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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

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

8:57 PM

@Peter Henderson: If the multiplex contains only public service broadcasting channels, especially if they are channels from the BBC, then I would imagine that they would be required to be carried on the relay transmitters as well as the main transmitters.

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Josh's 97 posts GB flag
9:20 PM

Does a switchover in 2018 to DVB-T2 mean that existing non-hd freeview televisions, set-top boxes and recorders will become obsolete? This would not go down well with the public only 6 years after the completion of the digital switchover.

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Julian's 8 posts GB flag

9:29 PM

I note the Red Button mentioned in the article and would like to ask if it is possible to record it.
I record Dragons Den but then have to miss the Red Button extra that follows.

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John's 34 posts GB flag

11:43 PM

Not so sure that they will be able to fill 10 channels even if the spectrum was to be made available. There is a spare HD channel available now which the BBC has been unable to find a use for.

As I understand the cost of a freeview hd channel is far greater than an equivalent satellite channel. Channel 5 has reject an HD channel on freeview. The BBC could start a 3rd HD channel tomorrow if they were serious.

Satellite has become the natural home of HD. The Olympics needed 25 extra channels which terestrial will never be able to support.

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trevorjharris's 367 posts GB flag
Monday, 26 November 2012

1:14 AM

Well there is meant to be space now even for 20 HD channels apparently from 101 - 120 one reason for the recent re-shuffle of channels

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Dave's 126 posts GB flag

1:16 AM

AS for Channel 5 HD the goverment should force them to be on freeview as it's one of the main 5 channels

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Dave's 126 posts GB flag

1:18 AM

>> 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?

This is nonsense, the Freeview HD quality is as good if not better with me than freesat, you do need a minimum of a 42 inch TV to show this off really though

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Dave's 126 posts GB flag
1:34 AM

I can receive both FreesatHD using a set top box by Bush or as the TV has a Freeview Tuner built in. Freeview does not give anywhere as near the number of channels. Would changing the aerial make any difference to the number of channels or is better to stick with Freesat.

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Dennis's 3 posts GB flag
1:40 AM

When is Canterbury Kent likely to get a good Freeview service at present I can only receive about 15 TV Stations which give good vision and many radio stations. I have been told this is because we use the Chartham Aerial is this in fact the case.

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Dennis's 3 posts GB flag
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