James Sherwood of The Register reports:
Freesat may have only recently launched in the UK, but the BBC has already begun testing the transmission of HD services over Freeview.
The broadcaster has started transmissions from a Guildford-based transmitter using the second-generation DVB-T specification DVB-T2. The trial could clear the way for the introduction of HD onto Freeview by December next year.
DVB-T2 is said to offer 30 per cent more data-carrying capacity as DVB-T under the same conditions.
Justin Mitchell, leader of the DVB-T2 modem development team at the BBC, said: “This is a big step forward in enabling the introduction of full HD terrestrial on Freeview by the end of 2009.”
The BBC added that the trial follows approval by the DVB Project – an industry-led consortium focused on designing open technical standards for digital TV delivery – of the DVB-T2 specification.
Freeview currently uses the ten-year old DVB-T standard. DVB-T2 was developed for "use in a post-Analogue Switch-Off environment". UK communications regulator Ofcom has said it wants to convert at least one of the nation's DVB-T multiplexes to DVB-T2 by the end of 2009.
A few years ago, the BBC ran a closed trial of DVB-T based HD content over Freeview. Bandwidth limitations and compatibility issues prevented a full-scale roll-out. In the end, the BBC HD channel ended up on Sky, Virgin and now Freesat.