PSBs seek 450 Londoners for HD trial

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The UK's public service broadcasters are seeking 450 volunteers in London to take part in a six-month trial of high-definition television broadcast via the digital terrestrial platform. The BBC and ITV will air World Cup football matches during the trial while Channel 4 and Five will broadcast high-definition versions of broadcast programmes.

The trial uses local frequencies made available by a development licence from media regulator Ofcom. Beyond the trial, capacity for HD broadcasts on the digital terrestrial platform will be limited until regions start the switch to digital-only television under the Government's 2008-2012 timetable.

Liberated spectrum could be used for HD services, though policymakers have yet to decide the process by which it might be allocated, and how much capacity will be given to the digital terrestrial platform.

"This trial will allow us to evaluate the technology and give us valuable insight into viewer attitudes to HD, helping to show the possibilities for HD broadcasts over DTT post-switchover," said Simon Fell, ITV's controller of emerging technologies.

Potential triallists can apply by completing an online survey, conducted by market research group TNS (see link right).

The HD trial was first announced in November last year. At the time BBC director of television Jana Bennett said: "From colour and widescreen to digital radio and television, the BBC has always been at the forefront of innovations in broadcasting. Our promise to our licence payers is to give them the highest quality television, so the time is right for the BBC to get involved in high definition."

Lovelace Consulting  |  07.04.2006

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