dtgA group of influential digital television experts has proposed that single frequency networks be used to broadcast 12 high definition channels on terrestrial from 2013.
The Digital TV Group panel produced the blueprint framework for the future of advanced digital television amid long-standing industry concern about the availability of HD services on terrestrial TV. It was revealed at the industry association’s annual summit yesterday.
Under the plans three multi frequency networks, which will give nearly 100% coverage, would be retained to carry public service and regional services. Meanwhile, two of the channels released by the switch to digital would be used for two single frequency networks providing 12 HD channels. It is estimated they would reach 70% of UK homes.

The group’s proposal, which it wants to be debated and developed, says the change should be introduced in 2013 once switchover is complete. The SFNs would use DVB-T2 transmission and MPEG4 compression. As the terrestrial network is converted further there would potentially room for up to 40 HD terrestrial channels.
Dr Ian Childs, a member of the expert panel, presented the proposals to the industry association’s event. He said the concern with current Ofcom proposals was that they did not offer “a sufficiently compelling product for the consumer”.

Without a clear HD plan the industry is worried that the future of digital terrestrial television in the UK will suffer. Dr Childs said the 12-channel offering “might be the minimum level that allows DTT to come up with a proposal to the public that makes it viable”.
He admitted that the proposals were “fairly radical” but added that he believed they could succeed. The DTV Group has previously made clear its dislike for Ofcom’s plans relating to the provision of HD on DTT but said its blueprint would “build” on them.

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By Expat