-generation set-top
box to market that will be a key component in unlocking the power of Freeview HD
in the home."
The technology evolution that DVB-T2 brings in the form of HD channels creates
the climate for a box that has broad market relevance. Pace expects to launch
its Freeview DVB-T2 set-top box in the first half of 2010, but it can be
deployed in any country that opts to use the standard to deliver DTT HDTV
"With HD Ready TV penetration at around 12 million homes already in UK and with
growing consumer expectations from TV generally, we fully expect that DVB-T2
will help drive widespread HD adoption," continued Hautefort.
Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Freeview said: "As the UK's biggest and
fastest growing TV platform, we are on a mission to upgrade Britain to HD and
beyond. We're delighted that Pace will be on board to deliver one of the first
Freeview HD products to market next year."
Pace plans to follow its first DVB-T2 product with a Freeview+ HD digital TV
recorder version, providing digital terrestrial television viewers with even
more freedom over the content they watch.
Pace first demonstrated its DVB-T2 set-top box technology at last year's IBC.
The demonstration unit on show at IBC 2009, 11th-15th September in Amsterdam,
will be receiving a live T2 terrestrial broadcast feed via Holland's KPN as
evidence of the product's successful development. For more information, please
visit Pace's IBC stand B19 in Hall 1.
About Freeview HD
Freeview HD will give viewers access to subscription-free high definition
channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and S4C in Wales in addition to more than
50 Freeview channels in standard definition. Capacity has also been
provisionally reserved for Five to launch its proposed HD channel from late
Some early transmissions of Freeview HD have been agreed in London from December
this year and in other major cities (Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford and
Newcastle) ahead of the World Cup in June 2010.
The final UK roll-out schedule - which would make Freeview HD available to up to
50% of homes by the World Cup next year and to around 98.5% of households by the
end of switchover - is currently being finalised. The technical upgrade schedule
(other than the five early upgrades) is expected to follow the digital
switchover process, starting with Granada in December 2009 and concluding in