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ITV HD Launching on Freeview HD


ITV HD Launching on Freeview HD

About half of you reading this are going to be pleased, the others disappointed: ITV HD is coming to Freeview HD in time for the World Cup next year - but only for 50 per cent of UK homes. The rest of you will either have to find a friend's house to watch at, or just suck it up (it's only football, after all).

ITV HD is already available on Freesat, although as a slightly annoying Red Button service rather than a channel, but ITV has now arranged with the BBC to take some of its bandwidth. As a result ITV HD will be available alongside Five, Channel 4 and, of course, BBC HD once Freeview HD's roll-out is completed. A process which, as you surely remember, starts in December in Manchester and is expected to finish in 2012.

Interestingly, ITV still hasn't signed up to offer its HD content to Sky, which means that - pending an agreement being made in the coming months - the only way to watch the World Cup in HD will be via free-to-air broadcast services. If that isn't progress I don't know what is!


ITV Investor Relations.

Go to comments


August 11, 2009, 4:52 pm

I'm not interested in World Cup 2010 the horns in South African games become really annoying. I guess Mandela will be busy, at his photo studio.


August 11, 2009, 5:06 pm

".... the only way to watch the World Cup in HD will be via free-to-air broadcast services. If that isn't progress I don't know what is!"

One miffed Murdock mumbling "humbug" I guess...


August 11, 2009, 5:49 pm

Worth a mention that Sky HD users can currently manually add the ITV HD 'Red button' channel to their existing box and manually tune in to ITV HD content when its being broadcast.


August 11, 2009, 6:17 pm

MS - you're right, but it's not exactly an idea or simple solution for Sky subscribers.


August 11, 2009, 10:16 pm

I wonder if there's any plans to bring it to Virgin's line-up? I've heard rumours of a linear channel, but nothing concrete.


August 12, 2009, 1:53 am

still not clear if i'd need a new box or if any tv's can handle freeview HD.

don't like the idea of another box...


August 12, 2009, 4:04 am

@ilovethemonkeyhead - If I recall correctly, new boxes/TVs will be needed to receive Freeview HD, as it uses a new standard (the more efficient DVB-T2, compared to DVB-T which is currently used). Your old box will still be able to receive Freeview, just not HD transmissions, as the two systems will co-exist for a period of time.

Tony Walker

August 12, 2009, 5:29 am

...and as I found out earlier today, the beeb has halved the bitrate used for its satellite service to ~9Mbps from ~19Mbps.

People are reporting problems on fast motion images with the Championship footie game from the weekend being used as an example.

Beeb say they have moved to some spiffy new encoders and say the 19Mbps rate was "unsustainable".

Any day now the HD service will go below the picture quality we used to get with an all-analogue recording and broadcast path - which really was excellent on a telly with a good tube (Mullard or Trinitron).

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