ofcomOfcom will meet with the UK’s major broadcasters to discuss the future of high definition services on digital terrestrial television.
The media regulator and broadcasters are at odds over whether spectrum currently used for analogue services should be at least partially reserved for HD on digital terrestrial or auctioned off for other purposes. Ofcom maintains that there is sufficient capacity for up to 6 HD channels to be launched on DTT in addition to a spectrum auction, while the broadcasters and many MPs are worried that such an auction would make the provision of free-to-air HD on digital terrestrial unlikely.

“We have got no interest in having a fight on the matter,” Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards told the media select committee today. “We have set up meetings with broadcasters to discuss this in detail over the next couple of weeks. It is not a matter of ideology for us. It is a matter of technical fact.
“In our estimation there could be between four and six high definition channels put on digital terrestrial television to complement satellite and cable. We are looking very carefully at the argument that there is compelling public interest for a specific allocation of some spectrum specifically for HD.”

In February, an alliance of broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers and supportive MPs launched the HDforAll campaign, which seeks to ensure that high definition services will be available on free-to-air DTT.

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By Expat