back to article Ofcom confirms Freeview will get HD next year

Free-to-air satellite broadcasting system Freesat may have only just launched in the UK as an outlet for BBC and - soon - ITV HD programming, but regulator Ofcom has confirmed that some Brits will get HD over Freeview next year. The service will allow UK users to receive up to four HD channels through a regular television …


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  1. Ken Young

    Last time I checked the UK existed of more than just England

    Ofcom regulates the WHOLE of the United Kingdom

    For those of you who DO NOT live in England check out for your dates.

  2. david bates

    New box? Pfffff

    They can forget the time switch-off comes I'll have rebuilt my AV setup around a BIG monitor and no tuner.

    Who needs traditional broadcasts in this day and age? Plus its a good way of NOT having a TV License and avoiding a big fine...

  3. Liam

    bbc hd

    shows some utter crap! always seems to be jules holland on! ok, its nice to have dolby digital audio coming through but doesnt really need to be 1080i does it?

    why dont we get match of the day (or normal football) or dr who on it? torchwood (dr camp) looks great, as does robbin hood and heroes. yet the beeb fail to make dr who in HD?

    anyway - its pretty good when something worth watching comes on it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't work with integrated HD tuners

    Ofcom plans to force the use of the (yet to be finalised) DVB-T2 standard for HD (and probably some SD) broadcasts. This will not work with any TVs with integrated DVB-T HD tuners, such as the one described in the article. It will probably land the UK consumer having to pay more for any integrated HD set, after having gone for a different modulation standard to that being adopted in most other places.

  5. m hutchinson

    Free ?

    Can anyone explain how Virgin and Sky are legally allowed to charge for BBC HD content which every TV owner in the country has already paid for ? Also, why is iPlayer appearing on every conceivable platform requiring payment to a third party except for Freeview which is the only place it should really be.

  6. Michael Saunders

    Another Freeview Box?

    So what about my brand-spanking new HD TV with built-in freeview? Will I be needing to strap another box on top to receive HD Freeview or will the built-in service take care of it?

  7. James Le Cuirot
    Dead Vulture

    @m hutchinson

    They don't charge for it. As usual, some of the details in this report are technically incorrect. BBC HD is a free-to-air channel. I can pick it up on my DVB-S card at no extra charge. Not that it's watchable, while my PC is up to the job, the drivers aren't... yet.

  8. BigTim

    @ Michael Saunders

    Sorry Mike, you will need a new box,

    There are _no_ TVs on the market that wil be able to receive this new HD service.

    As someone has already posted, it's slated to use the DVB-T2 standard. This is not ratified yet and there are no commericially available DVB-T2 tuners.

    So, a new box for you and, perhaps, some tellies with this built in out in a year's time.

  9. Pat

    London last as usual

    Well that's great. As usual London is on the back burner. I'm sick of all this Provincocentric bias in this country, the papers are always full of Burnley this, Evesham that, what about giving Londoners a fair go for once?

  10. Steve
    Thumb Down

    @M Hutchinson

    I can explain.

    They don't. You pay for the service of having cable, or in the case of sky of having the hardware. Once that's all set you get a bunch of channels for free, the rather useless BBC HD included in that list. You have to pay for any channels with content worth watching though.

    iPlayer is an interactive service, the platforms it's appearing on are pc's and consoles, with the exception of VM, but that's a bi-directional connection. How do you suggest that an on demand service works on a system that is receive only, and broadcast not cabled?

  11. Peter Thomas
    Thumb Down


    1080i is a picture standard, nothing to do with audio! 1080i is as high as UK broadcast goes, you can't get 1080p TV channels here. What are you complaining about?

    The BBC made the choice to avoid HD Doctor Who in order to have more episodes of regular vanilla SD Doctor Who made.

  12. Jon G


    We are all constantly being lectured at by the BBC about Global Warming, so I'd love to find out what the carbon-cost of this whole unnecessary project is - ie how much CO2 will be pumped into the atmosphere during the manufacture and shipping of all those TV's and STB's that will be required - let alone how much extra energy is used in the production of the programmes themselves

  13. Jess
    Paris Hilton

    @ m hutchinson

    I'm curious as to how your proposal of iplayer via freeview would work.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @ M Hutchinson

    Now forgive me if I'm wrong, but Sky don't charge for BBC's one of the only 'free' HD channels you can get on Sky atm more's the pity!

    I say free, but of course you need to already own a Sky HD box, Satellite dish and HD TV...but then again you still need a TV and aerial to watch terrestrial!

  15. Scott
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Dr Who...

    Just for the record, the Beeb have said that they won't be doing HD Who because of the need to rebuild the Tardis as it would be too obvious how fake it is...

    I suppose I can understand that, to a degree.

