Next generation of Freeview unveiled

Monday, March 9 2009, 09:57 GMT

Specifications for the next generation of Freeview have been published by the Digital TV Group, the UK's industry association for digital TV.

The new book of specifications takes into account plans to launch HD services as part of a development plan that uses the new DVB-T2 transmission standard and MPEG-4 compression to increase the digital terrestrial platform's capacity. It specifies HD standards for subtitles and interactive services, adds an automatic rescan function so that consumers do not have to manually retune boxes to receive new services, and also introduces a broadband return path to enable two-way interactivity.

"The launch of HD services on Freeview is a landmark in UK broadcasting and I am intensely proud of the role the DTG and its membership are playing," said Richard Lindsay-Davies, director general of the DTG. "The DTG was established by the industry over a decade ago to protect consumers and safeguard the reputations of distribution platforms and receiver manufacturers.

“This has been achieved by defining the detailed interoperability specification for UK DTT, and by the development and implementation of test specifications and test regimes to measure product conformance against brand requirements. I am delighted that the expertise we have gained creating the robust open standards that have helped Freeview reach 65% of UK homes can now be applied to DVB-T2 services, which will offer four channels of free-to-air HD programming and firmly establishing the UK as a world leader in DTT services. "

Lindsay-Davies added that the new specification would "ensure that Freeview HD receivers will meet levels of compliance achieved previously only on vertical or lower volume proprietary tandard platforms".