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Ofcom consults about Freeview HD two-multiplex upgrade plan in the 600MHz band

A plan to use some of the channels cleared by digital switchover for Freeview HD has been brought forward for consultation today by the regulator.

A plan to use some of the channels cleared by digital switchove
published on UK Free TV

As we covered back on 25th November 2012 Ten more HD channels on two new Freeview HD multiplexes on air from 2014-18 - Freeview news - there is plan to provide until the end of 2018 two more Freeview HD multiplexes.

The following sites will be upgraded to have two new DVB-T2/MPEG4 high definition services.

The sites that will get the services will be:

10 site plan (44.1% coverage): Crystal Palace, Winter Hill, Sutton Coldfield, Craigkelly, Black Hill, Divis, Pontop Pike, Rowridge, Wenvoe and Bilsdale.

20 site plan (61.8% coverage): above plus Waltham, Hannington, Belmont, Oxford, Tacolneston, Ridge Hill, Emley Moor, Mendip, Sandy Heath and Durris.

30 site plan (65.7% coverage): above plus Angus, Bluebell Hill, Sheffield, Moel-y-Parc, Caldbeck, Caradon Hill, Beacon Hill, Darvel, Fenton and Fenham.

The allocations of frequcneis are:

  • Crystal Palace C33, C35 In group
  • Winter Hill C31, C37 Out of group
  • Sutton Coldfield C33, C35 One just outside, One in group
  • Craigkelly C33, C34 In group
  • Black Hill C32, C35 One just outside, One in group
  • Divis C33, C34 In group
  • Pontop Pike C33, C34 Out of group
  • Rowridge HP C31, C37 In group
  • Wenvoe C31, C37 One just outside, One in group
  • Bilsdale C31, C37 In group
  • Waltham C31, C37 Outside with others
  • Hannington C32, C34 Just outside
  • Belmont C33, C35 In group
  • Oxford C31, C37 Out of group
  • Tacolneston C31, C37 Out of group
  • Ridge Hill C32, C34 In group
  • Emley Moor C32, C34 Just outside
  • Mendip C33, C35 Out of group
  • Sandy Heath C32, C34 In group
  • Durris C32, C35 In group
  • Angus C31, C37 Out of group
  • Bluebell Hill C32, C34 Just outside
  • Sheffield C31, C37 In group
  • Moel-y-Parc C32, C34 Just outside
  • Caldbeck C32, C35 In group
  • Caradon Hill C31, C37 In group
  • Beacon Hill C33, C34 Outside with others
  • Darvel C31, C37 In group
  • Fenton C32, C34 In group
  • Fenham C31, C37 In group

See also Ofcom - Award of the 600 MHz spectrum band - Including request to stakeholders to notify intention to apply

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Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Mike Dimmick
1:14 PM

Dave, KMJ: Channel 5 withdrew due to "financial constraints". It is widely believed that those financial constraints include some incentive from Sky for the channel to remain exclusive to pay services. That may be as simple as Sky paying the carriage costs on satellite, since the satellite transponder is shared with Sky Sports News HD and ESPN America HD. It may be that Channel 5 thought they could renegotiate this contract or break it early, but found that the compensation to Sky was too high to be covered by the expected ad revenue from Freeview. Which, to be honest, is unlikely to be substantially greater than the current revenue, as many viewers will simply switch from watching C5 in SD to watching it in HD.

On top of that, Channel 5 SD services have regional advertising - there are five versions of Channel 5 SD on satellite for this reason.

If Channel 5 wanted the HD service to go free-to-air on satellite, they would first have to lease a transponder, or space on a transponder, that uses the UK spot beam (although the current transponder is on the Astra 1N satellite, it uses the pan-European beam). Channel 4 and the BBC have spare capacity on the transponders they use for their HD services at present.

That's not a pre-requisite for going on Freeview, of course: as others have said, the UKTV stable are on Freeview without subscription, but require a subscription on other platforms.

link to this
Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Saturday, 9 March 2013
Félim Doyle
1:18 PM Aylesbury

I'm curious to know why the band-plan graphic above has gaps and why there is no channel 26 at all!

Even if the frequency ranges covered by the gaps are currently assigned to other services for the foreseeable future, surely it would have made sense to use a contiguous sequential numbering system across the entire band.

Where is that elusive channel 26?

Also, when new frequencies are allocated to DVB-T2, will set-top-boxes and TVs automatically recognise them or will we be looking at hardware upgrades?

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Félim Doyle's 18 posts GB
Félim's: Freeview map terrain plot frequency data R&TI Service digitaluk trade DAB coverage
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