back to article Ofcom: When shall we squeeze Freeview's girth?

Ofcom wants to know when Freeview broadcasts should be kicked down the dial in favour of iPad-friendly 4G signals - and, controversially, whether the BBC should be recompensed when it happens. Ofcom mooted the idea of shuffling Freeview aside onto new frequencies back in 2011, and put it into last year's plan with a 2018 date …


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  1. Richard Jones 1

    Current Schedules Doing The Work?

    Anyone trying to find something to watch must think that the schedulers have already decided that it is time to shut the store and move on to something else.

  2. David 138


    they are always messing about with freeview. Its for ever retuning and now they want us to throw our TVs out, or buy crappy boxes. Maybe we should get the auction money?

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: pfft

      Eh, what are you on about? AFAIK all current DVB T boxes and TVs should work just fine in the 600MHz band (part of the FreeView spectrum is there already). SOME current multiplexes are on DVB T2, which needs a newer TV or decoder to receive (anything that can handle FreeVew HD does this). Any changes will be in required aerials, filtering and the mix of stations on DVB T or T2.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pfft

        At easily 30 to 40 quid for a half-decent aerial, plus the cost fitting? I'd say we should all get a rebate on our TV licence for the year they make the move to compensate us for the out-of-pocket expense and inconvenience. Let those who buy the bandwidth make up the shortfall in the BBCs budget for the year.

  3. jonathan rowe

    just like the phone numbers

    we've had this before from OFCOM, lack of strategic thinking meant that some landline numbers were changed twice instead of once, e.g. London: 01 -> 071 -> 0207

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: just like the phone numbers

      No, it was worse than that. 01 became 071/081, then those became 0171/0181 followed by a further change to 020 7 and 020 8.

      Forward thinking? I believe they might have heard of it, but probably didn't feel it applied to them.

    2. Colin Miller

      Re: just like the phone numbers

      London was changed to 01 xxx yyyyy to 071 xxxx yyyyy so that all other land-lines could be changed later from 0 aaa bbbb to 01 aaa bbbbb. At this time, London could then change from 071 to 0171 or (as it happens) to 0207.

      Doing London from 01 to 0207 at the same time as the '1' was being added would be a recipe for confusion, as it would be difficult to tell if '01' was the correct new code for an number, or someone using the old London code.

      Now, all numbers starting 01 or 02 are to landlines; the second digit of the phone number will give you an idea of what type of number you are calling (although it is not perfect)

      1. David Beck

        Re: just like the phone numbers

        And of course they allowed Londoners to dial short codes just the '7' or '8' . I remember this well as my number started '845...' . You can imagine the calls we got. Well planned.

  4. banjomike

    Ofcom planners... what planners???

    Those wallys need to sit in a corner and think about what they want to achieve. THEN do it in one intelligent, coordinated, sensible move. This half-baked, disorganized mess is the sort of crap we expect from clowns like the US Patents Office or certain courts.

  5. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    They finally get Freeview working well

    ...then feck around with it, is Offcom run by PFY's?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    new aerials / DVB t2

    presumably the individuals at Ofcom that want to impose these changes are going to pay personally for any changes required and for upgrading every single freeview-capable receiver to ensure it remains capable of receiving a clear, watchable signal no matter what nonsense Ofcom gets up to.

    Not sure if the testing is still going on here in South East London but freeview signal has been **** for at least a week - channels dropping out randomly, then occasionally disappearing when a train goes past (which i've never noticed before - the dropping out, not the trains, they are hard to miss). They need to sort out the current setup before even considering any more changes.

  7. Tom Chiverton 1

    Sure, they do it when ever they like, as often as they like.

    But for heavens sake, only once boxes can be told to re-tune themselves.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Say the word "internet"

    And Ofcom takes it up the chuff like a good 'un. Even if it's to the disadvantage of current spectrum stakeholders / occupiers. Absolutely no spectrum is free of the touch of spectrum planners who seem to be accountants rather than engineers.

  9. Mage Silver badge

    The issue?

    1). Some people will need new aerials. All the TVs and boxes will work otherwise. Who pays?

    2) Mobile needs to use the space above 800MHz in UK more efficiently. Large empty places in USA might be OK for 700MHz and 800MHz, Cell size too big.

    3) DTT actually needs to keep the 700MHz and ought to have kept the 800MHz. Yes you can fit an SD channel in less space but when you want 40+ channels instead of 5, HD, 3D and later higher HD, it's short sighted to flog off a band to Mobile which is poor capacity for it anyway.

  10. Jim Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    One to many....

    Using bandwidth efficient broadcast frequencies in favour of peer to peer - it sucks. But it means you can get tv onto your mobile of course. Doh!

    Stupidity wins :((

  11. Harry

    Aren't there too many unnecessarily pointless TV channels anyway?

    If people really want to watch ITV one hour behind the original schedule, they can program their video recorders to save it. The same with numerous repeats of programs like Coronation Street. If you don't like its original transmission time, record it -- retransmitting it is a horrendous waste of the spectrum.

    If people really want to watch products being auctioned, they could go to an internet auction site.

    If people want to watch "Gone with the Wind" for the 23rd time, why don't they record it to play whenever they need, or download it from a site like itunes?

    Phase down the number of channels to half of the present and insist that bidders for new or renewing licenses must broadcast 90% original content. Designate some channels to be shared for specific minority interests, but have an annual poll of the others with the least popular ones losing their licence.

  12. hoola Bronze badge
    Thumb Down


    Ofcom are just an inefficient quango that badly manages everything they touch. They are incapable of looking past next month let alone 2018.

    They need taking to task and ending up with having to replace every aerial/digibox etc FOC in they way the Town Gas/Natural Gas change over occured.

    Currently they are relying on technology churn and the public replacing equipment to get them out of a hole.

    What they probably would prefer is that everyone has cable or satellite. Then they can flog the entire spectrum off. Of course once it has gone, it can never be reclaimed........

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