Worries over national Freeview HD rescan

Thursday, May 21 2009, 10:07 BST

By James Welsh

The broadcasting industry is considering how to manage the national-scale Freeview box rescan that will be needed when all digital terrestrial multiplexes are reconfigured to permit the carriage of high definition channels on multiplex B.

The original Freeview HD rollout plan will see multiplex B be reconfigured for high definition channels - and the existing multiplex B services moved to other multiplexes - in tandem with the existing regional plan for digital switchover, where box rescanning is already necessary. However, the proposals to use analogue interleaved spectrum - those frequencies between channels used for analogue terrestrial broadcasts - on a temporary basis to roll out Freeview HD far earlier in London and other key metropolitan areas - has prompted talks about holding a national rescan event over concerns that asking people to repeatedly rescan their boxes will cause confusion.

According to The Guardian, 18m homes could be affected by the rescans related to HD rollout. A "senior source connected with the transmission frequency changes" told the paper that there are "currently active discussions about some sort of national retuning event".