BBC and Ariqva confirm HD build

By Julian Clover
October 16, 2009 11.27 UK

The BBC and Arqiva have announced the official agreement that will see part of the UK’s transmitter network upgraded to DVB-T2.

Transmissions in the HD format are expected to commence from the Winter Hill transmitter serving North West Britain on December 1. The DVB-T2 upgrade will then be made as each successive region goes through the analogue switch off process.

A small network of five additional transmitters that will bring HD services to key metropolitan areas ahead of their planned switchover dates. London will benefit from the end of 2009, with transmitters for Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, and Leeds/Bradford due to be on-air during spring 2010.

“The BBC has a long and distinguished history in developing technologies for the benefit of the wider media industry and consumer, and the work of our R&D team is as important in the digital age as it ever has been,” said Matthew Postgate controller research & development, BBC. “The pioneering work of the team in creating the standard, in partnership with DVB, has been instrumental in bringing HD to terrestrial TV and will allow Freeview to build on its phenomenal success.”

Steve Holebrook, managing director of terrestrial broadcast for Arqiva, described the move as a fantastic development. “Once again we in the UK are leading the world in television technology and this should stimulate the DVB-T2 market throughout Europe.”

Details of a consumer launch are yet to be given, but it is generally expected that supplies of DVB-T2 receivers will not be available until early in 2010.