BBC starts Freeview HD test transmissions

The BBC has commenced DVB-T2 test transmissions in preparation for the launch of high definition services on Freeview.

The tests, which are being conducted from the Guildford transmitter, follows the approval by the DVB Project of the DVB-T2 specification, an improved version of the DVB-T standard currently used for digital terrestrial transmissions in the UK designed to increase capacity and thus permit the carriage of high definition services on the platform.

Plans announced in April by broadcasting regulator Ofcom will see multiplex B cleared of its current standard definition services, converted to use the DVB-T2 standard to increase its total capacity, and used for the carriage of BBC HD and other public service broadcasting offerings by the end of 2009.

BBC Research and Innovation is conducting the test transmissions in partnership with National Grid Wireless and Arqiva. It is also developing a modem compliant with the newly-ratified DVB-T2 standard.

Justin Mitchell, who leads the DVB-T2 modem development team for BBC Research and Innovation, said: "We are delighted that our team in collaboration with our partners has been able to deliver such a key piece of technology in such a short timescale. This is a big step forward in enabling the introduction of full HD terrestrial on Freeview by the end of 2009."