London Could Get Freeview HD in 2009

Ofcom has received a request from BBC to implement Freeview HD in metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom before the initial deadline of 2012 which would mean that at least in some areas, analog and digital services will co-exist temporarily.

The regulatory body has today launched a consultation to see what are the implication in fast-tracking the Freeview roll out in major urban areas which were supposed to receive Freeview HD just before the London Olympics start. The consultation period ends on the 19th of November.

BBC's request cover the "programme making and special events" frequencies which have been earmarked for high definition broadcasts and could mean that London could get Freeview HD by the end of next year, in time for the 2010 South African World Cup.

Should the deployment of Freeview HD go ahead in the next two years, millions will have to ditch their current Freeview boxes and switch to new MPEG4, DVB-T2 High Definition Freeview set top boxes which will almost certainly start to appear by this time next year.

Last week, we reported that the big three TV broadcasters have already announced that they will be launching Freeview HD channels as early as next year.