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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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.