UK's Ofcom to Start Accepting Applications for Fifth HD Channel

Ofcom announced that it has started accepting applications for the fifth HD channel in the Freeview HD series.

The fifth channel will join BBC HD, BBC One HD, ITV 1 HD and 4HD, which are available in all their HD glory to Britons for free.

According to TechRadar, reasons for the delay in the launch of the new channel was that HD uses up a lot of spectrum, demanding four times more than then standard definition channels.

Perhaps Channel 5 will use this window to bring its Five HD channel, which is only available on Virgin, to Freeview HD.

Ofcom said the Freeview HD roll-out was in line with its plans for the digital switchover, which is expected to be completed by 2012.

The regulator said that Freeview HD was available now to more than half of UK households, including those in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, and Liverpool.

“The closing date for applications is 17 October 2011. Applications will be judged against a number of key criteria including an assessment of how the new capacity will contribute to enhancing the range and diversity of high quality television services available on DTT,” Ofcom said.