back to article Freeview to get fifth HD channel

Britain is to get a fifth HD channel on Freeview, regulator Ofcom confirmed today, you lucky, lucky people. The watchdog said it has invited the UK's commercial free-to-air channels - the likes of ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and, apparently, "the Welsh Authority" - to tell it what they would do with the extra slot if they had it …

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MJI
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5th channel any with no logo

One without a moron logo please?

Am I the only person to stopo watching C5 since they reintroduced their moron logo?

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Anonymous Coward

I wasn't watching it anyway

I base my viewing choices on programming rather than branding

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WTF?

null

You watched C5 in the first place?

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Silver badge

The stupid part is

A logo (e.g. a transparent PNG) could be part of the stream and superimposed by the box over the video. There is no reason to embed it into the stream. If the box did it, then presumably there could be an option to display it, or not, or only for some duration.

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MJI
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I used to watch 5th Gear

Before it got boring

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Five

Five has Big Brother, there's one reason alone to let someone else have it.

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Five HD on Sky

Five HD is already on Sky.

Being in the UTV region, ITV HD has to be manually tuned on a Sky box as it is.

Also, freeview HD wont start until 2012. At which point my old trusty OnDigital box will be a useless relic of a bygone era. And the Mayan Calendar will end.

On a 40" TV in a fairly large living room, the difference between a quality SD broadcast (ie. few MPEG artifacts - Virgin Media used to be bad for these) and HD isn't as great as I had hoped.

There are some programmes that do it better than others though - An Idiot Abroad on the Amazon had some breathtaking scenes in HD.

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FAIL

HD channel wastage

whats the point of 2 BBC HD channels right now? One is just an HD version of BBC 1 - and most of that isnt in HD so is just lousy upscaled tripe...the other is just a showcase channel only on air in the evenings. rubbish.

C5 HD? just HD version of C5 - once again, load of junk.

they should seriously look at letting one of the other sides in on the act - ESPN HD

would be a good bit of competition to the free-to-air and pay-per-view market,

alternatively, let a channel that would benefit from HD coverage and provide educational benefit to the masses - eg National Geographic HD

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Flame

If you want to talk wastage

Try ANY of the shopping channels or the 'Rabbit' Chat systems. I cannot think of a better waste of bandwidth than these systems, but as long as they make money why bother having 'useful' channels broadcast...

These channels are the FIRST I delete from my guide on a retune, just to save my sanity (along with all the Topuptv pay per view crap I can no longer get anyway as they stopped selling the cards for boxes and went all 'set-top- box downloads').

Bah Humbug.

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MJI
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BBC HD

Actually BBC HD seems to be a mix of BBC2 and BBC4

I only watched 2 ITV programmes in the last year so more BBC is good, pity they forgot their logo pledge

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MJI
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Channel delete

As an owner of a POS Pace Twin I have to delete all the rubbish channels after a retune to use guide.

And there are more every day.

Bring back The Hits, FTN, and TMF!

Oh and if you have one the Pace is useless in a digital switchover area, and they also put your complaints through to a dead line.

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Ace of Pace

Pace OnDigital box. Useless after the switchover. Shame as is makes a good stand for my combined Monitor/TV.

Though apparently some will work with the 8k mode.

And for the Sony Fanbois - the Sony Freeview adaptor wont work with HD transmissions.

And for the MS Fanbois - there is no Xbox freeview adaptor

Bah Monday grumble

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MJI
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Sony Freeview Adaptor?

What is this?

Old Ondodgy box?

The rebadged PVR?

I know my old Wega IDTV was incompatible which I was annoyed about but the tube started to fade after a lot of use.

My LCD TV though os compatible but not Freeview HD

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Sony Freeview

Sony PlayTV

Sony has stated that PlayTV is incompatible with the UK Freeview HD, as it uses the DVB-T2 standard.

http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2009/09/29/playtv-update-2/#comment-27385

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MJI
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Ah I see

Ours is used for games, blurays and streaming.

Got a Pace Twin and Humax HDR for the telly recording

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Anonymous Coward

Why do they have to p1ss about with the names

rather than simply bringing us the existing channels in HD if we've got the equipment?

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Names? Marketing... init... new shiny? Lets call it H5D or sommat...

It would make sense just to convert the base channels all to HD and bin the crappy shopping channels to make room. However, this won't happen for a while. I suspect that 8k4k tellys will be on sale in Currys by the time 1080i HD is the dominant tv transmission format. Then we get to start all over again buying hardware that won't be fully utilised for another 10 years!

HDMI Monster cable anyone?

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Re: Currys

"I suspect that 8k4k tellys will be on sale in Currys by the time 1080i HD is the dominant tv transmission format."

I don't think Currys will be around that long. The high street isn't a terribly friendly place if you are selling commodities likes books or gizmos. Give it another decade or so and the only shops left will be selling stuff that goes off (like food), fitters for stuff that needs to be the same size as the customer (like shoes and clothes), and showrooms for online stores (for those who need the "shop till you drop" experience but can't be arsed to carry it all home at the end of the afternoon).

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Anonymous Coward

Simple

"Why do they have to p1ss about with the names rather than simply bringing us the existing channels in HD if we've got the equipment?"

Because it isn't all shot in HD presumably. So it's better to at least try to fill an HD channel with stuff that's shot in HD rather than upscaling stuff that isn't.

BBC HD makes some sort of sense because it broadcasts stuff from other BBC channels that was actually shot in HD. BBC1 HD makes a lot less sense because a lot of the content is shot in SD and then upscaled so is a waste of bandwidth. The BBC argue that before long the majority of the output will be shot in HD so they've bagged the channel for BBC1 HD because mroe and more of their content is shot in HD.

