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Pic of the Day: Freeview HD Technical Launch

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Paul Murphy Paul Murphy | 13:15 UK time, Wednesday, 2 December 2009


"This is not a test signal, this is a full service so it has the EPG and all the required data that goes with the signal,"
said James Jackson (above), Head of Broadcast Infrastructure, BBC as he plugged the cable labelled "Crystal Palace" into the back of one of the first Freeview HD sets to be seen out and about.

As launches go the real bit actually happened last night when they turned on DVB-T2 at the Crystal Palace and Winter Hill transmitters but this was still an exciting moment.
Freeview HD sets and set top boxes are promised to be in the shops by Easter and that 50% of viewers will be able to receive the HD signal by the World Cup next year. There was a demo for a Freeview HD postcode checker that should also be going live soon.

Paul Murphy is the Editor of the Internet blog.


  • Comment number 1.

    What's the frequency and ERP of the Crystal Palace transmission please?

  • Comment number 2.

  • Comment number 3.

    What is the PQ like when compaired to Sky / Freesat ?

  • Comment number 4.

    #3 Caveat: I don't have Sky HD at home so I couldn't say how it compares to that *and* I only watched 5 minutes or so of the BBC HD barker and ITV 1 HD.

    Having said that I was really impressed with the picture quality, sharpness, colour and so on.

  • Comment number 5.

    There aren't any dvb-t2 pci cards yet are there? There is no way to actually pick this up yet is there, until the manufacturers come out with the boxes?

  • Comment number 6.

    Thanks for the answer Paul, I will wait and see when the (inevitable) conparisons come out.

  • Comment number 7.

    The Panasonic pictured looks like the G10 I bought a couple of months ago with inbuilt freesat. I wonder if it will be upgradable to DVB-2? I am going to miss the analog pure text CEEFAX service when it goes as this set is totally awesome at displaying and navigating it. The DVB service is rubbish! Who wants pictures anyway? Navigation is useless too by comparison.

  • Comment number 8.

    Paul Murphy, I was wondering whether your could cite a source for "Freeview HD sets and set top boxes are promised to be in the shops by Easter"

    obviously no one expects tvs to be widespread instantly but by Easter is bang out of order for boxes if true. Can you please clarify it, the way it sounds leads us to believe that manufacturers are a couple of months behind their previous guestimates and that is a very serious matter.

  • Comment number 9.

    Not that I can decode it (I obviously don't have a DVB-T2/MPEG-4 receiver, but I can definately tell the Crystal Palace transmissions have started on Channel 31.

    Here in Epping Forest, Essex, prior to about 6pm last night, I used to get a perfect BBC1 East (analogue) signal from Sandy Heath. Now, all I get is a blank, snowy screen.

    That HD signal must be blasting out....

  • Comment number 10.

    What bitrate are they using for the Freeview HD channels? When are the 1080p50 capable Freeview HD decoder boxes & TVs going to be released? Why is the BBC advertising with big company name stickers underneath TV sets?

  • Comment number 11.

    completely pointless in my opinion. why launch it when no-one can receive it yet. you've shut down the interactive stream for something no-one can access.

  • Comment number 12.

    Why's it still got a DOG?

  • Comment number 13.

    Yeah ditch the DOG already...

    And we have to wait until EASTER for boxes? That is utterly hilarious. Well done *cough*

  • Comment number 14.

    Like what post 10 said. Whats the current bitrate on BBC HD and ITV1 HD? The total available bandwidht available on Multiplex B (where all the HD channels will broadcast from) is 36mbps. So assuming 4 HD channels launch that will be 9mbps for each channel. Maybe this is the reason freesat bitrate got reduced to ensure both platforms offer the same bitrate and this would eliminate people squabbling over which platform is better.

  • Comment number 15.

    Very exciting news.

    But thought I was in for a treat as I have two of the old set-top boxes (Humax HDCI-2000T and i-CAN 3800T) used for the original Freeview HD trial in 2006. But it seems that these trial set-top boxes are DVB-T rather than DVB-T2 - so alas I too cannot receive the new Freeview HD broadcasts and will also have to wait for the new set-top boxes next year!

    [Also a shame that I only recently bought a Panasonic plasma (p42v10) which although has Freesat HD will not be compatible with Freeview HD as it doesn't have a DVB-T2 tuner :( Looks like Freesat is more limited on the HD front than Freeview HD too!]

  • Comment number 16.

    Someone better ask DTG (the trade association) how many DTHDTV UK Freeview boxes have been submitted for testing. They have been open for business since September for this purpose.

  • Comment number 17.



    Looking at my notes from yesterday the implication was that you'll start seeing kit in the new year with widespread availability on the High Street by March. The dates were from Ilse Howling, Freeview's MD and other Freeview representatives. Apologies for any confusion.

    Andrew Laughlin from DigitalSpy who was also there yesterday has written in his piece Freeview HD begins Transmissions:

    "Set-top-boxes, IDTVs and PVRs supporting Freeview HD will start reaching retail outlets during the first quarter of 2010, backed by a major marketing campaign."

    I'll do a round up of any other coverage and what's being said later today.
  • Comment number 18.

    #8 ropies

    Some more clarification from Nigel Whitfield's story Freeview HD goes live on Register Hardware:

    "Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Freeview, told Register Hardware that she expects that equipment will start to appear in stores in January and February of next year, with widespread availability around March."
  • Comment number 19.

    We are recieving Freevieve But it is not perfect [Since Yesterday 2dec.]
    Yours Mr. A. Simpson. Winter Hill area.

  • Comment number 20.

    I wonder if this will work on the edge of the signal area, or if I will have to wait until full switchover? I'm using CP from Beds (sandy is bad here), no cable available, and the Astra cluster is behind a tree so this is the only way for me to get anything HD.

  • Comment number 21.

    In reply to #20, I'd be surprised if you'd get the current service from Beds; there was a coverage map flashed up during the presentation yesterday, as I mentioned in my report for Reg Hardware, and I'd say that Hertford is about the most northerly, from my recollection, and even that will be patchy.

  • Comment number 22.

    #21 The report on Reg Hardware is Freeview HD goes live and there's some very good discussions in the comments at the end of the post on the subject too.

  • Comment number 23.

    Thank you for the clarification Paul Murphy, so I can see there has in effect been no change on the box availability schedule, which is good news for the service. We'll have to hope quite a few early adopters get out in Jan and Feb.

  • Comment number 24.

    We were told that when we went digital and the old signal was switched off that the Power on digital would be increased, so far it seems to be
    the same and we are suffering from picture breakup and and loss of sound
    plus more interference. Instead of improving it has gone worse. My post
    code is PR5 4RT before the switchover it was OK but not now. Yours Mr. A

  • Comment number 25.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 26.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?


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