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Freeview HD Goes Live But Still No Tuner

The BBC has officially launched Freeview HD yesterday but unfortunately, no one can actually watch any programmes because there's no set top box or mainstream consumer tuner to receive it.

Sadly, no current Freeview tuner, even those that come with a 1080p HDTV television will be able to receive HD programmes. This means that current Freeview devices - including PVRs - may experience a drop in price soon.

DVB-T2 tuners have been launched in the past year but none have appeared in the mainstream retailer segment. But users should expect a raft of compatible hardware (stand alone set top boxes, PVRs and televisions) to appear over the next few months as the momentum behind the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa grows.

There are also fears that unscrupulous vendors will start selling incompatible Freeview HD tuners that come from France where its TNT (Television Numerique Terrestre) still uses the current DVB standard or other tuners that upscale standard Freeview to HD.

In addition, Digital Spy reported that the Beeb's Freeview HD copy protection plan has still not been approved by Ofcom, something that could effectively jeopardise the launch of the service.

Our Comments

We're also slightly concerned about the competition between Freeview HD and Freesat HD. Freeview started way before Freesat but this time around, Freesat HD has a headstart on Freeview HD and tuners for the it are available for as little as £60 from Argos.

Related Links

Confusion over Hi-Def Freeview grows (opens in new tab)


Freeview HD launch: BBC HD and ITV1 HD now available -- sort of (opens in new tab)


Now you see it, now you don't (opens in new tab)


Confusion mounts over 'HD' Freeview boxes (opens in new tab)


BBC Freeview HD copy plan still in limbo (opens in new tab)


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.