freeviewhdAn extra 10 HD channels on Freeview could be on the way following today’s announcement by Ofcom, in which it proposes to award a licence to operate two digital television multiplexes using frequencies that are temporarily available until the end of 2018. However, not all viewers would be able to receive the service. Subject to the outcome of the current consultation on the matter, up to 30 TV transmitter sites would offer the extra multiplexes, and therefore the extra channels.
According to Ofcom, nearly two thirds of the UK population – up to 65.7% – would be able to receive the extra Freeview HD channels if all 30 of the designated transmitter sites are used. This would increase to 71% of the population if viewers in fringe or overlap areas between transmitters realigned their aerials or installed an extra aerial pointing at the transmitter mast broadcasting the extra services, instead of the transmitter they currently receive services from.
In comparison, over 1100 transmitter sites are used to broadcast the basic range of Freeview channels across 98.5% of the UK population. 81 sites are used to broadcast the full range of Freeview channels to around 90% of the UK.

The BBC and Channel 4 confirmed last year that if these multiplexes go live, they would both offer additional HD channels on the platform, with satellite and cable viewers likely to gain access to these extra HD channels, too.
The regulator today started a consultation on its plans, which include legal, licencing and financial aspects of launching additional multiplexes. Multiplex operators interested in running the two extra multiplexes that would carry 5 HD channels each, are invited to submit a “Notice of Intention to Apply” form to Ofcom.
According to Ofcom, if only one multiplex operator comes forward, they will be awarded the licence. If two or more interested parties submit a form, then Ofcom will proceed with a Competitive Award Process to determine who should operate the multiplexes. If no interested parties come forward, then the frequencies would be used for other wireless services.
The consultation, linked with the intention to apply process is open until 4th April 2013.

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By Expat