Freeview announces that all future products will be HD beyond 2016

Freeview has announced a migration of its product labelling towards HD-only products from the start of 2016, supported by the DTG.

The UK’s biggest TV platform said that the Freeview Trade Mark Licence will only be granted for HD products from the end of 2016, and will no longer appear on new SD products.

Freeview, alongside Digital UK and the DTG, has been working with television manufacturers and retailers to encourage the take-up of HD, to deliver the best viewing experience for consumers and a more efficient technical standard.

Guy North, managing director of Freeview, said: “Freeview HD gives consumers the best possible picture quality without a subscription. By moving all Freeview products to HD, we are ensuring that our viewers get the full range of channels available to them on the platform and the best possible quality. The company has been working closely with manufacturers, retailers, government and other industry stakeholders to future-proof the platform.”

The move is expected to give a major boost to sales of HD products, which in 2014 accounted for over 70% of new Freeview TV sales in the UK. Sales of equipment with Freeview built-in have reached more than 100 million since the service launched in 2002, according to GfK.

Recent research by Freeview showed that picture quality via HD and access to the catch-up players on their television are the most important features for TV viewers, and this announcement is the next step in the company’s drive towards an increasingly hybrid, HD platform.

Earlier this month, Freeview announced that the new Freeview Play service, which combines catch-up TV, on-demand services and live television without a subscription, will launch in October. All Freeview Play technology will be built to the HD standard, specified in the DTG D-Book 8.

Richard Lindsay-Davies, CEO of the DTG, said: “The industry has given unanimous support, through its collaboration in the DTG, to Freeview’s move to ensure all their viewers enjoy the rich experience of high definition TV with the reliable experience to which they have become accustomed from the world’s greatest industry-defined and open digital TV platform.”

From January 1st, 2016, new Freeview TVs above 32in will need to be HD to carry the Freeview trademark brand. All new Freeview equipment will need to be HD after December 31st, 2016.

DTG Staff  |  24.09.2015

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