freeviewhdFreeview has said that it is “on track” to meet the target of 50% UK coverage for its high definition service by the World Cup in June.
On December 2, Freeview HD began broadcasting at the Winter Hill and Crystal Palace transmitter groups covering England’s North West and London respectively.

Over the course of March, around 4.5 million further homes have gained access to the service, following the activation of advance networks covering the Leeds-Bradford and Birmingham areas.
Coverage has also been boosted by the retrofitting of transmitter groups servicing west and central Wales, along with other parts of the North West.
Freeview, which counts Arqiva, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky among its shareholders, has said that it is “on track” for half the UK to be able to receive Freeview HD by the World Cup in June.
Freeview HD coverage will rise to 60% by the end of 2010 and 98.5% by the end of the digital switchover in 2012. A full Freeview HD launch schedule is available here.
Speaking yesterday at a launch event, BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, who is also chair of Freeview, described the platform as a “real success story” and a “good example of partnership across the industry”.
A range of 16 different Freeview HD products were showcased at the event, including set top boxes from £99, Freeview+ HD boxes from £250 and IDTVs from £480. Some products are already available, while others will follow over the coming months.

BBC HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD are already live on the service, but Five HD has been delayed after the broadcaster failed to submit sufficient information to Ofcom.
Thomson said that the BBC is now exploring options with the media regulator on how best to utilise the available capacity for launching an additional Freeview HD channel by the end of 2010.
Also speaking at the event, Freeview managing director Ilse Howling reiterated her belief that Freeview HD will see high definition go “mass market”.
She said that the launch of high definition on digital terrestrial television is a “genuinely momentous” moment as it will bring the service to a raft of homes yet to experience it. Freeview is currently on the main set in around 10m UK households and on 18.2m sets in total.

Howling accepted that Freeview HD offers a smaller number of HD channels compared to pay-TV operators. However, she stressed that the platform actually hosts the programming which accounts for the majority of viewing in standard and high definition.
Using BARB data, Howling highlighted that BBC HD is the ninth most watched channel in the UK’s HD-ready homes, and the most watched HD channel.

Share Button

By Expat