Abstract

Encouraged by the increasing sales of HD-ready televisions, we helped the BBC prepare for the BBC’s HD test transmissions, which began in summer 2006 on the three main digital platforms, terrestrial, satellite, and cable.While we await a decision on the BBC’s launch of a service, we continue to help fine-tune the system, to ensure that the public sees the best possible results from this improved technology.

It is now nearly nine years since we helped to put public digital TV broadcasts on air in the UK (not forgetting DAB three years earlier), and later this year the Digital Switchover will begin in earnest. Although the BBC’s spectrum planners themselves are no longer part of the department, we continue to advise on methods of technical assistance for our viewers, in particular the more vulnerable groups.We also work to ensure the BBC continues to make efficient use of its radio spectrum allocations, both for its broadcasts and its internal communications.

One of the themes that run through our work is that our audiences no longer simply restrict themselves to our linear television and radio broadcasts. In fact some rarely now watch or listen in this way. We have contributed to new developments such as iPlayer, new forms of interactive content on our digital broadcasts, Freeview Playback and other ways for our audiences to control their own viewing. While the PC and 3G phone might be obvious alternatives to the TV, another exciting prospect is using games consoles to create new forms of interactive story telling.