Ofcom backs plans for 10 new HD channels on Freeview

Telecoms watchdog Ofcom is backing plans to introduce up to 10 new HD channels on Freeview.

The BBC, Channel 4 and media services company Arqiva are hoping to boost the number of HD channels on the Freeview service from five to 15 in a bid get people to switch their set-top boxes to a HD version, reports Cnet.

Most Freeview channels currently run on the 700MHz frequency, but last week Ofcom announced plans to create a 5G network by selling this frequency to mobile broadband operators by 2018.

It is hoped that by introducing these new HD channels on a lower frequency of 600MHz, users of the service will be encouraged to take up the Freeview HD box, making it easier to retune Freeview in 2018 without millions of homes having to get a new aerial.

"Over time, the expanded range of services available could provide incentives for consumers to accelerate the take-up of DVB-T2 MPEG-4 [Freeview HD] compatible receivers. This could facilitate a faster migration of the Freeview platform to these more efficient standards," Ofcom explains.