IBC 2008 – AMSTERDAM. The BBC will start regular DVB-T2 HD broadcasts in November 2009, said Catherine Smadja, head of strategy at the BBC, during a press briefing of the DVB Group. “One of the multiplexes will be upgraded to DVB-T2 and MPEG-4, on which there will be the BBC HD service and two others. And very soon thereafter, three other HD services.”
The new multiplex will launch in November 2009 in the first regions, but should eventually be available to 98.5% of the UK population. Five other DTT muxes will remain DVB-T.
“DVB-T2 is for us an absolute necessity”, Smadja said, “because DTT is the number one platform in the UK. We have to offer HD as a public service broadcaster on DTT, not only on cable and DTH. But how to get there, there is no business model, HD will only add to the costs. There might develop a market for HD pay-TV, but not for free-to-air. Luckily, the DVB Group solved the spectrum scarcity problem.”