Freeview are planning to launch a HD service in the UK next year starting with Granada (my local region). In the press release Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Freeview said "With Freeview on PS3 and Media Center and HD just around the corner, being a Freeview viewer is now more exciting than ever.”

Last month the TV Feature pack edition of Windows Media Center was officially given the Freeview seal of approval and hopefully Media Center will be able to receive the HD content once it starts broadcasting. I am pretty sure Freeview HD is going to be using H.264 for the HD channels so Media Center would need to support that standard and at the moment it doesn’t (even with the TV Feature Pack), whether it could be added and the TV card manufactures like Hauppauge come out with compatible tuners remains to be seen

More info on Techradar


Picture from TechRadar

3 thoughts on “Freeview HD arriving Autumn 2009”
  1. Another busy week on, the server decided to fill all the available disk space…

  2. The Freeview HD broadcasts are going to use DVB-T2 – which will deliver 36Mbs in the same space as currently delivering 18Mbs or 24Mbs with DVB-T. H264 will be the codec.

    I saw the BBC trial kit at IBC 2008 (they are running trials now from the Guildford transmitter) and they were sending 3 H264 1080/50i streams in 36Mbs and they looked very good indeed. They were using a very recent H264 encoder – not the older ones currently in use with BBC HD.

    AIUI the plan is to switch Muxes 1, C and D from 18Mbs 16QAM 2k to 24Mbs 64QAM 8k, and Muxes 2 and A from 2k to 8k remaining at 24Mbs 64QAM. Mux B will become 36Mbs 256QAM 32k DVB-T2. Muxes 1,2 and B will be renamed PSB1,2 and 3. The SD content currently on Mux B will be redistributed.

    This all accompanies analogue switch off – so although it starts with Granada in 2009, the other regions that will have already switched off analogue should also get it around the same time. Other regions will have to wait I believe.

    DVB-T and DVB-T2 are not hardware compatible – so we’ll need new PC tuner solutions for the Freeview HD stuff – and annoyingly stuff like the PlayTV for the PS3 won’t work with this. (Although our PC tuner cards and the PlayTV can receive HD broadcasts – and will work in countries using DVB-T for HD – like Aus and Sweden, they won’t work with DVB-T2)

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