Digital UK has launched independent consultations into the future use of BBC Three's digital terrestrial TV channel number and the reservation of channel numbers for HD-only services.
The consultation on the allocation of Logical Channel Number (LCN) 7 follows the BBC Trust's decision to transition BBC Three to an online service, creating vacancies at LCN 7 and LCN 105 (BBC Three).
Digital UK's recommended option is to move BBC Alba and Channel 4 (Wales) to LCN 7 in Scotland and Wales respectively, enabling LCN 8 to be used for local TV channels across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The alternative proposition would simply move all existing channels in the General Entertainment section of the DTT EPG down one slot, and would enable local TV In Scotland and Wales to move to LCN 9 from its lowly current slot on LCN 23. LCN 23 would then be offered to another channel.
There is no proposal to use LCN 7 as a virtual channel connecting to BBC Three via broadband for viewers with connected TV products.
BBC Three will continue to broadcast until at least the end of February 2016, but the consultation only deals with LCN 7—Digital UK shall offer LCN 105 to the public service channel at the next lowest LCN in the HD genre.
The second consultation covers a proposal to amend the LCN Policy to reserve logical channel numbers within content genres for HD-only channels, which have now begun to arrive but could be ghettoised in the HD genre.
Digital UK's proposal is designed to make the best use of available LCNs and allow flexibility if there is a decision to substitute SD channels in the Entertainment and News genres, which would see the closure of the HD genre.
The proposal would be to reserve the lowest-available LCNs at the end of the General Entertainment and News genres for HD-only channels, while placing simulcast HD channels in the HD genre.
DTG Staff | 17.12.2015