Catherine Smadja, head of strategy at the BBC, said the Corporation is to start regular DVB-T2 HD broadcasts in November 2009.

Speaking at the the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2008 in Amsterdam, she said: “One of the multiplexes will be upgraded to DVB-T2 and MPEG-4, on which there will be the BBC HD service and two others. And very soon thereafter, three other HD services.”

The new multiplex will launch in November 2009 in the first regions, but should eventually be available to 98.5 per cent of the UK population.

Five other DTT muxes will remain DVB-T.

“DVB-T2 is for us an absolute necessity, because DTT is the number one platform in the UK,” Smadja said.
“We have to offer HD as a public service broadcaster on DTT, not only on cable and DTH.

Smadja said there was no business model for how to accomplish this and HD would only add to the cost.

“There might develop a market for HD pay-TV, but not for free-to-air,” she said. “Luckily, the DVB Group solved the spectrum scarcity problem.”

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