Further to the news announcement today that Ofcom has awarded two licenses for HD channels on Freeview from 2010, Freesat wish to point out the following:
- Roll out of Freeview HD channels will be linked to digital switchover, which means that HD will only become available in the UK on a region-by-region basis from launch until 2012. See this page for information.
- In order to view HD channels on Freeview, consumers will need to replace their existing Freeview receiving equipment (either a set-top box or television with Freeview receiver built-in) by purchasing entirely new equipment.
- Freeview coverage in the UK currently stands at 73%. Even after digital switchover there will still be a proportion of UK households which will not be able to view Freeview and it’s HD channels whilst Freesat reaches 98% of UK homes now.
Quote from Freesat concerning today’s announcement:
With Freesat, subscription free high definition (HD) is already a reality for the UK. We believe our no strings offer of over 130 channels plus great HD programmes from the BBC and ITV, for a one off payment of as little as £120, is leading the way in making HD the standard that viewers will come to expect in the future.
Due to the way we broadcast our service, via satellite rather than traditional aerial, HD is available now to 98% of UK homes via Freesat. Freesat homes don’t have to wait until Digital Switchover reaches their region to get HD for free – which for large parts of the country is still over three years off.