The UK’s four terrestrial broadcasters have signed a a non-binding
memorandum of understanding that, if agreed, would deliver High
Definition (HD) channels on Freeview by the projected completion of
Digital Switchover in 2012.
From late-2009/2010 Freeview users could enjoy a new family of High Definition channels – BBC HD (approved yesterday by the BBC Trust), ITV HD and Channel 4 HD could all be available on Freeview – with Five HD launching as soon capacity is available expected by 2012 at the latest.
To make space for the channels the four would need to rearrange existing channels carried on Freeview, in line with Ofcom’s suggestion, setting aside one of the BBC’s two multiplexes for the carriage of the new HD offerings.
The agreement follows discussions with Ofcom and Government to launch the new services consumers want, in particular free-to-air High Definition.
A variation of the relevant BBC multiplex licence to carry HD services will be subject to approval from Ofcom.