back to article Ofcom: Fancy running a temporary HD Freeview TV channel?

Ofcom wants 10 new channels on Freeview, all in HD, and is asking if anyone fancies running them, but only until 2019 when the needs of mobile telephony will cause the plug to be pulled. Anyone interested will have to let the regulator know by 4 April, but assuming there's only one expression of interest then they'll get free …


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  1. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Hang on

    Does this mean they intend to screw over PMSEs yet again?

    We only just finished repurchasing all our kit as it became illegal to use after the Olympics (raising the cost of same by a fair bit), and this sounds like they're going to take those away yet again in another six years!

    I'd say it was time to send in the clowns, but it looks like they're already here...

  2. Mint Sauce


    So, we'll still be retuning the feckin' boxes once a week until at least 2019 then? Presumably for 'Babestation HD' 1 - 6 at a guess.

    1. Test Man

      Re: Retune

      Re Retune

      What I was surprised at was the fact that we need retuning at all. Why back in the 90s when they devised DVB-T didn't they mandate automatic tuning as mandatory for all tuners? I had a Freeview box (a Pace) that automatically tuned so all new channels just appeared. All my tuners since have required me to manually tune it. In this day and age, why is it that only a very few amount of boxes automatically tune?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Retune

        In my area, auto retune worked well until the switch over the other year. As part of the switch over they significantly increased the transmitter power levels. Because my aerial (like every one else's) was set up for pre-switch over signal levels I now can get lots of stations from out of my area. It has been much easier to use manual channel/mux selection, than to sort through the mess left by the automatic tuning.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Retune

        And of course, Sky Digital never requires a 're-tune' - it's hardly rocket science.

        The number of people I know with out-of-date setups is terrible... It's only techies that retune every few weeks

  3. Knoydart

    Beige space

    The channel plan should allow for PMSE to lie in between the proposed DTT multiplexs. If you have a 100MHz odd of spectrum and 2 nationwide multiplex then there should be gaps.

    The thing is, with a possible 3rd restacking, who foots the bill for it? Other non European members of region 1 are pushing the ITU for this second digital dividend and Ofcom didn't restack down in the first place, it begs an interesting question. WRC 15 and 2018 in Ofcom land will be fun and games

  4. MJI Silver badge

    FOAD mobile telephony

    I WANT my HD broadcasting

    1. Anonymous Сoward
      Thumb Up

      Re: FOAD mobile telephony

      Agreed. I'd rather have some more choice on the TV than have someone able to send their pictures to Fakebook faster than dial-up.

  5. Great Bu

    Two words.



    1. imba
      Thumb Up

      Re: Two words.

      Live TV... Thank you sir you've made me feel like a teenager again.

    2. Andy ORourke

      Re: Two words.

      On ice............

  6. Nigel Whitfield.

    There's already at least one proposal for broadcast use of the space, from the BBC, Channel 4 and Arquiva, which would most likely see an additional BBC channel, plus the red button, and perhaps two additional channels from the C4 stable getting HD simulcasts.

    The aim, of course, is to get more people to buy kit capable of receiving DVB-T2/H.264, which will enable a later wholesale shift of Freeview to those technologies, which some think is essential to maintaining a Freeview service as the bandwidth available contracts.

    So, to a large degree, I think this is a stalking horse, as I explained in a post of my own yesterday

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Nigel Whitfield

      Good post (on gonedigital) and I agree with your take on the situation, particularly as we can expect many people to have purchased replacements to their existing flat panel tv's and/or Freeview boxes by then. (My understanding is that flat panels have a relatively short design life with respect to colour quality particularly when compared to CRT's.)

  7. Why Not?
    Paris Hilton


    It will be cookery & Live Roulette.

    panem et circenses

    History is Cyclical!

    Why Paris? well they may break up the cookery programmes with Z list celebs taking their kit off.

  8. Narlaquin

    Here's what I want to see

    What would it take to have a Feeview HD channel dedicated to Science and Quality Documentaries? Surely the BBC could open their archives properly:

    Striping Life on Earth and the rest of the Attenborough Classics, Ken Clarke's Civilization, Cosmos, Horizon, The Ascent of Man, Old Open University content, Anything by James Burke. Throw in NASA TV rocket launches, Crystal Maze, Black Adder, The Great Egg Race, and the complete works of Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin.

    Original Content would be Tomorrow's World footage, with a retrospective from 30 years later.

    Admittedly the adverts would have be the same as everything else - Are Online Bingo and Compensation Lawyers really that lucrative that they can subside every single TV channel?

    1. electricmonk

      Re: Here's what I want to see

      I have only one thing to say to you:


      They're probably working on the Tomorrow's World Restrospective even now, just as soon as they've finished preparing the next batch of 1970s TOTP episodes. (It takes ages to edit out every shot of The DJ Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned.)

      Anyway, Crystal Maze was Channel 4.

      1. The last doughnut
        Thumb Down

        Re: Here's what I want to see

        BBC4 == The BBC History Channel. Sworn to serve the interests of "culture" and specifically to exclude all forms of Science.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Here's what I want to see

          I'm sure I've seen some of Coxxies shows on BBC4 - I may be mistaken..

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Here's what I want to see

        >I have only one thing to say to you: BBC4.

        I thought you were going to say DAVE ...

        >(It takes ages to edit out every shot of The DJ Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned.)

        Well they are already having to edit out every mention of that highly popular 70's glam rock star, who's material the media has elected not to air since ~1999.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Here's what I want to see

      Sounds like the long missed channel BBC Knowleage

  9. Matt 52


    Does anyone actually watch broadcasts now? I thought that was why any new TV came with BBC IPlayer et al?

    1. Test Man

      Re: Why...?

      "any new TV" - let's see. Oh, only a small selection of "smart TVs" on sale.

      So not really "any new TV".

    2. M7S

      Re: Why...?

      Nothing but broadcast, or recorded off air.

      Your tv may be smart but my broadband sucks

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      @Matt 52 Re: Why...?

      Can you imagine what would happen to the general UK consumer internet structure if tomorrow, everyone who watched Eastenders did so by streaming it?

  10. s. pam

    The two channels should be, since we're paying for them

    Film4 HD

    Five HD

    Followed by Discovery Channel (since they rake it in like mad, you'd think they'd show repeats to get folks to Pay-TV to get mroe)

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: The two channels should be, since we're paying for them

      Not quite sure in what sense you think you're paying for those (rather than any other channel with ads on), as neither channel is licence fee funded. But with a bit of luck, Film4 HD might be a possibility, were the joint BBC/C4/Arqiva proposal to be picked. Though knowing our luck, they'd do HD versions of More 4 and E4 instead.

  11. JeeBee

    I think I'd rather than 20 SD music channels - at least with that at least one will be playing music at any given time, and one or two might stray from the top 100 music tracks into better stuff.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Channels of...

    women gyrating on TV silently to callers on high premium rate numbers or roulette tables with lots of people gambling away their benefits and pay...

    It really is a poor show on TV presently. Maybe those channels could be took up with community based channels or more children's/music/sci-fi channels.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: More Channels of...

      Do you remember? Back in the days of 4 channels, and after they all went mostly 24 hours per day, you could always find something to watch overnight.. Maybe some old film, but something, at least.

      Nowadays. overnight TV is all about selling ah-bras and nono shavers, and that thingie that cleans your floor with only water!

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