Want BBC Three, FOUR, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC News in HD? You can, in 2014
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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From BBC - FAQs - BBC ?EUR" Launch five new HD Channels
The BBC announced on Tuesday 16 July, that it will launch five new subscription-free BBC HD channels. The new channels are as follows:
BBC News HD
BBC Three HD
BBC Four HD
These will launch by early 2014 and will be offered to all digital television platforms that carry HD channels.
The new channels will broadcast the same programmes as their standard definition equivalents in HD, giving viewers access to a further 250 hours of HD programmes per week than is currently available from the BBC. The majority of HD programmes from these channels will also be available to watch on demand via BBC iPlayer.
In addition, within the next six months, the BBC will present to the BBC Trust a proposal covering the technical options and timetable to launch English Regional variants of BBC One HD and variants of BBC Two HD for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The five new HD channels will be broadcast on satellite, covering approximately 99% of UK homes from launch. On digital terrestrial television (Freeview HD and YouView), BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will use capacity on the BBC's existing HD multiplex, which has 98.5% coverage of UK homes. BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new HD capacity, which will cover part of the UK and grow in coverage over time. Further information on this new digital terrestrial television capacity can be found in the press releases issued from Ofcom and Arqiva. The five new HD channels will also be offered to TV platform operators that run their own networks, such as cable TV and IPTV operators.
Further information can be found on the BBC Media Centre website.
BBC - Media Centre - BBC to launch five new subscription-free HD channels
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