freeviewhdThe BBC has announced that high definition broadcasts on digital terrestrial television will commence in December.
The plan to launch HD services on a reconfigured version of what is presently known as multiplex B will see Freeview HD – initially comprised of high definition services from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – will roll out across the UK in tandem with digital switchover starting with the Winter Hill transmitter, which serves Manchester and Liverpool. Regions that have already switched to digital will be reconfigured retroactivel

A previously announced date of November has had to be adjusted back to December because that is the month in which multiplex B from that transmitter will actually switch, as distinct from the November date when switchover first commences in the region.
In a posting on the BBC Internet Blog, Graham Plumb of the BBC Operations Group explained: “The plan is still to launch Freeview HD on December 2nd at the Winter Hill transmitter serving Manchester and Liverpool. The plan has always been to roll Freeview HD out around the country following switchover and Winter Hill was selected as the first achievable transmitter. There will need to be a retrospective upgrade of regions that have already switched.”
Thumb added that London’s Crystal Palace transmitter will also be upgraded for Freeview HD in the same month.
“The BBC has been working on plans to deliver early upgrades to some stations (serving high populations) that are late in the switchover programme and would otherwise have to wait long for Freeview HD.

“One example is London that switches over in 2012 but we’re planning to upgrade its Crystal Palace transmitter in December this year. There are another four main transmitters that we plan to upgrade in the first half of 2010. We can give the names and dates of these transmitters in a little while when plans are a bit firmer. We are also planning an upgrade to the Digital UK postcode database, which will tell viewers when they can expect their transmitter to be upgraded to Freeview HD.

“Although everything is still on track against plans, there are significant technical and contractual challenges – not least to get transmission and domestic receiver equipment through design, development and delivery stages within an ambitious timescale. As with any major technical project, there is always a risk of slippage due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. However, there is industry-wide commitment to rolling out Freeview HD as soon as possible, and good progress is being made on all fronts.”

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By Expat