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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

Help with Television sets?
Why are all TVs on sale not digital?1
Do I still have to pay for a TV licence?2
I had perfect channel 5 reception - until I got a digital TV box!3
I Have a Pocket Tv For taking out so I can keep up with news and sport. Will thi4
The pictures from my digital box are all green!5
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Monday, 26 November 2012

9:38 AM

Julian: Yes, a switch to DVB-T2 does mean that existing standard definition tuners will be redundant. That is why this relatively low budget scheme has been proposed to encourage the majority of viewers to invest in DVB-T2 capable equipment. A partial switch to DVB-T2 would probably leave viewers with PSB1/PSB2 as the only muxes in standard def.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag

10:06 AM

trevorjharris: It will be interesting to see which channels are interested in transmitting in HD on what will be a more cost effective network than either of the existing PSB or COM freeview muxes. I suspect that Channel 5 intends to transmit eventually in HD replacing the current SD transmission. At present viewers to HD are in the minority, forcing a continuation of SD, which is why they declined a national HD slot. It is quite possible that HD will remain as a subscription service on satellite for commercial channels, in common with the situation in Germany where it is only the PSB services that transmit free-to-air in HD. It is a great pity that TV receivers are still being manufactured with DVB-T only tuners. It would appear that manufacturers are deliberately supplying equipment that needs to be upgraded to be fit for purpose. I would also include the abysmal loudspeakers that are fitted in that category!

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag

10:23 AM

KMJ, Of about 50 TV sets on display at our local giant Tesco store there are less than half a dozen with Freeview HD.
Joe Public is being kept in the dark about DVB-T2 and the problems awaiting people buying the present sets without it.

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David's 306 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:05 AM

David: I bought a new CRT television around 2004. I did look to see if there were any with digital tuners in-built but there weren't. In order to use the said set, I now must use a separate tuner.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:08 AM

Up until now, BBC, as a Public Service Broadcaster and recipient of the Licence fee has carried all its services from all transmitters. This is a departure from that "universal" coverage principle.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:23 AM

Dennis: Those in Canterbury, and indeed anywhere, can receive the full collection of Freeview channels "if" they can receive from one of the 81 full-service transmitters.

See the explanatio I wrote here:

Londonderry transmitter | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice

In some cases, those receiving from a relay such as Chartham find that they can, with a replacement aerial, receive the full service from one of those 81 transmitters.

It might be worth looking around your area to see what those around you are doing. Can you see any aerials pointing to Dover?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

11:31 AM

Yes Dave Lindsay, but I refer to people buying now a LED/LCD/Plasma TV set which they think as a digital tuner in and they no longer need a separate box. It is only DVB-T and they do not realise or know from the implementation of the changes in this Subject they needed a DVB-T2 set. I think they will feel short changed.

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David's 306 posts GB flag

11:34 AM

Dave Lindsay: That's nearly true about the BBC services/ Those people who were on non-Freeview relay transmitters could only watch BBC One and BBC TWO until switchover. And satellite viewers had more Red Button screens until a few months ago. It might be possible for Channel 5 HD to go on the new multiplexes, as the cost of carrying the services from 20 transmitters will be much less than for ALL of them.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
12:36 PM

KMJ:I think a full switch to DVB-T2 would be politically unacceptable.Look at the furore over the plans to switch over to DAB radio.
Even a partial switch would involve losing a significant number of channels received currently and be unpopular.

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Julian's 8 posts GB flag

1:25 PM

Julian doubt that they will take any notice of the public they going ahead with the mobile phone plan to cause interference to TV.
Change over to DAB will be going ahead, think I read they planning that in sort of secret, the hold was for the last general election I think.

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David's 306 posts GB flag
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