BBC pushes for HD capacity growth

More DTT HD services would be possible in the UK if the regulatory agency Ofcom were to allow a DVB-T2 bit rate of 40Mbits/sec according to Graham Plumb, BBC Head of Distribution Technology. He made the comments during the IBC2009 conference adding “there was currently enough capacity to run four to five HD services at 8 Mbps per service. That doesn’t mean Freeview will be restricted to four to five services for all time, some of the digital dividend is going to mobile, but there still might be capacity for new services.”
Ofcom is due to make its decision known in the next few weeks, taking into account the seven DVB-T2 transmission modes that have been run since January on the BBC/Arqiva pilot from Crystal Palace.
It is expected that public service channels are likely to use DVB-T coded with MPEG-2 for some time but commercial broadcasters would be much more likely to switch to DVB-T2 coded with MPEG-4 and make use of the additional capacity.
Currently three HD services are expected to launch in the North West from Winter Hill on December 1; BBC HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD/S4C HD. Five is due to launch during 2010.
London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham and Leeds/Bradford will run separate HD services prior to analogue switch-off, linked by satellite. The first additional HD service from Crystal Palace is expected to launch in December.
Source: Broadband TV News
Item added: 14th September 2009