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Ten more HD channels on two new Freeview HD multiplexes on air from 2014-18

Ofcom has recently suggested that BBC, Channel 4 and Arqiva plan for an interim Freeview HD service, before a new HD switchover in 2018 - to free up more space for 4G mobile broadband - could be put into service.

Ofcom has recently suggested that BBC, Channel 4 and Arqiva pla
published on UK Free TV

Just in case you missed it, in the recently published Securing long term benefits from scarce low frequency spectrum: UHF strategy statemen Ofcom document, footnote 64 is a link to BBC Channel 4 Arqiva - Interim use of 600 MHz for DTT which details "to make efficient use of the empty spectrum Ofcom will need to allocate two Multi-Frequency Networks (MFN) DTT licences to Arqiva".

The proposal suggest that, to allow for the move in 2018 to clear the 700MHz band of television frequencies - for allocation to mobile broadband - that two new DVB-T2 multiplexes are created in the 600MHz band. (see also Ofcom channel bingo II - introducing the bands and More Freeview capacity - COM7, COM8 and COM9 - in the 600MHz band).

The top 20 transmitter sites in the UK are, in terms of coverage:

Crystal Palace (17%), Winter Hill (10.2%), Sutton Coldfield (7.1%), Emley Moor (5.9%), Black Hill (3.6%), Sandy Heath (3.5%), Waltham (2.9%), Mendip, Belmont, Pontop Pike (all 2.7%), Rowridge (2.4%), Bilsdale (2.2%), Hannington (1.8%), Sudbury, Divis (both 1.7%), Craigkelly, Oxford (both 1.6%), Wenvoe (1.4%), Tacolneston (1.3%) and The Wrekin (just 1.1%).

The proposal states that:

"the BBC Executive plans to simulcast a third BBC television service and potentially the BBC Red Button video service in HD, Channel 4 plans to simulcast at least one, and potentially two, television services on the interim multiplex ... rollout of the 20 sites could complete in 2014"

This would, following the Arqiva strategy set out in Creation of Broadcast Layers 7, 8 and 9 in 600MHz released Spectrum - Arqiva 21 Sept 2011 potentially use the following allocations:

First multiplex

Sudbury - C31 100kW
Tacolneston - C31 100kW
Crystal Palace - C33 200kW
Sutton Coldfield - C33 200kW
The Wrekin - C33 20kW
Winter Hill - C31 100kW
Emley Moor - C32 200kW
Wenvoe - C31 100kW
Waltham - C31 50kW
Mendip - C33 100kW
Rowridge - C31 200kW
Belmont - C33 200kW
Bilsdale - C31 100kW
Black Hill - C32 100kW
Craigkelly - C33 20kW
Divis - C33 100kW
Hannington - C32 50kW
Oxford - C31 100kW
Pontop Pike - C33 100kW
Rowridge - C31 200kW
Sandy Heath - C32 200kW

Second multiplex

Sudbury - C37 100kW
Tacolneston - C37 100kW
Crystal Palace - C35 200kW
Sutton Coldfield - C35 200kW
The Wrekin - C35 20kW
Winter Hill - C37 100kW
Emley Moor - C34 200kW
Wenvoe - C37 100kW
Waltham - C37 50kW
Mendip - C35 100kW
Rowridge - C37 200kW
Belmont - C35 200kW
Bilsdale - C37 100kW
Black Hill - C35 100kW
Craigkelly - C34 20kW
Divis - C34 100kW
Hannington - C34 50kW
Oxford - C37 100kW
Pontop Pike - C34 100kW
Rowridge - C37 200kW
Sandy Heath - C34 200kW

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Sunday, 25 November 2012

3:39 PM

What does this mean in practical terms for viewers, who will get it and who will not get the extra HD?
Turning to Freesat are they not to get the extra HD stations?

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David's 306 posts GB flag

5:13 PM

David: If you get your Freeview direct from one of the above transmitters, you will get ten extra 10 channels soon. If you don't, you may get them in 2018.

Not withstanding the aerial groups issue - COM7, COM8 and COM9 part II - which transmitters are "in group" | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice .

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

5:18 PM

I thought that the BBC are too budget constrained to launch any new HD simulcasts of their channels?

But, if the BBC do launch any new HD simulcasts of their channels as a result of this extra space, I'd love to see an HD simulcast of the BBC News channel! This would especially make sense when you consider that the BBC are upgrading their news studios to be HD capable.

One of the reasons I would love to see an HD version of the BBC News channel is because sometimes, I have been in waiting rooms or receptions with a large plasma TV showing the BBC News channel, and it is properly set up to show the channel in widescreen, but it is spoilt by the fact that you can see too many compression artifacts!

I can understand if anybody here disagrees with the idea of an HD version of the BBC News channel, but I just think that it would be great.

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Josh's 97 posts GB flag

6:42 PM

Josh: BBC TWO HD will be broadcasting the BBC News channel all afternoon soon...

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

6:56 PM

briantist,any plans for bollywood movie channels in hd on digital tv?

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sharealam's 226 posts EU flag
7:19 PM

Although I live firmly in the east midlands our strongest signal is from west mids transmitter. Will these extra 10 hd channels still be stronger through the west transmittor?

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austin's 1 post GB flag
austin's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage

7:49 PM

Thanks Briantist I get Freeview from a full channel station but it is not a main station, will I be OK or have to get a new aerial for a main station?

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David's 306 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson

8:10 PM

Does this mean more HD channels on Freesat for those that are served by main transmitters other than those listed, or relay stations Brian ?

It would be a shame if the extra HD channels were just confined to a few main terrestrial transmitters.

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Peter Henderson's 240 posts GB flag

8:18 PM

I just want Channel 5 HD, we have to wait until 2014 for it then ?

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Dave's 126 posts GB flag

8:19 PM

At present HD quality is not as good on Freeview as on Sky and Freesat will the HD quality improve with these new HD stations on Freeview?

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David's 306 posts GB flag
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