The Digital Television Group, a consortium of key broadcasters and manufacturers, is concerned about Ofcom’s plans for high definition TV on the Freeview platform.
When the analogue signal switch-off is completed in 2012, Ofcom plans to auction the spectrum for other uses, with HDTV confined to the existing Freeview bandwidth.
HDTV would use MPEG4 compression technology and the DVB-T2 broadcasting standard which is still under development. This would mean that consumers would need to purchase new receiver equipment.
The Digital Television Group believes that this plan is likely to fail and could undermine the future of terrestrial TV.
The group is concerned that the plan places too much faith in the DVB-T2 standard, which has yet to be proved. It wants the spectrum to be available for HD transmissions from at least the five main terrestrial channels.
A public consultation on Ofcom’s plan has now closed and a regulatory ruling will follow soon.
The Digital Television Group is calling for regulators to develop a coherent national strategy on HDTV across all broadcasting platforms.