Freeview to get fifth HD channel, possibly by Christmas 2011
The BBC have undergone extensive subjective user testing with "a variety of HD content" and have concluded that the new version of the MPEG-4 (H.264) encoding software used for the Freeview HD multiplex can now handle five channels, up from the current four.
The material tested included:
- A loop of critical Saturday night programming, including very difficult to code sequences from BBC programmes;
- A combination of different sequences from the other Relevant PSBs;
- Live content;
- HD content from the last Olympics;
- Very hard to code sequences on four and then all five channels.
Ofcom is now satisfied that five HD services can be run on the "BBCB" DVB-T2 multiplex by spring 2012, and possibly before Christmas 2011. This is in line with Ofcom's original plan for Freeview HD.
The possible channels that are currently broadcasting could be one from ITV: ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD, ITV4 HD; one from Channel 4: E4 HD, Film4 HD; one from Channel 5: Channel 5 HD.
The other possible applicants are S4C, which is unlikely given the broadcasters funding crisis, STV and UTV have no broadcasting HD channels.
Most of the above HD channels are under "exclusive" contracts with Sky, with the exception of Film4 HD which is "exclusive" to Virgin Media. Five HD was assessed by the regulators as unsuitable for Freeview HD last year.
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David: Why not look at the Freeview on Crystal Palace TV transmitter | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice page?
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Huw Radley: Yes! quite a number of people have problems with reception of Crystal Palaces low powered HD service, and especially so if they reside to the North of the station, as dependant on their location they can usually pick up Sandy's SDN Mux Ch31 on the rear of their aerial, and at a sufficient enough strength to cause problems with Crystal Palaces HD reception, this also using Mux Ch31.
I am unaware if you yourself actually resides North of the station, but its something that should always be kept in mind by anyone experiencing problems who does.
Unfortunately this situation will not change until 18th April 2012, although when it does will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are receiving a signal on a device with a top tuner, these sets having one of the best tuners around for overall sensitivity and general performance.
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Roy: If you know for absolute certain that Freeview HD reception is possible in your area then it sounds suspiciously as though your TV is of the types commonly seen advertised (misleadingly) as being HD ready, models under that description being capable of showing an HD image but only from an external source.
You haven't given any details regarding location (pref: post code) nor the model of TV in question, but if you have a look in the TV's manual / specifications / tuner, see whether DVB-T or DVB-T2 is mentioned, as only the latter is capable of tuning in an HD transmission.
If you don't have the user manual give an update giving the model number of the TV involved.
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