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Freeview Goes HD, Service To Start In Jan

Freeview, a collection of free to air digital TV service based on the Digital Terrestrial Television platform has rolled out the Freeview HD, Britain’s first digital TV service that transmits HD channels offered by BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Freeview HD, the world’s first TV service to use DVB-T2 standard, will be available for the public from spring 2010. The service was switched on at Crystal Palace and the transmitters which will cover 25-30 percent of the UK’s population. The current launch is a technical one while the consumer launch will be sometime in the first quarter of next year.

To receive the HD channels, consumers will have to buy a new set-top box which will appear in some stores around January or February next year. Managing Director of Freeview, Ilse Howling predicted that 40 per cent of the population will be covered by March while figures are expected to rise up to 50 percent at the time of the world cup.

The station at Winter Hill is the first to transmit Freeview HD and residents of Manchester and Liverpool who have Freeview will be able to catch the Freeview HD signal. However, the Freeview set top box will decode the HD waves to SD (Standard Definition).

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 ITProPortal.com 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.