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Want BBC Three, FOUR, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC News in HD? You can, in 2014

Following today's decision by Ofcom, the BBC has finally announced the provision of all of their television channels in high definition, and they will be on cable, satellite and Freeview HD.

Following today's decision by Ofcom, the BBC has finally announ
published on UK Free TV

It appears that the BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will be added to the national Freeview HD multiplex (the one broadcast to over 98% of UK homes). Quite why we have to wait until next year, I'm not so sure.

In addition, the two new Freeview HD services that are in the "600MHz band" (between 550-606MHz) will reach 70% of the UK population will provide BBC FOUR (and CBeebies daytime) plus BBC News HD.

BBC News in HD from 2014.

See previous articles at Ofcom consults about Freeview HD two-multiplex upgrade plan in the 600MHz band and Ten more HD channels on two new Freeview HD multiplexes on air from 2014-18 - Freeview.

The three new streams (as they are called) will also find space on the Astra satellites for Sky and Freesat homes, plus they will be provided to the cable company for distribution that way.

In addition, "The BBC is also working on a proposal to launch regional variants of BBC One HD and BBC2 HD for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland." according to BBC to launch five new HD channels - News - Broadcast.

Channel 4 also offered to provide "simulcast at least one, and potentially two, television services on the [new Freeview HD] multiplex" (see Interim use of 600 MHz for DTT)

Ofcom's starement today, Award of the 600 MHz spectrum band Statement Publication date: 16 July 2013 says:

"This statement sets out our decision to proceed with an award of the 600 MHz spectrum band (550 to 606 MHz) to Arqiva on an interim basis. We will do so by granting a single licence for the establishment of temporary Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) multiplexes using DVB-T2/MPEG4 technology. The licence will run until 2026, but with a minimum duration to 31 December 2018, subject to revocation on 24 months' notice

One point of substantive challenge was that the proposed interim DTT licence might limit our ability to initiate any clearance of the 700MHz band - for mobile broadband -if such a clearance was to begin before the end of the proposed minimum licence term to the end of 2018. We have considered this argument carefully and decided, for the reasons set out in this statement, that the most proportionate way to address this issue is to add a clause in the licence that will allow us to vary or substitute the frequencies awarded in the 600 MHz band, as necessary, ahead of the end of 2018 in order to facilitate any transition of DTT from the 700 MHz spectrum."

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

12:26 PM

Only on Sky and Freeview that's a kick in the teeth for Freesat then.

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David's 306 posts GB flag
Andy Ripley

12:59 PM

It's only 3 new HD channels really (time sharing), and on Freeview could frequency allocation be a problem? What guess it's not on Freeview Lite masts?

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Andy Ripley's 32 posts GB flag

1:07 PM

Start a protest about Lite, Andy, you pay the same money as the rest of us.

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David's 306 posts GB flag

2:03 PM

David: Like the BBC wouldn't put their HD channels on their own service?

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag

2:06 PM

David: I have change the article to make it VERY CLEAR that there is 98%+ coverage for one stream.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag

2:08 PM

Andy Ripley: There will be 10 new streams on the two new Freeview HD multiplexes, plus the fifth one put to use on the existing Freeview HD multiplex.

That's 11 new streams, not three.

The BBC only have five streams:

BBC Four/CBeebies
BBC News

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag

3:15 PM

About time too. As Brianist said there was no reason that one stream could have been added to Freeview before although they did use it for the HD red button service. I have mixed feelings about regional services. It will be good to get rid of "This is BBC One HD" to get people to retune to 101. The down side is that regional programing is a bit pathetic. The local news often covers the same story day after day and the same news is read three times a day by different presenters. Our local news also only covers a very small area of the region.

So how is the BBC going to finance this. Freeview HD is very expensive to run. They are going to have to spend out alot of money as compensation to the BBC victims.

The HD red button service is still not available to Sky viewers due to the BBC failing to negotiate a deal with Sky.

So what will happen to the other 6 streams. The BBC failed to sell the current spare freeview stream so I wonder who might want to take these up.

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trevorjharris's 367 posts GB flag

4:16 PM

Channel 4's E4 HD and More 4 HD aren't currently free to air on satellite, so I assume this will change ?

Any sign of Channel 5 HD ????????

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PJH's 75 posts GB flag

6:44 PM


Channel 5 declined the offer of the spare slot on the HD mux, and I think it's very unlikely that they will take one of the new slots.

As I understand it Channel 5 only have to transmit their main channel in SD on DTT to retain their Ofcom PSB licence. It's up to them if they want to make it available in HD on free-to-air TV, and they clearly don't.

It's a similar position with ITV2, ITV3 & ITV4 where ITV receives income from Sky for exclusive carriage. They are commercial channels so it's their call.

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Mark's 181 posts GB flag
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