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

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Freeview HD launch: BBC HD and ITV1 HD now available -- sort of


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BBC Freeview HD copy plan still in limbo