I honestly don't see that programs shot in SD and then upscaled to HD for broadcast look any better than SD viewed on a good quality HD telly. Having said that an awful lot of the HD stuff broadcast doesn't really need HD because you don't really need HD to view talking heads in a studio. Imagine a radio broadbast of a man reading the news in full dolby surround sound, you just don't need it. And you can't do heavy metal in dobly either.

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WTF?

great, but,...

what about the compression on freeview which currently does my nut in? it looks like a dodgy jpeg.....

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Anonymous Coward

Not that again

I've never seen any intrusive compression on freeview. People who claim they do usually have poor reception or a really crap set top box.

And by crap reception I don't mean they live in an area with crap reception. You can get reasonable analogue reception with bad cabling or and iffy aerial or badly aligned aerial, but you don't necessarilly get as good reception with digital over the same kit. One of my neighbours put in a freeview box and whinged that she got poor reception and occasionally a "no signal" message and declared that freeview was crap. I replaced her coax and everything was fine.

Some cheap set top boxes just don't seem to be able to decode transmissions fast enough, especially the higher bandwidth channels. Which is kind of amusing in a way because they render the channels that should have better image quality worse than they do other channels. Then there are a lot of cheap PVRs out there that screw up when recording one channel and viewing another or viewing a recording while recording another channel. Particularly they like to screw up the channel you are watching as recordings start or stop. Or screw up the channel you are recording if you start timeshifting broadcast TV. There's a lot less rubbish on sale now than there was, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of it still in use.

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@AC

Yes, I know that I get poor reception, that's cos the buggers have left the BBC 1 etc transmitter on a lower power setting post-switchover than it was on before, and appear to periodically drop it even further. Bastards.

Broadband doesn't normally have the bandwidth to use iPlayer, and not even the option of a ghostly terrestrial broadcast - talk about progress!

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Anonymous Coward

What?!

"the buggers have left the BBC 1 etc transmitter on a lower power setting post-switchover than it was on before"

I don't know about where you live, but BBC1 is definitely a stronger signal post switchover here.

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FAIL

ESPN HD?

Ah that would be the one you have to pay for then...

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what about freesat

There are quite a few HD channels on there already.

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MJI
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4 as far as I recall

BBC1HD, BBC HD, ITV1HD, C4HD

ITV2HD is a Sky exclusive with their encryption - so doesn't clutter up the Freesat EPG

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Thumb Down

Yawn...(scratches balls for something to do)

Oh Joy.

Yet another channel full of crap.

Cue the music...... "This is not just any old shite...... this is HD shite"

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Windows

Oh fuck no.... Please not Channel 5!

Naked Jungle HD, anyone?

Try thebox.bz it's the reason I don't even use my Freeview recorder anymore.

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Why bother?

Just about everything on FV is on Freesat and a HD DVR for that is only a few squid more than the FreeviewHD version.

It doesn't make sense to have national/wide area distribution on terrestrial transmitters anymore.

It doesn't make much sense to put regional/local stuff on terrestrial transmitters either - DSL/cable has more than enough bandwidth when multicast is used.

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MJI
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Satellite is nearly full

Very little room on the Freesat specific sats.

At least with terrestrial there is the ability to channel reuse.

Better to have a selection of delivery methods.

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Coat

Re: Why bother?

Too true. What a pity that the ample capacity of satellite broadcasts couldn't have been foreseen by engineers a decade or so ago when the digital switchover was planned. Oh, hang on...

Still, it's not as if TV occupies a particularly valuable part of the spectrum that anyone would ever want to re-purpose. Oh, hang on...

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Gold badge

Re: Satellite is nearly full

Objectively, in a world where nearly everyone has either a video or a PVR, no system that finds the space to broadcast "Crap+1" can claim to be near capacity.

More subjectively, no system that broadcasts shopping channels can claim to be full either.

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Go

Here's what they need to do w.r.t. HD channels

1. Change "BBC HD" to "BBC 2 HD". OK, this will mean no BBC 3 or 4 programmes in HD, but surely BBC 2 gets more viewers than BBC 3 and 4 combined?

2. Scrap S4C HD in Welsh regions and replace it with Channel 4 HD. How come Welsh regions get Channel 4 (England) in SD, but not in HD? I suspect the number of viewers of Channel 4 SD in Wales massively exceeds the number of viewers of S4C SD.

3. Even though there's virtually no decent programmes (apart from the odd US import) on Channel 5, it seems bizarre that it's now the only one of the "original" 5 terrestrial channels without some sort of output in HD (OK, BBC 2 only gets some stuff via BBC HD, but my suggestion 1 would fix that). Hence, just for consistency, I would allocate the HD channel to C5.

4. When the final region switches over to digital in 2012, do a massive channel renumbering to shift the HD channels to 1-5 instead of 50-54 like they currently are. Yes, I have a Freeview HD box that shamefully can't renumber the channels...

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WTF?

Let me have the channel

I'll create a channel called Pr0n HD. It will certainly be more entertaining and give more of a public (or personal) service albeit slightly more repetitive (a repetivitiy I can live with mind) than most of the shite they put on now.

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Devil

Slightly off-topic note about logos on tv

I'm getting to be a grumpy sod, but aside from the HD issues, I'm fed up of most of the TV channels having a stupid / intrusive logo in the top corner.

I know what the flaming channel is! I just selected the damn thing.

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Anonymous Coward

What's it for?

And you never thought to wonder what that logo is there for?

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MJI
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Encourage purchasing DVDs/BDs?

Pretty sure that is it.

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