BBC looks for early HD DTT

HD services could be broadcast terrestrially across the UK sooner than planned. As previously reported in Broadband TV News the BBC has put in a request to open up spectrum to which the regulator Ofcom has responded favourably.

Ofcom’s current thinking is to reshuffle DTT services to allow room for three HD channels on Multiplex B. This would start with North West England in late 2009 and progressively rollout across the UK as analogue switch-off takes place over the following three years.

The regulator has conduced a case study on the use of Channel 31 in London – one of the metropolitan areas identified by the BBC – and believes the benefits to consumers outweigh the potential costs. Ofcom also believes there to be benefits to equipment manufacturers and broadcasters.

A consultation concluding on November 19 has been launched and the regulator hopes to publish a favourable statement assigning frequencies at the turn of the year.