    Paris because when she opens her legs, it's a little like a Tardis...

  16. Mike Brown
    Paris Hilton

    virgin and sky

    "Can anyone explain how Virgin and Sky are legally allowed to charge for BBC HD content which every TV owner in the country has already paid for ?"

    they dont. BBC HD is available free from sky without paying the £10 HD tax, you just need the £300 HD box. Also with Virgin you pay the £75 for the HD box and then you get the BBC HD channel free.

    Paris as she dosent pay for HD either. (woop woop 1st paris picture and comment, im a big boy now!!)

  17. Jonathan Lancaster


    Sky don't charge for BBC HD- they supply you with a subsidised box on the basis that you subscribe to their commericial HD package. You can watch BBC HD without subscription, though. Likewise Virgin media don't charge you for BBC HD itself, rather the rental of the box and probably some array of channels that come with the box.

    Iplayer over freeview wouldn't work, just as it's not available on sky, either- no return path for you to communicate with the broadcaster. If you can't find a way to hook your pc up to your tele, i suggest you go and buy a freeview pvr- much the same functionality as iplayer, 'cept you can keep things indefinitely- only downside is you have to tell it what you wanna watch before the broadcast rather than after, but get the season link set up and it's not too much of a problem.

  18. Sean Aaron


    Four channels is hardly incentive to replace my existing set-top box. I notice Scotland wasn't mentioned, so I guess it's not happening up here anyway.

  19. Matthew

    The TV I bought less than a year ago says it's HD Ready

    But it obviously isn't, sure the screen can take an HD signal from an external device but it's not the same thing.

    I'm sure theres a legitimate case for Trading Standards here, there has to be loads of people who've bought new digital HD sets in anticipation for HDTV broadcasts only to find that what they've bought it not compatible.

  20. randomtask

    CAM Module for thsoe with Freeview TVs?

    Would those of us with freeview TVs not be able to purchase a CAM module that will allow us to receive the HD content? I think a trial was carried out in Dublin using this technology where people chosen were given the CAMs to install into the TVs port.

  21. Jon Winter

    Free HD over Sky

    I can confirm this, I just reached the end of my 12 month Sky HD contract and stopped paying the £10 a month HD tax. I still receive BBD HD and Channel 4 HD no problems at all. Why anyone would want to pay £10 for the rest of the crappy HD channels Sky pump out, I have no idea. I don't think I ever found a single HD broadcast on Sky One 'HD'...the endless repeats of the Simpsons were barely SD quality. Looking forward to the Freesat and Freeview HD offerings so I can avoid paying the Evil Empire for the privilege of being able to record in HD next....

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Dr Who... @ Scott

    "because of the need to rebuild the Tardis as it would be too obvious how fake it is..."

    You mean it's not a real time machine?


  23. MrM

    No Rush!

    Well ill be in no rush to upgrade! i imagine it'll be many years before there'll be any decent HD content to justify the expense!

    @david bates - i like your thinking, 90% of everything i watch comes from the internet! No need for tuners really. Once i can afford a couple of TB hard drives i think ill just live off my own archive.

  24. Azz

    HD Nonsense

    It's all a load of crap.

    I have Sky HD and the only thing i have watched that was remotely HD is heroes (on BBC HD). Everything else seems to be up scaled crap. My Panasonic TV probably up scales SD content just as well. They should be forced to advertise what the content is. It's just as big of a con as the HD Ready bollox.

  25. Scott

    Re: Dr Who...

    "You mean it's not a real time machine?


    Ok, ok, that wasn't exactly what I meant... :P

    Something to do with the way they designed the Tardis console - in HD it would look possibly worse than the original Blake's 7 stuff. Or even Prisoner: Cell Block H's walls... :D

  26. Alistair

    Ah excellent

    This gives me a perfect excuse not to get rid of my massive 28inch widescreen Sony CRT just yet. Must wait for built-in HD Freeview decoder.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    I don't believe there will be any products of any decent quality available for some time. I wonder who's interest OFCOM are really looking after these days... they seem to be pushing something on an industry that's resisting just for their own agenda.

    I have heard that OFCOM even tried to press a manufacturer into changing their statement about when their product would be available. Is that the role of a regulator?

  28. Scott Mckenzie


    I'd happily pay extra for HD channels if they banned football from it. Forever.

    Sky Sports HD exists for Football, keep it there.... you can then continue to pay silly prices for it to fund the silly wages for the nonces to dive around on a pitch a couple of times a week.

    Then we can have Rugby and Motor Racing on the free HD channels.

  29. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    When is HD not HD?

    When its mostly upscaled SD.

    When the channel bitrate is so low that the compression artefacts more than obliterate the increase in pixel resolution.

    Broadcast HD, *so* not worth the money.

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